Skip to comments.NYT: Empty Skies Over Afghanistan
Posted on 02/27/2010 10:49:37 AM PST by HokieMom
THE Taliban have found a way to beat American airpower. And they have managed this remarkable feat with American help.
The consequences of this development are front and center in the current offensive in Marja, Afghanistan, where air support to American and Afghan forces has been all but grounded by concerns about civilian casualties.
American and NATO military leaders worried by Taliban propaganda claiming that air strikes have killed an inordinate number of civilians, and persuaded by hearts and minds enthusiasts that the key to winning the war is the Afghan populations goodwill have largely relinquished the strategic advantage of American air dominance. Last July, the commander of Western forces, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, issued a directive that air strikes (and long-range artillery fire) be authorized only under very limited and prescribed conditions.
So in a modern refashioning of the obvious that war is harmful to civilian populations the United States military has begun basing doctrine on the premise that dead civilians are harmful to the conduct of war. The trouble is, no past war has ever supplied compelling proof of that claim.
In Marja, American and Afghan troops have shown great skill in routing the Taliban occupiers. But news reports indicate that our troops under heavy attack have had to wait an hour or more for air support, so that insurgents could be positively identified. We didnt come to Marja to destroy it, or to hurt civilians, a Marine officer told reporters after waiting 90 minutes before the Cobra helicopters he had requested showed up with their Hellfire missiles. Hes right that the goal is not to kill bystanders or destroy towns, but an overemphasis on civilian protection is now putting American troops on the defensive in what is intended to be a major offensive.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Taliban propaganda = NYT
We used to talk about the longest war or the deadliest. Now we talk about which is the nicest.
Another war run by lawyers!!!!!!!!
Very true, which is why I'm surprised they allowed this point of view to be printed.
I like your screen name. Election day can't come soon enough and we have a competent Commander in Chief in charge.
best we can do for two years is gridlock the guy and prevent all of these dangerous bills from passing.
How many of our soldiers will be needlessly killed because of this insanity?
We have a muslim in the white hut. Bring the troops home. You cannot run a war like this. A waste of time, money and lives.
NYT promotes this point of view because it takes the blame that is rightfully their own and pins it on our Military.
In a short while Generals Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and others will be posthumously tried for war crimes as they gave the orders to stage the D-Day landings that caused thousands of civilian deaths in the ill-advised attempt to drive the NAZIS from occupied Europe.
Then will come the trial of Nimitz, LeMay, and MacArthur for committing the same heinous crimes in the Pacific.
The concern for those poor civilians caught in the fighting in Afghanistan will be counted in the additional deaths of young AMERICANS.
Years ago, in other wars, American officers were concerned about the welfare of their troops...FIRST.
Isn’t the writer making the point that the hands of those best able to win the war are tied by cowards in the White House?
Most Intelligence Analysts are like Hookers, Politicians or Shady Lawyers. Pay them enough and they say or do anything you want them too...How do I know? I was one.
How about this minor correction:
“Isnt the writer making the point that the hands of those best able to win the war are tied by cowards in the White House, aided and abetted by the commies at the NYT?”
In previous wars, at least up until WWII we did not consider civilians to be victims but rather enablers. We understood that to win hearts and minds it was first necessary to defeat the enemy militarily and that included the support of the citizenry. Only after their will to win was destroyed could you begin to persuade them to the victors point of view.
At this point the Afghan people cannot be won over to our way of thinking because they have not suffered the consequences of their support for the Taliban. They look at the situation and see, rightly, that they are winning therefore they have no incentive to change.
The only real solution is to unleash hell on the entire population and then work with whoever remains. At that point they will realize the futility of their previous beliefs and can be persuaded to change
Unfortunately we no longer have the intestinal fortitude to wage this type of war. Until we rediscover the benefits of all out war we are destined to suffer these eternal ‘death by a thousand cuts’ wars.
We are trying very hard to lose this war
Your error — and it is a big one — is in thinking that the nature of the war in Afghanistan is the same as WWII. But of course it is not that at all.
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