The Need to Mobilize Armor in Afghanistan
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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Having tanks in Afghanistan significantly increases the amount of combat power that ground forces can bring to engage enemy forces. The Marine Corps continuously advertises a combined arms approach to fighting its battles. Main battle tanks are a necessity to achieve the maximum potential of the combined arms mentality. According to MCDP1, the keystone document of Marine Corps doctrine, combat power is the total destructive force we can bring to bear on our enemy at a given time. As a Corps, let us not use logistics or counterinsurgency theories to lessen our efforts to achieve a military victory against our opponent. Instead, let us focus on what assets which we have available to build our combat power to engage our enemy. Tanks bring a dramatic increase of combat power against a primarily dismounted enemy. The tank can travel great distances in otherwise non-permissive land that a HMWWV or a MTVR would consider restrictive. The tank can provide long-range direct fires out to 4000 meters utilizing day or thermal sights that standard dismounted infantry cannot reproduce. The tank brings a shock effect that deters enemy from entering certain areas due to the mobility and lethality of the armored platform. Given these simple facts, the tank is a logical platform to integrate into infantry units on the ground to increase their lethality against a determined enemy. During the arduous eight-year campaign in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union even saw the advantages of integrating the Main Battle Tank into its ground offensive actions.
- Combat Vehicles
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics