The Power of Commitment

liberate_mosul_infographic_desktop_4The above graphic from CNN illustrates an interesting point: “it isn’t the size of the man in the fight, but the size of the fight in the man.”

Even with solid support from artillery and bombing, and a vast (but largely green) army of uncertain loyalty, grinding down ISIS is going to take some time. I’m used to 5:1 or 10:1 ratios to gain a victory in the field, but 21:1?

And then, there is that 500 US contingent opposing ISIS. Not even 0.5% of that fighting force, but how much effective firepower, how much weight do they bring down to the battlefield on behalf of the good guys? Five percent of the total army? Maybe 20%?



About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!
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2 Responses to The Power of Commitment

  1. Andrew says:

    A major problem with fighting real, hardcore ISIS fighters is identifying who the real, hardcore ISIS fighters are. They don’t wear uniforms, they dress like the people they rule over, they don’t wear rank, they live in family groups.

    Yes, you can identify them easily when they ‘be drivin up yur encampments, bustin bombs on yur rodes’ like, but once an action is over, they disappear like smoke, or as normal people put it, in head-to-head open field conflict. Not so much when fighting in a village or city. It is the problem with fighting ‘irregulars’.

    And most of the fighters that are fighting are ‘fellow travelers’ or levy troops, not the 5k of hardcore followers. All can pretty much disappear just by dropping whatever weapons they are using and any identifying marks such as armbands, and moving a foot away from what was dropped. (Lots of videos of US troops not engaging a person in a field until said person points a gun, and then having to stop engaging when said person drops gun and walks away. Sad, bad Rules of Engagement.)

    The active anti-ISIS shooters have been, and are, racking up huge numbers of enemy casualties, but the supply of the faithful is, unfortunately, pretty much endless, and again, the numbers are based on what ISIS is telling people. Line up everyone from the hardcore to the part-timer and the number will be more at par with the ‘good guys.’

    Speaking of the ‘Good Guys,’ the Peshmerga, Kurdish redneck militia, have some really interesting videos on the youse-tuuuube. The videos are somewhat harsh, and the English sub-titles or comments are, ah, hrmm, colorful to downright offensive (but correct if you take it in the Kurd’s context.) Probably the best light-fighters (raid, swift motion tactics, think Celts, or Persians of the Thermopyle era) of any of the tribal/regional forces in the Middle East, and they are learning heavy tactics (heavy tactics is what the US troops are. Think Airborne, Marines, Rangers, or Regular Infantry. Even if they aren’t in vehicles, the US troops carry heavy, fight in tight, cohesive groups, hit hard, hit hard again, and don’t fall apart when hit. Think Roman legionnaire, or Greek hoplite.)

    To learn what tactics actually work well against such an enemy like ISIS, read below, at your peril. It is a recommendation for some books that explain what to do…

    Warning – non-Safespace info below – read at your own risk!!!

    Tom Kratman’s ‘A Desert called Peace’ and the followup book ‘Carnifex’ give very good descriptions on how to identify and prosecute a war against tribal and not-so-tribal Islamic Arabic forces, or tribal forces pretty much anywhere (would work in most Asian countries, too.) They are good reads, fast paced, very informative, with heroes and villains galore, and won’t damage your mind much, as long as you are not at home crying over the election. If you are crying, DO NOT READ KRATMAN as it will KILL YOU!!!!! (But seriously, he, and many other Baen authors, write very good, very informative and not very politically and socially ‘correct’ books. Reading them may imperil your soul (or brain, if one is an atheist.) You’ve read my comments and sometimes he’s a tad harsh for me, and I like blood, guts, intrigue and the Norman (people, not Bates. sheesh, you guys.) way of politics (move in, rule with gentle mailed fist, intermarry, and salt the lands of those who piss you off. (Kinda the Solly way of interstellar conquest.))


  2. Andrew says:

    Also read that during the most active of the IRA in Ireland (instead of the IRA in your finances) the British Army faced… about 60-100 active fighters. Most of the time, 20-40. More a disorganized terrorist gang than an army. That is being protected by the population. (Think gangs in Chicago today, for example. The residents actively support in hiding the very gang members, that are actively preying upon them, from the authorities that are trying to protect them. Cognitive Dissonance, anyone?)

    The British Army has been fought to a standstill by this gang, and the rules of engagement, and not trying actively to kill off the civilian population that is passively/actively resisting the Army.

    Just imagine the problems if the active IRA had been 5,000. It would have been much like, well, Iraq today.


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