I am sure the following article in the Defensenews.com was overlooked during the that installment of the fast and furious (AKA the election and its associated campaign).
Here is the link for you to read for your self.
If ISAF, the majority composition being United States forces, is truly wining the hearts and minds of the Afghanistan then why are these numbers being reported?
Why on Sept 20th 2012 did the head of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) (What a name, who the hell comes up with these zingers? He should be fired!) Lt. Gen Michael Barbero reported to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee “in the past two years, IED events have increased 42 percent, from 9,300 in 2009 to 16,000 in 2011. This year we’re on track to meet or exceed the number of events we saw last year. In fact, this July we saw the highest number of monthly IED events ever recorded.”
Does this sound like we are wining?
And this from the Air ForceTimes
At the time Air Mobility Command Combat Tactics Branch chief and director of operations Maj. Thomas Lankford, now Lt. Col. Thomas Lankford is quoted as saying “about 40 forward-operating bases were supplied by airdrop alone last year”. That would be for the year 2011. This number was later updated to 43 forward operating bases.
“43 forward operating bases in Afghanistan were supplied solely by air, with 27,000 troops receiving all of their food, water, ammunition and fuel from the sky, dropped primarily by the U.S. Air Force” (Defense weekly)
Imagine that? 43 manned forward operating bases that through a combination or impassable terrain, poor to non existent roads, IED’s, and either direct attack by hostile enemy forces or the threat of direct attack by hostile enemy forces, we the ISAF/NATO United States Armed forces were forced to resupply these elements via airdrops. It sounds like the end game at Stalingrad for the Sixth German Army, and or the French Far East Expeditionary Corp at Dien Bien Phu. Thank god that the Taliban do not have anywhere near the anti aircraft artillery that the Soviet Army and Viet Minh had. It appears that we the United States Armed forces do not control our lines of communications (LOCs) (This is not a good thing).
We have had 10 years to improve the road networks, but for a myriad of reasons have been unable to accomplish this task. Number one reason cited is the territory is not safe, meaning the hostiles currently have enough of a presents to deny us the use of the ground. But even in area where it appears that we do control the country side improvements seem to be singularly unimpressive. Case in point is the Salang Tunnel, which with the loss ground resupply routes from Pakistan via Khyber Pass, has now taken on new importance, since it is now the only ground route left for bring NATO/ISAF supplies into or in the case of a draw down out of Afghanistan. The toll and fees on the Pakistan route are considered to be too excessive. Cannot really blame Pakistan, with the announced draw down and such the money train is due to leave the station soon, and you want to strike while the iron is hot. NATO/ISAF staff is just getting around to planning on upgrading this tunnel, which by most accounts is in terrible and fairly unsafe conditions. The tunnel that was completed in 1964 was designed for 1,000 vehicles per day traffic now experiences traffic in excess of 16,000 vehicles per day.
While and when the Pakistan route via the Khyber Pass was in use as the primary supply route for NATO/ISAF supplies it accounted for 80 percent of supplies delivered.
In 2005 the first year that the Air Force started to track airdrop of supplies, only 2 million pounds were delivered in this manner. In 2006 3.5 million pounds of supplies were reported as airdropped. 2007 8.1 million pounds of supplies were air dropped. 2008 16.5 million pounds of supplies were delivered by airdrop. 2009 32.2 million pounds of supplies were airdropped. 60.4 million pounds were recorded as airdropped in 2010. It was reported that 30 million pounds of supplies were air dropped. In 2010 the United States Air Force reported that 60 million pounds were air dropped. In 2011 80.4 million pounds of supplies were air dropped. We do not have number for 2012 but my bet is that it is greater or equal to 2011 numbers maybe 92 million pounds (it is just a guess).
For those of you who are more visually inclined I have provided the following graph.
To put into daily terms and scales that most of us know as to how much is being delivered via airdrop in Afghanistan, I have provided the following examples.
In 2006 it was weight equivalent of dropping the 1.4 Ford F-150’s from the sky everyday for the entire year. 2007 we are now dropping 3.26 F-150’s from the sky everyday of the year. In 2008 we are up to 6.65 F-150’s everyday of the year or 1 every 4 hours of everyday of the year. 2009 it is 12.97 F-150’s, a little over one every two hours everyday of the year. 2010 we at 24.17 F-150’s everyday, or 1 every hour of everyday for the entire year. 2011 it is 32.39 F-150’s everyday, or 1.34 every hour of everyday for the entire year.
Be advised in the process of doing all of this we are flying the guts out of our C-130, C-17, and C-5 aircraft fleets, they will not make there project operational life time since those calculation were based on lower number of annual flight hours, but that is another problem for another day.
There was also the US Marine Corp experiment in Afghanistan with 2 unmanned K-MAX helicopters with the capability to the delivery of up to 3.5 tons of supplies to forward operating bases. The Marines decided to perform this task at night in order to reduce the chance that the vehicles would be taken out by ground based small arms fire. As reported in Defense Industry Daily, since November 2011 to July 2012, the 2 K-Max aircrafts have flow 485 sorties, with 525 hours in flight and delivered more than 1.6 million pounds of cargo. This 1.6 million is in addition to that delivered via airdrop by the United States Air Force.
And then there is this from the following link
June 2012 the United States Air Force Air Mobility Command Chief Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr. predicts that about a third of the forces in Afghanistan later this year will be supported exclusively by airdropped supplies- everything from food and ammunition pallets to water and fuel bladders. If that is not another stone on the pile that we do not control the ground what is?
The ever increasing tonnage of supplies being airdropped to forward operating bases, the increasing number of IED being encounter, and one must assume that these are in the area’s that NATO/ISAF feels are under there control, since we can deduce by the airdrop numbers that the command will not even consider resupply to these sites by convoy.
Does this sound like we control the countryside, or even enough of the countryside to make a difference.
Based on Brian Cloughley (Analyst for IHS/Jane’s Sentinel) post in found here in the The News
God only knows how sedated the briefer of the Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen was and for that matter how sedated the Secretary General of NATO was when he was briefed. The Secretary General is quoted as saying afterward that “The enemy is being pushed further back from the population”, and “We saw Afghan security forces that are growing more capable and more confident” as stated in the article these statements by the Secretary General are “ misleading to the point of downright dishonesty.”
We still have Green on Blue incidences, yes the number are down, I suspect because NATO/ISAF has significantly reduced the amount of exposure NATO/ISAF personnel have to ANA personnel.
Does it sound like victory?