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A Changed Way of War in Afghanistan’s Skies
The New York Times ^ | January 15, 2012 | C. J. CHIVERS

Posted on 01/16/2012 7:31:36 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki

A Changed Way of War in Afghanistan’s Skies

By C. J. CHIVERS

INSIDE STRIKE FIGHTER VENGEANCE 13, over Kandahar Province, Afghanistan — Cmdr. Layne McDowell glanced over his left shoulder, through the canopy of a Navy F/A-18, to an Afghan canyon 9,000 feet below. An American infantry company was down there.

The soldiers had been inserted by helicopter. Now a ground controller wanted the three strike fighters circling overhead to send a sign — both to the grunts and to any Taliban fighters shadowing them as they walked.

Commander McDowell banked and aligned his jet’s nose with the canyon’s northeastern end. Then he followed his wingmen’s lead. He dived, pulled level at 5,000 feet and accelerated down the canyon’s axis at 620 miles per hour, broadcasting his proximity with an extended engine roar.

In the lexicon of close air support, his maneuver was a “show of presence” — a mid-altitude, nonlethal display intended to reassure ground troops and signal to the Taliban that the soldiers were not alone. It reflected a sharp shift in the application of American air power, de-emphasizing overpowering violence in favor of sorties that often end without munitions being dropped.

The use of air power has changed markedly during the long Afghan conflict, reflecting the political costs and sensitivities of civilian casualties caused by errant or indiscriminate strikes and the increasing use of aerial drones, which can watch over potential targets for extended periods with no risk to pilots or more expensive aircraft.

Fighter jets with pilots, however, remain an essential component of the war, in part because little else in the allied arsenal is considered as versatile or imposing, and because of improvements in the aircraft’s sensors.

Commander McDowell’s career has followed the arc of this changing role. At the outset of the war

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; afghanistan; airpower; usn

Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Cmdr. Layne McDowell, 38, aboard the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis. He has flown sorties over Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

1 posted on 01/16/2012 7:31:45 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Can any muzzie be considered a civilian non-jihadist non-combatant?


2 posted on 01/16/2012 7:35:42 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: sukhoi-30mki

About 6 canisters of napalm on a Taliban formation will send one helluva better message, as in “Fuck with our troops and we will fry you nuts to hell”.

These ROE suck and our guys are dying because of it.

We need a Patton (let the enemy die for their cause), not a pansy (look at me, I’m pretty) to lead us.

Oh, and about the “Coward in Chief”, impeachment is necessary, NOW!


3 posted on 01/16/2012 7:36:28 PM PST by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: Paladin2

Yes. Next question?


4 posted on 01/16/2012 7:46:55 PM PST by GAB-1955 (I write books, serve my country, love my wife and daughter, and believe in the Resurrection.)
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To: GAB-1955

Which one?


5 posted on 01/16/2012 8:02:31 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
It reflected a sharp shift in the application of American air power, de-emphasizing overpowering violence in favor of sorties that often end without munitions being dropped.

Sounds like a military strategy that could really take hold under a leader like Obama.

6 posted on 01/16/2012 8:11:53 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: MadMax, the Grinning Reaper

“About 6 canisters of napalm on a Taliban formation will send one helluva better message, as in “Fuck with our troops and we will fry you nuts to hell”.”

Mix in some lard to really send a message.


7 posted on 01/16/2012 8:15:45 PM PST by Rebelbase
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To: sukhoi-30mki
What a contrast....a REAL MAN: Cdr. McDowell, compared to the SISSY in the post 3 above this one entitled " Obama honors Martin Luther King Jr with school project" with the picture of him looking at the board, trying to figure out what it is.

And, another thing to think about is when Reagan and the Bushes were on vacations......Daddy Bush fishing....Reagan in boots chopping wood and W in a ball cap and boots using a chain saw. And, the sissy is always riding what looks like his daughters' girls' bicycle.

8 posted on 01/16/2012 8:26:45 PM PST by jmax
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Obama doesn’t want our military killing his muslim pals.


9 posted on 01/16/2012 8:39:19 PM PST by Iron Munro ("Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight he'll just kill you." John Steinbeck)
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To: jmax

The Administration is spending lots of money to educate senior military in the use of so called “soft power”. This type of show of force won’t work for long. The enemy will get the word..lie low for an hour or so and wait for the jets to leave.


10 posted on 01/16/2012 8:41:34 PM PST by Oldexpat
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Make a scary noise!

Oooooo!


11 posted on 01/16/2012 8:42:55 PM PST by null and void (Day 1091 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: Oldexpat; BlueLancer

On the Inhabitants of the Middle East

200 years from now, I want their children’s children’s children’s children to cower and cringe in fear whenever they hear the sounds of jet engines overhead because their legends tell of fire from the sky.

I want them to hide in dark caves and holes in the earth, shivering with terror whenever they hear the roar of diesel engines because the tales of their ancestors talk about metal monsters crawling over the earth, spitting death and destruction.

I want their mothers to be able to admonish them with “If you don’t behave, the Pale Destroyers will come for you”, and that will be enough to reduce them to quivering obeisance.

I want the annihilation to be so complete that their mythology will tell them of the day of judgment when the stern gods from across the sea .. the powerful ‘Mericans .. destroyed their forefathers’ wickedness.

By BlueLancer
13 SEP 01


12 posted on 01/16/2012 8:46:40 PM PST by null and void (Day 1091 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: null and void

Don’t fly too low.

You might hurt their feelings!


13 posted on 01/16/2012 8:49:36 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> - - -)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
de-emphasizing overpowering violence in favor of sorties that often end without munitions being dropped.

Isn't that special, Hussein has now introduce kinder and gentler ROE. What a Pu**Y, I am sure that impressives the muzzies so much............

14 posted on 01/16/2012 8:57:02 PM PST by doorgunner69
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To: smokingfrog
Someone better tell the UN that Americans are trying to scare the Taliban.
At least we know where they are so Obama can send a delegation
to bow, kiss their butts, and apologize.
15 posted on 01/16/2012 8:58:11 PM PST by MaxMax
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To: sukhoi-30mki
It reflected a sharp shift in the application of American air power, de-emphasizing overpowering violence in favor of sorties that often end without munitions being dropped.

So, we're scaring the taliban shitless by NOT dropping bombs on them?

Who's formulating foreign policy - Jimmy Carter?


16 posted on 01/16/2012 9:03:01 PM PST by reagan_fanatic (A communist is just a liberal in a hurry)
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To: null and void; BlueLancer

Blue put it well.


17 posted on 01/16/2012 9:34:41 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: null and void

Hummm

Hummm

I like that

Make it so


18 posted on 01/16/2012 9:37:02 PM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
In a couple of years American lawyers will be running adds over there telling them they are eligible for a settlement due to hearing loss from our fly bys.
19 posted on 01/16/2012 9:44:19 PM PST by CrazyIvan (Obama's birth certificate was found stapled to Soros's receipt.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Yes, do that a couple of times and the terrorists will figure out how to “ambush” a jet because they do not fear what it can do. We play this game, they fight it for real.


20 posted on 01/16/2012 9:56:30 PM PST by Dapper 26
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To: Paladin2

Only when they’re out of ammo.


21 posted on 01/16/2012 9:56:40 PM PST by Stonewall Jackson ("I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.")
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To: jmax

“And, the sissy is always riding what looks like his daughters’ girls’ bicycle. “

****

I’m convinced that Obongo’s a homosexual. Guy’s a wuss and a coward, to boot.


22 posted on 01/16/2012 10:09:15 PM PST by Longdriver
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To: reagan_fanatic

“Who’s formulating foreign policy - Jimmy Carter?”

Probably......and this might have Ron Paul’s fingerprints on it, too! /S


23 posted on 01/16/2012 10:49:02 PM PST by Tucker39
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To: sukhoi-30mki

hmmm,

how you gonna score that at Red Flag or Top Gun ?

Decibel levels ?


24 posted on 01/16/2012 11:26:05 PM PST by onona (FR is continuing education)
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