Operation Hemorrhage

Al Qaeda has a new asymmetric warfare strategy. Instead of plotting spectacular attacks that might take years to plan and execute, they’re now intent on carrying out cheaper, smaller, more frequent attacks with the goal of causing economic damage by making the West respond to the threat, whether the attacks succeed or not.

Al Qaeda Promises U.S. Death By A ‘Thousand Cuts’

Printer bombs planted on two cargo flights last month cost only a few thousand dollars and were intended to affect the American economy, according to a newly published Al Qaeda-affiliated magazine.

The attempt was called “Operation Hemorrhage,” boasted the magazine, and the entire plot cost al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, only $4,200.

. . .

The magazine also revealed the attack was not meant to kill more than the plane’s pilot and co-pilot, and was meant to force the U.S. government to spend billions of dollars on preventive security screening measures.

The strategy, the magazine said, was “of attacking the enemy with smaller, but more frequent operations is what some may refer to as the strategy of a thousand cuts. The aim is to bleed the enemy to death.”

See also:
Al-Qa’ida plot cost only $4261
Cargo-bomb plot cost just $4,200 : Al Qaeda
Al Qaeda claims parcel bomb plot cost $4,200
New issue of Al Qaeda magazine details failed mail bomb plot, signals shift to smaller-scale attacks
Qaeda Branch Aimed for Broad Damage at Low Cost
Al-Qaeda boasts of ‘bargain’ bomb plots
Al-Qaeda vows to continue parcel bomb attacks
Small-scale attacks to continue, Al Qaeda group says
Report: Would-be plane bombers post attack details
AQAP: Mail Plots Successful, Cost Low
AQAP Releases Special Issue of ‘Inspire’ Magazine ‘Operation Hemorrhage’ – Dedicated Entirely To Explosive Parcels Plot

So far, even though none of their attacks has been successful, AQAP is achieving its goal of causing massive economic damage by forcing the West to onerously tighten security measures, at great expense, in response to the terrorist threats. This new strategy costs al Qaeda next to nothing, while the West does all the economic damage heavy lifting against themselves, trying to defend against the perceived threat, whether the threat is real or implied.

/perhaps the best example of how well this new al Qaeda strategy is working is the ongoing TSA debacle

In Your Face Taliban, The Coalition Is Coming To Take Marjah And There’s Not A Damn Thing You Can Do About It

U.S. Announces Helmand Offensive

In a rare break from traditional military secrecy, the U.S. and its allies are announcing the precise target of their first big offensive of the Afghanistan surge in an apparent bid to intimidate the Taliban.

Coalition officers have been hinting aloud for months that they plan to send an overwhelming Afghan, British and U.S. force to clear insurgents from the town of Marjah and surrounding areas in Helmand province, and this week the allies took the unusual step of issuing a press release saying the attack was “due to commence.”

Senior Afghan officials went so far as to hold a news conference Tuesday to discuss the offensive, although the allies have been careful not to publicize the specific date or details of the attack.

“If we went in there one night and all the insurgents were gone and we didn’t have to fire a shot, that would be a success,” a coalition spokesman, Col. Wayne Shanks, said before the announcement. “I don’t think there has been a mistake in letting people know we’re planning on coming in.”

The risks could be substantial, however. By surrendering the element of surprise, the coalition has given its enemy time to dig entrenched fighting positions and tunnel networks. Perhaps worse for the attacking infantrymen, the insurgents have had time to booby-trap buildings and bury bombs along paths, roads and irrigated fields. Such hidden devices inflict the majority of U.S. and allied casualties.

Over the past few months, the new allied commander in southern Afghanistan, British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, has revamped NATO’s coalition strategy in a region that is home to the Pashtun tribes and opium poppy fields that form the ethnic and financial foundations of the Taliban insurgency.

With the first of 30,000 new U.S. troops already on the ground in Afghanistan, Gen. Carter’s plan is to focus on two population centers—Kandahar city, in Kandahar province, and central Helmand province to the west. Combined, they are home to about two million of the estimated three million residents of southern Afghanistan.

Still, the military has taken an unusual step by broadcasting its imminent intention to assault a particular town, Marjah, and its environs. During World War II, civilians and servicemen were frequently reminded that “Loose lips sink ships” and “Enemy ears are listening.” For months leading up to the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944, the Allies went to great lengths to disguise their target.

Similarly, the coalition in Afghanistan normally forbids—at the threat of expulsion—embedded reporters from writing about events before they take place. In this case, though, officials even released the name of the offensive, Operation Moshtarak, and said it would be a joint Afghan-coalition attack. Moshtarak means “together” in Dari, although the bulk of the population in southern Afghanistan speaks Pashto.

See also:
Allies publicly target Taliban
Coalition troops brace for biggest offensive since start of Afghan war
Marines gear up for push into Afghan Taliban enclave
Marines prepare to storm Taliban stronghold
US Marines, Afghan and NATO forces brace for battle in Afghan Taliban stronghold
US marines plan attack on Taleban stronghold
US, NATO, Afghan Troops Planning Major Southern Offensive
Troops Prepare and Publicize Offensive Against Taliban
Afghanistan: US and British to launch biggest offensive since 2001
U.S. Plans Defense of Kandahar

An interesting Coalition strategy indeed, will the Taliban flee in humiliation or flock to Marjah and die en masse? The overhead drones will surely be watching.

/either way, we’re taking the town