Why we must chase the Taliban

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 1 month ago

In Follow and Kill Every Single Taliban we covered and commented on the view of the local Afghans we are trying to protect in this population-centric counterinsurgency campaign in which we are engaged in Afghanistan.  Thus far, we haven’t the troops and helicopters to engage in the chase.  God must be very patient with us, because we get yet another example and object lesson of why we must chase the Taliban (Operation Eastern Resolve).

Day two of Operation Eastern Resolve is drawing to a close. We are with Golf Company, with the 2/3 Marines, they have had a pretty busy day. And camera man Mal James and I spent some time with the Marines in this very dangerous town. It got off to a little bit of a rough start.

We’ve been hearing Taliban fire all around us, coming into contact with the Marines. I can hear it right now.

These Marines are working with another squad, another platoon as they work their way down this village trying to clear this place. But the Taliban aren’t giving up.

The Marines are going house to house, they’re going compound to compound to make sure that there are no militants remaining and they’re doing it while the Taliban that the Marines didn’t kill yesterday try to kill these Marines today.

Morning patrols faced some fairly stiff resistance — the Taliban firing from positions in the mountains surrounding the town, as well as sniping positions in town as well.

Not an easy job, but they’re doing it, and the sense today is that a corner has been turned. Hot temperatures here today though, and some very tired Marines here tonight.

The snipers in the city are one issue.  If they stick around they will be killed by the Marines.  The firing positions in the mountains are a different issue.  Protecting the population will be impossible if we don’t give chase.

We must use our technological advantage – night vision, air power, sniping skills, infantry patrols – to kill them in the mountains.  Night time patrols into the mountains, along with pre-deployed Marine scout snipers, would be just the ticket.  And the ROE must be robust, where offensive actions can be taken (i.e., Marines don’t have to wait for the Taliban fighters to brandish a weapon).  No one – NO ONE – is backpacking for recreation in these mountains.  Give chase and kill the insurgents.  This is the best protection of the population that can be effected.




You are currently reading "Why we must chase the Taliban", entry #3591 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Marine Corps and was published August 13th, 2009 by Herschel Smith.

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