Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Waziristan

Bill Roggio reports on efforts by the Pakistani government to come to a political solution in Waziristan, after much inconclusive fighting with the Taliban. Roggio raises the key question of why any ceasefire should be different from the earlier ones which failed.

Orakzai has pushed for the signing of peace agreements with the Taliban in the tribal agencies and the settled districts of the Northwest Frontier Province despite clear evidence the Taliban bypassed the accords immediately after signing the agreements. The Taliban violated the terms of the accord when it established a shadow administration, opened recruiting offices, taxed the populations, enforced sharia law, attacked Pakistani troops, and conducted a campaign of murder and intimidation against its rivals.



The question that springs to mind is what distinguishes the dismal efforts by the Pakistanis with the epidemic-like "uprising" against al-Qaeda that began in Iraq's Anbar and has since started to spread like wildfire. Brigadier General Kevin Bergner recently described recent developments in a blogger teleconference roundtable.

Two possible differences in the situations spring to mind. The first is that the Pakistani government is part of the problem, while in Iraq the government is still a work in progress. While it may eventually become a problem of the same nature as Musharraf's, it isn't yet. People aren't struggling against an Iraqi government so much as trying to create one. On the other hand, certain sectors in Pakistan are actually trying to oppose their government. Therefore the "peace offerings" in Waziristan may be politically defective. The second difference may be the inefficiency of the Pakistani Army, which, while it may not lack for will or brutality, may nevertheless be deficient in operational skill.

David Kilcullen observed that counterinsurgency is fundamentally about politics, and that the role of military force is to provide space for a political solution to occur. That basically restates the two possible differences. Pakistan may neither have the the military capability to provide the "space" nor the political solution which could bloom in it.

Update

Just now the New York Times is reporting a proposal to redeploy the Marines from Iraq and move them to Afghanistan.

The idea by the Marine Corps commandant would effectively leave the Iraq war in the hands of the Army while giving the Marines a prominent new role in Afghanistan, under overall NATO command. The suggestion was raised in a session last week convened by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and regional war-fighting commanders.

While the NYT bravely tries to spin things, "it is not clear exactly how many of the marines in Iraq would be moved over. But the plan would require a major reshuffling, and it would make marines the dominant American force in Afghanistan, in a war that has broader public support than the one in Iraq," -- it is difficult to imagine a redeployment of this magnitude taking place outside the context of a re-assessment about the relative criticality of each theater. It may be that the military challenges in Iraq are now lower relative to Afghanistan, or that the situation in Afghanistan has suddenly reached a crisis. The NYT implies that the reason is to take advantage of the efficiency of making one theater "all-Army" and the other "all-Marine". But I don't think this is plausible. If such a plan is under consideration it must be in response to some other driver.

50 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

Heavy Fighting Reported in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 9 — Three days of fierce fighting have convulsed Pakistan’s tribal areas and exposed what tribal elders, politicians and local officials concede is the government’s lingering paralysis in dealing with the threat from Al Qaeda and Taliban militants spilling out of the region.
---
Dog Saves Family From Fire Blamed on Cat

10/10/2007 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

Marines in Afghanistan means Quetta is the new Fallujah

10/10/2007 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

buck smith: Marines in Afghanistan means Quetta is the new Fallujah

The new First Fallujah or Second Fallujah? All this fighting for the same territory twice has got Patton rolling in his grave.

10/10/2007 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He would have seen it all coming, as at Bastogne.
Might say something more vulgar than "Nuts!"

10/10/2007 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

ThreatsWatch on The John Batchelor Show
Audio Interview
ThreatsWatch’s Steve Schippert was a guest on The John Batchelor Show as it returned to the New York City airwaves Sunday evening on WABC Radio AM 770. We discussed Waziristan, the tribal areas and al-Qaeda’s ongoing insurgency there...

10/10/2007 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger deepinjuncountry said...

That was Gen. McAuliffe of the 101st Airborne who said "Nuts!"

10/10/2007 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ivan Douglas said...

I am right I am afraid, read mine comment from previous article. I am not going to repeat what I said.

10/10/2007 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger Ivan Douglas said...

We could not look at afternoon of Henry the VI if we are going to see history of UK.

10/10/2007 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Sending a MEF to Afghanistan may be how the Marines intend to position themselves as the victors in the "good war" that Democrats claim to support. It could also be a way to get rotary wing assets from an Air Combat Element to NATO. It could also be a way to infiltrate the MARSOC the Army exiled back into Afghanistan.

Or, if/when Pakistan goes down the tubes, ISAF will be reenacting Anabasis, a forced march under pressure all the way down to Karachi for evacuation. Chesty Puller did something similar.

10/11/2007 01:33:00 AM  
Blogger Smitten Eagle said...

About the Marines pulling out of IZ for AF: I've heard similar rumors from the field grades at MCCDC for some time.

This redeployment, combined with a renewed emphasis on Expeditionary Operations, seems to be the agenda of Gen Conway. So the languishing MEU(SOC) program may yet be revived to its original purpose.

I see both of these initiatives as ways of further decreasing OpTempo. The fighting in AF seems to be localized in the South and Eastern parts of the country, and in rural areas. This localization combined with the geographic isolation seem to favor smaller units.

As an example, when I deployed with 22d MEU(SOC) in 2004 to Oruzgan Province, the AO for our 2200-Marine unit covered an area larger than North Carolina. I deployed with the same unit in 2005-2006 to Iraq, and were given a much smaller AO.

At any rate, I look forward to a good deployment or 3 to AF in the near future. It will be a good fight.

10/11/2007 02:49:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/11/2007 02:51:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

It is an interesting question the comparison between the tribal areas of Pakistan to those in Iraq. The common thread is that from the point of view of the tribes their relationship with Al Qaida / Taliban has returned to the pre- 9/11 status quo while their relationship to the central government has changed, drastically in the case of Iraq and questionably in the case of Pakistan.

The tribes in Al Anbar had always been strong supporters of the secular, socialist/fascist Saddam and were therefore hostile to the extreme Islamic ideology of Al Qaida. But starting with OIF they fought a four year war against the coalition forces during which they accepted help from Al Qaida. Now that the tribes have emerged victorious from this struggle (the coalition has failed to impose its will upon them and has stopped trying), they no longer need Al Qaida. But the tribes in Al Anbar are now in conflict with the Shia Islamist central government which is quite different from the pre-9/11 situation where they were in alliance with Saddam. The ultimate goal of the tribes in Al Anbar is to reinstate the pre-9/11 status quo concerning the central government too, in other words a new Sunni dictator that will grant the tribes a privileged status in Iraqi society.

In Pakistan the Northwest tribal areas supported the Taliban (aka Al Qaida) before 9/11 and continue to do so. The major difference is that the Pakistani government (and nominally the ISI), on paper at least since 9/11, is supposed to be at war with the Taliban and their supporters in the NFP. Before 9/11 Pakistan was isolated due to their nuclear program but after 9/11 they traded recognition of their nuclear status (and lots of US cash) in return for being an ally against the Taliban. But the Pakistani central government before 9/11 actually created and had always supported the Taliban so it stretches credibility to believe they are full-heartedly prosecuting the war against the Taliban in return for US aid. And they are well aware that the US has few options to enforce this agreement, despite threats from inexperienced Democratic Senators. So look for the Kabuki theatre act to continue in Waziristan with the tribes and the central government playing their respective roles but in the end rest assured that the Taliban will always have a base in Pakistan.

Unless of course the Marines are actually considering making Obama’s threats reality, then all bets are off.

10/11/2007 03:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Kevin,
Check out Steve's audio interview I linked above:
particularly, who Musharraf can rely on, and who he can't, namely the Army, a target of Al-Queda's Psyops.
---
Westhawk:

The Pakistani counterattack against the Taliban and al Qaeda fighters on its frontier is like a dog owner trying to beat down his Rottweiler gone mad. Pakistan’s problems on its northwest frontier trace back to the machinations of President Zia ul-Huq, who fertilized the Islamists there both as a base of political power and to exert influence over Afghanistan, Pakistan’s “strategic depth.”

But now the pet has gone mad and the owner doesn’t know whether his whip-hand is strong enough to control the beast. Westhawk wondered last week whether the urgency of the situation in Waziristan may finally prompt Pakistan to do something about the Islamists. What remains in grave doubt is whether its army has the capability and skill to successfully battle the Islamists.

Regardless of whether the Pakistani army makes progress or not, this development is good news for the U.S. Chaotic fighting, indiscriminant bombing, and refugees, soldiers, and insurgents on the move disrupt the stable sanctuary that so favored al Qaeda and the Taliban’s operations. Now, the Islamist leaders may need to displace from one battlefield to another, opening them up to detection.

More important, in the midst of all of this chaos, direct action raids or missile strikes by U.S. forces stand a fair chance of occurring without notice by the outside world. Hopefully the Pakistani army, competent or not, can sustain its counterattack long enough for U.S. mission planners to execute their own operations against known or suspected al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan.

10/11/2007 03:49:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Musharraf no longer has the luxury of coddling the pet dog, as Islamabad is now their objective.

10/11/2007 04:01:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Understanding Al-Qaeda's Pakistan PSYOP and Insurgency
The Troubling Effectiveness of al-Qaeda's PSYOP On The Pakistani Army

10/11/2007 04:13:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Found this while looking for a piece I read about Bush's advisor giving him the "intelligence" that Osama was a spent and harried man, scurrying about in caves.
(Well, not counting the THIRTY training camps in Waziristan, anyhow!)
The blinders we wear threaten to kill us:
---
The mental no-jihad zone

Objecting to a recent column characterizing his views as being non-comprehending or indifferent to jihad, Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, senior counterinsurgency adviser to our forces in Iraq, wondered in an e-mail whether I "may not like Muslims, and that's your choice." It was a long e-mail — one of several — but even these few words convey the viewpoint, increasingly prevalent, that discounts the doctrinal centrality of Islam to jihad violence convulsing the world, from Iraq to London. In the mental no-jihad zone (and, in Lt. Col. Kilcullen's case, despite what he calls his "significant personal body count of terrorists and insurgents killed or captured"), only personal animus can explain alarm over the Islamic institution of jihad (let alone dhimmitude).
"Alternatively," he wrote, "you may think Islam contains illiberal and dangerous tendencies."

I may think? I do think "tendencies" such as jihad and dhimmitude. "Again," he said, "you're entitled to that view."

"That view" is increasingly absent at the top, where Islam itself is politically and strategically beside the point.
Consider current military thought, as expressed by Lt. Col. Kilcullen: Typical terrorists, he wrote, are "driven by fundamentally non-religious motivational factors."
I wonder which non-religious motivational factors inspired Glasgow's terror-docs to scream "Allah, Allah" while ramming a flaming car into the airport.

Of course, it gets worse. Debate now divides the Pentagon over a new lexicon for Centcom. At stake is the Islamic term "jihad" itself, which could become officially verboten within the ranks of the fighting force that is actually supposed to defeat it.

This might leave us speechless, but it better not shut us up.

ht Pierre

10/11/2007 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Concepts like tribal areas and frontier police are so outside the normal realm of understanding that it may be near impossible to get a handle on what's going on in "Pakistan" or even if the single word Pakistan is sufficient to identify that part of the world.

One interesting side story about AF and Warziristan is that several NATO member governments have given "do not engage" orders to their troops - even when they are attacked by Taliban or AQ. These troops are supposed to run back to their garrisons and call the Americans for help.

Aside from the sheer tactical stupidity of such ROE this enforced timidity raises the question of just how sissified the Europeans have become in the postmodern era.

10/11/2007 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Can we prevail with a Politically Correct Military?
(and a thoroughly dhimmified DC)
No Problem:
The Empire State Building will be Green for Ramadan, for the first time.
We'll be entitled to a group hug.

10/11/2007 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Doug: Musharraf no longer has the luxury of coddling the pet dog, as Islamabad is now their objective.

Presumably a strong man like Musharraf is not concerned by potentially being called nasty names such as "butcher" by the media like Ehud Olmert and Dubya are.

10/11/2007 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

W's concerned with offending CAIR.
---
"Why not light up the night with green lanterns?

The President holds "Eid-al-Fitr, the
“Festival of Fast-breaking”
which marks the end of Ramadan" dinners at the White House, evey year he's lived there.

It's all good.

Let's not project any negative energies."
-Desert Rat

10/11/2007 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Coddling Killers

10/11/2007 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

At the end of his excellent account of the opening of the war in Afghanistan in "First In" Gary Schroen laments the fact that we became obsessed with Iraq and moved crucial CIA assets and ODA teams away from Afghanistan. With this article about the Marines, accurate or not, can we assume these smaller, super-skilled units are back in Afghanistan.

Of course, there's no Northern Alliance in Waziristan, so the incredible success of the takedown of the Taliban in Afghanistan may not be possible by similar means.

10/11/2007 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 10/11/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

10/11/2007 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Tony said:

"Of course, there's no Northern Alliance in Waziristan, so the incredible success of the takedown of the Taliban in Afghanistan may not be possible by similar means."

The people concentrated in Waziristan are the Taliban's hard core and al Qaeda dead-enders. To me it seems an inviting target for B-52 carpet bombing. Obviously we don't want to destablize Musharraf if he has a chance of hanging on. However after Musharraf is gone and only bad guys are running Pakistan, taking out Waziristan with air power seems reasonable.

10/11/2007 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

We'll have to get out of arab mode and get into pashtun mode in order for the MC to do any good. It's a good thing that we have the anthropological shock troops on the job. To bad that they're heading for the blacklist.

10/11/2007 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Eggplant,
Be sure to check out my link at
10/11/2007 04:13:00 AM and at least browse the comments.
When ABC News started airing Al Q Videos of their operations and training camps there 3 years ago, it would have taken a rather small aerial assault to seriously wound Al-Q/Taliban.
Instead, DC played see no evil and practiced Kilcullen Denial Mantra, so now there are THIRTY training camps, and half the population of Warizistan has been won over.
The options become more bleak by the day.

10/11/2007 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Kilcullen is like most top Brass currying favor with Democrats in Congress. Presidents come and go, Democrats in Congress stay forty years or more.

An Army General indicted on murder charges a sniper team for following orders and taking out a Taliban commander. Case was laughable but he indicted them twice (both thrown out). To curry favor.

Army threw MEU out of Afghanistan to Kuwait after they returned fire according to doctrine in an Ambush.

Much of this likely has to do with Adm Fallon, Centcom commander, wanting the Marines over the Army in Afghanistan as Iraq winds down one way or another.

10/11/2007 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That sniper team should have learned it's lesson long ago, when Mullah Omar was spared Hellfire by a JAG in Florida.
Dotting i's and crossing t's.

10/11/2007 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony,
According to Steve @ Threatswatch, Taliban mostly sends new recruits to Afghanistan to hopefully blow something up and die, keeping us busy while they pursue their main game:
The Insurgency in Pakistan.

10/11/2007 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

On the homefront:
---
The Domestic Intelligence Imperative
Something is wrong when sharing requires breaking the law...

10/11/2007 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT:
New York Film Festival: Upheaval in Iran
“Persepolis,”
---
Japan's Welfare Model

10/11/2007 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Doug: Something is wrong when sharing requires breaking the law...

And you don't even have Deputy Attorney General "The Wall" Gorelick from the Clinton years to blame anymore.

10/11/2007 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Doug,

Just read Gary 1's final pages in "First In." They are from 2-3 years ago. He said back then that we would neglect this enemy "at our peril."

This guy had already done 25 or 30 years in the CIA, he was already in the retirement program, chilling down to go back to the real world. He was 59.

But he knew - personally - the main guys in the Northern Alliance, he went and cried at the tomb of the Commander, Masood, killed by Al Qaeda on 9/9/01.

Within two weeks, the old guy was on the ground, with a team of 7. The US Military couldn't send anyone, because there was no SAR, it was too dangerous.

Unbelievable that this was still the case after 9/11, huh?

Great book. "First In."

The Northern Alliance, with a very thin shell of special operations, annihilated the Talib in AF. It may have been a magic trick that will never be repeated.

10/11/2007 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

At 59!
...I was just thinking of all the details of my present lifestyle that just wouldn't cut it in Afghanistan, not to mention the rapidly deteriorating airframe!
Gotta be a great book from one of our proudest moments in my lifetime.
---
You and RWE would like a few of these model airplanes!

Smack 'em Flattens Targets

10/11/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Masood was assasinated by a "Camera" right?

Cameras, Airliners, Babies, a versatile adversary indeed!

10/11/2007 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger davod said...

Could the Marine redeployment be simply political posturing. After all, the Marines are the junior partner in Iraq. In Afghanistan they would be out from under the shadow of Army.

Cannoneer No. 4. makes a valid point regarding extaction. The Rat Bags could make it very expensive to stay in Afghanistan if they acquired some decent anti aircraft weapons (missiles) or even a larger number of not so decent weapons.

Where do you go if extraction by air is to expensive in lost aircraft and lives:

China, Iran, Pakistan (through the tribal region), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan?

10/12/2007 03:17:00 AM  
Blogger davod said...

Doug - The problem with the "Sharing intelligence with friends" network is you never know who ends up with the information.

For example - Pollard was spying for the Israelis, but the Soviets received much of his information.

10/12/2007 03:36:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Davod: Pollard was spying for the Israelis, but the Soviets received much of his information.

The Israelis came very close to losing their Sugar Daddy, the only country that stands with them as a friend. To this day they continue to nag the US to release him, which only serves to antagonize the Americans.

10/12/2007 04:22:00 AM  
Blogger davod said...

This is follow up to Mark H's post on the Kilcullen entry.

The events of 9-11, combined with George Bush's Presidency, are probably the worst thing to have happened to the spread of Islam.

Before 9-11, Islam was spreading unmolested throughout the non-Islamic world. The real enemy was and always will be the Muslim Brotherhood and a number of like-minded organizatons. These organizations work under the table to insinuate Islamic values into a culture. It is these organizations who are being exposed for raising funds for terrorist organizations.

Slowly but surely these organizations are being shown up for what they are.

So! some good has come out the carnage and destruction wrought as a result of 9-11.

10/12/2007 05:32:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Fox News has been reporting that now that the election is behind him, the President/General of Pakistan is now Kicking A big time in Warzistan.

And we really are winning the war -Ramsey Yousef, the convicted mastermind of the 1993 WTC bombing, has announced his conversion to Christianity.

10/12/2007 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ex Warden ain't buyin it tho!
Said Randy was truly special in his evil way.

10/12/2007 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Davod,
I hadn't read the whole post:
The guy was found with stolen articles from Iraq having nothing to do with anything but his personal greed.
Still, info sharing still needs improvement.

10/12/2007 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger davod said...

Doug:

What he was charged with is irrelevent. Mind you this is just another instance where someone was caught as part of another investigation when the visited his home.

I wonder what CI work is done at his unit. Should he, and the others, have been spotted much earlier.

My earlier point was that he really has no control of where the information ended up. He was just part of the spy ring which included other more senior (Col. LtCol. I believe) people. He trusted the motives of the others.

Now I just hope none of the others turns out to to have a love afair with Israel, Cuba, Venezuala, Russia, the Middle-east, China,etc.

10/12/2007 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Wretchard, looks like you were right about this.
US faces US$100 billion fine for web gaming ban

10/12/2007 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

davod, most Americans do not appreciate the logistics involved in maintaining a Western army in Central Asia. Losing Uzbekistan and its rail links to Europe left everybody but the Germans at the mercy of Musharraf. Should Musharraf fall, or decide to close the Karachi road, ISAF cannot be sustained and will have to fight their way to someplace they can be sustained, or evacuated, or reinforced.

America has tolerated Musharaff's chicanery because we have to.

If the line of communications from Karachi to Spin Boldak is cut, NATO will panic. The smaller contingents will likely bail with the Germans out through Termez, Uzbekistan. The Canadians will likely stick with the Americans, as will the Brits, relunctantly. The Dutch could go either way.

The American-British-Canadian force must go where it can be resupplied. Either Karachi, where it can be resupplied and eventually evacuated by the US or Indian Navies, or someplace east of the Durand line where they can link up with the Indian Army.

Whoever controls the Pak nukes could use them on the ABC invasion force, and immolating Islamabad in retaliation will not be all that satisfying. Extraordinarily risky and daring special operations force raids to keep the Pak nukes from going off will be attempted, and if successful will become legends.

10/12/2007 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Davod,
My point is simply that aside from what you say, which is all true, that the fact remains that there are still problems with information sharing between local officials and federal agencies.

10/12/2007 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

For example - Pollard was spying for the Israelis, but the Soviets received much of his information.

This is nonsense. There is no credible evidence that Israel passed confidential evidence to the Soviets. During that era the Soviets were allied with the Arabs, not Israel. During that era Aldrich Ames was a Soviet spy active in the US who was most likely responsible for passing the names of CIA agents to the Soviets, not Pollard or Israel.

The Israelis came very close to losing their Sugar Daddy, the only country that stands with them as a friend. To this day they continue to nag the US to release him, which only serves to antagonize the Americans.

Both sentences are nonsense. The Israeli govt has admitted that Pollard was a spy for them. How many other countries have done that? The Israeli govt has refrained from requesting that he be released, because of the whole embarrassing nature of the issue. Israeli citizens have asked for his release. But it's a free country, you know? There is no nagging from the Israeli govt.

10/12/2007 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Canoneer,

Your scenario is reminiscent of the Berlin Airlift. We all remember how that turned out.

Let's not be alarmist now. Imagine if Pakistan had sided with the Taliban in the Fall of 2001. What would have happened to Pakistan?

Our troops are not going to be cut off by anybody, no matter where they are. No matter who is in the White House.

Let's pray for that.

10/14/2007 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Tony, the distance from Rhein-Main to Tempelhof was much shorter than Kuwait or Qatar to Kandahar or Bagram. The old C-54's could make the round trip without begging the Soviets for AVGAS. When I was there all the JP-8 was trucked in from Pakistan. Hauling enough fuel for the return trip back to Romania if the Turks get pissy sure cuts down on the beans and bullets they can bring.
We would have to bribe the Turkmen for overflight rights, and if Putin outbids us aerial evacuation is a no go.

The same regime that would close the Karachi road would deny overflight.

There is a reason we have kept our forces in Afghanistan the size they are, and it is not because of Iraq.

There may have been a formal declaration of war with a nuclear power Chinese client in 2001 had Musharraf not accepted the offer he couldn't refuse, and much of the Hindu Kush would be radioactive now, but the Pashtuns would be India's problem.

10/14/2007 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Thanks Cannoneer, sincerely appreciate your notes.

If Bagram is a robust jet base, no country in the world will prevent our access, especially not from the South. It will be expensive, but won't be the Pusan Perimeter.

Without air access, well, when you take a local bus over the only real road, the Khyber Pass, you look over the edge. Behind you and in front of you, '56 Chevies and Fords, with their trunk lids missing, are carrying at least 20 people apiece on barely navigable roads hanging off bare mountain hills/cliffs/landslides. So, I understand your land references, but I don't believe USAF could be denied access to AF. Our guys won't be cut off. It won't even be another Khe Sanh.

10/15/2007 04:20:00 PM  

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