Discussion in 'Afghanistan' started by Travelgall, Nov 25, 2010.
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Tanks, But No Tanks - By Maj. Michael Waltz | Foreign Policy
Interesting Article - Comment?
It's got its places and uses. Mountainous terrain doesn't seem to lend itself well to the US MRAPS, and thusly not tanks either I would guess, so a different form of transport will have to be used instead. Horses for courses.
People on here have already mentioned what great force multipliers they would become if providing heavily armed watch on passes, MSR's, troublesome villages etc.
If some of the patrol bases actually had a tank parked within that could be rolled out to start punching the insurgents during an attack, they'd soon think twice when they'd been chased around by one, day or night.
I agree with the article, that if the few working roads in Afghanistan were used less then we'd see less IED incidents. Roadside bombs are after all, static devices that would only work if there is an element in predictability in their intended targets.
Would this strategy work in Afghanistan?
1) Usage of lightly armoured, highly mobile and dispersed infantry with minimal encumbrance via (2)
2) Just-in-time resupply capability of infantry in the field (this is the subject of a MoD CDE proposal I have submitted)
3) In lieu of small arms let them carry an abundance of HE weapons + obscurants
4) Agile and swift fire support capability - rocket artillery + 155mm howitzers in outposts, followed by CAS
5) Further down the horizon are persistent/loitering munitions to reduce the latency of fire support
The purpose of infantry is basically to mingle with the locals, make contact with the enemy, inform on their co-ordinates and then bombard the general area to smithereens.
Which would damage the local infrastructure (such as it is) for example bridges and buildings and alienate the population.
Personnally I think that heavy armour could have a role in some ops, for example:
- control of strategic points
- mobile fire base
What proportion of firefights happens with them holed up in places where infrastructure or civilians may be hit?
In those instances would special forces be a better option?
Surprise, surprise, an SF officer saying tanks are no good....
Yeah, I aimed off re the article because the guy is SF. Nevertheless it doesn't mean that his arguments are wrong. Still some interesting points. I don't know whether I agree 100% but perhaps its something that needs looking at again.
He only talks about actual tanks towards the end and comes out with the cliche about knocked out Russian armour; ignoring the number of infantry who have perished in that sad country but whose remains are not so durable. His focus is obviously SF, as other posters have mentioned, so I'm not sure he should be commenting on line infantry who have learned the old truth that unarmoured troops cannot move or maneuver under fire.
So 'remote' villages are not getting patrolled for lack of vehicle access. These spots are at least occasionaly used by Terry as a base of operations/resupply. Surprise! I suspect The authors argument is that we should patrol them. Hmm. While this makes sense...the multi million dollar question is 'How?' The author didnt seem to sugest much here other than using whatever was to hand. If you go back to using Humvees or pickups to go into areas of known Insurgant activity you will face contacts. Terry will go back to using the tactics he knows work on those humvees and pickups.
So you can either build a road in...which creates a choke point for Terry to IED up. Or you could go down the platoon house route again, resup via heli? Or you could commit to a long march in on a regular basis...again resup via heli?
Or of course if you had infinite resources you'd cordon the entire area, stack up loads of OP's, Drones, Infantry, CAS etc and then move in. Then build several lovely roads, schools, medical facilities and leave behind local police/army in your newly subdued area. Pigs might fly as this will be slow and far from cheap. However if these 'no-go areas' are where the Talib are operating from then it stands to reason its also a opertunity to get to grips with them. Preferably without brassing up all the locals...and thats the hard bit of course. I doubt the political will exists?
Thanks, I am already aware that roadside bombs are a subset of IEDs.
I appreciate that some items soldiers carry (e.g. ammunition) might cause major problems if you run out in a firefight, but how often does one need things like food, water or fuel in the next hour or I'd die?
Yeah OK. But you can't deny there is a pressing temptation to do just that if they try to trifle with our forces
Having not been in Afghanistan and only able to judge by media and published reports, there are times when Taliban/AQ may be fighting from places where the risk of collateral damage is low, e.g. funneled roads for roadside ambushes, harrassment of forward bases or troops out in the open. Surely under these circumstances if there is no chance of collateral damage destroying non-combatants, infrastructure, crops or homes then it is OK to unleash HE to make short work of them?
Here is a different opinion;
Tanks to Afghanistan, a Soldier Writes.
(Shamelessly plagiarized from Tanknet )
Why did the US SF get brassed up in Mogadishu?Because the politicians wouldn´t let them be backed up by Tanks,who saved their arrses?Pakistani´s in armoured cars!
Tanks used properly in Afghanistan would give our troops in most cases at least the option to loiter for longer periods and carry out patrols into more remote areas,the tanks in a static position covering and supporting the troops not trying to crawl up mountains etc.This scooting backwards and forwards with ATO clearing the roads every time a patrol leaves is slightly Pythonesque IMHO and no wonder the Afghans laugh at our armies futile attemps to hold ground.
As I´ve said on earlier posts the only real way to keep the enemy on the run and rid them of sleep is to have the Yanks provide huge helicopter support,the Yanks have hundreds of choppers parked up in the desert doing fcuk all,the British don´t even have enough to rescue their own wounded.The British squaddies can be carried around at their hearts content and do what they do best,killing the enemy or visiting the more remote allies in the mountains to remind them that they´re not forgotten;Not waiting till the roads have been cleared and then It´s time to go back as they can´t hold ground without armour support,simple as.
As Britain is leaving anyway It´s all been a total waste of time from day 1,the Taliban still terrorise the locals and Poppies are still being cultivated to poison our children in the future, Oh what a lovely fcuking War!-just to misquote someone!
PS,Independant Boffin.............You really are talking bollocks,sorry!
I disagree IB, the problem with Afg is that there are IEDs everywhere, they follow no logic or pattern. As an IEDD operator threat assessment was always quite simple - there are bombs everywhere and lots of them, even then it may not be enough to save you.
Oh my god some of the comments on this thread are just plain silly. Tanks in Afghan ???? I presume most of you have never actually been there never mind left a FOB. Not a chance of them being effective.
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