Afghanistan: A Better Way

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Desertrat, May 2, 2004.

  1. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #1
    I ran across http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/040510/usnews/10kanday.htm during my morning browsing. It speaks to the Special Forces in northeastern Afghanistan, and is a comparison with conventional military methodology.

    There's a comparison to the British efforts of the late 1940s and early 1950s in Malaysia to end the Communist-led insurgency there; that was one of the few truly successful anti-insurgent efforts.

    I liked the article's ending; it's really nice to know that the mission is ahead of "making nice" with a general officer. :)

    'Rat
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #2
    I've long wondered why the British effort in Malaysia was not used as a model more often. As you say, one of the only cases of a regular army prevailing in a counter-insurgency operation.
     
  3. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #3
    Until fairly recently, every time the U.S. has needed the rather unconventional types of forces, we've had to start from scratch. Most generals, historically, find such as the Green Berets to be repugnant; not "real" soldiers. This attitude flies in the face of the realities of the successes of Marion's Rangers in our Revolutionary War, as well as the WW II successes of Merrill's Marauders and Carson's Rangers.

    I've often wondered how much the British military establishment was hammered upon, to set up the methodology in Malasia. I read the Reader's Digest condensed-book article about this, but the passage of some 40 years dims the details.

    Right after 9/11 it was noted that we were in deep doodoo for a lack of speakers of Arabic within our military and intelligence entities. You'd think we'd have begun recruiting like mad for Arabists, and sending guys to the Army's language school at Monterrey. (Maybe they have, but it hasn't been spoken of to any amount...)

    Wuz I the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in the Pentagon, I'd have had a bunch of generals into heavy study of Arab culture: "You will learn, or you will resign."

    'Rat
     
  4. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #4
    They already had the SAS, who were mostly responsible, and of course they were forced to work on a shoe-string budget since Britain was in deep economic doodoo after WWII. Necessity is the mother of invention.

    I agree, 'Rat, this is pretty basic. I believe this is one area, amongst others, where the British military was considerably better prepared for Iraq than your lot.
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #5
    my great uncle was a Merle Maurader. sadly, i didn't find this out until the last time i saw him, so i didn't get much of a chance to talk to him about it. his comment on burma: "oh my god, the fruit!"

    edit: checked my notes, he was in the Mars Task Force of Merle's Mauraders.
     
  6. Desertrat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #6
    Yeah, zim, I know what you mean. Lots of guys said very little about their war. I didn't even know my father had gotten a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star until near his death.

    I picked up a very few bits and pieces, sorta one at a time over the years, from first my stepfather and later from my father. While in Korea, I served with guys who'd been in both Theaters during WW II, and a few who'd been in combat in Korea--again, bits and pieces.

    I'll never forget my stepfather's comment about flying B-24s out of Henderson Field on Guadalcanal: "We used those things for everything from pursuit planes to dive bombers." (I shudder to think of it...)

    Or my father's, "They'll never make a really realistic war movie. They can't duplicate the smell of a battlefield, with all that dead meat."

    I gotta think that to some extent my father's only complaint was the difficulty in getting cigars. I think he regarded the war across France and into Germany as sort of a variety of more interesting deer hunting. Among other things, he was at the Remagen Bridge ahead of Patton. When his outfit got pulled back for a two-week break, he got bored and went back to the front and volunteered to be an artillery spotter, since the regular guy had been killed.

    I've never regretted having missed combat. I'm able to learn vicariously, thank you. I guess the closest I've come was "Charley Whitman Day" at UT in August of 1966.

    'Rat
     

Share This Page