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Night Vision Blowback?

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Part of Americas counterinsurgency strategy is the wholesale rebuilding of native armed forces. Some have argued that supplying the new armies with antiquated weapons such as the AK-47 demeans them that instead they should be supplied with modern weaponry, such as the M4, to take advantage of both its increased accuracy and its western appearance.

Better to make them feel like a modern military in hopes that theyll act like one.

But a new contract solicitation takes this philosophy a step further. According to FedBizOps, the Pentagon is seeking vendors to satisfy a requirement to supply the Afghan army commando force with night vision equipment.

The solicitation calls for Generation II goggles. Most US special operators and pilots wear the most advanced GenIV and even some combined IR/I2 NODs.

While it seems like a good idea to equip Americas new allies with the most modern equipment available to make them more effective in our absence and to help forge a Western esprit doling out NVGs to Afghan soldiers, no matter how down-market they are, risks some blowback.

How much blood and treasure have been spent to locate all the old Stinger missiles supplied by the CIA to the Soviet-fighting Mujahaddin in the 1980s? And what will happen when a take-down raid on Taliban or AQ holdouts nets some of those NODs we just supplied to the Afghan special forces?

One of the American militarys strongest advantages in ground combat is its ownership of the night. IR markers, glint tape and IR illuminators are key to nighttime fighting for US forces. If the NVG technology intended for our Afghan allies falls into the wrong hands, that advantage will quickly turn into a major vulnerability.

(Gouge: ST)

-- Christian

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