Category Archives: Afghanistan

Afghanistan roadside bomb kills three Scottish soldiers

Future posts in the “Afghanistan” category will be posted in the AfPak Mission war on terror strategy blog at afpakmission.wordpress.com.

 

Road-side bombs again guys and it’s an attack that works for the Taliban just because we haven’t secured the few main highways we must use by building a secure perimeter around the road – barbed wire, guard posts, minefields – and thereby keeping the enemy far away from the road at all times.

Instead, our generals have for years stuck with the same old bad patrolling plan and so the enemy just watches the road and after one patrol has passed and before the next patrol arrives, the enemy times it correctly to sneak up to the road and lay their road-side bombs.

The enemy can sneak up to the road so easily because they don’t have to cross a minefield, they don’t have to penetrate barbed wire and there isn’t guard posts with guards with machine guns watching over the land either side of the road 24/7, defending the approaches to the road the whole length of the road.

Then the next patrol or some other vehicle later on comes along the road and gets blown up by the road-side bomb we failed to stop the enemy planting in the first place.

BBC: Afghanistan roadside bomb kills three British soldiers

Three British soldiers have died in Afghanistan after their armoured vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Helmand, the Ministry of Defence said.

The soldiers were from the Royal Highland Fusiliers, the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland. Next of kin have been informed.

Six other soldiers were also injured after the bomb blast on Tuesday.

The soldiers were travelling in the heavily armoured Mastiff vehicle on a routine patrol in the district of Nahr-e Saraj when the blast happened.

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Here’s what my solution to create a secure perimeter for the supply roads might look like.

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Can you see how that brings the road “inside the wire”? That’s a plan that could work to keep the main highways safe to use.

Mine is not a plan for the small side-roads far away from the highways. We don’t have to use these side-roads to supply our main bases. We should only have our main bases next to the main supply roads. We should not have isolated bases which are difficult to supply. We need to abandon those isolated bases in bandit territory and fight the enemy there using air-power, aerial bombing, drones, attack helicopters, airborne raids and so on. There’s no need to drive to those out-of-the-way hideouts the enemy has.

Read Peter Dow’s Secure supply routes plan in full in the topic Military strategy against the Taliban in Afghanistan & Pakistan in the Republican Intelligence forum.

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NATO & Afghan forces. Green-on-blue insider attacks. The solution.

Split up the Afghan green force into two distinct forces -

  • a national Afghan army which Afghans pay for and is commanded by the Afghan president and whichever general he/she wants to appoint. (“dark green”)

  • a NATO-ISAF auxiliary force of Afghans and others, funded by the US and other NATO countries and international donors. This would be commanded by our generals. (“light green”)

The Afghan National Army, the “green” force is rotten, if not to its core then to much of the periphery. Some of the green is more like gangrene (gan-green, get it! )

The problem I see is in the disconnect between the political control (Karzai) and the funding (mostly from the USA but anyway internationally funded).

Wikipedia: Afghan National Army
The new Afghan National Army was founded with the issue of a decree by President Hamid Karzai on December 1, 2002

Karzai as the “duly” (ahem) elected president of Afghanistan is perfectly entitled to run an Afghan national army but Afghans should pay for that themselves.

Afghanistan is a poor nation and could not afford that much of an army but if they paid for it themselves, at least the Afghan national army would likely be honest, accountable to Afghans and take on limited tasks – secure the presidential palace, military headquarters and might be up to defending the capital Kabul and surrounding land, maybe.

Now the issue is this – to secure all of Afghanistan, even to secure our supply routes, we need lots of troops and it makes sense to have some kind of Afghan force to help us – but we need a bigger and better green force than the Afghans can afford to pay for. (Also why would a national Afghan force want to prioritise defending our supply routes? They wouldn’t want to.)

So the West, NATO needs to pay for some green Afghan forces – that’s a good idea, if, if, if, if and only if, those green forces we are paying for are auxiliary to NATO-ISAF – run by NATO-ISAF – under the control of a NATO general, maybe an American general if you could find a good one to do it.

That way we would only recruit capable Afghans into the green force we pay for and interact with daily. We’d be sure our green troops were loyal – wouldn’t shoot our blue troops.

No way would we have any incentive to spend our own money on disloyal incapable Afghans in green uniform so we would not do it, if we had political and military control over our green forces, which we would have if they were called “The NATO-ISAF Afghan auxiliary force” – with no pretence of them being an Afghan national force under Karzai.

However, some idiot has come up with the idea of paying Afghans to have an army funded by us but controlled by Karzai so there is no accountability. The people in charge, deciding who to recruit, can recruit bad soldiers because they get paid more by the US for soldiers, whether they be bad soldiers or not.

Why wouldn’t Karzai and this guy

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Lt. Gen. Sher Mohammad Karim, Commander of the Afghan National Army

recruit junkies, thieves, murderers and agents for the Taliban into the Afghan National Army?

Why wouldn’t they recruit anybody they can find into the Afghan national army if, for every soldier they can name, they get paid more US dollars?

Where’s the incentive for Karzai and Karim to recruit only good soldiers? There isn’t any incentive at all.

Again the US ends up funding corruption.

If a green soldier kills a blue then who gets held responsible in the chain of command?

Nobody gets held responsible.

Who should get held responsible? The US and NATO should. We should blame ourselves for paying anything for an army which we do not have any political control over.

What on earth does Panetta (and what did Gates before him) think he is (was) doing trusting this guy Karzai and his general Karim with billions of US tax-payer dollars to pay for a green army?

Why are NATO defence ministers happy with the poor leadership from NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James Stavridis? Shouldn’t the NATO leaders have spotted this fatal flaw in green troop organisation and tried to re-organise green forces as I suggest here, if they know what they are doing (which they don’t)?

The competent answer to green on blue attacks is to split up the Afghan army into two distinct forces -

  • a national Afghan army which Afghans pay for and is commanded by the Afghan president and whichever general he/she wants to appoint. (dark green)
  • a NATO-ISAF auxiliary force of Afghans and others, funded by the US and other NATO countries and international donors. This would be commanded by our generals. (light green)

So there should be two green armies – each of a different shade of green. Karzai’s dark green he would use to defend himself and his capital. Our light green we would use to defend our supply routes and to support our operations in Afghanistan generally.

Only when the Afghan economy had grown to the point that they could afford to pay for a big enough army to defend the whole country would we transfer our light green army over to Afghan national control and then we could leave Afghanistan in the hands of Afghans.

So long as we are paying for an Afghan force we must retain political control over it otherwise it fuels corruption and does little or nothing to help to fight the enemy we are trying to defeat and the green-on-blue attacks simply undermine political support for the whole Afghanistan / Pakistan mission.

Peter Dow, August 2012

More AfPak strategy in the Republican Intelligence forum
It’s never too late to learn lessons and adopt an alternative competent and aggressive military strategy and to that end, I have published a detailed improved AfPak military strategy in posts in the Republican Intelligence forum which I administer.

Click on these links below to read the posts with those subject titles. To proceed it may help you to know that the answer to the gate-keeper question in the For Freedom Forums is “Braveheart”.

These links are to posts in the same topic, so you only need to click to the correct page then you can scroll to the other posts in the topic on the same page.

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Page 2 posts

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Afghanistan – Pakistan (AfPak) military strategy and the war on terror

Weak strategic thinking and planning by US and then NATO generals has dragged out the Western intervention in Afghanistan since 2001 and caused far more casualties to our soldiers than was ever necessary.

The military general staff has lacked vision about the enemy and failed to comprehend and react appropriately to intelligence reports that Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other jihadi terror groups are proxies for hostile states, typically managed from Pakistan and funded from Saudi Arabia.

Military strategic essentials have been neglected, such as - when occupying territory, always ensure secure supply routes from one strong point to another.

Instead NATO-ISAF forces in Afghanistan have been deployed in isolated bases, deployed more like tethered goats as bait for the enemy than a conquering or liberating army.

Some combination of military incompetence by the generals and a preference for appeasement on the part of the civilian political leadership has perversely left the West bribing our enemies within the Pakistani terrorist-proxy-controlling state and continuing business-as-usual with our enemies in the Saudi jihadi-financing state.

It’s never too late to learn lessons and adopt an alternative competent and aggressive military strategy and to that end, I have published a detailed improved AfPak military strategy in posts in the Republican Intelligence forum which I administer.

Click on these links below to read the posts with those subject titles. To proceed it may help you to know that the answer to the gate-keeper question in the For Freedom Forums is “Braveheart”.

These links are to posts in the same topic, so you only need to click to the correct page then you can scroll to the other posts in the topic on the same page.

Page 1 posts

Page 2 posts

Leave a comment

Filed under Afghanistan