Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Three More Canadian Soldiers Lost in Afghanistan

It was a roadside bomb, naturally. Our soldiers were in an unarmoured, all-terrain vehicle, "travelling a short distance" to resupply a checkpoint.

Apparently, one or more Taliban insurgents managed to slip through our lines and back out undetected to plant the device.

Who knows what he was thinking but Brig. Gen. Tim Grant is quoted as calling the attack "an unfortunate accident." Memo to Tim: there wasn't a damned thing accidental about this.

After that Grant broke into the standard refrain of pious grieving and unbridled praise for three soldiers who had to lose their lives to an insurgent booby-trap planted by a bunch of murderous thugs in our own back yard.

NATO, meanwhile, has dismissed the recent outbreak of suicide and roadside bomb attacks as "militarily insignificant." Now, if only the Taliban were fighting a military war, instead of a political war, that assurance might mean something. The Taliban isn't seeking to be "militarily significant" in these tactics. Why do these people not seem to understand that?

"We find ourselves in the midst of the so-called fighting season, when what we had predicted is taking place: an increase in suicide bombings and more desperate attempts by the enemies of peace and stability to present the illusion that they are stronger than they are," said Lt. Col. Maria Carl, spokeswoman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force. Actually the insurgent goal is to create the appearance that we're much weaker and far more vulnerable than we claim to be and, according to a number of recent accounts, it's working.


ALW said...

...and it seems you're happy to play along with the insurgent's games.

How many cops or firefighters die each year in Canada in tragic circumstances, serving the Canadian public? Do we hear calls to pull them off the streets when some lose their lives?

The Mound of Sound said...

Describing what the insurgents are actually up to isn't playing along with their games. Their tactics are simply adapted from the old insurgency playbook. It's specious of you to claim I'm happy about this at all.

The Mound of Sound said...

Actually I went and had a look at your blog, ALW. Judging by what I read, you must be a terrific lawyer.

Anonymous said...

"ALW" -
I think your on to something here. Lets bring our kids back from AfghanisNAM (after all, George left so why should Steve be left standing there looking stupid) and....put them all to work on the streets of that in sync with your kind of thinking?

ottlib said...

"The Taliban isn't seeking to be "militarily significant" in these tactics. Why do these people not seem to understand that?"

But they do understand. They are only playing their role like the Taliban is playing theirs.

This is a classic guerilla war and both sides are reading from the same book on how to fight it.

ALW said...

So then please clarify for me: do you think it's a good thing that the insurgents are effectively waging a psuedo-propaganda war, and that it might be working?

The Mound of Sound said...

No, I don't think it's a "good thing" that the Taliban are effectively waging a propaganda war. I sincerely wish we wouldn't let them get away with it, but we are. We have only a small fraction of the troops on the ground that "our" side needs to combat a guerrilla war. The rule is "go big or go home." Read about it, learn about it. If we're going to be there to win, we have to go big, easily 5 to 10-times more soldiers than we now have there. We have to control the territory so weasels can't sneak in and out to deploy improvised explosive devices at will. We have to provide 24-hour security from the Taliban to the locals and that means we have to be in their towns and villages, not hunkering down in garrisons. God people, this stuff is Guerrilla Warfare 101. We have to stop defeating ourselves by our reliance on indiscriminate air strikes. Last month a NATO spokesman opined how, without all that handy aerial bombardment, NATO would need several hundred thousand troops in Afghanistan. Bingo! There it is. If you still don't understand, read America's insurgency whiz-kid's (General Petraeus) new manual on counterinsurgency warfare - FM3-24. You can get it in PDF from the internet. He points out how to win and how to lose and shows that virtually everything we're doing is WRONG. That's FM3-24 and you can Google it. Read it and then we'll talk.
Ottlib - we're not "reading from the same book", anything but. Our book is about tanks and artillery barrages, mechanized warfare and airpower, all the stuff you need to defend Europe on the Central German Plain. Their book is entirely different.

ottlib said...

Mound of Sound:

I would say NATO and the Taliban are certainly reading from the same book.

Both have fallen into the same strategies and tactics that have been exhibited in guerilla wars going back to Naploean's battles with the Spanish Partisan during the Peninsular War.

The only problem is NATO seems to have forgotten to skip to the end to see that in most cases the big, foreign power loses to the small, home grown guerillas.

The prosecution of guerilla wars, by both sides, is well documented, along with the usual outcome of such conflicts.

The current conflict in Afghanistan is a classic guerilla war. It is destined to become yet another case study for how guerilla wars are fought, which is too bad.

ottlib said...

Mound of Sound:

You do not need to post this but I just read my second comment again and did I ever mutilate the spelling of Napoleon.