Sunday, November 29, 2009

Are the Taliban our toughest foes ever?

If you consider the entire duration of the American participation in World War II starting Dec 7th, 1941, it took the U.S. and its allies a mere 3 ½ years to secure unconditional surrender from the sole remaining Axis power, the Empire of Japan, which occurred on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri on August 15th, 1945. The war in Afghanistan against a rag tag bunch of Muslim fanatics who call themselves The Taliban is now solidly into its 9th year of fighting. How do we compare the war making abilities of the Axis in World War II with those of these fanatics in Afghanistan? The Axis: 100,000 battle tanks, give or take 10,000, a few hundred thousand artillery pieces, thousands of naval vessels and millions upon millions of boots on the ground. The Taliban: a few thousand guys in togas and sandals (or as Mullah Omar would say, ‘sandals on the ground’), each with an AK-47. Throw in a few crew served weapons and a shoulder fired rocket propelled grenade launcher (RPG) or two, that’s about it. So begs the question of the day: how is it possible that these guys in togas and sandals fighting with small arms have fought the U.S. to a standstill (and arguably are gaining strength) over a period of nine years, when we dispatched an enormous Axis force in 3 and ½ years? The answer is simple: the introduction into modern warfare of what is now popularly called the ‘surgical strike,’ in which a relatively small team of weapons experts or highly technical combat weapon such as a smart bomb or ground attack aircraft can attack and destroy known enemy positions and combatants with precision and simultaneously minimize civilian (or what we now call ‘collateral’) casualties. The use of surgical strikes on our enemies in addition to the ability of the media using modern communications technology to instantly broadcast world wide all of the horrors of war now have most U.S. citizens erroneously believing that we can win wars just by killing the bad guys without the loss of civilians in the process. Once the liberal press picked up on these tactics, they selectively picked and chose which battles they broadcast: as many as possible when Republicans are in power, and as few as possible when Democrats hold the White House. And it is not just the press that recognizes the combination here: the bad guys also know that they can hide behind women, children, grandmothers, grandfathers and in mosques, churches and synagogues without fear of U.S. fire. They completely understand that should U.S. forces blow up a mosque and take out some innocents in the process, the news coverage world wide would be of tremendous value in their propaganda and recruiting efforts. By the length of time we have been fighting these guys, you would think they are the toughest adversaries we have ever faced. In reality, they are the biggest cowards. Accordingly, the Taliban is growing stronger and we allow them to mingle with the populations that support them in their war against the West. In days gone by, prior to the advent of the surgical strike, we would bomb, attack, and otherwise remove known areas of enemy strongholds, and simply accept the fact that there will be collateral casualties. In WWII, I don’t remember wringing our hands at the number of German civilians who died during the massive Allied bombings of German industrial areas. I don’t think there was an inordinate amount of grief paid to the 100,000 Japanese casualties after the A-bombs were dropped. Remember, these populations were not entirely innocent: they supported their country’s war effort, and many worked at the factories, turning out munitions and armaments that were the primary bombing targets. And the Taliban hide among the tribal populations, who harbor them and are accordingly aiding the Taliban effort against our troops. We need to go back to the days when winning meant killing lots of people, and worrying about innocent deaths was not paramount to the point that losing the war became a reality.

15 comments:

Chris said...

Cool perspective. I'm so glade to see other conservative blogs out there. Keep up the good work.I also have a political blog.

foutsc said...

Great post, Fredd. I agree, and General Tecumseh Sherman would too.

He didn't say "war is hell" just for the hell of it. He said it because he believed that those who make war must be made to suffer the full consequences, which would deter others from trying to do the same.

Having said that, I say yes, the Taliban are our toughest foes ever. These are hardy people of Hobbesean existence. Their life is nasty, brutish and short.

The average American could not imagine such an existence, let alone survive it for more than a week.

foutsc said...

btw Fredd, you need to add your blog URL to your follower icon so my readers can more easily find you blog.

Fredd said...

Foutsc: You have a completely valid point based on the overall battle performance and capability of an individual Taliban fighter.

They are as tough as nails, and can live like animals indefinitely. Who needs showers? Cavemen didn't, neither do the Taliban.

The Japanese were pretty tough individually as well. As a whole, I would posit that total 'troop strength' of the Taliban numbers only in the thousands, tops. Their ability to wage war can be easily diminished or eliminated altogether with a modicum of carpet bombing over a relatively small area: make Waziristan go away, as well as a few mountain ranges here and there, voila: no more Taliban.

Simply bomb them into the Stone Age. Er, wait...they already are in the Stone Age.

TECHNICAL NOTE TO FOUTSC: I added my home page URL to my general settings, see if that fixes the follower icon, it was the only setting I saw that would do this. If not, perhaps you could show me, I am new to this stuff.

Hannityinaskirt said...

I agree. Civilians are always killed in war, rather they where truly innocent or sympathizers with evil. Yet if we keep fighting a war half assed, worrying about civilian deaths, it leads to MORE civilian deaths, because we are fighting longer. We need to be more focused on killing our enemy and if we must think about civilians think about the civilians slaughtered in the towers. Our enemies have always picked up on our media. Also, all this Anti War bitching and impatience to end the war is also what gets our troops killed. Terrorists play politics, Osama once called us the "Paper Tiger" Sometimes the impatience of Americans can be the number one killer of our soldiers. Take for instance, when we where fighting in the Philippines all these Anti war protesters starting their bitching, no different from the code pink rambling of today. The Filipino insurgents picked up on that. They deliberately intensified their guerilla activity, in hopes of angering the "Anti Imperialist" crowd. Medal of Honor winner, Major General Henry Lawton, said "If I am shot by a Filipino bullet, it might just as well come from one of my own men because the continuance of the fighting is chiefly due to reports that are sent from America" If we can take of the kid gloves, stop worrying about "civilians" AND terrorists rights. (Reading Miranda rights, Gitmo bullshit) Let the Military RUN the Military, not liberal snobs, and shut up that bitching anti war crowd, then we could win this thing. If the enemy thinks we are committed to a fight those cowards that hide behind women and children would be terrified! If only the true power of the great Us Military could be unleashed... sadly it most likely ain't gonna happen. And Obama and his liberal activists are only going to put more rules and and require our troops to jump through more hoops, worrying about UN human rights abuses instead of killing those that killed, harbored or supported 3,000 of our fellow Americans.

Fredd said...

Hannityinaskirt: lots of meat to this comment, H. As far as 'shutting up the bitching anti war crowd,' the only way to do that is to (as you say) take off the kid gloves, wipe the Taliban off the face of the earth and win this damn war and move on with history.

Personally, I would like to round up the bitching anti war Pinkos, take away their soybean curd and tofu and feed force feed them some McDonald's double cheeseburgers. With super-sized fries. Talk about torture....

But if I were to do that to them, their anti-war liberal Pinko buddies would want to retaliate against me by taking away my Ford F150 4x4 (which I love like a brother) and stuffing me into a Prius....oh wait. They're already trying to do this to me.

Spinsterpov said...

The big difference I see is that in WW II we had the resolve to win and the willingness to sacrifice in order to see it done. Now we don't have the will to do anything but sit in a circle and sing Kumbayah and the enemy knows it.

Any threat to unleash the full force of the American military is soon going to be a joke (if it's not already) considering that we've pretty much castrated our own nmilitary.

We need to send the message that if you support the Taliban then you are the Taliban and will be subject to the same treatment. Then level the whole dad gum place!

Gee, I'm really hostile today.

Fredd said...

Spinster: spewing a little hostility now and then is cathartic, don't you feel better, now?

And as for your suggestion, I like it and would recommend implementing it thusly:

1. Phase I: with a few dozen squadrons of B-52 Strato Fortress bombers, release leaflets over the entire region that directs the population to turn in any known Taliban, or simply kill them on the spot themselves and save our military personnel from the hassle.

2. See how Phase I plays out, and if the Taliban still pokes their head up here and there, then go to Phase II: Same squadrons of B-52s, dropping this leaflet only over Taliban infested areas, says that the bombing will begin on xxx date, but it's not too late to turn in your Taliban guests sleeping on your couch. Monitor the evacuation, and snag any and all Taliban who try to sneak away in the mob. Accomplish this by offering Allah's blessing to anyone who rats out the Taliban at check points out of the area.

This plan is just off the cuff, and could use some tweaking, but the end result would still be all good: turning Waziristan, Tora Bora and the western edge of Pakistan into a plain of glass.

Chris said...

It's funny how the left are now attacking Obama because of the war in Afghanistan. We need to divide the Democrats and that will be the best way to do it. For some reason these idiots in office act like 9/11 never happened. If we get hit again like that we will have a long hard road ahead of us. And I will be the first one to bitchslap a liberal.

The_Kid said...

Great analysis. Reminds me of Sean Connery's quote from The Untouchables "What are you prepared to do?"

TRESTIN MEACHAM said...

I think that this goes back a long way. The WWII generation had not been sissified from years of media propaganda. To many people are living in a make believer world.

Fredd said...

Kid: In that same movie, Sean Connery also said '“He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way.'

We now call this mode 'the Obama administration' and Sean Connery is played by Rahm 'Dead Fish' Emanuel.

Fredd said...

Trestin: this indeed goes a long way back. I was an enlisted guy in the army in the mid 70's through mid 1980's, and political correctness was all the rage, even then, but I knew a few NCO's back then who remember when things were different and lamented the good old days. I would guess it started to change in the mid to late 1960's (with the hippies bound and determined to wreak havoc on 'the man.')

Fredd said...

Chris: it's not 'if' we get hit again, but when. Obama is eviscerating our national security processes as fast as he can.

It's as if he almost wants them to take a swing at us.

The_Kid said...

Fredd, I agree, there is nothing these 'people' won't do.