Marine Combat Action in Dahaneh

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 2 months ago

The U.S. Marine are staying on the offensive in the Northern part of the Helmand Province, in Dahaneh.

U.S. Marines in Afghanistan are meeting fierce Taliban resistance as they push deeper into the strategic Helmand province town of Dahaneh.

Surface-to-surface missiles and Harrier fighter jets have pounded insurgent positions in the surrounding hills.

Marines launched a pre-dawn raid Saturday against a Taliban position on the southern edge of the town, storming a fortified compound. They blew up two towers from which insurgents had fired rockets and mortars at U.S. troops the day before.

Marines found marijuana plants growing in the courtyard and confiscated trigger plates used to manufacture roadside bombs.

U.S. troops launched the assault on Dahaneh early Wednesday, hoping to disrupt Taliban supply lines and establish Afghan government control over an area held by the Taliban for years.

In Why we must chase the Taliban we observed that we will not be able to cede the mountains to the Taliban as safe haven and still protect the population.  We recommended that:

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.

In the spirit of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force, Harriers are targeting the Taliban.  This is a good first step, but it’s too easy to evade air power.

Here is a report about continued combat action in Dahaneh.

The Taliban fighters fleeing via vehicle will be back if the Marines don’t stay, and in any case, whether they deploy to a new location or return, they must be chased and killed.  We can only play whack-a-mole for so long under the doctrinal rubric of population-centric counterinsurgency and the hope that marginalization of the insurgents will cause them to lay down their weapons.

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You are currently reading "Marine Combat Action in Dahaneh", entry #3600 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Marines in Helmand and was published August 16th, 2009 by Herschel Smith.

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