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NYT: Empty Skies Over Afghanistan
NYT ^ | 02/18/10 | LARA M. DADKHAH

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 population’s 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 didn’t 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. He’s 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 ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; enemypropaganda; marjah; military; obama; taliban; wot
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Lara M. Dadkhah is an intelligence analyst.
1 posted on 02/27/2010 10:49:37 AM PST by HokieMom
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To: HokieMom
“American and NATO military leaders — worried by Taliban propaganda claiming that air strikes have killed an inordinate number of civilians...”

Taliban propaganda = NYT

2 posted on 02/27/2010 10:52:57 AM PST by Berlin_Freeper
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To: HokieMom

We used to talk about the longest war or the deadliest. Now we talk about which is the nicest.


3 posted on 02/27/2010 10:53:04 AM PST by votemout
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To: HokieMom

Another war run by lawyers!!!!!!!!


4 posted on 02/27/2010 10:53:53 AM PST by Highest Authority (DemonRats are pure EVIL)
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To: Berlin_Freeper
Taliban propaganda = NYT

Very true, which is why I'm surprised they allowed this point of view to be printed.

5 posted on 02/27/2010 10:55:24 AM PST by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: HokieMom
Lara M. Dadkhah is an intelligence analyst for the Taliban.
6 posted on 02/27/2010 10:58:58 AM PST by verity (Obama Lies)
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To: votemout
Now we talk about which is the nicest.

I like your screen name. Election day can't come soon enough and we have a competent Commander in Chief in charge.

7 posted on 02/27/2010 11:01:13 AM PST by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: HokieMom

best we can do for two years is gridlock the guy and prevent all of these dangerous bills from passing.


8 posted on 02/27/2010 11:02:20 AM PST by votemout
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To: HokieMom

How many of our soldiers will be needlessly killed because of this insanity?


9 posted on 02/27/2010 11:03:13 AM PST by smokingfrog (You can't ignore your boss and expect to keep your job... WWW.filipthishouse2010.com)
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To: Highest Authority

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.


10 posted on 02/27/2010 11:05:02 AM PST by Frantzie (TV - sending Americans towards Islamic serfdom - Cancel TV service NOW)
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To: HokieMom

NYT promotes this point of view because it takes the blame that is rightfully their own and pins it on our Military.


11 posted on 02/27/2010 11:05:05 AM PST by Berlin_Freeper
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To: HokieMom; Mrs. B.S. Roberts

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.


12 posted on 02/27/2010 11:06:35 AM PST by CaptainAmiigaf (NY TIMES: "We print the news as it fits our views")
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To: Berlin_Freeper

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?


13 posted on 02/27/2010 11:07:59 AM PST by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: HokieMom
"Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster...If the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity seeking...This war differs from other wars, in this particular. We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war. My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom."

~ William T. Sherman ~

14 posted on 02/27/2010 11:10:05 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: HokieMom
Devil's advocate: Is it possible that our military superiority is so overwhelming that we actually can fight nice wars now?
15 posted on 02/27/2010 11:11:20 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: HokieMom
Lara M. Dadkhah is an intelligence analyst.

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.


16 posted on 02/27/2010 11:11:59 AM PST by darkwing104 (Lets get dangerous)
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To: HokieMom
“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?”

How about this minor correction:
“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, aided and abetted by the commies at the NYT?”

17 posted on 02/27/2010 11:12:22 AM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
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To: HokieMom

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.


18 posted on 02/27/2010 11:17:47 AM PST by slumber1
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To: HokieMom

We are trying very hard to lose this war


19 posted on 02/27/2010 11:23:57 AM PST by GeronL (Political Philosophy: I Own Me (yep, boiled down to 6 letters))
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To: CaptainAmiigaf

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.


20 posted on 02/27/2010 11:27:07 AM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
...oil, . . .pipelines, and natural gas contracts.

Google the republican Karl Schwarz.

21 posted on 02/27/2010 11:29:42 AM PST by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: HokieMom

From the article:

“Wars are always ugly, and always monstrous, and best avoided. Once begun, however, the goal of even a “long war” should be victory in as short a time as possible, using every advantage you have”

^__^


22 posted on 02/27/2010 11:30:11 AM PST by happinesswithoutpeace (We are unable to transmit through conscious neural interference.)
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To: HokieMom
THE Taliban have found a way to beat American airpower. And they have managed this remarkable feat with American help. ... Gen. Stanley McChrystal, issued a directive that air strikes (and long-range artillery fire) be authorized only under “very limited and prescribed conditions.”

No not with American help, but with Sun Tzu's. Some smart a$$ in the Taliban with an IQ above 80 has read The Art of War and is following it to a tee. While conversely, WE are not.

And that means one thing -- we will lose(1).
'Heck' we may have already lost but just don't know it yet.

(1) In the 2,500 years since Sun Tzu wrote those 13 chapters on bamboo sticks, every war that has ever been fought - the winner has always followed what Sun Tzu wrote. It doesn't matter that they never heard of him or his 'book'. What matters is they did what he said to do.

23 posted on 02/27/2010 11:30:45 AM PST by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits [A. Einstein])
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To: HokieMom
We didn't learn a damn thing from Vietnam.

The Taliban ARE "civilians", dummy! Like a dead VC, they look just like a "civilian" to the anti-American maggots in the "media" propaganda machine.

24 posted on 02/27/2010 11:31:03 AM PST by FlingWingFlyer ("Suitcase Jake" RIP 02-25-10. You were one of a kind good buddy!)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Now that sir is when men were men by God and didn’t take any whimpass political correctness s***. If you want to win destroy them beat them into submission but if you want your brave young soldiers coming home in body bags well just keep on doing what your doing! I can’t stomach much more of this sisifyed crap!


25 posted on 02/27/2010 11:32:52 AM PST by timetostand (Ya say ya wanna revolution -- OK!)
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To: HokieMom

Even the NYT realizes our troops are being handicapped by these stupid rules, but they blame the military instead of the RAT politicians that cause unnecessary casualties to out own troops


26 posted on 02/27/2010 11:37:02 AM PST by ozzymandus
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To: HokieMom

Who needs SAM site and fighters to sweep the skies when you have a senior officer corps of spineless PC yes men and a socialist/muslim president? You just point out that airstikes are “culturally insensitive”. Our Government and PC Senior Officer Corps cringes in terror at the accusation.


27 posted on 02/27/2010 11:38:31 AM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: Joe 6-pack

We don’t take too kindly to that picture here in Georgia. I’d have sooner seen his horse stumble in a gopher hole and him have broken his neck during the fall....those ‘rebels’ weren’t foreigners.


28 posted on 02/27/2010 11:39:14 AM PST by Gaffer ("Profling: The only profile I need is a chalk outline around their dead ass!")
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To: HokieMom
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 population’s goodwill — have largely relinquished the strategic advantage of American air dominance.
29 posted on 02/27/2010 11:39:40 AM PST by Berlin_Freeper
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To: r9etb

Of course the nature of the two wars are different!!! The biggest of several differences is the MAIN concern of American commanders in the PAST was for the welfare of their own troops.
Another difference is that when the Americans won the killing STOPPED..completely.
When the “terrorists” win, the real killing begins.


30 posted on 02/27/2010 11:40:02 AM PST by CaptainAmiigaf (NY TIMES: "We print the news as it fits our views")
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To: HokieMom
The trouble is, no past war has ever supplied compelling proof of that claim.

Apparently the surge in Iraq was such a long time ago that it no longer qualifies as evidence for or against our tactics in Afghanistan.

Ah well, it went against the prevailing views around here anyway. Probably best to forget all about it and follow the successful Soviet model of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan.

31 posted on 02/27/2010 11:53:54 AM PST by Hoplite
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To: HokieMom

We can’t blame it all on Obama.

Bush also was into this PC war nonsense.

Smart weapons have seduced our government into thinking it has the luxury of civilizing war.

We are lucky that people became war weary in Iraq, because we inadvertantly let the enemy torture them into war weariness which brought the “awakening”.

Had we gone in total war and gotten it over with swiftly?

Hell, we can go back to desert storm on that one.

Fought a half war there. Didn’t finish the job.

Tactical nukes shold have been used immediately after 9-11 in Afghanistan’s valleys. I mean within days.

We would be talking a very different story right now.


32 posted on 02/27/2010 11:59:08 AM PST by Names Ash Housewares
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To: verity; darkwing104

Did you bother to read the article to see what the writer actually says?

The whole point was that by not using our air superiority because of possible civilian casualties, which was a conscious decision made by the White Hut and the commanders, we are losing our biggest advantage. We will either increase our chance of losing or end up dragging the war out much longer than it would have to be if we used our air resources. The author feels we should use them.

This hardly sounds favorable to the Taliban....


33 posted on 02/27/2010 12:08:26 PM PST by livius
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To: livius
I did...As a former Intelligence Analysist I know one thing...Never let your Emeny know when they are being effective. Must of never heard of Sun-Tsu


34 posted on 02/27/2010 12:14:53 PM PST by darkwing104 (Lets get dangerous)
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To: HokieMom

She doesn’t sound very intelligent.


35 posted on 02/27/2010 12:29:06 PM PST by John-Irish ("Shame of him who thinks of it''.)
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To: HokieMom

The NYT prints the TRUTH about Hussein’s sell out of the US??!! Did he authorize this article?


36 posted on 02/27/2010 12:32:29 PM PST by Oldpuppymax
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To: darkwing104

Eh, it would be an OPSEC violation to let the enemy know anything you’re working on, DW104. ;-) But I know what you’re getting at.

She sounds like an All Source analyst. I’m sure she’s updated a lot of maps, read a lot of HUMINT reports, and now thinks she’s an expert on something because she’s good at parroting other experts.

This article is a great example. I understand her point about air power. More to the point, I understand the point that ground pounders have, that she’s repeating. Still, our problem in Afghanistan is far deeper than not having the same level of air support we used to.

The red tape over here has grown out of control. It is slowly strangling our ability to do anything much more than count the days until the next RIP/TOA. It’s not just the air support that’s hamstrung. It’s everything. All most units do is hunker down on their FOB and wait for the rotation to end, because they’re not allowed or resourced to get out and get at the bad guys.

Anyway, I could go into long and not-for-this-forum detail all night, but the point being, the better analysts are usually the more well rounded individuals, with some real-world experience under their belt. I don’t get that vibe from her; I get the impression she’s just a smart gal that knows smart people, and passes their opinions along.


37 posted on 02/27/2010 12:38:26 PM PST by Steel Wolf (Obama can't fix the economy for the same reason that people who win the lottery die broke.)
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To: HokieMom

Dear NYT: Be sure to thank the Jack Squat Barry administration for the change in ROEs.......=.=


38 posted on 02/27/2010 12:59:58 PM PST by cranked
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To: Steel Wolf
Agree, most So-called "Analysts" are just Parrots, Bill Geartz is a prime example. The Good ones learn to never reveal sources and have to consider the damage if such info got into hostile hands. NYT is not helping at all.

I wonder if she had permission to submit this? or was encouraged to do so? Because is going to piss a lot of REMF's off...Her hearts is in the right place but the intention may have consequences and most desk bound Career Analyst never sees or understood that. As a field guy I am concerned about the safety of the people around me.


39 posted on 02/27/2010 1:05:24 PM PST by darkwing104 (Lets get dangerous)
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To: Gaffer; JoeSixPack
"Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster. If the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity seeking. This war differs from other wars, in this particular. We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war. My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom."

- William T. Sherman

Was he referring to the American Southerners, here? I thought it might have been the Native Americans.

40 posted on 02/27/2010 1:31:54 PM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: Names Ash Housewares
Tactical nukes shold have been used immediately after 9-11 in Afghanistan’s valleys. I mean within days.

We would be talking a very different story right now.

That has my vote.

That part of the world needed a demonstration project.

We failed to deliver.

41 posted on 02/27/2010 1:46:30 PM PST by happygrl (Continuing to predict that 0bama will resign)
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To: Names Ash Housewares

A tactical nuke would have sent a message, in a place like Mecca or Medina.

Afghanistan? Not much.

I’d be a wasted effort.


42 posted on 02/27/2010 2:19:49 PM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: Names Ash Housewares

I’d = It’d.

Whoops!


43 posted on 02/27/2010 2:20:20 PM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: darkwing104

Well, that’s true...but when they’re being effective because we’re the ones giving them the advantage, I think somebody has to stand up and say something about it.


44 posted on 02/27/2010 2:33:14 PM PST by livius
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To: livius
I read it and the author is in error. She is not an Intel Analyst for the US.

The current ROE is integral to current COIN doctrine. To change the ROE, you need to switch to hi intensity conflict. This will not be done.

45 posted on 02/27/2010 3:35:10 PM PST by verity (Obama Lies)
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To: verity

Er, that’s what she’s saying. We are so concerned about civilian casualties that the current ROE and tactics make us give up our big advantage.


46 posted on 02/27/2010 3:56:27 PM PST by livius
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To: livius

Hi-intensity conflict is not appropriate for the area.


47 posted on 02/27/2010 3:59:37 PM PST by verity (Obama Lies)
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To: verity

Her point is that this is war, it’s ugly, and civilian lives are going to be lost no matter what, so we should go for it. Why drag it out when we could win quickly?


48 posted on 02/27/2010 4:04:36 PM PST by livius
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To: livius
If civilians are killed in that manner, you simply make more enemies.

BTW, what is your definition of "win?"

49 posted on 02/27/2010 4:09:50 PM PST by verity (Obama Lies)
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To: verity

Killing the enemy and making their leaders surrender. Is there some other definition?

Her whole point is that the “kill civilians = make enemies” chant is wrong, since you will end up killing civilans anyway, although perhaps in a more drawn out way, but you will also risk losing your advantage if you drag it out. That’s one of the facts of war, like it or not.

But now that I realize that your position is the same as Bambi’s (”we’re not looking for victory”), I guess I understand where you’re coming from and why you didn’t like her analysis.


50 posted on 02/27/2010 6:17:16 PM PST by livius
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