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.
Google the republican Karl Schwarz.
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”
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
She doesn’t sound very intelligent.
The NYT prints the TRUTH about Hussein’s sell out of the US??!! Did he authorize this article?
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.
Dear NYT: Be sure to thank the Jack Squat Barry administration for the change in ROEs.......=.=
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.
- William T. Sherman
Was he referring to the American Southerners, here? I thought it might have been the Native Americans.
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.
A tactical nuke would have sent a message, in a place like Mecca or Medina.
Afghanistan? Not much.
I’d be a wasted effort.
I’d = It’d.
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.
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.
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.
Hi-intensity conflict is not appropriate for the area.
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?
BTW, what is your definition of "win?"
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.