Mashup: Afghanistan, convoys and the Taliban

I wrote a paper about convoy security back in 2003/04, just out of curiosity. I did the research anyway and sorted my thoughts by writing the article.
It was a general paper - not focused on the Afghan or Iraqi roads and circumstances and I showed it only to very few people. My expectation was that Afghanistan and Iraq would yield very specific experiences - a poor time for a general paper.

The paper was influenced the most of the Russian convoy experience in Afghanistan, Vietnam convoy experience, the South African and Rhodesian road mine experience and the low degree of harassment to be expected in former Yugoslavian countries.

I didn't focus on what became as "IED" (improvised explosive devices) or on EFPs (explosively formed projectiles), but on AT mines without command detonation and on real ambushes.

The Iraq occupation experience seems to have been mostly about harassment by insurgents, not so much about real ambushes. The losses were relatively low and quite simple changes of equipment and procedures reduced the impact of the harassment while intelligence-based raids took out the sources of the harassment.

Afghanistan looks quite similar in its less "hot" areas, but some reports about more intense combat including real ambushes is available now.
One such report is this: http://www.michaelyon-online.com/images/pdf/the_eagle_went_over_the_mountain.ppt

Very early reports from Afghanistan reported a quite low degree of warrior quality - like an unwillingness to crouch in dirt and that they're easily bribed to turn sides.
Meanwhile reports of combat in the past two years included reports about Vietnamese sapper-like attacks on compounds through tiny ditches at night, proper ambushes, deception and dispersed movement to joint assaults. The Taliban are ambushing and defending against regular infantry on patrol and raids.

I wonder how long it will take the Taliban to grasp how to be very lethal against enemies who use hard body armour.

Our $%#**= participation in the long Afghan War already lasts for about seven years and the enemy is apparently improving and still not well-understood.
How long will it take to arrange some kind of situation there that allows a withdrawal that the right wing can paint as a "victory" to feel fine about war?


P.S.: I can send a PDF copy of the paper by e-mail if anyone is interested. A proper publication isn't planned any more.

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