Af/Pak & Other News (12/10/2011)

1 view
Skip to first unread message

dump...@hotmail.com

unread,
Dec 10, 2011, 8:56:17 PM12/10/11
to
Pakistan says U.S. drones in its air space will be shot down:

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/10/9352886-pakistan-says-us-drones-in-its-air-space-will-be-shot-down



Pakistan truckers back NATO supply route blockade:

http://news.yahoo.com/pakistan-truckers-back-nato-supply-route-blockade-170425694.html



NATO supplies attacked in Pakistan:

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/NATO_supplies_attacked_in_Pakistan_999.html



New Afghan group claims shrine attack part of campaign:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16125566



Taliban: We are in peace talks with Pakistan:

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/10/9342808-taliban-we-are-in-peace-talks-with-pakistan



Pakistan Warns of 'Detrimental Response' to Attacks:

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=8524669&c=ASI&s=AIR



The Longest War:

http://www.city-journal.org/2011/bc1209mt.html



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Other news:



Iran summons Afghan diplomat over US drone flight:

http://news.yahoo.com/iran-summons-afghan-diplomat-over-us-drone-flight-191054572.html;_ylt=AsVQGoPQtLweEIOXI9cETQULewgF;_ylu=X3oDMTQ5aWNlY242BG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBXb3JsZFNGIE1pZGRsZUVhc3RTU0YEcGtnA2UyMjM2YTk3LTg3ZmYtMzg0My1hNmM5LWM4NjYzNTAxNzZjNwRwb3MDMTIEc2VjA3RvcF9zdG9yeQR2ZXIDZmU2MjJlODAtMjM2Mi0xMWUxLTlmZjctZmI1MjU1NmRjMjVj;_ylg=X3oDMTI1aGZjdmcxBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN3b3JsZHxtaWRkbGUgZWFzdARwdANzZWN0aW9ucwR0ZXN0Aw--;_ylv=3



Iran Uses Captured Drone To Play The Victim Card:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/iran-drone-victim/



More Details on RQ-170 Crash and Implications of Iran's Recovery:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a1ace5a24-a75f-4eb9-8317-028d83ba9ca9&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest



Questions swirl around downed U.S. drone in Iran:

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/questions-swirl-around-downed-u-s-drone-in-iran/60bbg0t



Iran's Boasts Over Drone Reveal Inconsistencies:

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=8530940&c=AME&s=AIR



Iran UAV Will Not Expose Latest Technology:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=awst&id=news/awst/2011/12/12/AW_12_12_2011_p19-402987.xml&headline=Iran%20UAV%20Will%20Not%20Expose%20Latest%20Technology



A New Blast at an Iranian Research Facility:

http://defensetech.org/2011/12/09/a-new-blast-at-an-iranian-research-facility/



Over 120 Hezbollah, Basij fighers killed in Syria, report:

http://www.yalibnan.com/2011/12/09/over-120-hezbollah-basij-fighers-killed-in-syria-report/



West warns Syria against storming rebel city:

http://news.yahoo.com/west-warns-syria-against-storming-rebel-city-160033824.html;_ylt=Avi6tO33sOB8OUl9fB.zdRFvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTNxZGszaXI5BG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBXb3JsZFNGBHBrZwMyZWNmNjdjMy1hZDQzLTM2ZGMtODY5NC1lMmU0MDIyNjI0MWYEcG9zAzQEc2VjA3RvcF9zdG9yeQR2ZXIDY2U4ZWE3NjAtMjM4YS0xMWUxLWJmZTYtODJjZDcxYjc4MWU3;_ylg=X3oDMTFwZTltMWVnBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN3b3JsZARwdANzZWN0aW9ucwR0ZXN0Aw--;_ylv=3



Syrian Forces Fire on Funerals, Battle Defectors:

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/syrian-forces-fire-funerals-battle-defectors-15128536#.TuP4evLfXW4



China, Iran, Pakistan and Cybersabotage Atop 2012 Threats List:

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?List=7c996cd7-cbb4-4018-baf8-8825eada7aa2&ID=612



Niger strengthens its army to tackle al-Qaeda: minister:

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Niger_strengthens_its_army_to_tackle_al-Qaeda_minister_999.html



Egypt to Spend up to $3.2B Adding to F-16C/D Fleet:

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Egypt-to-Spend-32B-in-Updating-F-16CD-Fleet-05860/



Iraq: Impressionable Youth:

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htun/articles/20111210.aspx



Gunmen try to assassinate head of Libyan army:

http://news.yahoo.com/gunmen-try-assassinate-head-libyan-army-155743970.html;_ylt=AkBLOHyFrWqY70iQdsCnEFcLewgF;_ylu=X3oDMTQ5aHVpdThnBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBXb3JsZFNGIE1pZGRsZUVhc3RTU0YEcGtnAzcxMGZhMWJlLWJmYTItMzdkNy04NDBlLTQxNWY3NjRkYzI3ZgRwb3MDMTAEc2VjA3RvcF9zdG9yeQR2ZXIDNDJkNWNkZDAtMjM2Ni0xMWUxLWJjZjYtZWZjNmI2MWQ3YWQ0;_ylg=X3oDMTI1aGZjdmcxBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN3b3JsZHxtaWRkbGUgZWFzdARwdANzZWN0aW9ucwR0ZXN0Aw--;_ylv=3



Finding Stability with Somalia's Nascent Navy:

http://www.informationdissemination.net/2011/12/somalias-nascent-navy.html



Training for Combat Never Comes Close to the Real Thing, War Vets Say:

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=606



The Return of the Worm That Ate the Pentagon:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/worm-pentagon/



RAAF Wants C-27J Rather Than C295:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/asd/2011/12/09/02.xml&headline=RAAF%20Wants%20C-27J%20Rather%20Than%20C295%20&channel=defense



Indonesia confirms plan to buy 6 Su-30MK2:

http://alert5.com/2011/12/10/indonesia-confirms-plan-to-buy-6-su-30mk2/



The Army’s Latest Unmanned Bomb Detector:

http://defensetech.org/2011/12/09/the-armys-latest-unmanned-bomb-detector/



CICADA Micro-Drones Open New Opportunities for Future Covert
Surveillance:

http://defense-update.com/20111208_cicada-micro-drones-opens-new-opportunities-for-future-covert-surveillance.html



Army General: DoD Must Avoid a Repeat of ‘Hillbilly Armor’:

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=610



F-35A Pushes to Mach 1.6:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&newspaperUserId=27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3acd242f57-3030-4871-b60b-764c1213fb1a&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest



Russians stage mass protests against Putin:

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/10/9351124-russians-stage-mass-protests-against-putin



Tom Cruise confirms involvement in Top Gun 2:

http://alert5.com/2011/12/10/tom-cruise-confirms-involvement-in-top-gun-2/



Learning high-performance tasks with no conscious effort may soon be
possible (w/ video):

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-12-high-performance-tasks-conscious-effort-video.html



Dennis

unread,
Dec 11, 2011, 2:22:12 AM12/11/11
to
dumpster4 wrote:

Not naval, but this sounds very interesting!
Michael J. Totten
The Longest War
A powerful, agenda-free documentary on the struggle for Afghanistan
9 December 2011

The war against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was one of the shortest
conflicts the United States had ever fought, but the subsequent war
against the Taliban insurgency is now the longest in American history.
Superpowers like the U.S. can dispatch armies as incompetent as the
Taliban’s with ease, but not even the best fighting force in the world
can quickly vanquish guerrillas. Ben Anderson’s HBO documentary The
Battle for Marjah, recently released on DVD and Blu-Ray by Athena, shows
why.

Counterinsurgency is a political war as much as a shooting war, and
politics in Afghanistan are even tougher than they are in Iraq. Marjah is
a medium-sized city in Afghanistan’s battleground Helmand Province, the
heartland of Taliban territory. What happened there last year is a
condensed version of events in the country over the last decade. In
February, 272 men from the Marine Corps’ Bravo Company led by Captain
Ryan Sparks dropped into an insertion point where they found themselves
completely surrounded, spread out like an oil spot, and quickly took the
city, though the enemy had months to prepare. The Taliban weren’t strong
enough to take the city back, but they successfully waged a low-intensity
guerrilla and terrorist war that bogged the Americans down amid a
suspicious and semi-hostile population and prevented local authorities
from assuming control.

The subject matter is grim, but everything else about The Battle for
Marjah is fantastic. The film quality on the Blu-Ray disc is vastly
superior to that of most documentaries, whose filmmakers tend to be
strapped by tight budgets. The images are so vivid and clear they made my
TV seem like a dimensional portal to Afghanistan. The music, far from
being overdone and sensationalist like so much “reality TV” dreck, is
understated and haunting. And aside from a few spectacular satellite
images of Afghanistan from outer space, all the footage was shot on
location before, during, and immediately after the fighting. This is
boots-on-the ground, you-are-there combat journalism shot in HD by a man
being shot at himself.

Anderson seems to have no agenda aside from documenting what happened.
His portrayal of the Marjah Marines exactly matches my experience with
Marines in Iraq’s Anbar Province during the “surge” there in 2007 and
2008. The Marines in Marjah do everything right—assuming that what worked
in Iraq is right for Afghanistan—and Anderson doesn’t try to distort
their tactics, their strategy, or their character. He clearly was not
shopping for quotes or images to fit a preconceived narrative.

This is the film to watch if you want to know how counterinsurgency
worked in Iraq, and how it currently fares in Afghanistan. Everything
General David Petraeus did in Iraq to defeat al-Qaida and Iranian-
sponsored Shia militias is being duplicated now in Afghanistan. The
strategy is straightforward: clear, hold, and build. The first thing the
Marines did was clear out the Taliban. Then they held onto the ground
they had just seized. Once Marjah was pacified, they built infrastructure
and government. Their efforts should conclude when they transfer all
power and security duties to Afghan authorities.

For the best fighting force in the world, clearing Marjah wasn’t
difficult, nor was holding the cleared ground. But building Marjah is
hard, and transferring power to the local authorities is proving even
harder.

Anderson makes abundantly clear the extreme moral and ethical differences
between the Taliban and the American military. Early in the film, a squad
of Taliban fighters uses women and children as human shields to retreat
from a compound under fire. The Marines, contemptuous of the Taliban’s
cowardice, let them get away with it to avoid injuring or killing the
captive civilians. Later, the Taliban are shown to use slave soldiers.
The Marines ask a slain fighter’s uncle how many other members of his
family are with the Taliban. The man says none; not even his nephew, in
fact, had sympathized with them. The young man was simply given a gun and
forced to fight. “When they give you an order,” the uncle says, “you
don’t say no.”

By contrast, most of Bravo Company’s requests for air support were
denied, even while the soldiers were encircled by enemies, because
innocents might have been hurt. Still, fighting a war without hurting any
civilians is impossible. An American-fired rocket struck a house where
three families had taken shelter. Four people were killed, including two
little girls. The camera follows the Marines as they apologize to a
middle-aged man for accidentally killing two of his family members. One
Marine even chokes down tears, the camera lingering on his face. The
Afghan man is given a “condolence payment” of $2,500 per death, a huge
amount of money in a country so stricken with deprivation and poverty. It
ought to go without saying that neither the Taliban nor any other
terrorist organization in the world would ever contemplate such a thing.

The Americans do it partly because it’s decent and right. No one enlists
in the United States military because they want to bomb little girls on
the other side of the world. Aside from all that, a crucial component of
counterinsurgency is the protection of civilians caught in the middle. No
counterinsurgency can succeed without the support of and assistance from
locals. The same applies to insurgencies. Guerrillas, in Mao’s famous
formulation, swim in the sea of the people. What he didn’t say, and what
the Petraeus model depends on, is that guerrilla armies expire once the
seas have dried up. “The Taliban,” Captain Sparks says, “will eventually
lose their freedom of movement and dissipate. They will become
irrelevant.”

That hasn’t happened yet, at least not as quickly as expected, not even
after Bravo Company took the city and campaigned for its people’s
affection. They tried to modernize Marjah with roads, schools, economic
stimulus, and a new city park, but security remained tenuous at best and
entirely dependent on the Americans. Few residents were interested in
working for local security forces. The Taliban in the area hail from the
ethnic Pashtun community in the south, where Marjah is located, while
Afghan army recruits were mostly from the north. Native Afghan soldiers
in Helmand Province are almost as foreign to the locals as the Americans.
Too many people in Marjah found this intolerable. They didn’t care much
for the Taliban, but siding with Americans and northern Afghans against
“their own” was too much for many. “Who are the Taliban?” a local man
says. “They are the sons of this land.”

“These people are not like Americans,” Corporal Hills says. (We are not
given his first name.) “There’s no way you can trust them. They let the
Taliban beat them, but when it comes to one of us saying the wrong phrase
to any of these people, they lose their lid because we’re Americans and
the Taliban are from their own tribe and ethnicity. It’s ridiculous.”

The Petraeus model of counterinsurgency worked fairly quickly in Iraq. It
even worked in the city of Mosul, where Petraeus first tested it out
while the rest of the country looked to be slipping away. But Afghanistan
isn’t Iraq. Iraq is a modern society that has gone through hell and moved
backwards. Afghanistan was never modern. It makes Iraq look like the
gleaming sci-fi future by comparison. The bonds of tribe, ethnicity, and
religion are much stronger in Afghanistan than anywhere in the Arab
world, with the possible exception of Yemen. The Marines had to shrink
their zone of control after failing to hold the periphery. Even standing
up a local militia didn’t help much. Afghanistan frankly looks doomed at
the end of The Battle for Marjah.

No one can know how this ends, but if the Taliban win, it won’t be
because the Americans don’t know what they’re doing. I know how
counterinsurgency works. I’ve seen it correctly applied in Iraq and I’ve
written a book about it. The Marines did the right thing in Marjah. If
they fail, it will be because Marjah belongs to Afghanistan.

The film was finished last year, though, so it’s not entirely up to date.
Marjah is in somewhat better shape today. Its people are more trustworthy
(and trusting). The frequency of violent incidents has been sharply
reduced. The economy and conditions generally have improved. By the time
most documentaries are released, and especially by the time they’re
released on DVD, they’ve become dated artifacts. But The Battle for
Marjah is an indispensable dated artifact.

Michael J. Totten is a contributing editor at City Journal and author of
In the Wake of the Surge and The Road to Fatima Gate. Visit his blog at
www.michaeltotten.com.


SolomonW

unread,
Dec 11, 2011, 3:50:37 AM12/11/11
to
On Sat, 10 Dec 2011 17:56:17 -0800 (PST), dump...@hotmail.com wrote:

> The Longest War:
>
> http://www.city-journal.org/2011/bc1209mt.html

I heard already that this movie "The Battle for Marjah" is very good, I
have to see it.

Andrew Swallow

unread,
Dec 11, 2011, 1:19:13 PM12/11/11
to
Did the man allow the Taliban to conscript his family because he was a
coward
or because he supported them?

> The Petraeus model of counterinsurgency worked fairly quickly in Iraq. It
> even worked in the city of Mosul, where Petraeus first tested it out
> while the rest of the country looked to be slipping away. But Afghanistan
> isn’t Iraq. Iraq is a modern society that has gone through hell and moved
> backwards. Afghanistan was never modern. It makes Iraq look like the
> gleaming sci-fi future by comparison. The bonds of tribe, ethnicity, and
> religion are much stronger in Afghanistan than anywhere in the Arab
> world, with the possible exception of Yemen. The Marines had to shrink
> their zone of control after failing to hold the periphery. Even standing
> up a local militia didn’t help much. Afghanistan frankly looks doomed at
> the end of The Battle for Marjah.
>
> No one can know how this ends, but if the Taliban win, it won’t be
> because the Americans don’t know what they’re doing. I know how
> counterinsurgency works. I’ve seen it correctly applied in Iraq and I’ve
> written a book about it. The Marines did the right thing in Marjah. If
> they fail, it will be because Marjah belongs to Afghanistan.
>
> The film was finished last year, though, so it’s not entirely up to date.
> Marjah is in somewhat better shape today. Its people are more trustworthy
> (and trusting). The frequency of violent incidents has been sharply
> reduced. The economy and conditions generally have improved. By the time
> most documentaries are released, and especially by the time they’re
> released on DVD, they’ve become dated artifacts. But The Battle for
> Marjah is an indispensable dated artifact.
>

There will be more counterinsurgency battles. The documentary may make
a training film. Official films frequently 'forget' to include the bad
news.

Andrew Swallow

Uncle Steve

unread,
Dec 11, 2011, 5:15:17 PM12/11/11
to
... which is not to say that civilian documentaries also do not miss
inconvenient details. It is trivial to point out that some people
behave very differently off-camera, or when they believe they are
secure from the prying of unfriendly eyes.


Regards,

Uncle Steve

--
We can't all be intelligent, but at least we can be polite.
-- H. J. Paton, "The Modern Predicament"

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages