New OEF rotation...

Discussion in 'SitRep' started by Bluehawk, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Bluehawk

    Bluehawk Member

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    The coming front...

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    DoD announces new Afghanistan rotation - Marine Corps News, news from Iraq - Marine Corps Times
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    "Up to 2,000 Marines will deploy to Afghanistan in November to replace the 3,400 leathernecks scheduled to return home in the coming months, the Defense Department announced Monday.

    The Marine Air-Ground Task Force will comprise units from across the Corps, officials said. Camp Lejeune’s 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will form the MAGTF’s ground element, according to Maj. David Nevers, a spokesman for the Corps. Led by Lt. Col. D.L. Odom, 3/8 recently completed predeployment training at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, Calif.

    It’s not immediately clear which units will form the headquarters, logistics and aviation sections of the ad-hoc unit, Nevers said.

    Approximately 3,700 soldiers from the Army’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, are scheduled to join the MAGTF in January, according to the Pentagon. Both units were previously scheduled to deploy to Iraq.

    The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit along with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines are currently serving in Afghanistan. The 24th MEU is fighting near the Afghan-Pakistan border while 2/7 is engaged in a mission to train Afghan security forces. It’s unclear if 3/8 will assume either of those roles or if it will take on a new mission, Nevers said.

    And while the deployment ensures a continued Marine presence in volatile southern Afghanistan, the smaller force means fewer Marines on the ground. Historically, fighting in Afghanistan is fiercest in the spring and summer. Indigenous forces tend to pull back during the harsh Afghan winters.

    The 2/7 commander, Lt. Col. Richard Hall, acknowledged last month in a discussion with military bloggers that his unit has suffered significant casualties in Afghanistan.

    The move to send 3/8 to Afghanistan comes a few weeks after Commandant Gen. James Conway made his latest entreaty to shift the Corps’ focus from Iraq to Afghanistan. He has been unabashed for more than year in calling for Marines to take on the Afghanistan mission."
     
  2. Bluehawk

    Bluehawk Member

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  3. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Ooh-Rah!
     
  4. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Read this morning that Pakistan has stated their military will fire upon US forces that do not recieve prior permission for activities inside Pakistani borders.

    I have always suspected that Pakistan has been secretely (or not so secretely) supporting the Taliban in their border region. And I don't believe for a minute that every firing over the Pakistani border results in "innocent" civilian deaths. As Bush said, you harbour terrorists within your border, you will be treated as the enemy.

    Never forget. Never forget.
     
  5. Freefalling

    Freefalling New Member

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    Pakistan has problems. The current president never met a bribe he couldn't refuse and their economy is in the toilet. Even the moderates in the country are vocal in their opposition to us crossing into their country or launching a Hellfire or two into a village at night. So, he has to do some posturing to keep the moderates and the hardliners happy.

    OUR problem is that the overwhelming majority of supplies into Afghanistan comes through the port of Karachi and travels overland through Pakistan. Without those supplies this war grinds to a halt with a quickness. So, we need Pakistan's support. Period.

    The Pakistani ISI (their CIA) supported the Taliban in the 90's so it isn't unreasonable to think they support them to this day. The ISI bragged about their officers riding on Taliban tanks into Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif and acting as advisors.

    But any Pakistani forces that fire on our guys will find themselves in a pine box if they can find enough pieces to warrant a box.

    For anyone interested I highly recommend Ghost Wars by Steven Coll.
     
  6. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Good post Freefalling.
     
  7. Freefalling

    Freefalling New Member

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    Thank you, Matt. With 2+ years over here I'd better be able to say something about this place.
     
  8. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Part of the problem with that region of Pakistan is the "lawless" regions that answer to no one but themselves. There are parts of that region that even the Pakistani Army won't enter. But I would venture to guess that the ISI is operating there.
     
  9. Bluehawk

    Bluehawk Member

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    Where... is Bin Laden - best guess.
     
  10. Freefalling

    Freefalling New Member

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    evan: Yes, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are bad places to be. The Pakistani army tries to go in there but gets chopped up. Either the folks in the FATA are the most efficient infantry EVER or the Pakistani army sucks. The Durand Line is causing some of this, splitting the Pashtuns and the ISI has supported the Pashtuns going back to the Soviet invasion in 1979.

    Bluehawk: Outside of my area, I'm just a commo guy. A retired SF soldier turned CIA guy, Billy Waugh, tracked bin Laden in the Sudan I believe around '96 or so; he thinks bin Laden is dead. I think the plethora of tapes says otherwise unless OBL has the same marketing team that handles Elvis and Tupac. :) OBL is probably in the FATA. al Q has decentralized even more than before 9/11 so he could be anywhere and it wouldn't impact their operations much. My money would be on the FATA though.
     
  11. Bluehawk

    Bluehawk Member

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    I've had this hunch, all along, that we KNOW exactly where he is... and, as long as he is where we know him to be, then he cannot keep himself from leading from the rear. We package every twitch he makes.

    Eh?
     
  12. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    I just don't get why the US would cause more problems there by DECLARING that they will ignore Pakistan's sovereignty?

    If the US just keeps silent and goes in, the new President would probably pretend that he OK'd it anyways, rather than admit that he can't tell the US what to do.


    I don't get it, why is the US pointing out to the Taliban that Pakistan's President is not in control?
     
  13. Freefalling

    Freefalling New Member

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    For the reasons I stated earlier. If we go into Pakistan their president will have to respond, the other factions in their government would force him to. He can't stomp his feet and put us in Time Out and tell us "No" yet again, he has to do something. The easiest something is to cut off our supplies. Pakistan has us over a barrel and they know it, but they also don't want to lose all of the money we pump into their economy AND the money we provide for their national defense. I think this year we upgraded her fleet of F-16's with new avionics.

    The Taliban knows the Pakistani president isn't in control of his own country, they exploit it. The ISI is most likely feeding the TB info about us, so why would the ISI suddenly have a conscience and not rat out their own government?

    It is a political tightrope that has to be walked. That doesn't make it right, that's just the way it is.

     
  14. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Sorry, I'm still not getting the logic in this, it's a lose/lose situation.

    The Previous President couldn't do very much as HE WAS caught in the middle, he needed the support of those elements aligned or sympathetic to the Taliban.

    However the new President is NOT friends with the Taliban or the FATA gangs. If the US President informs him that the US is going in on "hot" intelligence, he should just make an announcement of a new "joint" US Pak offensive to root out the FATA "terrorists".

    By making him look weak powerless in his own house it will just ramp up the instability, that his enemies will exploit.

    Sorry, but it's madness to declare that you will violate another country's sovereignty, as this excuse can now be used by Russia in Georgia or by any number of odious regimes.

    The government's control in Pakistan is fragile, it wouldn't take much to provoke chaos or another coup etc.
     
  15. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    So then the alternative is what? Let the Taliban run free and unfettered? I can't fathom that logic either.
     
  16. Freefalling

    Freefalling New Member

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    We can't push Pakistan. People talk about how if they were in charge they would go in and take care of Pakistan, invade as needed, seal up the border....

    It won't happen.

    There are over 200 known border crossings from Pakistan into Afghanistan for starters. The border is porous but we're slowing closing it down.

    There was a counterinsurgency study done by RAND this year. An analysis of successful counterinsurgency campaigns took an average of 14 years. We're into year 7 for OEF-A.

    We can kill the TB/ al Q/ HiG/ anyone else and all that does is provide us with the security setting to really win the war. The people are starting to dislike us and distrust the Gov't of Afghanistan. We have to win back their trust and we're only going to start that when we can provide "more" than the other guys. Water, food, jobs, medicine....

    We're hamstrung by the Pakistan problem, but it won't beat us unless we let it. I think we're on the right path it will just take some time. There are more pressing issues to worry about, Pakistan just gets all of the press.
     
  17. Bluehawk

    Bluehawk Member

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    The only alternative is to take the fight to them, in whatever ways each of us can, until they cease their violence and expansionism... to the end if need be, with everything we've got for as long as it takes, in or out of uniform, at home and abroad.

    After 9/11, there IS no other option... for anyone anywhere.
     
  18. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    No, the alternative is to at least try to work with the new President of Pakistan, he has an interest to eliminate the threat from these radicals as they are the ones that killed his wife.

    EVEN IF he refuses access, there is no need to anounce the fact that you will violate their sovereignty, just do it with no fanfare if need be.

    Then the President of Pak. can either pretend that he authorized it or admit that he is weak and without power.


    There is a sensible comment, if the USA pushes too hard on Pakistan it may precipitate another coup or period of instability in the country.

    Would you prefer to deploy another 150,000 - 200,000 US troops to contain an Iraq style civil war in Pakistan, with the possibility of Al Queda gaining control of a few of Pakistan's nukes?

    The question is - do you try to work with other countries groups, or try a unilateral "My way or the highway" approach? That was used in Iraq from 2003 - 2006, before Petraeus company decided to try to work WITH the locals instead of fighting them
     
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