Step aside, limey, this is how to fight the Taliban

#1
From The Sunday Times
March 1, 2009
Step aside, limey, this is how to fight the Taliban

US troops are moving into Helmand, the Taliban heartland, in force
Jerome Starkey in Delaram, Farah province
THE American marines call Route 515 the most dangerous road in Afghanistan. It is a bumpy desert track linking Helmand with Iran, and until recently it was beyond the reach of anyone but smugglers.

The men from Weapons Company expect to get blown up every time they leave their camp to patrol between the poppy fields in giant mine-resistant, ambush-proof trucks. “We’ve taken some hits,” said Sergeant Marquis Summers, in an unusual moment of understatement.

Automatic grenade launchers and 50-calibre machineguns peer over their turrets, but it is the mine rollers at the front – like massive snowploughs – that offer the best protection. They are designed to trigger pressure plates before the armoured vehicles pass over buried explosives.

In a month the marines have found more than 30 improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, buried in the road. The remains of the marines’ charred Humvees are piled up in Camp Bastion. Two of their comrades have died in the battle for control of the road. The soldiers say the Taliban pour petrol on the bombs to ignite their trucks.
More on the link
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5821826.ece
 
#2
Jerome and Marquis?

You are fcuking shitting me right?

Or is this a Vietnam rerun and all your troops are "people of colour"?
 
#3
Well if the Yanks are so unhappy about the performance of the British Army they will be asking us to leave soon so they can go and win the war all by themselves.

Go for it Yanks. Your welcome to it all.
 
#4
"On the other side of Helmand, US infantry are expanding two new bases in Maiwand, called Ramrod and Terminator, to control the road that runs east into Kandahar"

Who do they let name these places?
 
#5
Was there not something along these lines that were used in WWII with, I think, a Churchill tank with flailing chains at the front, so could something similar not be built/used by us?
 
#6
Steven said:
Jerome and Marquis?

You are fcuking shitting me right?

Or is this a Vietnam rerun and all your troops are "people of colour"?
Huh...? You bewildered that they're not all John and Dave or something?
 
#7
For some reason this reminds me of a time on the ranges at Lydd, whilst repairing a LSW some rupert decided he could do the job a lot better than myself and grabbed my tools from my hands and took over. I simply stood back and watched him fail for 20 minutes whilst chuckling to myself. Let them take over and see if they can do better.
 
#8
Steezy said:
Steven said:
Jerome and Marquis?

You are fcuking shitting me right?

Or is this a Vietnam rerun and all your troops are "people of colour"?
Huh...? You bewildered that they're not all John and Dave or something?
Yeah sorry just - Cultural differences. Jerome and Marquis are not names that are usual.
Unless you are fighting the 4 musketeers. :)
 
#9
They're not that clever. The British utilised mine rollers on the Kajaki dam CLP.

It took the taliban 3 hours to plan, manufacture a device and place it to take out the vehicle.
 
#10
vampireuk said:
For some reason this reminds me of a time on the ranges at Lydd, whilst repairing a LSW some rupert decided he could do the job a lot better than myself and grabbed my tools from my hands and took over. I simply stood back and watched him fail for 20 minutes whilst chuckling to myself. Let them take over and see if they can do better.
It will be harder than they think. Most of the bad guys in Iraq who didn't end up switching sides were just thugs who murdered civilians and crumbled when the US moved in amongst the people they targeted in 2007. Afghanistan won't be so easy. On the other hand I'm not sure the Taliban have quite realised what is about to come to get them when the US transfers its efforts from Iraq. The US has built up a stock of equipment and experience that I just don't think the Taliban will be able to handle for very long. My guess is that it will be like Iraq - we'll sweat for the first two years on the new strategy, and then wake up one morning and find it's all over.
 
#11
Aint it funny, how the Journalists can never put name to a source of these comments?

Makes it soooo much easier to invent, and get circulation for their rags.
 
#13
How very reminiscent of the American attitude in WWII campaigns.
I've just finished reading Peter Fitzsimons book 'Kokoda', which covers the battles on Papua New Guinea in 1942.
The All American 'Hero' (in his own lunchtime anyhow) and quickest out of Corrigidor Douglas MacArthur insisted that Australians under his command should attack heavily fortified Japanese positions with little or no reconnaissance, unnecessary losses were of course high.
He also insisted that American troops could do a better job, they failed miserably.
 
#14
Kokoda, think I may snap that up! Read the account of US in Somalia in 92 titled "Black Hawk Down" by Mark Bowden, great account of what happens when you try to change the universe through force, it all goes to rat-shit!
 
#15
Amazing......

You whine miserably about how Journalists lie all the time, and are looking for a story.

And this pops up with not one Named sourced quote slagging your forces, and its off to the outrage bus, and anti American fiesta pt. XXXIII on Arrse.

Who the hell uses "Limey" in this day and age?

This journo been watching too many old movies methinks

But hey, if you believe that, I've got some Magic Beans for sale you can have cheap
 
#16
Excellent, the more Allied troops out on the grounds closing with and defeating the enemy the better.

Or am I missing something?

Who cares what anyone thinks, it's who wins that will matter come History lesson time.
 
#17
Bell206 said:
Excellent, the more Allied troops out on the grounds closing with and defeating the enemy the better.

Or am I missing something?

Who cares what anyone thinks, it's who wins that will matter come History lesson time.
Do you (anyone?) really think that Afghanistan is "winnable"?

I sure as hell don't. First point of order - how we can we overcome an enemy we can't even identify?
 
#18
Hairy_Fairy said:
Bell206 said:
Excellent, the more Allied troops out on the grounds closing with and defeating the enemy the better.

Or am I missing something?

Who cares what anyone thinks, it's who wins that will matter come History lesson time.
Do you (anyone?) really think that Afghanistan is "winnable"?

I sure as hell don't. First point of order - how we can we overcome an enemy we can't even identify?
That was said of Iraq a few years ago. It depends on your version of winning.

Do we need to completely defeat the Taliban? or do we need to create an environment that allows for a democracy to exist?
 
#19
dingerr said:
Hairy_Fairy said:
Bell206 said:
Excellent, the more Allied troops out on the grounds closing with and defeating the enemy the better.

Or am I missing something?

Who cares what anyone thinks, it's who wins that will matter come History lesson time.
Do you (anyone?) really think that Afghanistan is "winnable"?

I sure as hell don't. First point of order - how we can we overcome an enemy we can't even identify?
That was said of Iraq a few years ago. It depends on your version of winning.

Do we need to completely defeat the Taliban? or do we need to create an environment that allows for a democracy to exist?
Which is exactly why I put "winnable" in quotes. We could also apply the same for a "democracy".

Not only have we had this discussion about Iraq, but we've also had it about NI. The UK Government and Sinn Fein would both claim victory, and we do have peace, if an unsteady one. I wouldn't think too many people on here are too happy with a democracy that rewards murderers and families of murderers with compensation; but that's the price that needs to be paid.

My point by using "winnable", is that while we may be able to claim a victory in Afghanistan - how many of us will be happy with the level of "victory" when we reflect on the price paid to attain it, and would we reagrd it as a true victory - or one that's somewhat hollow?
 
#20
dingerr said:
Hairy_Fairy said:
Bell206 said:
Excellent, the more Allied troops out on the grounds closing with and defeating the enemy the better.

Or am I missing something?

Who cares what anyone thinks, it's who wins that will matter come History lesson time.
Do you (anyone?) really think that Afghanistan is "winnable"?

I sure as hell don't. First point of order - how we can we overcome an enemy we can't even identify?
That was said of Iraq a few years ago. It depends on your version of winning.

Do we need to completely defeat the Taliban? or do we need to create an environment that allows for a democracy to exist?

I suppose success and the exit strategy will be to train and increase the size of the ANA until they are in a strong enough position to police their own country. I cannot see that we will defeat the Taliban as it's an insurgency and they are like the Veit Cong, blending in with the locals and fighting when they want. We cannot "will" a country into the 20th century by imposing how we think they should be living.
 

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