War is not 9 to 5

THE military tactic most favoured by the coalition in Afghanistan – night raids by special forces to kill or capture insurgents – has been highly criticised in a report that suggests it creates as many enemies as it eliminates. A report by two private organisations, the Open Society Foundations and The Liaison Office, to be released in Kabul today, said these raids were occurring at the rate of up to 40 a night and the troops were detaining thousands of suspected insurgents. Most were found to be innocent and released, the researchers said. When human rights lawyers make statements just look at who would benefit if the military listened to them – The Taliban, that’s who! Warfare is a 24/7 industry and if night time operations upset some people then that’s just how it works.


  • Kev

    There are more than a few contradictions here.

    “detaining thousands of suspected insurgents”
    “Most were found to be innocent and released”
    The two statements don’t marry up.

    It also occurs to me that if you were dragged from your bed in the middle of the night at gunpoint by foreign troops, you might be more than a little pissed off. If you are sufficiently pissed off, you might at the least be sympathetic to the Taliban, or at the most join them.

    “if night time operations upset some people”

    Depends who gets upset. If it’s the local Afghans who we are trying to win over, the raids by any definition are counter productive.

  • 17 bobby red-herring has lost his comprehension goggles… Again.

    “There are more than a few contradictions here.
    “detaining thousands of suspected insurgents”
    “Most were found to be innocent and released”
    The two statements don’t marry up.”

    There is no contradiction at all. It’s plain English. Thousands of people suspected of being insurgents are rounded up. When they are checked out those who are found not to be involved with the Taliban are released. What’s so hard to understand?

    As for the silly “raids by any definition are counterproductive” rubbish, you obviously haven’t read the ADF response. But then as you’re a self-described lefty you’d be happy to see any criticism of operations which might lead to the defeat of the US led coalition.

    I wonder, what do you think about the Taliban’s night time operations? Are they “counterproductive” too? Or merely the justifiable response of a freedom loving xenophobic misogynist peoples to the naked neo-colonialist aggression of the US led western military industrial complex’s hegemony?

  • Here is the quote from Open Society Foundations site and the whinging comes from a human rights lawyer on the payroll. She typically does not understand the tactics involved and the reduction in casualties at the coal face by using this tactic. She also does not understand that most of these raids are targeted and not done ad hoc. She fails to mention whether a non-combatant is a neutral civilian or a link in the network that the raids are intending to break up.
    You’d be proud of me Bobby….cut and pasted for you.

    \”Surge in Night Raids Fuels Afghan Anger
    Report Shows Blowback from Raids Undermines U.S. and ISAF Reforms
    Press Release
    Date: September 19, 2011
    Contact: Gabi Chojkier

    Kabul, Afghanistan—Ten years after the invasion of Afghanistan, security is at its worst level since the fall of the Taliban. U.S. and NATO forces argue that night raids are their best tool against insurgents, but a new report by the Open Society Foundations and The Liaison Office finds that the cost of the raids outweighs the benefits.

    Though international forces have improved the conduct of raids, the report, The Cost of Kill/Capture: Impact of Night Raids on Afghan Civilians, found that Afghan recognition of these efforts has been undercut by the increased number of raids.

    “International forces have made big improvements in the last year, reducing civilian casualties and improving accuracy. However, many more civilians are now subjected to night raids, which cause lasting harm even when no casualties result.” said Erica Gaston, a human rights lawyer for the Open Society Foundations and co-author of the report.

    An estimated 12 to 20 night raids now occur per night, resulting in thousands of detentions per year, many of whom are non-combatants. Mass detention operations, holding entire villages for questioning on site for prolonged periods of time, may violate international prohibitions against indiscriminate detention, the report found.

    Civilians feel caught between the warring parties, and often blame international forces. As one man from Nangarhar, interviewed in the report said, “They claim to be against terrorists, but what they are doing is terrorism. It spreads terror. It creates more violence.” Weak accountability mechanisms where civilian casualties and mistaken detention occur and a failure to explore alternatives to night raids further increase anger over the raids.

    The public resentment generated by night raids obscures good faith efforts by international forces to reduce civilian casualties and improve security, and is a stumbling block to a long-term U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership. International forces argue that night raids are invaluable because they disrupt insurgent networks, but the report suggests this is outweighed by the human and strategic costs.

    “In the last two years, as the rate of night raids has risen, insurgent attacks have increased dramatically. Afghan civilians are bearing the brunt of the surge in raids, without seeing security improvements,” Gaston said.”

    • Open Society Foundations is just another George Soros sponsored anti-US propaganda site.

      It has zero credibility except for those like 17 bobby red-herring who troll the interweb looking for anything that remotely supports their execrable lefty ideology.

      Typically their reports contain ‘proof’ in the form of anonymous comments like “As one man from Nangarhar, interviewed in the report said…”

      Well as one man in Nangarhar recently interviewed for my report said “the war in Afghanistan is proceeding very well, I couldn’t be happier with the exemplary conduct of coalition troops especially the Australians.” “I love vegemite, meat pies, Holden cars and a few illicit sips of Fosters too” he added.

  • “17 bobby red-herring has lost his comprehension goggles”
    The problem is not my lack of comprehension, but yours. By any measure, if a tactic is as counterproductive as this one (by many reports including those from the US military) continuing to use it defies comprehension –

    “The percentage of Taliban roadside bombs turned in had been averaging 3.5% from November 2009 through March 2010, according to official statistics from JIEDDO. But as soon as the SOF raids began in Kandahar in April, the percentage of turn-ins fell precipitously to 1.5%, despite the fact that the number of IEDs remained about the same as the previous month. The turn-in ratio continued to average 1.5% through July.” (this is based on JIEDDO’s own statistics) –

    See – http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LI17Df03.html

    Citing the Taliban’s activity is a red herring. This war is ostensibly prosecuted to ensure our national security.

    The people bearing the brunt of this ill-advised adventure are the ISAF personnel and the Afghani people.

    “tactics involved and the reduction in casualties at the coal face”

    Which reduction of casualities? In the first place, Australian casualities have increased recently. There’s no established link between this and the night raids, but I doubt that they’ve created any feeling of sympathy for the ADF by the Afghans involved.

    Afghani’s killed in the night raids amount to 10% of all civilian casualities, and the last twelve months have recorded the highest rate of civilian casualities so far.

    For further accounts of the outcomes of some of these night raids see –



    Put simply, a tactic that is showing no positive results for either the ISAF or the civilian population needs to be questioned. Who does the questioning is not the issue.

    • Bobby, this tactic has been used for years. It was used during Pheonix which you will remember. It was used nightly in Iraq, as witnessed by my son. No doubt it has been used extensively in Afg. To carry out this type of op during daylight would be fraught with all sorts of perilous outcomes given that surprise, fear and speed of deployment would be affected during the day. This in itself reduces the likelihood of casualties….what was the quote…..10 percent of civ. casualties as result of these sorties….that means ninety percent by other methods used. As this an American tactic I don’t understand your reference to Aus. casualties.

  • “The problem is not my lack of comprehension, but yours. By any measure, if a tactic is as counterproductive as this one…”

    Caught out posting rubbish again 17 bobby-red herring spins like a top and vomits up another rambling list of red-herrings as he tries to deflect attention from his silly post.

    Amusingly he tries to support his off topic ramblings by linking to the scribblings of Gareth Porter, a self-described “anti-war activist” who so loathes the USA that his anti-US activism extends from the discredited so-called “Winter Soldier” anti-Vietnam War exercise with its fake soldiers and their fake testimony to support for Jane Fonda’s treasonous visit to North Vietnam.

    His loathsome efforts cross the decades to similar dishonest anti-US campaigns funded by Saddam Hussein’s oil-for-food money and presidential hopefuls like John ‘silver stars’ Kerry.

    The highlight of his career though was serving as a propagandist for Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge alongside that well known scumbag Wilfred Burchett.

    After peddling his disinformation for years trying to discredit the US in Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, South and Central America, Africa, the Middle East and now Afghanistan, Porter is the perfect source for 17 bobby red-herring leftist dissembling – birds of a feather etc.

  • OK you’ve got that off your chest – now deal with the substance of my post including the following facts (confirmed by JIEDDO’s own sources) –
    1. The percentage of civilian reporting of IEDS has reduced since the use of SOF night raids.
    2. IEDs are the major source of ADF casualties.
    2. Casualty rates, both Afghan and ADF, have increased during the last twelve months.
    And somehow or other, Wilfred Burchett has insinuated his way into a discussion about Afghanistan – devilishly clever these Communists.
    BTW – tell me what’s off-topic about a comment on Kev’s post which was about commentary on the night raids.
    While you’re at it you can explain the relevance of John Kerry, Saddam Hussein and Pol Pot to night raids in Afghanistan.
    I’m surprised you didn’t include Donald Duck – he’s equally relevant.

  • “…now deal with the substance of my post…”

    Your post, like the articles you linked to support it, has no substance.

    That you are happy travelling with Kerry and Burchett et al is no surprise.

  • PeterW is in denial. He has avoided dealing with the statistics provided by JIEDDO, because he has no argument, and the best he can do is to attempt distraction using forty year old red herrings. Sorry, won’t wash….

    Bob – The Phoenix program was characterised by the following –

    “The problem was, how do you find the people on the blacklist? It’s not like you had their address and telephone number. The normal procedure would be to go into a village and just grab someone and say, ‘Where’s Nguyen so-and-so?’ Half the time the people were so afraid they would not say anything. Then a Phoenix team would take the informant, put a sandbag over his head, poke out two holes so he could see, put commo wire around his neck like a long leash, and walk him through the village and say, ‘When we go by Nguyen’s house scratch your head.’ Then that night Phoenix would come back, knock on the door, and say, ‘April Fool, motherfucker.’ Whoever answered the door would get wasted. As far as they were concerned whoever answered was a Communist, including family members. Sometimes they’d come back to camp with ears to prove that they killed people.
    If Phoenix goes in and murders someone who was not Viet Cong, and they abuse the mother and the sister, well anybody in the family who survives is going to be a card-carrying Communist the next afternoon.”1
    1. Lieutenant Vincent Okamoto, who received the Distinguished Service Cross, for service in Vietnam, quoted in “Patriots – the Vietnam War Remembered from all Sides” – Christian G Appy – Penguin Group USA 2004.
    Whilst Phoenix was successful in the sense that it made things very tough for the Communists, it reinforced recruitment to the NLF, and turned many uncommitted Vietnamese against the Americans. If we forget the past, we are condemned to repeat it.
    Unfortunately, our pollies have forgotten the lessons learnt 40 years ago. Asking soldiers to fight insurgencies (these conflicts are mislabelled “wars”) is tantamount to asking miners to fix household plumbing. It will end in tears.

    • I have no time to search the net for anti-US sentiment but did come across a piece by a USMC chap on a CIA website

      Interesting reading by a man who as there.

      • Kev, the recommendations at the end of Finlayson’s report make interesting reading. He concludes that these tactics can be successful (even using local police personnel) if the following conditions (for example) are met –
        “The units are imbued with both professional and civic ethical standards that make them accountable to the people for their actions, not only to specific government officials or political leaders”.
        “They are subject to effective judicial and political oversight and not free to conduct unauthorized missions, without orders from a competent legal authority.”
        “If US advisors are assigned to such a unit, they should receive pre-assignment training concentrating on language proficiency, cultural sensitivity, intelligence management, small unit tactics, and staff planning.”
        A really interesting analysis would be to determine if these conditions (and others recommended by Finlayson) are being met in the current programme in Afghanistan.
        PeterW, the topic of the Phoenix programme was introduced into this discussion by Bob (although he can’t spell it – called it “Pheonix”), not me, so if you consider it a red herring, you should be calling him an idiot.
        I’m still waiting for your comment on JIEDDO’s statistics.

        • Aw comon Booby, theirs a diferance between a spelling mistake and a typographical error, you know. I’d reckon you’d know how sometimes one hand moves quicker than the other…..wink wink nudge nudge.

        • “sometimes one hand moves quicker than the other”
          Expertise developed through years of practice…..

    • I knew you’d have read about it Bobby, probably not so much remembered it. There’s been a lot of time to gather a few scraps of information about the methods and the motivation behind Phoenix, but the methods have been refined no doubt to accomodate the media and those too “refined” to accept that this is an accepted method of dealing with “insurgencies”. Did you mention forty years? I guess that with all the changes in weapons and tactics that have taken place in that time “night time raids by Spec. ops teams” has stood the test of time. With that in mind there must be some positives coming from the method or it would have been dropped. I hazard a guess that there is some information not available to the lay person or the media. If you think night raids have been in use for a time that can be determined by the media or public then you are dreaming and therefore the correlation between the raids and IED reporting is inherently flawed. A bit like suggesting that man made CO2 emissions are the reason for more rapid changes in climate when no other sources are factored into the equation. I guess if you go back 40 yrs or so IEDs, mines and booby traps were a major source of casualties. Seems like not much has changed. Casualties inflicted by remote means are less likely to result in confrontation and a risk of suffering casualties yourself. Let’s use your logic and say that if there are fewer IEDs being pointed out then it may be possible that casualties are going up as a direct result of the enemy getting better at concealing the IEDs.
      Question…..what is/was an uncommitted Vietnamese?

  • “…attempt distraction using forty year old red herrings.”

    “Unfortunately, our pollies have forgotten the lessons learnt 40 years ago.”

    What was that about “won’t wash…” Ha ha ha ha… 17 bobby red-herring idiot.

  • Oh spare me. What would a nasho private soldier in an Inf Battalion know about Phoenix?

    Three fifths of fuck all.

    I don’t care how many books you have read since 1970, dogtag, your VN service does not give you any more credibility than the garbo who who picks up my bin every Tuesday.

    • PQ….isn’t that a common failing with academicks, read a lot, usually what they choose and then select what they like (cherry pick) and then as an “expert” in the field write a thesis and present it to a politician who takes it as gospel and decides that a carbon tax is the way out of a budget deficit. Funny how an academic in one field can latch onto information of another “expert” in a different field, ie a fiscal expert who has cherry picked information on climate change and refers only to the views that enforce his views or agender. Seems to be the way of the world now. Yeah I know its academic.

  • PQ – show me where I claim credibility on this issue on the basis of my service.
    Then have a go at debating the topic…your credibility obviously being so superior and all.

  • “PeterW, the topic of the Phoenix programme was introduced into this discussion by Bob, not me, so if you consider it a red herring, you should be calling him an idiot. I’m still waiting for your comment on JIEDDO’s statistics.”

    I haven’t mentioned feenix, either as a red-herring or not, 17 bobby red-herring pedant. Obviously you’re spinning so fast you can’t remember what you wrote, where you are or which poster was responsible for each of the fine fiskings of your fiction above.

    The topic of this thread is the drivel copy and pasted by the Australian’s speciously titled ‘defence editor’. The report he quotes is just another polemic written by a bunch of anti-US quislings sponsored by the Soros Foundation. That the Australian’s Ctl C – Ctrl V specialist didn’t have the wit to check the validity of the crap he published is as unremarkable as your credulous acceptance of anything written by Porter, Gaston and their fellow travellers.

    1. The percentage of civilian reporting of IEDS has reduced since the use of SOF night raids.

    Fewer IED emplacements are being witnessed by civilians – our AO has extended into more sparsely populated country.

    2. IEDs are the major source of ADF casualties.

    Really, what a revelation.

    3. Casualty rates, both Afghan and ADF, have increased during the last twelve months.

    Another amazing revelation – they have across the country as the tempo of operations increases. Or as JIEDDO puts it: “In Afghanistan, as we have witnessed escalated use of IEDs in response to the surge, we have accordingly shifted our resources to enable and enhance mission accomplishment for the warfighter. Insurgents also continued elevated targeting rates of dismounted forces due to the increase of dismounted operations by CF forces in support of counterinsurgency (COIN) operations.”

    Next you’ll be telling us the rate of global warming has increased in inverse proportion to the number of privateers and buccaneers in the Caribbean therefore we need more swashbucklers to stabilise the climate below a 2C rise by 2100.

    Attack the Network, Defeat the Device, and Train the Force.

  • “Fewer IED emplacements are being witnessed by civilians – our AO has extended into more sparsely populated country.”
    They measured the rate of reporting not the rate of witnessing, and the reports are tabulated for the same areas over time. Show me where you found this “rate of witnessing” data in JIEDDO’s report.
    Some useful information about IEDs in Afghanistan is held in this CSIC report – http://csis.org/files/publication/100722_IED_INCIDENTS_IN_AFGHANISTAN.pdf
    It shows, amongst other things, that the rate of IED related incidents has increased exponentially since 2009. The only figure that has not increased at anywhere the same rate is the turn-in data. This is demonstrated clearly by the graph on page 4 of the report. To suggest that this is the result of night raids is an hypothesis, yet to be proved, but to write it off as impossible or unlikely is also an hypothesis. It is entirely reasonable (unless you’re PeterW) to suggest that night raids may be a factor.
    The CSIC report has been critiqued in the Small Wars Journal. This discussion by Cuomo and Jordan of these data, and their conclusion that it is misleading is based on operational experience. The contention that operational experience is used to advance or counter how data is read needs analysis. One the one hand, it is anecdotal – on the other, credible. See – http://smallwarsjournal/doc-temp/586-cuomo.pdf
    It’s a straightforward discussion. The data is there – the interpretation differs. What is incontrovertible is the necessity to win the local politics. To quote Marine Lieutenant General “Brute” Krulak –
    “All together, the first marines in Vietnam created an innovative strategy that was well attuned to the problems. It recognised that the people themselves were both the battlefield and the objectives and that the usual tactical objectives – hills, bridges, rivers – meant little and the usual battlefield statistics – enemy killed and wounded – meant even less…..if the people were for you, you would triumph in the end. If they were against you, the war would bleed you dry and you would be defeated”. See- http://smallwarsjournal.com/documents/krulak.htm

  • “They measured the rate of reporting not the rate of witnessing…”

    Ha ha ha ha ha, what a prat. JIEDDO does good work, but it doesn’t have a clairvoyant section in its ORBAT. If the number of people witnessing IEDs being placed falls or remains constant, oddly enough there will be a corresponding fall, or not, in the number of reports of said IEDs.

    But not in 17 bobby red-herring pedant’s sclerotic world, no the failure of the number of reported IEDs to keep pace with the number found or detonated is the fault of ‘night raids’, no other explanation is possible.

    Unless JIEDDO employs mind readers who scan the population to discover how many witnesses withheld their nocturnal observations JIEDDO cannot know how many witnessed IED emplacements were not reported. 17 bobby red-herring’s favourite PowerPoint presentation also reports the rate of effectiveness of IEDs has fallen too. This supports the ‘hypothesis’ that IEDs are being placed hastily along the more remote routes used by coalition forces as they take the fight into the less populated regions of Afghanistan. It might also cross a reasonable person’s mind that JIEDDO has improved its technological ability to detect IEDs – after all that is its mission.

    But this argument is hypothetical, what do USMC Captains Jordan and Cuomo discuss in their critique of 17 bobby red-herring’s PowerPoint slides. Does their front-line operational experience support the data in bobby’s PowerPoint presentation?

    (And we can’t “See – http://smallwarsjournal/doc-temp/586-cuomo.pdf” because you’ve not managed to copy and paste the URL correctly. Perhaps you should seek Ctrl C – Ctrl V training from the Australian’s so-called ‘Defence Editor’.)

    See: http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/journal/docs-temp/586-cuomo.pdf

    Unsurprisingly 17 billy-bob’s two USMC company commanders completely contradict his PowerPoint presentation’s claims of a declining rate of IED reporting. They tell us: “The Marines and Sailors in our two rifle companies, along with their ANSF partners, found more than 220 IEDs during our deployment. In stark contrast to the reported 3-7% turn-in ratio in the CSIS Report [bobby’s PowerPoint slides], approximately 85% of our company’s IED finds were due directly to local national tips, if not local nationals digging the IEDs out of the ground for us. Further, we, partnered with our ANA brothers, locked up, killed, and/or reconciled the majority of Taliban fighters in the IED cells within our company areas of operations (AO’s) — primarily due to local national tips.”

    The two captains continue: “While unknown, we suspect the turn-in ratio presented in the CSIS report is significantly lower than our unit’s experience, and most likely far lower than what most units experience, because nowhere in the NATO UXO/IED 9-line report is a unit required to state whether an IED find or attack was with or without the aid of a local national tip.”

    They also report: “the majority of the IEDs [their units detected] themselves were emplaced in the ground months before we arrived in Afghanistan.” And that: “almost 100% of our [recently emplaced] IED finds were due directly to local national tips.”

    Captains Gorman and Cuomo conclude their critique of the IED PowerPoint slides with: “Our great country will likely be in Afghanistan for years to come. As such, we think it is important that when drawing conclusions about COIN’s effectiveness, and specifically the best way to attack the enemy’s IEDs capabilities, that we all dig much, much deeper than PowerPoint slide summaries for context.”

    After reading Jordan and Cuomo’s critique which demolishes his argument completely 17 bobby red-herring counters with: “The contention that operational experience is used to advance or counter how data is read needs analysis.”

    Breathtaking, what a bumbling academic fool…

    To re-cap, units are not required to report whether an IED was detected as a result of a ‘tip’ from locals, but Captains Jordan and Cuomo tell us from their experience in the field that nearly 100% of the IEDs they detected were as a result of tips from locals.

    Rather than ‘needing analysis’, the disconnect between 17 bobby red-herring’s ‘rear echelon’ report on the number of IEDs turned-in (which is based on a ‘form’ without a line for indicating whether or not an IED was turned in or not) and the real-world experiences of those at the pointy end would lead a reasonable person to come to the conclusion the PowerPoint slides must contain incomplete data and therefore be useless for any purpose.

    But what does all this tell us about 17 bobby red-herring’s conclusion that it, whatever ‘it’ is now, is all the fault of night operations?

    That’s right – as usual he’s full of shit.


    “…of these data…” How did I know 17 bobby red-herring would subscribe to the appalling belief that the word ‘data’ is plural… The language of this blog is English 17 bobby red-herring pedant, not Latin. ‘Data’ has been in common use as a singular mass noun for five hundred years.

    As the admirable Norman Gray puts it:

    “The word `data’, in English, is a singular mass noun. It is thus a deliberate archaism and a grammatical and stylistic error to use it as a plural. The Latin word data is the neuter plural past participle of the first conjugation verb dare, `to give’.

    The Latin word ‘data’ appears to have made its way into English in the mid-17th century making its first appearance in the 1646 sentence `From all this heap of data it would not follow that it was necessary.’

    Note that this very first appearance of the word in English refers to a quantity of data, a `heap’, rather than a number. The English word `data’ is therefore a noun referring variously to measurements, observations, images, and the other raw materials of scientific enquiry. `Data’ now refers to a mass of raw information, which is measure rather than counted, and this is as true now as it was when the word made its 1646 debut.

    ‘Data’ is naturally and consistently used as a mass noun in conversation: the question is asked how much data an instrument produces, not how many; it is asked how data is archived, not how they are archived; there is talk of less data rather than fewer; and talk of data having units, saying they have a megabyte of data, or 10 CDs, or three nights, and never saying `I have 1000 data’ and expecting to be understood.

    The universal perception of data as measured rather than counted puts the word firmly and unambiguously in the same grammatical category as `coal’, `wheat’ and `ore’, which is that of the mass, or aggregate, noun.

    As such, it is always and unavoidably grammatically singular. No one would ask `how many wheat do you have?’ or say that `the ore are in the train’ if one wished to be thought a competent speaker of English; in the same way, and to the same extent, we may not ask `how many data do you have?’ or say `the data are in the file’ without committing a grammatical error.

    As a footnote; isn’t it lucky English is now genderless, making `data’ neuter, else we’d have to memorise masculine dati (dati dati datos datorum datis datis) and feminine datae, too? It’s much simpler just to speak and write English.”

    Now that is an excellent nitpicking red herring…

  • What I wrote –
    “To suggest that this is the result of night raids is an hypothesis, yet to be proved, but to write it off as impossible or unlikely is also an hypothesis”
    What PeterW claims I wrote.
    “the failure of the number of reported IEDs to keep pace with the number found or detonated is the fault of ‘night raids’, no other explanation is possible”
    Interesting habit – PeterW is actually arguing with himself. That would be a completely unproductive activity.
    But back to the original post which was about a critique of night operations. Sanity would suggest that the hypothesis that they are having a negative effect should be tested.
    To evaluate the effectiveness of any strategy when the consequences of failure could destroy the intent of the mission is critical. To dismiss a critique on the basis that it comes from a source that has an independent view is stupidity. The US military has been grappling with these issues since Vietnam, and history casts doubt on whether they have ever really understood counter insurgency warfare, even when it is clearly spelt out by their commanders –
    “The TO stresses the necessity to avoid winning tactical victories while suffering strategic defeats. Ground commanders must fully understand the delicate balance between strategic intent and tactical necessity. Commanders must prioritize operational effectiveness within their operating areas by considering the effects of their actions on the Afghan population at every stage”
    (Stanley A. McChrystal writing in COMISAF Initial Assessment E-1)
    “Between 1962 and 1968, I went to Vietnam fifty-four times for periods of five to twenty days. I saw a lot of the country, from the DMZ in the north to the Ca Mau Peninsula in the south. And I saw a lot of the people, from French-speaking dilettantes in Saigon to Moslems at Phan Rang on the seacoast to Montagnards in the hills near the Laos border. As far back as 1963, I went on operations with the Vietnamese Army and the Vietnamese Marines and saw how easily sizable enemy forces could melt into a countryside willing to support, or at least to tolerate, them. Everything I saw kept bringing me back to the basic proposition that the war could only be won when the people were protected. If the people were for you, you would triumph in the end. If they were against you, the war would bleed you dry and you would be defeated.”
    (Marine Lieutenant General “Brute” Krulak from the Small Wars Journal that PeterW had trouble finding – repeated for his benefit)
    As I said, failing to evaluate the efficacy of night raids resembles miners doing household plumbing. It will be interesting to see where this campaign is at five years from now. In the meantime Australians are in harms way. This in itself ought to be enough to demand an honest assessment.

  • In five years time Bobby, your mate Smith and his other mates have made it a possibility that some of our daughters/grand daughters may also be in harms way. Look to the positives though, with the massive influx of female recruits prepared to go to the front line there may be no need for future conscription and therefore fewer ex-conscripts likely to moan about it in their fifties and sixties. Then again if things became dire enough to have conscription reintroduced I wonder if females would be granted an exemption based on gender. A whole new line of thought has just been introduced…..now back to the subject…..

  • “US military has been grappling with these issues since Vietnam…”

    Wasn’t it 17 bobby red-herring that wrote: “the best he can do is to attempt distraction using forty year old red herrings. Sorry, won’t wash….”


    “from the Small Wars Journal that PeterW had trouble finding…”

    I didn’t have trouble finding it 17 bobby red-herring liar. You failed to competently copy and paste the URL of a source you suggested readers of your post visit.

    It’s something which should have been apparent even to you as the ‘.com’ was absent from the domain name.

    Perhaps it’s a task beyond you – like asking a plumber to mine something or other…

  • The problem with Jamestown Foundation and the other viauors neocon strongeholds is they think that every person on this earth entered into a contractual agreement to conduct warfare in an institutionalized and Westernized manner upon being birthed. As if warfare were a fucking game of football where you’re only allowed to hit one another when your opponents have their pads on and are ready to be hit.Also, re: the attempted car bombings’, you should read from Friday’s Register. Best line being: Only, the device could not have detonated. Not under any circumstances. You see, the terrorist wannabe clown who built it left out a crucial element: an oxidiser. The device was pure pre-teen boy fantasy.

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