so why are we fighting now ??

Discussion in 'The Fire For Effect and Totally Politically Incorr' started by jack404, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    chicagotribune.com

    Some troops say strict rules of engagement slow their advance on Taliban stronghold

    ALFRED de MONTESQUIOU, DEB RIECHMANN

    Associated Press Writers

    1:14 PM CST, February 15, 2010

    MARJAH, Afghanistan (AP) — Some American and Afghan troops say they're fighting the latest offensive in Afghanistan with a handicap — strict rules that routinely force them to hold their fire.

    Although details of the new guidelines are classified to keep insurgents from reading them, U.S. troops say the Taliban are keenly aware of the restrictions.

    "I understand the reason behind it, but it's so hard to fight a war like this," said Lance Cpl. Travis Anderson, 20, of Altoona, Iowa. "They're using our rules of engagement against us," he said, adding that his platoon had repeatedly seen men drop their guns into ditches and walk away to blend in with civilians.

    If a man emerges from a Taliban hideout after shooting erupts, U.S. troops say they cannot fire at him if he is not seen carrying a weapon — or if they did not personally watch him drop one.

    What this means, some contend, is that a militant can fire at them, then set aside his weapon and walk freely out of a compound, possibly toward a weapons cache in another location. It was unclear how often this has happened. In another example, Marines pinned down by a barrage of insurgent bullets say they can't count on quick air support because it takes time to positively identify shooters.

    "This is difficult," Lance Cpl. Michael Andrejczuk, 20, of Knoxville, Tenn., said Monday. "We are trained like when we see something, we obliterate it. But here, we have to see them and when we do, they don't have guns."

    NATO and Afghan military officials say killing militants is not the goal of a 3-day-old attack to take control of this Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan. More important is to win public support.

    They acknowledge that the rules entail risk to its troops, but maintain that civilian casualties or destruction of property can alienate the population and lead to more insurgent recruits, more homemade bombs and a prolonged conflict.

    But troops complain that strict rules of engagement — imposed to spare civilian casualties — are slowing their advance into the town of Marjah in Helmand province, the focal point of the operation involving 15,000 troops.

    "The problem is isolating where the enemy is," said Capt. Joshua Winfrey, a Marine company commander from Stillwater, Oklahoma. "We are not going to drop ordnance out in the open."

    That's a marked change from the battle of Fallujah, Iraq in November 2004. When Marines there encountered snipers holed up in a building, they routinely called in airstrikes. In Marjah, fighter jets are flying at low altitude in a show of force, but are not firing missiles.

    Politically, it's not the best time to campaign for relaxing the rules in Afghanistan. On Sunday, two U.S. rockets struck a house and killed 12 Afghan civilians during the offensive in Marjah, NATO said. On Monday, a NATO airstrike accidentally killed five civilians and wounded two in neighboring Kandahar province.

    It was public outrage in Afghanistan over civilian deaths that prompted the top NATO commander, U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, last year to tighten the rules, including the use of airstrikes and other weaponry if civilians are at risk.

    Afghan civilian deaths soared to 2,412 civilians last year — the highest number in any year of the 8-year-old war, according to a U.N. report. But the deaths attributed to allied troops dropped nearly 30 percent as a result of McChrystal's new rules, according to the report.

    Under the current rules of engagement, troops retain the right to use lethal force in self defense, said U.S. Col. Wayne Shanks, a spokesman for the international force.

    The rules seek to put the troops in the "right frame of mind to exercise that right," Shanks said. They require troops to ask a few fundamental questions:

    — Even if someone has shot in my general direction, am I still in danger?

    — Will I make more enemies than I'll kill by destroying property, or harming innocent civilians?

    — What are my other options to resolve this without escalating the violence?

    On Monday, Marines in the northern part of Marjah followed the rules of engagement, but a civilian still ended up dead.

    As troops fought teams of insurgent snipers throughout the day in heavy gunfights, a young Afghan man ran toward the Marines. More than once, the troops warned him to stop, but he kept running.

    Following the rules, the Marines uttered a verbal warning, and fired a flare and a warning shot overhead. Still the man didn't stop. Marines shot him dead.

    Afterward, Marine officers said the victim appeared to be a mentally ill man who had panicked during the gun battle.

    "Sadly, everything was done right," said Lt. Col. Brian Christmas, commander of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines. "The family understood."

    Christmas said his troops might be frustrated, but understand the reasons behind the strict rules. As he spoke, Cobra attack helicopters fired Hellfire missiles nearby. Ground forces under intense fire had requested the air support 90 minutes earlier, but it took that long to positively identify the militants who were shooting at the allied forces.

    "We didn't come to Marjah to destroy it, or to hurt civilians," Christmas said.

    That message was drilled into the troops in the run-up to the offensive.

    "What are we here for?" Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, the top Marine commander in Afghanistan, would shout to his troops.

    "The people!" was the troops' refrain.

    Afghan forces cite examples of the restrictions too.

    Col. Shrin Shah Kohbandi, commander of the new Afghan army corps in Helmand province, told reporters that his troops saw militants running away from the battlefield toward a village in Nad Ali district where they disappeared among villagers. "They hid their weapons so they became 'civilians,'" under the rules, he said. "We didn't kill them and we weren't able to arrest them."

    Khan Mohammad Khan, a former Afghan Army commander in neighboring Kandahar province, said being able to use heavy weapons and conduct air strikes only in selective situations has hamstrung troops in Marjah.

    But Brig. Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai, commander of Afghan army troops in the south, said there is no plan to revise the rules.

    "The aim of the operation is not to kill militants," he said. "The aim is to protect civilians and bring in development."
  2. hogger129

    hogger129 Active Member

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    The aim should be to kill the militants and by doing so - protect civilians. I'm not going to tell them what to do though. If I were running the show, I'd let the military off the leash to do what they do best. We have fought this type of war before. And in that war, up until 1968, we were actually winning. Then Tet. And you guys know the rest.

    So as far as Afghanistan, are they really telling the truth? Is the insurgency unpopular among the civilian population? I'd say just the opposite is true. I mean most of them are Muslims right? They look at it as a foreign aggressor rather than someone trying to free them from tyranny.
  3. walien

    walien Former Guest

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    What the military does best is win wars. There hasn't been a whole lot of military success in occupying a country. There are reasons why those procedures are in place. Should the military need them changed, you'll hear about it. Yes, much of what they do is frustrating, but winning over the people is largely the focus of what they're trying to do. It's hard to do that if you shoot them. :)
  4. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Walian

    from my own time in afghanistan this last conflict and not including previous visits..

    at night when no others are around old men come and bring your fruit

    we had plenty come and give us tips on where talibs where hiding or where arms where stashed but fronting then in daylight in front of others they clam up

    why?? they are scared of being seen as a traitor by the talib's

    get em alone , by themselves and they change

    in a group they put up a group "i dunno" as that whats safe

    if we took out all the talibs and they had no fear do you think they'd hate us ? if they had thier own nation as they saw fit would they sue?

    NO we get told they are forced or "advised to sue us and the compensation goes straight to the talib "collectors" who advised them to complain

    the germans likewise did not seem to want us , nor the japanese but when things where stable and the wars truely over and they saw the benefits they all became allies

    if we do this right and win the general population will do likewise

    this cant shoot anybody PC BS is just getting our folks killed

    the main reason we have such a hard time now is WE PULLED OUT BEFORE, we went to IKraq for lies and they are not fools

    nearly 1 MILLION count it , its a lot , 1,000,000 afghani's who came out in support of use where MURDERED when we left. do you think they'll be so public now we are back??

    they are scared of the taliban of our politics and that we'll leave em to be slaughtered again

    that was our mistake due to a leadership that had its head up its arse and its hand in someones pocket

    it cost us our reputation and in that world reputation and standing is everything

    its also the best psyop weapon the taliban has and they weild it often

    support us as we'll never leave

    support the west and see what happens to you when they go

    i've met people who lost families in firefights possibly by our hands

    thier attitude

    Ish Sha Allah meaning it was the will of thier God

    they know better than anyone the cost of freedom

    for crying out load they fought the soviets for 20 years without a peep, why do you think they complain now??

    because the taliban know our weak PC ways now and through the press and media put forward the "poor people who suffer under coalition advances" and do it for every offencive we make

    do they show the human shields they use? did they use Human shield with the Soviets?? NO

    and WHY NOT??

    cause even if they had do you think the Sov's would have cared?? no and they know it

    this PC hearts and minds crap dont work

    these people respect strength they respect resolve and fortitude and thats why i respect the independant fighters of the panshir valley i met and know now

    they dont want compensation they want the taliban gone forever
    they want a free nation where there kids both boys and girls can go to school

    they want to sing and dance at weddings
    they want computers and trade
    they dont want drugs they want nothing of the taliban

    but with the taliban there they'll have no freedom
    there be no schools
    women will be property and traded as such
    and there be no step foward out of the strife they are in
    only death illness and recruitment for the taliban way

    fall for this crap and your just helping the taliban

    if you dont beleive me go there and see for yourself

    i'll let you know who to see and to meet when your there

    cheers

    jack
  5. lockednloaded45

    lockednloaded45 New Member

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    TY Jack for that insight into some of the culture. I have never been to Afganistan, and base my opinions of the peoples there on stories from folks like you
  6. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    The really sad part is , now we have announced the US withdrawl by 2012's end the local are faced with the choice of give in to the taliban 100%, fight on without support, or leave thier homes.

    many now feel betrayed

    many will fight on and be slaughtered including those i know , not many will relocate,

    but i ask you to look at something , a map of the world, then take a look at Afghanistans borders and a ethnographic map.

    you'll see that the same groups span the borders

    Tadjikastan Djikastan all have US bases in them
    all have the same ethnic groups in them and muslim to boot

    but few taliban

    why? if the taliban are so strong?

    these people are muslim too


    because they dont want the taliban there and they have control of thier borders

    a talib group crosses the border there and they are either shot or caught , if they are caught they are tryed and executed ( trials take as long as it take to establish identity and loyalties) execution take a couple minutes they are allowed to pray and face mecca and get one in the head FULL STOP

    no PC rules there

    why cant we do that in afghanistan??

    who makes the PC rules ?

    who told the troops to back off when we had Bin Laden surrounded

    who is allowing these mongrel dogs to win??

    OUR SIDE ..

    and for the love of God i do not know why

    we are creating our own limits by which we are losing

    those who are leading this fight are doing so in the favour of the enemy
    hence my writing about orwells 1984 in another post

    maybe we are needing a enemy so that big government can control us by blaming security crack down on "needs to keep us safe from a enemy" when the reality is we could take these bastards out once and for all if we took the gloves off

    maybe i'm wrong about the needed enemy bit but someone has to explain to us why they want us to lose by tying our hands up in regards to this fight ...
  7. red14

    red14 Active Member

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    It does bring back eerie memories of Nevelle Chamberlain, doesn't it?
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