April 25, 2013
I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 with the 1/87 INF and in October of that year we cleared about 5 miles of a route we affectionately called Route Bananas. This Route had formerly been used as one of Osama's eastern escape routes. My company also manned two checkpoints on said route after clearing the route of all IEDs. About a year after id gone back stateside I ran into someone who was currently deployed there on leave for R&R. We got to talking and he told me that those 5 miles of route had been taken back over by the Tali fighters as well as my companies two checkpoints. I ask you....how could all that work have gone to hell and why did the Afghani Army and Police not fought more? This war really must be a loss despite what news agencies would tell you. I'm open to any feedback and thoughts on this post. Thanks!
April 9, 2009
First, thanks for your service, as an all volunteer military since Viet Nam, young people do not know what a draft is, and being called to serve their country. What you said happened in Viet Nam all the time, I did not go but was in the Marine reserve from 65-71. They would fight and die for a hill, take it, and end up giving it back. God knows what they were thinking, and seems like this same thing happens in the middle east.
December 18, 2018
I was going to reply and bring up the Viet Nam war, but 'greeny' beat me to it. All the same, what you point out happened frequently in 'Nam. There are a multitude of books out there that covers close to every aspect during that war. It's not only the 'grunts that took it in the shorts, but pilots as well. Narratives exist of where pilots reported construction of SAM sites, yet could not engage due to some lines on a map. We're talking looking out their canopies off their wing tips and seeing those sites being built. And they new full well that with in a few more sorties, those SAM sites would be targeting them - bombing missions that were flown in close succession where the route and altitude were the same. LRRP units reporting enemy activity only to not be believed or their intel ignored. You mention the Afghan military and police - same thing during 'Nam with a lot of the South Vietnamese govt. corrupt and some of the military units unwilling to actively seek out and destroy the enemy. And again, like you typed, news agencies reporting success after success, yet if you talked to those in the 'bush, they'd tell you a different story about 'Charlie. It's uncanny the amount of similarities between what happened in the 60's and what's happening today.
While civilizations live, they may still aspire, and hope - as long as their legions can hold the far frontier. - T.R. Fehrenbach
November 6, 2018
Politics. While I wasn't in the 'stan, I was in Baghdad and in the Army from '99 until '14. From a military standpoint we would work our hardest to secure and control an area. Often times at the cost of our fellow soldiers lives. From a military standpoint, we dominated Iraq. The problem came in when politicians in our government, specifically Obama and the State Department, decided that they knew how to handle the situation over there. We would control a MSR, or whatever, and complaints from the locals would start to be heard. To appease them, since we were not trying to be an occupying force, we would back-off from that area to ease the locals lives. All this did was let the opposition reclaim the area. If politicians would have stayed out of this and let the military do what the military does, then the 'stan and Iraq would have been completely different. The issues we are seeing in those two are fairly closely related to the same stuff as the 'nam. At the beginning there is a lot of support for military action (I know 'nam was iffy). After awhile people get bored and move on. Then comes the "we shouldn't be there phase". What people don't realize is once we are there, we have to finish. To start a war, occupation, or anything else, then leave before it is finished creates a much more serious problem. So, once Bush started getting pushed back on the actions in the Middle East, the politicians and State Department starting playing politics, despite military advice. The military was seen as incompetent in many politicians eyes, when in reality it was those politicians that turned our objective into something that we could not achieve. So, we are treading water. History has repeatedly taught us that we can not just up and leave, but our hands are tied on what we can do. Not sure if my rambling makes sense, but hopefully it does. I can go further in depth, but want to wait to see if anyone cares. It is mostly military/political strategy and tactics along with lessons learned.
Don't think the man is keeping you down if you haven't picked yourself up yet.
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