Gringo Lost

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Mullah Omar issues his own FM 3-24

with 8 comments

The battle for the “hearts and minds” is taking on a new twist, thanks to this book (reportedly issued by Mullah Omar) instructing Taliban to obey certain norms of conduct which include the treatment of prisoners and guidelines for suicide attacks to limit civilian (non-infidel) casualties.

“A brave son of Islam should not be used for lower and useless targets. The utmost effort should be made to avoid civilian casualties.”

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Written by gringolost

July 27, 2009 at 1:09 pm

8 Responses

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  1. It’s an interesting statement if indeed it’s coming from Omar. Obviously the Taliban have taken heed of Al Qaeda’s failure to win the hearts and minds through indiscriminate and mindless terror in Iraq. I do however fear that an endless supply of madrassa youth willing to die for virgins in the sky, will test the mettle of coalition forces, and the patience of the British/American people who are risk adverse and want a quick fix. Right!
    In my war the Communist’s doctrine triumphed over freedom desperately desired by both ARVN and NLF fighters, of South Vietnam. The Communist’s were willing to fight a hundred year war as long as the B-52’s stayed out of N. Vietnamese air space. Unless coalition forces can secure the Afgan villages and can provide an economic alternative to poppies and corruption, we better prepare ourselves for the cold hard truth; endless fodder for an endless war. I have all the respect in the world for those men and women that are putting their butts on the line. I know the Grunt’s perspective at least in Vietnam. IMHO, it is an axiom that politics and war don’t mix. I hope the national brain trust does a better job this time. Nuff said….

    Blackhawk187

    July 28, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    • Time is definitely on their side. Although I don’t think that they will be able to wage such a prolonged battle either. If they are going to institute a pop-centric approach just like we are it may be a sign that they understand other approaches are unsustainable.

      I think the best thing we can do right now is reduce our footprint, make it less easy to pinpoint the US as the bad guy, and support any elements that are not promoting attacks on the US or US interests.

      gringolost

      July 30, 2009 at 7:36 pm

      • GL, Your 7/30 comments are commendible, but I smiled to myself when I read them, not becauce your points wern’t valid, maybe your right. But I doub’t the Taliban are taking ‘pop-centric’ approach to winning the hearts and minds. The NVA/NLF took the opposite approach. When most GI’s left the villages to hunker down for the night. The ‘bad guys’ held court at night and any villager that failed to tow the party line was faced with certain death, as well as their families.
        The result was the the villagers and I’m talking about AO from MSR 1 (route) Saigon west to the ‘Angel Wing’, the Cambodian dagger that was the most direct approach to Saigon.
        The 25th Division, the largest in Vietman, supply route was MSR 1 from Cu Chi to Saigon. I traveled this route enough times to see smiling villagers faces during the daytime, but what was happening at night was another story. The villagers built concrete bunkers, hospitals, storage for arms and ammunation right under our noses for the enemy every night. No one ratted them out, and many many ARVN soldiers lived in those villages! Do you see the analogy?
        I vividly remember my first battle during the TET-68 offensive flying as a gunner in a UH-1C gunship. Every village along that route was flying NFL colors. What stunned me was not only the enemy flags flying in daylight; but more ominious, the volume of fire what was heading our way from’ friendly’ villages. Stat’s will tell you that we took 2000+ dead and 30,000 wounded in that month.
        Let’s face it, we have very little knowledge of Afgan language, history, or tribal culture. So how can we both reduce our footprint and secure the villages. I don’t believe it can be done. I don’t believe I’m a defeatist, but my training taught me to first ask myself; what’s the worst that can happen here? Then work from there. I managed to survive. Now I don’t know a damn thing about the new Army, nor have I been to Afganistan. So someone here might say I don’t know squat. But I’ve been studing Afganistan since the Soviets in invaded in 1979. I hope my logic is flawed. But I’m getting the feeling that not many people give a damn. I commend you for giving a shit, and your power of critical thinking.
        Cheers,
        Gib 187th

        Blackhawk187

        July 31, 2009 at 4:33 am

        • First, I must applaud you for your service in Vietnam. I would imagine not much can compare to the horrors that happened there and for you to talk about it so candidly adds real value to its history.

          To my point, I wasn’t being to exact in my statement. I don’t think we can “secure” villages with a reduced footprint. And likewise, I imagine that Taliban tactics will remain largely the same (producing still large amounts of civilian casualties).

          I do think that we can achieve some strategic objectives by reducing our troop levels and changing the mission from a COIN approach to more of a counter-terrorism approach focused primarily on disruption. I’m starting to doubt all the “winning” or “losing” talk. We’ll never really be quite sure. Those definitions are too exact for a conflict as vague as this one. All that I think we need to do is keep terrorists from using Afghanistan as a safehaven, training ground, and income source from opium (this we can only reduce and not eliminate). If we are successful here then our security and interests will be largely protected. And this I don’t think will be difficult nor take a lot of resources.

          gringolost

          August 1, 2009 at 9:42 pm

  2. FYI- NVA/PAVN use of terror in villages. Classified PDF circa 1970 effect of terror in the villages. Worth a read: http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/star/images/231/2310402003a.pdf

    Blackhawk187

    August 1, 2009 at 10:40 am

  3. FYI: Taliban shift in tactics to emphasize the use of selected terror in villages dated July 2009.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/71197.html

    GL: Since it seems to be I be talking to myself, yourself excluded, attempting to back up an unorthodox point of view. I’m finally come believe I’m wasting my time and yours. I find it hard to believe that no one else dares to put in their two cents. Is everybody having a beer with Obama on the White House lawn?

    Me, I’m waiting to have a ‘smack down’ with Secretary of silly smiles,Hillary Clinton, but I’m scared of ‘unintended consequences’. Think I’ll have a cigar instead.
    Over and out.

    Blackhawk187

    August 1, 2009 at 11:19 am

    • Haha, no worries Blackhawk. I can assure you that I get between 25-40 incredibly engaged (and brilliant) readers a day. Maybe if I start posting popular tags the number will go up.

      And I think public opinion is starting to shift or at least starting to acknowledge the realities of a war in Afghanistan. Maybe its because the Iraq War is fading away or maybe its because of all the COINdinistas who so happily claim that the Afghanistan war will “only” take 10-20 years.

      gringolost

      August 1, 2009 at 9:49 pm


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