Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Bravo_Bravo, Feb 11, 2009.
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USMC after action reports ( UNCLASS)
read his article "death in the corn"
Posted on the Afghan fighting thread at 21:39
I have a RSS feed to his web site so anything he says about Afghanistan will appear on that thread.
Parts one through to three are below:
I am amazed that presentation was ever unclassified.
I'm stunned that's UNCLAS. But , it's a hell of a deeply worrying presentation. If the Afghans are repeatedly using the same choke points on convoys, why aren't we commanding the heights above those chokepoints pre-move?
Of deep concern is the standard of Afghan dwelling providing cover, which can even stand up to 20mm strikes. Do we need an RPG type weapon with a shaped warhead to defeat it, or go back to issuing 66's for breaches and a thermo-baric through the mousehole for afters?
I'm also suspicious that such a demonstrable understanding of fire control , L-shaped ambushes , mutual support , beaten zones and overlapping fire support comes solely from 'experience'.
The oft-repeated message therein, is if it wasn't for AIR being available, some of those situations would have ended very badly indeed.
We're not seizing the high ground as we don't have enough troops and we don't have enough helos to move them. The Sovs just about managed to hold their own prior to Stinger with 100 to 150 thousand troops but they still used to lose more helos in some missions than the UK has in theatre.
As to cover, I read those engagements as the US using HMMVW and MRAP with 40mm grenade, 7.62 and 12.7, and dismounted with M4 or whatever plus loads of gucci add-ons. The Soviets used tanks, BMP, BTR as platforms, equipping their dismounted troops with "man portable" 82mm mortars (Podnos), manpack 12.7 (NSV), manpack 30mm AGL (Flamya) and RPG. In other words, the Red Army decades ago outgunned todays US troops.
And yes, I also read the subtext as "without CAS, we would be dead".
Did you also notice how slide 5 comes straight out of "The Bear came over the Mountain" ? The locals did all this to the Red Army, now they're doing the same to us. No conspiracy theories about training are needed.
And on that subject, if you haven't got a copy of that book and the companion "The Other Side of the Mountain" from the US Foreign Military Studies Office yet (free to allies, ie us) then you're not prepared for Herrick.
I'll whack them on my essential reading list right now OOTS.
I have created an RSS Mashup on Afghanistan if anyone uses RSS
One of the slides is very similar to (or the actual one), to a massive ambush they did on Highway 1 to the Russians many moons ago. Just west of Kandahar in the 'Panjwai' area on a big russian convoy heading towards Geresk / Lash area. The killing group was 3 km long!!!! IIRC, the convoy was escorted by numerous T-72 and BMP / BTRs. Read about it in a book (original rusian?) somewhere but can't remember what it was called. Edit - possibly 'The Bear Went Over the Mountain'.
From Slide 9: The bait and ambush attack is one of the most common ambush techniques used by the enemy. The enemy is very observant and has noticed how aggressive Marines are compared to other coalition forces. They have use this to their advantage on several occasions and have drawn Marines into complex ambushes with catastrophic results
From final slide: Small unit leaders must be aggressive decision makers with a bias for action.
Lethal chemical weapons are unacceptable - ditto biological. Might a heavy irritant/incapacitant be justifiable? If cover and building as such a problem couldn't we spray something that falls into every airspace and forces you to show yourself (or wear respirators and noddy suits?)
I like the idea that "All one need do to breathe freely is to stand up. The irritant forms a cloud at knee level......Wholly justifed............designed to minimise civilian casualties..."
I did think in terms of sleeping gas Gobby, but unsure as to how practical or impractical that would be.
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