FW: A Too Easy Victory - Uri Avneri

sherrynstan at igc.org sherrynstan at igc.org
Mon Dec 24 14:45:36 MST 2001


All do-able, with regard to rah-rah.  The Special Forces teams in Iraq were largely used to "glow up" targets with laser target designators.  On a case by case basis, this technology can provide tremendous advantages.  It's played up in the press, because it focuses Americans on the details of "the game" instead of the real reasons for having it in the first place.  This is also a discrete example of precison attack that worked.  It can also go wrong as it did the other day for a certain convoy.  Finally, it plays to the chauvinist notions of American superiority.  But at the end of the day, the emphasis on technology creates a tail wagging the dog situation.  Targets are sought out for their vulnerability to a particular type of attack.  Doctrine is tied to the integration of technology (combined arms), and the whole concept of force projection rests on "manning equipment" instead of equipping soldiers.  It's a subtle thing, but pervasive.  Those same SF soldiers wil spend fo!
ur to five days out, maybe, then head back to their base.  At the outer edge of their physical security, one sneaky devil with good eyesight and some marksmanship skills can crawl to within 300 meters of the sleepy homesick soldier in the bunker and drill him.  Nothing more.  The result is pandemonium.  The beginning of the end in Somalia was a very easy shot with an RPG at a hovering helicopter.  A fire and forget weapon.  The shooter didn't even have to hang around.  And the whole house of cards which is a mission that relies to heavily on technology and complicated plans, topples down.  Chaos theroy applies.  There is a warfighting theory that stays "inside" battlefield chaos, based on the OODA Loop, which I won't go into here, but it requires emphasis on developing the soldiers' and small units' basic skills and resourcefulness, which implies a high degree of selective decentralization and mobility, but also risks.

In Somalia we were so heavy with contingency equipment and body armor we could barely move.  I was flying out on raids 120 pounds over my body weight.  I could take a hit in the chest with a 7.62 slug, but I ran like a tortoise on Valium.  That's what a technology bias does, especially combined with the Powell Doctrine's paranoia.

What we will see soon, which is being prepared in places like Genoa and Quebec and Seattle, is a technology for urban "operations other than war", and that too will confine the tactics and doctrine.  I think they have figured out that the response to US-style military ground combat doctrine, which maintains big advantages in rural areas, will be the development of "diffusion strategies" by unconventional forces, which Henry alluded to.  The ability to consolidate and move to contact, the disappear back into the population, quickly.

Sorry, I'm going on... That's probably more than you wanted.

Happy holidays, all.


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