Saturday, May 22, 2010

Situation Report: Afghanistan

From Family Security Matters:

May 21, 2010

Situation Report; Afghanistan

As the situation continues to deteriorate in Khandahar, the question is not when the publicized offensive will come, but in what form. As the main thrust of the operation was winding down in Marjah, stories began to seep out that the Taliban had largely fled the area and either melted into the background and local population or moved off into Khandahar and other larger population centers. The ISAF M.O. has been to publish the intent to launch an offensive weeks before the first troops arrive. The intent of the announcements has been an effort to preserve civilian lives by offering them an opportunity to flee the area before combat. The problem is that the Taliban have taken the opportunity to flee and morph as well.
This continuous game has been referred to as a perverse game of “whack-a-mole.” I prefer to think of it as a balloon that has pressure exerted on it from one end, forcing air into the opposing, unaffected end. The result is you find yourself “chasing” air from one side of the latex sack to the other until you grow weary of the game. Of course, the only result is: unmolested air. This is not to say that there aren't successes during engagements with the Taliban. The fact is our Warriors destroy them when given the opportunity, but one has to question just how much more effective we would be if our concentration was on destroying them rather than attempting to garner friendships with the locals. One stated argument is, of course, that all this does is provide recruitment opportunities for the Taliban. I have held the opinion that if you make the experience painful and horrendous enough for the Taliban, joining them won't seem quite so wonderful. A trip back on memory lane to the Philippine War and the experience the Moros had with us once we took off the gloves might be a worthy use of time for the theorists to study.
The Taliban have been known to regularly “disappear” into the “innocent civilian population” when pressured. Thinking that will change with each new pronouncement and that they will eventually stand and fight is a sign of insanity. Playing this game with them illuminates some not too subtle problems:...

Read it ALL here.

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