April 29, 2007

'The Effect On The Taliban Has Been Dramatic'

The London Telegraph reports on a new tactical aggressiveness from American troops in Afghanistan which has the Taliban rocked back on its heels and unable to press forward with its expect spring offensive. The new tactics involve the heavy use of helicopter gunships and a merciless push to finish engagements. A senior Taliban commander has found exactly what that means (via Hot Air):

Caught in the middle of the Helmand river, the fleeing Taliban were paddling their boat back to shore for dear life.

Smoke from the ambush they had just sprung on American special forces still hung in the air, but their attention was fixed on the two helicopter gunships that had appeared above them as their leader, the tallest man in the group, struggled to pull what appeared to be a burqa over his head.

As the boat reached the shore, Captain Larry Staley tilted the nose of the lead Apache gunship downwards into a dive. One of the men turned to face the helicopter and sank to his knees. Capt Staley's gunner pressed the trigger and the man disappeared in a cloud of smoke and dust.

By the time the gunships had finished, 21 minutes later, military officials say 14 Taliban were confirmed dead, including one of their key commanders in Helmand.

The mission is typical of a new, aggressive, approach adopted by American forces in southern Afghanistan and particularly in Helmand, where British troops last year bore the brunt of some of the heaviest fighting since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

The Teleghraph includes a video presentation that should be seen as a companion to the article. In it, the narrator says that "the effect on the Taliban has been dramatic," and it certainly was in this case. The commander who died in this engagement was Mul;ah Najibullah, a commander in the original Taliban who eluded us in 2001. He had been an official in Mullah Omar's government in Afghanistan prior to getting ejected in the American invasion after 9/11.

American troops no longer break off engagements when Taliban guerillas start to flee. The British had been hard pressed in Helmand up to now, but as the Telegraph reports, they partly caused their own problems. British commanders had offered cease-fires in Helmand to allow for the Taliban to end the fighting and work with the Coalition, but all it did was to allow the Taliban to regroup and seize positions. The new American commander has put an end to all cease-fires, and has ordered constant pressure on the terrorists.

As a result, the Taliban have found it impossible to mount an offensive. They have tried raids and ambushes, but the superior firepower and the ability to get into the air makes ambushes a trap for the attackers. As this raid demonstrates, any gains made in raids last for moments, and the raiders and their commanders pay with their lives -- and gain nothing.

The reporter says that the success or failure of the Taliban depends on their response to the gunships. However, it goes deeper than that. The success or failure of the Taliban depends on the commitment to fight to the last on the part of the Coalition. Now that we have started to do that, the Taliban cannot possibly hope to dislodge American and British forces. One cannot be merciful to terrorists and hope to prevail, and the Coalition may finally have learned that lesson.


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Comments (17)

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2007 11:30 AM

Goat herders!

And, there's always more from where they come from.

Because the HOUSE OF SAUD took control of Islam. Not just at Mecca, and the sands of arabia, anymore.


Not quite an army. But a FLOOD. A top-notch producer of kids. Multiplying every second.

And, nobody tells the HOUSE OF SAUD to CUT IT OUT!

If you think this was the face of Islam, you'd be mistaken.

Islam was one of those portable religions; that went all over this world. Following the paths of the Silk Road.

In other words? Arabs are in business to TRADE. And, they have done so since time immimorial.

They didn't leave their homes for indefinite periods without their religion, either. Heck, it's just ONE BOOK. And, it's slimmer than a phone book, besides.

Yet, across the globe, as some arabs settled down, to build their businesses locally; from selling falafel to selling rugs; they kept their faith going. 5 Times a Day? Dunno, if they all kissed the floor that often. But Islam is a man's PARLOR. It works like a CLUB.

All the men in the area local to the faith, meet. Greet. And, exchange business cards. (Before the self--help books came along and taught "networking," too.)

When the oil wealth flew in ... And, it did! A man like Paul Getty, built an astounding museum. Others, in the Western culture, do the same. It's labeled 'philanthropy." For us. For the Saud's? You're kidding me, RIIGHT? They built nothing of value with their wealth.

And, like George Soros, too. When you get wealthy enough; you look for ways you can take over the world.

The skinny on the Saud's? They started with the madrasses. And, they were able to push out the locals. Mom and pop imams. Who used to thrive in their communities, are DEAD now. And, replaced by the SCOURGE.

So far? Nobody's stopping the Saud's.

And, with James Baker back in control at the White House, some old UNWORKABLE plans came off the shelf. And, Israel was told to "high tail" it off half their land. Especially, the best spots. Up on the hills. All, so that this Bush could see a terrorist state surrounding Israel.

While James Baker is also figuring out how to give the Saud's another $8-billion in our latest military hardware. (This will require congressional approval.) So we'll see how Baker "earns his Saudi money" up ahead? Will he just wait for congress to go on vacation? Will he do this at the end? Instead of pardoning Libby, Bush will give the Saud's a final gift. Better than the keys to I-R-A-K. IF he can get away with it.

So far? Doubtful.

There's also the question of Condi. Who had ambitions to see herself on the next presidential ticket. And, now? It's a thicket. One wrong move on the part of the GOP, and a lot more DC powers can go down the toilet.

The Man Upstairs knows. But he's not talking.

And, I'll put my faith in Israel getting handed more miracles. You think she wins, so far, without His help?

As to Bush, in the Oval Office; what Mort Sahl said about Jimmy Carter, still holds true. Presidents shouldn't annoy God with over-doing the zealotry in the Oval Office! Let alone, then go around, and play with the tent dwellers in the House of Saud.

Alas, they really have "that kind of" money! Doesn't cost all that much, in comparison to really running things well, when all you provide is terror.

While you call them "Taliban." I call them the products of goats. And, the goats keep reproducing. Within "that" religion, the men get all the options. And, the women get covered in tablecloths.

Should we be figuring out a way that they lose? Or just worry about how easy it is to buy a Realtor, working for these stinking interests, in the Oval Office.

Monica Lewinsky's blue Gap dress is a saint's outfit, in comparison.

Posted by NahnCee [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2007 11:51 AM

Are we chasing 'em across the border?

I hope so.

Are we killing them *there*, too?

I hope so.

If we are, does Musharref care?

If Musharref cares, do we care if he cares?

I hope not.

Posted by PersonFromPorlock [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2007 12:34 PM

So, have we finally rediscovered Ulysses S. Grant and his tactic of relentless pressure?

"I will fight it out on this line if it takes all summer," he said, and did, and on into the next year. Lee never had time to be as brilliant as he might have been.

Posted by M. Simon [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2007 12:43 PM

Failure to pursue has always been a military sin.

It is not enough to defeat an enemy in battle. You must remove his forces from the field.

Posted by lugh lampfhota [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2007 2:07 PM

Oh my God! We're actually killing these barbarians now? How is this possible? Has JAG taken their taken their slithering tails off of the levers of power or have they all crawled off to their respective political parties for high mass.

If America wants to win a post-WW2 war then the first offensive needs to be against the political elite in Washington. How can we identify the enemy you ask? By his law degree.

Then the military can kill the Islamist barbarians, their ever-breeding wife-slaves and their future-jihadi children. When 20% of the population of the NW territories and Waziristan are festering corpses we can start to think about victory.

The alternative is that your granddaughters will be bagged incubators for barbarian warlords.

I'm not hopeful.

Posted by Fight4TheRight [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2007 2:18 PM

NahnCee - i agree completely!

I believe that Musharaff has MORE than his share of "interior issues" to think about to worry about a few American gunships flying 2 kilometers into Pakistan.

In hockey, a common defensive tactic used against a very speedy and aggressive offense is to "stand 'em up at the blue line." I say do that here....stand 'em up at the border and let 'em sit inside Pakistan and feud with each other.

Posted by Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2007 2:27 PM

That video's a hoot. Anyone that thinks Apaches are French still has a lot to learn about fighting. I just my added an excerpt and link to my 2007.04.29 Dem Perfidy // Islamism Delenda Est Roundup.

Posted by NahnCee [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2007 2:59 PM

We're actually killing these barbarians now? How is this possible?

There's an American in charge of NATO now, for one thing, having replaced the Brit. The Brit evidently having believed in the same appeasement policies as have been so effective in Basra in Iraq.

As the British apologize and grovel to Iran over their kidnapped sailors, and pull out of Basra leaving it in chaos, they are having to focus on more important things. Like coming up with a viable reason for NOT sending Prince Harry into Iraq since every Zahiri wannabe in the world will be gunning for him, and they do NOT want to kill him.

If the Brits groveled ever so nicely over 15 wet-eyed sailors who never met an Arab they wouldn't surrender to, can you IMAGINE the feats of self-flagellation they'd achieve if Harry was abducted, blindfolded and paraded around?

What's been happening in southern Afghanistan under the Brits and NATO is what the Yurps like to refer to as "soft power", a concept of which there seems to be absolutely not one single example of it's being used successfully in all of history.

BTW, follow some of the threads back to a BBC source and listen to how an English person pronounces "Apache". They evidently think it's a French word. :-)

Posted by naftali [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2007 3:04 PM

Okay, let me get this straight. Before, we could shoot at them, but if they start to run away we let them go. Now, we get to chase them and kill them. Are the people in charge of this country nuts? You go to fight a war but put rules in place so that you don't kill the enemy? And then people wonder why the public turns against this conflict, or pretends is doesn't exist?

In the actual Presidential debate between the Republican candidate and the Democrat candidate I think the key question, call me a one issue voter if you must, but I want to know where they stand on the issue of 2+2=4. Presently there seems to be some confusion about this.

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2007 5:06 PM

I'm glad were chasing them over the border and killing them but until Musharraf can control his Intelligence Service(who make no bones about their support for their Islamic brothers) were like a dog chasing his tail. Whoever wins in 08 better add at least 2 more divisions to our existing Army. Lots of wild fires to put out,Darfur,Iraq,Afhganistan,Somalia,North Africa and I see today a million people in the streets of Ankara,Turkey.

Posted by lugh lampfhota [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2007 5:36 PM

Blue Dawg,

Musharraf is just trying to stay alive. If he pushes the ISI we could have Islamists with nuclear weapons.

Better re-populate those silos in North Dakota too. The Russian bear woke up, smelled weak American will and decided to resume the fight for control of the world's oil supply. Thermonuclear war is not out of the question in the next few years.

There is a price to be paid for weakness.

Posted by Rose [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2007 7:14 PM

British commanders had offered cease-fires in Helmand to allow for the Taliban to end the fighting and work with the Coalition, but all it did was to allow the Taliban to regroup and seize positions. The new American commander has put an end to all cease-fires, and has ordered constant pressure on the terrorists.

Gee, I'm so glad after all these DECADES of playing pattycake with the muslim terrorists, that some commanders are getting tired of the BS and getting down to brass tacks, instead.

Nice to see people in command positions beginning to pull their heads out and put their faces in the nice sunshine.

Wondering what took so long.

Posted by Doc Neaves [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 30, 2007 2:44 AM

Rose...It was not commanders. Most of them have known exactly what it would take for a long time. Some have argued for troop pullout simply because they were SO hamstrung, they didn't think they could do the job. It is a matter of leadership. Taking off the blinders and binders. I'm not sure who to blame or credit for the change, but Bush gets it whether he deserves it or not, blame or credit, since he's in charge. I'm thinking it's HIS aggressive attitude finally coming through after years of bad "caution first" advice, and now that he's decided to be this way, he's put a commander (Patraeus) in place who will act this way. There were probably many who were there before who could have done just as adequately had they been given the same ROE (rules of engagement, called roe by us military types. During briefings, pilots are constantly asked roe questions in order to keep them sharp about whether or not they can fire.) as Patraeus. Make no mistake, those in the army have wanted to do this for a long time. We learned our lessons in Viet Nam about not pursuing an enemy or pursuing him stupidly. The training for this was already there, that's why they were able to just switch to it. We've just not been allowed to do the job as trained until now.

Posted by NavySpy II [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 30, 2007 5:59 AM

Not Ulysses S. Grant, Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Keep up the skeer!

When the enemy breaks and retreats, follow them, harry them, grind them into dust. Beat the will to resist out of them forever.

Posted by Mahan [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 30, 2007 7:19 AM

Not to belabor the obvious, but Grant's side won.

Incidentally, is it me, or are the British doing the SAME thing they did back when they ran the Raj? Having ceasefires with the tribesmen, trying to conciliate them, etc., because of their supposedly greater experience of Empire and all that, I say say, unlike we benighted colonials.

Unfortunately, the Great Game's rules have changed rather dramatically; it's no longer Kipling's Punjab, and I have to wonder if the British really understand that now. We, on the other hand, are doing what we should have doing in the first place-applying the American solution in the form of firepower.

Posted by Bitter Pill [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 30, 2007 7:33 AM

conceited democrat: "yawn".

What did you say?

Posted by jerry [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 30, 2007 8:43 AM

Bitter Pill:

CD is just engaging in the Democratic Party shell game of supporting wars that we aren't fighting and opposing those that we are.

Now that the ROE has changed in Afghanistan so that we can fight an unconstrained battle with the Taliban/AQ forces we are winning with the forces we have. We don't need the larger presence that Reidlosi say should be sent to Afghanistan to fight the real war. If we take off the gloves we will crush the Jihadis.

With few exceptions the British typically over estimate their abilities while they denigrate American combat performance. They have been doing this since Bunker Hill. During the WWII many British Commanders referred to the US Army "our Italians." All you have to do to refute this is sneering slur is to point out that the British XXX Corp failed to relieve Arnhem while the US Fourth Armored got to Bastogne against stiffer opposition and in far worse weather.

The individual Tommy is a suburb solider but he is usually led by arrogant and incompetent commanders. The American soldier is often less polished and not as tactically proficient as his British counterpart but his much more flexible and resourceful (improvise, adapt, overcome) and our field grade and general officers are far more aggressive and operational proficient.

Irwin Rommel said it best after the debacle at Kasserine Pass in 1943. When his officers ridiculed the US Army as a threat he dismissed them with the comment that Americans always lose their first battle but they learn faster then any other Army and quickly become a deadly for. Rommel had more respect for the US Army after one battle then he ever had for the British. He was proven correct at the Battle of El Guitar several weeks later when the same forces that were routed at Kasserine decisively defeat another attack by Rommel’s Panzerarmee Africa.