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Posted: 12/27/2001 8:17:39 AM EDT
Where's all that chest pounding now? Eat $hit. What does it feel like to see an 2,000 pound bomb coming down at you from 30,000 feet? Didn't see it huh? Well, we got plenty more where that came from. ========================================================== Los Angeles Times: Missteps Toppled Taliban, Analysts Say [url]http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-122701collapse.story[/url] Missteps Toppled Taliban, Analysts Say War: Outdated game plan and a misreading of U.S. commitment led to the sudden fall of the regime and its Al Qaeda guests, according to Pakistanis. By DAVID LAMB Times Staff Writer December 27 2001 ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The sudden collapse of the Taliban and its Al Qaeda terrorist guests in Afghanistan stunned Pakistani military analysts, who now say the groups' leaders made enormous tactical blunders. In the end, they say, the Taliban's vaunted courage and military mastery proved a myth. The Taliban and Al Qaeda had no strategy, misread the United States' commitment to eradicate terrorism and, these analysts say, thought that they could win by fighting yesterday's war--in which the moujahedeen defeated the Soviet Union, after a decade of combat, in 1989. Only a few months ago, the Taliban, which controlled 90% of Afghanistan, appeared in position to defeat the dogged Northern Alliance opposition force and extend its rule across the entire country after five years of civil war. When alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masoud--"the Lion of Panjshir"--was assassinated Sept. 9, a retired Pakistani general recalled, "I said to myself, 'That's the end of the alliance.' Many alliance leaders felt that way too." Then came Sept. 11. Afghanistan was turned upside down. And within three months, the religious zealots who had promised to stand and fight to the death were destroyed as an effective political and military institution, having been killed or pushed into hiding without digging in for a single decisive battle. "We've made tremendous progress, but we're not there yet," Kenton Keith, a spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-Taliban coalition, said Wednesday. "In October, the Taliban had 90% of the country. There was no democratic political process. Everyone assumed Afghanistan was facing a major famine in which hundreds of thousands could die over the winter. "Today, the Taliban controls nothing except some isolated pockets of resistance. There is a political process in place, and it looks as though we will not see a major famine, with 104,000 metric tons of wheat arriving, enough to feed the people. In every respect, what we were facing in October we are no longer facing today." In late September, before the U.S. bombing campaign began, Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters "seemed to disappear overnight" from the north, Pakistani military sources said. It is now believed that they were moving their families to places they considered safe. The fighters started returning in the last days of September. At first, their leaders taunted the United States in pronouncements and radio messages. "Send us your Americans, not our Muslim brothers," one Taliban fighter radioed an anti-Taliban militia member in eastern Afghanistan's Tora Bora region.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 8:18:32 AM EDT
In Pakistan, thousands of tribal warriors answered the call to jihad and walked across the border with an odd assortment of old weapons, believing that they were going to Afghanistan to fight the Americans. Many of them were killed. Mullah Mohammed Omar, the reclusive Taliban leader, appeared to be aware of the United States' reputation of being willing to fight wars but not suffer casualties since its ill-fated experience in Vietnam. Pakistani analysts believe that Omar's game plan was to hunker down and lie low until large numbers of U.S. ground troops were sent into combat. When Taliban and Al Qaeda forces, hidden in their fortified mountain caves, inflicted large casualties on them, the Americans would withdraw, the reasoning went. It was a strategy that had worked with the Soviet Union. "Al Qaeda fought hard at first," said Sayed Mohammed Pahlawan, an anti-Taliban commander in Tora Bora. "But when they found out they were fighting Muslim brothers, not the Americans, they softened and were easily defeated. I think they were disappointed not to fight the Americans." In the capital, Kabul, the northern cities of Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz and the southern stronghold of Kandahar and other places, the Taliban tried to hold ground. The Soviet army had found in the 1980s that such a tactic doesn't work in Afghanistan. It particularly didn't work in 2001, when the United States controlled the skies and, unlike the Soviet Union, didn't have to worry about losing planes to missiles. Besides, the strength of the Taliban and the anti-Soviet moujahedeen had been as guerrillas, operating in rugged terrain they knew well, not as soldiers who held ground and fought conventional battles. "To say the Taliban had a strategy gives them too much credit for military sophistication," said Kamal Matinubim, a retired Pakistani general. "These are really militia people, ramshackle people who've been given some weapons. They've had a little training, like jumping over some obstacle logs or digging ditches, but strategy and tactics are way beyond them. What they seemed most concerned with was not taking casualties themselves." They never saw the Americans they thought they would fight, and the death many met came from 30,000 feet. In the Persian Gulf War a decade ago, 15% of the bombs dropped were precision-guided. In Afghanistan, about two-thirds were. Additionally, the munitions used in Afghanistan were cheaper and more plentiful and powerful than those available to U.S. forces in the Gulf. The Taliban, Matinubim and others said, was doomed the moment Pakistan pulled the plug on the fundamentalist regime.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 8:19:09 AM EDT
Like earlier Afghan wars, analysts said, the outcome of this one depended more on negotiated surrenders, commanders' switching sides and strategic withdrawals than on advancing and fighting with the enemy, something neither side was willing to do. The moujahedeen who fought the Taliban and acted as a proxy army for the United States showed little enthusiasm for advancing until targets had been pounded for days by U.S. warplanes. "The moujahedeen were pretty smart," one Western military analyst said. "Once the U.S. came in, they realized what they had to do to win was stay on the United States' side and just show up. But it was their presence on the ground that forced the Taliban to mass and try to hold ground--which in an air war proved fatal." For information about reprinting this article, go to http://www.lats.com/rights
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 8:38:27 AM EDT
The mistake they made was that they didn't realize that AL GORE lost and that we had a real President with balls in office. No more skirt chasering and being worried about semen stains. Clinton should be held accountable for every Ranger and Deltaforce that died. Not to mention the gutting of the American military and intelligence services.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 4:17:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2001 4:41:08 PM EDT by warlord]
Originally Posted By ARDOC: The mistake they made was that they didn't realize that AL GORE lost and that we had a real President with balls in office. No more skirt chasering and being worried about semen stains.
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Good observation. The Taliban underestimated an unproven Geo. W. Bush Jr. Fatal mistake. I would have never thought about Al Gore/Bill Clinton in that context.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 4:28:43 PM EDT
[:D][:D][:D][:D] [:D][:D][:D][:D]
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 4:32:18 PM EDT
I think the big misstep they made was f*cking with the US in the first place. While I think Bush has done a [b]great[/b] job so far, the invasion was inevitable irregardless who was President. The American people would have demanded it and to do any less would have been political suicide and everyone knows it. With Gore in office it may have taken longer to get to the point we are at now, but by the will of the people, we would have gotten here. The terrorist acts weren't just something that made a few Americans mad, it pissed [b]every[/b] American off. If they thought they could pull off something of that magnitude and get away with no retribution they obviously don't understand the American people. Most of the time America as a whole is pretty laid back and apathetic, but they made the mistake of getting us pissed. [b]That[/b] was their misstep.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 6:08:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2001 6:11:42 PM EDT by ECS]
President Bush has proven himself to be a great Executive. He has delegated the execution of the war to USCENTCOM, where it belongs. He has not tried to run the entire war out of the Oval Office. If Al Gore was President, I'm sure he would be personally picking the targets himself and generally driving the DoD crazy. Big Al would be conducting 'focus groups' to guage American's "feelings". Excuse me while I go puke, I just made myself sick thinging about Al [puke].
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 6:24:57 PM EDT
Dammit, ARDOC. I'm still having trouble reconciling the fact that you're a UofM grad, and there you go slamming Clinton and Gore.
Link Posted: 12/28/2001 9:49:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By warlord: Missteps Toppled Taliban, Analysts Say War: Outdated game plan and a misreading of U.S. commitment led to the sudden fall of the regime and its Al Qaeda guests, according to Pakistanis.
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The sudden collapse of the Taliban was a NOT all of a sudden. I think to the general news media it was sudden because they couldn't see the damage, but all along the U.S. military was saying that we are destroying their infastracture. But how can you survive the relentless pounding of the 500 to 2,000 pound bombs? Getting hit by just one will probably ruin your whole day.
Link Posted: 12/28/2001 12:35:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/28/2001 12:37:07 PM EDT by warlord]
Originally Posted By ECS: President Bush has proven himself to be a great Executive. He has delegated the execution of the war to USCENTCOM, where it belongs. He has not tried to run the entire war out of the Oval Office. If Al Gore was President, I'm sure he would be personally picking the targets himself and generally driving the DoD crazy. Big Al would be conducting 'focus groups' to guage American's "feelings". Excuse me while I go puke, I just made myself sick thinging about Al.
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No flame intended on the people from Texas, but Lyndon Johnson pretty much ran the Viet Nam War from his office. He personally picked and/or approved of militiarily insignicant targets to bomb, and of course the N. VietNamese were not impressed. Good thing GWB Jr. didn't do the same.
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