Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jumpinjarhead, Sep 15, 2009.
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One man's view of Afghanistan ROE
Another very interesting article JJH. I have just finished reading your other thread re' the biggest bully on the block'
You do some heavy reading old son. Thanks for posting the results.
Stupid ROEs and a lack of political will are going to cost us the lives a of a lot of good men.
The question we will have to ask ourselves eventually, and honestly, is "Was it worth it?"
One piece of COIN analysis from a successful campaign that doesn't get discussed as much as I'd expect is the 3 to 1 kill ratio in Northern Ireland - in favour of the terrorists. (Approximately 3000 dead, 1000 of which were soldiers and around 300 terrorists. The other 1700 were civvies.) Van Creveld has discussed this but I'm not convinced that the reporting of his writing accurately reflects the contents.
Anyway, the argument is that successful COIN requires that you outlast the enemy. So you have to take casualties in preference to negatively affecting the locals - that is in any way, not just killing them (*). Your message is that it's business as usual in peacetime. The opposition seek to define the situation as war with the occupying forces as aggressors fighting the local population. They then seek to define themselves as martyrs who shield the people from faceless cowards who kill by remote control from a distance rather than fight as men, face to face.
So if you're not willing to take military casualties for no tactical gain, the argument goes, then you're never going to win. Win the firefight, lost the war. After all, I'd say that the British Army won the firefight on Bloody Sunday quite comprehensively.
And that's why our current operations can never succeed.
(*) The other approach is that you invest in some old school scorched earth to comprehensively suppress the opposition - like the Syrians did to the Muslim Brotherhood. Personally I don't see this working with the average Afghan as they have very little to lose.
There is no military solution to the Afghan war as the Russians found out in the 1980s. Did they have ANY rules of engagement? That said in a firefight I am surprised there was no air cover. Doesn't make sense, last week a bomb was dropped on (amongst others), a bunch of villagers trying to get some free fuel in the 6th poorest country in the world. Now we hear of a full on ambush not receiving air support or artillery support. Both troubling events. I can understand the frustration, who would want to die for the good of this confused mission? This war just gets more difficult to prosecute.
Sad to hear of Americans crticising General McChrystal though, he is the one man who can see his way through to the other end. At the same time, I am sure he has an exit plan up his sleeve.
Break down of deaths, (aggregation).
Coalition deaths around 1300.
Civilian deaths as a result of insurgent actons
direct deaths: at least 2,994 - 4,544
Civilian deaths as a result of US led Mil actions
direct deaths: at least 5,282 - 8,074
indirect deaths in initial invasion: 3,200 - 20,000
direct & indirect deaths: 8,436 - 28,028
Civilian deaths as a result of war in general
direct deaths: at least 8,773 - 11,570
indirect deaths: 3,200 - 20,000
direct & indirect deaths: 11,760 - 31,357
This year could be the first year that insurgents kill more civilians than Coalition troops, but it also looks like a new high of coalition killed civilians. Hopefully the stats illustrate why continued NATO bombing is turning the populace against the NATO mission.
As usual, as a result of politicians words, soldiers die and civilians die in even greater numbers.
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