I wouldn't take this as evidence of a US failure in Afghanistan. I'd say this is evidence that decent people want a chance at freedom. I'd say this is America, and Americans, forging very positive relationships with responsible Muslims. I'd say this is evidence that our presence in Afghanistan is welcome. I'd also say that the Muslims that helped this Seal are not in the minority. I'd say we're moving ahead, on a winning path, in Afghanistan. I would also say, that if the press walked around Iraq with their eyes open, they'd see these very same things in Iraq.
We're winning the GWOT, one friend at at time.
On operational security...
I would like to see the military be a bit more tight lipped on our operations...releasing some of the details of the SEAL team situation gave potentially useful information to the enemy. I really don't care if the press is clamoring for the fiftieth time for more info...don't give it to them.
The Taliban attempted to use the fact that there was still a SEAL unaccounted for to their psychological (psy ops) advantage. The details about that team and its circumstances should have never been released until the mission was complete. We are aiding the enemy with our free flow of information.
As I have mentioned before, I was read into a couple of "black" programs. These programs, for the most part, were very simple technology enhancements that could have been easily negated by tactics had the details ever gotten out. Secrecy is what keeps these enhancements the combat multipliers they are. Once exposed, instead of being extremely lethal, they would merely have been a nuisance. OpSec is hugely important...let's don't get complacent. No operational info out while it can still be leveraged against us...period.
C'mon guys, we should not be getting helos shot down by rockets. Change your tactics, your routing, your escort procedures...something, but no more helos shot down while we're running headlong into the fight.
One of the things that got us into trouble in Vietnam was our predictable re-enforcement response to units in contact. The NVA would dangle a few troops in front of us, we would run headlong after them, and eventually we would have re-enforced our way into a trap.
Let's make sure this helo loss is the only one of its kind...it was a terrible waste of highly trained personnel.
Monday, July 11, 2005