Saturday, August 6, 2011

Are we ...

Still winning?

A helicopter has crashed in Afghanistan's eastern Wardak province, killing 31 U.S. special operations troops and seven Afghan soldiers, Afghanistan's president said Saturday in a report by The Associated Press. It was the highest number of American casualties recorded in a single incident in the decade-long war, the report said.


The Talibans claim they shot it down with an RPG. Who knows what happened but what's fact is 38 more lives were squandered in a wasted exercise. Bin Laden's dead, let's go.


Sarge said...

About the time the PATRIOT act was signed, the renditions started, and they did the Iraq invasion, bin Laden got what he wanted. Abu Ghraib, renditions, Gitmo, overt extra juditial killings, that was just gravy.

Bin Laden, from what I glean, just might turn out to be an Islamic John Brown. In every way. Time will tell, I suppose.

But then, what was the 'objective' in that part of the world besides servicing political slogans?

My guess is, like Viet Nam, to make some money for a select group of people. And as long as it can be milked, the troops stay where they are, and keep doing what they're doing.
About as close as you can come to a perpetual motion machine.

Beautiful concept for some, the "forever" war. I actually have a book which has lined this out. Two books, actually, and it's right down to a T.
One was written in 1971, the other in 1974.

Like with Viet Nam, the game was rigged early on.

BadTux said...

That RPG grenade probably cost the Taliwhackers less than $5, thanks to cheap Chinese RPG's flooding the world market. The training and equipment of the men in that helicopter was easily a quarter of a million dollars apiece, not to mention the helicopter itself. So all in all, what we just saw was that a $5 grenade just sent $9,000,000 worth of men and hardware down in flames. Tell me how anybody can win a war like that?

It's past time to declare victory and go home. Osama bin Laden is dead. Al Qaeda in Afghanistan is a shell of what it once was. The Taliban control most of Afghanistan, and they're welcome to have it -- if they offer refuge to terrorists again we can come in and start killing them again, but until then, WTF.

- Badtux the Pragmatic Penguin

Sarge said...

Re-read my copy of Tabor's "War of the Flea".

That, and Rudyard Kipling's "A Picts Song".

Short and sweet, "we" screwed up bigtime. If Clauswitz is able to be observing this craziness, he's probably saying, "I TOLD you so, du blode-sau doof idioten..."
(sorry, no umlauts on my fonts)

Reminders about not taking the first step until you have some idea where the last will take you, the dialogue between the gov't (what can you do, what do you need, etc) and the military (what do you want, what can you give me, what ultimate objective in detail, etc) would probably be tumbling from his lips.

Viet Nam was the writing on the wall for us, and when they sent that contingent int Bosnia, anyone could see that things were really gonna break bad.

When they got to the Sava river and lo! there it was in flood, and the commanders are standing there with one thumb up their ass, the other in their mouth, waiting for someone to yell "swith", it was a pretty picture.

They never heard of Sulieman getting caught (worse, I admit) on the Drava?

There was no information from the skillions of dollars of intelligence gear in orbit or on the ground to tell a column that you're going to get stacked up on a road in what might still be hostile country because of ongoing flooding? And it comes as a complete surprise to the guys on the ground?

But, that's the "leadership" at upper levels that seems to be all the style now, so I gues we just nod in sober gravity while they waste more of the kids.

CAFKIA said...

BadTux, I do not have reliable numbers handy but I believe that you have vastly under guesstimated the cost of the training for the inhabitants of that helicopter. The helicopter crew trains on helicopters that have to be exactly kitted out like the ones they will use and maintained even better. The SEALs are constantly in training. They are either on an op or in training. They are trained on a variety of weapons systems (ours and a slew of other's) as well as transportation systems, intelligence work, language, combat, and dinner etiquette. A quarter million MIGHT describe what is spent getting one through BUD/S but that is just how they decide who they will actually train. You could probably add at least two zeros to your number and be closer.

As a conventional war, both operations were a mistake from the very beginning. There should never have been any boots on the ground that did not have SpecForces feet in them. Now, we should be developing and deploying swarms of untraceable UAV's controlled from Nevada or the CICs of several ships in the area. By now, we should be entirely too smart to get roped into fighting a war on someone else's terms.

Apparently we aren't.

BadTux said...

Cafkia, I was deliberately underestimating just so I could not be accused of hyperbole. $5 grenade resulting in $9M or $90M of damages is still "WTF?" country .

Regarding "By now, we should be entirely too smart", see the other post on this blog, "The United States of Stupid". Heh.

- Badtux the Not-stupid Penguin