Thursday, July 9, 2009

Trouble in Afghanistan! Who's Winning?

David Guttenfelder / AP

Medics attached to the U.S. Marines from the 2nd MEB, 1st Battalion 5th Marines carry a Marine, who was overcome by heat exhaustion, to a medical evacuation helicopter in the Nawa district of Afghanistan's Helmand province on July 6.

Obama declared that Afghanistan was to be his special target.

Of course, it wasn't to be all-out war but limited operations.

No one in the defense (war) establishment appears to remember Mao Zedong (Tse-tung):

"A guerrilla", according to Mao Tse-tung (1937), "can always sink back into the peaceful population which is the sea in which the guerrilla swims like a fish".

The guerrilla can afford to run when he cannot stand and fight with a good chance of winning, and to disappear and hide when it is not safe to move.

the enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue

and from the same source,

"Mao Tse-tung and General Vo Nguyen Giap On Guerrilla Warfare by Florian Waitl",

comes the following:

Mistakes during the Vietnam War, such as the relocation of entire villages, were conducted in the hope to gain the support of the population which would be like taking away the water from a fish (or taking away the support of the population from the guerrilla) but the exact opposite was the case. The enemy's and the population's culture has to be studied so that mistakes such as the one above will not be made. Once again, it is the ability to "know your enemy and yourself" (Sun Tzu) which will make warfare successful. Especially in guerrilla warfare, the West has to know themselves and understand that such a war will be long. Guerrilla Warfare is measured in years and decades which means that the support (West's center of gravity) of [its] own people will be lost over time. Throughout this paper we have learned a lot about the guerrilla enemy as well as ourselves and it is my belie[f] that the West will never be able to win such a war, unless it uses atomic weapons to eliminate both the guerrilla as well as the supporting populace which would transform the war into a crime against humanity.

And, from The Situation in Afghanistan

Thoughts on operations in southern Afghanistan
by Jim Molan


With 4000 deployed troops from this 11,000-strong Marine force, relatively few small outposts can be established because each outpost must be big enough to protect itself against initial attack, and must be backed up by quick reaction forces held in reserve. So even if this operation goes perfectly it will merely establish small groups of Marines in a number of local areas. This is the right first step. It then requires the re-establishment of local governance, which will take years, and the replacement of the Marines with Afghan troops and police. . . .
Continued at

No Excuse: Marines Losing Legs in Now Zad
BY Herschel Smith

NOTE: You owe it to our valiant troops in Afghanistan and to yourself to read this ENTIRE article at The Captain's Journal

[Following are excerpts from the piece]

[quoting Herschel Smith at The Captain's Journal]

In What Now Zad Can Teach Us About Counterinsurgency The Captain’s Journal ridiculed the decision-making for the campaign in Helmand and found the idea incredulous that the U.S. Marines in Now Zad would be under-resourced. They need more troops, as we have pointed out, and major combat action continues against Taliban fighters. These Taliban, it must be understood, have given us the opportunity for which we pray. They have separated themselves from the population and given us unhindered access to kill them. But the population-centric counterinsurgency advocates (we consider this to be similar to a cult) lament the fact that there is no population to woe and win, and so the campaign in Now Zad sees the Marines without enough troops.

"Now Zad remains so dangerous that this is the only Marine unit in Afghanistan that brings along two trauma doctors, as well as two armored vehicles used as ambulances and supplies of fresh blood."

Apart from one small stretch of paved road, the Marines patrol only behind an engineer who sweeps the ground with a detector. The men who follow scratch out a path in the sand with their foot to ensure those trailing them do not stray off course. Each carries at least one tourniquet.

“It’s a hell of ride,” said Lance Cpl. Aenoi Luangxay, a 20-year-old engineer on his first deployment. “Every step you think this could be my last,” said Aenoi, who has found six bombs in the company’s four weeks in the town.

Just after midnight recently, the medics were wakened by a familiar report: A patrol had hit an IED in town. Within five minutes, they put on their flak jackets and helmets and were in their vehicles leaving the base.

The bomb blew the legs off Cpl. Matthew Lembke as he walked to a building. Lembke, from Tualatin, Ore., was loaded onto the ambulance. On the trip to the helicopter landing zone, the medics tightened his tourniquets and gave him two units of blood along with antibiotics.
Lembke was in stable condition Monday at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.
Each day, the Marines aggressively patrol to limit the Taliban’s freedom of movement. They keep a 24-hour watch on the battlefield using high-tech surveillance equipment and are able to fire mortar rounds at insurgents spotted planting bombs or gathering in numbers.

A recent daylong battle showed the massive difference in firepower between the two sides, as well as the tenacity of the Taliban. It took place close to “Pakistani Alley,” so named because of one-time reports that fighters from across the border were deployed along the road.
The insurgents opened fire from behind high-walled compounds with automatic weapons, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades against five armored vehicles; the Marines responded with machine gunfire and frequently called in airstrikes.

Mindful of the need to engage with what few locals remain in the area, every couple of days a small group of Marines and translators leave the base and walk a mile to a village south of Now Zad where some families who fled the town now stay.

They try to convince them that the Marines are there to help, remind them that Taliban militants plant bombs that kill innocents and discreetly try to gather intelligence. Many of the locals are suspicious and worried about Taliban retribution for talking with the visitors, who are besieged by children demanding candy and notebooks.

[end of quote]

Please, if you care about what happens to our troops in Afghanistan, read the entire piece at The Captain's Journal

Also, from The Captain's Journal:

Scenes From Operation Khanjar IV
Operation Khanjar: What do the people think?
Scenes From Operation Khanjar III
Afghan National Army in Operation Khanjar - Or Not
Calling on National Security Advisor James L. Jones to Resign
MRAPs, V-Hull and Saving Lives in the Battle Space
Scenes from Operation Khanjar II
Afghanistan: The WTF? War
Marines Feel the Love from Huffington Post
Scenes from Operation Khanjar
U.S. Marines Launch Large Scale Operation in Helmand Province
What Now Zad Can Teach Us About Counterinsurgency
Leaving Fallujah Better?
Concluding Thoughts on Afghanistan ROE Modifications


be sure to READ . . .

Understanding Afghanistan and the Taliban
Pakistan, the ISI, and the Taliban


Fighting Wars to Lose . . .
or "Why Since World War II, the U.S. has lost every war it ever was drawn into."


Thanks to "Atlas Shrugs" for this link


Welcome to the modern Marine Corps under Military Hater-in-Chief Barack Hussein Obama:
TRAITOR-IN-CHIEF to the MARINES: “Don’t shoot back when the Taliban terrorists shoot at you!”

. . . while the "Commander-in-Chief" (laugh!) worries about "Global Warming"

Photo: Associated Press AP

and this:

Related? Most assuredly:

U.S. Muslim Groups Want Obama to Make Charitable Giving Easier
Afghanistan (pronounced /æfˈɡænɨstæn/),[4] officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

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