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Leaving Vietnam vs AFG

Treetop Flyer

Well-Known Member
pilot
Civilian Voters: "We won't tolerate another 9/11! You have to stop the terrorists by any means necessary! And by any means, we mean any means that don't involve Boots On the Ground™. Because the news reporter and my college professor told me that Boots On the Ground™ are evil and bad. Because that means we have a Quagmire Forever War™."

Politicians and DoD leadership: "OK, got it. Hmm, how do we bust up terror plots WITHOUT putting an assault team in to kill or capture them? I know, airstrikes. But we need persistent ISR to have any hope of finding the terrorists in the first place, because good HUMINT involves Boots On the Ground™ and that won't get half of us re-elected. Hmm. Oh, I know . . ."

(Politicians and DoD leadership step up drone strikes because they basically have to to accomplish the first paragraph)

Civilian Voters:
Don’t forget pursuing regime change in Libya and calling it a “no fly zone”
 

wink

OLD VS NFO.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Trump escalated the drone strikes, while "unleashing" the commands with broader permissions on when to take the shot. They were very tight under Obama, as far as guaranteeing who the target was and getting permission. And they work.
Is your point to defend Obama by pointing out Trump followed his lead? I expect the same consequences came to pass in Trumps drone war, but how does that absolve Obama of the consequences? Two wrongs don't make a right. When people get over Trump, the history books will note Trump mostly met his objects in Iraq and Syria. Seems all Obama did was play stall tactics.
 

taxi1

Well-Known Member
pilot
Is your point to defend Obama by pointing out Trump followed his lead?
No, just correcting the record on "the vast majority of civilian casualties from drone strikes occurred on his (Obama's) watch."
But the tower didn't fall and tens of thousands of people didn't die.
Well...duh. But if we invaded Afghanistan to prevent a future attack, then wasn't 9/11 the future attack we should have prevented by invading Afghanistan following 1993, when we got lucky? Otherwise, the horse has left the barn already.

I get it...no deaths, no need for retribution. but consider what I am saying. Why did we need a successful attack to get us moving?
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
One of the things about humint (and I'm not claiming this is the case in this drone strike- besides, how would I know anyway) is sometimes the tips come from a source who has their own agenda that's a lot different from ours- but we might have just a few common interests (the enemy of my enemy is my friend concept). Sometimes a source names a person with whom they have an old score. It's up to the analysts to assess bits and pieces information that come in shades of gray, then it's up to the commander to make the call.

When someone in the chain of command states that they have "good intel," the word good is a relative term.

Just food for thought.
 

Hotdogs

Leeroy Jenkins
pilot
One of the things about humint (and I'm not claiming this is the case in this drone strike- besides, how would I know anyway) is sometimes the tips come from a source who has their own agenda that's a lot different from ours- but we might have just a few common interests (the enemy of my enemy is my friend concept). Sometimes a source names a person with whom they have an old score. It's up to the analysts to assess bits and pieces information that come in shades of gray, then it's up to the commander to make the call.

When someone in the chain of command states that they have "good intel," the word good is a relative term.

Just food for thought.
Modern multi-discipline intelligence and corroboration techniques prevent these issues and are almost always used during target development to make sure we get the right guy. Unless you’re surrounded by a bunch of amateurs. Not saying we’ve always done that right way either. We’ve definitely gotten a lot better than 10-15 years ago. That is in addition to a thorough CDE process and hundreds of hours of ISR saturation in certain/most AOs.
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I get it...no deaths, no need for retribution. but consider what I am saying. Why did we need a successful attack to get us moving?
Because there's a world of difference between "crazy terrorist said he was going to knock over the WTC" and "holy shit, crazy terrorists actually knocked down the WTC." I mean, the guy who shot Reagan thought it would make Jodie Foster fall in love with him, and obviously no one believed that THAT would happen. We didn't go to war until 9/11 because until 9/11, no one seriously believed a terrorist attack could do that much damage. It was all hijackings, car bombs, and spree shootings, which are squarely law enforcement problems. The only person who had the idea of turning airliners into kamikaze guided missiles was Tom Clancy, and everybody was like "ha, great book, Tom! I mean, it'll never happen in real life, but it was a good story."
 

taxi1

Well-Known Member
pilot
Because there's a world of difference between "crazy terrorist said he was going to knock over the WTC" and "holy shit, crazy terrorists actually knocked down the WTC."
More lijke "crazy terrorist almost knocked down the WTC" on the first go. Two vans full of explosives instead of one, and a good chance it all comes down. They also put real thought into putting poison into the bombs, which filled the tower with fumes as it was.

If we had put 1/10th or even 1/50th of the post-9/11 effort into a post-1993 effort (on top of what we were doing).

It's human nature to need that big loss of life to get us off the dime, but worth pondering on.

I was downrange when Saleh Nabhan was hunted down. Proud of the fact that we never forgot the African embassy bombings, and kept looking for him until he was exterminated.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Obama's increased use of UAV strikes was in large part not wanting to take prisoners'. Prisoners complicated his intention to empty Gitmo or worry about an "ally" having them escape from their prison. It increased collateral damage, and decreased humint from interrogations.
You're assuming that the folks we targeted could have been captured and interrogated when a good number of them were not in any way accessible to us other than by reaching out and touching them via a Hellfire or similar means.
 

wink

OLD VS NFO.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
You're assuming that the folks we targeted could have been captured and interrogated when a good number of them were not in any way accessible to us other than by reaching out and touching them via a Hellfire or similar means.
No, I did not assume ALL of the targets could have been reached for capture. It certainly was not 100%. But some number could have been. That is hard to deny because it was done with a much higher frequency before. No one on this forum can say that 100% of the strikes under Obama we on targets absolutely unreachable for capture. So, we are right back where we started. It is a matter of record that the use of UAV strike increased under Obama, collateral damage went up and captures went down.
 

taxi1

Well-Known Member
pilot
No one on this forum can say that 100% of the strikes under Obama we on targets absolutely unreachable for capture.
I know for a fact that sites were exploited after strikes, so we got there. More than a few were reachable.

Not capturing solved a lot of sticky problems.
 

wink

OLD VS NFO.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Not capturing solved a lot of sticky problems.
Of course. I pointed that out. But it was at a cost in other functional areas. As for exploiting a site after a strike, we were referring to human targets. If hit with a Hellfire you will not have a human to exploit. You'd be lucky to get something for DNA analysis.
 

taxi1

Well-Known Member
pilot
Of course. I pointed that out. But it was at a cost in other functional areas. As for exploiting a site after a strike, we were referring to human targets. If hit with a Hellfire you will not have a human to exploit. You'd be lucky to get something for DNA analysis.
Papers, computers, phones
 
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