Monday, November 20, 2006
R. could do a much better job at explaining the physics of the situation than me. The solution of not getting shot works as long as you don't get shot. We have been finding out lately that even in asymmetrical warfare that not getting shot can even be difficult when you have huge technological superiority.
The Commander in Somalia should have had Bradley's and M1s, but someone higher in the chain figured you didn't need that fighting the tribes in Somalia. That just happened to be wrong.
Liberty or Death Reply
You are correct about the Bradleys in Somalia. The reason they were not there was this was a NATO or UN force where allies had the armor and since the Americans had not advised the French commander about this raid, he could not provide allied armor on short notice. I suspect that the American general was told to keep the raid a secret by the CIA. Telling a frog anything is the same thing as telling the enemy.
With regard to riding to contact, Bradleys trump Hummers all day long. I can't defend Rummy's decision to use Hummers; even armored Hummers vice Bradley's, but you don't need M-1's against MANPACs at short range. Both are targets and they will always shoot at the Bradleys. M-1's against MANPACs in a densely packed city where the bad guys can pop up among civilians is a no win scenario no matter what you bring to the battle. Somalia is one example. The Israelis found that out in Lebanon. The Mirkiva is a good tank. Not as strong as a M-1 defensively, but close and far superior to the armor on a Bradley. Tanks are very expensive and MANPACs are relatively cheap. So the issue is not the armor, but where you chose to fight.
If the bad guys can hide among the civilians, i.e. hide in plain sight at close range and the bad guys celebrate death not life you don't belong there. Any commander who puts you there is asking for what we have in Iraq. Even at a ten to one kill ratio, body bags + time + Drive by Media always equals an American defeat in the eyes of the American people.
The military understands this, our elected officials don't. That is why I will keep harping for a change in strategy on how military forces should be used. Shoot and scoot. Occupation in bad guy cities is always a non-starter. The Russians have supplied and taught the sheet heads how to assemble very good IEDs. Up till last year that accounted for 85% of the casualties. Now the Russians are supplying and training effective snipers. So the casualty ratio will swing more to bullets as time goes on.
On the other hand, occupation in the wild terrain is a break even. That is why Iraq not Afghanistan is going to defeat us.
Since our politcos are too stupid to learn, American generals need to go to the media and tell it like it is in very plain English "Never send American troops into occupied cities ever again". Period. What they say now are things like, "it is very difficult". That is code the politicos understand but not the American people. So stubborn leaders like Bush can say things like "it is going to take a long time". Until the American military become more blunt with politicos we are going to lose every war we fight.
The bad guys are well aware that war is a test of will between one culture and another, not one’s fighters against the other guy’s fighters. They know we are a culture that values life, has drive by media and a public that influenced by sound bites and pictures. Islamics celebrate death. American politcos are too political to heed this. So the military has to go directly to the American people and say, "no more occupation of civilian populated areas against bad guys that look like civilians". Double that for Islamics. 6 months and get out.
With the political events in Iraq of the last 30 days, Miliki declaring the Shiite militia off limits, the current Bush strategy can never succeed. We need to change strategies or go home. Of course Miliki is going to drag this thing out. We are pouring billions in military and reconstruction aid into Iraq each year. Only a fool would want that to stop.
We have a commander in chief that is so stubborn that he was willing to throw Republican congressmen and senators to their graves for supporting him. And all for a war we will lose. Even if the Iraqis could take over security tomorrow, Bush has driven the Shiites to Iran.
Bush objective, a self-sustaining free democracy that would serve as a buffer against the radicals and protect other so called moderates. Current outcome. A corrupt democracy, dead Sunnis and millions of Shiites under the influence of Iran and to become a new surrogate in addition to Hammas and Hezbollah. Hundreds of Billions of dollars and American blood wasted for another political failure.