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Thread: How to beat the Taliban in Afghanistan / Pakistan (and win the war on terror)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Lightbulb How to beat the Taliban in Afghanistan / Pakistan (and win the war on terror)

    Introduction and summary

    In this short 5-minute video, I reject of the idea of peace talks with the Taliban and present an outline of my proposed strategy to beat the Taliban (and win the war on terror).

    VIDEO: Peter Dow's "no" to Taliban's surrender terms. Afpak strategy for victory in war on terror.

    Excerpt transcripts from the video -

    CBS News. Scott Pelley said -

    "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made news Wednesday when he said the combat role for U.S. troops in Afghanistan could end next year instead of 2014. Today, he took a step back -- insisting that U.S. forces will remain combat ready -- even as they transition into their new role of training Afghan troops.

    Another part of the U.S. strategy involves getting the Taliban to hold peace talks with the Afghan government. Clarissa Ward spoke with some Taliban representatives where they live, in Pakistan. "

    Clarissa Ward said -

    "They call him the "Father of the Taliban," one of Pakistan's most well-known and hard-line Islamists.

    We visited Sami ul Haq at his religious school near the Afghan border. Many Afghan Taliban leaders and fighters studied there, earning it the nickname the "University of Jihad." ..

    Peter Dow
    I said -

    "So the Deans of Jihad have dictated terms to the West, the terms they propose of the West's surrender to the Jihadis in the war on terror.

    So what should the response of the West be? Should we surrender to the Jihadis, or should we fight to win?

    This guy Sami ul Haq should be a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp along with his University of Jihad colleagues, his controllers from the Pakistani ISI and his financial backers from Saudi Arabia.

    The US and Western allies ought to name Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as "state sponsors of terrorism".

    There ought to be drone strikes on the University of Jihad. (Darul Uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak, Pakistan)

    We ought to seize control of Pakistani and Saudi TV satellites and use them to broadcast propaganda calling for the arrest of all involved in waging terrorist war against the West.

    It just seems very poor tactics for our military to be risking life and limb in the minefields of Afghanistan yet at the strategic level our governments and businesses are still "trading with the enemy".

    As the Star Trek character Commander Scott might have said -

    "It's war, Captain but not as we know it.""

    The desire for "peace talks" with the enemy is where poor generals with a failed war strategy end up.

    Why would NATO and specifically the US want to encourage "peace talks" with the enemy Taliban? Why not simply crush the enemy? What's the political or military issue here that might mean "peace talks" would be part of an exit strategy for the US and allies?

    Key failures have been -

    • Weak strategic thinking and planning by US and then NATO generals has dragged out the Western intervention in Afghanistan since 2001 and caused far more casualties to our soldiers than was ever necessary.

    • The military general staff has lacked vision about the enemy and failed to comprehend and react appropriately to intelligence reports that Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other jihadi terror groups are proxies for hostile states, typically managed from Pakistan and funded from Saudi Arabia.

    This 2-hour video is of a British TV programme which explains in great detail the role of the Pakistani state via the ISI (Inter-services intelligence) has in supporting the Taliban's war against our forces in Afghanistan.

    VIDEO: BBC Documentary - "SECRET PAKISTAN - Double Cross / Backlash" (2 hours)

    • Military strategic essentials have been neglected, such as - when occupying territory, always ensure secure supply routes from one strong point to another. Instead NATO-ISAF forces in Afghanistan have been deployed in isolated bases, deployed more like tethered goats as bait for the enemy than a conquering or liberating army.

    • Some combination of military incompetence by the generals and a preference for appeasement on the part of the civilian political leadership has perversely left the West bribing our enemies within the Pakistani terrorist-proxy-controlling state and continuing business-as-usual with our enemies in the Saudi jihadi-financing state.

    My 4-point plan to beat the Taliban and win the war on terror

    It's never too late to learn lessons and adopt an alternative competent and aggressive military strategy. I have already mentioned the outline points of my plan but I will explain those in a little more here and then provide a lot more detail in subsequent posts.

    Point 1

    * The US and Western allies ought to name Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as "state sponsors of terrorism". We ought to name in addition, the other oil-rich Arab kingdoms who are also financial state sponsors of terrorism. This has implications such as ending bribes and deals with back-stabbing hostile countries and instead waging war against our enemies with the aim of regime change or incapacitating the enemy so that they can do us little more harm. The war could be of varying intensity depending on the enemy concerned and how they respond to our initial attacks, whether they wish to escalate the war or surrender to our reasonable demands.

    Point 2

    * There ought to be drone strikes on the University of Jihad. (Darul Uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak, Pakistan) In addition, we ought to employ aerial bombing of all other bases for the Taliban in Pakistan. This may have to be extended to include certain Pakistani state bases which are supporting the Taliban - such as the Pakistani ISI headquarters mentioned a lot in the BBC documentary "SECRET PAKISTAN". If this is not handled very carefully, it could escalate into open war with the Pakistani military. I will explain how to manage Pakistan later.

    Point 3

    * We ought to seize control of Pakistani and Saudi TV satellites and use them to broadcast propaganda calling for the arrest of all involved in waging terrorist war against the West. These satellites are made, launched and maintained by Western companies and should be easy to take over. Other satellites provided to the enemy by non-Western countries could be jammed or destroyed. Air strikes against the enemy's main terrestrial TV transmitter aerials is another option to silence enemy propaganda.

    Point 4

    * When occupying territory, always ensure secure supply routes from one strong point to another. I will provide a lot of details about how this can be done militarily.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Default 2. Bomb the enemy in Pakistan

    2. Bomb the enemy in Pakistan

    More on point 2 of the plan. Air strikes, bombing raids, missiles, drone attacks etc. on enemy bases in Pakistan.

    Bomb Taliban Jihadi indoctrination bases in Pakistan.

    I am suggesting that our forces bomb the Taliban Headquarters known as "the University of Jihad" or Darul Uloom Haqqania, Akora Khattak, 50 kilometres (31 miles) east of the provincial capital, Peshawar.

    More about the place in this BBC webpage

    BBC NEWS | South Asia | The 'university of holy war'

    The significance of this place is that it is the main recruitment and command centre for the Taliban which must be known to our military intelligence officers and so it is a mystery why they have not advised our generals to bomb this place before now or if they did advise our generals to bomb it why they didn't actually bomb it?

    It makes no sense in a war to give the enemy headquarters a free pass and immunity from being targeted. It just makes their commanders feel untouchable which is not how we want them to feel. We want them arrested or dead or in great fear that soon they will be arrested or dead and bombing their HQ gives them that idea.

    Our forces do not have ground forces close enough to use artillery to destroy this target so that leaves NATO to use its aerial power - drones and bomber planes, to bomb the target from the air.

    So apart from not wanting to use nuclear weapons on such a weak target which would be over-kill, I think bombing using the very heaviest conventional bombs, MOABs or heavy bombing from B52s or C130s is appropriate.

    So a "MOAB" would be one of those.

    Ultimate Weapons- Mother of all Bombs (YouTube)

    Which has a blast radius of 450 feet or 137 metres.

    Heavy bombing could be used to totally level such targets, or turn the target site into one huge crater field - obliterate it. Give the Jihadis a demonstration that they won't ever forget!

    Then if the Taliban and Jihadi leaders relocate to a new recruitment, indoctrination and command base, blast that to pieces as well.

    Our forces will have to establish air superiority over the target areas to allow not only unmanned drones but piloted heavy bombers with a much heavier bomb load to over-fly the area reasonably safely.

    How to manage Pakistan

    If and when Pakistan objects to our plans to aerial bomb these enemy indoctrination bases we should tell them that because our view is that Pakistan does not control the ground there to our satisfaction - because Pakistani police or military have not arrested and handed over the likes of the Darul Uloom Haqqania and other Taliban leaders operating on the ground for removal to Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp and not closed down the University of Jihad and other Taliban bases then the Pakistan military don't deserve control of the air space over that ground which they don't satisfactorily control.

    So we can say "Sorry" if the Pakistanis don't like this violation of their sovereignty but the needs of war mean this is something we must do. We wouldn't intend to permanently deprive Pakistan of control over its air space; this would be a temporary measure until the war on terror is won.

    Pakistan had their chance to arrest or kill the Taliban leaders in their Pakistan bases but now it is too late so we are going to flatten the Taliban bases in that part of Pakistan from the air and we need total air superiority over the target area in order to protect our pilots.

    The Pakistan government and military has complained about drone strikes in parts of Pakistan but Pakistan has not gone to war with us about it, thankfully.

    Hopefully, the Pakistanis will not want to contest air superiority with their military but if they do decide to fight to resist our air-superiority where we need it to bomb the Taliban then we must be prepared to take out all nearby Pakistani ground to air missile batteries and any air fighters they send against us to contest air superiority.

    If the Pakistanis decide to fight us over control of Pakistan's air space then of course there is a risk this could escalate to all-out war if the Pakistanis really want to make a casus belli out of the sovereignty issue and the matter of us requiring to destroy the Taliban so possibly we should make it clear to the Pakistanis that the US President or the NATO supreme commander have the option to use nuclear weapons against Pakistani military bases anywhere in Pakistan if that was necessary to win an all-out war with Pakistan.

    That's not our aim to escalate to an all-out war with Pakistan here but Pakistan should be careful not to escalate the situation from one where we need to go after the Taliban only into one where the official Pakistan military gets dragged into a war with us unnecessarily.

    This risk of having to fight and win an all-out war with Pakistan is a lesser risk than failing to defeat the Taliban, withdrawing from Pakistan having achieved little to secure Afghanistan and thereby giving encouragement to Jihadis the world over to commit more acts of terrorism and war elsewhere in the world including in our homelands. So Pakistan should not force us to make that choice of two risky options because their defeat is preferable to our own defeat in our opinion.

    Pakistan should avoid war with the West by stepping back and allowing us to destroy the Taliban in Pakistan because it is the Taliban and the Jihadis who are the true enemies of the Pakistani and Afghan people. We are the friends of the people of Pakistan and we will prove that by defeating their and our enemy, the Taliban and associated Jihadis.

    Hopefully the Pakistanis will back off and let us bomb the Taliban without threat from Pakistan's air defences. We should tell Pakistan that we are doing them a favour which they will thank us for in the long run though we appreciate the embarrassment for them in the short term.

    Targeting the University of Jihad, Akora Khattak

    Here are the co-ordinates for Akora Khattak.

    Geohack - Akora Khattak

    34° 0′ 2.17″ N, 72° 7′ 18.06″ E

    and if you look on Google Maps the co-ordinates for Akora Khattak seems to be centred right on the Darul Uloom Haqqania / University of Jihad.

    That location is in a built-up area (of course the cowards would use civilian human shields) so using the MOAB is bound to do a fair amount of collateral damage to surrounding buidings and people. So the word should go out now - evacuate Akora Khattak and don't live within 5 miles of any such jihadi university otherwise you could be seriously inconvenienced.

    The target area of the campus of University of Jihad looks to be about 100 metres x 100 metres. Hard to guess from the satellite photo.

    Here is the Jihadis' own website for the base International Islamic University: Darul Uloom Haqqania which has a number of photographs and is helpfully in English.

    Anyway a MOAB on that lot is certainly going to spoil their day and their terror-war plans.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Default 4. Secure supply routes for Afghanistan. Overview from 'Warlord Inc.'

    4. Secure supply routes for Afghanistan. Overview from 'Warlord Inc.'

    There's a lot of information here so I will start with a post presenting an overview of the issues and problems starting with this CBS news story which identifies a critical weakness in our military configuration - poorly defended supply lines whose vulnerability the enemy exploits to gain funds for its insurgency in Afghanistan.

    "U.S. funds our enemy Taliban's Afghan war" (YouTube)

    CBS News: U.S. Tax Dollars Fueling Afghan Insurgency
    House Investigation: Private Contractors Paying Warlords, Criminals to Get Supplies to U.S. and NATO Bases
    Lara Logan reports for CBS Evening News

    (CBS) Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are fuelling corruption in Afghanistan and funding the insurgency, according to a six-month investigation by the House subcommittee on National Security and Foreign affairs.

    The committee's chairman, Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., told CBS News: "the business is war and the war is business and you've got 'Warlord Inc.' going on over there."

    Committee investigators found that private contractors in Afghanistan have been paying local warlords, criminals, government officials and a list of others for security on Afghanistan's roads, to get much needed supplies to U.S and NATO bases. But even worse, anecdotal evidence indicates that U.S. tax dollars are also going into the hands of the Taliban, who own many of the roads and areas through which the trucking convoys have to pass, reports CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan.

    Download Warlord, Inc. Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan - Right-click, Save Target As ...

    Hillary Clinton.

    "We have to do a better job in the international side to coordinate our aid, to get more accountability for what we spend in Afghanistan. But much of the corruption is fueled by money that has poured into that country over the last eight years. And it is corruption at every step along the way, not just in Kabul.

    You know, when we are so dependent upon long supply lines, as in Afghanistan, where everything has to be imported, it’s much more difficult than it was in Iraq, where we had Kuwait as a staging ground to go into Iraq. You offload a ship in Karachi and by the time whatever it is – you know, muffins for our soldiers’ breakfasts or anti-IED equipment – gets to where we’re headed, it goes through a lot of hands. And one of the major sources of funding for the Taliban is the protection money."
    – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
    December 3, 2009

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Default 4. Secure supply routes for Afghanistan. Land routes.

    Supplying along a land route (road and/or railway) through friendly territory is easy enough. Supplying through a war-zone, or bandit country requires a military approach, something like this.

    Secure supply route border defences plan diagram

    My plan is to establish a secure wide border either side of the supply route to keep enemy mortar and rocket launcher teams out of range of the supply line.

    Apparently, the Taliban are being supplied indirect fire weapons from Iran so defenders need to be prepared to expect attacks using weapons such as 120 mm heavy mortars, with a range of 6200 metres and 107 mm rocket launchers with a range of 8500 metres.

    The Telegraph: Iranian weapons getting through to Taliban

    Heavy weapons are continuing to stream across the Afghan border from Iran despite Barack Obama's attempts to enlist Tehran's help in fighting the insurgency, officials have said.
    So regretfully there is no avoiding the requirement for compulsory purchase of land and eviction of occupiers along a 19 kilometre or 12 mile wide corridor, the whole length of the supply route.

    More aggressively NATO might like to consider long-range missile attacks against Iranian weapons productions facilities in Iran to dissuade the Iranians from supplying the Taliban.

    Secure border for a supply route - 19 kilometres or 12 miles wide

    Secure supply route border defences plan diagram (large - 960 x 1374 pixels)

    As can be seen in the diagram, the border perimeter defences are much the same whether you are securing a railway or a road.

    Diagram features. Explained for secure Afghanistan supply routes.

    • Dangerous ground Enemy forces such as the Taliban, Afghan warlords or Iranian proxies may be attacking the supply route from here
    • Vehicle barrier - deep trench / giant boulders / steep slope - so that truck bombs cannot be driven onto the route
    • STOP - Police check-point - police check civilians are unarmed and those in police or military uniform are genuine. Needs to be very robust so as to survive an enemy truck bomb.
    • Barbed wire - enough to keep out people and larger animals - so more than a horse can jump or cattle can trample over
    • No Pedestrians! Cleared ground Target zone for the machine gunners. A hostile intent should be assumed if an intruder is seen here and the intruder should be shot. The ground needs to be cleared of cover so that intruders can be easily spotted and cannot sneak their way past the machine gunners.
    • GUN - Fortified machine gun nests / pillboxes 3 man crew. Armour should be able to withstand an RPG hit and contains one machine gun with an effective range to 1000 metres, such as PKM or better. One every 1000 metres on both borders should be manned 24/7. Binoculars, automatic rifles such as AK47 and night vision for 3. Two or more other gun positions per 1000 m on each border are normally unmanned and don't need the expense of real guns sitting there all the time. Such extra positions confuse attackers and serve as firing positions for mobile reaction teams to occupy in emergencies and who can bring additional weapons with them.
      For the on-duty-shift manned pillboxes, I suppose the better (longer effective range, heavier the bullet) a machine gun the better. At a minimum the plan needs a machine gun with a 1000 metre effective range to keep Taliban RPG out of range of the pillbox.
      Ideally I suppose a heavy machine gun (say 12.7 mm ammo, 1800 metres effective range) with its longer range would be best for stopping an advance of the enemy and would give enemy snipers and heavy machine guns at long ranges something to worry about though I think the plan would work well with a medium machine gun (say 7.6 mm ammo, 1500 metres effective range).
      The disadvantage about the heavy machine gun is it is a more difficult 2-man carry when the team decide to move it to another pillbox to confuse the enemy but the extra range and fire-power of a heavy machine gun may well be worth the carry.
      I suggest armoured sights which allow the machine-gunner to fire accurately despite incoming sniper or machine gun fire intended to suppress the pillbox.
      If a tank-crew machine-gunner can fire from inside his tank by virtue of armoured sights, without being suppressed, so should a well designed pillbox, in my opinion.
      Squad automatic weapons or light machine guns (say, 5.56 mm ammo, 900 metres effective range) would be better stored in the APC to be quickly carried into the empty pillboxes to defend an emergency attack and such lighter machine guns are also useful in the APC for responding to an attack anywhere in the secure corridor.
    • Access road Where authorised traffic and people can access or leave the supply route.
    • Mortar teams' ground Defender mortar teams arriving from mobile response depots should set up somewhere here to fire at the enemy in the dangerous ground. The mortar teams' ground should have features to help to win mortar duels with the enemy such as observation points on higher ground or tall structures to serve as observation towers.
    • Safe building ground Somewhere relatively safe to build a heliport, runway, supply store or other facility or base.
    • Supply route The road and / or railway we are defending
    • Crossing Where the access road crosses a supply route railway
    • Station - Railway station to load and unload supplies and people onto and off the supply trains.
    • Cross-roads - A four-way junction where the access road crosses the supply road.
    • Mobile reaction depot - contains single armoured fighting vehicle. This is also where the off-duty mess is so that soldiers are available to react to sustained attacks anywhere along the supply route. One every 2km. Contains additional infantry weapons and ammunition such as additional machine guns, automatic rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers, mortars and the rest.
    • Armoured personnel carrier Such as an up-armoured humvee. Most mobile reaction depots have one of those. To transport soldiers to the proximity of the enemy attack where soldiers dismount to fight.
    • Infantry fighting vehicle or armoured combat vehicle. With stronger armour and able to fire on the enemy from enhanced weapons mounted to the vehicle, as well as able to perform the soldier transport role of the APC. Ideally the defenders would prefer the more powerful IFVs to the battle taxi APCs but fewer mobile reaction depots house IFVs because IFVs cost more and so fewer are available to the defenders than the lower performing APCs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Default Secure supply route protection force organisation

    Secure supply route protection force organisation

    I am proposing a dedicated force of mostly Afghan soldiers (though this could and perhaps should in the light of recent increasing green-on-blue attacks initially be set up as a force which is auxiliary to NATO-ISAF, with NATO commanders, rather than part of the Afghan National Army) to secure NATO's main supply routes through Afghanistan.


    Ranks in increasing order of seniority -

    1. Gunner
    2. Master Gunner
    3. Team Leader
    4. Shift Officer
    5. Depot Commander
    6. Reaction Captain

    There will be higher officer ranks yet to be specified.

    Duties of the ranks.

    1. Gunner - infantry soldier, serves as a member of a 3-man team which serves on one GUN - Fortified machine gun nests / pillboxes position normally for an 8-hour shift.

    A Gunner performs other routine duties for an hour or two each day in addition to his 8-hour shift at the gun position at the nearest Mobile reaction depot under the supervision of his Team Leader, Shift Officer and Depot Commander at which location he has quarters in the depot mess.

    A Gunner can also be called to emergency duty when required.

    Gunners must be able to
    • see well
    • operate the machine gun
    • fire accurately
    • reload the machine gun,
    • change the barrel on the machine gun
    • use the guns' optical sights and night sights
    • use the binoculars and night-vision equipment
    • be comfortable in a GUN - Fortified machine gun nests / pillboxes position,
    • point out where the No Pedestrians! Cleared ground is and where it ends and where allowed ground behind the gun positions is,
    • understand that he is forbidden to enter onto the No Pedestrians! Cleared ground on or off duty, even if ordered to do so by anyone in his team because he may be shot if he does so,
    • understand that he is ordered on and off his duty shift at the GUN - Fortified machine gun nests / pillboxes position only by his own Shift Officer and own Depot Commander and he cannot be relieved of duty by his Team Leader nor by a more senior ranking Master Gunner, nor by any other Shift Officer nor Depot Commander nor by any more senior officer whom he does not know.
    • understand that while on duty he is not to surrender his personal assault rifle (such as an AK47) to any person, even to someone in his own team. Therefore his Team Leader cannot relieve him of duty nor demand that any Gunner surrender his personal weapon,
    • understand that it is the Gunner's job when on duty, his job, to shoot on sight anyone on the No Pedestrians! Cleared ground coming or going, even someone dressed in Afghan army uniform, of whatever rank who could be an intruder dressed in disguise or even be a colleague who is deserting in that direction. If he is not manning the machine gun at the time he is to use his personal assault rifle to shoot the person on the No Pedestrians! Cleared ground if they are in range, but he is not to follow in hot pursuit anyone onto the No Pedestrians! Cleared ground because again he may be shot.
    • understand pillbox defensive tactics as follows.
      Sadly, the Taliban are not so obliging as to try to rush a machine gun position since one machine gun could probably take them all out if they were all to charge it clambering through barbed wire over open ground.
      The pillbox machine guns would not be used for suppressing the enemy and therefore blasting away at where you thought an enemy was to keep his head down is just a waste of ammunition and overheats the guns to no good purpose.
      The tactics to be employed for the pillboxes are different from a fight on a random battlefield where both sides are evenly vulnerable to fire and so suppressive fire make some sense.
      Suppressive fire is of use on a random battlefield to keep the enemy's head down while other comrades move to get a better attacking position. Well the defenders won't be changing position. They will keep their positions in the pillbox so suppressive fire make less sense here.
      Our machine gunners should have armoured telescopic sights and therefore only bother actually firing if you have the enemy clearly in your sights and then the first shot is the one that counts.
      Some machine guns have a single-shot fire mode with telescopic sights and those are the machine guns we need. Single-shot will most likely be the mode used most often when you spot someone trying to sneak their way past the guns or if you can see a sniper or heavy machine gunner at an effective range, say 1800 metres or less for a heavy machine gun with telescopic sights, less for a lighter machine gun.
      I seriously doubt that the enemy would ever do a mass charge across open barbed wire ground which would necessitate firing on full-auto and changing barrels but if they do then fine it is their funeral.
      So yes, the gunners would need to know how to change a barrel but if they ever do, I will be questioning their tactics.
      If an enemy is blasting away from a machine gun at extreme ineffective range - 2000 metres or more at the pillbox and only the occasional round is even hitting the pillbox then even though it is tempting to return fire blasting back at the position I would not even bother returning fire because that simply gives away your position and may not hit him at extreme range anyway.
      Such distant firing is probably to lure the defender to return fire and identify which pillbox is manned, so as to know which pillbox to target with RPGs, recoilless rifles or guided missiles or distant fire could be to distract your attention and rather than fire back, grab your binoculars or night vision and see who is trying to sneak up on the position or past the guns. When you spot them and have an easy kill - then open fire, but in single-shot mode because that is all you will need.
      The tactics change if you have a well-armoured position that cannot be suppressed.
      I repeat the pillbox machine-gun is not to suppress the enemy. We want the enemy to stick their heads up and get closer to shoot at the pillbox, so the defenders can carefully target them and kill them on single-shot mode. We want the enemy to think they can sneak past the guns so we wait until they are an easy kill and only then take them out.
    • perform other duties as supervised by the higher ranks.

    2. Master Gunner - skills-based promoted ranks for Gunners with additional specialist skills such as
    • weapons maintenance,
    • binocular and night-vision maintenance,
    • vehicle driving and basic maintenance - checking and maintaining tyre pressure, fuel and oil levels, etc.
    • infantry fighting vehicle specialist
    • mortar team skills,
    • first aid,
    • communications - operating telephone (landline and mobile / cell ) and radio.

    Master Gunners get an appropriately and differently designed skills badge and salary increment for each specialist skill learned. So typically that would be a badge with a machine-gun icon for weapons' maintenance, a badge with an APC-icon for vehicle driving and basic maintenance and so on. A Master Gunner with more badges and skills outranks a Master Gunner with fewer badges and skills.

    3. Team leader A promoted post. The most experienced and able Gunner in each team of 3 on a GUN - Fortified machine gun nests / pillboxes position.

    Team leaders should have multiple specialist skills and in particular the communications specialist skills is one of the required skills to be eligible to become a Team Leader. Team leaders are always the senior ranking members in every 3-man team irrespective of badges and skills. So a Master Gunner with, say, 5 skill badges does not outrank a Team Leader with, say, only 4 skills badges.

    4. Shift officer - normally on duty back at the Mobile reaction depot and in command and in radio, mobile (cell) or land-line telephone contact with 4 teams, which is 12 men, on duty for an 8-hour shift. The shift officer acts as a deputy commander for the shift for 4 GUN - Fortified machine gun nests / pillboxes and for the Mobile Reaction Depot.

    The Shift Officer is also in radio, mobile (cell) or land-line telephone contact with Shift Officers in neighbouring Mobile reaction depots. The Shift Officer decides whether or not to consult the Depot commander in response to a request for assistance from any of the 4 teams under his command or to a request for assistance from a Shift Officer in a neighbouring Mobile Reaction Depot.

    5. Depot commander - in command of one Mobile reaction depot , the vehicle, weapons and everything therein. Commands the 3 Shift officers and 12 teams which totals 39 men under his command. He can declare a depot emergency, and call the off-duty shifts in the mess back on emergency duty.

    The Depot Commander can order the depot's vehicle and men to attend and to defend the GUN - Fortified machine gun nests / pillboxes under attack or order mortar teams into action from the Mortar teams' ground.

    In an emergency, the Depot Commander notifies his immediate superior officers, the Reaction Captains who are the reaction director and deputy reaction director assigned command responsibility for his Mobile Reaction Depot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Default Secure supply route protection force organisation (continued)

    6. Reaction Captain
    • has some command responsibility for the reactions of 8 neighbouring Mobile Reaction Depots
    • is the reaction director for the central 4 depots of these 8 neighbouring depots
    • is the deputy reaction director for the peripheral 4 depots of these 8 neighbouring depots.

    Reaction Captains direct Mobile Reaction Depots

    The diagram illustrates how the command responsibility of neighbouring Reaction Captains is organised.

    Mobile Reaction Depots 1 & 2
    - the reaction director is Reaction Captain C
    - the deputy reaction director is Reaction Captain A

    Mobile Reaction Depots 3 & 4
    - the reaction director is Reaction Captain A
    - the deputy reaction director is Reaction Captain C

    Mobile Reaction Depots 5 & 6
    - the reaction director is Reaction Captain A
    - the deputy reaction director is Reaction Captain D

    Mobile Reaction Depots 7 & 8
    - the reaction director is Reaction Captain D
    - the deputy reaction director is Reaction Captain A

    Mobile Reaction Depots 9 & 10
    - the reaction director is Reaction Captain D
    - the deputy reaction director is Reaction Captain B

    Mobile Reaction Depots 11 & 12
    - the reaction director is Reaction Captain B
    - the deputy reaction director is Reaction Captain D

    Mobile Reaction Depots 13 & 14
    - the reaction director is Reaction Captain B
    - the deputy reaction director is Reaction Captain E

    Mobile Reaction Depots 15 & 16
    - the reaction director is Reaction Captain E
    - the deputy reaction director is Reaction Captain B

    This overlapping organisation ensures that emergencies which are declared at any Mobile Reaction Depot can be supported if needs be by Reaction Captains with responsibility for the depot under attack ordering neighbouring depots on either side to react to the emergency.

    A vehicle is assigned to each Reaction Captain who routinely drives to visit the 8 Mobile Reaction Depots for which he has command responsibility for daily meetings with the Depot Commanders and with the other 2 Reaction Captains he shares depot command responsibility with.

    The Reaction Captains can arrange to receive a salute at attention from each off-duty shift twice a week with an opportunity for the Reaction Captains to boost morale by reminding the Gunners that every Reaction Captain has 8 Mobile Reaction Depots and 320 soldiers under his command and that the 2 Reaction Captains with command responsibility for a particular depot have between them 480 soldiers under their command.

    So in emergencies the Secure Supply Route Protection Force is well organised to defeat any attack the enemy dares to try against any part of the supply route. They shall not pass! (No passeran!)

    The Reaction Captain has a captain's office and quarters adjacent to one of the 4 Mobile Reaction Depots for which he is the reaction director and the Depot Commander of that particular Mobile Reaction Depot also serves as the Reaction Captain's secretary to take telephone calls to the Reaction Captain's Office if he is out of his office and quarters at the time.

    Being so mobile in his daily routine, the Reaction Captain must be contactable via radio or mobile (cell) telephone when he is out of his office.

    In the event of a major attack, the Reaction Captain will set up a tactical command headquarters at his office to direct the battle and call for further reinforcements from neighbouring Reaction Captain's offices if required.

    Staff numbers

    Reaction captain's office
    1 office every 4 depots

    161 men
    • four depots of forty men (4 x 40 = 160)
    • plus the Reaction Captain (160 + 1 = 161)

    Mobile reaction depot
    1 depot every 2 kilometres (1.25 miles)

    40 men
    • three eight-hour shifts of thirteen men, (3 x 13 = 39)
    • plus the Depot Commander (39 + 1 = 40)

    40 men per 2 kilometres = 20 men per kilometre = 32 men per mile

    Depot shift
    3 shifts per depot

    13 men
    • four three-man gun teams, ( 4 x 3 = 12)
    • plus the Shift Officer (12 + 1 = 13)

    Approximate numbers of infantry required including reserves.

    For a 25% reserve of 5 reserves per kilometre, 8 reserves per mile
    Force including reserves is 25 infantry per kilometre, 40 infantry per mile

    For a 50% reserve of 10 reserves per kilometre, 16 reserves per mile
    Force including reserves is 30 infantry per kilometre, 48 infantry per mile

    Support staff
    Infantry deployed in the field or on guard somewhere can require numbers of support staff (such as delivery and rubbish collection, engineers of all kinds, trainers, medical, administration, military policing etc.) which I am told can be multiples of the numbers of deployed infantry they support, depending on the support facilities offered, the quality and efficiency of the support organisation.

    I believe the support staff requirements for a static guard force are somewhat different to mobile infantry advancing (or retreating) in a conventional war because the guard force's requirements for fuel and ammunition deliveries are less but a guard force may expect more in terms of base facilities - running water, electricity and so on.

    I am not recommending figures for support staff because such numbers are more dependent on the infrastructure of the army and nation concerned and are independent of the details of how the infantry are deployed which is my concern here only. Numbers of support staff are to be filled in by NATO-ISAF and the Afghan government and army themselves later.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Default 4. Secure supply routes for Afghanistan. Conclusion.

    How my plan solves the issues raised in 'Warlord Inc.'


    "In Afghanistan, the U.S. military faces one of the most complicated and difficult supply chains in the history of warfare. The task of feeding, fueling, and arming American troops at over 200 forward operating bases and combat outposts sprinkled across a difficult and hostile terrain with only minimal road infrastructure is nothing short of herculean. In order to accomplish this mission, the Department of Defense employs a hitherto unprecedented logistics model: responsibility for the supply chain is almost entirely outsourced to local truckers and Afghan private security providers.
    Transporting valuable and sensitive supplies in highly remote and insecure locations requires extraordinary levels of security.

    Consider the Role of Afghan National Security Forces in Highway Security.

    In the future, Afghan security forces will have a role to play in road security. Proposals to reform the convoy security scheme ought to take a medium- to long-term view of the role of Afghan security forces, while developing credible security alternatives that address the immediate U.S. military logistics needs.


    Oversee Contracts to Ensure Contract Transparency and Performance.

    The Department of Defense needs to provide the personnel and resources required to manage and oversee its trucking and security contracts in Afghanistan. Contracts of this magnitude and of this consequence require travel ‘outside the wire.’ For convoys, that means having the force protection resources necessary for mobility of military logistics personnel to conduct periodic unannounced inspections and ride-alongs."
    My plan can achieve the "Warlord, Inc." recommendations 3 and 6, not merely to stop extortion and corruption along the supply chain but to gain a further significant advance to NATO-ISAF mission goals.

    I propose secure supply route border defences and a dedicated Afghan protection force to man those defences which would achieve all along the main supply routes a level of security which is similar to the security inside a military base or fort.

    "Warlord, Inc." uses the NATO-ISAF parlance of "inside the wire" to refer to the security achieved within their own NATO-ISAF bases but to virtually nowhere else in Afghanistan.

    It is about time NATO-ISAF and the Afghan government and military were extending that true security "inside the wire" to more of Afghanistan. My secure supply route plan would bring more of Afghanistan "inside the wire" so to speak.

    The secure supply route border defences require only authorised persons living inside the secure defences.

    The general population sadly may harbour enemy agents and so must be required to live outside the border defences.

    Where isolated houses and small villages can be relocated to use a suitable existing supply road then that should be done with compensation for the relocated residents and landowners.

    Where the settlements along the old supply route are too big to move then new roads should be built for a new supply route, by-passing those bigger settlements by at least 6 miles.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Default 4. Secure supply routes for Afghanistan. By air lift.


    Supplying the Troops

    Afghanistan … is a landlocked country whose neighbors range from uneasy U.S. allies, such as Pakistan and Uzbekistan, to outright adversaries, such as Iran.
    The fastest route to Afghanistan is by air. However, the lack of airport infrastructure places significant constraints on the military’s ability to rely on air transport to supply the troops. Afghanistan has only 16 airports with paved runways, and of those, only four are accessible to non-military aircraft (including contractor-operated cargo planes). Air transport is also the most costly shipping option. Thus, while air transport is available, it is limited to personnel and high-priority cargo. Only about 20 percent of cargo reaches Afghanistan by air."
    Then let NATO-ISAF supply fully 100 percent of its cargo by air by increasing by 5-fold the airport infrastructure and capacity of Afghanistan, building perhaps one or two more big hub airports around the country or a few more long runways and additional cargo handling facilities at existing airports like Bagram or Kandahar - to accept the incoming international flights, such as Hercules C-130s, then from those large hub airports transfer the cargo into smaller planes to fly from new short runways at those few hub airports on to dozens of new smaller airports all around Afghanistan.

    To pay for this, money can be reallocated to airport construction by rationalising some of the 200 most expensive and remote forward operating bases and combat outposts. Close those which cost more than they are worth.

    Retreat to the really important bases, build airfields for them and build secure supply route defences to and from them and that's a very strong defensive position from which to launch offensive operations against the enemy.

    No longer will the legitimate military and civilian traffic require the permission of warlords to travel along Afghanistan's highways.

    Securing an air base. Example - Camp Bastion / Camp Leatherneck

    Bastion Airport (NATO Channel on YouTube)

    "Camp Bastion is the main British military base in Afghanistan. It is situated northwest of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province.

    It is the largest British overseas military camp built since World War II.

    Built in early 2006, the camp is situated in a remote desert area, far from population centres. Four miles long by two miles wide, it has an airstrip and a field hospital and full accommodation for the 2000 men and women stationed there. The base is divided into 2 main parts, Bastion 1 and Bastion 2. Bastion 2 includes two tenant camps, Camp Barber (US) and Camp Viking (DK). Bastion also adjoins Camp Leatherneck (US) and the Afghan National Army (ANA) Camp Shorabak. Bastion's airstrip can handle C-17s; C-130 transport aircraft; Apache and Chinook helicopters are forward-deployed at the Heliport."
    Ministry of Defence News
    "Camp Bastion doubles in size

    Camp Bastion, the lynchpin of British, and increasingly American, operations in Helmand, is a desert metropolis, complete with airport, that is expanding at a remarkable pace. Report by Sharon Kean.

    Bastion exists for one reason: to be the logistics hub for operations in Helmand. Supply convoys and armoured patrols regularly leave its heavily-defended gates. They support the military forward operating bases, patrol bases and checkpoints spread across Helmand province."
    Well here's another reason for Bastion to exist - to become a logistics hub for operations across Afghanistan, well beyond Helmand province.

    Colonel Mathie
    The biggest project is the airfield, a new runway and air traffic control tower. When it's finished we'll be able to put our TriStar airliners straight in here instead of going to Kandahar, allowing us to get strategic air traffic into Bastion. That will be a big development for us.

    More ...
    With strategic airlift capacity, think strategically. A few more runways like the new longer runway at Bastion and Afghanistan's airfield infrastructure would be sufficient for all of NATO-ISAF force supplies to reach Afghanistan by air - removing dependence and vulnerability on Pakistan's land routes and eliminating the extortion and corruption along the Afghanistan ground supply chain, as detailed in Warlord, Inc..

    After supplies are landed at the few huge hub airports - Bagram, Kandahar and Bastion - cargo could be transferred into smaller airplanes using adjacent smaller runways for connecting flights out to smaller airfields associated with NATO-ISAF forward operating bases.

    Whether by luck or by design Bastion is well chosen in being far from a population centre which makes it politically feasible to impose a rigorous security exclusion zone on the ground for many miles around the airport.

    Controlling the ground far around a military airport is very necessary to defend the incoming aircraft against missile attack by ensuring no enemy can get close enough to launch a missile anywhere near below where the planes descend to land.

    Landing at night is not a sufficient defence. Aircraft engines and their exhaust jets are very hot and infra-red shines just as brightly at night for missiles to lock on to.

    We cannot assume that the Taliban will be unable to source the most advanced ground-to-air missiles. We should assume they will source such missiles and take the necessary security precautions.

    So at Bastion NATO-ISAF must control the ground in a vast security perimeter out to the horizon and beyond which means closing the nearby road to Afghan traffic and providing an alternative circuitous route for civilian traffic.

    I need hardly mention the military, economic and political disaster of allowing the enemy to bring down one of our big aircraft. So this must not be allowed to happen. Therefore a very wide secure ground exclusion zone around Bastion should be imposed.

    In addition, I need hardly remind people of Al Qaeda's willingness to use aircraft themselves as weapons and therefore airport air defences need to be operational and alert at all times, not just when scheduled aircraft are landing.

    The progress at Bastion is very promising for the whole Afghanistan mission. It shows the way ahead.

    We can contemplate one day removing the constraints limiting NATO-ISAF supplies reaching Afghanistan by air. From a limit of about 20 percent now, I foresee a 100 percent supply-into-Afghanistan-by-air strategy as both feasible and desirable.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Default 4. Secure supply routes for Afghanistan. By air lift. (continued)

    Securing the land around Camp Bastion

    UK Forces Afghanistan Blog

    RAF protecting Camp Bastion, June 27, 2012

    Personnel from Number 5 RAF Force Protection Wing, based at RAF Lossiemouth, have now been deployed at Camp Bastion for two months where they have responsibility for providing security at the main British base in Helmand province.

    51 Squadron RAF Regiment personnel on patrol.

    Number 5 RAF Force Protection Wing, comprising members of the Wing Headquarters, 51 Squadron RAF Regiment and 2622 (Highland) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment, left RAF Lossiemouth on 16 April 2012 and the personnel are now two months into their deployment to Afghanistan.

    They are serving with members of No 2 (Tactical) Police Squadron from RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire, soldiers from the Tonga Defence Services and elements of 16th Regiment Royal Artillery, which together form the Bastion Force Protection Wing.

    Since their arrival they have taken responsibility for the security of the Camp Bastion complex, one of the busiest airfields in the world with over 28,000 people working on-site. They are also responsible for patrolling the surrounding area, covering over 600 square kilometres, to prevent insurgent attacks against the airfield and its personnel.
    So it matters that Camp Bastion is well defended and I want to make sure we are using the correct tactics to secure the land around any airfield camp we are defending.

    So I have some new comments to make which occurred to me after seeing that photograph of our soldiers patrolling through poppy fields. I am wondering if there are poppy fields in that 600 square kilometres around Camp Bastion?

    Anyway, we don't want or need any high vegetation around the air field which would allow insurgents cover to sneak close to the base, either to launch missile attacks or to plant anti-personnel mines, I.E.D.s or anything else.

    Much better if the land is cleared of all tall vegetation so that it is much easier to keep clear of threats. Short grass is good.

    That may mean buying out farmers who are growing crops, buying their land around the camp, compensating them but only if they are growing worthwhile crops.

    If they are growing poppy fields then they don't deserve compensation in my book.

    Either way there is a big job for our engineers to clear the land all around the camp of all cover useful to an enemy. So that's clearing all the 600 square kilometres which was mentioned as being patrolled by our forces.

    It is a big job to keep such a large area of land free of cover and yes it is OK to hire local Afghan labour to help with keeping the vegetation down. After all, we will have put some local farmers out of living so they'll be looking for employment.

    It might be an idea to have grazing animals on the land to keep the vegetation down but I would not be surprised if the Taliban shoot grazing animals if they can but if they do that's a reminder to us that the Taliban are still out there if a reminder is ever needed.

    I assume in a dry land like Afghanistan that burning vegetation is easily done and that'll be the easiest way to clear the land I suspect. So I approve a "scorched earth" policy.

    At night when it is not so easy to distinguish between a farmer tending his grazing animals and an insurgent pretending to be that, I suggest that the 600 square kilometres should be an exclusion zone for everyone except Camp Bastion personnel. So all local Afghan workers who clear vegetation during the day need to go back to homes outside the 600 square kilometres every night.

    This is the attitude NATO - ISAF and our base security forces need to take. We need to take ownership of all the 600 square kilometres of land which we are patrolling around Camp Bastion and optimise it for security.

    It would be the same outrage if the Afghan government dares to suggest that we don't take ownership of the surrounding land, don't clear the land, and should instead allow existing cover for insurgents in land surrounding Camp Bastion as it would be if the Afghan government dared to suggest that we open the doors of the airbase itself to the Taliban

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Default Afghan forces. Green-on-blue attacks. The solution.

    The Afghan National Army, the "green" force is rotten, if not to its core then to much of the periphery. Some of the green is more like gangrene (gan-green, get it! )

    The problem I see is in the disconnect between the political control (Karzai) and the funding (mostly from the USA but anyway internationally funded).

    Wikipedia: Afghan National Army
    The new Afghan National Army was founded with the issue of a decree by President Hamid Karzai on December 1, 2002
    Karzai as the "duly" (ahem) elected president of Afghanistan is perfectly entitled to run an Afghan national army but Afghans should pay for that themselves.

    Afghanistan is a poor nation and could not afford that much of an army but if they paid for it themselves, at least the Afghan national army would likely be honest, accountable to Afghans and take on limited tasks - secure the presidential palace, military headquarters and might be up to defending the capital Kabul and surrounding land, maybe.

    Now the issue is this - to secure all of Afghanistan, even to secure our supply routes, we need lots of troops and it makes sense to have some kind of Afghan force to help us - but we need a bigger and better green force than the Afghans can afford to pay for. (Also why would a national Afghan force want to prioritise defending our supply routes? They wouldn't want to.)

    So the West, NATO needs to pay for some green Afghan forces - that's a good idea, if, if, if, if and only if, those green forces we are paying for are auxiliary to NATO-ISAF - run by NATO-ISAF - under the control of a NATO general, maybe an American general if you could find a good one to do it.

    That way we would only recruit capable Afghans into the green force we pay for and interact with daily. We'd be sure our green troops were loyal - wouldn't shoot our blue troops.

    No way would we have any incentive to spend our own money on disloyal incapable Afghans in green uniform so we would not do it, if we had political and military control over our green forces, which we would have if they were called "The NATO-ISAF Afghan auxiliary force" - with no pretence of them being an Afghan national force under Karzai.

    However, some idiot has come up with the idea of paying Afghans to have an army funded by us but controlled by Karzai so there is no accountability. The people in charge, deciding who to recruit, can recruit bad soldiers because they get paid more by the US for soldiers, whether they be bad soldiers or not.

    Why wouldn't Karzai and this guy

    Lt. Gen. Sher Mohammad Karim, Commander of the Afghan National Army

    recruit junkies, thieves, murderers and agents for the Taliban into the Afghan National Army?

    Why wouldn't they recruit anybody they can find into the Afghan national army if, for every soldier they can name, they get paid more US dollars?

    Where's the incentive for Karzai and Karim to recruit only good soldiers? There isn't any incentive at all.

    Again the US ends up funding corruption.

    If a green soldier kills a blue then who gets held responsible in the chain of command?

    Nobody gets held responsible.

    Who should get held responsible? The US and NATO should. We should blame ourselves for paying anything for an army which we do not have any political control over.

    What on earth does Panetta (and what did Gates before him) think he is (was) doing trusting this guy Karzai and his general Karim with billions of US tax-payer dollars to pay for a green army?

    Why are NATO defence ministers happy with the poor leadership from NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James Stavridis? Shouldn't the NATO leaders have spotted this fatal flaw in green troop organisation and tried to re-organise green forces as I suggest here, if they know what they are doing (which they don't)?

    The competent answer to green on blue attacks is to split up the Afghan army into two distinct forces -

    • a national Afghan army which Afghans pay for and is commanded by the Afghan president and whichever general he/she wants to appoint. (dark green)

    • a NATO-ISAF auxiliary force of Afghans, funded by the US and other NATO counties and international donors. This would be commanded by our generals. (light green)

    So there should be two green armies - each of a different shade of green, so to speak. Karzai's dark green he would use to defend himself and his capital. Our light green we would use to defend our supply routes and to support our operations in Afghanistan generally.

    Only when the Afghan economy had grown to the point that they could afford to pay for a big enough army to defend the whole country would we transfer our light green army over to Afghan national control and then we could leave Afghanistan in the hands of Afghans.

    So long as we are paying for an Afghan force we must retain political control over it otherwise it fuels corruption and does little or nothing to help to fight the enemy we are trying to defeat and the green-on-blue attacks simply undermine political support for the whole Afghanistan / Pakistan mission.
    Last edited by Peter Dow; 08-22-2012 at 11:21 AM.

  11. #11
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Carlisle, PA


    A wise strategy is one where the expected benefits--increased security--justify the expected strategic costs (blood, money, lost opportunities). This does not meet that standard.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland


    Malala Yousafzai - getting better every day - YouTube

    The first part of the video is a Sky News report detailing the scheduled reconstructive surgery planned to be carried out on Malala Yousafzai at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, England.

    A titanium plate is to be fitted to Malala's skull and a cochlear implant to help her recover hearing in her left ear.

    The second part of the video is news footage of Malala set to the music "It's getting better" sung by Cass Elliot.

    The video concludes with the following end message from me Peter Dow for my AfPakMission channel video as follows.

    We love Malala.
    We hate the Taliban.
    We are the good people.
    The Taliban are evil.

    The good people of Pakistan and all the world wish Malala
    to get better every day.
    Our military should kill every Taliban and help the world
    to get better every day.

    First the victory prize by wiping out the Taliban.

    Then there will be peace
    and time for peace prizes.
    We have a war to win first.

    Malala spoke to the camera before her surgery and the following video was released after her surgery.

    Malala Yousafzai Announces Malala Fund to Support Girls' Access to Education (YouTube)

    Support the Malala Fund | Vital Voices

    Then after her surgery ...

    Malala Yousafzai speaking after surgery in England (YouTube)

    Malala Yousafzai speaking to her consultant after surgery to reconstruct her skull and to implant a hearing device.

    Broadcast on BBC News on February 4, 2013

    Malala says

    "I'm feeling alright and I am happy that the operations, both the operations are successful and you know, it was that kind of successful that now they have removed everything from me and I can also walk a little bit, I can talk and I'm feeling better and it doesn't seem that I had a very big operation, it seems that just a little bit anaesthetic injection just for five hours and then I wake up."

    Consultant says

    "Yes, but it was five hours, it was not a small procedure but you look remarkably good for it"

    Malala says

    "But it was very nice because there is no drainage system and I think everything is fine, it's better."

    Consultant -



    Consultant -

    "and what are you looking forward to next?"

    "I think that I will just get better very soon and there will be no problem, I would hear after one month, in this ear, I hope and the thing is that my mission is the same, to help people and I will do that."

    Consultant -

    "Yes and what do you think of your treatment so far then, can you remember that?"

    Malala -

    "If I try to speak about my whole treatment, it started in Pakistan and they did a very successful and a very good operation of me and God gave me a new life because of the prayers of people and because of the talent of doctors.

    Here in Birmingham in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, here they did the operation of my nerves so after four or five months my left hand side of the face would work, Insha' Allah.

    They took care, a lot of care of me, intensive care and I think I'm inspired from the doctors and nurses - they are like my mother and father because for ten days my mother and father were not with me but I had a lot of doctors and nurses who took care of me as if they were my parents."

    Peter Dow of AfPak Mission channel says -

    Please subscribe to the AfPak Mission channel on YouTube offering videos and links to inform the West's mission to help free the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the rest of the world from the terrorism of the Taliban and other jihadi Islamo-fascist terrorist enemies by achieving a final, total victory over the enemy by the adoption and execution of a competent military strategy to crush the enemy utterly and thereby to win the war on terror, and not ever to contemplate peace negotiations with the enemy Taliban nor with any of their state-sponsors.

    If you would like to beat the enemy Taliban then this AfPak Mission channel is the channel for you.

    Please watch the videos in the featured Playlists, especially the uploaded videos and the two videos in the Secret Pakistan playlist.

    Visit the channel links
    to Twitter, where you can follow AfPak Mission

    and to the AfPak military strategy blog posts.

    A new image for the For Freedom Forums gallary avatars -

    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Arrow Supply Line Warfare

    The requirement to defend military supply lines in war, to expect the enemy to attack and to attempt to cut any long supply lines is a basic part of classical military strategy.

    If there was ever to be a sustained resistance to our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan then any competent military strategist could have predicted that the enemy would wish to attack our supply lines in Iraq and Afghanistan and if we didn't do the correct thing according to classical military strategy and defend those supply lines then it was inevitable that the enemy would mine and ambush our undefended, or poorly defended, supply lines.

    Now the US does indeed have academic military experts who do indeed know the importance of this requirement in war and have published relevant articles on the internet, such as this fine example -

    Army Logistician

    Supply Line Warfare by Dr. Cliff Welborn

    The U.S. military has also disrupted the enemy’s supply chain to weaken its fighting capabilities. When we think of a military supply line, we often think of the logistics considerations necessary to keep our own supply chain flowing. However, just as important to military success are tactics for disrupting the enemy supply line. A defensive strategy is to protect our own supply chain; an offensive strategy is to inhibit the supply chain of our enemy. The United States has used both offensive and defensive strategies in many wars, including the Revolutionary War in the 1770s and 1780s, the Civil War in the 1860s, the Plains Indian Wars in the late 19th century, World War II in the 1940s, and the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s.
    but that ancient yet essential military knowledge, that ought to be taught to every officer at every military academy, doesn't seem to be in the brains of the US, British or other NATO generals, who seem to think "patrolling" or "ever bigger MRAPs" is a better plan to try to keep our soldiers safe on otherwise undefended supply routes.

    Actually, the better plan is simply establishing a secure perimeter around your supply route which is watched 24/7 from static guard posts all along the route, either side of the route, and a mobile reaction force to reinforce wherever and whenever the enemy concentrates to attack the supply route.

    I've suggested in this thread a detailed plan to defend supply routes in Afghanistan but no doubt there are many variations on that theme.

    Don't get me wrong, big MRAPs have their uses as a back-up if and when the enemy makes it through the defended perimeter of a supply line but there does clearly need to be a secure perimeter established in the first place otherwise your supply routes remain effectively uncleared territory and anything on the route not protected by tons of armour is simply easy meat for the enemy.

    Certain items in my plan, about seizing satellites and what to bomb in Pakistan is new, specific intelligence for the war on terror and is maybe a bit much to expect on day one from our military.

    But for military leaders not to know the requirement to defend supply routes, and therefore foolishly to lead our soldiers to die from enemy road side bombs and ambushes - this is unforgivable ignorance on the part of our generals, defense secretaries and Pentagon, NATO and UK MOD civilian support military "experts".

    Those in charge don't seem to know the military basics. It's like the donkey-generals who led brave lion-soldiers to their deaths advancing on foot against machine gun nests as in world war 1 - all over again.

    It's another famous military disaster and it is no way to win a war (even though we will likely win this war on terror eventually but at a very high cost in blood and treasure.)

  14. #14
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Boston, MA


    Peter, I think you'll find that troop numbers is what it comes down to – and that is a wicked problem.
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland


    Well that's 2 replies I have now had here and whilst I would welcome a serious criticism of my proposed strategy or further questions and a debate, the throw-away comments I have received so far do not hold out much hope of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    A wise strategy is one where the expected benefits--increased security--justify the expected strategic costs (blood, money, lost opportunities). This does not meet that standard.
    Steve hasn't said anything about my strategy. The only single word he used to refer to my plan was "this".


    If Steve has nothing specific about my plan to say in criticism then OK but let's not pretend that Steve has made a serious contribution what all Steve has said is "this".

    Steve's opinion is no more substantial and relevant than when Steve says "this is a good movie", or "this is a good meal". Steve is entitled to hold and express Steve's unfounded opinion but Steve's opinion doesn't amount to a significant criticism.

    Steve doesn't say what strategic costs he expects from plan, nor why he thinks, if he does think that, the costs of my strategy would be more?

    The costs of my plan wouldn't be more, they would be less. If Steve could say why he thinks they would be more I could reply and say why I think he is wrong.

    But Steve doesn't say anything specific about my plan. All he says is "this" and he could have said "this" even if he had not read my plan and for all we know, Steve didn't read it.

    So I initially declined to reply to Steve's vacant vague opinion but now there is another comment to reply to so I might as well kill two birds with one stone.

    Quote Originally Posted by bourbon View Post
    Peter, I think you'll find that troop numbers is what it comes down to – and that is a wicked problem.
    What about "troop numbers"? Doesn't anyone here actually ever explain what they mean?

    For the dedicated NATO auxiliary supply route protection force of mostly Afghans but possibly supplemented by troops from neighbouring countries if necessary to get reliable troops of the appropriate quality, the funding would come from a re-allocation of the funds the US and others pay for the Afghan National Army.

    My plan is to cease international especially US & other NATO countries funding of the ANA.

    There's something like, last I heard, 200,000 troops on the (corrupt) books of the ANA which we are paying for.

    Are those 200,000 troops, not achieving a whole lot on their own, "a wicked problem" according to bourbon? Only bourbon knows but bourbon isn't telling anyone what he means.

    My plan is to quit paying for the ANA under Karzai and his generals. Instead, reallocate the money saved to pay for the NATO auxiliary supply route protection force I have described.

    Now as for the numbers of troops required for this force, I proposed, including a 25% reserve -

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Dow View Post
    Force including reserves is 25 infantry per kilometre, 40 infantry per mile
    So the total number of troops required depends on what length of supply route you require to defend.

    So supposing the routes to be defended were something like this -

    That's about 1500 miles or 2400 km of supply route which at 25 / km or 40 / mile = 60,000 infantry plus support troops.

    If you only need to defend a shorter length of supply route, then it's fewer infantry whereas if you need to defend a longer length then it's more infantry required.

    So instead of spending whatever it is on 200,000 ANA the plan is NATO countries reallocate that money, our own money, and spend it on the supply route protection force.

    There's nothing more "wicked" about my troop numbers than the troop numbers we are already paying for.

    Most of the measures in my plan require no more money nor more resources than is already being spent.

    Clearly, if it was necessary to invade Saudi Arabia to stop the Saudis funding terrorism that invasion would cost more to do but on the other hand we could seize Saudi oil to pay for our costs. Most everything else I have proposed could be done on the same budget as is already being spent.

    Further savings could be made by stopping funding state sponsor of terrorism countries such as Pakistan and Egypt who both get about $2 billion from the US every year.

    So that's $4 bn / yr saved at the stroke of pen before the rest of my plan goes into operation.

    If you are looking for an efficient victory, you have come to the right plan.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Peter Dow; 04-23-2013 at 07:28 PM.

  16. #16
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Boston, MA


    So if I understand you correctly, you want to substitute the corrupt Afghan National Army for a "NATO auxiliary supply route protection force" composed of.....former members of the corrupt Afghan National Army, and bodies rented-out by tribal warlords?
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Talking Nasprofor!

    Quote Originally Posted by bourbon View Post
    So if I understand you correctly,
    First of all, let me thank you for asking for clarification because there is even more to this than first meets the eye.

    Quote Originally Posted by bourbon View Post
    you want to substitute the corrupt Afghan National Army for a "NATO auxiliary supply route protection force" composed of.....former members of the corrupt Afghan National Army,
    The ANA is institutionally corrupt because of the lack of accountability over how the money is spent.

    That doesn't mean that all the individual Afghan soldiers are junkies, thieves, rapists, absconders, lazy, clueless, illiterate, phantom-names-existing-on-paper-only, Taliban-agents, green-on-blue-trigger-happy etc - just that Karzai gets paid more for more bums-in-uniform irrespective of the actual job they do and he who pays the piper doesn't call the tune here because as a national president we don't get to fire the Afghan president if we think he is corruptly misusing our money. Our sole method to account for how our money is used is to stop paying it over to Karzai to waste in the first place.

    Now I have heard various stories from various sources as to the percentage of acceptable soldiers in the ANA and therefore I can't be specific as to what percentage would shape up for a real soldiering job. My purpose here is just to explain how we make up the numbers if there is a shortfall and there may not be.


    For the "Nato Auxiliary Supply-route PROtection FORce" ("NASPROFOR" ) we'd pick the cream or at least the adequate soldiers from the ANA and if that is not as many as we need for the whole length of supply route we intend to defend then we certainly don't scrape the barrel and make do with poor or worse Afghan soldiers but recruit competent mercenaries perhaps from the surrounding countries which, just to list them, are India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and perhaps from countries further afield too.

    Other factors come into play, for example, we know NATO relations with Iran are particularly tense at the moment so Iran may be the last country to ask to contribute mercenary troops for this new force because they may execute any Iranian mercenary who served NATO loyally or pretend to go along with NATO's plan but send undercover members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to act as double agents, seeming to serve NASPROFOR but secretly allowing Iranian weapons to pass along or across the supply line to Iranian-backed terrorists to attack our supply lines, bases or indeed anything in Afghanistan they wanted to burn to the ground which may be a lot of it which has come under Western influence recently.

    Consider hiring mercenaries whom we can get for the price of Afghan soldiers but who can actually do the job competently and loyally and we can get in the numbers we need to form cohesive infantry units, meaning soldiers and their officers need to be able to communicate with each other easily, at least in the lower enlisted ranks and junior officers up to rank of "Reaction Captain".

    So for example, one could imagine an Uzbek-staffed NASPROFOR component manning a stretch of supply route near where the supply route approaches the Uzbek border.

    Quote Originally Posted by bourbon View Post
    and bodies rented-out by tribal warlords?
    "Bodies" are no good if they can't follow orders loyally and perform adequately in all the roles I have set out for the job. That's the test.
    Last edited by Peter Dow; 04-24-2013 at 12:56 AM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Unhappy Road-side bombs again. We need a secure perimeter for the supply roads

    Bombs Kill 3 NATO Troops, 9 Afghans

    By AMIR SHAH Associated Press
    KABUL, Afghanistan April 30, 2013 (AP)

    Roadside bomb attacks in Afghanistan killed three NATO service members and nine Afghans on Tuesday, officials said, clear evidence that the insurgents' annual spring offensive is underway.

    The service members died in southern Afghanistan, the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan said in a brief statement that provided no other information.

    In another attack in the south of the country, a roadside bomb in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province killed three civilians and wounded five, said Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

    The Taliban and other insurgent groups make heavy use of roadside bombs. They are among the deadliest weapons in the Afghan war for civilians.

    In the north, in Archi district in the province of Kunduz, a roadside bomb killed two people, including a local police commander who had been credited with reducing the number of insurgent attacks in his area, said Abdul Nazar, a local council member.

    Commander Miran and his driver were killed and two other police officers were wounded when the car they were driving toward Kunduz City was destroyed by a bomb hidden on the road, said Nazar. Like many Afghans, Miran only used one name.

    On Tuesday evening, a roadside bomb exploded in Uruzgan province in central Afghanistan, killing four civilians in a car and wounding two, said police spokesman Fareed Ayal.
    Road-side bombs again guys and it's an attack that works for the Taliban just because we haven't secured the few main highways we must use by building a secure perimeter around the road - barbed wire, guard posts, minefields - and thereby keeping the enemy far away from the road at all times.

    Instead, our generals have for years stuck with the same old bad patrolling plan and so the enemy just watches the road and after one patrol has passed and before the next patrol arrives, the enemy times it correctly to sneak up to the road and lay their road-side bombs.

    The enemy can sneak up to the road so easily because they don't have to cross a minefield, they don't have to penetrate barbed wire and there isn't guard posts with guards with machine guns watching over the land either side of the road 24/7, defending the approaches to the road the whole length of the road.

    Then the next patrol or some other vehicle later on comes along the road and gets blown up by the road-side bomb we failed to stop the enemy planting in the first place.

    Here's what my solution to create a secure perimeter for the supply roads might look like.

    Secure supply route border defences plan diagram (described in full in posts #4, #5 & #6)

    Can you see how that brings the road "inside the wire"? That's a plan that could work to keep the main highways safe to use.

    Mine is not a plan for the small side-roads far away from the highways. We don't have to use these side-roads to supply our main bases. We should only have our main bases next to the main supply roads. We should not have isolated bases which are difficult to supply. We need to abandon those isolated bases in bandit territory and fight the enemy there using air-power, aerial bombing, drones, attack helicopters, airborne raids and so on. There's no need to drive to those out-of-the-way hideouts the enemy has.
    Last edited by Peter Dow; 05-01-2013 at 12:33 AM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Unhappy Obama's counsel of despair. US forces drawdown or ROUT?

    Where is Obama's drawdown leading to for Afghanistan?

    Could a feeling of strategic despair pervading the White House mean President Obama's drawdown plan could turn into an unseemly rout of US and other NATO-ISAF forces?

    New York Times: U.S. Considers Faster Pullout in Afghanistan

    President Obama, frustrated in his dealings with President Karzai, is considering speeding up troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and even leaving no American troops after 2014


    Mr. Obama is committed to ending America’s military involvement in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, and Obama administration officials have been negotiating with Afghan officials about leaving a small “residual force” behind. But his relationship with Mr. Karzai has been slowly unraveling, and reached a new low after an effort last month by the United States to begin peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar.

    Mr. Karzai promptly repudiated the talks and ended negotiations with the United States over the long-term security deal that is needed to keep American forces in Afghanistan after 2014.

    A videoconference between Mr. Obama and Mr. Karzai designed to defuse the tensions ended badly, according to both American and Afghan officials with knowledge of it. Mr. Karzai, according to those sources, accused the United States of trying to negotiate a separate peace with both the Taliban and their backers in Pakistan, leaving Afghanistan’s fragile government exposed to its enemies.
    It looks to me like President Obama is getting some "Dark Counsel" as regards pulling out from Afghanistan.

    First to explain the phrase "Dark Counsel". Have you seen Lord of the Rings? Remember King Theoden and his adviser, Grima Wormtongue, who told him he was weak, could not fight and hope to win, turned out Grima was secretly an agent for Saruman?

    OK remember now? That's "dark counsel".

    So who is giving Obama, "dark counsel", who is his Grima Wormtongue?

    Well maybe a lady called Robin Raphel, a former agent for Pakistan, a Washington Lobbyist in the pay of the Pakisan state. Obama has taken her on into her team, in charge of non-military aid to Pakistan, that's billions of dollars worth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Wikipedia: Robin Raphel
    Robin Lynn Raphel (born 1947) is a career diplomat who is currently the coordinator for non-military assistance to Pakistan with the rank of ambassador.

    She was appointed by President Clinton as first Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, a newly created position, where her tenure was highly controversial. Regularly throughout her career, Raphel was described as being "warm" to totalitarian and military regimes, such as the the military governments in Pakistan, and conversely "cool" towards human rights considerations.

    Her tenure as Assistant Secretary for Near East and South Asian Affairs was marked by perceived hostility towards India and Afghanistan, and "warmth" towards Pakistan and the Taliban, as was extensively documented by the media.

    Famously, Raphel was hostile towards the Northern Alliance including its leader Ahmed Shah Massoud who she personally pressured to yield to the Taliban.

    Raphel openly promoted the complete Taliban takeover of all of Afghanistan, until the events of 9/11. Some scholars believe that her perceived "favoritism" towards Pakistan and the Taliban indirectly, if peripherally, contributed to causing 9/11.

    One commonly-cited factor was her aggressive promotion of Unocal's proposal for the Afghanistan Oil Pipeline, which would have required the defeat of the Northern Alliance.

    As to U.S. relations with India, the largest and most prosperous state in the region, her tenure was marked as the the "darkest chapter since the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971".

    Upon her dismissal from the Assistant Secretary position by President Clinton and her transfer to the backwater post of Ambassador to Tunisia, U.S. relations with India were reported to have "improved overnight".

    She also served as a member of the Iraq Reconstruction Team during the Bush administration. She retired from the state department in 2005 after 30 years of service.

    She soon became a lobbyist for Pakistan at Cassidy & Associates, a Washington lobbying form that was employed by the Government of Pakistan at an annual retainer of $1.2 million.

    Raphel has been the senior Vice President at the National Defense University in Washington.

    The Obama Administration appointed Robin Raphel as a member of the team of the late Richard Holbrooke, the Special Representative to the Af-Pak region.
    Raphel is the enemy within. I would not let this woman within a mile of the White House, but there again, I'm not King Theoden, I mean, President Obama.

    YouTube: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) - Gandalf Releases Theoden

  20. #20
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    The best outcome for America would be to sucker the Chinese into running the show AND paying for it.
    The best outcome for the Chinese would be to have America pay for it, Pakistan to supply warm bodies and China to get whatever it is that people imagine they can get out of that region.
    The likeliest outcome is that America pays for it and nobody benefits except a few people who manage to stash cash in Dubai and time their exit correctly..

    As an American, I think Obama may be right. Avoid the sunk costs fallacy. Cut your losses and leave. Let Allah sort them out.

    As a Pakistani, I think the aftermath will be long and bloody. I wish the CIA had actually succeeded in whatever nefarious conspiracy they were up to. Their failure will embarrass them ,but it will terminate a lot of poor people in Afghanistan and Pakistan (and probably India...bakrey kee maan kab tak khair manaey long will the goat's mother stay lucky in all this?). With maximum prejudice.
    Of course I hope I am wrong. I hope some brilliant new plan from Washington will actually work. One can always hope.

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