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26 May 2009


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Dave of Maryland

Why are you posting PR propaganda? Sounds straight out of Donny Rumsfeld. Implementation, where gnats call in stand-off predator drones, means many more innocents die & the whole situation worsens. In the US, these kinds of operations are done by civilian SWAT teams. Why not here?


How is this different from Russian operational doctrine that used Spetsnaz?

Afghan tactics are exactly like those used against the Russians (small, independent bands of fighters) so does that mean we have to do what they did?

I still think the critical error here is in using blanket terms like Taliban to describe any and all Afghans who may actually be a) pissed off at the continued occupation of their country, and/or b) pissed off at having family members blown up in drone attacks or misguided jdams.

I hope planners realize the historical associations that Afghans have with Russian Spetsnaz.

Patrick Lang


You can't face the truth? pl


Wait until the NORKOs or PAKIs sell somebody real bad a Nuke.

Then the Obama/Bush adventures will get real interesting real fast.

As we use to say in my professional aviator days,"strap in tightly boys, its going to be a real rough ride".


Breaking news. Let's just say, this is a major diplomatic failure. (Hillary position looks very shaky if she can't explain.)


Bloomberg is now confirming North Korea's withdrawal from the 1953 Armistice:

By Heejin Koo

May 27 (Bloomberg) -- North Korea threatened military action in response to South Korea joining an anti-proliferation program and said it’s no longer bound by the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.


I wonder what Iran position is.


"trying to prepare an organizational chart".

Nearly eight years in and they have initiatives...

I wonder how many #2's the Taliban have.


Col. Lang:

I had inferred, perhaps in error, that it was these kinds of tactics Woodruff was hinting at that helped increase the effectiveness of the surge in Iraq.

Regardless, I'm not sure I understand why the use of these tactics in an ongoing military operation are being discussed in a public forum. Or, is the discussion really meant to be about McChrystal?

William R. Cumming

Is it the die are cast or the dies are cast? Either way looks like good chance of boots on the ground needed in South and East Asia in near future to me? Are we going to go through another long national "nightmare" watching the DEMS conclude that in fact they not the Republicans are the party of WARFARE? How much ego and hubris in Washington drives this set of policy makers? LBJ used to say "Not on My Watch." okay let's just see but by Labor Day we may have real insights as to the full militarization of US foregin policy and the ramping up of the National Security State. Yesterday without any transparency Obama decided to merge the NSC and HSC staffs intothe NSS staff supporting both orgs. Will the state and locals, law enforcement, public health have a seat at the staff table for NSC or will this be the Russian studies specialist retreading to a new set of issues for which they have no training or background?


To the extent this sentence is true: " But the chief burden of the new U.S. mission will fall on the Afghan police." I must say I am not filled with confidence.

Nor, does it fill me with confidence that after 8 years of this....we are still asking (to the extent we are asking) 'who are these guys?'.


Thanks for the post. On first read these tactics do sound more suitable to the Afghan geography and situation.


This recession we are having here in the US is starting to show its ugly side thus I do not think we as a populace have much patience left for the actions of North Korea, Afghanistan, Taliban or others.

Thus my belief that the insertion of McChrystal and his style is one that is bent on cleaning out the crap so we can come out of there within 18 months after sending a pointed message to all those who detest our way of life.

Its been 40 years since our men were let loose and it will probably be another 40 before it happens again so make good use of your time.



Have the professionals thought this all out? Fear and selective killing is ideology of the Made Men you dealt with at Fort Drum.

How does selectively killing of men and their families bring peace? All killing does is inflame hatreds and passions. “Hitting the hornets nest”. Sooner or later revenge wins out.

The only way to win foreign wars is with Colin Powell’s forgotten doctrine of overwhelming force. Even then it has to have the backing of moral authority, civilization, and the rule of law to have any chance of long term success.


“We need to know exactly who these bastards are and their weak points,” said one official.

According to U.S. Institute of Peace analyst, Alexander Thier, even with 60,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, there will not be sufficient forces to do “an outreach” into remote rural areas.

Several U. S. sources said that the chief aim of U.S. operations will be to ensure the safety of the Afghan population.

OK, we don't know who we're fighting. We don't have enough troops to fight the people we don't know. And we are trying to guarantee the safety of the Afghan population by accidentally killing them from time to time.

Sounds like a policy to me.

Dan M

Let the boys loose, oh yes. If only the lilly-livered Bush people had been willing to send a "pointed message" with warfare and torture after 9/11 we wouldn't be in this afghan mess now.

The afghan's have demonstrated time and again that the only way to prevent them from sending their navy and airforce over to the US to "destroy our way of life" is to cow them by dropping bombs on their villages. This is clearly the only way to distract them from their constant focus on (and attendant scheming to destroy) "our" way of life. By forcing some tribal leader to paw through the wreckage of his hovel looking for bodyparts of family members, we distract him from his america-hating and get him to focus on his mixed-nuts and poppy farm (and the need to find a new wife and start a family). Excellent plan.

John Howley

“...the war on terror was necessary in order to justify and explain the manifold expansion of America’s invasive military posture in the Middle East, Afghanistan and elsewhere since 2001. This expansion was clearly intended to be the basis for a massive, long-term American military presence through the region. The fact that in and of itself this presence is a striking innovation is something that is almost totally ignored in American public discourse. The depth and novelty of the engagement of United States military forces in various countries in the Middle East and adjacent states, whether in combat operations or in other ways, has been little appreciated or understood by public opinion, the press or Congress. Nor has the public appreciated that this new and massive military presence constitutes a radical departure from past practice. Few people realize that from the 1960s through the 1980s, at the height of the Cold War, when the United States faced a formidable Soviet rival and its regional allies and proxies, it somehow managed to protect its vital interests in the Gulf region and most of the Middle East successfully, essentially through an “over the horizon” military presence combined with the tiniest regional military footprint. During these decades there were few American military bases (all of them small and unobtrusive), no occupations, and no high-profile U.S. military presence anywhere in the Middle East. The broad rubric of the ‘global war on terror,’ with the concomitant exploitation of fear to cow citizens and prevent them from asking pertinent questions, conveniently obviates explaining why, long after the demise of such a formidable rival as the USSR, it is today necessary to have a much more extensive American military presence in this region than at any time since World War II. It also makes it possible to obscure the fact that this presence involves deployments and bases that go far beyond those directly related to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” [Rashid Khalidi, Sowing Crisis The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East, pp. 220-1.]


Iraq is now officially permanent occupation. Long war ahead, as Iraqi will fight for their independence.


Army chief of staff says US troops could remain in Iraq and Afghanistan past 2012

The United States could have fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade, the top Army officer said, even though a signed agreement requires all U.S. forces to be out of Iraq by 2012.

Gen. George Casey, Army chief of staff, said Tuesday his planning envisions combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade as part of a sustained U.S. commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism in the Middle East.


@Bobo - after sending a pointed message to all those who detest our way of life.

rgey detest what you do, not the way you live. After 18 month of prime torturer McCrystal, they will detest you more.


Lat comment should start with

They detest ...

Patrick Lang


You misunderstand Casey's role and statement. the press made that easy to do by misunderstanding both themselves in their search for the sensational.

Casey is Chief of Staff of the Army. The Army's role as an institution is to generate and sustain forces, not to operate those forces. That role is played by the operational chain of command from SecDef to the Combatant Commanders (in this case CENTCOM and its subordinate command in Iraq [Odierno]).

Casey's much misunderstood statement was a declaration that the Army institution can provide forces through the period that he mentioned. It was not a prediction of ahything.

It is much more difficult to figure out how to provide these forces than one might think pl

Patrick Lang


We now have a subset of "professionals" who are modeled on SWAT teams. pl


John Howley quotes:

"....it is today necessary to have a much more extensive American military presence in this region than at any time since World War II. It also makes it possible to obscure the fact that this presence involves deployments and bases that go far beyond those directly related to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” [Rashid Khalidi, Sowing Crisis The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East, pp. 220-1.] "

In other words: Oil (writ large..NG, etc.), Texas Tea...Swimming Pools.....Movie Starzzz.

I agree, but I think that honesty is the best policy, where the populace needs to be informed as to how much of the "sweet and easily brought up," of this elixir is needed by the US economy. This, of course, in order to safely transition the 20 odd year transition period to switch to viable alternatives.

The only problem I see is that them ornery Chinese, Russkies, and Indians have needs for this stuff also.

How to de-conflict?

Bobo, Our men?....let loose? Did I miss something forty years ago?

Patrick Lang


Is your cognomen a reference to the "Mote in God's Eye?"

"Bobo, Our men?....let loose? Did I miss something forty years ago?"

What is this, more of the "Winter soldier" crap? pl


What is the metric by which we judge that McChrystal's activities were a success?

Iraq is safer?

I love technology as much as the next man, and I'm thrilled to hear that there are drones that pop out of paper toweling tubes and communicate with the White House. But suppose an invading force occupied your neighborhood? How many of you would have to be killed before you would all give up? 100%? 110%?

Killing is not the answer, even if it is space-age killing.


This may or may not have something to do with the previous Richard Sale/Col Lang thread about the US opening up a supply route through Iran to Afghanistan.

The Yorkshire Ranter is a blogger who, amongst many things, watches the flight patterns of dodgy airlines engaged in the arms trade and anything illegal;

>However, I would like to say this: what is happening in Zahedan that needs several Ilyushin-76s a day, provided by companies like Click Airways International/Click Airways, Transaviaexport, Eastern Express, Sakavia, and East Wing? Rather, that has been generating 2-4 inbound flights to Sharjah a day for 10 days? That's 30 rotations; 40 tons payload a time; 1,200 tons of stuff. Eh?

>Wikipedia has it a bigger place than I assumed; apparently work is going on to link up the Pakistani and Iranian railways there. But surely nobody exports bricks or livestock feed (key local industries, apparently) by air? Especially when there is a road straight to a major sea port?




The U.S. is embarking on a $1 billion crash program to expand its diplomatic presence in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, another sign that the Obama administration is making a costly, long-term commitment to war-torn South Asia, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

The White House has asked Congress for — and seems likely to receive — $736 million to build a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with permanent housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space in the Pakistani capital.

The scale of the projects rivals the giant U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million.

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