Thursday, December 21, 2006
"Eerie Calm"? No Christie, It's "Insurgency 101"
It's the Battle of Panjwai, Round 2. The first Battle of Panjwai was fought in September under the name "Operation Medusa." We kicked those Taliban asses or at least we would have if they didn't just gather up their weapons and walk away, straight through our lines. No matter. Operation Medusa drove the Taliban out of Panjwai district for good. Okay, maybe for a week.
So we've got'em this time. Round 2, Operation Falcon's Summit. This time it's the Brits and the Americans and us. They're gonna get it now. Or maybe not.
In this morning's Globe, mission cheerleader Christie Blatchford reports that our forces have moved into place "without a shot being fired." Christie doesn't know what to make of this and, she claims, neither do the unit commanders for whom, "...the calm that greeted them was almost unprecedented and even spooky."
I'm sorry Christie, I should have explained. This is an insurgency and, so long as they hold the initiative, the insurgents decide when they will offer battle and when they will deny battle. If they're not where we expect to fight them that means two things: (a) they're able to deny battle and therefore (b) they hold the initiative, not us. That means that the bad guys will probably be content to let us occupy this little nest of vipers until we leave, empty handed. Or maybe it just means that they all got the plague and died or took up watch repair or maybe the aliens got'em or who knows?