or The Expert Taliban Military Field Manual
In this epoch of scanty dissimulation, of powerful electronic sensors, even installed in the space, of spreads of the «intelligence», the enemy movements and hostile intentions are difficult to conceal to a military modern army. The means to achieve it are the dispersion, the geography (fogs, rainfalls, forests, orography, nights), the disguise (spoiling the reality) and the camouflage, concealing or adjusting reality. To avoid the detection and the heavy fire, to the enemy improved vision, is necessary to oppose the fleetingness, the smallness and imprecision of the images (few people, neutral clothes, conceal and dismantled weapons) and the insecurity in the apprehended «reality» (civil or armed and friends or enemies?). The enemy are difficult to be seen In the modern «empty» combat fields in combat availability at the nearby distances. Where the movements of the afoot infantry are not enfilade or by short and rapid jumps from concealment to concealment, preferably protected. And the «drones» or planes without crew of exploration and/or ground attack always will be able to lead to the murder of a few innocent smugglers or countrymen. By confusing them with enemy activists. Everything to do for losing the war to «gaining the hearts and minds of the enemy»!
The Taliban operational ways.
But, during a lot of time yet, the air and spatial means of the USA, as spy satellites, drones and planes of the system Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS), will have great limitations in the detection and check of small ground, even regular, forces in the areas of difficult transitability and with concealment possibilities: as mountains, jungles and forests, marshes and urbanized areas (industrial, warehousing and distribution, and housing). Those not only offer concealment, but also covered from enemy fire, up to the near combat distances. A slightly valued phenomenon here is the plethora of the «relative concealment heights», as determinant factor of the «transitability» («the good or bad ongoing» does not completely value and express it) of the units in this type of so abundant areas.
The operational key of the Taliban resides in their innumerable local chiefs, with their small guerrillas bands, at full or part time availability. They are in charge of intimidating, teaching, scaring, attacking and more or less temporarily occupying some of the numerous peasants settlements and hamlets. According to the pressure degree that they should exercise on the villagers in order that they inform, hide and support them. Evidently its elementary degree of operational development keeps the movement at the defensive. Without being able to dispute to any of the present ISAF’s Armies in these areas, any territory or village. Without being able to realize other attack actions beyond ambushes; assaults to very small enemy isolated units, preferably natives, demoralized and/or tired; medium range fire harassment; kidnapping; short duration isolated incursions, helped or not by other nearby bands; and the mining of paths and ways (the fearful IED), usually travel by the enemy with their frequent, unimaginative and “showing” patrols. The sheiks or commands chiefs are ideologically concentrated in the conversion to their movement, to their semi nomadic cells, of the most related or nearby Pashtuns. In a minor and less extensive degree, operate the cells of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Taliban «action units» type platoon must be unfolded in sections and even in «teams», for their large movements or with the possibility of the enemy presence. The extended march security helps to this secure deployment. The result is a network structure. Which nodes are the unfolded subunits and which “threads” indicate their horizontal and vertical relations, supports, communications and superposed protective shooting sectors. Even this network can be camouflaged, mixing or intermingling the “nodes” with pacific native groups. In this more yet empty battlefield, without permanent or consolidated lines, is necessary to accept the sporadic incursion in our own rear of military patrols of exploration and/or of combat. Their air abundant means facilitate them to realize surprising, rapid and powerful deep insertions, in charge of elite units. For it, in the haltings, rests and locations we have to keep the security, even in our rear and always deploying a tactical exploration.
This imposes a tremendous effort on the men and on the commands. Whose training, formation and discipline, motivation and religiousness and commitment with each mission must be complete. In this type of fighting, apart from the self-defence units, which dominate and monitor our own settlements and enclaves, the number of «select» soldiers, destined for the action units, it should be subordinated to their quality. These select fighters, as any other military mean of interest, always will skimp on. So, it is absurd to get involved in a clash, in which the Taliban’ combat capacity, is clearly lower than that of the enemy. Against the on board cannons and machine guns (both in ICV and airships), with their detection and fire control equipments, the ambushing Taliban, even protected in reinforced and/or covered positions, but in the forward slope to use their tense fire weapons, cannot support a duel.
The Taliban harassment operations on the military forces.
For the fire harassment to the patrols they don’t need to mobilize many fighters. The enemy will always call his tactical aviation or the helicopter gunships, which come fast, if he see a shooters spot or lunette in front of him. Even they sometimes overfly the marches of their columns and patrols, looking for opportunity targets. A small «selected» rebel unit can stop them. So forcing them to deploy, spend their ammunition as much as they follow their «engagement rules». And to regroup and, even, reequip, to continue their march. After the harassment the Taliban combatants, without being committed, will be scattered to gather on a main or alternative meeting point. And this can be repeated later by another «action unity». Fixed as they are to the tracks, the occasions for the Taliban will be numerous. And the results, enervating and frustrating, because they force the military men to the passiveness and to the moral wear.
Afghanistan almost lacks asphalt roads: there are only two. The most important gives itself a round turn all over the country, joining the principal populations, Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, etc. So they called it Ring Road. Then there is the North-South Road, which follows this tour, at the east of the country. They are not great thing. The asphalt have between half and one inch of thickness; the heats soften it and potholes and bubbles are easily formed. But, under a protuberance can hide an explosive device. It is necessary to cross slow the roads and looking at the soil. The Taliban have not now the habit of recording on video the ambushes, to hang them on Internet. This does that the carelessness observers in horizon, highly vulnerable as acquaintances, are almost away from the limits of the landscape of the ambushes. And that do not use as alert sign of them. But, the explosive devices are constantly developing and perfecting. These give a certain anonymity, distance and impunity to his «placers». The devices detonated by cable cannot be neutralized by the inhibitors. They are not frequently using cables activators. These are expensive and weigh, and the rebels are in isolated zones and the logistics is weak, vulnerable and complicated. Some devices are activated by a frequency transmitter with a given range; even serves an electronic opening door device. With the frequency inhibitors, the soldiers try to offset the radio waves of the probable frequencies used in the zone. Being the most expensive and complicated transmitters, that with more range, power and frequencies range. It is the game of the cat and the mouse. The problem is that the guerrillas of an area receive a radio activator that uses an unforeseen frequency. The activated by pressure and wrapped in plastic, can be very effective if their hollow conical explosive charge covered with the fatal metal, is well enough. The multiple and complicated are increasingly used. For example, it is possible to place one of average credible load, which alerts the designated land observers in the vehicles. On having brought over or descend from these, some of them can be activated by cable. And even «throw» from the path flanks some hollow charge missile placed in fixed unexpected camouflaged launchers. If the soldiers dismount from the vehicles, also some mortar bombs can be thrown on the ambush area, having it registered from the deployment positions of the tubes.
The obligatory passing zones of the enemy (gorges, mountainous passes, ways bordered of rocky outcrops or with cut gutters and direct accesses to the hamlets) are adapted for their employment. It must be also used a certain number or percentage of trick «placements», keeping the scene and decoration, but without live charges or cable wastes, destined to harass, tease and tire the foreign enemy stroller. In the variety are the taste and the initiative. The effect on the enemy of the “explosive, real and fictitious, simple or multiple ambushes”, is not simply added. But is a potential function of those deployed.
A permanent harassment of the barracks is not normal, for unproductive and costly. Also, they are tremendously defended (sensors, pits, wire fences, patrols and fortifications) against the suicides bombs. But happens that the suicides, who are illuminated but not silly fanatics, usually attack “not sufficiently protected enemies groups”.
In order to remove the indirect fire origins, the military men can realize limited aim assaults, expelling the Taliban irregular mortars. With an active habitual patrolling, they can in these moments scare or beat and remove the hostile marauders. The Taliban usually explore, at least initially and also in fluid fighting conditions, by observation. It is important to locate and eliminate these reconnaissance positions. The patient observation is the way. Bearing in mind that if the exigency is intense, every 30 minutes the observer must be replaced. Because he looks, but already not sees.
The Taliban usual procedure to assault a weak defended and/or without spirit position, preferable of the Afghan National Army (ANA) is this: at dawn they bomb with heavy fire from fixed missile launchers, then they approach to use mortars and finally, the assault is realized by several independent squads, that converging advance, shooting AK and RPD or PK machine gun bursts and their RPG and RL grenade-launchers. To avoid friendly fires, they would fire only to verified targets and from bottom to up or above to below.
(TO BE CONTINUED)