Friday, December 22, 2006

America Applies Her Asymmetrical Strengths to the Problem at Hand

This is simple, cheap, and effective, making it an ideal partial solution to the problem of how to generate more lamentation from Talibi women. Former Marine Westhawk asks:

Could better winter clothing, employed in a winter offensive, crush the Taliban hiding in Afghanistan’s mountains? Better parkas, fleece jackets, and synthetic underwear may provide the most important edge in combat during Afghanistan’s winter.

This news article from the U.S. Department of Defense describes the new “Generation III” [Extended Cold Weather Clothing System], just distributed to soldiers in Alaska. [...]

The new winter clothing has already been to Afghanistan:

The Fort Drum, N.Y.-based 10th Mountain Division received [ECWCS] in 2005, in time for its deployment to Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Christopher Cavoli, commander of the division’s 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, offered the new system his highest praises after seeing its effectiveness in Operation Mountain Lion in the spring.

“During Operation Mountain Lion, I found myself praying for bad weather -- the first time in my military career I was actually begging for a cold front to come through,” he said. “I knew my soldiers could handle it and the enemy couldn’t.

“The ECWCS allowed my men to outlast the enemy on their own terrain,” Cavoli said. “When the enemy was forced out of the mountains due to the bitter cold to take shelter, that’s when we got them.”

[...] This report from November 19th may indicate the Coalition’s intentions during this winter in Afghanistan:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The U.S.-backed Afghan army will step up counter-Taliban offensives this winter, which could see heavy fighting during a period traditionally used by Afghan fighters for rest and resupply, a U.S. general said here Sunday.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Douglas Pritt, who oversees the U.S.-led effort to train the Afghan military, said Afghan forces have tripled the number of forward bases to more than 60 and plan to spend the winter harassing Taliban and gathering intelligence from combat outposts deep inside rebel strongholds.

“They're much better equipped for winter operations than the Taliban. I'm hoping for a lot of snow this winter,” Pritt said during a visit to The Associated Press bureau in Dubai.

[...] Afghanistan's winters normally bring months of rain and snow, turning dusty roads into impassable muck and rendering most warfare impossible. The country has traditionally seen winter breaks in its decades of conflict, where fighters return home to families or hunker down on bases until fighting resumes in spring.

Snowfall is already hampering Taliban supply lines, making it tougher for the rebels to resupply, Pritt said. The Afghan National Army, backed by U.S. and NATO airlifts, are less restricted by cold and mud.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Christmas.

December 22, 2006 4:16 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

A natural outgrowth of a non-technic society taking on a technic one. It may be hard for the latter to have the will to sustain combat operations, but if it does its technology and skills will turn the tide.

December 22, 2006 8:15 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

I'm skeptical. In part because of R.J. Overy's anecdote in 'Russia's War' about the ability of Russian soldiers to work barehanded on tank engines at 10 degrees below.

December 22, 2006 11:16 PM  

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