Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

Nevermind my previous concerns..

Guess that's now a total of 9 US troops killed, 40 wounded in this little mountain debacle battle.

Taking a look at the history of this engagement, it almost appears like the US is playing this battle like a seedy gambling addict with a nervous tic, "doubling down" and losing on both hands. Here's why...

The US started the battle with a brief amount of bombing near the town of Gardez, followed by the arrival of 1500 Afghanis and about 60 US troops, broken into several different spearheads. One group was supposed to attack from the front, another from the rear, etc. Unfortunately, they went into battle in pickup trucks, not armored vehicles, and the convoy made a great target. Turns out military intelligence might have underestimated the enemy's strength by a factor of ten. Chalk up about five dead (including an American) and apparently well over a dozen wounded (including six Americans). The convoy bade a hasty retreat and serious bombing soon commenced.

Now, bombing doesn't, in itself, control territory, but the obvious question here is whether this mountainous territory needs to be held by us. (Short answer: it doesn't.) The things a really good bombing campaign does (besides kill a lot of your enemies), is destroy your enemy's ability to operate as a unit, to supply themselves effectively, or to exert control over an area. Basically, people being bombed (or shelled) have little choice other than to hunker down, watch others around them die, and watch tensions grow and nerves fray as people start to wonder whether they are next. That is why some of the happiest people the world has yet seen were those Iraqi troops who were fortunate enough to surrender to a US soldier (or a reporter, or a cameraman...) in the Gulf War after over a month of ferocious bombing.

It's worth noting that in WWII, General MacArthur was outnumbered by Japanese ground forces in the Pacific for most of the early part of the war, yet managed to successfully win battle after battle. He did it through a technique called "island hopping", where enemy strongpoints were simply ignored. Instead, the focus was to cut off supplies to these strongpoints, bomb them regularly, and let them "wither on the vine".

Obviously, even al Quaeda troops need supplies. Well, there aren't a lot of supplies to be had up in the mountains. Either these supplies must be gathered, sent in to them, or they must be supplied by the locals. Simply surround the enemy, relocate the nearest locals to a "safe distance from the battleground", and create a no-man's land, where it's open season on anyone who enters. (i.e. A good use of night vision goggles.) Meanwhile, bomb, bomb, bomb!

What makes little sense is to immediately resume a military operation against an enemy whose strength was considerably underestimated, presumably in the hope that doing so will make people overlook a previous blunder. Instead, the US military has compounded one blunder with another. Of course our enemies know how to shoot up convoys and shoot down helicopters. We trained and equipped them to do precisely that to the Soviets, and they were very good at it. My question is, why are we using the same failed tactics that the Soviets used?!

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