Operation Anaconda History

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Introduction Operation Anaconda, conducted in March 2002, was an effort to force the Taliban out of the Shah-i-Kot valley. The units involved included the 2-187th IN “Rakkasans”, 10th Mountain Division, Special Operations Forces, and Afghan militia of the Eastern and Northern Alliances. It was a large-scale action designed to capture or kill Taliban and al Qaeda fighters. The concept of the operation was to use a main body to engage the enemy and push them towards blocking positions established along anticipated escaped routes out of the valley. History The Shah-i-Kot valley has military relevance dating back to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970’s. The mujahideen turned away repeated Soviet offensives into…show more content…
As this cycle repeated itself, the situation became critical and resupply aircraft launched and entered the valley knowing that they would make contact with enemy forces. Many times during the operation, resupply aircraft dropped the slingloaded supplies and had to leave the area. Initially, every slingload dropped in the valley, within eyesight of friendly units, but in a position that was too risky to attempt a recovery. “Originally planned as a three-day battle with light combat, Operation Anaconda turned out to be a seven-day battle with intense combat and was officially terminated only after 17…show more content…
For example, the lack of unity of command during the planning and execution phases of the operation. Ground commanders and air commanders were both making upper level decisions that were conflicting with one another. This slowed the decision-making process and led to resistance from both sides. Another example is the concept of massing. It was very clear that once General Zia Lodin’s forces were not going to execute their part of the operation, the conventional ground forces were without support and spread too thin to confront the main body of enemy forces. Had the main body of enemy forces followed this same principle, the outcome of the operation could have been much worse. Finally, Operation Anaconda was instrumental in illustrating the need for joint doctrine. A higher level of integration between the air and ground forces during the operation would have saved time, resources, and possibly

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