Monday, July 11, 2005

Losing...or Winning?

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/07/11/afghan.seal/index.html

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.

On predictability...

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.

6 comments:

Mr.Atos said...

Do you think, the whole SEAL story has been manipulated to military advantage? I did not want to blog on this yet, but I am a little more comfortable commenting on it at the moment. I have considered an extended piece that looks into operational disinformation and how it has been used by the US and its Allies since WW2... inventing a deadman to relay false invasion information, using inflatable convoys, and even magic tricks to fool Nazi bombers. We have been far too smart in this war for me to believe we could be so lax in this operation.

As Mr. Holmes would say, "the game's afoot." I suspect that it is indeed. My old roomy, (the original Sandman... former NIS and a failed BUDS candidate) would likely tell me I'm being too smart by half...again.

What do you think?

Major Mike said...

I don't see, the way it unfolded, how leaking out that there was still a missing SEAL helped us in any way. The only possible double play was that we had already recovered the body and hoped to lure out the Taliban by claiming we hadn't yet recovered the body. Not sure all the angst it caused would have been worth it. I am not saying we're not smart enough to make that play...just doesn't seem like a play we would actually execute...particularly after losing 16 more people, and having 1000 people running all over the ground anyway...doesn't seem like that bait would have been necessary.

If you do proceed, and not wishing you ill will, I am hoping you don't find too much new in your research, because I don't think we should be giving away plays in our playbook. It would be interesting though to see how much you could find. Great question.

thedeviluno said...

War is evil.

Mr.Atos said...

Yeah, MM! That is why I have held off. It will make a great story in 20 or 30 years when time's facts can support today's speculation. I suspect the story is far more complex than its page 1 details. And it should remain in confusion of the mystery.

Evil is evil! War is it's fetish. And pacifists are evil's bitch.

Pardon my language, MM, but that particular term provides a most appropriate visual description of the realationship that exists between the liberals and butchers.

Major Mike said...

The Highely Respected Mr. A., No offense taken...I spent more than a few years in the company of men that could make the language in prison seem tame.

It is a wonderful thing about the English language...there is always a perfect word for waht needs to be said. Bitch was a nice fit.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it!
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