Ever since I can remember, my hubby Alan has always been reading books on military history and battles in various countries if he’s not playing a war strategy game on his PC. Our library is stuffed to the ceiling with such books.
Part of our dates were spent playing Panzer Leader and the Arab-Israeli war board games. This was how I learned a little about tactics during battles. At times, I even won :), but that was rare.
Perhaps because of this, I know that what he says about military operations makes a lot of sense. I am therefore sharing the many questions he has been asking aloud ever since news broke over the death of the police commandos in Mindanao.
Mamasapano: What happened?
By Alan Robles
At least 44 Special Action Force police commandos were killed in a daylong fight with fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MLF) and its breakway group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) on January 25 in the municipality of Mamasapano in Maguindanao Province, Mindanao. The MILF/BIFF suffered at least eight casualties. The commandos were trying to neutralize two terrorists, Zulkifli bin Hir (aka Marwan) and Basit Usman, who were supposed to be staying in the village of Tukanalipao, in MILF controlled territory. There are reports that Marwan was killed, but these haven’t been confirmed.
This is what I know so far about what happened, I have no doubt more info will come in.
1. The Sunday operation was called “Wolverine”. It was based on a standing order apparently issued by the President in 2011 to neutralize certain terrorists. Question: what qualifications did this standing order have? Did it define conditions under which the operation was forbidden (such as venturing into MILF territory in possible violation of a ceasefire agreement). Because otherwise it would be tantamount to a blank check. And did the standing order require an executive-sign off on specific operations? In other words, the President had to approve any operation.
2. Wolverine involved SAF alone. Commandos are elite, highly trained, very expensive units intended to be used in quick ops, not prolonged attritional battles. Reports say that 390 SAF commandos, three platoons, were deployed for the operation.
To read the rest, please click on this link.