Read time: 2 minutes

Sequel To Fallujah?

As I'm reading about the Marine-led NATO offensive in Afghanistan, I'm wondering if this represents the "new" counterinsurgency warfare, or is this j

Marines
As I'm reading about the Marine-led NATO offensive in Afghanistan, I'm wondering if this represents the "new" counterinsurgency warfare, or is this just the basic combined arms "search and destroy" conventional approach that we saw in Iraq? From the NY Times:

The first large skirmish began at 9:30 a.m., as Second Platoon, the company headquarters and most of the Afghan platoon stopped at the edge of a small village and prepared to clear it. The Taliban opened up with automatic rifle fire from a few hundred yards away, shooting from concealed positions protected by open ground.

Marines and Afghan soldiers rushed to mud walls and returned fire. The Taliban’s fighters could be seen at times running between fighting positions and irrigation ditches. A few were struck by the Marines’ fire, and fell. Others kept up their fire. Bullets buzzed past the Marines.

------

Often, small groups of Taliban opened up from a different direction after the Marines had faced several minutes of fire. It was clear that the Taliban had ringed the company, and was probing and picking at the Marines as much of Company K moved toward a road and bridge that Captain Biggers intended to seize.

As the company spread out, the fighting moved with it. At times, two or three gun battles raged at once, including at the outposts where the Marines had left their equipment. The Taliban harassed and attacked these positions several times during the day.

-------

More than a half-hour later, after the fighting had subsided again, the Himars rocket barrage struck a nearby house, but not the one from which highly accurate fire had been holding the Marines against the wall.

Several Marines cursed. The wrong building had been hit. The company commander saw the children stream outside, ordered a cease-fire, and sent a patrol to go help.

Certainly there's the time and place to use conventional warfighting tactics to take on a large concentration of insurgents. Pretty sure that's in the COIN manual. But I feel like we're still fighting at the tactical/operational level, looking for short-term gains with no feasible long-term strategy to win and get out. It is encouraging that there are more Afghans involved in this joint operation than ever before, and word is that "development aid" is set up to follow into the province. But the "proof is in the tasting of the pudding," so they say. We'll watch and see what happens next.

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $21 for 2021? Please consider a one-time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage

Discussion

New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.

Please Do Not Use the Login Link at the Top of the Site.

In order to comment you must use an Insticator account. To register an account, enter your comment and click the post button. A dialog will then appear allowing you create your account.

We will be retiring our Crooks and Liars user account system in January, 2021.

Thank you.
C&L Team