Natos new offensive in southern afghanistan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Hawk7814, Jan 25, 2010.

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  1. In days of yore, before the dawn of instant communications and the "public's right to know", offensive operations by military forces had a strange aura of secrecy about them - perhaps so as not to alert "johnny enemy"! I think this has gone awry recently with the open and public announcements of offensive actions in the wider international press.

    BBC today

    Does anyone else feel a little uncomfortable about this kind of thing, or do we have to accept the fact that we have to warn an enemy prior to action, just so they can be ready???

    I know build ups can be perceived by said enemies, but I still think it is a........... silly thing to do!
  2. msr

    msr LE

    'Army fights in southern end of war zone' is hardly a massive breach of OPSEC is it?

  3. In the days of yore, the politicians waited for the victory to occur before they told the public. Selling defeat was difficult in those days and best avoided.

    Nowadays, action has to be publically visible in order to justify the political decision-making. And, although sometimes tricky, the public is now just about gullible enough to believe the spin of failure as being some form of limited or partial success.
  4. How much assistance are the other NATO allies offering? Troops, helo's, and other air support?
  5. Hawk, you are right but as others have said , this is not a classic example.

    However amongst today's commentaries, the interview with Maj Gen Carter provided a nice crumb. The journalist asked when would the General withdraw British troops from two identified areas. He replied that he had not decided to do any such thing. Actually he put it more neatly than that, but you catch my drift. The journalist sounded a little chastened but still returned that she had heard it from several sources.

    With 24/7 news, just reporting the news as it happens is old hat. The really clever news hound reports the news before it happens.

  6. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    How much assistance are the other NATO allies offering? Troops, helo's, and other air support?

    I imagine the Americans will plan, carry out and support the bulk of the op, with British, Estonian, Danish and possibly Canadian elements playing risky, but secondary roles.
  7. I doubt if the good General awoke this morning thinking, "Crumbs! Did I really say that on national radio! Silly me"

    No timeline given and in any case:

    The rough area the op will take place has been in the public domain for at least 9 months as one of the objectives of the US build up.

    He also said that the op will be preceeded by an influence phase during which the provinical governor will engage with local elders.

    The sudden appearance of a vast number of US marines and UK troops may be a tactical surprise when it happens, but it won't be an operational one.

    Pre-announcing will be part of the plan. On the other hand, he might just have read the new account of OPERATION MINCEMEAT....