2002 November 20 Wednesday
James Dunnigan: Lets Not Overlearn Afghan Lessons

James F. Dunnigan argues that many of the factors that were crucial to US success in Afghanistan are already being adapted to by the opposition in Afghanistan. Also, the element of surprise in the use of the successful tactics will not be there in future conflicts since the whole world saw what the US military did. We shouldn't overreact and go to far in moving toward a special forces model.

Just as the North Vietnamese quickly learned that you don't fight the American army in a straight ahead battle, the Afghans figured out how to become less vulnerable to smart bombs. The Afghan solution, which is quite similar to the North Vietnamese one, is to stay out of the way of the Americans, don't bunch up, and, in particular, dig deeper, and more numerous hiding places. Then you wage guerilla war until the impatient Yankees lose interest and go home.

Its worth noting in this context that many other wars have seen changes in efficacy of weapons from the time the weapons first scored their big successes till when the conflicts ended. For instance, tanks lost much of their advantage as WWII progressed and infantry developed tactics for dealing with them.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 November 20 01:38 PM  Military War, Rumours Of War


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