- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
This reminds me of Peters of a year or more ago. Good analysis and recommendations on what is going on with our helos:
Choppers Down: What to Do
By Ralph Peters
New York Post | February 8, 2007
Within two weeks, four choppers go down in Iraq. Shot down. By ene mies who previously couldn't hit the Goodyear Blimp.
Attack helicopters and transport birds, military and contractor aircraft went down. Crews KIA (in one case, executed). Did the bad guys just get lucky?
No. They have new weapons. And new training. And a new strategy.
First, the strategy: In Iraq, helicopters serve as our taxis, moving personnel quickly and - until now - safely above the carnage on the ground. Attack helicopters provide quick-response fire support to the grunts, giving us a huge advantage.
Limit our freedom to fly, and you not only reduce the ability of Apache gun-ships to kill our enemies and save friendly lives, you force us onto the roads. And the roads are where bombs and ambushes can further restrict our movement.
The insurgent/terrorist/militia strategy is to lock us down, to slow our responses - ultimately, to paralyze us. Our enemies not only seek to level the playing field, but to tilt it against us, practically and psychologically.
Good strategy. Can they make it work?
Not without help. Those birds appear to have been knocked down by a combination of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and gunfire. Gunfire's always been a threat, but aircraft are surprisingly tough to hit unless you know what you're doing. Man-pack SAMs require some basic training, but find their targets much more reliably.
Unless these shoot-downs were a weird blip, foreign powers are involved, providing the missiles and training - probably outside of Iraq. Our intel services either already know who's lurking behind our enemies' new capabilities or will confirm it soon enough.
And who might those third parties be?
Iran? You bet. Even though those claiming responsibility for the shoot-downs register as Sunni Arabs, the Iranians are perfectly willing to aid their long-term enemies to defeat us in the short term, calculating that they can deal with the Sunnis later...