first published on May 14, 2018 by Josh
Allowing the terrain or enemy to dictate the movement of your unit is the first step to accepting defeat. Moving in this lackadaisical fashion will almost always result in catastrophic attacks being carried out against you, and will ultimately result in the unneeded deaths of troops under your charge. Accepting this style of administrative movement through areas that you know may be occupied by enemy forces is the same as admitting that you have given up on the fight, and are willing to allow the enemy to walk up and take ground away from you without a fight. It instills confidence in your enemy, and decimates the morale of your own troops as soon as they realize that they are being forced to walk directly into the enemy’s traps.
There are many ways that terrain and the enemy can attempt to dictate your movement, and as a unit leader of any size it is your job to ensure that you are going out of your way to ensure that you are not allowing this to happen. If you notice terrain that forces you into bottlenecks, forces you to move slowly, or forces you to take frequent halts, you should avoid them unless your intent is to bait out enemy contact. Alternate, usually less convenient, routes should be used frequently in order to keep your enemy guessing at your location. Through these techniques, you can actually begin to dictate the pace of combat, and the movements of your enemy while avoiding putting yourself into untenable and dangerous positions.
In the video below, we have a great example of troops allowing their enemy to dictate their movements. In the white pickup trucks are members of the Syrian Arab Army. The video was recorded in April of 2017 in Majdah, North Hama, Syria. Regime forces had been frequenting this route for some time, and enemy improvised explosive devices combined with the naturally decayed roads had forced them to move slowly in a particular long stretch of their planned route. Instead of using alternate routes from time to time however, they continued to use this one stretch to conduct administrative movements, which in turn opened them up for a direct attack from an enemy anti-tank guided missile team.
The anti-tank guided missile team, who recorded this video, is from Jaish al-Izza, a vetted group of moderate extremists who were supporting the Free Syrian Army. Using TOW missiles that they were supplied by the American Central Intelligence Agency, and basic insurgent tactics, they were able to determine the pre-planned routes of Regime forces through extended surveillance. Knowing that this particular stretch of road forced Regime forces to move slowly, they were able to set up their firing position hours in advance of the convoy’s movement, and then target the truck that gave them the largest casualty count for the singular missile that they would be able to fire during their attack.
It is worth noting that the sound has been removed from this video due to high levels of extremist rhetoric and music.