Drums Getting Even Louder About Impending Afghan Offensive

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jumpinjarhead, Feb 9, 2010.

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  1. It is getting "curiouser and curiouser" with the drumbeat getting ever louder about the impending (dare I say "imminent?") offensive and the escalating rhetoric about it.

    and this:

    and this for the "hearts and minds:"

    What I still don't quite follow is how our leaders think the Taliban are not going to do all they can, especially with all the notice they have been provided, to make sure the noncombatants are kept close at hand to ensure there will be collateral damage or even at least partial mission failure due to otherwise legitimate objectives being effectively immunized by noncombatants being forced to remain.

    This just appeared in this regard:

  2. Can't for the life of me figure out what all this information campaign is for.

    To get the civvies and reconcilable elements of fair weather Taliban out? As JJH says I'm sure their commanders and loyal, irreconcilable elements now have had the benefit of enough pre-warning to keep them on a short leash.

    Also, if the civvies did all leave then frankly whats the point, COIN is surely about winning over and securing the population, drive out the civpop and you can't really do that no matter what land you hold.

    As a throwing down of the gauntlet to concentrate en hardliners in one area for us to isolate then destroy them? Unlikely the Talibs would be daft enough to put all their eggs wilfully in one basket for us like some sort of reverse Dien Bien Phu isn't it, especially when they know a shitstorms heading their way and they'd rather shoot and scoot.

    Besides, if this was the hope, the history of prior COIN campaigns is one of conventionally-minded armies looking to bring guerrillas to one decisive back-breaking engagement - and never getting offered that battle. Why would it work this time?

    Worst case scenario would be ISAF stomps around looking for a decisive engagement it doesn't get and all civpop have scarpered so we don't secure anymore of the locals or bring them under Govt control, all the while at threat. I hope to God that is not what ends up happening as this has been talked up so much it must be pretty damned major and needs to go right; but I just can't see the benefit of the level of publicity to get every man and his dog talking about this.
  3. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    IMHO all it does is give the enemy plenty off notice your coming so they can plant their IED's
  4. It's easy to speculate when we are sat at home and have no idea what is going on or the big plan. I would assume that special forces will have been watching possible escape routes and taking any opportunity to eliminate Taliban who decide to flee. How much easier it would be to catch rats leaving the sinking ship than fight them in built up areas. Should imagine the UAVs are pretty busy.
  5. Posturing?

    Isn't it the old way of doing things such as Drums, Bright uniforms, bagpipes etc?
  6. Without re-opening the whole War of 1812 ( or if you prefer, the "American War of 1812")--yes I know the British burned our capital-(hat tip to our "Royal/Real" Marine cousins for sparing our US Marine Barracks--now the oldest continually used public building in DC)--such an approach did not work too well for Major-General Edward Pakenham at New Orleans. :D
  7. I heard someone say that; "COIN turns conventional warfare (European/20-21st Century) on its head" and "inflicting casualties whilst tactically defeating the enemy could actually be counter-productive".

    By flagging one's intention quite so obviously, I am sure that enemy mid to upper echelon personnel will have gapped it by now. (Let us hope they are under observation)

    So that leaves low level full and part-time operators, sympathisers, and everyone else.

    It occurs to me that if it were possible to surround Marjah, then why attack?

    If RoE, IEDs, Civ Pop, collateral damage etc. etc will make things gritty and expensive then surely putting in a cordon of gallic proportions and waiting would seem to be a better option.

    ANA could still be "seen" to be the first to enter.

    No media bloodfest.

    Only downside, 1000 new inmates for Guantanamo. (Recognisable as they will be the well fed ones)

    Also read AFCEA Nightwatch for comments.


  8. To use General Sir Rupert Smith's analogy explaining how the media works in 'war amongst the people', the fight occurs in an arena in which the public look through drinking straws at where the fighting is loudest.

    Military victory is not crucial, looking like the winning side with the initiative is. It's all about convincing the civvies that we are the side with the answers, both the afghan public so they don't turn into taliban themselves and support our forces, and the civvies at home so the political will remains to see the job through.
  9. With all respect to those about to go on the OP and taking nothing away from the obvious danger they will face but it had occured to me that perhaps all the warnings about tough fight/mass casualties etc could infact be government spin in a situation where they dont really expect any fighting but by saying they do when ISAF forces role over the place with little resistance the government can paint this as a huge success or victory to glean more support?
  10. I only mention this as they employed a similar tactic (fore-warning/pre attack briefing) when they went into Musa kala.
  11. What good is being achieved by all this moaning about the thoroughly-considered information strategy? This one does not come from the spin doctors.

    British service families can cope with the fact that their people are busy and getting busier, but I strongly suspect they could do without all these dire predictions from armchair experts.

    The strategy may prove right and may prove wrong, or may remain controversial after the event. Argue about it afterwards.
  12. This is a discussion thread, I fail to see the problem with people on a forum airing their views (within reason) on a current military operation, what with this being the ARMY rumour service, or is that only available to the press?
  13. Certainly not the intent of the original post but you make a good point.
  14. I appreciate that, especially from yourself jj, but I was commenting on a general trend in multiple threads in recent days. I am certainly not suggesting that no-one is allowed to discuss it on this unofficial site.