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  #11  
Old 10-29-2006, 12:26 PM
mcgrunt mcgrunt is offline
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Colonel

How much problem is sniper fire from the Taliban ? Not what the Aussies call " the odd angry shot " but accurate single shots that cause casulties ?

I was reading in smallwarsjounal.com about a "brigade of snipers" .While I doubt the insurgent ability to field a brigade of snipers ,they will certainly be trying to find a solution to Army and Marine snipers.

Hope you get the knots worked of the problems there. Keep low
when the rockets come in.

Semper Fi,

Bill
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  #12  
Old 10-30-2006, 06:13 AM
MARINEVET MARINEVET is offline
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Sgt McGrunt:

Mixed reviews on the Talib "Sniper Program." I mean they do "snipe" at CF forces, Bill, but it's often one shot at an outpost and then beat feet. Sometimes, however, in more set battles (which they really try to avoid because the normally get their asses handed to them), there is often coordinated, well-aimed sniper fire. While they may use whatever weapon they have at hand, the main sniper rifle used by AGE (Anti-Govt Elements) is the Russian-based 7.62x54mmR SVD Dragunov.

As for Sniper Brigades...nahhhhhhh. Might be a "brigade's worth" of snipers scattered thru The 'Stan...and...may even be some organizational designation...for example, the 43d Sniper Brigade, but IF there is, it must "attach" shooters to other outfits for support. Really doubt IF that is happening.

IF we had more U.S. Army & Marine units over here...out and about and taking the fight to the enemy, you better believe our Snipers would be taking a much more dramatic toll! Our Coalition Force (CF) partners have Snipers and Designated Marksmen, but as I've said, ya gotta be aggressive and out after the bastards IF yer gonna kill'm...!

Got some of the crap straightened out...not all, but....

Semper Fi From the Sands of Kandahar,
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  #13  
Old 10-30-2006, 04:18 PM
Beau Beau is offline
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personally speaking, from this distance, i identify you the colonel ... and not you, the contracted ... follow ? and this identity mash presents some interesting questions ... I spose a multitude of questions ... and I am not aware of such an apparently big time use of Contracted soldiers in recent wars ... all controversies aside, regarding who benefits (and yah know there are controversies and yah know I identify you and your former U.S. mil as soldiers still) ...

- How do you (your employer) work out agreements on who does what, or who should be doing what, and actually audit the effect ?

I don't know if I worded the above right, and I am reaching for the Power thing AND an Identity thing.

Beau
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  #14  
Old 10-31-2006, 05:46 AM
MARINEVET MARINEVET is offline
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BroBeau:

Very good questions/thought process, as usual.

The team I work with, while "contractors," are not looked upon in the same manner as those who many are seeing as a "private army"...a group of "shooters"...etc. Our effort is that of "Advisors" and we work hand in hand with CF Embedded Training Teams (ETTs)...etc. NOW, that is NOT to say there we don't have some "issues" w/re to our interface with the Active Duty folks. One of the rubs, of course, is that a lot of the "AcDu" folks serving as ETTs are not Regular Army, but rather Guard & Reserve, and as mentioned earlier, altho most are giving it their best, they simply do not have the depth of experience that we have...and...that sometimes causes some hurt feelings when we mention that thus and such could (should) be done a different way...etc. We (our Team) has no directive authority, and that also causes some issues, at least with me. I can see where we need to do something differently, yet "can't make it happen," and you've known me long enuff to know that really drives me nuttz! That said, however, I do use my sssooooooave and daaayboner talents at "influencing the thinking/action" to the max!!!

One of the other main issues is that the NATO folks who come in to serve in an advisory role are only here for six months...making for a very marginally effective effort when it comes to continuity of effort. We have some Brits here now (some RAF/RA/RMs), and while we (again, our Team) are getting along with them quite well (me getting along grrrr8 with the RMs), the Afghans do NOT care for them because of past history with them. Such "feelings" are more than just a little counterproductive, but....

Anyway, don't want to bore you and others...so enuff for now.

Semper Fi From the Sands of Kandahar,

El Lobo Viejo Griz de Kandahar
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  #15  
Old 10-31-2006, 07:04 PM
mcgrunt mcgrunt is offline
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Colonel ,

From the picture of you briefing .. an interpreter ? Can't really tell but the ages of two of the Afgans soldiers say they are field grade , say battalion commanders ?

Since 2001 these Afghani must have seen a good deal of combat against the Taliban . But are these national guardmen
or hardened combat troops from Northern tribes ?

Very interesting entries . Glad you stay involved .

Semper Fi ,

Bill
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  #16  
Old 11-01-2006, 05:56 AM
MARINEVET MARINEVET is offline
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Sgt McGrunt:

Good observations.

The officers I'm briefing thru our Chief Terp (Mr. Farhad) are the Plans Officers of the 205th Corps Commanders G-Staff...the G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4 & G-6...all LtCols...in age btwn about 35-40. Even tho a couple look younger, they all have served in some sort of military in Afghanistan for 20 or more years...some fought with the Soviets, some against the Soviets, most against the Taliban, etc.

The officers in the flick are are mix of tribes from all over The 'Stan. Altho the ANA is supposedly (and totally) integrated, there are still tribal faction issues, and tribes such as the Hazaras (Mongol looks as opposed to the Occidental looks of many Afghans), while "tolerated" (and you'll always find some senior NCOs and Officers of Hazara ethnicity in senior BUT NOT TOP positions), are "kept in their place." Afghans are quick to tell you they are NOT Arabs...that they strongly dislike Arabs...but...a great many Afghans have the looks of Arabs.

In many ways, and especially the way we see that which we consider "efficient," the ANA are about as screwed up as Hogan's Goat. We work to make them into better soldiers, overall, but one thing we do NOT have to do is infuze Warrior Spirit...most of them have that in Spades! At this point in the evolution of the ANA (post-Talib military), most of their "tactical vehicles" are Ford Ranger 4x4 diesel trucks (many made in China)...some are crew cabs...holding up much better than I'd have ever thought...but imagine...going into combat that way...often against an enemy that outguns you...they don't lack cajones! Some of their Rangers have 12.7s (DShK) mounted in the bed of the trucks on a pedistal mount...whole damn truck gets the shakes when they fire that baby! There is one tank company up north...some BMPs too, but not many. They don't have the trained folks to maintain them.

Semper Fi From The Sands of Kandahar,
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  #17  
Old 11-01-2006, 11:55 AM
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COL

Isn't the real issue there all the religious divisions and of course whose got control over the oil. Isn't this adding all the fuel to the fire? The Northern sector seems to be holding itself together better than the mid and lower areas.

Have any UN troops showed up to support efforts of stability? I could never figure out their role. What percent of foreign troops are still in Iraq and Afghanistan? I haven't too much on the Brit's are they having as much trouble as us or are they in a better zone with more stability?

Lost many this OCT the new media is beating this drum loudly and it will impact decisions from Washington before too long. Are you guys ready for any possible diversion to show some progress being made - at the cost of our troops?

You know the tide on this conflict is beginning to build the same VN outlook.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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  #18  
Old 11-03-2006, 07:23 AM
MARINEVET MARINEVET is offline
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Well Boats...lotta good Q's and comments.

Religion isn't really the issue here in The 'Stan...not w/re to being a "Muslim" issue. It is much more a 'tribal issue" w/re to various forms of in-fighting, as I mentioned in my previous post.

There are the Taliban, who are radical Islamists...and THEY are the major issue that then becomes exacerbated by the tribal and warlord issues. The Talibs are expert at playing the various factions against one another. They, as with some of the other radical Islamists, want to see Afghanistan run in a manner that would resemble living (back) in the 7th Century! They make no bones about this...they really believe in their cause...and...THEY are part of the overall "plot" when it comes to Muslims who want the entire world under "Muslim Rule"...! Hell, the average Muslim here in Afghanistan just wants to be left alone...they don't want to conquer a damn thing!

UN...don't know...a few folks are here from the UN, but not in any sort of military manner...not down south, anyway.

As for the lack of stability down here...it was THE Taliban stronghold for years. Didn't have (still don't have) enuff good guys down here to do the job right.

I can't give you figures on troops in Iraq and the 'Stan...just don't know them off hand. There are 30,000+ NATO troops in Afghanistan, but that's not nearly enough when considering the way they're organized, trained and equipped. As I said before, however, IF we could get a U.S. Army Air Asslt Div and a U.S. Marine Corps MEB here, and let the NATO folks "do NATO stuff," we could hammer the hell out of the Talibs/AGE forces. Short of that, and unless NATO crew can really come up with some positive efforts over the winter, it's gonna continue to get worse around here...and Boats...it's already bad!

Net is acting up, so I'm gonna fly this before it crashes.

Semper Fi from the Sands of Kandahar,
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  #19  
Old 11-03-2006, 02:42 PM
Beau Beau is offline
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it's terrain, oil, and finally ... Allah for all (the world) ?

Ok ... we need more real troops going out ... On the more peaceful side, what are we doing in that area to bring the competing sides together , in some kind of configuration wheres folks like you can go home ?

We are in a world of diminishing Natural Resources ... period ... I suppose we can make a world in equilibrium, between needs and resources, if we kill eachother off, or if we learn share, care for the land, and keep our world population down voluntarily. I think the way it will work out is the former and not the later. [no free lunches ... no giveaways: Will, Beau de los aguas cafe ... last year during my long bike ride, got sick of all the litter and went out and picked up 4 miles of litter, almost each weekend, all summer ... I have been doing so again this year. And to really show how twisted and "different" I can be ... I got sick of the Paper Towels (with scuz) on the floor of my train station restroom ... that I started picking it up ... and lately I have taken Powdered Cleanser and disposable "Bubbly Sponges" to sinks and walls and etc ... and cleaning up that train restroom, a thing the paid workers should do ... I expect nothing in return; I give in and gave that freely and will do so as long as I ride trains and ride my trail ... there, I am outside the system of categorizations and who owes what to who, and who is supposed to do what for others and at what price ... and I think Christ, or Allah, or whatever, would rather see me picking up litter out of public lands, and cleaning around a public urinal, then behind a pew ... ]

This is not the kind of world that I want my daughter and grand kids, if any ... to feel is the norm.

God, or Allah ... or The Light ... The Source ... is probably up there, or inside most of us, saying "i dont care what worship routines you follow, just take care of one another and the land ... wake up, the globe is heating up"

Siempre fiel, soldado de los aguas cafe, I Corps
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  #20  
Old 11-04-2006, 07:10 AM
MARINEVET MARINEVET is offline
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BroBeau:

Good stuff...as usual...thanks! Oh yeah, really liked the video you sent re your roadside cleanup effort. Tried replying to that about three times...kept getting bounced...stupid system over here!!!

As for bringing folks together...nice thought...but...as I've said and will continue to say...there is ONLY ONE WAY to deal with the Talibs and other radical Islamists...thru FORCE...BRUTE FORCE...anything else is percieved as weakness by them. As cold as it might sound, the only way we're going to defeat this most evil force is to wipe it out. There is no other way...only time they even act as tho they're interested in talking thru matters is when they've been hurt and need time to recoup their losses...etc. This isn't what most want to hear, but SHOULD they come over here and see what that Talibs believe in, they will quickly change their minds!!!

World needs more folks like you, Beau, and others open here who are willing to do that little (sometimes as in your case LOTS) extra to make a positive difference!

I received a superbly written article on the GWOT as it compares to other wars/conflicts we've been involved in...should be required reading for ALL Americans, and especially those opposed to the GWOT. I am not at all happy with the manner in which we're fighting the GWOT...BUT...I know we need to be doing it and with a lot more vigor and determination than we are showing now!

Semper Fidelis from the Sands of Kandahar,
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