The Great War of the Islam II.

(THE END)

SHIITES VS. SUNNIS

The Separated Conflicting Brothers.

The shiite schism was trying to snatch the majority of the Muslims, followers of the Tradition, the legitimacy of Mohammed’s legacy. In it were included the concepts of the legitimate origin, of the social and military direction, of the religious control and development and of the organizational and social perspectives of the Islam. The sunnis have the political religious control of the Umma in the caliphate and his emirs and representatives sheikhs, who were advised and supported by prepared pious ulemas and mufties.

The chiíes, to get and support their survival, rested the political power, the direction of their great strategy or national strategy and the religious conduction, in the «clerical caste», as intermediaries favored between the faithfuls and Allah. This keeps their believers firmly joined concerning their unique and monitored interpretation of the Koran. Though they have an ideological and social projection towards the future: it is the liberating, severe and maker return of the Mahdi, personified in his twelfth missing Imam (in the year 874), that has not died. But this is the social and psychological need of the recovery, consolidation and exaltation of the established original order, which was disturbed by the sunnis, and a prize, the peace and the luck for the orthodox believers (they) before the God’s Final Judgment.

The evolution of the Jihad towards the “personal submissiveness effort towards Allah: The real Islam”.

Before their own terrorism, so much centrifugal (against the unfaithful persons and the lay traitors) as centripetal (against the schismatic Muslims), the Islamic world is paralyzed and do not know what to say or to do. Terrorism are the collective or personal actions of war against «general, innocent and indiscriminate goals «, so much of the unfaithful persons or idolaters, as of the «separated conflicting brothers». Looking with them to extend the terror within the affected groups and to provoke political, religious or social changes in them. It is the blackmail of the terror, elaborated with long goings to and fro, which looks, with the «waves of commotion» that transmits to the attacked social groups, optimizing to the maximum the effect of his tactical and generally spasmodic actions.

The majority of the Muslims move away from the attacks for opportunism, to protect the Islam, worried by the increasing rejection that it suffers in Western countries. Their spokesmen and intellectual affirm that the Islam is peace and tolerance. But this is not totally true. In addition, and this is more serious, the ulemas and muftíes that favor the «compassionate and merciful interpretation» of the Koran do not present solid arguments against the verses favorable to the Jihad. Which are use efficiently and imperiously by the armed radicals. That are those who give course and support to the «belligerent terrorist hackneyed Jihad misinterpretation».

Never was carried out inside the Islam a deep reflection about the political and religious opportunity of the violence. It is not the case that the intellectual laymen Muslim react. They are not operative in the way that we know in the West. As for a good Muslim the politics, the society and the religion form an only, exclusive and inseparable trinity established by Allah. Besides, the social and political failure of the intellectual laymen Arabs remains tied with that of the nationalistic, leftist and Europeanized elites, that stimulated the independence of the different Arabic nations after the World War II.

The Jihad was necessary for the establishment and the defense of the believers’ primitive community, the Prophet establishing the Islamic state from the violent destruction of the jahiliyya (the existing barbarism previous to the Arabic Islam). And even the Jihad could be useful for its rapid extension through the world, according with the existing condition of culture and development of the medieval civilizations. But its historical opportunity does not exist nowadays. And then it must be replaced for another type of personal effort in Allah’s way». Which concept already exists in the Sunna and that might be recaptured and proclaimed by the ulemas and the pious muftis, which are the ideologists of the real and everlasting Islam. And, certainly, these enjoy the most ample political, social and economic independence: they are respected and/or fearsome by the governments in their respective countries, and are usually those who administer the Zakat or the canonical alms.

Difficulties for the Reunion of the conflicting Communities.

A fundamental problem for a sincere and stable approximation of the «sisters conflicting communities» constitute the concepts of the legitimate origin of the command, of the control and development of the «dogma and morality» and of the immense economic politician religious structures, alive and with own interests, created by both expressions of the Islam, almost from his beginning. Another serious origin of damages and irreconcilable distancing, especially at national level, are the forms of violent fights between both beliefs. When they attack between themselves, they try to damage the utmost, coming up to the intimacy of the kinship. And this way the targets are looked in the mosques, markets, peregrinations, concentrations and in the frequent or in mass movements of the peoples. Places where there usually are members of the same family. It is the uncontrolled violence and taken to her unnecessary, immodest, insanity and paradoxical (do not they practice the same religion?) social limits. Between the clans and tribes, only ethnically speaking, this wave of murders, outrages and hurts in the goods, always generates an “intergenerational chain” of “unavoidable vindications” for the assaults, the reprisals and the «blood offenses» suffered. This essential and indestructible Gordian knot, for what it seems, only can be cut by the sword of the generosity, the altruism (looking not what we «lack», but looking forward in communion and construction) and the pardon, which should be more attainable between a confession brothers.

At the end of the Middle East is the shiite antiwestern theocracy of the ayatollahs. These, when want important and rapid results against his neighbors, use commands or units of the Republican Guard. That can train, equip and support his allies of Syria and Iraq. And that are capable of fighting at the near and of assault distances, as a specially trained light infantry, and better than the normal units of the Western armies. These armies always use and need to attack the support of their heavy fire. The Republican Guard is overlapped in the regime, forming the unconditional and effective military wing of the Islamic Republic of Iran, acting like modern «Immortal of the Shas of Persia». She, as the Egyptian military, possess an own economic very wide support. That guarantees her the operational independence and rewards generously her dedication and loyalty in the fulfillment of her tasks and missions. The regime shiite is taken root in a complex of councils, boards and assemblies, designed, created and organized to assure, keep and perpetuate his oligarch social religious functioning. But the regime is unable to develop modern and economically a country with the resources and the demographic exuberance of the Iranians. Iran is a Great Shiite Island, with his archipelago, placed in an enormous Sunni Ocean. That embraces her, from the west to the east, through all her south, from Turkey to Pakistan, passing for Afghanistan, Arabia, Jordan, Palestine. Her «islands and adjacent capes» are The Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Bahrain; having more strength in Iraq and The Lebanon. The results of the so called «Arabic spring» have not been favorable to the shiites, which are kept immersed in the sunni «hostile ocean». The «big seas» tributaries of that ocean are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as principal protagonists and representatives of the sunnis. The former offers his strength and his demography and the later uses his economic exuberant capacity, to support and to extend the reason of the sunnis throughout. And the loss of the regime of the Assad in Syria not only will reduce a convenience ally, that not of religion, to Iran. As the Syrian alauis are really, «the heresy inside the heresy (shiite)», according to the sunnis. But it will obstruct very much all the logistics of the immense and strategic support to Hizbullah and to Hamas, in the Gaza strip. That is the form of expression of Iran of a «belligerency by third parties interposed» opposite to the West and his allies in the geostrategic zone. This is confirmed by the recent operational indefinite entry in the Syrian civil war of Hizbullah‘s regular militias in favor of the government, seeking to recover the progressive social wear of Assad’s regime.

What is crudely appearing at semi continental scale, in a most ample geostrategic zone, is a fight to the death between the shiites and sunnis for the political religious hegemonic power in the mentioned zone. Qom’s clerical gerontocracy is caressing the idea that, to nuclearly level the Israeli capital, would put them at the head of the Islam. The Islam that was big and powerful, according to them, when it carried out the Jihad. Also the Turks think that the Sublime Door only was prosperous and strong in the long periods of the Modern Age in which it faced the Europeans, for the control of the Mediterranean and the East Center Europe. Turkey, with almost 80 million habitants, can try to do a sunni «moderating paper» towards the Republic of Iran. The great operational problem for Turkey it is that she was the dominant power of the zone until less than a century ago. In addition, the Turks are not ethnically Arabic and their culture is different. Already Jomeini’s revolution gave an accolade to the shiites and an influence then unthinkable between the yearning, young and/or bellicose Muslims, including sunnis. There is a mesmeric attraction for the Iranian leaders, for «That» action would be the loud knock to the secret Mahdi. In order that he reappear and was putting at the head of his faithful shiites in the definitive victory of the Islam at the culmination of the History…

The Western Defense and the Great Strategy of his Nations

Since more than two decades, the USA has been systematically reducing his Defense budgets. Free of the threat of a global confrontation with the USSR and his allies of the Warsaw Pact, the USA has dedicated growing quantities of the contributors money to increase their squalid «social public expenditures». But, the USA is something more than a «continent in their self», only subject to the mercantile globalization. They are the principal pillar of the West Defense. And they are one of his two poles or vital, active, ideological and complementary nodes. And the other are Western and Oriental Europe, joined now with their anxieties of freedom and by a several social and economic systems, that are imperfect, but assumed and in development.

Development of the situation of weakness.

During the application of the Marshall Plan (known there as the European Recovery Program, name toked from the general of five stars George Marshall, chief of the High Staff of the US Army during the World War II and Secretary of State in 1947) for the reconstruction and development of Western Europa, this was nourished with the American assistances and investments. And before his voracious Red enemy «ad portam», that might cross theoretically the German plains in a few hours and reach Hamburg and the Benelux, the western Europeans did not have to realize relevant expenses for their Defense. Europe was entrusting it to the weapon systems and the soldiers of the USA. Which were covering and threatening the whole low abdomen of the Red Czars Empire. Forming so placed a protective insulating cordon, from the North Atlantic up to the Pacific Ocean and creating strategic alliances from the NATO to the SEATO (or South East Asia Treaty Organization). If we want to estimate how much money and effort the Europeans saved themselves, been able to do without these inevitable expenses of pure survival, we can see an example. The overwhelming weight of the military expenses that supported the USSR in his last ten years, was the necessary reason, though not sufficient, of their social economic asphyxiation. That took them to the inevitable precipice in 1989. A second range Soviet leader accepted later that, «we even did not have anything to eat».

But Europe also was contributing an ideological counterpoint, a psychological balance and a socio cultural magma to this transversal «mutual exchange» in the West. That were giving to the USA, continuity, sense and belonging to a tradition and to an active, enterprising, expansive, Christian and millenarian idiosyncrasy. That were taken root in the Greeks, the Romans, the Christian Revelation and the identities and baggages of the peoples westernized successively. This helps to constantly create and adapt the collective identity of the USA and his raison d’être as «primus inter pares» of this actual civilization. And this «double osmosis» of thoughts, experiences and identities, creates the modern western society, as we know her. That, with all his failures, mistakes and faults, continues being the «social identity and entity» more anticipated social, political and economically. And the one that more individual and collective rights recognizes to her citizens and inhabitants.

Now the purple and the control in West weighs to the USA. And, in the retreating phase of one of their vital cycles, they have partly forgotten their belonging to the Western Civilization » dependent of the international commerce». But this multi polar world is not safer than that of the two antagonistic irreconcilable, liberal and communist, social blocks, which disappeared almost 15 years ago. Let’s see several examples of prominent «nodes» in the actual «multi polar network» of nations and their associations and alliances. An expansionist China governed by the Communist Party, who looks for regional alliances, for the moment only with commercial interests towards the scanty and strategic materials, with the emergent countries of all the continents. And that tries to create her «sphere of influence and co prosperity» of great metropolis in the western Pacific Ocean. A full of contradictions Russia, a great power that always has reacted and has grown bolder with the dangers and vital difficulties, with an increasing importance and ambition. The South American and African continents, in that almost only the lack of leaders and effective elites, which are the principal antidote against the corruption and the lack of stable investments, hinder and stop an exuberant and endured economic and social expansion during decades. A Middle East and a north of Africa in full social boiling, that are guided by an expansive, global and exclusive religion in her more vindicator interpretations. More than for a few democratic «green buds», which do not have any tradition in their social idiosyncrasies.

A stationary and bureaucratized Europe, very advanced technologically and developed. But that is ideologically lethargic and without «reasonable illusions». That motivate and stimulate it to the social phase of motivation and expansion of a new cycle. And without having attacked to his time, still, the most difficult integration of his supranational institutions. To that there are opposed passively all the national and European bureaucracies, for his own inert existential weight, and in reason to the structural present and future complications and to the zones of power in game. That motivate and stimulate it to the phase of socials motivation and expansion in a new vital cycle. And without having undertook in time, still, the most difficult integration of her supranational institutions. To which are passively opposed all the national and European bureaucracies, by their own inert existential weight. And in reason to the structural present and future complications and to the zones of power in game. Because only when the belonging to a social superior entity produces social, political and economic tangible benefits, will be when the peoples, regions and many of their leaders appreciate, be interested and prefer the Joined Europe, to a commercialized and amorphous union of European nations.

Correction of the course of the Western Defense towards an expansion phase .

The USA and the countries of the old Europe must remember that the expansion and yet the maintenance of the civilizations begin with the arrival of the colonists, merchants and adventurers. That assume the first risks in interacting with local natives and create the first bonds between strangers. In order that all they start feeling interestedly complementary between them. And without nobody perceives between them a potential threat. That the falling back civilizations or yet «stable and crystallized», create an existential emptiness. That attracts and favors the penetration, deployment and new developments in the neighboring civilizations.

And that no healthy civilization cannot be supported without a sufficient Armed Forces. That must assume and face the different and yet contradictory challenges of the three classes of conflicts or modern wars: the regular, the nuclear and the irregular. In the European intervention in Libya, authorized only for the air protection of the civilians, was observed that the Europeans lack, for example, of airplanes of supply of fuel in flight. And these had to be facilitated by the USA, to carry out our air interdiction missions and of bombing the reinforced positions and the tanks of Libyan government. And the ground attacking French aviation to support the operations of the French and of Mali troops has also needed the airplanes of supply in flight of the USA. To be able to increase her attack to land capacities, in firepower, effective range and time of service and optimize his offensive flights. And to displace from Azawad’s Islamic Republic, in the north of Mali and with a surface of 600 thousand Km2. (The major European country, France, only has 550 thousand Km2.), all the radical islamist groups (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrib, Ansar al-Dine and others), that established themselves in Mali at the beginning of 2012, when Gaddafi was eliminated. The significant European lacks are not corrected in reasonable time due to the national diminishing budgets, which we have to apply in an economic long stagnation phase. But, also, due to the own absence of an European sufficient, integrated and flexible Defense Politic.

Nevertheless, in May, 2012 a summit conference of NATO took place in Chicago, to define his joint strategy for Afghanistan and to deep into the «Smart Defense». And, on the occasion of its preparations, at the end of April, 2012, the General Secretary of the NATO, the Danish Anders Fogh Basmussen declared that: «I do not believe that Europe is being militarily threatened just now, during this crisis». Is it necessary to see the wolf’s ears to buy and to provide the shepherds with dogs and cudgels? How much time is necessary in creating new units in combat capacity and in designing, making and deploying new weapon systems?

(TO BE CONTINUED)

MODERN WEAPONS: THE DRONE AND THE SUICIDAL MUJAIDIN II.

(continuation)

The explosive Taliban: from the Jihad to the Garden of the Houris, without scales.

The suicidal mujaidin is a personally advanced weapon (just look for who has nowadays the fearlessness of removing itself from life, defending some ideals and a prize at the Other Side), abundant, nearby and cheap. It possesses the highest «combat specific capacity», (according to the parameters established by colonel Trevor Dupuy, which refer to real values of the different armies, calculated in conflicts and wars): many military men, policemen and civil authorities of the enemy are definitive losses for each own loss. And speaking in terms of the universal good administration principle of the scanty available resources, his actions (as «investments») have also a high ROMI; or (military) return over this marginal investment. The suicidal jihadist optimizes this way his asymmetry with the weapon and the highly available enemies. This soldier of «one use» knows, takes advantage of his opportunity, decides and acts. Because he can be a hallucinated fanatic, but he is not an idiot. For his personal and ideological character, his effective action raises the moral, the conviction and the decision of his companions, collaborators and sympathizers. The islamist suicide «appreciates» this way his enemies. Because they are his infallible key to «going out under canopy from this Valley of Tears «.

The explosive fighter is a common weapon of the Talibans. If the explosive charge, her characteristics and the vector are suitable, the sophisticated enemy sensors and the protective jackets are of little use against he. And the armored vehicles and the buildings also do not serve to be protected from he. The “trigger carrying agent” can be man or woman and adult or child. And can cooperate in his suicide attack, a bushes, a goods stand, a donkey, a bicycle or an engine vehicle. A «suicidal fighter of one use», is not a select marksman: he is not necessary to train militarily (basic, technical and tactical knowledge). His other complementary, fearsome and almost unbeatable weapons are the surprise, the freedom of action and the initiative.

The aims preferred by the «explosives sworn-ins» are the enemy security forces, so much «unbelievers» as «traitors», and the Muslims belonging to the heterodox branch of the Islam (the Shiites and Alauites). To the enemy security forces they bring over disguised as recruits in formation, candidates for the enrollment, supplies personnel (outsourced services), companions, «collaborators» of the ISAF and civil innocent prominent figures. Their target is human always, because the property damages hurt less the regular enemy. And they are located in the policemen or the enemy armies agglomerations, in the barracks, recruitment centers and points of obliged and frequent passing and with motive of stops, farewells, ostentations and exhibitions, of those. To the Shiites they bring over taking advantage of their inevitable concentrations: the annual international peregrinations to his holy places, his stopping places in the different stages or the Fridays midday prayers, specially communities, in their mosques. Though the latter assaults take place rather in the bordering countries, Iraq (Shiite majority) and Pakistan (Sunni majority).

The great problem is that is very difficult to fight (to offset, stop or neutralize) against a few enemies, more or less isolated, determined to die and of another etnia and idiosyncrasy. And with the suicides this sharpens up to making it almost impossible to realize «a priori». Because they are combated with modern, technology and trained forces, prepared generally for wars of third generation. That would theoretically face similar forces or of the second generation. And their commands have almost as an unavoidable premise, preserve from physical (the principal thing), mental and moral hurts the men under their orders. The suicide must go unnoticed in the place chosen for the attack, by its age, genre, aspect and attitude. He has also to conceal perfectly his appliance and his equipment. To be able to approach his target and make exploit that one. His passport for the Garden of the Houris is to take with him the major number of dead and mutilated enemies.

The added human and material hurts to Muslims, caused around the explosion point, are “collateral damages”. The Sunnies jihadists looked for an overcomplicated, but sufficient «solution» in the practice, to ignore the Koranic rule «thou will not kill Muslims». On having lacked a clergy and an only religious doctrine, the interpretations of the Islam and, especially, his applications for the daily life, can be multiple. In effect, to calm the repugnances in producing them, an al-Qaeda «ideologist», Abu Yahya al-Libi, developed a «religious» theory about the «not looked hurt». According to her, is allowed to the militants jihadists to kill Muslims, when is inevitable. And, even, when it is useful. And the mujaidins express their desire that the collateral dead men, should also be considered by Allah as martyrs of his «holy war». And to believe this, comes very well to the fanatics who direct the groups and to the insanities fanatics that follow or support them.

The motivations of these “explosive sworn-ins” are simple. An effective material motivation is their chronic loss of the basic natural needs: sustenance, family, safety, refuge and cover, expectations and reasonable progress. It is an effective spur to induce the employment of the liberating violence by a part of the society, specially the idealistic young men. The «positive» motivation would be the economic prizes that Talibans give to the families of the martyrs. And these are so much the fallen in combat as the suicides. The religious motivation is the powerful mean of persuasion and conviction. The suicides of the Jihad are methodically and intensely catechized. The Koranic verses related with the Jihad, are known by heart by them. The other suicides «example» surrounds them in their daily life. In the way of photos, manuscripts, testimonial videos and destiny companions. Their preachers clarify their doubts and encourage them to prematurely reach the Paradise. That is destined specially to the martyrs of the Jihad. Everything is like to the initiation functioning of a toxic sect: that destroys the personality of the lowest members. The universal character of the Muslims’ community, facilitates the flow and the insertion of «internationalist voluntaries» suicidal fighters from other countries.

The operational key of the Taliban are their innumerable local chiefs, with their small bands of radical irregulars. They are the persons in charge of intimidating, teaching or catechizing, scaring, attacking and occupying more or less temporarily some of the numerous settlements and hamlets, on both sides of the border. The Taliban movement follows a constant elementary cycle of «teaching, training, supporting and delegating» between the small «sheiks» and his deputies. So that they obtain a certain rotation in the command and in its exercise. These local «maliks» are practically immune to the assault of the «drones» of the ISAF. That explore, attack the irregular enemy and execute his evident, it is supposed, out-standing commands.

The drones cannot follow and attack so many minuscule and evasive targets. From an enemy network that turns out to be profuse, diffuse and confused. They cannot substitute, as is claimed by extrapolation from a few first successes, the ground active and aggressive patrols of exploration or combat. That, together with the military units and the civic and political action groups, are destined to dispute and gain his “bases refuges” to the enemy and, later, the popular majority support. Like the «American saturation bombardments» could not cut the Route Ho Chi Minh, supplying the Vietcong and the regular North Vietnamese forces in the «zone demilitarized» and at the south of this. Going from North Vietnam across Eastern Laos to South Vietnam. And all was because their air attacks, were not accompanying a «ground action» over that Route. That was complementary, systematic and constant, not necessarily exhaustive, of the air action of pure attrition.

And waiting in peace death from sky does not scare, even not worry sufficiently the mentally normal people. This only happened to the imaginary chief of Asterix’s Gallic village. And is something like what Ramon Gómez de la Serna was saying to his acquaintances and less intimate friends in Buenos Aires: «Here I am, waiting for the cancer». The intimidating threat, which could change the conduct of an enemy chief, must be something real (that is tended to magnify), sufficient, felt and immediate or near. Like the sirens installed in the Stukas. In order that his precise diving bombardment terrifies in land all his possible human targets, which were not yet veterans. Or as the explosive mujaidins, whose behavior is for the enemy like a “gas”, without own volume or form and that can reach all the available sites.

THE SOVIET OPERATIONAL STRATEGY III.

(continuation)

THE TANKS ARMIES AS SUMMIT WEAPON OF THE ART SCIENCE OF THE SOVIET WARFARE.

Its structure, its operational characteristics and its performance according to the Soviet military Theory and in the practice. The practical failures of the Soviet deployments.

His tactical and operative employ in the marches and combats.

Once inserted the tanks army inside the enemy operational zone, his employ was generally much separating of the Soviet theory of the mechanized modern war of «maneuvers». The mechanized or tanks brigades were often used in untidy or even rash form. They were separated and simultaneously looked for many aims, using the maximum possible operating speed: To displace towards the west, pushing them, the major possible number of enemy units or other times, to cut off them. To liberate many populations, villas and places. And to attack in a too much broad sector, all the enemy units that were occupying defensive positions in it.

The logistics left a lot to be desired even for these elite units, as they were moving away from his lines and were consuming his initial resources. The units and small units were lacking equipments, armament, supplies, ammunitions and food. And the scanty and late restoration of the long-suffering falls, dead, injured and sick men, had very soon and almost permanently the units below his maximum authorized endowment. This tightened to the maximum the resources and men was leading to the units to a chronic lack of sufficient combat and operational movement capacities, in the spears of advance detached by the battalions, in the way of companies and even platoons. And without these combined joint capacities it is not possible to exercise a real, solvent and devastating “influence” on the enemy. That would move towards the units and their commands in the shape of “waves of commotion”, through the enemy rear. Except that, during a time, the enemy believes it or is in worse operational conditions that the attacker.

Frequently the offensive operations were realized without operational exploration, not even of combat, lacking the small attacking unit of information or intelligence about the enemy, his means and supports and his positions, and let’s not say on his intention. The formation of assault, even in these elite infantry units was usually the more or less thin line of advance (in «guerrilla»), formed transversely in the direction indicated by the chief of company command to the platoons chiefs, without any intentional deployment in depth and with scanty support of organic heavy machine guns or mortars. It is worth indicate that in last 2 complete years of war (spring, 1943 to spring, 1945) it was very normal, according to the above mentioned thing, that the endowment of a company was from 20 or 30 to 50 men, as the maximum.

When the aim was important or extensive, 2 companies were deployed by wings, serving the rough direction given as limit between their advance strips, to prevent them from intermingling the platoons. It was then very possible to count with artillery support from the brigade. For example, a battery of reactive artillery of 132 mm., the Katiuskhas, with 4 rockets launchers with 16 tubes each one on Zil 6X6 trucks, that were shooting more or less simultaneously, turning the surface target into a destruction zone. Or, in case of see or be waited enemy tanks, they were receiving the support of a 2 or 3 tanks T-34-85 platoon. Or, later, type JS-2 with the 122 mm. cannon, with a much slower shooting speed. Since, for industrial difficulties, it had the projection load separated from the perforation or explosive round. Already in 1944, with the foreign territory occupied by Germany very restricted, it was frequent to see the Tigers or Panthers or the assault or antitank cannons, supporting German small and fixed defense positions.

The German fortification works, in the great majority of his fixed rejection positions, were scanty and of circumstances, except in the big occupied populations. They consisted in more or less long trenches, infantry foxholes and shooting positions of the heavy weapons, and vertical cuts and reinforcements of the natural obstacles. Generally, they had too much reinforced and hided points, which could be used then as alternative positions, and they were lacking men to manned these. The usual ignorance of their enemy, was often leading that the attacking Soviet line, without noticing, was left to approach up to the last tens of ms. of the supposed defensive occupied positions. Then, it was counter-attacked from flank or reverse by one or two of German infantry platoons, commanded by an energetic official, that had slipped out of the defensive perimeter and were remaining hidden. The security lack to the flanks and of proper depth deployment of the attacking forces, as well as battalion reserves, provoked that the attacking unit was destroyed and repelled, with more or less falls. The Germans did not usually pursue. And sometimes, taking advantage of his enemy reverse, they get from their positions at full light and without major measures. And to retreat. And even, without being received, to move to another defense support point more in their rear.

Neither the Soviet tanks units were enduring too much better. They were using in their marches or even in the assaults, too much known and stereotyped deployments, and without taken care habitually of the exposed flanks. This could be taken advantage by some German veteran tanks unit. The count Hyazinth Strachwitz von Gross-Zauche and Camminetz is almost not known in West. For the simple reason he fought during almost 4 years of war in the East front. He managed to be rewarded with the Gentleman’s Cross of the Iron Cross (that was hung of the neck). And that he was successively adorning it with the Oak Leaves and the Diamond swords for her. He was one of the best commanders of a panzer regiment. And his successes might assume at equal parts, to a good tactical sense and a particular knowledge of the Russian idiosyncrasy. He gave his better tactical blow being already major general and commander of the panzers of the North armies group, in the autumn of 1944. His front sector was in calmness, being reorganized the Soviets, and Hyazinth Strachwitz sensed beforehand where they would attack on having renewed the offensive. With only 4 tanks he deeply penetrated behind the enemy lines and established an ambush over the supposed approximation zone of to the front. In its moment appeared at full speed a small Soviet tanks unit, completely ignorant of the presence of the German tanks, that was destroyed. More tank units were approaching and followed the same luck. Incredibly, the Soviet commanders allowed that the massacre should continue, without establishing the combat exploration or the march security or, at least, verify the origin of the enemy so precise fire. After about an hour of the first shot of German cannon, in the ambush zone (killing zone) were lying the smoking and deformed remains of 105 Soviet tanks. Almost equal of inexplicable was that the count returned behind his lines with his 4 intact tanks.

The Soviet great combats in the German rear.

When the Soviets were waiting the presence of the panzer corps or divisions, that were the only enemy great units that could attack their mobile corps with profit, the tanks army was advancing in the German operational zone with more prudence. His marching groups were forming a deployment that was guaranteeing tactical cohesion, protection against surprises and combat capacity.

The fuels supply was the first Achilles’ heel of the Soviet great mobile units. Though the infantry divisions of the Fronts were always continuing after their mobile corps, to support them, consolidate the enemies’ clear regions and garrison the populations, their pedestrian speed was insufficient to reach them rapidly. This way, sometimes a mechanized or tanks corps could remain aground and isolated. And on him were falling rapidly all the mobile reserves that the Germans could have to hand in the zone and which employment was not unprotecting other sector. On having known their near forced detention, the mobile corps were immediately going on to the defensive action and were establishing their campaign fortifications. The mechanized corps resisted well, in spite of the falls. But the tanks corps, smaller and less complete, were swept off easier by the panzer and their mechanized infantry. These cases happened even in 1944.

In these cases, always came a moment in which it was supposed that the Soviets had fought well and that already they could not win, nor get out of the combat and move back. Then, the crews and the soldiers of these elite units were dispersing in small groups, leaving behind their valuable heavy equipments and were trying to infiltrate up to their lines. And this was very difficult to get. But this was a war for the survival and mercilessly. And already Stalin had indicated the luck of the Soviet prisoners of war, if they were managing to survive the captivity in the deep rears of the Reich, his allies and the occupy countries. And that had surrendered too soon to the Germans, specially at the beginning of the war. Charging the enormous military national effort in their following comrades and the people. «Nothing will be forgotten, nobody will be forgotten”.

When the situation was difficult, the Soviets were not hesitating to spend an Army of tanks to stop the enemy by pure attrition.

In the tanks battle of for Prokhorsvka’s villa on July 12, 1943, as part of so called Kursk’s battle, faced the 5º tanks army of the Guard of the general Romistrov against 2º panzer army corps of the SS, commanded by general Hausser. The Soviets were counting with approximately 900 tanks and assault cannons, but were not joining any of the modern SU-152 assault cannons, the so called «beasts killer» (Tigers, Panthers) and the majority (around 500) of their tanks were T-34 76,2 mm, which could not distantly perforate the Tigers’ frontal shielding. The Germans had around 600 tanks (of them, approximately 100 were Tigers) and assault cannons. But none of these were of the Ferdinand or Elephant model. These only were used in the north attack on Kursk’s salient.

The Germans advanced towards the village with the Tigers forming the top of a great blunt wedge, with the Panzer IV and III covering the flanks and the assault cannons in its interior. The Soviets went to get them. The shock of the armored masses of both armies transformed in a fierce and chaotic whirlwind. The speed and the great maneuverability of the T-34 allowed them to very rapidly advance to reach the nearby fighting distances. Which would allow them to attack the Tigers with fruit and preferably at the flank. These would lose this way their advantage of being able to do effective fire at long distances and keeping the invulnerability of his frontal shield. The combat developed in multitude of small actions between 2 or 3 tanks.

The result of the battle was undecided. The Germans lost approximately 300 vehicles, including numerous Tigers, and the Soviets suffered the fall of approximately 450 vehicles. Though initially the Soviets moved back, remaining the Germans in control of the area, the Soviets recovered it little later. With what the Germans could not recover all their damaged or broken down tanks, which were total falls in their units.

The modern evolution lines of the Soviet operational strategy until 1989.

After the irruption of the Fronts or Soviet groups of armies in Eastern Europe and all the broad of the front of the East, the Soviet theoretics and the high commanders realized the need to change the structure of their tanks armies and corps. In effect, the urban, industrial and semi urban areas of the European East were demanding a major employment of the infantry support for the fight in them. They were new types of areas, full of obstacles to the advance and innumerable covers and/or «concealing relative heights», highly suitable to the active defense in depth. Here, the mechanized infantry (it was begun to call also motorized, though it was using the «combat» armored vehicles) was the principal weapon of the fighting. Also in the predictable future, a possible tactical nuclear war or not towards the Western Europe, would even accentuate this need of the motorized infantry.

It is not until 1965, 12 years after Stalin’s death, in which are started recognizing the contributions and the works of the mentioned theoretical purged military men. Assuming already to each person theirs ones and not as part of an ambiguous and impersonal Soviet military collective popular thinking school.

In turn the tanks armies and theirs corps and divisions units were adapting and changing. This way were created the so called «operational maneuver groups» (O.M.G.), destined to the exploitation in the lands of West Germany and Benelux in the decided operational directions. They could be formed by one or two tanks armies, reinforced in infantry and artillery. But their battle orders changed with the time and with the appearance of the atomic tactical weapon (missile, air and artillery). This brought the dispersion of the deployment after the irruption in several tanks and mechanized corps. That would advance very unfolded by all the attainable ground routes of the enemy area, to avoid to turn into an eligible target for the atomic fire. Also for they would have to approach with rapidity and unfolded to the “forward limit of the enemy positions”. The speed of march and the precision and range of the heavy direct fire would compensate their dispersion and the loss of shock. So achieving an effect of «crumbling of the enemy rear» thanks to the higher number of insertions and exploitations in the Western Front and its depth rear.

MODERN WEAPONS: THE DRONE AND THE SUICIDAL MUJAIDIN

If Plutarch was living today, surely he would write one of his «Parallel Lives» (one of two collections of his works), dedicated to trying and comparing the not crewed planes («death from above») and the suicidal yihadists («Allahu Akbar»). In effect, both are annoying and asymmetrical weapon, directed against the personnel and the mental and volitional factors of the enemy. That are not tactically decisive. And whose military effects are limited, but accumulative.

The Not Crewed Planes of exploration (reconnaissance) and ground recognition and of bombardment.

They are technologically advanced weapons, which began to develop several decades ago, destined to eliminate a minimum of «designated enemies», so much real as «ideological or potential «. And to minimizing the own losses. Which does irrelevant his economic cost for their rich owners. They have a highest effective range and are of the category of «intelligent». Though are not yet authorized to decide the moment to throw their missiles, once acquired the target. Their operational strategic use might be named the «War of the Drones».

The specific tasks that were distinguishing the CIA and the Pentagon, were intermingling during the first decade of the 21st century. This was owed to the operational and strategic failure of the USA in the long asymmetric wars of IV th generation (be read of guerrilla warfares and, be added or not, as be the hostiles, of national liberation) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Actions that they carried out after their short «armed conflicts» after 11/09/2001 against the masses armies (of second generation) of their tyrannical regimes. And using in them their trained and very technologically equipped forces (of III rd generation). Closed in false the Iraqi front and initiated the retreat in Afghanistan, the White House is endowing the CIA of more military means to give hunt to the salafists terrorists. So she has increased his drones or planes without crew fleet. And is considering to authorize an increase of the Pentagon’s spies’ network, to exercise a bigger control on the refuges of al-Qaeda in the Arabic peninsula and in the east and north of Africa.

These changes in the strategic and operational aims of the CIA and the Pentagon and the suitable endowment of means, culminated during the Barack Obama’s first mandate. The CIA has taken more active part in the eradication of the international jihadism, and has expanded notably his program of assaults with missiles thrown by drones. In the summer of 2011, Obama nominated the former director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, chief of the Pentagon. And the commander of the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and chief of the Central military Command, David Petraeus, was nominated director of the CIA. Petraeus, before resigning 9/11/2012, for that of the erotic (his biographer) of the Power, asked Obama for a reinforcement of the drones fleet of the Agency. To be able to effect assaults beyond the habitual aims in Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. The Agency and the Pentagon have their looks put in Mali and Libya, in view of the increase of the activity in the zone of the franchise «al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb”, the Ansar Dine group and the Anzawad’s Islamic Republic, seated at the north of Timbuktu. The tuaregs have changed his former employer Gaddafi for the salafists terrorists. To whom Gadafi accused of being his armed opposition. And that are destroying the universal heritage of Timbuktu, under the pretext that its monumental representations rival with Allah. Sources of the North American intelligence say that the drones fleet of the CIA does not excel 35 at the end of 2012 and Petraeus requested ten more.

The CIA has a list of «threats» to the USA, of which he has authorization to kill. In September, 2011 he got a famous success on having killed in Yemen the imam Anuar al-Aulaki, an American well-known personage of al-Qaeda. The Pentagon also has his «ist of authorized targets». That are checked every week by approximately 100 security analysts of the Administration. Their function is to recommend to the president the changes of names in the list. The procedure is semi officially called the «Tuesday of the terror» in the White House. The CIA and Joint Command of Special Operations of the Pentagon cooperate in many of these attacks. Their targets are supposed leaders and even simple militants of al-Qaeda and associate groups of jihadists. And the tactic is to exterminate them before they act. This is one more step in the foundations of the military doctrine of the USA. Determined for decades by the contradictory parameter of «not suffering losses in any war or conflict «.

The Obama’s «war of the drones» has much of «preventive» character”- before that crime has been committed–and the executions are summary, without judicial sentence. And ,for this reason, it supposes attributing the right to realize extra judicial executions in any part of the world. So, Obama’s right hand in this theme, John Brennan, a veteran of the CIA, is called the «Czar of the Assassins». The program «Death of the Sky» (Death from Above) is legitimized only » by the person of the president «. The executions are legal, because the president decides and arranges them. Obama has obtained with the drones a weapon to appear «hard and effective» in the fight against al-Qaeda, without turning out to be unpopular with the voters. But, according to Christopher Griffin, in an article published by «Rolling Stone», «Obama’s secret war supposes the major air offensive not driven by human beings, never realized in the military history». And paraphrasing Churchill, he adds «never so few had killed so many people by remote control».

The Administration does not admit explicitly the existence of the program of drones, for safety motives. Though the White House declares in her calculated filtrations, that the not searched victims are almost non-existent. Not all the analysts accept this “surgical precision” without authentic information, attributed to these assaults from well away the horizon. An important problem is that the drones terrify entire areas, with some of them flying a lot of time over the settlements. On the other hand, as is the case of Pakistan, the «basic information» for the creation of intelligence for the mission, is facilitated by the local paid people. That also offers false information. More important and controversial is the question of the euphemistically so called «collateral falls», as if they had less importance on having been caused by the imprecisions and the operational mistakes. Some assaults with drones have caused tens of civilians deaths, including women and children, as is the case of Saleh Mohammed al-Anbouri in Yemen in December, 2009. And only in Pakistan, according to The Guardian, the drones would have killed around 3000 persons, of which a third were clearly civil, between 2008 and 2011.

The assaults against the human aims are realized by missiles thrown from drones. Since 2002, the USA has realized almost 450 missions of this kind in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. President Obama authorizes the assaults in Somalia and Yemen. But he is consulted only about a third of the missions in Pakistan. Where the «operational at charge» decide on the basis of “general received orders”. The Pentagon also uses the drones in his operations of exploration and of assault in Afghanistan. The CIA has his principal role in Pakistan. Where exists internally an ambiguity calculated of the FFAA, the intelligence services (the ISI is the most important, with much) and the Government in the relations and preferences towards: his foreign ally, the USA, the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani Taliban and the pashtunes tribes of the frontier zones, near the former Durand line, and the southern baluchis (the Baluchistan). A strategic national aim for Pakistan is to support an important, preferably decisive influence, in the internal Afghan matters. And a strategic military aim at the east of the country is to have monitored, controlled and neutralized his own Taliban and other hostile minor groups, at the east of Peshawar’s meridian, and without they act at the east of the Indus river.

George Bush’s strategic national doctrine established, but without being due explained, not accepted tacitly by both Parties, that «asymmetrical wars» (irregular and with low level of military means) were carried on and were necessary, to keep away from the American territories and those of his allies, the threats of the “foreign fundamentalist terrorism” of any origin, religion or ideology. This justified the post war occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. But, with an exploded fiscal and exterior deficits and with a democrat Administration, is necessary for the USA to save more in military resources. To dedicate them «to constructing a nation here, at home». This way, the USA qualitatively lowers the bar of the exterior terror, putting al-Qaeda as almost the only not national violent enemy. This terrorist salafist internationalist «network», without own territory, with his operational chiefs known, fled and not wished as guests in a normal country, is a more attainable, adaptable and manageable aim for the American forces and means of «rapid punctual incursion».

This justifies the increase of the use of the drones, spy satellites, own or local agents in the hostile area, attacks with limited aim by elite small units and small expeditionary forces and units of Marines amphibious assault, transported in «ships of control and transport» of strategic projection with his naval escort. The deployments of tens of thousands of military men and his luggage and equipment for several years in a theater of operations, are rejected indefinitely by the new «doctrine» of the «diminishing defense». This way, the Pentagon has to operationally center on the counter terrorist tactics and technologies. And he seeks to reinforce his own espionage branch, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The reason is simple and clear: as the CIA has been effective giving hunt to terrorists abroad, the Pentagon wants to be more like it, and less as an army at use, to adapt to the new aims and national strategies. In November, 2012, Panetta asked Obama to allows him to recruit 1600 new spies. It would double the size of the DIA. At the end of this month, the secretary of Defense declared that: «The campaign against al-Qaeda will take place out of “declared combat zones”. And using tactics that leave little track, with precision operations».

The principal not crewed planes are the Predator and the Reaper. And cost more than $13 millions of dollars per unit. The Pentagon possesses approximately 19000 for the tasks of espionage and combat. The CIA has his own fleet, with reserved information. The General Atomics makes the drones. Their weapon more devastating are the missiles AGM-114 Hellfire II, the Lockheed Martin. In October, 2012, the USA entrusted 24000 missiles for his use and that of allied authorized countries. There exist the variants of antitank hollow load (HEAT), antipersonnel (with diverse types of explosion and fragmentation, reinforced or not) and with self guided (fire and forget). Each one weighs 47 Kg., with 20 % of useful load (warhead), it is guided by laser with diverse technologies and has a range of 8 Km. The effect of a volley of several of them on a block of houses of adobe or masonry is devastating. But it guarantees the elimination of the human selected target.

The equipment of the base is very simple and highly elaborated: the remote control of the drones, several screens and a pedal, in front to the ergonomic chairs of the pilots. The drones have cameras that transmit their views to the pilots in land. A deliberate observation precedes an assault. The pilot of the drone and the controller of the camera, which form one «killer team», observe to his «designated aim» during the whole day, checking his activities. The assault would be realized when, for example, his family has gone shopping. In fact, all the «teams» talk about an «established intimacy» with the Afghan families, observed during up to weeks. Thing that, for example, the foreign soldiers of the ISAF on the area would not know. Neither it seems, according to the medical statistical studies realized, that the pilots and observers were affected by the enemies dead in an important way. Also they reject that their work is like a video game. Though some of them argue that they do not know any video game that is required to observe the aim for hours.

The US Air Force of the Pentagon possesses more than 1300 drones pilots, being employed at 13 bases in the USA. And he would need at once approximately 300 more, at least. The majority of the military missions are in Afghanistan. The Pentagon calculates that for 2015, the Air Force will have to count with 2000. Already he trains more pilots for drones that for the conventional flights: 350 in 2011. And from 2012 the formation is specific for them: the pilots only pass 40 hours on board of a Cessna, without flying in fighters or bombers, learning to direct a drone. The chief of the Air Force HHQQ, general Norton A. Schwartz, recognized that the pilots of drones might overcome the classic ones in the next years. The halo and the combat pilot’s profession change for that of “armchair screen viewer civil servant”. And air bases in the USA increasingly stop dealing with traditional flights «to «direct» drones.

In November, 2011, after an assault with drones in the border with Afghanistan, where died at least 24 Pakistanis soldiers of a control fort, Pakistan blocked the way of the logistic convoys of the NATO following the routes of Khyber and Shaman to Afghanistan, from Peshawar. They are two crucial routes in order that the soldiers of the ISAF, that have used them during the last 10 years of asymmetric combats, receive fuels, equipments, provisions and military material. The Pakistani Defense minister, Ahmad Mukhtar, indicated at the end of 2011, that they might reopen them to the ISAF, if they pay for it. And, according to sources of the Pentagon, Pakistan forced them to dismantle also a platform of drones installed in a base in the southwest of the country, principally manned by the CIA. Washington lost temporarily one of his more powerful weapon: the permission to throw missiles from the not driven planes against the insurgents in the provinces of the northwest of Pakistan, tactics that generalized there from 2008. In turn, Panetta, also indicated then that the USA is «coming to the limit of his patience» with Pakistan,»for his disability to act against the armed groups in the tribal zones». At the beginning of 2013 the drones pulverized the so called mullah Nazir in the province Pakistani of Southern Waziristan (in the tribal zones). The volley of rockets thrown to reach him, also killed two of his more nearby collaborators, Rafey Khan and Atta Ullah, who were accompanying him in the vehicle. Already the USA had previously realized several assaults to finish with his life. This guy belonged to the «neutral» Taliban in Pakistan. And, at least, it was giving cover, helps and logistic support to the members of al-Qaeda and to the Afghan Taliban, who operated at the other side of the border. And probably he was a collaborator of Pakistani «authorities» during some long periods. It is confirmed by the fact that in November, 2012 Nazir was object of an unsuccessful suicide attack at Wana’s market, the provincial capital.

In a declassified report of the Central Command of the Pentagon, published in December, 2011, is assured that «the catalyst of the assault was the opening fire by the PAKMIL (the Pakistani Army)”. But are added that «the cooperation and collaboration in the border were disabled by a mutual distrust climate»; that the orders given by the NATO «were lacking clarity and precision», and that the goal of the mission was «inadequate». The final result was that the Marines’ James Mattis, in charge of the Central Command, ordered a series of changes in the protocols for the frontier operations. And, would not it be that for routine and lack of commitment with the missions, those which existed were not fulfilled well? Finally, bureaucracy will kill the initiative and the inventiveness. And it will turn out that, as with the black greyhound of the Han Chinese, when, being tied, he was asked to catch unattainable hares…

The mutual distrust exists in all the cooperation areas between the USA and Pakistan. Since both countries were sealing an alliance after 11-S, to fight al-Qaeda, the Congress of the USA has sent $ 20000 millions as «economic aid» to Islamabad. The real and practical results of this «alliance» are lean and scanty and the loyalty of Pakistan to the interests of the USA, for which this collaboration is paid, is questionable. Because Pakistan keeps his firm loyalty to the aims of his great or national strategy. Several members of the USA Congress asked for a change of approach in his relations in this geostrategic region. The representative to the Chamber, Duncan Hunter, declared that «Afghanistan needs economic and political stability, to guarantee that the victory of the USA is lasting. And the relation between the USA and Afghanistan must be also a point of interest, not only for the future of Afghanistan, but for the whole region». And Frank Wolf indicated: «It is clear that to manage to triumph in Afghanistan, we must solve first a series of problems in Pakistan. To obtain a military victory in Afghanistan is a thing, but our general success depends on more factors».

The authorities of Pakistan and Yemen, allied of the United States against al-Qaeda, have protested several times, so much for the violation of theirs sovereignties with war actions, as for the death of people who did not have any relation with the conflict. And they warn that this war carried out secretly, destabilizes them and gives arguments to the jihadists.

(to be continued)

The Taliban’ Military Operations in Afghanistan II.

(CONTINUATION)

or The Expert Taliban Military Field Manual

The suicidal Taliban.

The suicidal fighter is a common weapon of the Taliban. The suicidal militant is for the Taliban a cheap, abundant, effective and highly asymmetric weapon. If the explosive charge, its characteristics and the vector are the suitable ones: the sophisticated enemy sensors and the protective jackets use as little against her. Nor the armored vehicles and the buildings serve to be protected from her. The trigger carrying agent can be man or woman and adult or child. It can cooperate in his suicide attack a bushes, a goods selling street place, a donkey, a bicycle or an engine vehicle. A suicidal fighter of one alone use is not a select shooter: it is not necessary to form him militarily (basic, technical and tactical knowledge). Complementary to the explosive belt or jacket, his other fearsome weapons are the surprise, the freedom of action and the initiative.

The suicidal soldier must go unnoticed in the place chosen for the attack: by his age, genre, aspect, movements and attitude. To be able to approach his target and make exploit the load, producing the major possible number of enemies dead and mutilated. The added human and physical hurts that are caused around the explosion point are only «collateral damages”. To calm the repugnances in producing them, an Al-Qaeda «ideologist», Abu Yahya al-Libi, developed a «religious» theory about the not looked for hurts. According to her, it is allowed to the Yihad’s militants to kill Muslims, when it is inevitable. Even, when it is useful to the cause. So, the suicidal soldiers express their desire that the not looked for dead, should be considered also by Allah as martyrs of His «Holy War».

The suicidal Taliban is an essentially inhuman weapon. We do not know any case in which it has used in only destroying a military physical target: a bridge, a store. Sometimes the suicide is used as part of a command, for blow opening the entry to a complex or for promoting with his immolation the surprise of the enemy and attracting his attention. Here the suicide’s «merit», who already must has certain instruction, is that of the whole assailant group in his action.

The motivations of these «sworn-in» are simple. Not to be able to chronically cover his basic natural needs of: sustenance, family, security, refuge and cover, and the reasonable progress expectations is a spur for his enrollment. The economic prizes that the Taliban give to the «martyrs» families are covering this line. The religious motivation is the powerful way of conviction. The suicides of the Yihad are methodically and intensely catechized. And live in an involving «environment» where they get clarify his doubts and that breathe them to prematurely reach the Paradise. The universal character of the Umma or Muslims’ community, facilitates the flow and the insertion of suicidal soldiers from other countries. In the last years, the followers of the Sunna are those who are using the suicide in his «Holy War». They are used by al-Qaeda, the Taliban of Afghanistan and Pakistan and the members of Hamas.

The Military Contradictions in Afghanistan.

The foreign military men are tied by their own contradictions. On one hand, for socially correct or electoral reasons, is avoided to define this conflict, not already as a war, but as what it is: an “irregular Islamic popular liberation war”. That is directed against «a corrupt, impious and unpopular government, puppet of the exterior Allied powers». This way, the Allied armies establish strict “clashing procedures”, which they say that are to protect the Afghan people. But in all when they meet threatened or want to undertake some advances in the Taliban “loose controlled territory”, they only firstly and principally trust in their devastating and/or indiscriminate heavy fire capacity.

The Americans and their allies do not have a permanent and indefinite commitment, the hallmark of the good ally, with the Afghan political regime. That is an incoherent puzzle of tribal and personal interests. Agglutinated by the social and political power that today they hold, use and distribute. Neither is possible to «impregnate» in its entirety and per se, an inorganic western democracy in a Moslem’s country with an ancient, enduring and little evolved social structure. Without liberal principles and forms in her idiosyncrasy, the Afghan leaders and sheiks will use the new political power mechanisms to increase their influence and benefit, in a supposedly modern and free, but inarticulate society. An Islamic democracy, in use and customs guided by the Islam and the Sunna, is not equal to a liberal democracy.

Also exists a complete lack of nearness and commitment with the Afghan people. That perceives the «unfaithful armed foreigners» in his territory, as something temporary, relative, foreign and superposed to his interests and the personal, familiar, tribal, cultural and religious needs, in this order. Only some British managed to be accepted, respected and estimated, in a personal title, by the pashtunes and baluchis. It was the epoch of the British Empire of India and the famous Northwest Border (the Durand Line and the Tribal zones) with Afghanistan. It was a historical distant stage, with events that were going up with a minor pace that nowadays. Where the overseas «service shifts» (» military tours of duty”) lasted several years.

At beginning the summer of 2010, a powerful offensive of the ISAF took place in the province of Kandahar, at east of Helmand, to defeat and remove the Afghan Taliban of their habitual and original social support base. There were used ground and air multinational forces, as in Marjah’s battle in February, and selective commands assaults type «bites and flees». Nevertheless, the offensive was paralyzed without achieving her goals and it is not known of her resumption. Marjah was an important culture and processed center of the opium in Helmand’s province. After the battle and occupation, there was try to establish a local government, dependent on Kabul, which sank immediately and came to nothing. Soon there started appearing in other nearby populations the «green buds» of the Taliban. Who advanced without been disturbed after the military ebb tide.

The operational strategy of the ISAF is unsuccessful. The results of his military actions or are lean or lack continuity and go away vanishing. As would say an illuminated defeated politician: «they only belong to the wind». And precisely, because the Afghan «authorities» would have to consolidate, develop and keep those successes. Here it is easier to militarily win than occupy. And to temporarily occupy is easier that to convince and appease. And to assure and develop a civil native zone got from the Taliban.

THE SOVIET OPERATIONAL STRATEGY.

THE TANKS ARMIES AS THE SUMMIT WEAPON OF THE ART SCIENCE OF THE SOVIET WARFARE.

Its structure, its operational characteristics and its performance according to the Soviet military Theory and in the practice. The practical failures of the Soviet deployments.

From 1943, after the breakthrough of the German semi continuous fronts by the shock or infantry armies of the Soviet Fronts or «armies groups», these sent their more mobile great forces, the tank armies, to the interior of the enemy operational zone. To keep intact their combat and of operational movement capacities, it was tried that they were not taking part in the previous irruption, breakthrough and securing operations in the passing sector, at charge of the mentioned infantry or shock armies.

Prolegomena.

Everything approximately begins with Tujachevski’s «bad» experiences, as commander of the Western Front in the war of 1920 of the USSR against Poland. This way, inferred «the inability to destroy the enemy army in a wide modern front, with an alone blow, in a great battle. What was forcing to achieve this strategic goal by means of a series of battles». The guide of this battles succession would be the operational strategy. So giving coherence, strategic sense and joint in the time and space to the military efforts and decisions. Before the «costly» successes of industrialization of the Five-year Soviet Plans, until the 30s of the 20th century, the operational level remained limited to this successive series of battles. Because the Red forces were integrated essentially by infantry, artillery and cavalry. Weapons restrained, by their essential limitation in the advance speed, to always using this string of victorious battles towards his strategic goals in the military theaters.

Parallel, other Soviets theoretics were working on a new, «more «scientific» strategy, as would correspond with the country «new order», for the employment of the Red Army. So, V. K Triandafillov published in 1929 the book «The nature of the operations of the modern armies». And in the Field Manual (ustav) of the Red Army of 1929, coordinated by A. A. Svechin, many of his ideas were included. In February, 1933, the army issued his Provisional Instructions to organize the battle in depth, which were extended in March, 1935. And the Field Manual of 1936, prepared with Tujachevski’s supervision, which already had 44 years, and Yegorov, was establishing the basic principles for the deep battle and the variants of the operations in the enemy rear. Triandafillov died prematurely on July 12, 1931 in an aviation accident near Moscow. This saved probably him of suffered a few years later the politician paranoiac pursuit of Stalin. The Stalinist purge of the 37s and 38s materially liquidated a generation of high commanders and officials, that had devoted themselves to the study, definition and development of the military operational art. This way, Egorov, Kamenev, Svechin, Tujachevski, Uborovich and others less out-standing, were purged and executed. Their ideas and theories in development turned pale and were guarded, up to well entered the Great Patriotic War. The great units necessary for the employment of operational theory were dismembered in their basic components or units of every Arm, for their easier conduction and employment. And the frightened surviving commanders became much more conservative, stick on to the received orders as limpets, and unwilling to assume even the calculated risks. These insanities inconstancies and caprices of the envy and the poor self-esteem of a predator and distrustfully Red Fuehrer, incapable of the minor empathy, cost more than million casualties to the Red Army, in the first months of the war in the East.

Introduction.

The tanks armies, which only reached the number of sixIn the whole immense Soviet Order of Battle, were using principally in the most promising strategic or operational and even political directions, of the whole extensive war front in the European East. And according to the criteria of the Stavka or High Staff of the Soviet armed forces, under the direct control of the comrade Stalin. Therefore, many groups of Soviet armies or Fronts were not possessing them. They were the elite of the elite of the great Soviet units. And for their men’s endowment and equipments it was tried that were the best available ones and to full theoretical endowment, at least before their insertion in the enemy rear. This way, at the end of 1943, when the Soviet war machinery was acting in full sweeping offensive, only 320.000 men belonged to the mechanized or motorized forces, from the total of more than 4 million men of the Soviet Ground Forces. The need to provide them those, like the aviation, the navy and the artillery with the better educated and trained troops, was letting the infantry numerous forces (around 490 divisions, which were in stable number from 1943) with the most awkward men and the worse formed and equipped. Though the Red Army of the Workers and Peasants (RKKA, the Russian Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия, Raboche-Krestianskaya Krasnaya Armia) was not called officially Soviet Army until 1946, for practical reasons we prefer calling him this way in this work.

The development of the mobile forces and their aims in the Soviet military doctrine.

When one speaks about the massive assaults, by successive big waves, of the Soviets, it is necessary to look for the tactical and human explanation of in the iteration of efforts that marks their doctrine. And in the military and yet imperfect school formation of their men, specially the infantries. Nevertheless, to the favorable and unfavorable characteristics of his national fighting for the survival, in the so called «Great Patriotic War», they could adapt all their social, economic and military efforts. Creating, for example, a number very limited of tanks and cannons of assault models, sobers, easy to handle, hard, rapid, with fuels more advantageous in their combustion Carnot’s cycle and with great fire power, already from the beginning. And that then made for many tens of thousands of units. Delivering a sub-machine gun to many infantries, forcing them this way to assault the enemy, to make him to feel the neutralization massive fire at their shooting effective distance (not more than 70 meters), to have some opportunity to live then. Towards the half of the war, the Soviets had working the incredible number of 310 officials’ schools, with more than 350.000 cadets, which formed during the war approximately 2.000.000 new officials. These were in charge, in their small units, together with the NCO, of giving a more or less military formation to the replacements that in them were received, proceeding from the successive levies of men and women of any age and condition.

The high Soviet commanders knew that, on an equal footing, their men were more worse soldiers than the Germans, especially in the offensive operations. Therefore, they had to win at least all the battles that were turning out to be transcendental in their effort of war. First to survive and, then, to conquer Germany and extend their recently established «political social order» in the Eastern Europe. The secret was residing in the exploitation of the enemy operational zone. That was badly defended by a first line without operational depth, chronically scanty of sufficient and effective antitank weapons, and, especially, chained to a rigid repulse, without transfer of space, by the myopic and distrustful top Nazi directives. And the designed weapon, from the doctrine of the deep penetration, developed by the ill-fared marshall Mikhail Tujachevski and others until 1936, and desperate taken again after the first great reverses in the war, was the top use of the select and scanty armies. That theoretically might reasonably penetrate several hundreds of km in the enemy rear.

In the rest of the large sectors of the front, the Soviets either were kept in the defense. And they were masters in the establishment and functioning of strengthened, almost impenetrable areas, zones and even «regions». Or their infantry divisions, with the support of their very scanty organic tanks or that assigned in tactical subordination and reinforced or not with some Katiuskas’s brigade and some heavy artillery regiment, to realize secondary assaults with limited aims. If the operation was more promising, the Stavka could assign to them some mechanized corps, the mobile more important great unit, always centralize controlled, or, at least, a tanks corps. Though during 1941 and 1942, 80 % of the heavy and campaign artillery was divisional, already at the beginning of 1944, 65 % was not divisional and was integrated to great independent units, the artillery divisions, formed by regiments. This organization was serving to concentrate it crushingly and very effectively in the most promising directions, decided by Stalin and his Stavka, and to facilitate and assure the break in.

The operational zone, its functions and weaknesses.

The operational zone, with a depth in this epoch from 18-20 km to 75-80 km from the front, is the geographical space where develops the process of turning the «mass of support» from the strategic rear (forces, supports, communications, logistic organization and HHQQ) into «units of action», specialized and qualified for their employment against the enemy, with the type of fight decided or imposed by him.

The critical elements of this zone, which is the physical support of that military activity, are: the communications of all kinds: the spaces of maneuvers and operations (zones of units unfolding, waiting, reorganization, re equipment, preparation, advance, provided with covers or non enfilade towards the enemy); the units of engineers and of operational reconnaissance (I include both them for their shortage, importance and universality of employment); the logistic means (centers of data processing and of operations control, warehouses and manipulation means, long distance and delivery transport and delivery areas); and the intelligence centers and those of the operational controls.

The operational zone must have the sufficient depth to be able to contain, deploy, drive, supply and direct the sufficient number of units close to the front, following the necessary spears of advance or attack. To repeat the efforts against the enemy and to obtain the tactical aim that raises or are decided. One differs very marked in the real depth (used) between the zones of the two antagonistic or enemy rivals, indicates a latent tactical weakness of one of them. Either for less military resources or for a slower advance or deployment for the combat of his strategic reservations, from his deep rear. This can be detected by the aviation of exploration. Deprived the active forces of a front of their operational zone, which makes able, supports and stimulates them, the survival of the whole front sector affected is impossible after a short time, for depletion or consumption. The moral effects of the loss of the positive expectations help to precipitate the collapse of this front. The forces will tend to move back or to be called towards the rear, to treat to protect the functional elements that allow them to operate tactically. In effect, for the defense of the operational zone, given the combative defenselessness of her “functional elements” and the scanty combat readiness and the lack of cohesion of the units that wait, reform and are re-equipped there, only we can possess in general the operational already prepared reserves, preferably mobile, and with the deepest and slower reserves of this sector or of the contiguous ones.

The presence in force of a tanks army, deployed in numerous more or less parallel routes of march, fulling all the available roads and paths, generates a great threatening «sector» and always unforeseen in the enemy rear. With an «operational efficiency» extended to his right, to his left side and towards the front. The «real threat» exercised by the mobile groups is a direct function of the distance to their possible aims, measure in «reaching times»; of their «operational movement capacity» to approach them and of their «combat capacity» to damage or occupy them. This creates an «influence», a gigantic «leverage» on the enemy affected zone, altering, dismantling, breaking it and, even, making it prematurely collapse, and without great attrition combats.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

THE BEGINNING OF A CIVIL WAR IN SYRIA

The Syrian troops cause hundreds of dead and injured civilians in their attack to Homs’ city since Friday, 3rd of February. Justifying themselves with making “hot pursuit” of a group of supposed regular rebels in retreat. These actions in force spread already to other cities and small populations of the west of the country. This would be the summary of the news that are received from Syria during February. And with them an important qualitative change has taken place in this masked war. That is increasingly near to burst out and to develop and spread, with the typical characteristics of an armed sustained internal conflict.

Geographical Conditionings of the military Theater of Syria. His operational Characteristics in the Modern War.

Syria is fundamentally a flat country. The life and activity of his inhabitants is assembled and supported by 2 great rivers, the Orontes, which flows from north to south, and the high section of the Euphrates, which crosses his extensive and desert plains of the East, in south-east direction. A thin heights chain, the Ansariyya, which extends in its southern part in the Antilibano and Hermon mountain ranges, now close to Damascus, limits his narrow coastal plain, with Mediterranean crops. At the east of this heights succession, the Orontes, which feeds the irrigation of different crops from the Gab natural depression, allows different urban emplacements, principally Hama and Homs, from north to south. Around the Euphrates, the life sustains, thanks to the irrigations from the river and Tabqa’s dam, in the cities of Raqqa and Day the-Zawr and other minor populations.

As we have seen, the Syrian territory offers a favorable area for the operational movement and marches of the mechanized and motorized units and small units. That are capable of rapidly crossing large and surprising distances for their enemy. Using for it departure bases in their operational rear. This allows also that, any semipermanent concentration of the Syrian Free Army (SFA) could be easily reached, isolated and annihilated by the National Syrian Army (NSA) of Bashar al-Assad.

The Prolegomena of the Civil War in Syria.

Till now the combats between the rebels and the NSA were harassments, skirmishes, ambushes and small assaults to populations, which did not have the character of a «circle and siege», even partially and temporarily. All those had two key characteristics: they were very limited in time and did not have any operational projection. The falls of both «rivals», compared with those of any armed conflict that boasts, were ridiculous. On the other hand, many «minishocks» were not even detected by the normal observers or the international press.

The NSA has made one more step towards the crushing of the revolt, still in his tender buds. But already armed and spreading in «spots» over the whole west of the country. Using also in his «task», the artillery, the infantry heavy weapon and the heavy direct fire of the tanks. Heavy fire that, till now, seeks to sow the panic between the enemy soldiers and his civil supporters and the neighbors of the redoubts and strong temporary rebel points. Without that, with the direct and indirect support of their fires, take place military ground actions of operational transcendence. Only there happens the employment of «groups» of snipers by both parts. The select military men infiltrate and establish themselves, forming a short, discontinuous and broken front line, that covers a sector or strip of great frequency of movements in the population or city. And the rebels realize the neutralization action of the military snipers. And, while the panic produces the people’s move out, but rarely the flanks overflow, the soldiers advance, rolling in the created «emptiness». But without penetrating in it in force and decisively, to dismantle the rebel defense. Or to divide in sectors the enemy enclaves, as maneuver before their mop up by parts.

The self named Syrian Free Army in the Syrian Civil War.

It is a conglomerate of dispersed and unlike forces. That come from the intermittent desertion of small groups of members of the different forces of the NSA. There do not exist elements of the Air Force, which we know, between the rebels. The SFA is far from constituting an organic stable and consolidated structure. His order of battle is constituted, in his pinnacle, by the regional «brigades». These operate tactically in the “urban bed” of the Orontes. Looking only for limited goals of harassment or sudden attacks against the security forces and local important authorities. They do not have intention of defending the goals that are occupied. And they shelter at once, more or less deployed, in the nearby mountain chains. Or, forming small but integrated units, in some neighborhoods of the turbulent cities of Homs, Hama and other populations.

This rebel Syrian army, is better qualified and trained that the local «brigades» (hundreds of Lybian improvised «qatibas», in the style of «sans cullottes» or of the Iranian «basijs») of the questionable Libyan National Counsel of Transition. At least, his men possess a unit of doctrine, regulations and armaments. They have plenty of the varied personnel weapons, including the RPG family and her improved HEAT rockets of hollow lcharge and free flight and some heavy infantry armament (mortars and machine guns). His great weakness is his penury of armored vehicles, of artillery and of the antitank organic weapons of the companies and the specific battalions for antitank fighting. And the lack of a logistic stable network, sufficient and provided regularly.

Here also exists the social psychological phenomenon of raising in 2 or 3 degrees the category, the real size and the capacity of the real deployed and operative units. And that, for stale, does not cheat anybody.

Other active Protagonists of the Civil War in Syria.

The Syrian Army is the army of the nation. And it is formed proportionally as her, by a majority of sunnies recruits. That is which feeds, together with NCO s and junior officials of same origin, as an exuberant nursery, the ranks of the FSA. The Army is formed by approximately 200 thousand persons, most of recruit. The potential of the nation for a supported annual recruitment is around 220 thousand men. And it can reach even more than 320 thousand persons, with the first mobilization. Army is integrated by 3 army corps and varied and numerous independent units, with all the branches and available services. Within his upbringing is included a «political indoctrination». Not as severe, extensive and constant as that in the Communist armies, that look to imbue them with hatred towards the Zionist enemy and with loyalty to the Government and the Party.

The Army is «observed and controlled» by a younger brother of Bashar, Mahir, from his headquarters of the Republican Guard (the Haras al-Jumhuriyya). And by his brother-in-law Asef Shawkat, who directs the whole State Security, through his different institutional branches. In all the military «units» are «observers» of the Military Intelligence. Also there are several «Special Forces»units, formed exclusively by alauits volunteers, that nowadays received the joint name of «Force of Rapid Deployment», at the usage of other national armies. They are light infantry reinforced units, with the highest level in motivation, training and combat readiness.

If we want to speak about the combative efficiency of the Syrian Army, we have to depart from his specific “combat capacities». Definite and calculated by colonel Trevor Dupuy. And that refer to real values exhibited in conflicts. The last ones, calculated from the Yom Kippur’s War, were giving a value of 2,54 Syrian soldiers for one of the Tsahal. This was placing them over Jordanians and Egyptians, with values below 2. For more than 20 years, an improvement is perceived in the quality of the military personnel. And the junior officials receive now more tasks and are promoted also by his value, within the habitual parameters of the Arabic armies.

In this multicolored social military scene, are also present a few purely local autonomous militias, without operative connection between them. They do not exist in all the places and neighborhoods. There are out of the Baaz and his politician paramilitary militias that, for the moment, are inactive. Those try to keep a minimum of social internal order and the safety and the movement of the citizens and goods in the different enclaves, small populations and slums where they act. Their armament is merely the infantry personnel weapons and hunting firearms, in very varied number and composition depending on their location and contacts. Both the «task groups» of the SNA and the rebel bands keep, in this period of development of the fighting, a tolerant status quo with these civil militias. Which realize a suitable civil police labor for all.

In many alauits neighborhoods operates a paramilitary governmental militia (the «habiha»), formed by select militants of the Baaz. In different Sunnis neighborhoods act irregular armed rebels from the Muslim Brothers. It is very scanty the presence of radical religious Salafists and his furthermore exiguous local appendices. The past suicide attacks in Damascus were ascribed to them. This introduces a “social instability factor” in the “real parameters” of this war. That performs major effect and importance, that would correspond to it by the number and aggressiveness efficiency of these social religious radical Islamic. Finally, there also are «Sunnis irregular volunteers» from Iraq, without pays since the retreat of the USA. That would be crossing the Syrian border and her Eastern desert, to join the armed fight against the regime of the Baaz.

(to be continued)

THE NETWORKS WAR II.

(continuation)

The urban effective guerrilla war. Another principal domain for the swarming groups in the networks war theory.

It is not easy to use and defend the urban zones of repulse. Its employment demands high requirements to the rebel combatants:

An enough motivation, which encourages them to follow the arms way and risking their lives for their cause. And appeases and rationalizes them the inevitable fear of the fighting in the close distances with a superior enemy, until the seniority offers to them new impulses.

A good training in the infantry fighting, which gives them trade and confidence. A successful cooperation between the small units that garrison the zones, that guarantees them a cohesion without fissures in their tenuous and lean deployment. And that allows and facilitates the command conduction and the accomplishment of his plans. To get iron nerves tempered by everything previous, that accustom them to fight in solitary or in small groups, refusing to flee in face of the implacable threat of the military heavy fire. For all this, among the few tens of thousands of armed rebels existing, not more than 15% of them can in these moments use this kind of defensive fight. The military networks and the swarming of «small sections» have in these two operational characteristics, their major deficiencies.

These urban irregular enemies are protected extending their defensive positions beyond the necessary in a conventional defense, covering this way a major occupied surface. In the defense zone they establish delaying points, more or less reinforced. These protect the most critical positions of the zone, that incorporate in the defense the buildings with steel structure, specially resistant, and form fire bags to trap the enemy that gets through. The resistance nests have here more importance, provided that the occupation of the zone of defense is more tenuous, that they cannot strengthen the positions too much for covered reasons, the sights are more short and exist numerous approximation routes. They depend on the delaying points and to them they fall back if are invaded or destroyed. Numerous alternative or extras positions exist, more of the habitual in the urban fighting. This allows to deceive the military enemy about the forward limit of the defense position, its real extension, the limits of the sectors that form it, the intentions of the rebel command of the zone about its defense and to disperse the heavy fire of the attacker. In the edges of the urban zones they never establish these fixed positions. Those are occupied by combat advanced parties, which mission is to receive the possible explorers or civil observers, to avoid surprises and to deceive about the tracing of the defensive zone. The occupants of combat advanced positions, distributed in pairs of sentries and some very small mobile patrols, fall back in their moment towards the more interiors delaying points.

These «fortresses» are diffuse, secret and imperceptible to strangers. In a few hours the previous works are reinforced and occupied. Its communication routes need more working time to get done, but also are less evident. It is necessary to enter the houses to detect perforated walls and to find alleys under a furniture or a carpet. These positions are not complex. They need a few interlaced firing sectors, an immediate protection against the enemy irruption in mass or with elite commands, some covers against the heavy normal fire and a sufficient concealment that covers them from the sights of the enemy probable successive positions and his approximation avenues. The obstacles and the mines, even false in certain percentage and always distantly to not betray them, will serve to break the enemy assault and to offer to them more static targets, for example for the mortars, which will have registered its fires. The destruction that generates the wide heavy fire support without aiming a precise target, reinforces the rebel combat positions, surrounding them with debris that divide and impede the accesses of the military, except when they are reached by a ordnance direct impact. To operate this defensive structure the rebels have prepared numerous and narrow tunnels, dragging trenches and gaps in garden walls and interior walls of the buildings. In such a way that, away from the enemy sights, allow them to occupy the combat and observation positions at wish, to defend them more or less time or not, to move among them and to reinforce the most threatened or pressed places.

Generally they try to shoot from the front, with isolated or couples snipers armed with the SVD or M-14 sniper rifles, at individual and small groups of enemies. And to attack from the flank or the rear at the enemy units that penetrate in their defensive zone, which already are disintegrated in squads or sections with one or two armored vehicles. Those prepared communications allow them to appear, always in small number, behind or at the flanks of the units, while these stop, regroup, ask or receive instructions, or decide where to advance, and to erode them, causing some casualties. For example, from a basement or a floor, through an irregular hollow in a yard or garden wall, under a parked or destroyed vehicle in the street, where it emerges a narrow tunnel with a covered and disguised exit. From these positions the armed rebels throw some RPG-7V rockets or several short blasts, always aiming, of the RPK light machine gun or the obsolete RPD. The interior houses courts serve them to place the mortars, which constitute their the only «heavy fire» source, protected by an infantry position. They fired them with the maximum angles on the abundant, large and always excessive military concentrations. The usual mortar is the 82 mm. Russian modern M-1937 model. Here that the attacker presents three times more men (in means the proportion must be 20 to 1) neither favors nor facilitates their labor. But this offers the persecuted defender more targets to be able to use his exiguous fire power. Especially because, in a given moment, is small the attackers’ proportion that are putting in real distress the defenders.

Also they possess an effective and increasing anti-aircraft defense of short range. From other courts and roofs, always protected by a nearby infantry resistance nest, several teams of light anti-aircraft rocket shoulder launchers carriers are arranged. Their location in the deployment is done depending on the most probable and most dangerous aircraft approximation directions for the defense. If they are sufficient and shoot skilful, they could use two nearby, but not contiguous launchers, whom form a team, and that shoot successively and rapidly (the SAM-18 flies at 2 Mach) against an aircraft or towards an enemy air formation in immediate approximation to its target. A typical rocket would be the SAM 7, called «grail» and «strela» (arrow) in not Cyrillic Russian. It had successive improvements and today is replaced in the military arsenals by the SAM 18 former mentioned, that has a useful attack height of 3,5 km (the double). And guides, a fuel rocket, an explosive head and a bait detector, all improved. The shoulder shooter limits himself to direct the launcher already loaded towards its target, wait until the missile confirms the target’s acquisition and then squeeze again the trigger. And to get hide.

The crucial moment for the defense comes when the zone commander decides to evacuate it, after having stopped and delayed the enemy for some time. Trying to cause him losses as high as possible, but without been exposed excessively to a fighting at the close distances, or to be outflanked or to lose his freedom of action. This is inexorably tied to the transfer of space to the military enemies. For it the rebels avoid in opportune moment the direct assault of their enemy, not his extensive or vague bombardment. The rebels must have sufficient exit tunnels directed to not very nearby buildings (often official and even respectable (mosques), offices, companies and some houses) or not evident dry riverbeds (wadis) and bushes in the open land. From there they could disperse through the ground in very small groups towards friends reception positions, in the first moments. The protection of the evacuation is therefore vital and both entrances or exits from these tunnels are always covered by resistance nests, which take to end their rigid defense.

All this cohesion, discipline, formation, training and firm and effective command of the irregular classic units, are distant of those of a military lax structure of networks or of the swarming of independent groups over an enemy or defending itself from him. Where are in this new theory, the center of gravity or the reiteration of efforts or the saving and optimization of the material and human means?

The effective operability of the units and small military units.

The war of networks tends to a too extensive subdivision of the military units. Turning out the «little group» or the net «knot», as tactical independent effective unit (TIEU). With them they would seek to extend the front (so the actions) on a more awkward or passive enemy, to disturb to his command and to alter his plan of fires.

But this is not practical in the operational level of the war.

The subunits tactically related need to have and keep a strip of advance or, at least, the little ones, a direction; a protected and concealed support fires (antitank and anti-aircraft defense and for neutralization and blinding of the enemy); the operational and permanent nearness of a logistic vehicles team, at least for health and to re-put ammunitions; a depth of the deployment, with a certain reserves; and his protection towards the exposed flanks and rear. All this supposes a minimal «tactical entity united and commanded», to keep both his security and resistance to the surprises, his combative efficiency, his deployment and his capacity of tactical movement.

And that they have to share with their companion units, a part of the fulfillment of the aim of their high command. And to have a combat mission directed on the enemy, as part of the gravit center of the efforts of the «major unit» of her. To avoid that these “group or nude” type units roam through the operational field, without a clear, effective and operatively transcendent intention.

All this reduces capacity and possibilities of employment to the networks and to the clusters of multiple «micro or small independent units», within the spectrum of the «situations of efficiency» that are raised and offered by the theory.

Here is an example of the correct employ of modern conventional military units. Against a reinforced infantry position that has advanced antitank weapons, a typical defensive zone, if it cannot be outflanked, an enemy dismounted infantry can break through or destroy it. It can be follow by tanks advancing by covered bounds to offer protection and direct fire support. The defender’s antitank will look for a relatively large and protected target, that it can hit from covered positions or, at least, from well-camouflaged positions, that are flanking the armored vehicles. And will fire by batteries with dispersed guns, so that the same enemy heavy fire can not incapacitate them. The infantry’s heavy weapons (machine guns in tripods) neutralize by «sweeping and searching» a more or less narrow frontal zone, that is occupied in depth by small, soft, dispersed targets such as an infantry platoon.

Attacking tanks can use H.E. and H.E.S.H. shells to overcome infantry strong positions and their infantry squads can attack with light machine guns the enemy antitank weapons, to prevent them from sighting or fix a target. All this destruction and neutralization, once irruption is achieved, proceeds in worm-like movements deep into the tactical zone of the assault sector of the interarms unit. Other parts of the enemy’s position that could collaborate in the rejection are blocked by smoke and/or neutralized by indirect fire.

At the same time, advanced observers from artillery and aviation corps will be defining new targets to its units, in addition to those found by assault units along the flanks and deep (through combat exploration) in the advance sector. The criterion of the gravity center of the fire of support at least will be neutralize all the targets that are opposed to the advance towards the enemy position, to the irruption and to the struggle inside the defense position of in the assigned sector. This will facilitate the direct fire and shock produced by the ground attackers, by means of concentrated and precise fire blows.

This optimizes effective action in a given environment at the level of the tactical groups of action or combined arms systems, whose complementariness has been described. In broken, undulating, wooded or urbanized (housings and factories) areas (not necessarily mountainous), the lack of sight control and the abundant “concealing relative heights” reduce the sector of “interfaces of action” with the enemy.

The suitably-sized “combined arms system” continues to be the element of effective action. The action is effected by companies or reinforced interarms platoons, with heavy fire support provided by battalions (medium and heavy mortars). Except in areas that are very flat and with few “sight obstructions”, ground “transitability” (more than simply “ground on going”), which physically limits the possible “interfaces of action” with the enemy, can prevent the fight using concentrated resources that are beyond those of a company. The battalion role will be to reinforce the efforts and distributing supports.

In these cases, existing communication ways, especially those more or less perpendicular to the front, are critical to land actions. Blockading these ways affects tempo (the total speed of the operation) enormously, by the difficulty presented by sloping or obstructed areas that surrounds them (forests, gullies, constructions, un-reinforced fords). The advance slows down or the forces have to be dispersed onto parallel available routes, forcing them to enter other difficult bordering areas.

Otherwise, contingency plans for units must provide for overcoming four types of unforeseen situations that can impede or endanger a mission. These include:

a) Possible direct action by the enemy in using or recovering initiative. This might take the form of an interdiction bombardment or counterattack. The solution is to tactically neutralize his action, without compromising the mission.

b) Possible encounter with the enemy. This could occur during combat exploration patrols or could be confronted by sentries, advanced security forces and advanced detachments and deep exploration patrols. It is necessary to submit or push back the enemy and to rapidly and temporarily change positions or direction, to not compromise the mission.

c) Possible unforeseen obstacles. These could be ditches, slopes of more difficult soil, blown-up bridges, floods, and storms that affect an area’s transitability. It is important to overcome these as rapidly as possible, while maintaining security and extending exploration.

d) Possible defensive/passive action of the enemy. These can take the form of an ambush, minefield, reinforced cut defended by fire, rejection fires of a defense position or antitank obstacles. These must be overcome as soon as possible, as in the case of natural obstacles, to avoid being moved by the enemy in a direction that is favorable to a counterattack or toward a zone covered by artillery or by convergent fires (bag fires zones).

In general terms, including in the commander’s plan, these must always be pursued:

1) To overcome or repel the enemy and/or unforeseen obstacles which hinder one’s forces and provide information to the enemy.

2) Avoid losing resources (or resources that are neutralized, detached or repulsed) that are important for fulfilling the mission. The surviving enemy can use compromising information, but he may receive it too late to be effective intelligence for him.

3) Resources necessary for the mission must be available for its execution. This multiplies efficiency, after commotion and the incident losses, to maintain a high momentum of execution: this being the product of combat capacity by the average speed of movement in a given period and in a certain direction.

The example of the preparation and action of General Patton’s 3rd American army in counterattacking the German penetration in the Ardennes illustrates the difficulties (its «incident» was a sudden change of mission, direction and execution) and the possibilities gave by the «momentum» of execution.

None of this is improvised. It is the result of practice and is the fruit of frequent training, the organization of work and the coordination of the H.Q. and all commands. These sayings remind us of this: «it is performed as it is trained» and «the man is an animal of habit».

In practice the degree of general military obtained efficiency, will be determined by the idiosyncrasy of the nation, the character more or less gregarious or independent of her peoples, both her military doctrine and tradition, the defense budgets, her » national moral», which feeds and holds her «will of defense», the political national and international situation, the integration of her institutions and national organisms in the regional or international area, etc.

THE NETWORKS WAR

An Innovation or a Rhetorical Redundancy?

In the last five-year periods diverse theories are appearing on the action of military units in networks, or forming a «cluster», around a slower tactical aim This with minor combative alert and/or deficiencies in exploration or intelligence and with worse shooting sectors for his rejection fires. An analysis of his mechanisms and operations demonstrates that they really lack the structural originality and the wide combative efficiency that they raise and offer.

The operational of the «netwars» and the «clusters» of small units of action.

The «little groups» that would create the hived of erosive actions on the enemy or the «networks» that wrap, scourge and/or isolate the goal, not always are or have to be such “small units” «almost independent». An example of the efficiency of the centripetal action of a whole Army, maneuvering on the enemy by Army Corps, in an dislocating and constrictive action, is the battle of Ulm.

In September, 1805 Napoleon moved his «Army of England» to the Rhine, deploying his 208000 men between Mainz and Strasbourg and renamed he the «Great Army». The French “Grande Armée” was formed by 145000 infantrymen and 38000 troopers, joined 7 Army Corps, each one at the orders of a French marshal, a great cavalry reserve commanded by the marshal Prince Murat and the Imperial Guard, directly under Napoleon; to them 25000 allied Bavarians were added.

Taking as usual in him the initiative, Napoleon decides to give the first strategic blow against the army of 72000 Austrians that, at the orders of the general Mack and the archduke Fernando, son of the emperor Francisco II, was advancing towards Ulm, without waiting the arrival of help from their allied Russian.

Napoleon is going to use against the Austrians what we can call an operational effort of gravity center. It would form, if you like so, a network. But an immense network with very fat knots. Whose «singular functioning», already was satisfactorily and profitably offering and explaining by the operational strategy. The characteristics of the process of establishment and functioning of it are the originality, the flexibility of the deployment, the consistency, its not predictability by the enemy and the efficiency.

The operational gravity center supposes the centripetal action of all the means and their lines of action, of the «branched out» activity of all the units and services. Not necessarily coincidental, but convergent and resultant in their synergy, in their efficiency and in the result. By means of the different and coordinated lines of advance or of action, we induce uncertainty and insecurity in the enemy, disperse his rejection capacity and disturb his Defense Plan and its systematic conduction by his commands.

In an ample advance of his independent Army Corps, the Grande Armée (around 210000 men) quickly crossed the center of Germany, from the Rhine to the Danube, between September, 25 and October, 6. With this, it operationally interposed between the Austrians (about 40000 men) and their allied Russian forces that went to help them. The Austrians did not understand the need of the rapidity of the movements, thinking only about the battle, as the only instrument of the decision. The French initiated the crossing of the Danube on October 7, 1805 and, during the following week, Napoleon converge most of his Army Corps in an enormous restricting spiral on Ulm, while a Corp with enough forces watched for the arrival from the east of Russian General Kutuzov.

General Mack made, in vain, several attempts at rupturing Napoleon’s forces, applying his greatest efforts in Haslach and Elchingen. Both Austrian commanders quarreled among themselves and Archduke Fernando, with his 6000 troopers, separated from the main force and tried to escape to the northeast. But Archduke Fernando’s forces were surrounded and beaten by the cavalry Corps of Murat, near Trochtelfingen. Another 12000 Austrians surrendered in Neustadt.

General Mack and the rest of his men (about 27000, after the mentioned battles), with Napoleon’s overwhelming forces at the doors of Ulm since October, 14, came out the city and laid down their weapons at the feet of mounts Michelsberg. The capitulation was signed by General Mack on the 20th. The campaign, without properly battles, cost Austria more than 50000 men (around 70%) of her initial forces of about 70000 troops.

The explanation of this Napoleon’s paradigmatic success, being served the habitual theories of the war, the exploitation of the human weaknesses (emotional intelligence) and the “correct sense” of the command, seems to us more natural, appropriate and established.

The subversive Islamic networks. The case of al-Qaida. His real «military» operational.

The operational actual characteristics are:

His unnecessary and indiscriminate brutality, which discredits them with his religion. We can mention a minimum of 4 important moral “aleyas”or verses, that they despise and disobey, without Allah had changed these for them. Sura 2, aleya 100 «We do not abrogate any verse of this book, or we will not make erase one alone of your memory, without replacing it by an equal or better other one».

The absolute absence of venerable and pious ulemas and muftíes at his side. These are the doctors of the Koranic Islamic Law and of the Sunna.

His great operational decentralization because the universality of the Umma, which comes out the idea of nation or race. This prevents them from obtaining permanent strategic aims. Though his punctual actions are important, painful and fearsome.

This way, his fighting area is tactical, using «actions of bite and flee». Which, paradoxically are very similar to those of the regular armies who fight them. That, avoiding the personal risks and the close distances fighting, use their elite forces in «actions of hunt, capture and extraction or death». And use their “drones”, as expression of their confidence in their technological support. This is the military reason of the lack of efficiency of the western soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan. And not mixing in a superior aim at operational level, the different and costly actions that carry out in these countries. Which deprives of real results the labors of education, social and civil development and pacification of their governments and the foreign military forces and expatriated civilians. Since those need the complementarity of the military victory and the progressive physical and/or social isolation of the radical rebels, to be effective and permanent.

The accumulated cost of the military American interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan (so called «war against the terror») was till now 2,2 trillions of dollars. This bleeding throughout a decade to the income of the USA Administration, has specially helped to increase the deficit of his National Debt. And to giving reasons to the Obama Administratiion to initiate an extraordinary political and strategic retreat, «to attend now to the things at home» and «to limit ourselves to the war against al-Qaida». Without leaving our allies and friends, of course.

And his action primer element is the terror. This way, his victory is thanks to those they can terrify or, at least, worry very much. And in the plethoric and slightly effective mobilization of the economic and social resources of the enemy nations. And, because the major vigilance, capacity and means of the western countries, they do not hesitate to operate against other Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, etc.

His failure in active and firmly joining to a social wide group, which would gives coverage and permanent impulse to his movement. The most mentally ill activists are in the habit of being isolating progressively from society (at least, emotional and ideologically), though they «live» within her. For the sake of his violent methods, to which they sacrifice everything for the efficiency. They follow a process of segregation, purification (in his unexpected not orthodox rites they fast, use water of sacred places and green streamers with inscriptions of the verses that favor they), consecration and radicalization. Up to coming to the death and even to the suicide in his punctual actions.

His zeal for advertising, to which the West contributes insensitively, stupidly and tast.

His aim to strike all governments, as the radical and aggressive caliphate in «dar-el–Islam» (Muslim integrated independent lands) does not exist nowadays.

Al-Qaida is an Islamic radical movement organized vertically and from below to above, that spreads and makes concrete in his «franchise swarms». His structure, flex, decentralized, release, makes that his «cells» do not know exactly which are the higher chiefs. They only know where they have to go to receive support or to send or receive information or to communicate with another «equal» cell. The high commands of this movement act by exception, not by presence or by deliberate action.. This way, they give doctrinal orientations, establish great lines of military and proselytizing action for the different territories and areas, they throw threats and notices to the enemy governments and indicate punctual important aims (seudo strategic) at the level of the whole organization, though they should be realized in a given area. This allows them to work enough good, without the intervention of their high commands. Among these chaps or «barons of the fanatical death», are Addel Malek Droukdel, leader of al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghrib, and Abu Bakar Bashir, called the «clergyman militiaman», founder of the Jeemah Islamiya or al-Qaida of Indonesia and condemned in June, 2011 to 15 years of prison in his country. The «martyrdom» of Ayman al-Zawahiri al-Masri (the Egyptian), former «managing director» of Bin Laden, in a bombardment with drones or ordnance, would affect little to their efficiency, at their current levels of military irregular action.

How work the networks and the swarms of small units and in which circumstances?

The battle of mount Majuba (February 27, 1881) was a case of effective employment of the «small independent units». That hived on an enemy conventional unit, type battalion, and destroyed he, finishing with it the First Boer War.

At the end of this, general Colley directed a small British army to Transvaal territory. Here he decided to occupy Majuba’s extinct volcano with 600 m. height and that was dominating the right exposed flank of the camp of wagons (laager) of the Boers. The British force was consisting of approximately 650 men, integrated in 4 companies from different regiments, and lacking field artillery and machine guns. They occupied the flat summit, which was free and established positions in her, in his edges and in the south base of the height, to protect their retreat to the nearby base of mount Prospect.

Though surprised, when the Boers verified the absence of artillery of the British, they prepared to recover the mountain. To their favor they had the total knowledge of the area and their great mobility in it. The mount was formed by alternative strata of schists and limestone, with deep gullies and masses of rocks and thick bushes of dark mimosa. With what the sights of the different defensive British sectors were intermittent and of short range. All this was ought to the independent and irregular character of the Boers shooters and riders. That, even, were feeling free to move to any part of a battlefield, where they believed themselves more useful. Till then, the Boers were keeping a defensive strategy in the war.

The first group of 50 men came to the Majuba’s north slope and were taken by the «general» Smit round the hill, to its south side, to fix the British placed there. Boers’ clusters were appearing from all the sides and continued waiting for their chiefs’ arrival for directing them. Approximately 150 Boers began to climb over the hillsides in different moments, while a similar number was supporting them with a neutralization fire on the edges of the summit. The men who were rising were gathering in independent clusters. In them, a part of the Boers was climbing from a refuge or concealment to other one, whereas other part was offering to them a barrier of gunfire. The latter part, under the protection of the first one, was climbing then up to the last reached level. This work of approximation to the top extended for approximately 6 hours.

The British were kept under cover in the edges, but soon they realized that the enemy was approaching below them. The first assault crowned in the west side. The company of 92º infantry regiment of lieutenant Hamilton began to be attacked from the front and its reverse. Some subunits kept as reserves in the center of the small plateau were advanced to the west. The British were keeping their disciplined fire by volleys. The Boers were shooting individually, resting on ground and loading and began another shooting cycle. The British moved back towards the center of the position. Some Boers, which were coming almost to the top from the west, moved to the north and also attacked the right enemy flank. Others reached also the top from the south, also attacking lined up to the left flank.

The British tried then the break for the south side, lowering in a hurry and taking the way to mount Prospect. In the pursuit there took place the majority of his casualties. The British suffered 96 dead, 132 injured and 56 prisoners. The Boers had 1 dead and 5 injured men. Several are the operative and tactical mistakes of the Red Coats in this final campaign of the war: to lack campaign artillery to beat the camp of the Boers, that had served them to repel to the «clusters» enemy that were appearing in the top; his shooting technique was ineffective against fleeting and dispersed targets; they were not knowing and did not explore the area in which the battalion spread out; the Boers, as all the irregular soldiers, highly displease the close combat and/or by the bayonet, but, in this case, they did not avoid and used it, which surprised the enemy.

But also, this approximation work to the assault distances and without losses of the own combat capacity, can be perfectly realized by many military «action units», without engineers’ training. Divided in teams and still in men pairs or buddy teams, they can take advantage of small drops, flooded fields, verges, ditches, bushes zones, ravines, etc., and even with the concealment of the night and/or the smokes. To close on the enemy and realize an non too deep incursion or to reach his flanks or his rear, even slipping between his combat positions. And though the enemy is strengthened and provided with heavy fires, it can be done by more upbringing and trained units. For it is necessary to have and to keep a previous exploration of the enemy, his movements and habits. The employment of the grenades and not the individual fires of is fundamental to confuse the sentries and the enemy combat positions, of the scope and intentions of the attacker.

Also the war networks and the military clusters can work in favorable circumstances with cavalry irregular mobile forces. An example is the battle Carras (in Latin, Carrhae, nowadays, Harran, in Turkey), where the Partian archers riders of the general Surena defeated the triunviro Marco Licinio Craso and his Roman legions in 53 B.C. The Roman army of approximately 39 thousand men, only was possessing 4 thousand light infantry or vélites and 4 thousand riders. Craso penetrated in the northen plains of Syria in pursuit of the enemy, who was refusing the fight. Finally, near Carras the battle raised up, in an area totally favorable to the cavalry.

The Romans formed a defensive rectangle, which was surrounded by the Partian cavalry, that only the Scitians overcame they in quality and capacity. After some initial skirmishes with the vélites, the Partians were hived on the formed infantry. And they began a long harassment from the effective shooting distance of their arrows and lances, out of the range of the Roman pila and gladius. The legionary deployment faced a dilemma: if they were keeping such closed formations, they would end hurt by the enemy missiles, and, if they were trying to charge on them, breaking a little their formation, simply they were avoiding by them. The Partians squadrons were attacking following a given direction. His riders were approaching by rows, were throwing his missiles and were moving back to his rear following their sides, in an endless and infernal cycle. The harassment lasted up to the dusk.

During the night, a part of the legions sheltered in Carras. The following day, they continued their retreat up to the nearby Armenian mounts, where the cavalry had a difficult area. Surena offered to negotiate to Craso. But, during the negotiations it arose a fight and Craso was dead. After this, the remains of the Roman army dispersed or gave up themselves. Only approximately 5 thousand men came back to their departing camps, approximately 10 thousand were caught and the rest was dead. After this experience, the Romans progressively increased the cavalry of their armies and legions. And at the beginning of the 4th century A.D., she supposed 25 % of their forces.

The one that believes that in similar circumstances, favorable to the mobile swarms and with direct effective fire capacity, these results always repeat, can be wrong. In effect, on the 27th and 28th of October, 1942 in the Egyptian desert a series of comat meetings took place between German and Italian units of the Afrika Korps and 2 º battalion of the brigade of Rifles of the British army. This one took fixed positions in an opened place called Snipe, at the west of the Kidney hill. With the reinforcement and concealment of the positions and the support of a group of 19 6 pounds (53 mm.) antitank cannons, the Britishs could surprise their enemies on their limits and location, reject several direct assaults of the tanks of the Afrika Korps and resist several bombardments of artillery and assault cannons.

At the end of the second day of combats, the Germans left their attempts of squashing and invading the Snipe position. They had lost in them more than 50 diverse armored vehicles. Snipe was resisting and was kept. Though a third of the garrison had fall and only had 6 useful antitanks. Almost all the Bren machinegun vehicles of the battalion were destroyed. Finally, the Britishs left the position and withdrew.

The circumstances and the epochs that can favor the “units clusters” or the networks war are very selective and exclusive. This way, the own theory, though correct, is at least insufficient and not much elaborated and, therefore, probably unnecessary. In effect, any new theory that looks for his implantation, respect and acceptance, must explain satisfactorily all the aspects known about a given phenomenon (the tactics, the logistics, the operational level, etc). This is a necessary condition, but it is not sufficient. And, here his innovation and principal value will reside, it must make clear new ways of approximation and advance to a major knowledge and domain of the mentioned phenomenon.

(to be continued)