Saturday, February 23, 2019

The US military sent F-22's to bomb poppy fields....

via Time.
Gen. John W. Nicholson, former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, was eager to choke off the flow of revenue when he rolled out the new counter-narcotics air campaign on Nov. 20, 2017. He said it a represented an element of President Donald Trump’s more aggressive strategy in Afghanistan, which included loosened American forces’ rules of engagement. He played aerial video footage that showed F-22 stealth fighters and B-52 strategic bombers dropping multiple 250 and 500-pound bombs on non-descript buildings.

“These are a demonstration of our new authorities,” Nicholson told reporters at the Pentagon. “They’re also a demonstration of our will to take the fight to the enemy in all of its dimensions. And specifically, in striking northern Helmand and the drug enterprises there, we’re hitting the Taliban where it hurts, which is their finances.”

The idea for the campaign was borrowed from the battle against ISIS, in which daily airstrikes eviscerated the militants’ black market oil smuggling operation. But the results in Afghanistan never got close to repeating such success.

Taliban “drug labs,” after all, are often nothing more than a stove, barrels and precursor chemicals in a hut. They are cheap and take three days to rebuild, and represent a small component of the sprawling drug trade.
Story here. 

Just plain wow!  Are you shitting me!  A low density, high value platform like the F-22 with a finite number of hours on the airframe are being WASTED on bombing mud huts in Afghanistan?

If that's not bad enough, our vaunted air power barely slowed the drug trade! Is it wrong to ask if western culture can ever win a war in that country? Another question that must be asked is this.  Will air power deliver the type of decisive victory that has been promised since WW2?  I don't see any indication that it can but we seem to be placing an awful lot of eggs into that basket.

Back on task.

Precision bombing didn't work. What do we try next?

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.