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Taliban Change Tactics

tomahawk6

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Looks like the ANA is going to lose Helmand unless something changes.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/talibans-new-commando-force-tests-afghan-armys-strength/2016/08/06/406be986-5beb-11e6-8b48-0cb344221131_story.html

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — An elite new Taliban force is proving its strength in the strategic southern province of Helmand, pointing to the insurgents’ ability to refine their battlefield techniques to match Afghanistan’s increasingly professional national army.

The Taliban regard Helmand as their heartland. They share Pashtun ethnicity with its residents and the province’s vast opium output has helped fund the war against the government in Kabul, now in its fifteenth year.

In recent weeks, the Taliban have taken huge swaths of the province and now they appear to be closing in on the capital, Lashkar Gah.
 

PuckChaser

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Thats what happens when you pull out of a country to satisfy political goals prior to military ones. The insurgency wasn't crushed, only a matter of time before it rose up again. ANA will fight valiantly, but those political goals made for military training "achievements" labeling them as ready, despite all evidence to the contrary.
 
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jollyjacktar

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Yes, everything we did, spent and those we lost will all be wasted, I fear.
 

Jarnhamar

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Venlunie said:
I just knew it was this. If anyone has a question I can answer it. Maybe I will know some things.

Why is the Taliban kicking the Afghan National Armies ass when the ANA has been trained and equipped by professional western forces for 16 years?
 

OldSolduer

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jollyjacktar said:
Yes, everything we did, spent and those we lost will all be wasted, I fear.

And I’ll be damned if I’m going to let people forget that sacrifice. 😡

 

CBH99

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In a place like Helmand, can we ever realistically expect to "crush" an insurgency that shares the cultural & religious background of the residents?  Can we put a "done for good" stamp on an insurgency whose ranks are filled by the very population we are trying to protect from said insurgency?

Helmand has always been Taliban territory.  The Dutch, British, USMC, and SOF were all very active there in aggressive combat roles for YEARS, and the insurgency was always ferocious.  Can we really expect the government to rule the area, when western militaries could barely keep a lid on it?


I'm not advocating making peace with monsters.  Some Taliban groups absolutely deserve to die.  However, the Taliban as a whole should have/could have been a part of the negotiation process long before they were...and perhaps a creative & peaceful solution could have somehow been found?  Or not, I don't know - a lot of factors involved, and a lot of those factors boil down to key individuals on all sides.

However, I don't think we can ever expect to truly, permanently "stomp out" a Taliban insurgency in a place like Helmand.  Negotiate & manage, perhaps.  But completely wipe them out?  I just don't see how, when the local population willingly supplies a good chunk of the Taliban fighters in the region. 
 

Humphrey Bogart

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CBH99 said:
In a place like Helmand, can we ever realistically expect to "crush" an insurgency that shares the cultural & religious background of the residents?  Can we put a "done for good" stamp on an insurgency whose ranks are filled by the very population we are trying to protect from said insurgency?

Helmand has always been Taliban territory.  The Dutch, British, USMC, and SOF were all very active there in aggressive combat roles for YEARS, and the insurgency was always ferocious.  Can we really expect the government to rule the area, when western militaries could barely keep a lid on it?


I'm not advocating making peace with monsters.  Some Taliban groups absolutely deserve to die.  However, the Taliban as a whole should have/could have been a part of the negotiation process long before they were...and perhaps a creative & peaceful solution could have somehow been found?  Or not, I don't know - a lot of factors involved, and a lot of those factors boil down to key individuals on all sides.

However, I don't think we can ever expect to truly, permanently "stomp out" a Taliban insurgency in a place like Helmand.  Negotiate & manage, perhaps.  But completely wipe them out?  I just don't see how, when the local population willingly supplies a good chunk of the Taliban fighters in the region.

Why would the Taliban want peace?  They are winning the war. 

Jarnhamar said:
Why is the Taliban kicking the Afghan National Armies *** when the ANA has been trained and equipped by professional western forces for 16 years?

Well probably because Western Militaries are providing them training that is doctrinally unsound due to cultural differences, etc. 

Peace as we understand it is probably unachievable and if the US wants a form of stability it will need to garrison the country permanently. 
 

Jarnhamar

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CBH99 said:
In a place like Helmand, can we ever realistically expect to "crush" an insurgency that shares the cultural & religious background of the residents? 

Ask the prime minister of Alderaan.

I kid but not that much. If Helmand is the Taliban's Alderaan and we want to eliminate the Taliban then we can bulldoze Helmand. And if they pick another sect of land to try and rally in then bulldoze that too.

The problem seems to be that we don't have a clear definition of what mission success constitutes nor do we have the stomach to fight dirty.  We can't half-ass replacing their culture with a westernized force. It doesn't jive on numerous levels. So it's bulldoze or leave, IMO.
 

dimsum

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Humphrey Bogart said:
Peace as we understand it is probably unachievable and if the US wants a form of stability it will need to garrison the country permanently.

Sure seems that way already.
 

Colin Parkinson

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My hope is that we have poisoned the well for the Taliban by having 100,000's of people get some education, improved the road network and cell network. They will never be able to hold the power that they did and eventually that access to the world and some education will make things ever so more difficult for them. Not to mention a huge swath of their leadership has been killed off and likely, old tribal influences will reassert themselves and the Taliban as a movement will fracture as well.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Jarnhamar said:
Why is the Taliban kicking the Afghan National Armies *** when the ANA has been trained and equipped by professional western forces for 16 years?

I invite you to find and read the short story "The Lost Legion" by Rudyard Kipling.

It, perhaps, gives some 120 year old insight to this question.
 

Ashkan08

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Not the best source but still points out some reasons why the Afghan army/military is pretty ineffective by itself.
http://alwaght.com/en/News/95453/Four-Reasons-Why-is-Afghan-Military-So-Inefficient?
 

tomahawk6

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Their most effective weapon is the insider attack. General Miller was the target for assassination but others weren't so lucky. I bet he keeps his PSD in any conference he attends.

https://dailycaller.com/2018/10/18/us-general-miller-afghanistan-taliban-attack/
 

daftandbarmy

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This is a good assessment of the weaknesses inherent in any 'Arab Army':

Why Arabs Lose Wars:

"Arab junior officers are well trained on the technical aspects of their weapons and tactical know-how, but not in leadership, a subject given little attention. For example, as General Sa'd ash-Shazli, the Egyptian chief of staff, noted in his assessment of the army he inherited prior to the 1973 war, they were not trained to seize the initiative or volunteer original concepts or new ideas. Indeed, leadership may be the greatest weakness of Arab training systems. This problem results from two main factors: a highly accentuated class system bordering on a caste system, and lack of a non-commissioned-officer development program."

https://www.meforum.org/articles/other/why-arabs-lose-wars
 

ontheedge

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tomahawk6 said:
Their most effective weapon is the insider attack. General Miller was the target for assassination but others weren't so lucky. I bet he keeps his PSD in any conference he attends.

https://dailycaller.com/2018/10/18/us-general-miller-afghanistan-taliban-attack/

Yup. It’s a sad state of affairs when this is the hope after all of the allies’ hard work.  17 years of rebuilding and this is what happens to the best of the best?

If corruption is the grievance of crazed fighters...  well... it should be dealt with.
But it’s pretty lame to invest this much money and lives to get such poor results.

 

Colin Parkinson

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Giving this some thought, I am not sure if the Taliban are strong enough to topple the government. Even if they do, can they hold the country and for how long? Most of their senior leadership was taken out, they may have some smart fresh blood, but they are also a coalition and without a immediate threat, will likely start infighting. Running a country requires money and the days of massive donations from the Gulf States are gone or numbered. They have enemies in the Chinese, Iranians and Russians. Pakistan might choose to help, but how much can it spare? India would not help the Taliban, but might help a breakaway group. I can see growing resentment against them as the infrastructure that exists runs down, roads, bridges crumble. To enforce order they have to crack down, harder and harder and eventually reach a point where the people lose fear and turn on them.   
 

ontheedge

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I read this article the other day and was wondering what people thought. The basic idea is that the Police Chief was corrupt and brutal, but since he was an ally, "love covers all sins". 

http://espritdecorps.ca/on-target-4/on-target-sometimes-a-son-of-a-gun-is-just-a-son-of-a-gun

 

daftandbarmy

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ontheedge said:
I read this article the other day and was wondering what people thought. The basic idea is that the Police Chief was corrupt and brutal, but since he was an ally, "love covers all sins". 

http://espritdecorps.ca/on-target-4/on-target-sometimes-a-son-of-a-gun-is-just-a-son-of-a-gun

First, let's fire all the managers

Management is the least efficient activity in your organization.

Think of the countless hours that team leaders, department heads, and vice presidents devote to supervising the work of others. Most managers are hardworking; the problem doesn’t lie with them. The inefficiency stems from a top-heavy management model that is both cumbersome and costly.

A hierarchy of managers exacts a hefty tax on any organization. This levy comes in several forms. First, managers add overhead, and as an organization grows, the costs of management rise in both absolute and relative terms. A small organization may have one manager and 10 employees; one with 100,000 employees and the same 1:10 span of control will have 11,111 managers. That’s because an additional 1,111 managers will be needed to manage the managers. In addition, there will be hundreds of employees in management-related functions, such as finance, human resources, and planning. Their job is to keep the organization from collapsing under the weight of its own complexity. Assuming that each manager earns three times the average salary of a first-level employee, direct management costs would account for 33% of the payroll. Any way you cut it, management is expensive.


https://hbr.org/2011/12/first-lets-fire-all-the-managers
 

ontheedge

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“C’est quoi le rapport” as they say in French. What’s the connection?  Which managers in Afghanistan are you suggesting be fired??
 
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