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Guerilla Wars

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toyomotor View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10 Mar 2017 at 15:41
America and her allies have entered a second Guerilla War in fifty years.

The Viet Nam war was won by the Vietnamese after years of war against French Forces who could not come to terms with the type of warfare being waged against them. Ordered, structured military campaigns will never work when fighting against a country, the majority of whose nationals reject the foreign power. And so, Dien Bien Phu and the fall of the French Forces. The 1954 Geneva Accord saw the withdrawal of French forces.

A short ten years later, the USA sends troops to Viet Name as advisors to help and train the South Vietnamese Army. The commitment increased sharply and eventually Australia and New Zealand were drawn into the conflict in support of the USA, along with

 Thailand
 Australia
 Khmer Republic
 Kingdom of Laos


Once again the Vietnamese fought a guerilla war, with support of the communist North Viet Nam Army (NVA). One thing common in such wars is the support of a major proportion of the local population against the foreign forces, and the foreign forces not knowing, often, just who the enemy were.

Superior armaments, air power and over 500,000 troops could not sway the tide.

A few short years later, and here we go again. Another guerill war against civilian insurgents who hide among the population, coming out at opportune times to strike.Apart from the location of the conflict,there are many parallels with the Vietnamese War, except that allied troops are not facing organised national forces of another country. Russia spent over ten years trying to bring their own brand of peace to Afghanistan, in this case the insurgents, the mujahadeen were supported by the USA.

Home go the Russian forces, tail  between their legs, having been defeated by a technological inferior force, but which had the backing of the populous.

Is the war in Afghanistan one which the Coalition of The Willing can win? As long as the enemy cannot be readily identified on all occasions, I don't think so.

Great Britain and Australia have reduced their military contribution to the war after probably seeing that they're in a no win situation.

Can western forces win this war, against all odds?


I often wonder why I try.
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franciscosan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2017 at 22:00
I am not sure which war you are talking about?  You explicitly talk about Vietnam and Soviets in Afghanistan.  Try explicitly saying which war today.

The insurgency in Vietnam was basically exhausted with the Tet Offensive.  After that it was NVA vs. ARVN and allies.  (North Vietnamese Army, Army of the the Republic of Viet Nam).

We generally don't have "wars" these days, we have "police actions."  If you look at WWII, we (the US) had a war time economy and all of society went to war.  With Vietnam, the poor often went to war, and the rich got deferments and went to college.  Whether or not it is fair, you automatically by some "having war," and others, "having peace" have split society.  A house divided cannot stand. (Lincoln).  But there are counterinsurgency techniques which at certain stages of guerrilla warfare, can work, if the military is allowed to pursue them.  There is a whole theory of counterinsurgency, which America periodically forgets, and then finds itself in a situation which it has to relearn.  I mean, America has a long history with insurgency and counterinsurgency, what do you think we used against the British in the American Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812.  A friend who was a history major liked to talk about the "Tennessee Ninjas" who would sneak into the British camp and would decapitate one guy in a tent while all the British were sleeping (War of 1812).  But the problem is not that there aren't techniques for dealing with _certain_stages_ of insurgency, but rather a matter of thinking that the rest of society can go on its merry way, while the military fights a "police action."  But you are basically right that modern "warfare" is usually about Low Intensity Conflict (a whole theory of that too). But what war are you talking about?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2017 at 01:18
Quote I am not sure which war you are talking about?  You explicitly talk about Vietnam and Soviets in Afghanistan.  Try explicitly saying which war today.

Try reading the post.

1. The war in Viet Nam was fought largely as a guerilla war by the Viet Cong, with support from the North Viet Nam Army (NVA).

2. The war in Afghanistan is being fought against irregular forces-there is no state sponsored army, as such, opposing the Afghani government forces and it's allies.

The current action in Afghanistan can only be called a guerilla war, the insurgents attack, and then melt back into the community, unlike ISIS which acts more like a regular force.

Police actions are restricted wars, where there is no declaration of war and the government doesn't actually go on a war footing.

From your lengthy posts of late, it seems that you either don't read my posts or simply don't understand what I'm saying.




I often wonder why I try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2017 at 21:01
"Can western forces win this war?  Against all odds?"
That sounds like present tense.  Vietnam is over, past tense, and for Nato, I would say Afghanistan is over too, (past tense).  Of course, you are correct that Afghanistan is not completely over, and you are correct that there are guerrilla forces there, at least I imagine there are, since for the media, "out of sight, out of mind."  But mainly, the West, NATO, etc. are out of it, and just as there was a "Vietnamization" of the war in Vietnam, there has been an "Afghanistanization" of the Afghan war.  One doesn't hear much Afghanistan about it now, but then again, the media has the attention span of a three year old. 

I know that "police actions" are restricted wars.  Calling them "police actions" is a matter of Orwellian doublespeak.  I understand why they did that, but in general it is a bad idea.  It is also a bad idea for part of the country to go to war, and the other part doesn't.  It is not fair and that is a problem.

I do read your posts, I think these issues are complex, and I try to write stuff that jumps off from what you say, maybe elaborates on it, and maybe pushes things further or adds a new twist.  Like the media, I sometimes have the attention span of a three year old, forget what I am saying, and get distracted onto a sidetrack.  I apologize for being so wordy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2017 at 23:39
Franciscosan

No problem, and I agree with your post wholeheartedly.

It is noticeable that the US Army, Marines and the Navy are heavily staffed with people from less wealthy socio-economic groups. I read a report once that claimed that the retention rate in the US Navy was less than 50% among seaman ranks, and that the average length of service was only one term, I think it was three years.

Entrance to the US Armed Services, as I understand it, entitles the member, on termination, to what is called The GI Bill, and subsidised education. The only way that many young people could afford tertiary education.


I often wonder why I try.
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