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Re: Planetary defenses [FT] OT

From: Los <los@c...>
Date: Thu, 01 Oct 1998 20:45:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Planetary defenses [FT] OT

Richard Slattery wrote:

> This isn't entirely true.
> The Eritrian Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF) was supported (and
> alternately opposed) by Sudan, the Arab states (principally Saudi
> and Syria) and the Soviet Union. It's one constant supporter was
> Somalia.

I spent several months in Eritrea working and advising their armed
forces and
developed many close ties with military leaders there. I read a few
books about
the revolution before I went over and had many many discussions on the
with them. What's more aI received a passle of briefing on the war from
"our own

Contrary to popular belief, the EPLF received virtually nothing from any
these governments listed. No weapons, no training, no radios no
(though towards the end their were relief organizations kicking around.
Everything they got they took from the Ethiopians and Russians.

They did have a sort of alliance with Sudan, which was fighting it's own
also. The eritreans supplied the Sudanese with some weapons and the
safe haven when things got hot. Occasionally individual Eritreans hid
over in
the border. But if you could ever see eritrea, you would see that the
much of
the terrain is an impregnable fortress, something like Afghanistan. The
bulk of
all forces set up defended bases in the north and were never kicked out.

> That is not to say that they did not manage to take advantage of a
> totally incompetent Ethiopian military and largely equip themselves
> from that source. Even so, the EPLF and TPLF both suffered serious
> that
> Y marginalised them at times.

Yeah so who wins every battle in a 30 year war? Whenever they suffered a
they retreated to their mountainous strongholds and recouped.

> The EPLF also notably allied with the TPLF (Tigray Peoples etc
> etc) at times, or at least mounted anti government offensives in
> unison, although in different areas.

Yes well you can consider both movements successful. They were fighting
the same
enemy in the same country (meaning greater Ethiopia) for different

> Boiling all this down gives the following. If the USSR had kept
> supporting, and the Ethiopian military/government hadn't been so
> incompetent, the EPLF would still be fighting a 30 year old war with
> little to show but the suffering by starvation of it's own people.

Hillariouis! That's exactly the point. You want to try and grind down
invader and go for the long haul. How long is a major power supposed to
roll a counter insurgency operation like this? 30 years, fifty years, a
And by the way, the Russians had thousands of advisors (and Spetznaz
working against the Eritreans and it didn't do them any good. And if the
were still bankrolling them they'd still be fighting. These are stubborn
proud people. And how long do you suppose Ethiopia could afford do go on
the casualties that they were? What do you think helped fuel the tigray
movement? For chrissakes the Russians were actually teaching the old
1941-1942 Human wave assault doctrine as the primary means of assault
for the
ethiopian army. I'm sure their attitude was "Hey they're too stupid to
tactics since their just dumb-ass Africans so they just need to throw
mass men
and material at them".

Let me tell you something about the Eritreans. Here's a poor province
nobody in the world have a shit about and most most people never even
heard of.
But they are the most squared away soldiers I've ever worked with. (in
20 years
of working with foreign armies)  everything about the way the conducted
guerilla war was text book. A lot of it right out of the UW/insurgency
Dead letter drops, cells, on and on. And they had no advisement on how
to do
this stuff. They learned it all through trial and error. Though maybe
they sent
away for a few manuals from palladin press <g>.

> This supports the idea that a colony is unlikely to be able to
> continue a guerilla action against an invading power with the

Maybe in your mind but not in mine. There are a number of factors that
go into a
successful insurgency or counter-insurgency. (As we've already beaten to
on here.)

>chance of being particularly successful unless they have backing
>from an outside source, or the invading power massively reduces
>it's commitment or is incompetent.

Jeez, lord knows that's never happened before!


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