19 SF men KIA, 14 Marines Decapitated

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Andy_S, Nov 10, 2011.

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  1. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    The nastiest dispatch I recall seeing from one of the furthest reaches of the GWOT. I don't believe this has been posted before: If is has, apologies.

    For those who think the Philippines are all about palm trees, San Mig, Angeles City and ladyboys, think again. The Southern Philippines has been a big boy's rules zone since the days of James "King of the Headhunters" Brooke vs the Sulu slaving fleets, and after Afghan Muj returned home following the Soviet pullout, it became of an Al Qaeda hotspot.

    But I had no idea that combat of this scale and intensity was underway at present.

    Looking at these cas figures, the fighting may be worse than Afghan, particularly given that the Marines and Scout Rangers (SF) are Manila's elite. Apparently, the SF guys were involved in a training ex when they came under attack, so it is not surprising their their CO has been shown the door.

    In both cases cited, troops were killed by the terrorists, Muslim separatists, after being captured.

  2. Have you been to the Philipines? Have you seen the state of their armed forces? You'd think that given their ties with the US, they'd benefit from mentoring (which they do) and equipment (also the case, albeit with the usual limitations that you can expect with the sort of corruption in the Phils). Above all, IMHO they lack motivation. They are up against highly motivated guerrilla fighters who have the upper hand in terms of operating in their own backyard. While totally under equipped, they proof time and again to be able to gain the upper hand. Not having looked into the most recent case in detail, I nonetheless suggest it comes down to lack of fitness, lack of operational experience and above all, lack of motivation. The Philippines is perhaps the single most screwed up place in all of Asia in terms of wasted human potential, people are just not bothered, as no matter what one does, things never seem to improve... Just my two pence worth.
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  3. Brings a whole new meaning to the Thriller in Manilla
  4. It hardly ever makes the news in the west, but parts of the Philippines suffer from daily bombings and killings. Just about everyone there is armed, and a trip to the bank is a most interesting experience..... Going shopping is quite an experience too, with store security guards all pretty heavily tooled up.

    The US was giving major support to the efforts against MILF and Abu Sayyaf until about 2005 but this was withdrawn at the request of the Philippine Government owing to one or two nasty accidents involving civilians. Last I heard was that there were peace talks taking place, but I guess those have broken down now.
  5. Another CO with a "Top Idea." I hope they nail his hat on.
  6. I have visited Mindanao on a number of occasions, mother-in-law lives there. It can be quite a scary place, as unlike the Manila region western faces tend to stand out in the crowd, certainly there were places that the family would not let me go within their town, which is predominantly Christian and has a large cathedral at its centre.

    Having said that, most people seem to cope with a constant terrorism problem - it has become a way of life in the Southern Philippines.
  7. Poppy collecting last Saturday and a Philipino bloke came up, made a donation and stopped for a long chat. Suffice it to say he had done his bit in the eighties in the South of the Philipines and he clearly had had a rough time - I had no idea and as other posters have said it's just something we do not hear about. I think he said in one contact his COY lost 81 people.
  8. Yes, the fighting there has been going on for decades, and hardly ever makes the press. I guess on average an atrocity makes world headlines when more than 15 civilians are killed or more than 20 Soldiers. The only exception being when a western tourist becomes the subject of a kidnapping or beheading.

    The Philippine Government had made good progress at working with the separatists, particularly under the Marcos regime, since Marcos was deposed the negotiations and cooperation has been progressively withdrawn and a military solution has been attempted.
  9. Do they still have trouple with the HUK Communists? It was a regualr problem, them coming down form the hills and shooting up all and sundry in the '60's. [Even that centre of moral rectitude, Alongapo was targeted] It was because of them that Marcos declared martial law and I'm assuming if they are now quiet then they have just swopped their efforts form a small enemy of the state for a larger threat.
  10. Yes they do, HUK became the NPA, and are active mostly in Luzon (the Island where Manila is based), they are responsible for kidnappings extortion etc, however most of the military force is used against the MORO, MILF and Abu Sayyaf organisations in the southern Philippines.
  11. Thanks for that
  12. Same reasons the Viet Cong succeeded.
  13. A good idea indeed! Scuba diving in an area teeming with bad guys!! I wonder what security (if any) was posted?
  14. We passed an NPA patrol while on a little used road, traveling from Tagudin to Sagada, in 1994. Sat on top of the Jeepney we had hitched a ride on, we were not stopped or molested & the young filopinos with us seemed happy to see them there.

    Fav sign in Manila, outside a bar, read:


    - in that order!
  15. With the NPA you would probably get away without any problems, unless they are after a kidnap, but in the south it is unlikely that the terrorists would have let you go on! Abu Sayyaf beheaded a group of German tourists while on a diving holiday in 2003 IIR, leaving their headless corpses on a beach.