Sorry I dropped out for a day here....
L-188 The problem with using D-5B
or D anything Cats is that they are not designed to run at full speed along roads for long periods. I remember having to convoy the things down firebreaks and roads and they were forced to stop every mile or two to let the turbos cool and prevent other overheating. They are big on torque but not so on legs. The use of the BFV's (Bradley or Burning), with reactive armor to defeat RPGs, to clear insurgents in the cities is probably the best solution because they have the chain gun as well as a machine gun, and they can carry troops to use as protection against ambush from an enemy grunt with a can-opener. It would be nice to use tanks, but they are too vulnerable for the expense in a city. they cannot turn as effectively and they are somewhat overkill. An LGW
-Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (Germany)">HE round from the 120mm gun destroys entire houses and ruins blocks. Kind of the elephant gun on a porcupine theory.
Jan..taking the problem of having to resupply large garrisons over predictable routes is the biggest issue. Aircraft can take some of the burden for the smaller garrisons, but for the bigger cities we are working two avenues.
One, since it is impossible to use tracked vehicles to escort convoys at high speed over hardball without tearing up the asphalt and tracks and otherwise wearing out the vehicles, it seems the Strykers are doing a good job of convoy escort. They have the speed necessary as well as adequate firepower. I now that several of my buddies wish they still had M113 mounted Vulcans, and they have suggested a 25 mm mount as the Marines have, but they are able to provide the security needed to dissuade most attacks from terrorists.
Two, the Iraqi military has recently been equipped with small observation aircraft from Jordan and will begin to use these for pipeline patrol as well as MSR patrols. They are less expensive as well as less observable (lower profile and less noise than an A-10 or F-16) and they can go slower and lower to see activity on the ground. Now is the time we need a good COIN bird, and one former OV
-10D pilot has expressed to me that he thinks it would be an excellent bird for the job of terrorist/insurgent interdiction on the roads and pipelines. I wonder how many warbirds operators or if Thailand or Colombia would give some OV
's or A-37s back for a little while. These would be perfect for the job. Unless we want to start a new line for AD
-1 Destroyers, which Boeing would do if properly instructed.
THe problem with laying waste to the city is a'la Russian action in Chechnya is that we can look at previous examples of this in Stalingrad, HUe City and others to see that if you destroy the homes of the people you will firm the support of the true enemy and it is even harder to take over a city if there is lots of rubble to hide in. We need to be careful about how we work for the hearts and minds, as we are making progress. These people have not ever had anyone acting on their behalf, so we have to continue to make every possible effort to make them see we are not the enemy. As long as we avoid wholesale destruction tactics and the terrorists are the ones killing children 35 at a time, we will gain in cooperation and the terrorists and insurgents will lose support. We have to figure out how to protect ourselves in the meanwhile.