Fire, ready, aim!

May 21, 2009

Blog Guy, I know you study military preparedness around the world. How do U.S. troops compare in areas like marksmanship?

We’re far ahead of most countries … Look at some photos taken in the last couple of days.

On the right are some Belarussian troops. They’re  holding their rifles upside-down, and are in danger of some nasty bayonet-through-the-foot accidents. If you have to get into a war, do it with these guys.

Gosh, you’d think just from watching TV they’d know more than that!

Exactly. Now look at some Saudi soldiers, below. They are pointing their rifles straight up, but looking in a totally different direction.

I’m guessing they call this shooting technique “Saudi no-peekie duck-hunting,” and it certainly makes a frontal assault seem pretty tempting.

Amazing. But just to make sure I understand, your entire assessment of the strength and preparedness of these two armies is being made from glancing at a couple of photos?

Oh, like it’s the first time THAT’s ever happened!

It’s magical, sort of. join the Oddly Enough blog network

Tweat yourself to this blog on Twitter at rbasler

Above: Belarussian honor guards perform during a show  opening an international arms exhibition in Minsk May 19, 2009. REUTERS/ Vasily Fedosenko

Left: Graduating soldiers from the Saudi special forces’ anti-terror unit demonstrate their skills in Riyadh May 17, 2009. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

More stuff from Oddly Enough


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

It looks as if they are preparing an air raid from Medusa; ready to fire, but if they look directly at her they would turn to stone. I bet if the camera was zoomed out a bit you would see a giant mirror angled toward the sky.

Posted by Meredith | Report as abusive

Hey Blog guy, since you are such an astute observer of fashion and military preparedness, can you tell me where I can get one of those Belarussian hats?

I am already practicing my stiff-legged march.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

I don’t know. It looks to me like the guys in the bottom picture are overcompensating from headgear envy of the guys in the top picture.

Posted by Bandage | Report as abusive

Bill, it’s pretty clear to me that you don’t spend much time in downtown Minsk. Any women’s apparel shop there will have them.

Posted by Robert Basler | Report as abusive

If you think these guys are a riot you should see their undercover unit.

Posted by Vince | Report as abusive

Thank’s, I’m on my way!

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive