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U.S. deploying heavily armored battle tanks for first time in Afghan war

apdst

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The Soviets tried fighting an armored war and it didn't workout so well. I hope that's not what the Pentagon has in mind.

The U.S. military is sending a contingent of heavily armored battle tanks to Afghanistan for the first time in the nine-year war, defense officials said, a shift that signals a further escalation in the aggressive tactics that have been employed by American forces this fall to attack the Taliban.

U.S. deploying heavily armored battle tanks for first time in Afghan war
 

Gray_Fox_86

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Maybe the US should put wheels on the abram. That would be fine, I think. PLUS the war in Afghanistan in not winnable.
 

OscarB63

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Maybe the US should put wheels on the abram. That would be fine, I think. PLUS the war in Afghanistan in not winnable.
war in Afghanistan is winnable, just not by any means that would be acceptable to the global community. If fought under today's standards and restrictions...WWII would have been unwinnable.
 

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war in Afghanistan is winnable, just not by any means that would be acceptable to the global community. If fought under today's standards and restrictions...WWII would have been unwinnable.
And there you have the truth.
 

OscarB63

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And there you have the truth.
can you imagine trying to push the Germans out of France and the Netherlands if you couldn't use artillery because you might hit someone's house. or you couldn't attack german soldiers who were shooting at you because they were in a church. you couldn't drop bombs on any factories because you might accidentally hit a school.

many of the tactics used and actions taken in WWII would be considered "war crimes" by today's standards.
 

Gray_Fox_86

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can you imagine trying to push the Germans out of France and the Netherlands if you couldn't use artillery because you might hit someone's house. or you couldn't attack german soldiers who were shooting at you because they were in a church. you couldn't drop bombs on any factories because you might accidentally hit a school.

many of the tactics used and actions taken in WWII would be considered "war crimes" by today's standards.
That was a totally different war.
 

OscarB63

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That was a totally different war.
agreed, and if fought by todays standards, one that would have been lost. back then the focus was on winning, now the focus is on maintaining good PR.

I'm just saying, that if we fought the Taliban in Afghanistan the way we fought the Nazis in Europe, the war is winnable.
 

Gray_Fox_86

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agreed, and if fought by todays standards, one that would have been lost. back then the focus was on winning, now the focus is on maintaining good PR.
Right we are trying to maintain a good PR because this is an unconventional war that should really only be fought with the Spec Ops and Air Force and Navy. The regular army and marines do not need to be there.
 

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war in Afghanistan is winnable, just not by any means that would be acceptable to the global community. If fought under today's standards and restrictions...WWII would have been unwinnable.

It is asymmetric war on an insurgency and not a total war. Not only is it not acceptable to the global community to 'do what it takes', it would not be to most American's either. The fact that it is an occupations is one of the reason those many of those standards are there.

now the focus is on maintaining good PR.
It happens to be a political war with certain global ramifications.
 

OscarB63

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Right we are trying to maintain a good PR because this is an unconventional war that should really only be fought with the Spec Ops and Air Force and Navy. The regular army and marines do not need to be there.
only according to the geopolitical climate and increasingly liberal worldview. It is not war that has changed, it is people's perception of war that has changed. Do you really think the Taliban gives a rat's ass what some dude sitting in Europe or Australia or the US thinks about their tactics? hell no.

the only reason this is an "unconventional war" is because the world thinks it should be and the US doesn't want to hurt their feelings or piss them off.
 

Gray_Fox_86

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only according to the geopolitical climate and increasingly liberal worldview. It is not war that has changed, it is people's perception of war that has changed. Do you really think the Taliban gives a rat's ass what some dude sitting in Europe or Australia or the US thinks about their tactics? hell no.

the only reason this is an "unconventional war" is because the world thinks it should be and the US doesn't want to hurt their feelings or piss them off.
So you feel that we should bomb the living crap out of cities and towns that we have soldiers in? What would that do?

I feel that our technological advancement is not being used because we are using the average grunt. To conduct a war that they should not be involved in. Those average grunts would only be necessary for a war against a foe that uses armies in mass.

We know that the Taliban/Al Qaeda does not care about how they kill. But we know that they are afraid of us enough so that they will avoid most direct firefights. And they will never stay long enough to be caught. That only means certain death for them. Because we have the tecnology I am in favor of using global hawks to patrol the Afghanistani nation fully and whenever trouble arises. They should fire bombs at them or have spec ops go get them. That is the way war has changed, do you understand:confused:?
 
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OscarB63

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So you feel that we should bomb the living crap out of cities and towns that we have soldiers in? What would that do?

I feel that our techonological advancement is not being used because we are using the average grunt. To conduct a war that they should not be involved in. Those average grunts would only be necessary for a war against a foe that uses armies in mass.

We know that the Taliban/Al Qaeda does not care about how they kill. But we know that they are afraid of us enough so that they will avoid most direct firefights. And they will never stay lond enough to be caught. That only means certain death for them. Because we have the tecnology I am in favor of using global hawks to patrol the Afghanistani nation fully and whenever trouble arises. They should fire bombs at them or have spec ops go get them. That is the way war has changed, do you understand:confused:?

yeah, basically that's what I'm saying. either you fight to win or you get the hell out. since, given the current standards and restrictions, we are not allowed to fight to win....we should get the hell out.
 

apdst

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It is asymmetric war on an insurgency and not a total war. Not only is it not acceptable to the global community to 'do what it takes', it would not be to most American's either. The fact that it is an occupations is one of the reason those many of those standards are there.



It happens to be a political war with certain global ramifications.
War is war. The long term goal in any war, is to win. The only way to win a war, is to destroy the enemy's ability to wage war. The only way to do that, is through the deployment of the maximum amount of violence.

If Afghanistan had been fought like WW2, we would have been outta there 7 years ago and I'll bet that most Americans wouldn't have cared, as along as it was a timely and complete victory over the enemy.
 

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If you cant not understand the difference between a war fought using guerilla warfare vs conventional massed units you really need to read a few books on what each requires

The US already won the battle to take over Afghanistan territory. After that it has two choices, genocide or try to engage the guerillas and remove/reduce local support for them.

Randomly bombing various cities in Afghanistan is not going to cause Afghanis to stop fighting, they have in the past seen entire populations of cities being killed (Herat a few times) yet Afghanis still fought.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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War is war. The long term goal in any war, is to win. The only way to win a war, is to destroy the enemy's ability to wage war. The only way to do that, is through the deployment of the maximum amount of violence.

If Afghanistan had been fought like WW2, we would have been outta there 7 years ago and I'll bet that most Americans wouldn't have cared, as along as it was a timely and complete victory over the enemy.
The US won 7 years ago, it is the US decision to stay that is causing the problems
 

Gray_Fox_86

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If you cant not understand the difference between a war fought using guerilla warfare vs conventional massed units you really need to read a few books on what each requires

The US already won the battle to take over Afghanistan territory. After that it has two choices, genocide or try to engage the guerillas and remove/reduce local support for them.

Randomly bombing various cities in Afghanistan is not going to cause Afghanis to stop fighting, they have in the past seen entire populations of cities being killed (Herat a few times) yet Afghanis still fought.
See, its not entirely Afghanis who are doing the fighting. Its Pakistanis and Uzbekistanis that are crossing the border and raiding American positions or giving money/weapons to the few Afghanis who are fighting. Basically the Afghanis are out of the fight I say we should probably go into Pakistan or Uzbekistan, prefibly Uzbekistan. But either way we need to get seriously involved with both those nations.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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See, its not entirely Afghanis who are doing the fighting. Its Pakistanis and Uzbekistanis that are crossing the border and raiding American positions or giving money/weapons to the few Afghanis who are fighting. Basically the Afghanis are out of the fight I say we should probably go into Pakistan or Uzbekistan, prefibly Uzbekistan. But either way we need to get seriously involved with both those nations.
It is mostly Pashtuns that make up the Taliban. The Pastun population of around 25 million is split between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Politically is nominally a friend of the US but its intrests in Afghanistan is different then the US's as such it helps the US at the same time as it works against the US in Pakistan. The US can not "get serious" with Pakistan without finding other supply routes, as Pakistan has the shortest and cheapest supply routes to Afghanistan. Using other routes will drive already sky high costs massively higher (around $1 million per US soldier in Afghanistan per year). To do so would require dealing with Russia, and some other unstable central asian countries along extremely long roads leaving the transporation routes even more open to attack then in Pakistan.

Non Pashtun area's of Afghanistan are relatively peacefull, Herat for instance in western Afghanistan is doing relatively well,
 

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The Soviets tried fighting an armored war and it didn't workout so well. I hope that's not what the Pentagon has in mind.
Everyone thought the same thing about fighting against Russia - Napoleon marched 500,000 men to their frigid, starving deaths - it wasn't battle that brought them under. Napoleon was a fervent conqueror - but when he was defeated at Waterloo it hit hard.

And Russia, long considered a superior force, was later shown to be inferior during the Crimean War.

And the Nazi's - look at them. They could have conquered the world if Hitler wasn't a paranoid control freak :shrug:

It's not *that* you wage a war - it's *how* you do it and the tactics and methods you take.

Funny that Russia's situation in Afghanistan is used to parallel what we might encounter - when they went in against us. Their goal: quickly overturn the communist government (which they did successfully) and kill Amin (which they did) and replace him (which they did).

Where they failed was when, instead of acting as a queller of unrest - they simply heightened the civil war mania that was already going on. And then they were bogged down into it. . . Afghans don't like foreigners - more than anything else.

But does that mean that the Taliban should be ignored and left alone to the detriment of the future?

Can the West avoid Russia's fate in Afghanistan? - Times Online

What the Russias tried to deal with - we're still trying to deal with - and it will continue on for (how long? Forever?) . . . So ignoring them would jsut open the future to repetition - repitition.

Something has to give - and i'd prefer it to be the Taliban et al.
 

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yeah, basically that's what I'm saying. either you fight to win or you get the hell out. since, given the current standards and restrictions, we are not allowed to fight to win....we should get the hell out.
See, this is why the United States never wins any unconventional wars. Blowing up cities and towns is really going to solve all the problems? No. If that happened, the Taliban would see a surge in fighter strength, and it doesn't help when you support a corrupt government that really only helps itself and not its people. It would probably turn the entire population against the US. Look at the Soviet war. Look at Vietnam as another example. Hell, even take Iraq as an example. Wars these days are not won by who has the most firepower, but who has the most civilians. Because winning the hearts and minds and helping the people are far, far more productive towards winning the war against the Taliban than simply blowing up everything. Afghanistan was never suited to a conventional war.
 

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MichaelW, et al,

I have to admit, you speak harshly; yet fight from good ground.

See, this is why the United States never wins any unconventional wars. ... ... ...
(COMMENT)

I recently listened very closely to the words of GEN Richards.

UK Chief of the Defense Staff said:
The West is fighting a war against al Qaeda in which its forces can contain Islamic militancy but cannot achieve a conventional military victory, Britain's most senior officer was quoted as saying on Sunday.

"We are equally clear that we have got to support the operation thereafter to make sure that our legacy is an enduring one," ... ... ... said the Chief of the Defence Staff.

... ... ... the region should be stabilized before any withdrawal is completed.

"We are equally clear that we have got to support the operation thereafter to make sure that our legacy is an enduring one," he said.
(COMMENT)

Here is the hat trick. What is the difference between:

  • "stabilized before any withdrawal is completed"
  • "conventional military victory"
    [Given That:]"but cannot achieve a conventional military victory"
  • Does this mean some sort of "unconventional victory?"

On the one hand, GEN Richards says we "cannot achieve a conventional military victory;" but, on the other hand, we must "stabilized before any withdrawal is completed." I'm having a hard time visualizing what that looks like. No "victory" but "stabilized." In a conventional setting, that is some sort of Armistice or DMZ (a military draw). How do you do that in an environment like Afghanistan?

In the non-conventional aspect, it means an asymmetric answer. That is gray cell intensive and normally outside the venue of the US Military. They think in terms of tactical intelligence and have been trained to believe they are invincible in war. They would never look at other counterintelligence options leading to an unorthodox solution.

Is that what Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, in his talks with the Taliban, is working toward an asymmetric solution? Is President Karzai, in order to stabilize the country, going to give-up part of Afghanistan to the Taliban, and creating a new state?

Most Respectfully,
R
 

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Firstly, bombing the hell out of someone isn't the answer. Secondly, it is much more difficult to implement some sort of deal in Afghanistan. But in saying that, "stabilizing the situation" is also hard, and so far has not been accomplished in any recent war that the US or the UK has fought. If the United States and the United Kingdom fought by that logic, shouldn't they still be in Iraq?

So then what is the answer? Let the Taliban have partial control over the areas in Afghanistan where support is strongest whilst still under the control of the central government? Erase them completely? Withdraw and covertly support Karzai throught funding and weapons shipments?
 

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MichaelW, et al,

I have to agree with you.

  • Firstly, bombing the hell out of someone isn't the answer.
  • Secondly, it is much more difficult to implement some sort of deal in Afghanistan.
(COMMENT)

It is a conventional warfare response. But what is going on is not to be confused with carpet bombing, arc light strikes, use of Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bombs, or a traditional bombardment campaigns. Most of these are surgical strikes by precision guided munitions.

Deals between nefarious personalities, in Afghanistan, happen everyday. An insurgency does not live in isolation. It must have an avenue of support; some mechanism to provides it sustainment (beans, butts, bullets).

But in saying that, "stabilizing the situation" is also hard, and so far has not been accomplished in any recent war that the US or the UK has fought.
(COMMENT)

The traditional method for stabilization is to create an environment where competing forces, vying for power or control, compete for supremacy. They will either:
  • Seek a natural balance and accord.
  • Exhaust each others capacity or will to continue the struggle.
  • One will eliminate the other.

This would require the allied powers (the Western Forces) to allow an unrestricted struggle between the competitors (a clear battlefield).

If the United States and the United Kingdom fought by that logic, shouldn't they still be in Iraq?
(COMMENT)

The US directed counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency programs had short-term gains; but was not sustainable once handed-off to the GOI/ISF. Simultaneously, the democratization effort began to falter.

So then what is the answer?
  • Let the Taliban have partial control over the areas in Afghanistan where support is strongest whilst still under the control of the central government?
  • Erase them completely?
  • Withdraw and covertly support Karzai throught funding and weapons shipments?
(COMMENT)

It is a Chinese Menu.

These are probably most of the elements within the sample space, the most likely of the alternatives. It is not likely that the US Civilian Authority is going to allow the Combatant Commanders to allow the country to seek its own balance. It would be an admission that Afghanistan and the US supported Afghan Leadership is to corrupt for a successful democratic regime. And it would, most likely, not be very pretty.

Afghan Government and the associated criminal warlords, left to their own devices, will strike some deal with the Taliban. This might include some package which includes the Taliban totally eliminating the al-Qaeda remnants, so as to appease the US and hasten withdrawal.

Most Respectfully,
R
 

apdst

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Everyone thought the same thing about fighting against Russia - Napoleon marched 500,000 men to their frigid, starving deaths - it wasn't battle that brought them under. Napoleon was a fervent conqueror - but when he was defeated at Waterloo it hit hard.

And Russia, long considered a superior force, was later shown to be inferior during the Crimean War.

And the Nazi's - look at them. They could have conquered the world if Hitler wasn't a paranoid control freak :shrug:

It's not *that* you wage a war - it's *how* you do it and the tactics and methods you take.

Funny that Russia's situation in Afghanistan is used to parallel what we might encounter - when they went in against us. Their goal: quickly overturn the communist government (which they did successfully) and kill Amin (which they did) and replace him (which they did).

Where they failed was when, instead of acting as a queller of unrest - they simply heightened the civil war mania that was already going on. And then they were bogged down into it. . . Afghans don't like foreigners - more than anything else.

But does that mean that the Taliban should be ignored and left alone to the detriment of the future?

Can the West avoid Russia's fate in Afghanistan? - Times Online

What the Russias tried to deal with - we're still trying to deal with - and it will continue on for (how long? Forever?) . . . So ignoring them would jsut open the future to repetition - repitition.

Something has to give - and i'd prefer it to be the Taliban et al.
Actually, The Soviets lost the war, when the United States started giving weapons and training to the mujas. Up to that point, the Soviets were winning, hands down.
 

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The Soviets tried fighting an armored war and it didn't workout so well. I hope that's not what the Pentagon has in mind.
I do not see how fighting an insurgency with tanks will help. Look what happened to (some) tanks in Iraq. (The Taliban and AQ in Iraq used basically the same tactics).
 
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