« "Cantor Recants" - MJ Rosenberg | Main | AIPAC and Espionage »

19 November 2010

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Nick

Sir-

With all duer respect, your point about the comforting nature of armor is well-taken- what infantryman wouldn't want an Abrams to have their back?- but I do question whether "finesse" and "armor" ever belong in the same sentence. Further, where does this leave the Stryker battalions? Is this not a tacit admission that they are ineffective?

jonst

How much money, by how many different people, in how many different entities and tribes, can be made simply by supplying (and all that that word entails)the fuel for the tanks?

This is a monstrous, and criminal, fools game, of historical proportions.

Tanks may be a great tactical idea.

But the only answer i am personally interested in is how to get out so fast that the suction of a soldier's socks would take half the nation with it.

walrus

And listening to a tank growling somewhere in the distance will be mighty discomforting to Taliban.

jonst

Is it humanly possible that someone said this, never mind actually believes it:

"Why do you have to blow up so many of our fields and homes?" a farmer from the Arghandab district asked a top NATO general at a recent community meeting.

Although military officials are apologetic in public, they maintain privately that the tactic has a benefit beyond the elimination of insurgent bombs. By making people travel to the district governor's office to submit a claim for damaged property, "in effect, you're connecting the government to the people," the senior officer said."

From today's WAPO.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/18/AR2010111806856.html

I keep thinking this must be some kind of joke. Written by a SNL gag writer. Somehow the line from the skit got into the article perhaps.

The alternative is, to think this kind of person is serving in our name.

CK

For your enjoyment, I recommend a rental of the 1988 movie, The Beast.
Travels by tank through Scenic Pushtunistan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beast_(1988_film) for a synopsis. Dzundza never looked slimmer.

Phil Giraldi

I enjoyed the Wash Post front page story on the tanks. It was asserted that the main gun could destroy a "house" from a mile away. Not a building, a house. Win friends and influence people.

Sidney O. Smith III

I am working from the assumption, with good justification, that Kagan and company have expropriated Fall’s COIN to promote the clash of civilizations narrative behind the rhetoric of nation building. One of Kagan’s unstated goals is for the Muslim world to see the US as occupiers of Muslim land, just like the Israelis, and also for the Islamic world to assume that the US employs the same military tactics as the IDF.

If true, then questions arise: in the Muslim world, will not the use of tanks create an association to Israeli tanks used in their illegal occupations as well as in their ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians? These images of Israeli tanks demolishing Arab homes and buildings are seared now into the Islamic consciousness, at least one would think: For example the use of Israeli tanks in the demolishing of Jenin. Or in Gaza.

http://tinyurl.com/24hwsvb

Does this not play into the strategic objective of neoconservatives that “we are all Israelis now”? So, if tanks do have to be employed by necessity, then does this not prove that our reasons and methods in Afghanistan have nothing to do with US national security interests but instead ultimately will promote the clash of civilizations narrative? In other words, if tanks have to be used, then our approach in Afghanistan is wrong and needs to change to better protect the US.

Fred

Two salient points from the article:
"A tank round is far more accurate than firing artillery, and it can be launched much faster than having to wait for a fighter jet or a helicopter to shoot a missile or drop a satellite-guided bomb."
"The Marines had wanted to take tanks into Afghanistan when they began deploying in large numbers in spring 2009, but the top coalition commander then, Army Gen. David D. McKiernan, rejected the request…"

The 'decider' failed to provide proper equipment and troops in the field to secure the peace after driving the Taliban government from power? Im shocked, shocked he would do that! I'm sure the Republicans will blame Obama for being 'weak' and 'losing' the war.

Bin Laden should be quite happy, all he used was 20 guys with box cutters. It was the neo-cons who used this as an excuse to deploy the major combat power of the Republic in the wrong place for the wrong reason. Meanwhile inside the beltway we know the most important thing in war is to extend the 'decider's' tax cuts.

Jackie

jonst: I heard that on NPR this morning and thought, now that's fu'd. Hearts and minds, you just blew up my house. It's ok, you'll get to know the district governor better. Right!

Ael

How many bridges in Afghanistan can take one of those tanks? How much fuel does an Abrams tank consume?

Good thing the Russians are supplying one third of the fuel for Afghanistan now. Better get that START treaty ratified.

Jake

"Win friends and influence people."

Yeah we have been influencing a whole lot of people over there. Winning friends? Yeah we have been doing that too. But not over there...

It will be interesting to see how the Taliban adapt to the heavies....

CDN.INT

This is a lesson that Canada learned in Kandahar in 2006. Four years ago. At the time we were criticised for our reliance on MBTs

http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/caj/documents/vol_10/iss_4/CAJ_vol10.4_03_e.pdf

Tyler

Nick,

Strykers are friggin beasts. I say this as someone who was not impressed by the initial training operation exercise that was skewed heavily in favor of the Strkyer (in which an OPFOR T-72 was killed by an M-14 that "found the weak spot under the main gun and set off all the armor") and I bagged a brigade commander, a battalion commander, and the majority of both their HQ staff because someone didn't clear a window ledge.

Strykers were only as good at the troops using them, and the commanders willingness to flex from mounted to light infantry depending on the situation.

Norbert M. Salamon

Another Hail Mary from the losing NATO [mostly USA] armed forces. Recalling the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 the Tanks managed to damge lot of property, but very few actual fighters. Molotov Cocktail, or some anti tank weapons are coming soon to Afganistan

dh

Those things sure can make a mess. Of course the trouble starts when you have to get out and walk around among the grateful villagers.

walrus

"A house from a mile away"? They obviously aren't trying.

How about an individual designated tree at 2000 yards? And that was in the old days.

Can an Abrams gun barrel depress far enough for close in bunker busting?

Secure Care

Irrespective of the "correctness" of the idea, consider this :

"...They will provide Marine forces with heavy 120mm cannon fire, but also advanced optics that can be used to observe Taliban fighters from more than four miles away as they plant improvised explosive devices...“The superior optics provided by the tanks give us one more tool to take away the night from the enemy. He can’t use the darkness to lay his IEDs that cause so many casualties among our forces and the civilian population.”..."

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2010/11/marine-afghanistan-tanks-111910w/

fasteddiez

Nick:

Strykers are wheeled vehicles (motorized), and thus suffer from limitations of travel on uneven terrain, which makes them mostly road-bound.

Tanks have massive treads (mechanized), and powerful engines and can traverse much more rugged terrain, and can withstand the small fertilizer type ied's now fielded against personnel.

Cloned Poster

Oh come on, the Taliban are making wooden landmines that lack detection whatsoever.

Next up, make Afghanistan a glass car park, so USA can tap the 600bn resources?

Cloned Poster

https://docs.google.com/present/view?pli=1&id=dtxqwqr_76dcp7bxcr

I hope PL may look at this.

Fred

Tanks! The article says there are only 16 of them. Hardly a blitzkrieg of armor.

Sydney,
I have two points to make in response to your remarks.
First, your point on the symbolism of tanks equating to Israel's use of tanks is very important, however I believe it would only be appropriate if these are used as bulldozers or in demolishing villages in total, not if they are solely used for close support in combat. Those are two very different roles. Hopefully the commanders in the field understand your very valid point on the potential symbolic use. All it takes is the photo/video on the internet.

Second, in regards to Bernhard Fall, I believe the neo-cons did follow his ideas on local control. They've done so remarkable well and did so electorally, starting with the school boards and county commissions. Lots of money from the far right made this effective. Just look at Oklahoma or Texas. To quote Tip O'Neil, all politics is local. (This isn't a political blog otherwise I'd provide some more opinion on this)

ked

"...They will provide Marine forces with ... advanced optics that can be used to observe Taliban fighters..."

impressive. & quite the cost-effective sensor platform.

& seems the Ruskies have figured out how to neutralize Afg, bog down (& fracture) NATO AND make $ on our logistical tail. I suspect their "realists" win all the arguments w/ their "neocons" these days.

Neil Richardson


"Strykers are friggin beasts. I say this as someone who was not impressed by the initial training operation exercise that was skewed heavily in favor of the Strkyer (in which an OPFOR T-72 was killed by an M-14 that "found the weak spot under the main gun and set off all the armor") and I bagged a brigade commander, a battalion commander, and the majority of both their HQ staff because someone didn't clear a window ledge.

Posted by: Tyler | 19 November 2010 at 02:12 PM"

Tyler:

T-72s has a shot trap below the main gun and above the ring. (This is a design flaw dating back to T-54s and worsened with T-62s) In fact TF 1-64AR and 3-7CAV both had kills by M2s and M3s using the APDS from the chain gun in close engagements (under 100m). However I don't think an M-14 (or a 25mm) could've set off the ammo and lead to a catastrophic kill unless the OPFOR decided to be stupid and keep the main gun rounds stacked outside the hull storage.

Neil Richardson

Walrus:

"'A house from a mile away'? They obviously aren't trying.

How about an individual designated tree at 2000 yards? And that was in the old days."

Indeed. And the kids today would score a pK around 98.7 against a house moving at 35mph while firing on the move at 3300m plus.

"Can an Abrams gun barrel depress far enough for close in bunker busting?"

They should (-10) but why would you want to get that close at less than 50m? They can cover from overwatch. However I have doubts about the overall utility as the psi on M1A1s are very high.

Neil Richardson

"Recalling the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 the Tanks managed to damge lot of property, but very few actual fighters. Molotov Cocktail, or some anti tank weapons are coming soon to Afganistan

Posted by: Norbert M. Salamon | 19 November 2010 at 02:16 PM"

I take it that you've never seen a tank in operating condition. MBTs aren't panacea but they're not made out of wood. And US tankers aren't as stupid as you suggest.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

June 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        
Blog powered by Typepad