Re: Northern Alliance victories: too good to be true?as@.

From: dwayne (
Date: Thu Nov 15 2001 - 06:24:30 MST

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

>Not from long experience, you can be sure of that... it comes mostly from
>my scant readings. Note that I did specify overwhelming military
>superiority, including one-sided air support and so on.

Aside from post-war "wars" which are really police actions, this sort of
thing isn't all that common. My understanding is that hardly any army in
the world trains for urban warfare as it is just too difficult.

> My impression
>from my scant readings is that it's hard to root enemy guerilla troops out
>of a countryside since they will not obligingly concentrate in front of
>your superior firepower, or indeed present themselves for attack at all.
>A city is a clearly defined target where you can make full use of
>overwhelming force, though fighting house-to-house once you've taken the
>city can turn into another guerilla problem.

But, you can't take the city without fighting house-to-house. It's
nothing but houses (and other buildings).
Consider Stalingrad. Full-on house-to-hose fighting, with no clear
winner at any point at any time, as it's really hard to do.

>But, again, that's *after*
>you've taken the city.

How do you take a city without entering it?

>I never heard that guerillas had the reputation of
>being able to make a stand and defend a target from superior enemy forces;
>in fact, from what I've heard that's exactly what guerillas don't do.

Well, true, but this wasn't supposed to be a guerilla war. Although
it's about to turn into one.

>"Enemy advances, we retreat." That's why I was nonplussed by all the fuss
>over the taking of Kabul.

I think a bit more resistance was expected.


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