Independence Day Message...
freefly- independence day w/ kev in iraqistan

Hopey Changey and The Strike of Our Sword...

NEWSFLASH:  Mother Green and her Killing Machine are loose in the South of Afghanistan...

NAWA, Afghanistan – U.S. Marines hiked through searing heat and took fire from small pockets of militants Thursday after landing in this Taliban-controlled southern region of tree-lined fields, mud homes and crisscrossing waterways in the first major operation under President Barack Obama's strategy to stabilize Afghanistan.

They moved into Helmand sometime in the last 48 hours and have been on the move since they hit the ground.  The operation is called "Khanjar" or "Strike of the Sword

But as I read the article, something struck me about how some of the changes in how we are fighting may be contributing to the lengthening of this conflict.

Asmall force of Afghan soldiers accompanying the Camp Pendleton-based Marines got into several scraps with an insurgent force of about 20 fighters. The fire came from a mud-brick compound, and the Marines, the Afghan soldiers and their British advisers surrounded the compound on the east and the south.

Before the mission, Schoenmaker, the company commander, said he would practice "tactical patience" as a way to avoid civilian casualties— an issue newly arrived Gen. Stanley McChrystal has underscored in recent weeks. Though troops in many similar circumstances have called in airstrikes on such a militant-controlled compound, Schoenmaker did not.

"We made the decision to isolate the compound and not destroy it because we couldn't confirm if civilians were inside," he said. The militants were believed to have escaped out the back.

It had all the elements we are looking for: Afghan participation, adherence to the command guidance and bringing enough "stick" to the fight, except I am not sure about the level of "isolation" as the Marines were foiled by the dreaded "back door" escape move...

It sure didn't take long to see if the Taliban would run into a building, hoping that we would not level the building and you know what, they were right.

But they obviously knew that wouldn't last long...

I, in no way, doubt the ability or experience in COIN/SOF or retiring bad actors that General McChrystal has and whether or not he will bring the fight to the enemy in Afghanistan.

But my "tactical patience" and the idea behind that concept wears thin very quickly when chasing Taliban Militants through the heat and dirt, all while ducking "incoming" and if these guys make it into a compound I have two choices (in my mind) now based upon the shape of the battlefield...

1) Surround it and level it with a JDAM/Hellfire/Repeated A-10 Gun runs

OR

2) Surround it and make entry, killing every Taliban militant I find by going room to room

The outcome for Deebow in both of these options could be very different.  Either way, the outcome for the Militants will not be in doubt, but the price paid to get them may vary.

I found in my experience that a running gun battle can quickly turn into a "Cordon and Search" operation in a NY Minute, based upon the enemy fleeing the battlefield.  And I can tell you that the locals do not act like other people in the world and run the other way from the sounds of gunfire.  They pretty much go about their business like it is more of an annoyance and don't rush to get out of the way.  That can cloud the picture pretty quickly...

Given that we have decided to be more "tactically patient," I hope that this will not inhibit our ability to secure victory in this current operation.

And maybe those Pakistani "blocking" positions will provide the anvil upon which to hammer these guys into oblivion.

Maybe....

God Speed Fellas, and remember to drink water...

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