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The Eagle Went over the Mountain

11 February 2009

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# Jim Burke 2009-02-11 18:21
At one time the USMC was high on the OODA Loop theory by John Boyd (
Sounds like the USMC, US Army, and SOF need to revisit Col. Boyd and his apostles.

How about some leadership that thinks "outside the box"? Reactive will get you killed. Proactive will kill the enemy.

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut what remains,
Jes roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

From Kipling's poem The Young British Soldier:
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# Sarmajor 2009-02-11 20:02
Mr. Boyd's principles are still sound but in looking at the graphic I see something that would confuse even him. When something as large as an MRAP can pass over several small pressure plates and hit only one the common belief is that you have hit the first IED or one that is command detonated. The reaction indicated in the graphic is reasonable if the MRAP was disabled due to the impact of the weapon. The dismount from the lead vehicle thinks he is exiting into a clear surface when he hits the second device (second in timing only) which is designed to destroy life, not equipment.

The follow-on dismounts are also in an area that is percieved to be clear, based on previous enemy TTPs with pressure plates. They, however, are probably reacting a bit too quickly because they are probably not sure of the source of ignition on the second device. While the graphic refers to a pressure plate trigger, I would more than likely have figured a command detonated device from a concealed observer. A rescue attempt by the follow-on dismounts, in either case, should be attempted by a more cautious approach from the roadside (if that is an option).

Our vision test on this will always be 20/20. When you get hit and see one of your own go down with severe wounds your first reaction is to get to him, try and save his life and get the rest of your people out of the kill zone. Studying a tactic will only expose you to that particular tactic. The OODA Loop "theory" (specifically Orientation and Decision) does not take into account those tactics that are completely new or that defy immediate interpretation. The Anti-Colalition Forces know what they are doing and are very creative in how they set these up.

This will be one more thing that we brief our people on when they are being trained up for the Afghanistan mission. But, in truth, without effective vehicles that can operate on those narrow roads and detect/neutrali ze the IEDs it will always be a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to finding and disabling the devices before our guys hit them.
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# nlcatter 2009-02-11 20:21
why even be on the road , this is war , the roads dont even exist in real war! DUH!
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# TD 2009-02-11 21:50
"why even be on the road , this is war , the roads dont even exist in real war! DUH!"

Spoken in true ignorance.
Unlike Iraq, many roads in Afghanistan traverse what is literally the only level land along the side of a mountain. Choke points are common, and the AIF has proven that they understand how to use them.
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# Oscar Schneegans 2009-02-11 22:17
The land around the roads is not only rugged and typically impassable by vehicles, but also littered with old mines and unexploded ordnance left over from the Soviet invasion.
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# Bryan Benson 2009-02-12 11:29
It took 5 years for the conventional forces to learn COIN and start to implement it in Iraq.
Can you ting the wheel? We were conducting counter insurgency in Afghansitan back in November 2001.

Iraq and Afghanistan are two different theaters of combat operations. MRAP's and HUMVEE's do not belong in Afghanistan.

Early on, COIN was in the works. Operations were a combined effort of standing up the ANA (Afghan National Army), gaining local support, and taking the fight to the enemy. It's what some may remember as UW - unconventional warfare. Somewhere along the way, our prestigious conventional leaders lost sight of the real objective. The infamous 18th ABN Corps landed in country in 2002. Seeing the need to be "relevant" to the fight, they decided on more troops, more combat equipment, more high profile operations and little training in UW! Ridiculous!

I rode horseback through the Hindu Kush mountains for 6 months without body armor. Dressed in customary Afghan clothing (what we referred to as "Man-jammies") and sporting a thick beard, I had a weapon, ammo, bed roll and some stripped down MRE's. We strolled into villages who had no idea we were American's until they saw our weapons. There were less than 3,500 troops in Afghanistan with only 500 out in the safe houses conducting daily operations. Now we see 30,000 plus troops in the country with America as the leader in numbers. Again, ridiculous!

Afghanistan is not a board game like Risk. The idea is not to take an hold ground. Remember why we went there in the beginning. To destroy Al-Qiada training camps and take down the Taliban regime. Our given mission was 3 parts...."kill, capture and deny". Kill Al-Qaida operatives, capture if possible, and deny the enemy sanctuary.

Hit hard, pull back, re-group and hit hard again until they have no place to go but out.

The intent is not to save the world from poverty and bring every thrid world country into the
21st Century, give them satellite TV, cell phones computers and democracy at the expense of the American Taxpayer. The mission was to strike back after 9-11 and ensure that the entire world was aware, "You don't screw with American's,.... especially on our own soil!"

It is shameful to lose the life of ONE Soldier or Marine to the short-sightedne ss of a command of Vietnam era Lieutenants that want to play in the SuperBowl of war so they can advance their career!

Small teams....suppor ted with combat air assets, unconventional warfare, direct action, and foreign internal defense. You could fight the war with 1000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan with 3,000 troops as support assets.

The Conventional Mindset is what will keep us in Ass-crak-istan for the next 5-7 years!

What a waste!
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# Sergeant Grumpy 2009-02-12 17:38
Michael, thanks for sharing this. I've got a few team mates from Iraq headed over right now and have forwarded this along. Keep up the good work.

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# Odysseus Rex 2009-02-12 21:28
I was in Afghanistan two years ago. Reading about it now, I can't believe it's the same place? What the HELL HAPPENED? It all looks dismayingly like the Russians, when they were there. And got kicked out.
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# Graham Ludlow 2009-02-13 04:29
Wow, thanks for this, it's a fascinating read. Does anyone here have a link to a site explaining the symbols used on the maps? I am not military myself and am having difficulty deciphering them.
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# Asif Ali 2009-02-13 16:18
Always remember, Afghanistan is known as the Graveyard of Empires - First the Mongols and Mughalsm, than the Indians & British and than came the USSR AND USA.

Nobody survives in Aghanistan, nobody.
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# chris765 2009-02-17 15:47
From Nicatter:

"why even be on the road , this is war , the roads dont even exist in real war! DUH!"

Seriously a real war huh, I've served for 27 months in this fake war. And I'm suprised you were smart enough to turn on a computer and find your way to this website.
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# Bitchin Bob 2009-02-18 05:11
Now the Taliban know which TTPs they need to change. Thanks for posting an FOUO document to an unofficial website you dick.
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# bill bloom 2009-02-18 19:52
To me this shows the tight coordination between Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The use of multiple explosives intended to take out rescuers, the precise timing. I think it is a timely heads-up by Michael to the guys who are heading in that direction. It would seem like the second and third mines would have to be set off by manual efforts rather than pressure plates.

One can only ponder about the real motives of the individuals who log-in to criticize this website. Probably the same group who were screaming that the war in Iraq was lost, right up until it was won.
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# bitching bob the opsec bitch 2009-03-02 08:00
anyone bitching about opsec when this stuff is captain obvious deserves a 5.56mm to the cranium
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# Adrian Davidson 2009-10-18 05:01
I suggest the Western Forces take a look at the COIN ops and equipment developed by the South African Defence Force against SWAPO in the 70s and 80s. SWAPO was employing the same tactics as the Taliban, luring troops into ambushes planting landmines etc. then making a run. The very same hit and run tactics employed by the Taliban, were used by SWAPO. A" Gung Ho" approach to fighting an elusive and cunning opponent is useless. What you need firstly is the right vehicles to protect troops against IEDS and landmines. Then pursue the enemy relentlessly for this you need troops who are fit and hard enough to patrol 2 - 3 weeks at a stretch, and units should have at least one highly skilled tracker amongst them. Drones work in conventional operations not guerilla warfare. When contact is made with Taliban quickly deployed "stopper groups" who are dropped in by helicopter behind the enemy, cutting of his escape route, but without his knowledge. The enemy needs to know if they make contact the risks for them are high they will more than likely be ambushed whilst hot footing out the contact area. Cunning and guile are needed to outwit an enemy who has the advantage of surprise on their side.Current conventional warfare tactics as used now will never succeed.
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# Jeager6 2010-07-06 08:08
I was a part of the Unit that put out this AAR. So many of you have no idea what is actually occuring over seas. If all you know about the war is from the American media, you need to continue your research.
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# DevilDog03 2011-04-11 23:32
i trust in my brothers beside me as do they,HCC>
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