August 7, 2012 in U.S. Marine Corps
This study examines the history of the fighting in southern and western Afghanistan since 2001. The Marine Corps Intelligence Activity sponsored the study. Its purpose is to give Marines a basic understanding of what has happened in southern and western Afghanistan. Most Marines will operate in that area and we hope a historical reference source will be useful. If the study has any single argument it is that government misrule has been a driving factor behind the continuing violence in southern and western Afghanistan. The Afghan government favored warlords, handicapped competent governors, took part in the poppy trade, and allowed the police to abuse the people. Scarcity of security forces and collateral damage from Coalition operations did not help either. Yet above all, we find it unlikely that the instability in southern and western Afghanistan today could have been averted without addressing government misrule.
August 1, 2012 in Department of Defense
Over the last 10 years, the U.S. government has made significant investments in science and technology in order to enhance its ability to understand and shape public opinion and behavior abroad—a domain of activity referred to in this report as “shaping,” “influencing,” or “communication and persuasion.” Because this effort is taking place across a vast government bureaucracy, the policy-makers and practitioners engaged in communication and persuasion do not always know what tools are at their disposal and what tools need to be invented. To address this problem, the Department of Defense’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) issued a “Strategic Communication Science and Technology Plan” in 2009 that surveyed the government’s programs in this area and their gaps. To keep abreast of the latest technological developments, RRTO commissioned CNA to update this report for FY 2012. The updated report discusses domains for future investment in research and development (R&D); identifies gaps and proposes new science and technology (S&T) initiatives; and surveys current S&T programs.
October 5, 2010 in U.S. Marine Corps
This short book provides an up-to-date introduction to the tactics employed by insurgents in southern Afghanistan during the years 2005-2008. It includes vignettes and maps on 19 different tactically significant engagements. The book covers three types of attacks: ambushes, attacks on fixed positions, and defensive engagements. The intended audience is Marines and soldiers going into theatre.
May 31, 2010 in U.S. Navy
In early July 2008, a British infantry company based in Sangin set up a patrol base south of the town, along a major insurgent transit route. Within days, the insurgents attacked the outpost, known as Patrol Base Armagh, and attempted to cut it off from the company headquarters downtown. They laid IEDs along the outpost’s supply routes and harassed its troops by firing small
arms and RPGs from different directions. The insurgents managed to pin British forces down in the outpost and move around the position to the south.