Amateurs Talk about Strategy, Dilettantes Talk about Tactics, and Professionals Talk about Logistics
The title of this posting is a well known saying amongst military officers, via a posting by Colonel Lang on his site comes an article by Matthew Nasuti in the Kabul Press entitled "Taliban Could Defeat NATO in 30 Days". In his article Nasuti argues that the Taliban have both heard the saying and understood it. There’s a short extract of his article below but you really should read it in full.
Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s announcement on September 8, 2010, that the Taliban was close to victory against NATO should not be dismissed. The Taliban have the military capacity to shut down the NATO supply links to Pakistan and other adjoining countries. NATO and American forces have such exorbitant daily supply needs that the Taliban could force some or potentially most Western forces to retreat from Afghanistan within 30 days.
Western military supplies (other than ammunition, weapons, communications gear and some spare parts, which apparently are all air-lifted) filter into Afghanistan through a small number of mountain passes and then are internally redistributed through a poorly constructed and insecure “ring road” system. On June 20, 2009, Major-General Michael Tucker, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations of ISAF in Kabul, told Philip Smucker of the Asia Times (for his story Afghanistan’s Road to Somewhere), that:
“Security in Afghanistan is ultimately defined by our ability to build and defend the ring road.”
He was correct and the Taliban know it. As seen in the daily military incident reports, the Taliban have spent years practicing and perfecting their road interdiction tactics. NATO and American forces do not possess the manpower to patrol 3,000+ kilometers of primary roads. In contrast, the Taliban possess the capacity to cut, block and disrupt this road system. The bridges, overpasses, tunnels and passes are especially vulnerable to sabotage during the winter months.