Sunday, August 06, 2006
Afghanistan Mission Impossible
It is with a heavy heavy heart that I write this blog.
Another five citizens of the Earth have become Martyrs in the pursuit of peace as the Muslim world would refer to them.
Martyred in combat action to further peace in the world.
Cpl. Christopher Jonathan Reid,
Sgt. Vaughn Ingram,
Cpl. Bryce Jeffrey Keller
and Pte. Kevin Dallaire
Master Cpl. Raymond Arndt Martyred in a Vehicle accident
Then there is the other side of the coin of the Martyred Taliban, Al Quada and innocent or implicit civilians. Silence is acceptance in most quarters. So the people of Afghan by not ousting these insurgents, terrorists, suicide bombers, local guerrila factions, war lords, drug and organized crime groups IMHO are as much complicit with these deaths as the people pulling the trigger or pushing the IED or suicide bomb buttom.
If the majority of Afghanis truely wanted peace and freedom without these interlopers either Muslim or Christian zionists then they are the ones who need to lead the charge not just with force but more importantly with information and public involvement.
We will never as a outside force bring about peace or change in Afghan or any country for that matter because peace has to come from within sure we may be the catalyist or the aid and support which allows the local population to achieve this but foreign powers alone cannot and will not ever bring about peace and the rule of law without the implicit participation and eventual take over of the local authorities.
IMHO if Afghan truely wants to bring itself from underneath the anarchy and control of outside interests the people of Afghan have to step up. The best thing we could do would be to train and equip their local police and army to deal with their own problems. While providing the environment for this to happen.
The swatting at flies analogy used by one of our military leaders in Afghan is right on the money. We just don't have enough boots on the ground neither ours nor ours combined with the Afghan Police and Army. News orgs say we have 2300 troops and Britain has 3000 but the reality is we have something like 600 front line troops Britain has 700 front line troops and these troop are backed up by artillery and air support. So if you were to extrapolate from the overall number of 18,000 with this sort of ratio that would mean there are something like 5000 front line troops in afghan. Now take out those on leave or being rotated in and out of duty throw in ground time maintenance time etc etc we are woefully undermanned for the task at hand. Hence the analogy Swatting at flies.
Really it doesn't matter how many of our own troops we throw at this mission it won't solve the problem on the ground. Our troops and resources would be much better utilized in a support ,training, and border security role. Leave the actual front line combat and establishment of rule of law to the WELL trained WELL equiped afghan police and army forces with our support and backing.
We are going about this all wrong trying to impose our will on another country. Make no mistake that is what it is being portrayed as in the local area.
Afghan needs to be made an island. The borders need to be closed off and martial law implemented. All of the border crossings need to be manned by a combination of the bordering country Afghan and coalition forces. A UN buffer zone if you will as is generally the case on UN missions. Now a plan like this would require alot more resources than are presently being utilized along with alot alot more command and control. But these bordering countries are supposedly peaceful rule of law nations and should be expected to aid in such an initiative for the betterment of the region into the future.
Now once the borders are under control to revert back to the analogy of swatting flies the flies are contained. Not only have the flies been contained but the source of the flies along with the source of the flies ammo and funding as well. Because if guns, ammo, insurgents, opium, funding and the like can't get in or out it becomes up to the people to take control of their own affairs. There is noone else to blame noone else to fear other than their own rogue elements.
This is more about bringing about an environment where by afghans can take control than actually taking control and handing it to them. The latter will never work because there is no feeling of ownership and accomplishment that goes along with the trials and tribulations that are required to affect change. It is like the spoiled kid who has never had to work for anything it was always handed to him he never respects his belongings because he doesn't know about the hard work that went into attaining them.
Here is the present plan.
Yes I support the troops. That is not what is at question here and for people to cry support our troops is no more than sticking your head up your ass. Our troops have no choice they go where we push them like a stiff prick. They will do the best they can and have faith in their populace that they will have not sent them on a suicide mission even a suicide mission can be argued if it is for the good and not just as a result of poor planning and preparation. But to send them on a suicide mission knowing full well that it is a futile effort is just wrong.
For them once on the ground it becomes a matter of self preservation while trying to accomplish their mission.
No I don't support the mission anymore now that I see what is happening and how they are going about it. I would have to say it has become Mission Impossible and needs to be either abandoned or totally revamped and supported so that it becomes Mission Possible with clear requirements timelines and support. You don't go into a war especially a propaganda guerrila war with wishy wash goals and plans and expect to walk away unscathed.
Here are a few Articles why our present strategy will not work.
Everything I have on Afghan good bad and indifferent.
Our present form of rotation is also a weak point that the forces who wish to see Afghan return to it's former unlawful self are taking advantage of.
There is a form of picket that we used to do where by the shift was two hours with two men but their rotation times were offset so that the two guys only spent one hour together during the shift. This had two pluses IMHO there was always some continuity what with the over lap from one two hour shift to the next and the fact that conversation and fatigue was always circumvented by the offsetting of the shifts.
Now because we do rotations of Regiments, battalions as a group this would be somewhat more difficult to accomplish and maintain a cohesive unit. I know it has taken place on smaller scales where by a regiment is in charge of rotations for a mission for a year so troops sections are swapped in and out from the same regiment.
If something like this could be done it would also allow for a less steep learning curve of the terrain logistics and overall effort.
It would also ease up on the differing emotional highs and lows in relation to short timers and newcomers one being reluctant to put up a good offence due to their proximity to a rotation and the newcomers relative inexperience in theatre as well as climatization.
Even if the different countries rotated at different times it would eliminate some of the weak points of our mission on the ground.
This type of offset rotation could even be implemented from the get go by utilizing the set up crew as an offsetting number to the deployment.
The original Mefloquin Wacky wednesdays was circumvented by just such an initiative as this. Instead of everybody taking their mefloquin on Wednesday Coined Wacky wednesday due to the side effects it had on some people. A new policy was adopted where-by you took your mefloquin on the day you arrived throughout your tour. So only 1 in 7 was wacky every day of the week :)
By offsetting rotations it would also make it less apparent to the local populace that we are there only as a job and for a 6 month tour. This is something that the People in the former yugo slavia took notice of. I think they expected us to stay there until everything was fixed. Once they realized we were only there for a designated term to be replaced by another set of peace keepers it somehow made the populace feel less secure with less faith in our intentions. Just an observation. They were always asking whose side you supported or tried to sway your views so as to garner your support for their cause as opposed to the other sides cause. I don't think they ever got it that we were neutral. I guess not unlike embedded reporters it is hard not to show or pick up some feelings of support for one side over the other when you spend 6 months living amongst them. But then again we got to see the destruction on both sides.
Even if one side was more destroyed than the other I know i never felt any more compassion for one side over the other. The conflict in principle was wrong and needed to end.
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