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Into the Valley of Death

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  • S2
    replied
    Chogy Reply

    "So political machinations or leadership failings have limited the Pak army effectiveness? Or is it that the Pak army itself doesn't have the inherent capability to do the job?"

    All of the above?

    WRT to the Pakistani Army, I'm not sure how you define "...do[ing]the job...". I know that they've felt woefully un-equipped and untrained for a series of COIN operations and looked to us for a bevy of needs related to both. I don't think we've the full picture of operations in Swat, Buner, Bajaur, S. Waziristan or, now, Orakzai. Anything other than from the director, ISPR Maj. Gen Abbas has been rare.

    We DO know that they found it unavoidable to dodge their errant bomb-strike the other day. I don't think that, however, is the only moment of error. I can say I've communication with one pashtun woman who's claimed the FATAville residents feel squeezed between the insurgents and the army. I don't know how true but that's food for thought as to even why she might suggest such.

    We can and will leave Afghanistan. We'll do so fairly shortly and, IMHO, largely bereft of most of our original objectives. If not "mission failure" certainly not any full-blown "mission success" either and I'm hardly sanguine about Afghanistan's prospects. That said, Pakistan will for some time be dealing with FATA in all it's myriad forms and problems. I'm not generally very hopeful there either-of solving their issues or necessarily really even wishing so.

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  • Tronic
    replied
    Originally posted by Chogy View Post
    So political machinations or leadership failings have limited the Pak army effectiveness? Or is it that the Pak army itself doesn't have the inherent capability to do the job?
    Neither of the two. No such thing as political machinations there, its the Pak army who runs the show and tells the politicians what to do. It is just Pakistan doing what it does best. It will do nothing, yet it will point a finger towards you saying it is actually you who do nothing; it will support terrorism against India, yet it will point a finger towards us and say it is actually us who support terrorism against them. And the general Pakistani population genuinely buys into it all; infact, forget just buying into it, they're the ones who propagate it all. The key word here is not leadership, heck, it is not even will; it is intent. They see terrorism as their only way of force projection and they will never stop relying on it; not until the last day they go down in flames.

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  • Chogy
    replied
    The more things change, the more they stay the same...
    So political machinations or leadership failings have limited the Pak army effectiveness? Or is it that the Pak army itself doesn't have the inherent capability to do the job?

    Leave a comment:


  • S2
    replied
    Blowback

    Our Pakistani friends haven't found the time nor resources to venture into N. Waziristan but they've wasted no time in criticizing our departure from the Korengal which borders on Bajaur province-

    Pakistan Army Anger At Nato Border Tactics After Forcing Militants Out-London Times April 15, 2010

    "Colonel Nauman Saeed, the commander of Pakistani forces in the Bajaur tribal agency, has led his men on a two-year campaign to drive out thousands of militants, including al-Qaeda members. He lost 150 soldiers during the operation, which culminated in a battle over the militant headquarters in a series of tunnels dug out of rock.

    At the height of their power the local Pakistani Taleban collected taxes, ran a primitive justice system and used Bajaur as a base to build bombs.

    Colonel Saeed should be pleased with the operation, which has imposed Pakistani rule on the area for the first time in the country’s history.

    Instead, he points to a map over his desk that shows an area marked in red where insurgents are still active along the border with Afghanistan’s Kunar province, which includes the Korengal Valley from where US forces have withdrawn.
    'We not only feel frustrated, we feel let down,' he told The Times, adding that there was intelligence to suggest that 700 Pakistani Taleban were just across the border. 'We still see no action (by the Americans). They are doing what they can do — we say they need to do more.'”

    In point of fact, with their nat'l sovereignty at stake, the vaunted Pakistani Army has been itself consumed in a battle throughout Bajaur that extends back at least to their September, 2008 offensive and even beyond-without conclusion.

    They've, no doubt, enjoyed the irony of demanding we do more in the Korengal even as they carp about doing more in Marjah might only drive militants across that border into Pakistan.

    The timing of this article and these comments shouldn't be ignored. It is a calculated criticism. Make no mistake there. Sickens me in light of our gratuitous and overly-effusive praise for them finally getting off their collective azzes and doing something, anything with their own nation at stake. Nonetheless, note carefully, N. Waziristan and the Haqqani network remain carefully undisturbed.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same...

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  • S2
    replied
    Leaving The Korengal

    We're leaving the Korengal valley. It's a battlefield that, more than any other, captured and held my fascination about this war. Almost a microcosm as well- in many ways a combat laboratory. No terrain in Afghanistan (and that means virtually the entire world) has proven more challenging to the travails of the foot-borne infantryman. Narrow, steep, largely inaccessible and with temperatures ranging from the 100sF in summer to snow and bitter cold in winter.

    And an enemy as harsh and implacable as the terrain. We've seen some of the most extraordinary combat photography and video I've ever witnessed. Our troops and social scientists learned possibly as much from the tribal relationships here as anywhere. Our men fought, were wounded and over forty died in very violent, close-range skirmishes contested on a near-daily basis up and down it's valley reaches.

    And now it's over. Likely, therefore, the end of this thread as well. Thoughts shared by Robert Haddick, courtesy of SWJ-

    Learning From The Korengal Valley-SWJ Blog

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  • S2
    replied
    Mihais Reply

    My apology. I should have created a thread and posted the A.A. report. I'll do so now.

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  • Mihais
    replied
    I knew about the study,but wasn't aware that it was made public.Thanks for the tip.I'm in the process of reading it.Highly untypical engagement.Resembles more NVA in NAm than most engagements in A-stan.Hell,the ''beepers'' even turned the Claymores against the defenders of the OP.As a quick observation about the enemy:they can't shoot straight(fortunately it's a widespread disease as noticed in many articles and combat footages).Spray and pray seems to be working only against low morale/untrained opponents.The concept of professional soldier shines in engagements like these.

    p.s 12 magazines in 30 minutes.Woww
    Last edited by Mihais; 23 Nov 09,, 21:01.

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  • S2
    replied
    Return To The Valley Of Death

    A buddy just e-mailed me a Combat Studies Institute after-action report about the attack at Wanat. Open-sourced from Doug Cubbison, it also uses a lot of primary and secondary sourced stuff.

    Some of it are articles that I've missed. One of those was this by Sebastian Junger, who returned to B Co. 2-503 Inf (Airborne) in the spring/early summer of 2008. It capture the final days prior to their hand-off to the 1st Infantry Division's 26th Infantry. It was published last fall-

    Return To The Valley Of Death-Vanity Fair Oct. 2008

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  • zraver
    replied
    Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
    Mihais, youtube is full of irhabi porn, we don't want it posted here.
    Actually, the video for what is was had some good and illustrative points to it. Censorship of things posted with an educational intent doesn't do the WAB community any good. Yes men died, but they die in war and the lessons still have to be learned. Iraq and A-stan are going to be the most recorded wars in history at the actual ground combat level.

    The video shows...

    The nature of the combat- the terrain, ranges and conditions.

    The Taliban pulled off a neat envelopment of the US forces.- enemy not stupid

    We see a GI get zipped several times with automatic weapons fire and he jumps up and dashes for cover- effectiveness of body armor and problems of using battle rifles at extreme ranges (low energy) vs a modern foe. Do our battle rifles have enough zip to go far and uphill and still do the job?

    ANA acting like it was a picnic all bunched- up weapons not at the ready as compared to US forces that were spaced so that they were close enough to support but not close enough for an easy mass killing.

    Rather poor level of Taliban marksmanship. Even allowing for a range of 3-500m it was bad. They picked the time and place of the battle and the opening volley as seen by the camera was a total fail.

    US of RPG's are a direct fire support weapon.

    At the end the talibunnies had 2 rifles a GPS and an armor plate- items often dropped when evacing wounded or lost in the midst of combat but no bodies so they didn't over run the allied force. This implies either allied air showed up and/or the ambushees rallied and beat back the attack.

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  • tankie
    replied
    cheers Iian ;)

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  • S2
    replied
    Nice Bump

    Nice bump of a once deserving thread...

    ...modestly expressed of course.;)

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  • Parihaka
    replied
    Mihais, youtube is full of irhabi porn, we don't want it posted here.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mihais
    replied
    edited
    Last edited by Parihaka; 21 Nov 09,, 20:34. Reason: removed due to complaints from members

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  • Michael C
    replied
    I haven't read the entire thread,

    but does it go over how the Korengal valley is a strategic catastrophe? We put both an entire company of soldiers plus in a valley with four thousand people. There are entire villages with four thousand people right at the mouth in the Pech river valley.

    I have the utmost respect for these guys. The ETTs at Vimoto when I was there were awesome too, although they are long gone. It just seems all these news stories gloss over how strategically unimportant the Korengal really is.

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  • S2
    replied
    Bumpster

    Bumperuskie...

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