The Art Of Military Surveillance In Afghanistan

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Surveillance has been successful in Afghanistan which is evident by the high number of enemy insurgents killed by military drones. Intelligence is the most vital part of modern warfare because it can either win or lose the battle for you. Good intel will almost certainly assure you a military victory. One example of the results of good intelligence was the Persian Gulf War of 1991. The biggest mistake that Saddam Hussein made during that war was that he left his forces in one place for too long of a period of time. The US collected intelligence on them the entire time and had developed war plans which were so detailed that our artillery was able to hit them with the first rounds fired. All of the ground units knew exactly where the Iraqi army was located so they made detailed plans of attack.

The only hindrance in Afghanistan to successful surveillance and reconnaissance is the large land area which must be kept under surveillance. There is too much land mass to accurately track so our military must keep an eye on the logical areas of ingress into Afghanistan from Pakistan and the areas of egress back across the border.

There are various types of surveillance methods which work well in the terrain of Afghanistan. We will talk about just a few of them here.

The first type of surveillance which the US uses is the deployment of observation posts. This is the most reliable way to get intelligence about the enemy because the troops can be debriefed about what they saw. The interviewer can ask detailed questions and get inferences from what he is told because he is dealing with human beings who have the ability to think and reason. An outpost placed on high ground will have a commanding view of a very large area. A few troops placed in a commanding position on the battlefield would do a lot of damage to an enemy force. The disadvantage of this is that the small outpost can be overrun very easily if it is discovered by the enemy. The troops who make up the outpost also have to be resupplied from time to time. They must be removed or replaced periodically.

Advantages are its reliability, its mobility, and the fact that many different outposts can be set up with overlapping lines of sight to give a more comprehensive visual coverage of the battlefield.

Drones are also being used in Afghanistan with a very high degree of success. The biggest advantage of the drone is that it can b used to surveil a massive amount of territory. The other advantage of using the drone is that you can move it quickly and stealthily from one area of interest to another. It gives an excellent picture of what it sees on the battlefield. Drones can be employed in teams to attack targets as soon as they are discovered which cant be done with surveillance teams because it would give away their position. This has been the key to their success in Afghanistan. Drones are very reliable but they also have some disadvantages. Disadvantages are that they cant remain over one area for a very long period of time. They have to be repaired and refueled periodically, and if they fail mechanically they have to be recovered from the battlefield in order to keep them out of the hands of the enemy.

Ground sensors and ground surveillance radar are two other methods of performing surveillance but they are less reliable. The biggest disadvantage of these types of surveillance is that they may not provide an accurate picture of what they sense. When vehicles or people are spotted by these they cant tell the difference between friendly and enemy forces. They can be employed for extended periods of time and are good for
getting a general sense of what is happening in the designated area.

The smart commander will employ a combination of all of these different types of surveillance methods to get an accurate picture of what is occurring on the battlefield. Battlefield intelligence is vital to our success in this war. Military Ring Express
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The Art Of Military Surveillance In Afghanistan

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This article was published on 2010/11/24
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