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The future of FISH (Fighting in Someones' House)

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Kilcullen needs to give his head a wobble:

The assault of Mumbai was “state of the art” terrorism, Kilcullen wrote in “Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla.” It proved how a non-state armed group can execute actions “traditionally associated with high-tier special-operations forces such as the U.S. Navy SEALs.”

Just how much 'high-tier' special operations skill do you need to attack an unprepared and defenceless target, massacre unarmed civilians and then get the entire team wiped out when the authorities finally react?
 
Kilcullen needs to give his head a wobble:

The assault of Mumbai was “state of the art” terrorism, Kilcullen wrote in “Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla.” It proved how a non-state armed group can execute actions “traditionally associated with high-tier special-operations forces such as the U.S. Navy SEALs.”

Just how much 'high-tier' special operations skill do you need to attack an unprepared and defenceless target, massacre unarmed civilians and then get the entire team wiped out when the authorities finally react?


What was the aim of the operation?
Enter undetected, inflict maximum damage across multiple high value targets at the same time, then hole up, hold out for as long as possible before dying gloriously for Allah? Getting the whole team wiped out was the entire AIM of the operation.

Well, Even HAMAS has ambitions in that direction, and most of their attempts fail miserably.

They infiltrated, while killing off the fishermen who brought them in (dead men telling no tales,) then assaulted their targets and pinned the whole city down for days.

Nothing like it before, or since.

That would imply that all the other terrorist groups in the world would have looked , thought "Cool! Let's have a go at that!" and then decided not to, when they discovered just how difficult it was to pull off.
 
Yeah, 'cause they're not already doing that :roll:
Are they? Really? Do we have that many linguists and spooks analysing just who owns what barrio this week, and communicating that in real time to units on the ground?-while at the same time monitoring the Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and Darknet conversations of all the local players?
I think we are talking serious capability and capacity gaps there.
 
Is that Russian thing a drone tank then? Of course... if you can have drone aircraft why not a drone tank. Kicking myself for not thinking of it really.

Edit: and drone ships??? Everything except infantry ultimately?
It's not although I see no reason why it couldn't be.

It is optimised for Urban Warfare though where a conventional MBT isn't. Gun elevation is a big aspect of it.
 
This is why the Russians have developed a Tank Support Vehicle to protect MBTs and IFVs in urban combat. Interesting concept and doctrine.
]

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMPT

Now that is exactly the sort of thing the Syrians could have used in their rather peculiar armoured raids into the rebel cities.
I'm surprised that he Russians didn't take it on board, but I suspect its a really complex bit of kit, with so many different weapons systems to integrate.
They probably decided that more infantry was cheaper.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
What was the aim of the operation?
Enter undetected, inflict maximum damage across multiple high value targets at the same time, then hole up, hold out for as long as possible before dying gloriously for Allah? Getting the whole team wiped out was the entire AIM of the operation.

Well, Even HAMAS has ambitions in that direction, and most of their attempts fail miserably.

They infiltrated, while killing off the fishermen who brought them in (dead men telling no tales,) then assaulted their targets and pinned the whole city down for days.

Nothing like it before, or since.

That would imply that all the other terrorist groups in the world would have looked , thought "Cool! Let's have a go at that!" and then decided not to, when they discovered just how difficult it was to pull off.

Correct me if I'm wrong but terrorist groups have been 'popping next door' to create havoc for years - for example, the Somalis do it on a semi-regular basis to their Kenyan neighbours.

HAMAS are up against one of the most switched on and best equipped security set-ups in the world defending a far more controllable boundary than the Indian coastline, and they still get through on occasion.

Rampaging gunmen anywhere have a tendency to pin down their area of operation, particularly if it's a peaceful civilian city - it doesn't matter if they're Islamic nutters or Thomas Hamilton or Raoul Moat. It is a function of them rampaging and being gunmen, it has nothing to do with 'Special Forces excellence' or a Moltke-like mastery of the planning process .

There is nothing particularly challenging about securing weapons in a country where they are freely available, stashing them on a fishing boat and then landing on an unguarded shore to create havoc amongst an unarmed populace. The task becomes even easier if there's no requirement for the assault team to survive.

It turned out to be absolutely pointless while embarrassing the hell out of the terrorists' base country and making the Indian Government take the threat seriously - it was thus a massive 'fail' in terrorist terms.
 
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Correct me if I'm wrong but terrorist groups have been 'popping next door' to create havoc for years - for example, the Somalis do it on a semi-regular basis to their Kenyan neighbours.

HAMAS are up against one of the most switched on and best equipped security set-ups in the world defending a far more controllable boundary than the Indian coastline, and they still get through on occasion.

Rampaging gunmen anywhere have a tendency to pin down their area of operation, particularly if it's a peaceful civilian city - it doesn't matter if they're Islamic nutters or Thomas Hamilton or Raoul Moat. It is a function of them rampaging and being gunmen, it has nothing to do with 'Special Forces excellence' or a Moltke-like mastery of the planning process .

There is nothing particularly challenging about securing weapons in a country where they are freely available, stashing them on a fishing boat and then landing on an unguarded shore to create havoc amongst an unarmed populace. The task becomes even easier if there's no requirement for the assault team to survive.

It's probably only happened once because it turned out to be absolutely pointless while embarrassing the hell out of the terrorists' base country and making the Indian Government take the threat seriously - it was thus a massive 'fail' in terrorist terms.

I agree to an extent-but Mumbai was something of a step change-The main lesson learned appears to be that widely dispersed attacks are tricky to pull off, but (as Al-Shabab proved) shopping malls make nice fortresses with lots of hostages/victims on site make nice compact targets.

However, modern communications make it a lot easier to control such attacks- as anyone who ever tried to use a 349 in a built up area will confirm.

The issue of one rampaging gunman is a problem- until they are contained. Having several simultaneous gunmen running amok in a coordinated attack is a much more serious matter for the police- which threat do you tackle first?

Mumbai was in terrorist terms, a very ambitious, well planned and prepared attack. It involved lots of people, and didn't leak-even the Pakistanis seem to have been caught flat footed by the actions of one of their proxy armies.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
(snip)

Mumbai was in terrorist terms, a very ambitious, well planned and prepared attack. It involved lots of people, and didn't leak-even the Pakistanis seem to have been caught flat footed by the actions of one of their proxy armies.

In 'terrorist terms' you may have a point, but to claim that it is somehow on an operational par with the US's Special Forces' capability, as Kilcullen seems to have done, is miles off the mark.
 

lert

LE
Are they? Really? Do we have that many linguists and spooks analysing just who owns what barrio this week, and communicating that in real time to units on the ground?-while at the same time monitoring the Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and Darknet conversations of all the local players?
I think we are talking serious capability and capacity gaps there.

In a nutshell, yes they are. Really.

An example of their efficacy may be seen in the lack of terrorist spectaculars in the UK. There is a credible, albeit over repirted to the verge of hysteria, threat. It is met by those whose job it is to do so.
 
In 'terrorist terms' you may have a point, but to claim that it is somehow on an operational par with the US's Special Forces' capability, as Kilcullen seems to have done, is miles off the mark.
Possibly lazy journalism, but when compared to some other the (ahem) not exactly Special Forces Terrorists out there (i.e. most of them)
In a nutshell, yes they are. Really.

An example of their efficacy may be seen in the lack of terrorist spectaculars in the UK. There is a credible, albeit over repirted to the verge of hysteria, threat. It is met by those whose job it is to do so.
 
In a nutshell, yes they are. Really.

An example of their efficacy may be seen in the lack of terrorist spectaculars in the UK. There is a credible, albeit over repirted to the verge of hysteria, threat. It is met by those whose job it is to do so.

OK. But lets widen that out a bit shall we?
Do we have the capability to do that on operations?
Once outside the United Kingdom, how long does it take to build up the local Intelligence picture?
It doesn't necessarily have to be war fighting- We regularly deploy people into increasingly urbanised foreign lands on humanitarian ops, but we generally have a really poor picture of the local society- which, like most of the world, is now increasingly on line.
 

lert

LE
OK. But lets widen that out a bit shall we?
Do we have the capability to do that on operations?
Once outside the United Kingdom, how long does it take to build up the local Intelligence picture?
It doesn't necessarily have to be war fighting- We regularly deploy people into increasingly urbanised foreign lands on humanitarian ops, but we generally have a really poor picture of the local society- which, like most of the world, is now increasingly on line.

I'm afraid it's difficult to agree. SW Iraq is the only really urban AO we've taken on in the last 20 years. I don't think you can honestly put the Balkans up there and certainly not anywhere else.

Whilst our travails there are well documented I don't think you can honestly put them down to a lack of Int. The lack of ability to use it certainly, and a lack of will to do anything about what we did understand. But, as is the case across all the UK's sphere of interest, there was a plethora of Int across all the disciplines.
 
I'm afraid it's difficult to agree. SW Iraq is the only really urban AO we've taken on in the last 20 years. I don't think you can honestly put the Balkans up there and certainly not anywhere else.

Whilst our travails there are well documented I don't think you can honestly put them down to a lack of Int. The lack of ability to use it certainly, and a lack of will to do anything about what we did understand. But, as is the case across all the UK's sphere of interest, there was a plethora of Int across all the disciplines.

The thrust of the article is not how well or badly we did in Iraq-
it's about just how urbanised and interconnected all future fighting is going to be-and (note the author's sly dig at the F35) whether we (the West) are buying the right kit and whether we have training and doctrine in place.

You can fight in cities a la Russia (pound it to rubble) or try and keep it intact-in which case, you have all the problems of a huge, multi dimensional, manpower eating monster to contend with.
 

lert

LE
The thrust of the article is not how well or badly we did in Iraq-
it's about just how urbanised and interconnected all future fighting is going to be-and (note the author's sly dig at the F35) whether we (the West) are buying the right kit and whether we have training and doctrine in place.

You can fight in cities a la Russia (pound it to rubble) or try and keep it intact-in which case, you have all the problems of a huge, multi dimensional, manpower eating monster to contend with.

I know what the article's about. I read it. I was responding to your point that we "regularly deply into increasingly urbanised foreign lands". I contend that we don't.
 

Blogg

LE
Best fighting in built up areas is done without fighting. It's been done for a thousand years.

Seal off the area and deny essentials like food and water. No need to go looking for trouble in a backstreet. That getting into the mud with the pig.

Line the aid supply trucks full of food, and the water bowsers up on the outskirts to avoid war crimes charges, and wait for them to come out. They can eat and drink, but not take provisions back inside.

Pretty soon you start culling the bad guys out from the line of refugees.

What no Trebuchet? That takes the fun out of any seige.
 
I know what the article's about. I read it. I was responding to your point that we "regularly deply into increasingly urbanised foreign lands". I contend that we don't.

OK. Reverse the wording 'we regularly deploy into lands that are increasingly urban.'
The 'drift to the cities' is an ongoing global process.
http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/Highlights/WUP2014-Highlights.pdf

Then correlate that with areas that we have, or are likely to have, trouble with. (Excluding Bradford.)

Wherever we go is likely to have at least one major conurbation, probably with collapsing infrastructure, and which is likely to be the political, and strategic hub of any country we involve ourselves with.

That means that we, or any partners we have acquired, need to know what is going on in it.
Can we? or will we?
 

lert

LE
OK. Reverse the wording 'we regularly deploy into lands that are increasingly urban.'
The 'drift to the cities' is an ongoing global process.
http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/Highlights/WUP2014-Highlights.pdf

Then correlate that with areas that we have, or are likely to have, trouble with. (Excluding Bradford.)

Wherever we go is likely to have at least one major conurbation, probably with collapsing infrastructure, and which is likely to be the political, and strategic hub of any country we involve ourselves with.

That means that we, or any partners we have acquired, need to know what is going on in it.
Can we? or will we?

And I refer you to my first post. Yes we can and yes we will. Although I appreciate that makes me sound like either Bob The Builder or Obama.I prefer Bob.

That understanding will come via the various Int agencies which made hay under the last Govt's spending and have yet to be savaged in the same way as the RAC, Inf et al under this one. It will also come from our partners in the 5 Eyes community who look at, and share, the areas we don't.

The irony is that given all that understanding of both the physical and human terrain, we are unlikely to be able to generate sufficient combat power to affect things anyway. At the risk of sounding glib, a three block war may be all we're big enough to fight. Just three blocks, no more.
 

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