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Unclassified Decision Brief

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|[pic] | | |
| |DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY | |
| |1ST BATTLE COMMAND TRAINING GROUP | |
| |1st BATTLE COMMAND TRAINING BRIGADE, 75TH DIVISION (BCTD) | |
| |14555 SCHOLL STREET | |
| |HOUSTON, TEXAS 77054-2025 | |
| | | |
| |REPLY TO | |
| |ATTENTION OF | |

ARRC-TTX-AD-HC 18 May 2011

MEMORANDUM THRU Commander, 1st BCTG, 75th BCTD, 14555 Scholl Road, Houston, TX 77034

FOR Commander, 75th DIV (BCTD), ATTN: ACofS G-3, Training Division, 14555 Scholl Road, Houston, TX 77034

SUBJECT: Unclassified Decision Brief

1. Introduction a. Good morning, sir! I am SGM Brown, the S-3 Operations Sergeant Major for the 1st Mission Command Training Group.

b. This is a UNCLASSIFIED Decision Briefing

c. Problem Statement: The Taliban and Insurgent forces have changed their tactics to employing an increased use of suicide bombers and IEDs in both the Afghanistan and Pakistan area of operations

d. Recommendation: Employ course of action # 3

2. Body

a. Facts

1) The Taliban traditionally fight in fairly large numbers, attempting to overrun U.S. and coalition forces. So far, this tactic has been unsuccessful and our superior firepower has killed great numbers of Taliban. For this reason, they are increasingly resorting to IEDs and suicide bombings.

2) Most of the attacks have been focused on non-U.S. NATO troops, ANA soldiers, and the Afghan National Police (ANP).

ARRC-TTX-AD-HC 18 May 2011

SUBJECT: Unclassified Decision Brief

3) Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are the No.1 cause of fatalities and injuries to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The devices have killed 657 U.S. troops and wounded 6,330 since the war began in 2001 through March of this year.

4) Warmer weather and the end of the poppy harvest have generally heralded the beginning of the toughest combat in Afghanistan because during the harvest, the Taliban focuses on taxing the opium poppy crops, one of its main sources of revenue. Afghanistan produces the raw opium used to make 90% of the world's heroin.

5) Ammonium nitrate is a common threat faced by Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the United States. It is currently banned in Afghanistan. It is the main ingredient used in most IED attacks against our troops, coalition forces, Afghan and Pakistani civilians.

b. Assumptions

1) Because we have killed large numbers of Taliban fighters and Insurgents, they will be forced to employ female suicide bombers to launch attacks against our forces.

2) With the Afghan-Pakistani border being so famously porous, and the government’s inability to enforce laws upon the more isolated regions, there is little expectation that the border can be completely sealed.

3) The overall number of IED incidents will continue to increase

ARRC-TTX-AD-HC 18 May 2011

SUBJECT: Unclassified Decision Brief

c. Solutions

1) COA#1 - Restrict and track the flow of Ammonium Nitrate. Obtain equipment that better detects ammonium nitrate and other illicit materials as they cross the border.

2) COA #2 - Detection by Detonation: Under this plan, Soldiers at a military checkpoint would fire radiation at each approaching vehicle. If there were no explosives on board, the car would pass through the beam safely. But if the car carried suicide attackers, the radiation would cause their bombs to explode, but leaving the checkpoint unharmed.

3) COA #3 - Upgrade Force Protection and increase foot patrols, to establish "persistent surveillance" of insurgents and areas where they might plant bombs by fielding as many drones or unmanned aerial surveillance systems as possible.

d. Analysis: The following criteria were used to compare each course of action to determine well it fit our operational requirements:

1) Risk – probability of exposure to hazard, loss or mission failure

2) Coordination – Level of interaction needed within and outside chain of command or with other agencies

3) Feasibility – How suitable or capable of being accomplished

4) Doctrinal Soundness – Is this course of action in line with Counter-Insurgency (COIN) doctrine and commander’s guidance?

e. Comparison

1) COA #1 - Restrict and track the flow of Ammonium nitrate.

a) Advantage: Saves lives by denying insurgents the building materials to create IEDs.

b) Disadvantage: With the Afghan-Pakistani border being so famously porous, and the government’s inability to enforce laws upon the more isolated regions, there is little expectation that the border can be completely sealed.

ARRC-TTX-AD-HC 18 May 2011

SUBJECT: Unclassified Decision Brief

c) Because it takes a relatively small amount to make a bomb, the effort probably won't reduce the threat substantially

Bottom line: The coordination to employ this course of action would be too great!

2) COA #2 - Detection by Detonation: Under this plan, Soldiers at a military checkpoint would fire radiation at each approaching vehicle. If there were no explosives on board, the car would pass through the beam safely. But if the car carried suicide attackers, the radiation would cause their bombs to explode, but leaving the checkpoint unharmed.

a) Advantage: IEDs could be detected before reaching military checkpoints, thus saving lives.

b) Disadvantage: The size of the bomb cannot be determined and the area where the vehicle may travel cannot be controlled in relationship to collateral damage.

Bottom line: Disadvantage: Standoff explosives-detection technologies allow, in principle, for the detection of pedestrian suicide bombers, although such sensors are not yet sufficiently affordable and reliable to justify widespread deployment.

3) COA #3 - Increase foot patrols, increase Force Protection, establish "persistent surveillance" of insurgents and areas where they might plant bombs by fielding as many drones or unmanned aerial surveillance systems as possible.

a) Advantage: Commanders favor foot patrols because of their effectiveness in building trust with locals while rooting out the Taliban.

b) Advantage: Can develop training and utilize resources not organic to the unit.

ARRC-TTX-AD-HC 18 May 2011

SUBJECT: Unclassified Decision Brief

c) Disadvantages: Coordination between outside agencies and other countries in regards to the utilization of their forces and equipment

a) Conclusion: COA 3? Is best because it best achieves the desired state. It accepts the least amount of risk, easiest to coordinate because it involves only personnel and equipment organic to the unit. It is legal and ethical, fits within the theme of current doctrine. It is also in line with the commander’s guidance, and worth the cost or risk.

3. Closing

a. Subject to any question you may have, sir, I recommend that COA #3 is the approach to employ.

b. Concur / Nonconcur

KEITH L. BROWN SR. SGM, USAR S-3 Operations NCOIC…...

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