Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 3/5/2002 7:57:52 PM EDT
[size=4]Chinook Down[/size=4] [b]What they died for.[/b] By James S. Robbins, a national-security analyst & NRO contributor March 5, 2002 8:15 a.m. I once gave a lecture on Clausewitz to a group of servicemen in which I referred to the famous Prussian's admonition not to have wars without bloodshed. An infantry officer in the audience shrugged and said, "Just so long as it's their blood." Until this weekend, it seemed as though the war on terror would see very few allied losses — but then came Operation Anaconda. Just when the public was beginning to focus on other matters, and when politicians sensed it was safe to begin to devise ways to criticize the commander-in-chief, the United States was faced with its first cluster of combat casualties — as of this writing, nine dead and 40 wounded. The largest number of KIAs were seven soldiers in two MH-47s (the special-operations version of the CH-47 Chinook). Details of the engagement are conflicting. Anaconda is a long-planned, large-scale operation aimed at cleaning out a nest of Afghan, Arab, and Chechen al Qaeda fighters, possibly including leadership elements, who have established fortified positions in the mountains near Gardez in eastern Afghanistan. The Chinooks were reportedly inserting special-forces teams and supplies in support of the operation when they were hit. The first chopper lost one soldier when a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) temporarily downed it. The second, coming to assist the first, was riddled with small-arms fire, and six more soldiers died on the snow-swept Afghan mountainside. Inserting heliborne troops in the mountains during active operations is dangerous business. In the 1980s, the Soviets used to drop Spetsnaz units behind the mujahedeen during major offensives, to cut off escape routes and generally cause havoc. The Afghan guerrillas eventually learned the Soviet pattern and began to stake out probable landing zones with small teams armed with RPGs and, later, British blowpipes and American stingers. They would hit the choppers when they were preparing to land, when they were relatively stationary and most vulnerable. They also figured out the probable routes of ingress and would place men along high ridgelines to shoot down at low-flying targets, aiming for the fragile top and tail rotors. Today, fighting the same type of enemy in the same terrain, the tactics — both allied and al Qaeda — have a familiar ring. These soldiers were not the first allied service deaths in the war (not including 9/11, that is). Air Force Master Sgt. Evander Earl Andrews lost his life in an accident October 10. The first combat death was Mike Spann, on November 25. The first soldier killed by the enemy was Army Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman, on January 4. Many others have died in the theater, by accident or from friendly fire. And ten days ago, an MH-47 carrying eight soldiers and two airmen went down in the waters of the southern Philippines during exercises in support of Philippine operations against the Abu Sayyaf terror group. No, this has not been a casualty-free war, far from it. - continued -
Link Posted: 3/5/2002 8:00:00 PM EDT
The circumstances of the recent tragedy bring to mind another battle in which a group of elite forces came to grief, the October 3, 1993 battle in Mogadishu that left 18 dead and 84 wounded, lately brought to the screen in Black Hawk Down. The story makes for good cinema — American servicemen in a bad situation, their plan gone tragically wrong, pinned down in enemy territory, fighting for their lives. But there are dozens of similar stories from many different wars. The significance of that battle, the thing that made the tragedy complete, was what took place afterwards — the U.S. pullout from Somalia. The tactical mishap in Mogadishu had grand strategic consequences. It became a post Cold War symbol of American feebleness, of unwillingness to make sacrifices in pursuit of national objectives. Thereafter casualty aversion became not simply a force-protection measure but a guiding principle, a strategic sine qua non. It shaped — even dominated — American political-military planning throughout the 1990s. The lesson was learned quickly by our enemies. Less than two weeks after the events in Somalia the U.S.S. Harlan County, carrying 200 US troops to Port au Prince, Haiti, and denied permission to use force, was compelled to turn away in the face of a mob of machete-wielding Tontons Macoute on the pier chanting [b]"Mogadishu! Mogadishu!"[/b] Osama bin Laden also internalized the message. His experiences of US responses to his provocations — to the Cole attack, the African embassy bombings, the Khobar Towers blast — all seemed to confirm this belief. The al Qaeda leaders believed that the American reply to 9/11 would be a post-Somalia style assault, a cruise-missile volley or bombing raid, easily survivable in their many secure bunkers. He never expected the Americans to pay him a visit in person, and even if they tried, their will would weaken after suffering a few casualties and they would give up as they had in the past. Ayman Zawahri, leader of the Egyptian Jihad group, stated as much on his portion of the October 7 bin Laden video, noting that the US had "fled in panic from Lebanon and Somalia." The "Crusaders" had no stomach for real war. But the September attacks redefined the terrain, and a new team of leaders were on hand to map it. The existing contingency plans were brought out, reviewed, then scrapped. New guidelines were formulated to meet new objectives. Casualty infliction replaced casualty aversion, and in the process of planning and executing their revolutionary style of war, the Bush team found that they could have both. - continued -
Link Posted: 3/5/2002 8:01:03 PM EDT
Alas, no plan is perfect. No operations go off without a hitch. Sometimes the circumstances are fatal, as they were yesterday. But the differences between this shoot down and Mogadishu are vast. [b]Yes, men died, soldiers were sacrificed, but this time not needlessly, not in vain.[/b] In both cases the enemy received worse than they gave, but this time we will see the operation through to its completion. The word from the top is unequivocal. "We intend to continue the operation until those al Qaeda and Taliban who remain are either surrendered or killed," Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said Monday. "The choice is theirs." As Joint Chiefs Chairman General Richard Myers added, "It seems they have chosen to stay and to fight to the last, and we hope to accommodate them." [b]Moreover, resolve at the front is equally plain — of the 40 men wounded in Operation Anaconda, half have already returned to battle. Let the world well mark the meaning of March 4 — [u]Mogadishu is history[/u].[/b] See article at:[url]http://www.nationalreview.com/contributors/robbins030502.shtml[/url] Eric The(Patriotic)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/5/2002 9:07:59 PM EDT
God be with our fighting forces, and may the day never come where they hear the demoralizing voice of a hindsight warrior pantywaist opportunist Demorat, use our causalities for a political tool to push their commie agenda. That would be sad.
Link Posted: 3/5/2002 9:15:13 PM EDT
Monday morning quarterbacking at its finest!
Link Posted: 3/5/2002 9:25:40 PM EDT
The circumstances of the recent tragedy bring to mind another battle in which a group of elite forces came to grief, the October 3, 1993 battle in Mogadishu that left 18 dead and 84 wounded, lately brought to the screen in Black Hawk Down. The story makes for good cinema — American servicemen in a bad situation, their plan gone tragically wrong, pinned down in enemy territory, fighting for their lives. But there are dozens of similar stories from many different wars. The significance of that battle, the thing that made the tragedy complete, was what took place afterwards — the U.S. pullout from Somalia. The tactical mishap in Mogadishu had grand strategic consequences. It became a post Cold War symbol of American feebleness, of unwillingness to make sacrifices in pursuit of national objectives. Thereafter casualty aversion became not simply a force-protection measure but a guiding principle, a strategic sine qua non. It shaped — even dominated — American political-military planning throughout the 1990s
View Quote
I take acception to this and the conclusions drawn from it. This unwillingness is attributed to the military, when it actually belongs to clinton.
But the September attacks redefined the terrain, and a new team of leaders were on hand to map it. The existing contingency plans were brought out, reviewed, then scrapped. New guidelines were formulated to meet new objectives. Casualty infliction replaced casualty aversion, and in the process of planning and executing their revolutionary style of war, the Bush team found that they could have both
View Quote
He makes the same mistake. The Bush and Clinton are two completely different men. OBL just underestimated one. Benjamin
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 6:08:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By trickshot: Monday morning quarterbacking at its finest!
View Quote
By whom? Monday morning quarterbacking is a term meaning criticizing the actions of the professionals after the fact with perfect hindsight. The writer of this article is praising the actions taken in Afghanistan. Did you not know the meaning of the term you used or are you instead referring to the people criticizing the tactics used in Somalia or Haiti?
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 6:55:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2002 7:00:36 AM EDT by Fearandloathing37]
I think, We have to look at this war, Thru the Machivilain lens of geo-political reality. The big picture, if you will. We must think about the Consiquences, Not only in the short term of retaliation for a terrorist attack, But in the long term, of what kind of world our children will grow up in, if Militant Islam, Remains unchecked. Make no mistake about it, The coming war agaist the Radical Islamic Powers, Is about deterance. It's about hurting Islam so bad, that they will slink back into their poverty stricken dictatorships and abandon their hopes for a Islamic Empire capable of laying out the terms to our children. It's the age old question, of who's system, is going to run the planet and there is no second place. It's a question of, if the civilization based on Plato and Aristotle, or the Civilization based on a murdering, mad desert prophet, will be the life model for humanity in the future. It's as simple as that. That's why boy's are dying on a mountain side outside of Gardez. Few living in the times, that a battle is fought, realize, that the battle changes the direction of human history. If you had asked people living at the time of the battle of Hastings or Trafalgar, Those people would have thought of the battle as a necesity of the times, But, the fact that historians, hundreds of years later, would see it as a turning point in the direction of human kind, would very probably seem ridiculous to them.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 9:27:53 AM EDT
I don't know that we will ever return to somalia, but it would be on par with McAuthor Returning to the philipines. Also the should tie the UN sec up to the front gate of the first landing craft that hits the beech. Benjamin
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 10:08:09 AM EDT
Rik, I don't think that Trickshot ever knows what he is blathering about.
Link Posted: 3/6/2002 10:10:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Torf: Rik, I don't think that Trickshot ever knows what he is blathering about.
View Quote
Well, that's certainly possible. I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. [:D]
Top Top