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Would you order a B52 "arc light" carpet bombing on this group? (Kongo/Rwanda rebels)

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  • Would you order a B52 "arc light" carpet bombing on this group? (Kongo/Rwanda rebels)

    Rebel group "M23", lead by Sultani Makenga.

    Operating in the DR Kongo from the east, from Rwanda, or supported by Rwanda, to an unknown extent they are controlled by factions in Rwanda. They are considered extremely dangerous to the civilians in the area.

    Peacekeepers are there. For a change, peacekeeper were not asked to just watch the slaughter, they did open fire on M23. However, options are limited as no ground forces are available that have any hope of stopping them. They fired upon the rebels from helicopter gunships. As most people here know, gunships have very limited ability to stop ground forces that have a high headcount. Rebels were not impressed and took a major city, in DR Kongo.

    To give some background information: these are Tutsi from Rwanda. In Rwanda of the old days Tutsi were put in power by colonial forces, although they were a minority, and with the help of the former colonial country kept power after independence. Running up to 1994 power there was more of a balance with the Hutu majority but in 1994 the Hutus grasped for complete power and killed what most estimate as 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu. The Tutsi had an army in neighboring countries and seized power back after invasion. Large amounts of Hutus involved in the genocide fled into either refugee camps or into Kongo and other countries, where there were more or less relentlessly pursued by the Tutsi now ruling Rwanda again. Massacres with up with 4-8000 dead were reported when cleaning the camps and trying to punish genocide perpetrators (some excellent narratives from Australian peacekeepers available). This directly fueled the first and second Kongo wars which caused more casualties than the Rwanda genocide.

    The current M23 overrunning of Kongo's east is a direct continuation of this problem (it is Tutsi forces going after Hutu who they consider a threat to Tutsi in turn), hence the fear that large scale atrocities might occur, leading to the unusual permission to open fire on them.


    Given all this, would you order massive force used on them, such as a B52 "arc light" style carpet bombing?

    Let's assume you have enough eyes on target so that you can (a) stop them and (b) have a ratio of 4:1 or better of rebels killed to collateral deaths.
    Other (explain in post)
    Last edited by Redwolf; 24 Nov 12, 16:10.

  • #2
    M23 "March 23 movement":

    Rwanda genocide:

    First Congo war, 1996ff, 250,000-800,000 dead:

    Second Congo war, 1998ff, 350,000 combat deaths, millions assumed perished due to final destruction of live support (to use Star Trek lingo):


    • #3
      This is what the current U.N. troops on the ground look like. They might not be able to stop a determined assault:


      Sultani Makenga is said to be particularly ruthless even by local standards (where local standards are trying to exterminate ethnic groups with 40" containers full of machetes). He employs large amount of child soldiers. He openly baits these youth with sex, literally saying that as soldiers in his army everybody will get a woman. Not surprisingly, sexual violence is wildly reported from areas where his forces operate.


      • #4
        I heard on the radio he gets a lot of his money from blood diamonds. A B-52 might not be the best choice but some professional troops, a few special operators, and some on-call air power might be worth it if it shuts these down.
        Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

        Questions about our site? See the FAQ.


        • #5
          Yeah, give me some SF and dedicated AC-130 fire support to clear out the rebels.


          • #6
            Sorry chaps but we have the full special forces circus going against a similar clown in Uganda right now, to no avail. In that case his forces aren't spotted en mass. What was his name? Too lazy to google.

            In this case, M23, the forces advance massed (to take towns and cities) in much more open terrain.


            • #7
              Carpet bombing is a waste. Drones are the way of the future. Don't mean I wouldn't send in B-52s with as many unguided bombs as possible, but I would send in a few a bit later with guided bombs to send a clear message.

              That's not fair to depict only one African contributor as part of the UN peacekeeping force of 49 contributing nations. What sucks is their limitations as mandated by the UN. They are not a counterinsurgency force but a peacekeeping force. Totally different Rules of Engagement. A COIN force would seek and destroy the head of the snake of this M23 organization. Some DEVGRU or Delta operators deep within their territory can make sure of this.

              The United Nations force in the Democratic Republic of Congo: MONUSCO - United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo


              Current strength (30 September 2012)

              19,109 total uniformed personnel
              16,996 military personnel
              721 military observers
              1,392 police (including formed units)
              965 international civilian personnel*
              2,886 local civilian staff*
              577 United Nations Volunteers

              Country contributors
              Military personnel

              Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Yemen and Zambia.

              Police personnel

              Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Guinea, India, Jordan, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Romania, Senegal, Sweden, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine and Yemen.

              25 troops
              2 police
              2 military observer
              11 international civilian
              7 local civilian
              47 total
              I have highlighted the UN Security Council members, which definitely have the strength to resolve this conflict once and for all. Non-permanent members are also present except Germany, Columbia, and Portugal. Also present are the Belgians who were the holders of imperial Congo.

              If the US were to help, how could we do it without anyone noticing?

              Naval base in Manda Bay, Kenya

              Forward Operating Site
              A permanent base for stationing equipment and rotating uniform and contractor personnel.
              Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti - known C-130, HC-130, P-3, CH-53, sometimes C-17 operating from here

              Cooperative Security Locations in Africa
              These were facilities used for regional training in counterterrorism and interdiction of drug trafficking. They were located in:
              Dakar, Senegal
              Entebbe, Uganda
              Libreville, Gabon

              Gabon and Uganda is right in the neighborhood. Senegal could be a staging area.

              Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative
              Interagency plan by the United States government doing counter-terrorism training in non-hot spots.
              Burkina Faso

              Chad and Nigeria are relatively close.

              Ramstein Air Base in Germany is the Seventeenth Air Force's headquarters responsible for airlift for African Command

              There are three other UN peacekeeping missions in central Africa.
              UNAMID - African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur
              UNISFA - United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei
              UNMISS - United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan

              There are 26,563 multinational troops in Sudan and 16,996 multinational troops in the DRC. You would think that the UN could have a base in southern Sudan to operate out of into the DRC or western Uganda.

              I believe that Africa's large geography and lack of infrastructure could be the proving ground for tiltrotor aircraft, like the V-22 Osprey, which can cover more ground quicker and more efficiently than comparable size helicopters. Combine these Marine carrying Ospreys with C-130 gunships and F/A-18s and AH-1Z Viper's and you got a recipe for destruction.

              Anyone know the anti-aircraft ability of M23? Armor capabilities? Two important things to know. In either case, some drones doing reconnaissance would be mission one. Finding out their operating bases, supply chains, leadership, storage areas, transport routes, etc. Then come in with UAVs with Hellfires, Paveway IIs, and JDAMs. Continue reconnaissance to see how resilient they are. If that don't work send in the B-52s for a precision night strike. Shouldn't need many of them. Then send in the MC-130s along with the leg units to collect intelligence and targets. Shouldn't take to long to neuter them back running to where they came from.
              The Europa Barbarorum II team [M2TW] needs YOUR HELP NOW HERE!


              • #8
                Do nothing.
                Кто там?
                Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
                Tunis is a Carthigenian city!


                • #9
                  I might be tempted by frustration to order such a strike
                  but this is not the way of the UN.

                  You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.


                  • #10
                    Sort of like killing a fly with a sledge hammer. Even if you get him you've got some drywall to patch afterwards.

                    Now if the B-52 was loaded with JDAMs you set up a time-on-target for say 0300 with a 2000 lb air burst on each campfire. Maybe four for the leader, you only need a smear for DNA to confirm it was him.
                    Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                    Questions about our site? See the FAQ.


                    • #11
                      Would I go after this particular clown with a B-52 strike? Nope.

                      Reason, that whole continent is full of similar clowns, and if you kill one, another will rise to take his place. The Eff-up is the fault of the former colonial powers, that cookie-cuttered the place, just like they did the middle east, with no regard to ancient tribal borders....of course they pulled out knowing full well that they had been holding said ancient tribal rivalries at bay for a half-century or more.

                      Well, it's too late to fix the problem now, just move on and try not to do it again (wait we have...).

                      If you want to go after this guy, the way to do it is with small teams of special forces infiltrators to locate, and well-drilled heloborne, airborne, and motorized/mechanized infantry to smash his units as they're located. Air support for the infiltrators would be drones for recon and small strikes with hellfires. Heavier assets would be reserved for emergencies or larger operations....I'd use A-10s and AC130s with Cobras/Apaches for direct support of an assault. Once you've hammered his main force units, then you deploy your infantry into the brush to operate in platoon strength under the eyes of the drones, with air support on a reasonable call time. Aggressive patrolling by infantry in enough strength to handle a firefight is essential to winning this sort of war. A Delta or SEAL team isn't big enough to go after a platoon or company of hostiles on purpose and take them on in a firefight. You'd want a platoon of Rangers or Marines to do that job. You patrol the area, platoons staying in the field for days before rotating out, getting a feel for the locals, developing HUMINT, keeping guerillas out in the field because they can't go home in large quantity without being noticed....that breaks them down and will cause strife within the opfor army. You actively pursue those that support them, flip them, and/or use them to set up ambushes of guerillas. Break them from their support base and they'll fall apart.

                      Of course that's not the question here. The question is would I order an 'arc light' carpet bombing of this guy? The answer: HELL YEAH! Reason: Just to be orbiting at 10000ft and watch the fireworks man. That and do a definitive study of the effectiveness of the MOAB in comparison to a B-52 strike for creating an LZ out of jungle.
                      Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene


                      • #12
                        Well, to answer the question directly, in similar matter to Tac: HELL FKING YES!

                        But also I agree with Tac that you'd need a multi-layered Task Force to deal with the problem effectively.

                        Spec ops in larger numbers could actively engage enemy forces and call in support when needed, while smaller, more covert teams could seek out and apprehend or kill the leadership and anyone helping them. That way, the enemy's explicit strength is depleted, and their implicit support (leaders, etc) is also depleted. Not to mention, the locals would *hopefully* be kept safe by patrols.
                        "A foolish man thinks he knows everything if placed in unexpected difficulty; but he knows not what to answer, if to the test he is put."



                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Redwolf View Post
                          Sorry chaps but we have the full special forces circus going against a similar clown in Uganda right now, to no avail. In that case his forces aren't spotted en mass. What was his name? Too lazy to google.

                          In this case, M23, the forces advance massed (to take towns and cities) in much more open terrain.
                          Joseph Kony is the name of the guy in Uganda, also heavily involved in using children for soldiers.

                          We are going after him with substantial US special forces and assorted gadgets.


                          To me it looks like it isn't working. I would also be afraid of somebody taking his place (or the M23 leadership for that matter).

                          I think that substantial casualties of part of one of these rebel armies might be required. Right now you have a better life inside one of those than outside. That needs to stop.

                          And they are utterly unimpressed by Western and other UN forces. Also something to change.

                          In a word, I would hit this army hard. It is a good opportunity since they are very concentrated and in relatively open terrain.


                          • #14
                            You have to remember some Air Force General will recommend we send in B-1's so they can shock and awe the bad boys like they did in Afghanistan. They see a sincere need to keep as many B-1's and B-2's in the inventory as possible.

                            I vote we send in some French and Belgian Paratroops/Commandos. It worked before.

                            Keep in mind there is no genetic difference between Tutsi and Hutus. The two have extensively intermarried over the last few hundred years. I would compare it to Serbs going after Bosnian Muslims. Only the locals can tell who is whom.

                            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"


                            • #15
                              I'm sure some pop singer can take care of it with a benefit CD and concert. Why bother spending lives and money on a situation that will never be solved? I used to think it could be, then I did time in Kosovo and Iraq. Stopping these people from killing each other is no problem of ours while we have people killing each other in our own cities.

                              So Option 2, No and Option 3, other. The other: Do nothing.
                              Кто там?
                              Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
                              Tunis is a Carthigenian city!


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