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Operation Anaconda Analytical Essay


Operation Anaconda was an American-organized mission that involved the American soldiers who purposed to dig fighting positions in Afghanistan. The mission was aimed at destroying the terrorist forces labeled Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The operation was well-rehearsed to ensure that the mission would be completed in five days. Operation Anaconda was miscalculated as the operation took almost two weeks to complete. The CIA officials from the U.S coordinated with allies to direct the soldiers to the destinations. The soldiers who hailed from the 10th Mountain division engaged in vigorous preparations to ensure that America achieved her motive of destroying the Al-Qaeda and Taliban hideouts. Operation Anaconda presented to the American government the lessons on the value of designing and embracing an ideal command system. A well-synchronized command system issues orders and responsibilities across the participants. Coordination of orders between authorities must be balanced to ensure that the centralized control agrees with decentralized functions. Key among the issues that this discussion will address includes: the situation according to mission command, tactics used during the operations, response, and recommendations for improvements. Operation Anaconda was well-organized to drive out the enemy from Shahikot valley, and the operation’s success indicated synergy between commanding forces and the soldiers.

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Situation According to Mission Command
The mission Command of Operation Anaconda was strategic. Shahikot Valley in Afghanistan was the battlefront where Al-Qaeda and Taliban groups were hiding. America purposed to win this operation, having lost to Afghanistan in the previous war. The attack was purposed to be “hammer and anvil” whereby U.S forces and Afghan informers descended on the valley with unprecedented force. The resistance of the Afghan fighters was more intense than America anticipated, and this led to confusion at the battlefield. The Afghan informers failed to march into the valley as promised, and this left the American soldiers in a desperate situation. America had to act rapidly by asking for intervention from the airstrikes to supplement the ground forces. The back up by airstrikes encouraged the American soldiers to suppress the enemy at Shahikot Valley. The success achieved by America over the Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces were a reflection of America’s ability to adapt to shock through the application of joint operations.

Additionally, the U.S used modern technology and artificial intelligence to surmount the situation that proved challenging and highly demanding. The U.S military was responsive to the situation, and the coordination within the mission command was rapid and timely. The commanding forces were swift to act in favor of the mission (MacPherson, 2005). Afghanistan refrained from engaging America in battles in Afghanistan or elsewhere, and the Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces retreated from provoking America. Several issues emerged from Operation Anaconda. An example of these issues included miscalculated intelligence systems and command structures (Grau & Dodge, 2011). Reliance on the Afghan friendly forces was a lesson to learn for future operation as the Afghan friends proved unreliable (Grau & Dodge, 2011). The U.S was misinformed about the armament of the infantry teams that took an active part in the Operation Anaconda. The frustrations that the forces experienced and the eventual victory are significant highlights of Operation Anaconda, and they made the operation memorable and legendary.

Tactics Used During the Operations
The operation embraced a combination of elements to attain victory over Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces. The U.S engaged artificial intelligence widely in its preparation to subdue the Shahikot Valley in Afghanistan. The intelligence revealed that Al-Qaeda and Taliban groups were slowly moving to Shahikot Valley. This was the place for the enemy to regroup after a defeat. America established the physical features and the actual measures of the valley to map its attack against the enemy. The valley was easy to defend as the caves provided the enemy with a good view of the oncoming attackers. America used artificial intelligence to establish the actual location of the Al-Qaeda and Taliban troops, and she structured a plan for the operation.

Coordinating the ground attacks with airstrikes was another element that made the operation successful. The withdrawal by the Afghan friends from the initial plan was a moment of frustration for the military. Therefore, the American soldiers were backed by airstrikes that provided them with additional defense against the enemy (Grau & Dodge, 2011). The instant response by the commanders symbolized the unity in the military organs and the determination of the U.S forces to overcome the resistance of the enemy. The main agenda of fighting Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces was to curb terrorist activities and future attacks from Al-Qaeda or Taliban. America is committed to fighting terror to secure its citizens and to maintain peace and order.

The Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces staged a fight that was beyond the expectations of the American soldiers. The enemies were prepared with arms that enabled them to attack at critical points. The Al-Qaeda and Taliban troops declared a jihad, and they were determined to win the battle or die in the process. America noted that the enemies did not flee from the valley, and instead, more Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces joined the valley from the mountains to stage a stronger fight. The shortcoming of the intelligence on the capabilities characterized the operation as the U.S soldiers were overwhelmed by the boldness and preparation of the enemy.

Analyzing operation Anaconda involves consideration of the purpose of the operation and the ethical and moral implications of the same. I agree with America’s agenda to root out the Al-Qaeda, and Taliban enemies from the Shahikot valley as these terrorist groups have historically proven their ability to destroy a nation through violent attacks and policies. Planning and implementing operation Anaconda in 2002 was a relevant procedure. America had been recovering from the 9/11 terror attacks that destabilized the country’s security and its peacefulness. America declared war against terror, and the operation was necessary for weakening Al-Qaeda and Taliban and creating a culture of zero tolerance to terror. America was determined to prove its readiness to root out terror from America and all destinations that mattered. The attack clearly defined America’s ability to resist terror in the country and within its borders. America has been working closely with its allies in fighting terrorism, and it has made a major investment towards the same objective. Similar operations on places of interests are necessary to create a world that is free from violent attacks.

Recommendations for Improvement
The mishaps that occurred during the operation are an indication that there is room for improvement in future operations. The American government must ensure the mission orders are well designed to achieve control and dominion over the enemies. In future attacks on its enemies, America should improve its intelligence on the destination and the scope of the enemies. The communication patterns between the commanding forces and the implementation teams should also be improved to ensure that all team-players have a shared understanding.

Having internalized the aspects of Operation Anaconda, it is clear that the operation was a bold move towards promoting national security. By destroying the hideout for Al-Qaeda or Taliban troops, the US portrayed its brevity and determination to fight Al-Qaeda and Taliban groups. Additionally, engaging in the operation aborted plans by the terrorists to attack America and its allies. Such a complex and sensitive operation would not have been successful if the team was not organized and had poor channels of communication. Therefore, this analysis provides insights to those who engage in similar operations and urges them to instill effective leadership and teamwork, as well as effective communication and proper planning, which are key aspects that can guarantee success.

Grau, Lester W. & Dodge Billingsley. (2011) Operation Anaconda: America’s First Major Battle in Afghanistan. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2011.
MacPherson, M. (2005). Roberts Ridge: A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan, Delacorte.

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