Policy ¨C General Sees Progress in Counter-IED Fight
The NYT reports success one day attributed to precision strikes from MLRS¡¯ and so it must be true.
Can you imagine a mile-long HESCO wall with ditches and wire?? Should work right?? What does the enemy do?? Employs women and children to emplace bombs to defeat your efforts.? What do the bombs do?? Split MRAP¡¯s in half.? What happens to the troopers inside the MRAP?? They live.? What happens next?? WolfPack builds more walls and hopelessly watch more women and children plant more bombs,welded gabion box, and General Oates briefs that ¡°the strategy is working.¡±? A vicious cycle with no end in sight.
It’s the intelligence that’s changed in recent months¡ªand it has changed dramatically.? Along with the surge of troops and the shift toward much more aggressive attacks on insurgency strongholds, Petraeus, has intensified intelligence-gathering operations to a still greater (though less-reported) extent.
The air over Afghanistan’s heavy fighting spots is jammed with intelligence, surveillance,fence, and reconnaissance devices¡ªdrones, towers, even blimps filled with various sensors. (Number of blimps has soared from eight to 64 just in the last month.)
All this information is collected and interpreted by a growing number of imaging and intelligence analysts. Still more important, it’s coordinated with information gathered on the ground by special-operations officers and¡ªincreasingly¡ªby Afghan security forces, who are better able to gain the trust of local Afghans who dislike the Taliban.
Policy ¨C Are We Starting To Win? New weapon systems¡ªand,gabion mattress, even more, improved intelligence¡ªmay be giving Americans an edge in Afghanistan.
Making progress?? Road-side incidents in Afghanistan = 2.6K in 2007,chain link fence, 8.9K in 2009, 10.5K so far in 2010.? That¡¯s an increase General Oates.? Progress?? Clearly countering the IED threat is a complex and resource intensive process and any gains made, and the efforts behind them are noteworthy, but to claim ¡°progress¡± when the data says the opposite doesn¡¯t square.?
In 2007, at the height of the surge in Iraq, there were 24K reported incidents.? Thus far in 2010 there has only been 1.1K reported incidents in Afghanistan.? The question someone should have asked General Oates is ¡°What tactics, techniques, and procedures were being used in Iraq to get Iraqi¡¯s to report 24,000 incidents that could be applied to Afghanistan?¡±? ¡°And if you are applying them, then why are they not obviously working??? Instead, the briefing ended up detailing how the IED task force would simply throw billions of more dollars at the problem and deploy a battalions worth of analysts to study the problem.? Hey, General Oates, the US is downsizing it¡¯s footprint in Afghanistan starting in July 2011 in case you haven¡¯t heard.? Well, at least that is what everyone has told the troops.? So, maybe the General might want to reconsider his plan ¨C sadly, it might be a little too late.
The Wolfpack Wall, a mile-long Hesco barrier, follows the bank of a wadi, or dry stream bed, and cuts across a strip of marijuana and poppy fields in Maiwand district, Kandahar province. Hesco containers are large,steel fence post, wire mesh boxes, shipped flat, which are assembled and have a plastic bag inserted and filled with dirt. Alongside the barrier,star picket, erected by U.S. Navy Seabees late last month, there¡¯s a trench dug as an extra obstacle.? The wall is designed to force insurgents into open desert,fence post, where soldiers monitoring the area from strategically placed outposts or cameras on unmanned aircraft hovering overhead can spot them.
The motor pool at Combat Outpost Terminator, just north of the wadi, was a graveyard of damaged military vehicles, including an MRAP that had been cut in half by one bomb.? ¡°Every one of those vehicles, you look at them and say: ¡®How did anyone live?¡¯ ¡± Redick said. ¡°It just blows my mind.¡±
Policy ¨C ¡®Wolfpack Wall¡¯ Designed To Push Insurgents Into Open Terrain
?Despite an increase in incidents that tracks with the build-up of forces in Afghanistan,gabion basket, Oates said, ¡°my assessment is we¡¯re making progress¡± in the fight against IEDs. The growing number of forces in the country and increased fighting caused the number of roadside-bomb incidents in Afghanistan to spike to 8,994 in 2009 -¨C from 2,gabions,677 in 2007 — and to nearly 10,500 so far this year.
Officials hope to model their strategy to counter the deadly devices in Afghanistan on successes in Iraq,razor barbed wire, where the downward trend of incidents illustrates the success of the strategy there, Oates said. In 2007, Iraq reported nearly 24,000 incidents; so far in 2010, the number is just over 1,100.
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