AGM100
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Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:53 pm

I heard the news of Ms. Faucets death headlining this morning and it made me think of the Marines from 2nd MEB who were killed the other day in a IED attack. Sure didn't hear much about them ... of well I will do it.
Heavy fighting is going on there ... our guys are going into the HOT shit everyday . The heat and the hardcore Taliban make it a real nightmare. The President has ordered a surge ... I hope we all remember who the hell has to do the " Surging" . A Surge that I have heard described as being straight into Indian country...Helmand province.. head to head with the Tliban..

2nd MEB , British Black Watch , Along with many many other operators are supporting ... risking and,,, dieing.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theworldnew...the-frontlines-of-afghanistan.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...or-air-assault-in-Afghanistan.html

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105470542
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AGM100
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:28 pm

OH God now Michael Jackson .... terrible news , but nothing compared to what these guys have to deal with.

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DeltaMD90
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:04 pm

The surge in Iraq went brilliantly. The majority of the fighting has gone down. The heavier fighting in Afghanistan has been going on for a while now, I don't know why the media is just catching on now. God Bless our guys and all the other nation's troops. Hope they can get the job done and get home safely.
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:10 pm

Some good stuff here from the Brits - Operation 'Panther's Claw'

http://www.army.mod.uk/news/15420.aspx


Well done lads! Big grin
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
gkirk
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:14 pm

Help for Heroes - tis a cause I donate to regularly, hopefully others in the UK do the same  Smile

The armed forces are the real heroes  Smile
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:01 am

Any of you guys in the service yourselves?
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:13 am



Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 5):
Any of you guys in the service yourselves?

Yes, I am - 3 years in the reserves so far. I have served in the middle east, during winter 2008/2009

Quoting Gkirk (Reply 4):
Help for Heroes

Me too, it's a really good cause  Smile

http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/


Lee
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:22 am

Man I should be over there with my unit but they kept me back...  worried  Stay safe B 2/121...
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
babybus
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:14 am

Why can't the Afgans just settle down and our guys can come home?

These countries are so full of hate, internally and externally.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:01 pm



Quoting Babybus (Reply 8):
Why can't the Afgans just settle down and our guys can come home?

Ask the Taliban......
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
AGM100
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:43 pm



Quoting Gkirk (Reply 4):
Help for Heroes

Thanks .. were on it.
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AGM100
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:36 pm

Operation Khanjar, or "strike of the sword," ... in effect. US Marines and Afghan Army offensive strike into Helmud province. One US Soldier captured by enemy one KIA reported

God speed and good hunting .

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1246...385075.html#mod=article-outset-box

Some good sights to support our troops !

http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/
www.operationshoebox.com
www.woundedwarriorproject.com
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
 
GDB
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:58 pm



Quoting Babybus (Reply 8):
Why can't the Afgans just settle down and our guys can come home?

An understandable view.
However, while the world may have in the past looked the other way, that rather ended as a credible policy after Sept 11th.
Frankly, the social effects of the poppy crop alone is something that has effects well beyond Afghan borders.
And the awful attacks on US Embassies in Africa in 1998, planned from Afghanistan, along with others, was a looming issue anyway.

After the USSR left in 1989, the world indeed looked away when a civil war (with that influence of the Pakistani security services), ripped Afghanistan apart.
Eventually the Taliban gained the upper hand, bad news if you were Afghan and female.
Or anyone with any joy of life in you.

This allowed an escape route for Bin Laden, who was until 1996 in exile in Sudan.
A lawless state with what control there was now in the hands of similar minded extremists, devilishly hard to be found in, let alone captured or killed, Afghanistan was his salvation.
He also had influence there from the war against the USSR.
Whatever we think of the government in Sudan, they would never have allowed Bin Laden to put together anything like Sept 11th from their soil.
Because they know what the response would have been.

Not being a proper government per se, the Taliban were less concerned.
By 1997, Bin Laden felt secure enough in his new home, to actually give a press conference where he announced his intention to assist with terror attacks on the West and western allies, westerners abroad.
He even invited some western journalists to this conference!

Of course, in the middle of all this, are the very long suffering Afghan people.

The large scale US action is very welcome.
Though since 2006, the UK had nearly doubled the size of it's force there, they have, however hard they have fought, simply been stretched too thinly.
Taking ground time and time, but without the manpower, all too often, to hold it.
Of course, I also include here the other nations involved in fighting.

I am currently reading an account of 3 PARA's 2006 Afghan deployment.
They were expecting trouble, but as one said, it was like poking a stick into a wasps nest .
The intensity of the fighting was, and is, staggering at times.

I hope the US solider who is missing, can be rescued.
RIP to the one US and two British servicemen killed in the last 24 hours.

The Taliban can be beaten, as in forced from areas they have influence and being unable to threaten the area again.
It was done in 2001, but the eye was then very seriously taken off the ball.
The were given 4-5 years of breathing space.

The complete solution is not military, that's understood, but any stability for Afghanistan, with the much needed aid and development (which the Taliban fear), can only happen when they are as denuded as a major force as much as possible.
Not the same as total (impossible) eradication.
But Afghanistan, hopefully by then protected by their own forces, could advance even with a rump of a terror group left.
Other nations do.
Not ideal, but not a perfect world we live in.

My own view is if the Taliban lose the ability to hold or seriously influence anywhere in the country, then the fear of them will reduce and they'll be in a downward spiral.
The ultimate key is not, however welcome, more Western troops and firepower, it's with Afghanistan having it's own forces with the numbers, training, proper control, to do the job.
That might be tougher to achieve, but it's the only long term solution.
 
AGM100
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:20 pm

Helo crash yesterday , 2 Canadian and 1 Briton soldiers KIA. Does not say the type of aircraft. Heavy fighting and lots of road side bombs ....


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/08/world/asia/08afghan.html?ref=world
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:40 pm

The Taliban have also stepped up attacks in the North. Last week three German soldiers got killed by a roadside bomb.
The reason is that this year is a super election year in Germany, culminating in the federal parliament (and government) elections in autumn. The Taliban hope to make the German government withdraw the troops, because the war (it is not even called a war oveer here, but something like "militarily protected development aid") is becoming more and more unpopular due to lack of results.
The German army has quietly changed their rules of engagement and brought more combat troops to Afghanistan though. Up to recently any use of force by a German soldier would have triggered a criminal investigation by a prosecutor, since the Bundeswehr is still officially on peacetime duty, due to the politicians trying to avoid the word war at any cost, mainly to avoid political consequences, like the requirement for a formal declaration of war by the parliament, the change of supreme command of the German forces from the minister of defense to the chancellor, and most important, that as soon as the soldierws are at war, their insurance contracts will be void, so that the government will have to fill the gap out of it´s own coffers.
At least now the German soldiers don´t have to wait anymore until the get actively shot at before being allowed to open fire, instead they can now respond as soon as they notice the signs of an impending attack, they are also much freer to call in air support if they encounter hostile forces.
Up to recently the German soldiers were sitting ducks, who were not allowed to defend themselves poperly, and who were not allowed to go on offensive operations, even at tactical level. The German government treated the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan as if the soldiers were based in a garrison town in Germany.

Jan
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windy95
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:07 pm



Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 2):
The heavier fighting in Afghanistan has been going on for a while now, I don't know why the media is just catching on now

Will the media ever acknowledge that the surge in Iraq worked? Will Barry who was against the surge in Iraq call what he is doing know a surge? I support him in what he is doing in Afghanistan but I think that by acknowledging the success in the Iraqi surge he could get everyone to rally behind this unlike the partisan garbage we had do deal with from the left in Iraq. The troops of all these nations deserve 100% of the people and governments behind them. That will be required if Iraq and now Afghanistan are to be successful.

One thing that makes me curious though is where is code pink and all of the other leftists who had been given airtime the whole time Bush and Cheney had been in office. Since Barry is in charge have they closed up shop or are they going to march after 10 troops and a number of civilians had been killed in country yesterday? Will they have a body count for Barry like the did Bush?
 
Falcon84
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:45 pm

I like the change in stragetgy. During the Bush years, we were more worried about killing insurgents, instead of holding on to territory and keeping the civilians safe, and, heaven forbid, protecting the civilians.

This strategey-to not just drive out the Taliban and al Qaeda, but stay in the areas we take back, and work with the local people, is a good one.

The other good news, at least what I heard on FOX News Radio the other day, was that the Pakistan military is on the other side of the border, keeping the insurgents from fleeing Afghanistan, and attacking them if need be.

If this pincer movement works, it could be the beginning of the end of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I won't get my hopes up quite yet, but it's a good sign.

And, who knows? Maybe during this operation, a certain indivdual could be found and brought to justice?

Quoting Windy95 (Reply 15):
Will Barry who was against the surge in Iraq call what he is doing know a surge?

You can't even call him "President Obama" or "Mr. Obama"? Grow up.

Secondly, this isn't a "surge". This is a change in strategy, and a major offensive on a scale not seen there since Fallujah. Driving the insurgents between two forces, and, hopefully annihilating them, while at the same time keeping territoriy gained, I think, is a brilliant strategy by Gen. McChrystal. He deserves all the credit in this case. Much as Petreaus deserved all the credit for the surge working in Iraq. In both cases, to the credit of our last two presidents, they let the Generals to the work, and plan the ROE. They didn't interfere, and both President Bush and President Obama both deserve credit for that.
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AGM100
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:05 pm



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
, but stay in the areas we take back

Occupation ? Indeed ... This has been done Falcon , but I agree with your assessment we are going to have to be in the market place so to speak. This is very dangerous business , the Taliban operate all in these little towns from what I have read. Its must be a nightmare patrolling in and among them ... you cant tell who is who you just wait to be attacked. It seems we have avoided doing this in Helmand Pr. ... ( I could be wrong) but we are definitely doing it now . We will see if the President stands strong if the casualties start mounting.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
You can't even call him "President Obama" or "Mr. Obama"? Grow up.

Agreed , we should refer to him as President Obama. I give the President credit for working out the overflight option with the Russians this weak as well. Its a good sign .
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windy95
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:17 pm



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
Secondly, this isn't a "surge". This is a change in strategy, and a major offensive on a scale not seen there since Fallujah. Driving the insurgents between two forces, and, hopefully annihilating them, while at the same time keeping territoriy gained,

Was not the surge in Iraq a change of strategy? Are we not sending more troops there and putting more pressure on the Taliban. Sounds like a surge to me. So why is this administration avoiding using this term. Still playing politics and the PR game against Bush.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
They didn't interfere, and both President Bush and President Obama both deserve credit for that.

It is still a little early to give Barry credit for that. I hope at the end of his term that I can give him that credit.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
a certain indivdual could be found and brought to justice?

Are we going into Pakistan??
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:25 pm

I'm glad that I can finally feel good about a military action we're taking. Any military action is a bad thing, but at least this one is justified and necessary. The Taliban and AQ won't listen to reason or diplomacy and Obama knows that.

What we need is to knock them down enough that we can build a Red Crescent in every town in Afghanistan. And we can vaccinate them, care for them when they are ill, teach them to read, write, and do math. And let them go from there. But where there aren't a ready supply of Angry Young Men who have seen their relatives and loved ones blown to bits, there can be no terrorism.

Stay safe, men and women of the armed forces. Your job over there is an important one. You are the first and biggest step.
-Doc Lightning-

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Falcon84
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:33 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 17):
Occupation ? Indeed ... This has been done Falcon , but I agree with your assessment we are going to have to be in the market place so to speak.

Actually, in Afghanistan, except around Kabul and Fallujah, it hasn't been done in the outer provinces. One reason was manpower shortagers. The fresh troops there can, according to top commanders, be used to help hold the area, and establish good relationships with the locals, to try to legitimately help them and gain their trust.

Quoting Windy95 (Reply 18):
Was not the surge in Iraq a change of strategy?

I honestly didn't see strategy change there. It was adding troops to better carry out the strategy in place, and I have no problem with that. I was one of the first on this board to approve of President Bush's surge policy. But I think it was simply more additional troops than actual change in strategy. It HAS allowed us, now that we're further down the road, to turn over some of the duties to the Iraqi's themselves, and both Bush and Peatrus deserve credit for that. The additional troops did make a huge difference. Let's hope the same is the result in Afghanistan.

Quoting Windy95 (Reply 18):
Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
a certain indivdual could be found and brought to justice?

Are we going into Pakistan??

President Obama has continued the drone operations in Pakistani territory, has he not? He was correct in keeping that policy, which, coincidentally, I also agreed with President Bush on. It was needed, and has been one of the prods the U.S. has used to tell the Pakistani government "hey, wake up, and defend your own territory, or we'll bomb the insurgents for you." The Pakistanis still have an ongoing offensive in the same region, which is why it could prove to be a noose for the Taliban and al Qaeda.

And whether US forces, Afghan forces or Pakistani forces were to stumble upon this individual, I really don't care. I'd love to get him, try him, then make him a part of the new WTC in New York.
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GDB
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:49 pm

Windy95, the trouble is, there are plenty of people, including those who are generally supportive of the Afghan deployment, who are all too aware that the whole Iraq idea, at a crucial time, moved attention away from Afghanistan.

To be brutally frank, NATO troops (and we must never forget-Afghan non combatants too), have paid the price for this in blood, particularly since 2006.
Including from nations much berated by some in the US for not being supportive of the Iraq invasion.

It is quite apparent that this allowed the Taliban to re-group, spreading again their malign influence.
We cannot go back to policy driven by a kind of, it seems, attention deficit disorder.
Or just plain obsession.

Worse, this led to a hemorrhaging of public support, the lies, mistakes, devastation of Iraq has poisoned the well of public opinion, just when it is needed most.
It is very hard to convince otherwise neutral opinion that more troops, more death and injury, is needed in another far away country, after Iraq.

Certainly for the UK, it has put severe strain on both budgets and the actual military.
And for a nation that has only had 1968, since WW2, without a military deployment covering all spectrum's, that's a real problem.
What of those who are contributing troops and taking casualties, but unused to such a tempo of military operations so frequently.

I don't want to delve into US politics, but the change last November has probably for a time at least, bolstered public support a bit.
Since the previous administration, was in the eyes of many from the contributing nations, discredited.
More of the same, would have hemorrhaged support even more.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:00 am



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 20):
President Obama has continued the drone operations in Pakistani territory, has he not? He was correct in keeping that policy, which, coincidentally, I also agreed with President Bush on. It was needed, and has been one of the prods the U.S. has used to tell the Pakistani government "hey, wake up, and defend your own territory, or we'll bomb the insurgents for you." The Pakistanis still have an ongoing offensive in the same region, which is why it could prove to be a noose for the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Maybe the Pak govt should allow US troops into the NWFP...The Ground war is the only solution but by a strong force.
regds
MEL.
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AGM100
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:26 pm

Michael Yon is heading into combat again , which is good if you want to know the real deal going on in Afghanistan . He does not pull punches , and he says " We are losing" . This is not political ..he said the same thing during the Bush administration. For straight up front reporting this guy has it ..real and hard. Interesting stuff on his sight about his recent embed with special forces in the Philippines ... check it out.

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/
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GDB
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:41 pm

I concur that Mr Yon is well worth a look.

The new British Defence Secretary was interviewed on the breakfast news, I actually felt a bit sorry for him, the interview was not hostile per se, but I thought if I was him, I'd want to stand up and shout look, this is a WAR! War is death, destruction, you've not always got everything you want kit wise. Remember what the casualties were like in the early, worse years of Northern Ireland in the early 70's. Imagine if you'd have had the cameras and satellite gear for your reporters that you have now, for the bloody fighting in the Falklands!

However, there is a real problem with the government. Three Defence Secretaries in as many years. A PM who has a serious problem making decisions. He has sent 800 more for the Afghan elections, but a request from the Chiefs Of Staff wanted 2000 more there full time was turned down.
Probably for short term political reasons.
We need as a country, to start thinking deeper about war.
We are there, we cannot just pull out, but leadership comes from the top.

For all that, I think we can only really judge where we are once the full complement of US troops is in theater and operational.
When the Afghan elections are done.
 
AGM100
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:55 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 21):
I don't want to delve into US politics, but the change last November has probably for a time at least, bolstered public support a bit.

Agree with that ... its amazing how the tone has changed.

Although I agree we need to kill Taliban ... what we really need is serious " Civil " support for the towns and the people . I had the honor of sitting beside a young lady on my last flight to EU. Not kidding she looked like Lindsay Loahn ... cute red hair the whole thing. However .. she was far from Lohan ... She was on a 45 day leave from the US Army and was going to rest on a farm in Ireland . She had been in Iraq 2 tours in the CRT effort combined with USAF and Navy. She was now preparing for deployment to Afghanistan with her battalion in September . They are going there to begin the civil reconstruction efforts again , evidently they have slowed in the past year or so.

This should be effort number one. We should supply the villages with everything they need . Generators , heavy equipment , well digging equipment , Medical supplies and Agriculture . This is the role that the EU nations should step up with ! We and British do the killing the EU and other nations should supply the CRT with everything they need . I hope the President can help with this ...
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BMIFlyer
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:35 am

Things are not going well for the British.....

We have lost 8 soldiers in the past 24hrs / 15 in the past 10 days  Sad

We have reached a new "milestone" now this week - 184 dead - which means the Afghan war has now overtaken the death toll of the recent Iraq war, for UK forces.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8145603.stm


Also, on July 1st, we lost the highest ranking officer to be killed in battle since the "Falklands" war. The Lt Col was killed by an IED (improvised explosive device) whilst on patrol. A trooper (private) on patrol with him was also killed in that attack.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8130195.stm

May they all  tombstone 


Lee
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:53 am



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 23):
Michael Yon is heading into combat again , which is good if you want to know the real deal going on in Afghanistan . He does not pull punches , and he says " We are losing" .

Pardon my language, but I think I trust real US soldiers over this douche. We are making great progress and a difference in their lives (this isn't high ranking generals twisting our perceptions these are normal soldiers, people like you and me). Civilians have a very different concept of winning than the military does. Didn't the media say that we were losing Vietnam? We didn't lose a single military battle there! The general population lost support thanks to the glorious media.

My advice: talk to a few real US soldiers.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 26):
Things are not going well for the British.....

We have lost 8 soldiers in the past 24hrs / 15 in the past 10 days Sad

I am sorry for you losses, but I can testify that the US Military is grateful for their sacrifices. I am losing friends right now as I speak, this is the first time I have been in the Army when my unit went over and I can tell you I've done a few of their funerals. RIP
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
AGM100
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:08 am



Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 27):
Pardon my language, but I think I trust real US soldiers over this douche

If you take the time to read Yon..he basically agrees with you. The Military is winning and wins every engagement they are involved in. He has high respect for the men and women in the Military and is one of them. But despite all of there efforts they are not achieving the objective of uniting the people against the Taliban , I am not there I can not even to begin to say what needs to be done . But Mike has some sound opinions and is actually slogging along with the troops in combat. He is also ex Green Beret .. so I give him some credit .

I also talk to troopers... they say there is no winning.... typical of infantry men I guess. Wining is surviving.. The young lady I mentioned above said it just like that ..." we cant win". " win " is the word that needs definition I guess.
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
 
GDB
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:37 pm

To be fair to Yon, he's ex US forces, has spent a lot of time in these combat zones, allowing a far more in depth reporting style than the usual media correspondents who usually have only a basic knowledge of the military, as part of their stint in this area, before moving to another subject.
He's also not afraid to stray from the party line.

With these latest British casualties, the government is in even more political trouble.
In the area of their commitment (not of the troops themselves).
An opposition politician has made the claim that we 'are fighting wars on a peacetime budget'.
This is only partially true, since several billion £ has gone into 'Urgent Operational Requirements', which have been providing fairly rapid new equipment, such as protected vehicles, firearms, drones, over the past few years. But this comes from a 'contingency fund' not the direct defence budget.

However, it's a telling point.
Though it should be pointed out that the last time in peacetime-or 'peacetime' as in British post WW2 history, that the budget was seriously ramped up, was to fund the British contribution to the Korean War in 1950/51.
The (Labour) government of the time faced ministerial resignations which helped to tip an already tired administration into defeat at the polls. As well as economic consequences when that situation was already fragile.

I think it is true to say that Gordon Brown does not have a great relationship with the Ministry Of Defence, dating back to his decade as Chancellor.
Some think he does not 'get it', as shown recently with the successful campaign for Gurkha veterans.

The last time the UK had this many deaths in ground combat, in such a short time, was in the 1982 Falklands War.
That had a much clearer aim and of course, lasted just over two months.
That conflict naturally did have much more public support-though not totally unanimous.
But it did occur due to serious negligence by the government of the day.

It might be (hopefully) that this spike in deaths is a result of this major offensive taking place now.
Rather than the many tactical engagements, often over the same ground time and again, of the past three years.
When however hard they fought, the British and other coalition forces in Helmand just did not have the men to occupy large areas at a time.
(An indictment perhaps of trying to run operations in Iraq at the same time).

However, some serious and experienced reporters such as Jason Burke, reckon the Taliban are better co-ordinated, better equipped, better with IED's and have far more experienced foreign fighters (probably mostly from Pakistan), who have come in to replace the heavy casualties their forerunners sustained,

Whatever the reason, the UK government has a serious job sustaining public consent, if this was happening in 2002/3, when Sept 11th was fresher in the mind, without the Iraq diversion, it might be easier to rally support.
 
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:20 pm

I´ve read on the BBC website that lately there has been a major attitude change in Pakistan towards the Taliban. Apparently before the Taliban were considered to be far away in the remote tribal areas and were seen as a possible strict, but "pure" alternative to the corrupt ways of the traditional Pakistani political elites. Taliban excesses have been looked over.
Since they took over the Swat Valley, a former skiing resort just north of the capital Islamabad, they got under closer view and what people saw shocked them, like sumarely executions for minor infractions, closing of schools for girls and very much a video shown a young woman being whipped for some minor infraction while some Taliban thug cheers the executioner on to beat harder (BTW this was a Taliban-produced propaganda video, in which they wanted to show their ideas of law and order to the public).
Also other videos published by the Pakistani Taliban showing speeches of Taliban leaders, often uneducated village Imams, bragging about that they now controlled the Swat Valley, next would be all of Pakistan and eventually the whole world, caused the Taliban to lose a lot of support within the Pakistani population. This gave the Pakistani Army enough backing to drive the Taliban back out of the Swat Valley.

Jan
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11Bravo
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:33 pm



Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 27):
Didn't the media say that we were losing Vietnam? We didn't lose a single military battle there!

That is because in Vietnam military force was not the decisive factor. I think that same conclusion applies to Iraq and Afghanistan as well. Military action can provide increased local security which could, potentially, lead to changes in the political and cultural factors that will determine the long-term outcome, but force alone will not produce that change.

There is very little, if any, evidence that the decisive political, cultural, and economic factors have shifted in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Without that change our presence just delays the return to the sectarian norm that is pervasive in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:40 am



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 28):
If you take the time to read Yon..he basically agrees with you.

Pardon me, I misunderstood apparently. I do admit I am guilty of skimming the surface of topics sometimes. In this case I guess he does have more credibility than I. Touche Mr. Yon!
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:27 am



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 30):
I´ve read on the BBC website that lately there has been a major attitude change in Pakistan towards the Taliban.

I guess the ISI finally realised that the tiger they groomed is now turning to be a man eater.Its not about India's or the World's terrorists,but about Pakistani survival.

I still feel ground troops are needed to end this war in the NWFP & it means foreign troops.

regds
MEL.
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:33 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 29):
without the Iraq diversion

Don't want to argue it ... but it sure must help to be able to use Iraq as a support post for troops in the theater. What would the war in Afghanistan be like if Saddam was still running Iraq?. I see the strategy ... and it makes sense to me....

Quoting GDB (Reply 29):
I think it is true to say that Gordon Brown does not have a great relationship with the Ministry Of Defense, dating back to his decade as Chancellor

He is in the same boat as our President .. openly complained about the war and essentially worked to undermined it in order to win political points. Now he is stuck ...

Today in Afghanistan .....

Men stood in the darkness watching and waiting for shadows to move ... the straps on there gear cut into their bodies .. bodies already beyond worn. The heat soon becomes sort of a mirage ... the dust and smoke comes like a blanket over the land. You don't think of home ... you must not think of cool clean water and girls in scant bikinis..pause for a nice 2 girl fantasy . That damn strap ...it just fucking cuts ..but I need that shit so forget it. Even taking a rest is like laying on a bed of nails ... ya its a rest but it just freaking hurts ..everything freaking hurts. clean the freaking rifle ..damn piece of shit M4 .. too many parts too much freaking dust. clean all the freaking ammo , clean the mags , clean your feat , fuck-it don't wanna shave. damn socks suck thin like paper , stupid ass Taliban cant they just pop up so we can freaking wack em already. Go to hell I am not carrying freaking 60mm ammo for your dumb ass ... yes sir ya alright give it hear you sad ass. wonder what his sister looks like ,,, just walking and looking ... everything looks the same ... brown , dry and dirty dark windows broken everything.

crap ..gotta go patrol again .. dumb ass people can they at least build a road ... ya you can have my peaches you dumb fuck. Nice wall ... when was it built ? 600bc ? hey you think you could maybe clean up your dog shit ? Now I gota smell that for the next nine hours while I lay waiting for your uncle to come back .. Oh ya .. Meghan fox and and that blond big titty broad together in my bed ..hell ya., fucking mortars ... yes sir gimme that ... I will stay with the SAW . Fuck that box by the road looks weird ... fucking better check that out .. stop dumb ass .. where is the mortar plate .. gotta dump the mortars .. damn it .. incoming. where the hell is the mortar ... ya here is the fucking ammo .. shit stinks. where the hell is that AK ... hold to the ground wait till location ID . DUST flying everywhere and damn SAW blasting at whatever .. box blows ... dirty flash of orangish silver black ... I hear him .. its sounds bad .. Medic ! Dust and rounds blast right into my eyes ,,.. cease fire dumb ass ! some guys runs right into me and knocks me into the wall ... pingsssss screaming and yelling firing and brass falling everywhere.... cease fire hold fire ! smoke dust dirt in the air .... smells... dude needs help up there ... firing is slowing down ... couple shots up ahead die out .. quite . medics push dirt from there boots as they crouch over him .... must move up provide cover., scanning buildings .. no black silhouettes no movemnt ..just bleak brown building rubble and smoke.. mortar fires ..finaly .. two shots towards the end of the street .. dog looks at me from across the road .... nothing ,no enemy .. just bony dogs dust and a bloody compress .
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connies4ever
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:55 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 13):
Helo crash yesterday , 2 Canadian and 1 Briton soldiers KIA. Does not say the type of aircraft. Heavy fighting and lots of road side bombs ....

Helo was a CH-146 Griffon (militarised Bell 412EP). Was a decent-enough
a/c when bought in 1995, but in the Afghan environment, with big heat and
altitude, I think they are marginal. CF have, I think, 8 Griffons in theatre
prior to this accident. Also 6 Chinook 'D', 3 Herc 'H', 6 Mil-8 'Hip', plus a
unit of drones.

The Hercs are mainly used to shuttle troops & kit to/from Camp X in Dubai,
where they are transferred to either CC-150 Polaris (A310-300 MRTT) or CC-177
(C-17) for routing to Trenton, Ontario via Frankfurt.

Initial evidence indicates it hit a wall descending into ground-effect dust swirl.
I'd guess that the descent had some forward velocity, so hitting the wall would
either a) shear off the rotor blades or b) if the skids hit, helo pitches forward
and rotors contact ground. Either way, not good.
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:44 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 34):
He is in the same boat as our President .. openly complained about the war and essentially worked to undermined it in order to win political points. Now he is stuck ...

This is not the case with Brown, he never opposed the war in Iraq, the political dynamic here is very different.
The war in Iraq was much, much more unpopular from the start, not just with those who usually oppose military action, but it also included a lot of ex security/military types, the then head of MI5 was completely baffled by the logic of it.
The Chiefs of Defence Staff, asked the Attorney General on the legality of it, however they asked more than once, which is unprecedented.

MI6, of that dossier claim, had the many caveats and warnings on the reliability of the information within, removed by Downing Street.
(The PM's spin doctor, in desperation, even tried to pass off some students old study paper off the web, as proper information).

This all happened before military action even started, the well of public opinion was poisoned before the campaign even started.
The PM (Blair) narrowly avoided having to resign due to a House Of Commons vote on the war, he just won it, by promising WMD's would be found.
So you can imagine the reaction when they weren't.
Worse still, those in intel community were never as sure as Blair implied.

And trying the 'free Iraq from Saddam' line was never a runner here.
Because the answer to that was 'what about Zimbabwe, Burma or even North Korea-a genuine WMD state?'
Many with knowledge of the region, in the end pretty accurately foretold what would happen after the invasion-except they never believed the US installed 'consuls' would make the balls up they did.

This has all poisoned large parts of public opinion here against involvement in US lead military action, as I mentioned, the change last year helped to correct this some.
But, the war the conflict in Afghanistan in the way it has turned recently, has reset that back to where we were before.
This is also linked in with the performance and instability of the current British government across a range of issues.

It is getting very hard to keep the public on side here, looking at the history of UK post WW2 military operations, many of them counter insurgency, does not show the kind of disquiet then as there is for Afghanistan now.
You can remind about how nasty the early to mid 70's were in Northern Ireland, you can point out the forces achieved a feat of arms they were not prepared, in many cases equipped to do, in the South Atlantic 27 years ago.
That the charge of 'fighting wars on the cheap' is not new, in fact it's usual.

That was then, there is the suspicion that the government is not fully engaged here, because this is also the case in other areas too.
From the camera phone footage of troops, to the embedded correspondents, through the myriad web sources, this conflict is more in your face than ever.

Many sober commentators, with no axe to grind, while extremely concerned, do not see Afghanistan as a lost cause, but they seem to agree time is running out.
The Afghan government is riddled with corruption.
The apparent stalemate has to be broken.
For the UK, that means sending more troops (never mind we do not have the largest army in Europe-though there is some resentment about that), just at the time such a commitment is politically more difficult than ever.
The issue of things like lack of helicopters is being turned into a dagger aimed at the government.

Obama has way more political capital here than Gordon Brown has.
 
AGM100
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:34 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 36):
This is not the case with Brown, he never opposed the war in Iraq

My error , you are correct .

Quoting GDB (Reply 36):
The issue of things like lack of helicopters is being turned into a dagger aimed at the government.

Yes it is ... it is a signal that the government is not committed wholly to either the effort ..or is at odds with the command staffs on ground strategy. If they are going to commit to operations like "search and destroy " or search and hold .. helicopters are key. Maybe the politicians prefer the "hold" without the search and destroy.
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GDB
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:20 am

With the choppers, it has long been the case, so they are playing catch up.
Recently, six former Danish Merlins have been added to the RAF, the scandal ridden 8 Chinook HC.3's (intended as SF support machines before a systems installation screw up), are being delivered with a more standard fit.
Not in Afghanistan yet though.

From a US standpoint, you can see how small those numbers are.

Just on the news now, is a poll showing an increase in British public support for the Afghan mission.
However, I'm a little skeptical, from anecdotal evidence, plus it's just one poll, I hope it's correct, it will help morale for the forces.
Plus of course, with polls, it's how you phrase the question!
When there is a surge in fighting, support does lift, this even happened with the otherwise unpopular Iraq war once the invasion started.

But it's the medium to long term that should be a concern, I guess it hinges on tangible results.
One line of attack at the government, from the opposition, is that the budget for new support helicopters was cut in 2004.
(Not that the opposition when last in power did any better).
 
AGM100
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:24 pm

Well Helicopters are nice to have , but just like soldiers have always done .. its allot of walking and allot of heavy loads . This Marine definitely got the short straw .. all that load and the mortar base plate ! ( as it appears to me) .

Not sure , how they do it . .

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GDB
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:26 pm

Indeed, after 3 Chinooks and some Wessex were lost on the [i] Atlantic Conveyor in 1982, much of the British ground forces walked across East Falkland, some 50 miles, laden with kit, fought and won.
But - they did not face IED's along the way, the enemy was seen and well defined.

We've faced large, often more sophisticated IED's before, in Northern Ireland.
Over those years, use of helicopters prevented the IRA from denying the rural/border areas, to the security forces.

So it's not as if any of this is that new.

Those polls I mentioned, not so cheering, indicated some 46% wanting British troops out now or soon.
It was worse in 2006, the last time a similar poll was taken, however the caveat there was that the UK was still embroiled in Iraq then.
 
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:52 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 40):
We've faced large, often more sophisticated IED's before, in Northern Ireland.
Over those years, use of helicopters prevented the IRA from denying the rural/border areas, to the security forces.

IIRC the usual tactic was to fly a platoon or a section of infantry from a fortified base to some field in the border counties, upon which they would start a foot patrol into the area of operations (often at night as not to be seen by the locals who often would inform the Provos about the wherabouts of the British soldiers). Then they would set up an ambush close to some rural border crossing to intercept IRA members smuggling in weapons from the South or to surprise them while trying to set up an ambush to kill British soldiers. Towards the end of the operation they would be picked up by helicopters again.
Entering the area of operations during daytime by truck or car would have given their presence away and would have been extremely dangerous.

Jan
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AGM100
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:52 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 40):
Those polls I mentioned, not so cheering, indicated some 46% wanting British troops out now or soon.

The Britsh will be out soon , or at least winding down combat ops . I believe that this "surge" will be sorta of a last ditch type of operation for the US and UK. Go after Tally where he lives ... knock him about a bit then " see we tried " were out of here. There is no way politically President Obama can withstand heavy casualties ... President Obama and the Dems need the anti war crowd to support them in 2010/2012 .. we will be out or at least on our way out well before then.
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:35 pm

I don't think, despite the politics, the British will be out soon at all.
It's one thing for opposition politicians to say this or that, but once in power, the realities of the world tend to change things.
The opposition, that is the Conservative party, have not been against the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, they may have criticized aspects of policy later though.
(This is probably how Blair got a 3rd term in 2005, while many, including in his own party, were furious about Iraq, voting Tory would not have been a logical electoral statement of that).

To be fair, at a British general election, international and/or military issues are not the main issues.
They may influence some, but generally this is not the case.

The third party, who could hold the balance of power if that rare British electoral event happens, a hung parliament, is the Liberal Democrats.
Their leader, Nick Clegg, was the first to break the general consensus on Afghanistan last week, again, he was not advocating withdraw-at least not in the medium term, it was about aspects of policy.
However, he has reigned in a bit over the last 24 hours, after some military advice refuted some of his assertions.

While the tasteless demo by a few (as in single figures), Muslims at a homecoming parade in March made banner headlines, it's not been repeated.
When a Battalion does return to their home base after a deployment, large crowds do meet and cheer them.
This is a fairly recent development-aside from major conventional conflicts like the Falklands or less controversial 1991 Gulf War, it did not, as I recall, happen generally after a Northern Ireland deployment.

It would be interesting to see polls conducted during the 25 years active anti terror ops (out of a 38 year campaign), about the presence of British troops in the 'Troubles' there.
I think the general trend there, aside from the politically motivated, was a reluctant resignation about it.

Certainly IRA bombs on mainland Britain did not shift opinions-which is why they did them.
The worst no warning bomb atrocities if anything, stiffened resolve.
(I always thought that the IRA had a very simplistic idea about their enemy. Except perhaps for Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness, notable that it was them who would eventually end the IRA's war).

The British have for some, an odd relationship with their military.
There is not generally the sternly patriotic stance we often see in the US, but neither is their a backlash from some as the US experienced as Vietnam wore on.
There is pride from most of their achievements, but it's not something that is very profitable for politicians to wrap themselves around.

The worst example of this was Thatcher deciding to take the salute at the Falklands victory parade in 1982, which should of course been the job of the Queen, they are her armed forces after all. Allegiance is sworn to the Crown, not the government of the day.
Thatcher's 1983 election landslide was helped by the Falklands Factor , however I do think she would have won anyway, at the time the opposition Labour Party had veered very sharply leftwards, too far for floating voters and their policies of unilateral nuclear disarmament was unpopular in the Cold War.
Labour also had a poor leadership and was deeply split with vicious in fighting, as well as many moderates having left for the short lived SDP, which further split the opposition against the Conservatives.

Today, the surge in casualties in Afghanistan last week, is news again, since the RAF C-17 bringing them home, with the usual funeral cortege through the town of Wooton Basset, near the airfield.
Substantial crowds line this route whenever such a flight returns, even if with just one coffin.

In that crowd will be plenty who do not think we should not be in Afghanistan, or be out soon, that will not stop them from paying their respects to the fallen however.
Like I said, it's a complex relationship, the British military is quite small personnel wise compared with other Western nations, even those also with fully professional forces too.
So fewer are directly touched by deaths and injuries, recruitment even in regionally based infantry battalions is broader based than seems to be the case in the USA.

MD-11 Engineer, you are quite right, the 'snap' Vehicle Check Points were a significant danger to IRA operations.
A tour in a rural area was very different to ones in Belfast and Londonderry.

Next month, it is 30 years since two massive IRA IED's killed 18 paratroopers, the same day Lord Mountbatten, aged 79, was murdered in Southern Ireland by a bomb on his boat.
Which also killed other non combatants.
It did not shake resolve one bit, if anything it hardened attitudes against them.
 
LMP737
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:47 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 30):
I´ve read on the BBC website that lately there has been a major attitude change in Pakistan towards the Taliban. Apparently before the Taliban were considered to be far away in the remote tribal areas and were seen as a possible strict, but "pure" alternative to the corrupt ways of the traditional Pakistani political elites. Taliban excesses have been looked over.
Since they took over the Swat Valley, a former skiing resort just north of the capital Islamabad, they got under closer view and what people saw shocked them, like sumarely executions for minor infractions, closing of schools for girls and very much a video shown a young woman being whipped for some minor infraction while some Taliban thug cheers the executioner on to beat harder (BTW this was a Taliban-produced propaganda video, in which they wanted to show their ideas of law and order to the public).

Groups like the Taliban in the end show what they really are. A collection of poorly educated sadists. You figure they would have learned the lesson of Iraq. The Sunni's there did not turn on Al Queda until they tried to implement their version of how the world should be. However I guess in the end that's what it's all about for them. Imposing their world view, whether the people want it or not.
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andz
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:50 pm

Sky News is covering the funeral procession live of the 8 servicemen killed within 24 hours last week. Pretty emotional stuff.

RIP.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
LMP737
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:02 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 43):
The worst example of this was Thatcher deciding to take the salute at the Falklands victory parade in 1982, which should of course been the job of the Queen, they are her armed forces after all. Allegiance is sworn to the Crown, not the government of the day.

I've always been fascinated by that aspect of the British military and it's relationship with the elected leaders of Britain. Allegiance is sworn to the crown yet the Queen has no real control over the military.
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:14 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 42):
The Britsh will be out soon , or at least winding down combat ops . I believe that this "surge" will be sorta of a last ditch type of operation for the US and UK. Go after Tally where he lives ... knock him about a bit then " see we tried " were out of here. There is no way politically President Obama can withstand heavy casualties ... President Obama and the Dems need the anti war crowd to support them in 2010/2012 .. we will be out or at least on our way out well before then.

I read a great briefing on this (open source) and it basically said the same thing.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 44):
Groups like the Taliban in the end show what they really are. A collection of poorly educated sadists.

But they are smart enough to know how to use our culture/media/public opinion against us.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 44):
You figure they would have learned the lesson of Iraq.

They did and they are using those lessons well.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
 
baroque
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:18 pm



Quoting LMP737 (Reply 44):
Groups like the Taliban in the end show what they really are. A collection of poorly educated sadists. You figure they would have learned the lesson of Iraq. The Sunni's there did not turn on Al Queda until they tried to implement their version of how the world should be. However I guess in the end that's what it's all about for them. Imposing their world view, whether the people want it or not.

All true and all the more to worry that after 8 years they are far from defeated. Either they have a bit more going for them than we tend to assume, or we are not as smart at defeating them as we would rather want to be?????
 
AGM100
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RE: Operations In Afghan. Hard Fighting Ongoing

Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:43 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 43):
don't think, despite the politics, the British will be out soon at all.

GDB , I agree .. "Out" is different than "out" I guess. But I believe that this will be the last major offensive that we see. And I hope that it is the last one required . I just don't see the current administration being able to stand up to the anti war crowd and STAY THE COURSE. Soldiers fight , that's what they do .. if the signal is sent that the Commander in chief if not wholly committed, it takes the fight out of our forces. I do not worry about our guys "winning" the battles .. I worry about them coming home with some kind of victory some kind of honor. And most of all I want the people of Afghanistan to have peace somehow .. finaly peace.

One thing about IED's ... as far as I am concerned they are the weapon of the weak . The weapon of the losing side , the desperate side .. the more of them we see the sign becomes clear that we are pushing the enemy around.
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