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How should the US wage its war on terrorism?

Full-scale war via aerial bombardment and ground forces action or covert-operations conducting small but decisive strikes?
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  • Nothing beats specialized ground forces when you're looking for a few people hiding in secret underground caverns in remote mountains. But first will be a diplomatic war, as US envoys seek to bribe or scare off lesser Afghan tribes, while Green Berets provide low-profile support to the Afghan oppositionist Northern Alliance. A USD50Million ransom will buy the cooperation of drug-running gangs, various national intelligence agencies, and a lot of freelancing Afghan tribes. If these don't convince someone, somewhere to hand over or kill Bin lAden, then tougher military solutions must be used.

    Here's how a direct military sweep of Afghanistan can be done, once easier enemies are out of the way: US airborne and air-assault troops will set up armed bastions protected by heavily mined kill-zones in easily-defended border areas. They will act as the mobile main-force reserve for the big contingencies. From these special ops forces will be placed into suspected areas, directed by CIA Tactical Analysis teams, with help from British SAS commandos and Pakistani SSG military commandos . In almost all cases the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Agency will provide agents to help pinpoint and identify targets.

    US Ranger companies or even battalions will handle the "Big" spec ops missions, Army spec forces will go for pinpoint ops inland, SEALs and Marine Force Recon for the littorals. These units will be supported by the conventional land power (some armor) of the 10th Mountain Div. These lightfighters will firstly be tasked to guard logistic routes and bases (with help from friendly neighboring-country forces), and secondly to occupy areas during "beater" operations. In northern areas they can expect to coordinate campaigns with the friendly Afghan forces bolstered by Russian spec ops.
  • I bet those Russians are aching to lend a hand with the U.S. ...its payback time for the Russkies hehe.

    The U.S. SOCOM is already moving....its just a matter of time when Bin Laden will be "spotted" in the U.S. soil ;)
  • One more thing, it should super duper confidential....do you remember when the SEALs came in Somalia? They were under attack...not form the Somalis but from the media (CNN). I mean, that was suppose to be a classified operation and this media people are compromising the safety of this sailors!

    I'm sure the media will get a hold of this operations....one way or the other.
  • Originally posted by xyzseaman
    I bet those Russians are aching to lend a hand with the U.S. ...its payback time for the Russkies hehe.

    The U.S. SOCOM is already moving....its just a matter of time when Bin Laden will be "spotted" in the U.S. soil ;)

    Oh yeah, I bet those Russians want OBL as much as anyone. That USD50Million reward can buy a lot in Moscow. And before getting the money they get combat practice to frag some of the enemies who humiliated them before. They also get to be part of the Good Guys, who will be awfully generous for their help.

    BTW xyzseaman, if US and coalition forces get Bin Laden himself, will they be legally qualified for that really nice reward?
  • Originally posted by xyzseaman
    One more thing, it should super duper confidential....do you remember when the SEALs came in Somalia? They were under attack...not form the Somalis but from the media (CNN). I mean, that was suppose to be a classified operation and this media people are compromising the safety of this sailors!

    Hmm... that must be some other operation. The one I know of was the infamous Rangers/Delta/10 Mtn Div raid in Mogadishi which went all to hell. Over 500 Somalis died, only 18 Americans did. The Rangers were getting ready to go back in and finish the job the next day. The Somalis knew this and were looking for a way out. But when they heard the US media declaring the battle a Somali victory, they held their ground. Eighteen American dead was too much, even if the enemy lost 30 times as many, and so the Rangers were held back.
  • They will have difficluty getting Bin Laden out of Afghhanistan.
    Its terrain can make Bin Laden hide until the war goes out of fashion. A rat will never get out of its hiding place even if you go after it to the end of the hole. The problem is that the hole is long and there are a lot of exits. It is not wise to get inside the hole.

    To get rid of the rat, you have work on the areas surrounding its hiding place. Either flood it or cut its food provision. But then Bin Laden is not a rat neither its loyal troops. And Muslim countries fundamentalist or not will always side with Bin Laden for fear that Allah will not allow them to Heaven.

    Shall we call the GOD of Abraham ?
  • Afghans fight nasty but smart. Afghan fighters don't have all the gear and gadgets American troops have, but they do have strong legs, stamina, knowledge of the ground, and a lean attitude of doing a lot with little. Afghans only attack when they're sure of winning. They have the information advantage being locals. Their stamina allows them to cover hills in small groups while scouting the enemy. Afghan will figure out when the enemy troops are most vulnerable and thenstrike. When outnumbered and outgunned, which happens a lot, they will try ambushes.

    Afghan fighters operate either in small groups moving cross country, or larger columns in trucks and armored vehicles on roads. The small groups are more common when fighting foreigners, as the truck columns are vulnerable to enemy air power. The men in these small units travel light, no more than 20 lbs/man including weapon, ammo, some bread and water, and sleep in caves or in the open. If they themselves are not familiar with the ground, they will have someone with them who does. Only very fit regular American troops and the elite units can keep up, for US troops generally carry over 60 lbs of gear. No regular troops hauling such loads can keep up with Afghans when traveling light and footlose across their own country.

    In any case, small groups of Afghan guerillas hiding in the highlands are not going to expel a modern invading armty. The Afghans have to eat a few pounds of bread and such per man per day and they don't carry much ammo. To be sure, Afghan fighters will often bury additional cached supplies of food and ammo throughout an area they will operate in. But this takes time, and if hit unexpectedly by helicopter-borne commandos, such groups will be constantly short of food and ammo.

    Yes the upcoming winter will be brutal, but it will be harder on poor Afghan fighters than on well-equipped troops. Fighting Afghans means going against thousands of such small units. These will snipe and ambush supply trucks and patrols. But they can be defeated with the use of night vision gear, radio interception equipment and helicopters. The Soviets demonstrated this, for their elite Spetnaz commando units would routinely slaughter entire groups of resistance fighters, in surprise aerial assaults on hilltops backed by gunships and mobile artillery. They eventually became proficient in beating the Afghans at their own game. It's these same experienced military advisers who will be asisting US forces, so the Taliban better watch out. Note: the Soviets lost 10,000 troops in 10 years of brutal and indiscriminate war, while Afghans lost 2,000,000 irregulars and civilian supporters, a kill ratio of 1:200 in favor of the Soviets.

    But wars here are not won or lost in the hills, but along roads and valleys where most of the people live. Everyone has a hard time surviving up in the hills. Even Bin Laden and his hundreds of body guards won't last long without large stockpiles of food and a willingness to go to ground indefinitely. Which is why it is easier for any US strategy smoke or starve these people out into the open.
  • People seem to miss the most important fact: The mujahadeen aren't exlusively Taliban. The greatest mujahadeen fighter, Ahmed Shah Massoud, was the leader of the Northern Alliance before his assasination at the hands of the Taliban/Bin Laden. There are quite a few mujahadeen fighters among the Northern Alliance, and they know the area just as well as some of the Taliban. The coalition forces can expect there help as guides and leading them to Al Qaeda hideouts.

    Also, there are reports of many defections and desertions among Taliban forces already. Notice the millions of Afghans fleeing? They're in their 3rd year of drought, and in no position to offer resistance, even if they wanted to, since many of them also hate the Taliban. The Afghanistan of 2001 is quite different from the Afghanistan of 1979.
  • If things out right for them, the US Special Forces groups from the Delta force, SEALs and other smaller SF groups from the US Army and Air Force could see the coming of a sorf of new golden age for them in Afganistan. They are going to be at the frontlines for this war, and will likely to see many, many battles. Am pretty sure the US government will be providing these groups with a lot of monetary resources to get what they need to win the war. The only downside is that we will not likely to get good accounts of these battles anytime soon due to the secretive nature of these SF missions.

    Another food for thought for those Taliban forces: The US had long ago decided to have the capability to fight at night, that is why their armed forces had invested a lot in terms of training and equipment for night warfare. I don't think the Taliban has enough equipment and/or training in that area to be able to match up well against the US.
  • Well said rhk111. Let the terrorists fear the night!
  • Originally posted by Lord Mayhem
    Well said rhk111. Let the terrorists fear the night!
    Amen
  • Originally posted by benjiep


    Hmm... that must be some other operation. The one I know of was the infamous Rangers/Delta/10 Mtn Div raid in Mogadishi which went all to hell. Over 500 Somalis died, only 18 Americans did. The Rangers were getting ready to go back in and finish the job the next day. The Somalis knew this and were looking for a way out. But when they heard the US media declaring the battle a Somali victory, they held their ground. Eighteen American dead was too much, even if the enemy lost 30 times as many, and so the Rangers were held back.


    huh, diba sa simula pa lang hell na yung mission na yon ...

    the mission then was to target the house of two top Aidid leiutenants. the elite Delta force unit would be the one to do the honors. Then Ranger units would be drop by helicopters on four different corners to form a perimeter around the area. No one would be allowed in or out.

    and everything went bullsh1t !!!
  • i believe the united states is bound to carry surgical operations against the terror group to ensure its success. it is evident in bush's declaration of war against bin laden's group and those coddling him. so the war is not limited to afghanistan. wherever bin laden and al qaida moves, a team will be there to get him. operations will only be over with the death of bin laden.

    but come to think of it, america will be needing a spectacle to satiate the victims' desire for vengeance, so there is a possibility of an attack, with all the fanfare.

    but his ala-desert storm attack will only commence, after they have secured, or neutralize bin laden and al qaida.
  • Do you think the US would win if they had help from both Russia and the Afghan Northern Coalition? After all, America can learn a lot from the Soviet's experience in Afghanistan. They can study where the Russian's failed strategically and formulate new plans in seizing control of Afghanistan. The Northern Coalition can provide a lot of help to the US too since they're from the region and also know the terrain.

    Russia failed in annexing Afghanistan under their flag because they were all alone in their fight against the mujahedeen. They had no local support. America, through the mujahedeen's help, won the war in Afghanistan by providing the locals with the weapons to counter the Soviet threat.

    Now, I guess one question is; if America wins the war against terrorism by driving out the Taliban leaders and installing the Northern Coalition, will the US help them in rebuilding Afghanistan? In a sense, the US installed the Taliban government in Afghanistan by leaving them to their own devices after helping them wage their war against the Soviets. If after the war, the US do the same thing again and leave the Northern Coalition to themselves, history might repeat itself and turn this into a vicious cycle.
  • i believe they're sending in Special Ops, these are the ppl who are experts on covert military operations. personally i think this should be more of a "cloak and dagger" kinda battle, because this is the type of enemy that likes to hide and then stab you in the back in the dead of the night, so the type of battle should be done the same way. i would only agree on ground troops (conventional deployment) if Special Ops have "smoked them out" and the enemy are willing to throw down their weapons and surrender in peace. the army will just be there to "round them up and book 'em".
  • Originally posted by hat_tr1ck
    Now, I guess one question is; if America wins the war against terrorism by driving out the Taliban leaders and installing the Northern Coalition, will the US help them in rebuilding Afghanistan? In a sense, the US installed the Taliban government in Afghanistan by leaving them to their own devices after helping them wage their war against the Soviets. If after the war, the US do the same thing again and leave the Northern Coalition to themselves, history might repeat itself and turn this into a vicious cycle.

    truthfully, i distrust the N Alliance, and what you said about the vicious cycle is very true. but at this point in time the US needs their help, so yeah maybe some limited help coming from the US with regards to weapons and supplies, but if the operation can be done without their help, then so much the better.
  • Originally posted by benjiep


    Oh yeah, I bet those Russians want OBL as much as anyone. That USD50Million reward can buy a lot in Moscow. And before getting the money they get combat practice to frag some of the enemies who humiliated them before. They also get to be part of the Good Guys, who will be awfully generous for their help.

    BTW xyzseaman, if US and coalition forces get Bin Laden himself, will they be legally qualified for that really nice reward?

    Think so. :) That's some reward huh?
  • Originally posted by gwaps



    huh, diba sa simula pa lang hell na yung mission na yon ...

    the mission then was to target the house of two top Aidid leiutenants. the elite Delta force unit would be the one to do the honors. Then Ranger units would be drop by helicopters on four different corners to form a perimeter around the area. No one would be allowed in or out.

    and everything went bullsh1t !!!

    I still got the pics from that one and the infamous pic of that marine corpse (no pun intended) dragging in the streets of Mogadishu.

    That'll be forever scorched in my memory :(
  • with i million us soldiers. 3/4 of which should be ground troops.
  • Originally posted by hat_tr1ck
    Now, I guess one question is; if America wins the war against terrorism by driving out the Taliban leaders and installing the Northern Coalition, will the US help them in rebuilding Afghanistan? In a sense, the US installed the Taliban government in Afghanistan by leaving them to their own devices after helping them wage their war against the Soviets. If after the war, the US do the same thing again and leave the Northern Coalition to themselves, history might repeat itself and turn this into a vicious cycle.

    They're damned if they do, and damned if they don't, huh? On one hand, if they help install a government, the US is accused of meddling in their affairs. On the other hand, if they leave them alone, the US gets blamed for allowing a terrorist regime for coming to power. Either way, the US gets the blame. It's no win situation all around.

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