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Thread: Fire with Fire

  1. #21
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Why reinvent the wheel?

    Go look at how SOG was formed and fielded its teams, especially between 1967 and 1969. This was an organization that formed more or less on the fly, and conducted some amazing operations. They weren't all SF-qualified, and much of their training pipeline was improvised locally.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    There's a huge difference between inserting "Eldest Son" ammunition or "40 On/offs" into the enemy supply chain, and blowing the legs off an 11-year-old who went to steal some stuff from your cache.

    Caches are something requiring quite a lot of thought and a good deal of planning. Usefulness is very context dependant. I'm not sure they are viable in the Green Zone, or anywhere near where you get population movement.
    OK. If you need to cache stuff (like leave your bergens somewhere while you trot over the ridge to do some mischief you need to make sure you don't come back to find your stuff gone or even booby trapped by the nasties.

    What I am saying is that if you have to cache stuff (equipment, ammo, food, water) you want to make sure that if someone finds it it is so set up that they will get nothing of what is there. Yes and whoever finds it gets to be converted to gases at 3,000m per sec.

    Clearly if a kid can find it it has not been properly cached.

    Yes and as the man said the primary operations will be away from areas of population.

    Is lack of Firepower an issue??
    Personal firepower is an issue if there is no fire support immediately on call. If no fire support is available then the risk is that like the foot sloggers currently the temptation will be to overload and thereby forfeit mobility.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post

    [snip]

    might i suggest the force multiplier WE need in this is a significantly larger air surveillance presence in AWACS , "Joint STARS" , or UAV flights. this is especially needed with IR system detection of such forces as they move in the terrain at night or by day.

    with our air eyes, there is no reason to ever be surprised by an attack or by an ambush. we would have seen them as they moved, deployed, and
    set up for assaults.

    [snip]
    Good thinking. And as part of the training and operational monitoring the commander can use UAVs to shadow the troops as they move. I would suggest that a lot could be learned from watching our own as much as we look out for the Taliban. Comes down to resources I suppose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    Why reinvent the wheel?

    Go look at how SOG was formed and fielded its teams, especially between 1967 and 1969. This was an organization that formed more or less on the fly, and conducted some amazing operations. They weren't all SF-qualified, and much of their training pipeline was improvised locally.
    Do you have a source on this SOG you can direct attention to?

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    Where is jcustis? Isn't this work for the USMC Recon? (not saying that the army shouldn't get involved in this sort of thing.)

  6. #26
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    MACV/SOG is fairly well-covered by John Plaster's book and (in a more scholarly manner) by Shultz's The Secret War Against Hanoi. Wikipedia also has a decent overview here. Wilf has done some digging on them, as have I in the course of my studies. They ran recon in more isolated corners of South Vietnam, but their main focus was on the "denied areas" in Laos, Cambodia, and even parts of North Vietnam. Teams were typically a mix of US and indigenous personnel (3 US and 4+ Montagnards or Nungs with some SVN at times).
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Possibly the key to the 'eastern style' is not so much that it is 'eastern' in origin but that it is the offensive philosophy in this conflict where are forces are on the defensive...if the western world was to decide to go on the offensive, in an irregular manner, against unnamed adversaries states (insert your pet hate nation here) then perhaps we could very much operate in the manner suggested in the opening post?

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    Default Jon Custis is ...

    a very quiet professional - seriously (IMO). When his recon company led the 2003 East Side charge to Baghdad (with Fox's Rick Leventhal as embed, then and now, Thank You To The 1st L.A.R.), I suspect that he would have as preferred to avoid the publicity and preserve his anonimity. Of course, his real expertise is in the area of sheep and goat husbandry.

    Regards to Jon and others,

    Mike

  9. #29
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    Wilf has done some digging on them, as have I in the course of my studies. They ran recon in more isolated corners of South Vietnam, but their main focus was on the "denied areas" in Laos, Cambodia, and even parts of North Vietnam. Teams were typically a mix of US and indigenous personnel (3 US and 4+ Montagnards or Nungs with some SVN at times).
    All Royalties gratefully accepted!
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    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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    Default widespread use among local Taliban units and spotters of various HF/VHF comms, plus v

    oh i'd assume Rex that they have the simpler gear to stay in touch. and i'd assume WE'D have a full snooping ability to intercept and listen in...wouldn't you?
    the com traffic would be a good thing to plot and evaluate with one of those supercomputers the government has laying idle.

    find out who's talking and where they are. lay down GPS guided bombs to everyone of them at the same time is what i'd suggest.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-14-2010 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Tidy up spacing

  11. #31
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post
    find out who's talking and where they are.
    lay down GPS guided bombs to everyone of them at the same
    time is what i'd suggest.
    Complication #1:
    Half of the people on the phone sit on a moving motorcycle, shadowing a MRAP patrol.

    Complication #2:
    The others sit in villages, among civilians. You'd get one possibly quite unimportant guy with a mobile phone and kill also his family of ten.

    There are reasons why the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who went to Afghanistan didn't solve the riddle yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Complication #1:
    Half of the people on the phone sit on a moving motorcycle, shadowing a MRAP patrol.

    Complication #2:
    The others sit in villages, among civilians. You'd get one possibly quite unimportant guy with a mobile phone and kill also his family of ten.

    There are reasons why the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who went to Afghanistan didn't solve the riddle yet.
    The problem is that the Soviets (before) and the current US/UK approach to the war has been one characterised by the use of brute force and ignorance. Never going to work in a million years. I suggest that this thread is one about a recommended new approach where a more carefully targeted and precise tactical approach would be used.

  13. #33
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    The problem is that the Soviets (before) and the current US/UK approach to the war has been one characterised by the use of brute force and ignorance. Never going to work in a million years. I suggest that this thread is one about a recommended new approach where a more carefully targeted and precise tactical approach would be used.
    That's not an accurate statement.

    Maybe true for the Soviets. They've never been very good at warfare, but the stellar opposite is true of the UK. Has the UK predominantly failed in the post 2001 context? Yes, I think it has, but this is not the historical norm.
    The UK is currently going through another "Crimea."
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  14. #34
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Crimea, Khartoum, Boers, Somme, Dardanelles, Dunkirk, Western Desert, Malaya, Dieppe, Arnhem, Suez?

    There's a bit more than just Crimea, Basra and Helmand on the list, Wilf!

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    Of course, his real expertise is in the area of sheep and goat husbandry.
    I heard that...

    Of late, I've also developed a knack for understanding how the locals are able to "push water uphill". It is a remarkable and age old process, yet abuses the land over time.

    And I never would have thunk that I would know that.

    To the question about Force Recon and Recon Battalion doing that sort of semi- pseudo ops, that's in the movies I'm afraid. There may be some urban recce skills taught out there, but it is impractical to try to employ mirror-image efforts at a large scale. I think we have a hard enough time trying to employ covert camouflague techniques for small recce elements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    I heard that...

    Of late, I've also developed a knack for understanding how the locals are able to "push water uphill". It is a remarkable and age old process, yet abuses the land over time.

    And I never would have thunk that I would know that.
    And they do this how? I have often thought how a very tall redwood tree "lifts" the water from below ground to the leaves. Easier to be told than to try and figure it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    And they do this how? I have often thought how a very tall redwood tree "lifts" the water from below ground to the leaves. Easier to be told than to try and figure it out.
    Oh! Oh! Something I can answer... somewhat. This is the danger of allowing engineers access to webboards. I can't answer how local folks would push water uphill.

    Trees, I think I can answer. Capillary action. Essentially, if you create enough surface area and thin enough tubes, the water will have a natural tendency to cling to the sides of the tubes. Same principle as to why when you sip soda through a straw, the height of the soda inside the straw can be higher than the level of the soda in the cup, even after you stop sipping.

    Additionally, with trees, they also aspirate water through the leaves. This creates a "pull" at the top of the tree (kinda like sucking on the straw). Combine that with capillary action at work inside the tree (and veins inside the tree that branch off and get smaller and smaller as you work your way up) and poof, watered tree. That's the gist of it, anyway.

    Anyways... I'll stop playing Mr. Wizard and let you all get back to your regularly scheduled discussion on counterinsurgency type things.

  18. #38
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Water Wizard

    Ken,

    Thanks for the explanation, good to know engineers know their biology too. Now how about the Afghans moving water uphill? No time limit set, just a wave of the wizard's wand.
    davidbfpo

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    First guess... lots of buckets?

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    The keywords for the trees is "Osmosis".

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