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UK cant do counterinsurgency says Gates

#1
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationw...an16jan16,0,1957179.story?coll=la-home-center

Has this topic been done? I couldn't find it.

I know US COIN doctrine's been coming on in leaps and bounds, but I still thought we were quite good at it.

Currently serving American officers, however, have singled out non-U.S. NATO forces for the bulk of their criticism. Among the concerns is that NATO forces do not actively include Afghan troops in military operations.

As a result, local forces in the south are now less capable than those in the east, which operate very closely with their American counterparts.

"Every time you see our guys in the field, you don't have to look very far and you'll see them," said the senior U.S. officer involved in the Afghan campaign. "Getting the Brits to do this and the others is a little more of a problem."

In addition, U.S. military officials said NATO forces in the south are too quick to rely on high-caliber firepower, such as airstrikes, a practice which alienates the local population.

"The wide view there, which I hear from Americans, is that the NATO military forces are taking on a Soviet mentality," said one senior U.S. military veteran of Afghanistan. "They're staying in their bases in the south, they're doing very little patrolling, they're trying to avoid casualties, and they're using air power as a substitute for ground infantry operations, because they have so little ground infantry."
Is this the problem?
 
#2
Rumpelstiltskin said:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-usafghan16jan16,0,1957179.story?coll=la-home-center

Has this topic been done? I couldn't find it.

I know US COIN doctrine's been coming on in leaps and bounds, but I still thought we were quite good at it.

Currently serving American officers, however, have singled out non-U.S. NATO forces for the bulk of their criticism. Among the concerns is that NATO forces do not actively include Afghan troops in military operations.

As a result, local forces in the south are now less capable than those in the east, which operate very closely with their American counterparts.

"Every time you see our guys in the field, you don't have to look very far and you'll see them," said the senior U.S. officer involved in the Afghan campaign. "Getting the Brits to do this and the others is a little more of a problem."

In addition, U.S. military officials said NATO forces in the south are too quick to rely on high-caliber firepower, such as airstrikes, a practice which alienates the local population.

"The wide view there, which I hear from Americans, is that the NATO military forces are taking on a Soviet mentality," said one senior U.S. military veteran of Afghanistan. "They're staying in their bases in the south, they're doing very little patrolling, they're trying to avoid casualties, and they're using air power as a substitute for ground infantry operations, because they have so little ground infantry."
Is this the problem?
It's certainly the pot calling the kettle black...

Perhaps he could be pointed at that rather good Guardian article, which rather refutes those claims.

msr
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
They've got a good point about the troop numbers however. He forgets to mention that we, with our very limited troop numbers are operating in one of THE most hostile areas of Afghan.

I'd like to see what the septics do and say when they send the Marine Corps down south.

I'm sure it'll be something along the lines of "Good gawd almighty, these fellahs sure do fight!" and "Where the hell is the air support when you need it!" and "After the move south of 7,000 US Marines, there is a fear of mission creep in the Senate after the Generals asked for another 15,000 to back up the men already there, stating that the fighting in Helmand province is viscious, close-quarters, unrelenting and damaging."
 
#7
"Every time you see our guys in the field, you don't have to look very far and you'll see them," said the senior U.S. officer involved in the Afghan campaign. "Getting the Brits to do this and the others is a little more of a problem."
Perhaps the difficulty he's having in seeing the Brits is due to their being so feckin few in such a massive area? Maybe he just needs to look for something other than a massive log-base and swarms of helos.
 
#8
Load of old cobblers.

Still this bit made me laugh:

"Every time you see our guys in the field, you don't have to look very far and you'll see them," said the senior U.S. officer
Maybe they should try hiding or moving a bit more tactically then they too could reduce casualty numbers?
 
#9
As said somewhere before the septics have an inferiority complex with us brits, maybe i didnt read that article too well but isnt it the spetics who are first to call in an air strike? "yehhahh! shit their is equal numbers? airstrike!"
 
#11
After reading that one wonders if this guy has ever been out of an office. What he's writing bears little resemblance to reality from my understanding.
 
#12
Fine. I say that if he thinks he can do the job better, he's welcome to take over and our guys can be back in time for tea and medals. No drama.

Edit: Once again, it's the Spams re-inventing the wheel and claiming credit for it. Go and read your own COIN Doctrine or Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife, by Nagl, and see where most of the current American thinking about how to do COIN came from.
 
#14
I notice that this comes from the same nation that carried out the Mai Lai massacre and a world renound hearts & minds campaign in Vietnam, where the "worlds greatest military might" got their asses kicked by a bunch of pyjama wearing terrorists!
 
#15
He does have half a point I'd say. Haven't we been moaning about the lack of troops and severe shortages in helicopters hampering operations for ages now? A more balanced view might be that with what resources they've got NATO troops are doing an very good job doing what they can in a limited area, but with increased support like the Americans receive they'd be able to do a hell of a lot more.
 
#16
FFS,what do you expect,this man is an ex-Director of the CIA,we all know what their idea of counter insurgency is. His other claim to fame, he is the author of the memoir, From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insiders Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War,so there you go,another war they won,without help from anyone else,that's "Wilburs" for ya! :roll:
 
#17
This is bull. You guys are doing a damn fine job in Helmand, even with a horrifying lack of support. British forces were able to gain momentum by retaking Kajaki dam, and have proven to be incredibly resourceful.

However, does anyone know about his claim that the ANA aren't being brought along enough? I have noticed that in coverage about British troops, the ANA are notably absent, as compared with coverage of US, Canadian, Aussie, and Dutch ops. Anyway, it's a minor point.

Speaking of COIN, I find it ironic that General Richards was removed by US officials for trying to negotiate with factions within the Taliban and Pashtun Tribes. Removed and criticised by the same officials who are heaping praise on General Petraeus for taking similar steps in Iraq.

I know General P is straight forward about where COIN comes from, and has made references to, and I quote, "applying the British model"
 
#18
tiger stacker said:
Which country created coin ops again?


Exceptional well trained troops can win any thing they set their mind to.
Well the French think they did. Chaps like Roger Trinquier etc.

Much of it would be entirely familiar to Darius The Great or Julius Caesar.

Colonel Lang was also questioning the value of NATO a couple of days ago.
The British Army including its resrve forces has around 135,000 men. The Royal Marines around 6,000. The other NATO countries committed in Afghanistan have even smaller forces. Only France is a serious land power and they are not "playing the game" there.

We tend to think of these armies in termas of World War 2 or the Cold War when they were much larger forces. No more. Now, they are pitifully small shadows of their former selves.

The alliance retains some political meaning but it also constitutes a burden in dealing with the fears and anxieties of Russia.

As military reinforcements the NATO armies are not very significant.

This alliance was built to deal with the USSR. That country is gone, long gone. Maybe NATO should be gone also. pl
He is right about that. NATO Armies have been repeatedly shaved back by defense cuts. Too much defense spend goes on big ticket pork friendly toys and folk won't pay taxes to fund the rest of the cash starved military properly.

COIN is a tricky and man power intensive job. Au fond anthropology and air-strikes are no substitute for soldiers.

With the Septics over-committed and exhausted by Iraq Afghanistan is a pretty tall order. I'm not surprised they are grumbling about the pretty meager NATO contribution.

A decade ago Pentagon planning was based on fighting two major wars at once all by themselves. Looks a bit silly now after half a decade of two mid-sized fairly low intensity conflicts.
 
#19
But of course they ARE the experts.......

(Image removed due to bad taste )

However, how can they criticise us, when they are getting their own backsides kicked is beyond me. Surgeon, heal thyself...........
 

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