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28 August 2010

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FB Ali

Col Lang,

These guys have been in the game long enough to hone their skills. Starting with the Soviets some 30 years ago. Apart from skill, they're incredibly persistent. They're going to go on, and on, and.....

Patrick Lang

FB Ali

Nevertheless, I suspect that they are not all equally skilled pl

R Whitman

PL
If you were in Petreus position, what would you do now??

Jackie

FB Ali,
Could the fact that the Afghans are going to go on and on, (like the Energizer bunny), be because it is their country? And the fact that they seem to be so good at it?

P.S. How is the flooding?

William R. Cumming

Well US Field Manuals are available around the world so what is the equivalent for the enemy and do they exist?


Seems to me that somehow the US funds both sides directly or indirectly in most of its military interventions! Am I wrong? Poppy fields are still the source of most Afghan GDP?

Patrick Lang

WRC

Field manuals? Your comment reminds me of Colonel Thursday's (?) question in "Ft. Apache." He asked what staff college Cochise had studied at. pl

Fred

I think I should extend my weekend up North, not much has changed.

They will go on and on? Where does anyone think thye might otherwise go to? They and thier ancestors have lived in the same region for how many centuries?

Col, as to your reference to "Ft. Apache" I would refer you to "Gods and Generals" where R.E.Lee is quoted, about Fredricksburg, that that was where he met his wife. It certainly gives one a perspective on why men fight for their homes.

Tosk59

It probably won't be long before this attack will be described as "complex", and thus prima facie evidence of foreign (read Iranian) meddling...

Happens almost every time something slightly different happens, why do we insist on assuming that they are all incapable ignorant rubes (or at least presenting them that way to the public)?

Patrick Lang

tosk59

Yet another one who can't recognize irony. pl

Neil Richardson


"WRC

Field manuals? Your comment reminds me of Colonel Thursday's (?) question in "Ft. Apache." He asked what staff college Cochise had studied at. pl"

Dear Col. Lang,

This reminds me of two often-cited quotations about our doctrinal adherence.

(attributed to a Russian document)

"One of the serious problems in planning against American doctrine is that the Americans do not read their manuals, nor do they feel any obligation to follow their doctrine."

(attributed to a German general officer)

"The reason why the American Army does so well in wartime is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis."

http://tinyurl.com/32tmk82

BillWade

Khost is where my son is, haven't heard anything though.

Cloned Poster

Colonel, remember also they have significant home advantage.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

I agree. I was referring to the commanders. These guys (those that have survived) have learnt from their long experience, which they pass down to the younger lot (a better source than field manuals or staff colleges!). The foot soldiers may not be experienced or skilled but are pretty effective because the prospect of getting killed in battle is not such a big deal for them.

Jackie,

Because it's their land and their people (they don't go much for modern concepts such as country and nation). They are good at it because they've done this to every foreign invader since time immemorial.

The floods roll on and on, drowning everything in their path. It is now the last stretch before they reach the sea.

Joseph Moroco

"Nevertheless, I suspect that they are not all equally skilled" pl

Do they need to be?

walrus

What concerns me is what I will call "The imagination gap", not that using opponents uniforms is anything new.


In another place, a Sergeant was complaining how their resupply convoy got hit with an IED, candidly explaining that it always took the same route and always on the same day......

Is deviousness and sneakery taught to the U.S. Army? Is there a chapter on it in a manual somewhere? Perhaps a course at Staff College?

...I mean deviousity and sneakery in battle, not in Washington.

Neil Richardson


"In another place, a Sergeant was complaining how their resupply convoy got hit with an IED, candidly explaining that it always took the same route and always on the same day......

Is deviousness and sneakery taught to the U.S. Army? Is there a chapter on it in a manual somewhere? Perhaps a course at Staff College?

...I mean deviousity and sneakery in battle, not in Washington"


AFAIK unless you consider indoc on tactical and operational deception as such an example of "sneakery", I don't know if it's been institutionalized. However this is really just a part of fieldcraft, techniques and procedures of different branches (Dissemination of lessons learned is much better nowadays, but again it really depends on given units). Support services do train for convoy operations nowadays, and my suspicion is that someone got lazy and wasn't paying attention to detail. As for the imagination gap, it wasn't very long ago that the US Army was doing things pretty well in that regard. It really depends on unit leadership but we used to entrust our people with exercising initiative as late as 2003 (The 3ID was a fine example of a crack division that just knew their business). If that NCO could spot the trouble with the convoy routine, then plenty others have noticed it as well. However as with most things in the Army, unit leadership is everything. Somebody responsible was just too inflexible to listen to suggestions. Then again, the 507th Maintenance CO (Jessica Lynch's outfit) was a disaster from top to bottom (Their CO couldn't navigate or cared enough to maintain weapons as even M2s jammed when they were ambushed). There was yet another Captains Crisis after 2006 when almost every breathing 0-3 was promoted to major (Usually the bottom quarter don't make it).

John Waring

Some wearing US Army uniforms? Sounds like they can cherry pick our supply lines at will.

How much money has to change hands for our supply lines to work at all?

Fred

Walrus,

They have a logistics specialist or economist working for the consulting company running re-supply, they aren't the ones getting shot at.

William R. Cumming

Thanks PL and Neil! You both got my point and twirled it nicely. Personally I believe the FM are circulated to many others who read them not to copy US but to learn about what we think we are doing. Actually Ad Hoc as opposed to doctrine seems the main US doctrine so concur with Neil. The EOD FM's though were of some help to those designing IED's by reverse engineering the FMs.
Hey finally saw the "Hurt Locker" and interesting take on EOD. The ones I knew and trusted were not "Wild Men"! And not adrenaline junkies. By the way what's up with what were called Combat Engineers in my day? Is this all now just contractor supplied? sup sy

Charlie Wilson

I don't think these guys can be beat. I think we need to redo Panama or Grenada.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid69900095001?bctid=407524038001

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