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View Full Version : Afghan Army goes to M-16s



Ed L.
11-26-07, 18:22
It looks like the Afghan army is going to M-16s. I have my serious doubts about relatively primitive troops in a relatively primative army being able to maintain the weapon.

from: http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htweap/articles/20071124.aspx

The Afghan Army is replacing its AK-47s for M-16s. The first 5,000 M-16s arrive in January, and 10,000 a month after that, until 50,000 have arrived. The Afghan army currently has a strength of about 50,000, and this is expected to reach 64,000 in the next 14 months. While the AK-47 is more reliable when dirty, the M-16 is more accurate, a bit lighter and sounds different than the AK-47. That last item is important in combat, as it helps you sort out who is where. Around the world, rebels and irregulars tend to choose the M-16 over AK-47, if they have a choice. This despite all the criticism the M-16 gets. The AK-47 also has its quirks. But since the AK-47 has been so romanticized in the West, those flaws tend to be played down. Not so in the field.

Sry0fcr
11-26-07, 18:43
As long as we're not paying for it...

Safetyhit
11-26-07, 19:20
But since the AK-47 has been so romanticized in the West, those flaws tend to be played down. Not so in the field.


Don't know what he meant there, as I would say the AK is much more beloved by those in the east as opposed to those in the west. That is largely due to the lack of functional flaws, even when being operated dirty by primitive armies (as you correctly described them). I know many like them here (mostly those that don't know better or see them in movies), but there they are a mainstay over there because they would rather sacrifice accuracy for reliability. Plus, the gun was developed in the east.

That said, I would not own one. In fact, I feel bad just holding one.

Lumpy196
11-26-07, 21:29
As long as we're not paying for it...



We're getting some goats in the deal.

DirtDiver71
11-27-07, 00:06
We're getting some goats in the deal.

fair trade.. they probably shoot straighter than your average Afghan anyway..


(in all seriousness)
I can understand the desire to convert ANA to M-16's, for many reasons, especialy the aforemention difference in report.. what I'm not confident in is the ability of your typical ANA ground-pounder to be able to maintain it properly..

I've got a buddy who's a former SEAL, he currently works Security Escorts for a pvt firm in both Af. and Iraq.. I'm gonna bring this up with him and get his opinion as he's had plenty of contact with the sort of troops that will be using them.

RustedAce
11-27-07, 07:19
Don't know what he meant there, as I would say the AK is much more beloved by those in the east as opposed to those in the west. That is largely due to the lack of flaws, even when being operated dirty by primitive armies (as you correctly described them). I know many like them here (mostly those that don't know better or see them in movies), but there they are a mainstay over there because they would rather sacrifice accuracy for reliability. Plus, the gun was developed in the east.

That said, I would not own one. In fact, I feel bad just holding one.

The article is correct, the "AKs never jam" myth is a western pop culture myth. AKs do not work if you dont maintain them.

They "perfer" AKs because they can get them. They are the mainstay of many forces because the soviets dumped them on them.

They are not idiots. They can maintain an M16. If you can keep a T-55 working for 20 years you can keep an M16 clean.

They would not rather sacrifice accuracy for reliability, they have no choice, where are they gonna get an M16?

KevinB
11-27-07, 08:14
Ditto to Rusted
- I've worked with Afghans and Iraqi's, both of whom have been trained on M16/M4's at some time in their careers.

John_Wayne777
11-27-07, 08:16
The article is correct, the "AKs never jam" myth is a western pop culture myth. AKs do not work if you dont maintain them.

They "perfer" AKs because they can get them. They are the mainstay of many forces because the soviets dumped them on them.

They are not idiots. They can maintain an M16. If you can keep a T-55 working for 20 years you can keep an M16 clean.

They would not rather sacrifice accuracy for reliability, they have no choice, where are they gonna get an M16?

Good to see you on this site, you evil, evil man you!

graffex
11-27-07, 12:42
You would have to be literally retarded to not be able to maintain a functioning AR . I don't by that crap about AK's being more reliable either. It's like saying a Glock is more reliable than an HK USP, :rolleyes: You'd be hard pressed to make either fail if you take care of them properly.

Safetyhit
11-27-07, 13:26
The article is correct, the "AKs never jam" myth is a western pop culture myth. AKs do not work if you dont maintain them.

They "perfer" AKs because they can get them. They are the mainstay of many forces because the soviets dumped them on them.

They are not idiots. They can maintain an M16. If you can keep a T-55 working for 20 years you can keep an M16 clean.

They would not rather sacrifice accuracy for reliability, they have no choice, where are they gonna get an M16?


I understand what you are saying, and I know you have the field experience to back up most of what you say. I have also heard and read many first hand stories of dirty M16's/M4's functioning well while coated with that fine sand. But, that is likely due to it's operator taking care of it between incidents. And, as I said, I will not own an AK. I have 3 AR's because I prefer them for several reasons.

However, to say that there is nothing to the statement that AK's are less likely to fail when dirty as an AR is questionable. By most accounts (and I owned 2 myself years ago) they are easier to maintain, largely because of the overall design and the piston system they incorperate. Also, just because a mechanic can keep an old tank running does not mean that the average "infantryman" who is part of some rag-tag army will break down their AR and clean it as often as needed. Maybe the better trained, more disciplined Afghan army will take better care of their weapons. Of course, there are more AK's there (and 7.62 ammo) due to the Russians, but that does not mean most would take an M16/M4 if they could. You know the M16 is better, and so do most here, but they don't necessarily see it that way.

Safetyhit
11-27-07, 13:30
You would have to be literally retarded to not be able to maintain a functioning AR . I don't by that crap about AK's being more reliable either. It's like saying a Glock is more reliable than an HK USP, :rolleyes: You'd be hard pressed to make either fail if you take care of them properly.


No, not retarded, just lazy and/or undiciplined. And "...if you take care of them properly" is the epitome of the reason that AK's are better suited to many (but not all) of those that use them.

Business_Casual
11-27-07, 14:30
The only thing more pointless and boring than a "this gun versus that gun" debate is a "this caliber versus that caliber" debate.

M_P

Safetyhit
11-27-07, 15:19
The only thing more pointless and boring than a "this gun versus that gun" debate is a "this caliber versus that caliber" debate.

M_P

Sorry to bore you, however the context of the discussion is fine as long as one sticks to facts and not emotions. That is not a reference to Rusted Ace, I just mean in general. This discussion is boring to you because you have seen it many times, as have I. However, there are many out there reading this that are not members here or are new and interested to hear how one might compare to the other.


And it is interesting to know that the Afghan army is buying M-16's, IMHO. It's a sign of them becoming more civilized. :D

Dano5326
11-27-07, 16:27
I don't know of anybody "in the east" that prefers AK's.. w/o exception all indig forces I've been in contact with REALLY want m4's/

Most all the top CT teams, former "Warsaw Pact" use m4 varients even when their army uses AK varients.

Weapons maintainance is a unit disipline issue, not cultural. Plenty US support units weapons are completely fubar'd. And, disciplined indig can run an m4 just fine trust me.

Their will be a higher requirement for support with the m16 series. And m4 mags, in use, are not good for the 40+ year service life of the AK's.

Hopefully they got m4's & not A2 2x4's... a little big for a malnutritioned 120lb trooper. And eventually ACOGS for trusted high performers.

Submariner
11-27-07, 18:28
The only thing more pointless and boring than a "this gun versus that gun" debate is a "this caliber versus that caliber" debate.

M_P

Naw, this is simple: US hegemony means US small arms in vassal states.

More profit for Ike's military/industrial(/banking) complex. You don't really believe A-stan paid cash, do you? Unless it came from us.gov (who sold Treasury debt to finance it.)

If lumpy is right, the goats may turn out to be more valuable than the dollar.:eek:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v304/DasBoot56/DollarChart.jpg

RogerinTPA
11-27-07, 21:00
Thats just great. Another reason why the price on 5.56/223 ammo will never come down. :eek:

Dport
11-27-07, 21:15
I do believe that means they associate the M16/M4 with winners, and they want to be winners.

I think this is a good sign about the attitude in A-stan and Iraq. I do believe victory is ours to piss away.

Submariner
11-27-07, 22:02
I do believe that... they want to be winners.

Winners, huh?

"I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows...." (The proper response to, "Sing it, MIDN Submariner. You don't rate believing, mister!")

Didn't Osama Jo Mama state that one of his goals was to bankrupt the U.S. much as the muj in A-stan helped bankrupt the Soviet Union?

Look closely at the chart above and tell me with a straight face that this goal is not being accomplished.

Dport
11-27-07, 22:04
Winners, huh?

Didn't Osama Jo Mama state that one of his goals was to bankrupt the U.S. much as the muj in A-stan helped bankrupt the Soviet Union?

Look closely at the chart above and tell me with a straight face that this goal is not being accomplished.

Oh dear Lord.


I hear the same cries of the end of times every time we are threatened by a recession. It's important to realize that economics follow cycles. Down trends are always followed by up trends.

Safetyhit
11-27-07, 22:27
Down trends are always followed by up trends.


Yes, usually. But that is not a given and we should take nothing for granted. There is some serious economic shit going on in this country right now. Massive credit woes, housing prices declining, foreclosures soaring, loans becoming too difficult to get, gas at all time highs...

Don't be complacent or overconfident, as it could lead to a lack of preparedness.

Is this thread going way off base? :confused:

Dport
11-27-07, 22:38
Yes, usually. But that is not a given and we should take nothing for granted. There is some serious economic shit going on in this country right now. Massive credit woes, housing prices declining, foreclosures soaring, loans becoming too difficult to get, gas at all time highs...

Don't be complacent or overconfident, as it could lead to a lack of preparedness.

Is this thread going way off base? :confused:
Yes it is.

DirtDiver71
11-27-07, 23:53
[QUOTE=RustedAce;98440]They are not idiots. They can maintain an M16. If you can keep a T-55 working for 20 years you can keep an M16 clean.QUOTE]

thats an excellent point...

Ed L.
11-28-07, 00:08
They are not idiots. They can maintain an M16. If you can keep a T-55 working for 20 years you can keep an M16 clean.

Only a portion of their T55s are running and they have teams of mechanics to handle that. Firearms are up to the individual soldiers to maintain, so its more of a problem with more primative cultures because it requires widespread skills. Some individuals may do a good job, while others won't. They need sufficient NCOs who are familiar with correct maintenance who can provide the training and leadership to make sure the individual troops do so. In this respect the AK is superior to the M16.

While not problem free, an AK doesn't require the degree of maintenance and is more forgiving of poor maintenance. It also doesn't have the small parts to loose fhat result from routine disassembly. I have visions of the Afghans using the M16's firing pins to clean out their hash pipes.

Someone else hit the real issue, with more countries under our direct support adopting M-16s, how will we in the US ever get back to quality affordable ammo.

RustedAce
11-28-07, 01:20
Only a portion of their T55s are running and they have teams of mechanics to handle that.

The ones I have seen, were maintained and repaired by regular soldiers, often using ingenious cobbled together solutions.


In this respect the AK is superior to the M16.

If a soldier wont clean his weapon he wont clean his weapon, an ill maintained AK does not work, contrary to lore.

If you tell them how to make it work, they will make it work. They are not idiots, they just have not had the same level of education as us, so they may not know man has walked on the moon, but if you show them how to clean a gun and tell them they have to, or it wont work, they will do it.

They average Afghan soldier is much more proficient, proud, and crafty than the average Iraqi soldier. I have been impressed by the level of afghan soldiering I have seen, and I think they will enjoy thier M16s and keep them working till they are well past when they would have been thrown out by US armed forces.

Safetyhit
11-28-07, 09:57
This is very interesting and right on topic.


http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=50a_1173680761

Striker5
11-28-07, 16:42
As we have seen, maintaining an M16 is too much for some Americans.

I think its dumb, but not for practical reasons.

If propping up a guy who has not been in his own country for 12-13 years and introducing the wonders of our permissive Western culture to the Afghans is a good idea, then I guess equipping them with better small arms is a good idea too.

In the late 80's-early 90's the South African Police supplied the Inkatha Freedom Party shotguns that were designed to break after 60 or so rounds. The IFP were informed of this up front. They would return the shotguns to have them reapired, as needed. This allowed a proxy fight against the ANC w/o wholesale armament of volatile potential enemies (even though conventional weapons were also given to the IFP to some degree). While this is not feasible on a national scale, i think it's stupid to give our stuff to anybody, but we keep making this mistake w/ almost religious observance in our 20th century conflicts. Just like MOI death squads committed state sanctioned murder w/ our Glocks, now we can contribute to more jackassery in Afghanistan.

rmecapn
11-28-07, 17:30
Thats just great. Another reason why the price on 5.56/223 ammo will never come down. :eek:

That was my first thought when I read this.

Ed L.
11-28-07, 18:49
The ones I have seen, were maintained and repaired by regular soldiers, often using ingenious cobbled together solutions.


And there are piles of T55s that don't work. There are crews of maintenance people whose job it is to keep the tanks running. Are there crews of people who will make sure each AR is running?


If a soldier wont clean his weapon he wont clean his weapon, an ill maintained AK does not work, contrary to lore.

If you look around the world to various third world places, you will see Aks that are running with little or no maintenance in the hands of child soldiers in Africa and such. They are functioning under conditions of neglect that no AR could. When Israel invaded Lebanon in the 1980s they found one AK that was manufactured in the late 1940s that was still chugging away. The bottom line is that AK is far more tolerant of poor or lack of maintenance than the M-16.

CM-4
12-01-07, 07:34
(QUOTE BY EDL) If you look around the world to various third world places, you will see Aks that are running with little or no maintenance in the hands of child soldiers in Africa and such. They are functioning under conditions of neglect that no AR could. When Israel invaded Lebanon in the 1980s they found one AK that was manufactured in the late 1940s that was still chugging away. The bottom line is that AK is far more tolerant of poor or lack of maintenance than the M-16.[/QUOTE]

Israel seeing AK's manufactured in the late 40's in the 80's is no different than some of our National Guard units and Reserve units still using M16 A1's today that were manufactured in the 60's and 70's. And those old A1's are still plugging away, lots of them not just one.

klt
12-01-07, 08:37
The AK-74 is nothing to sneeze at, very effective, maybe not quite as accurate as the M4, but very deadly.

John_Wayne777
12-01-07, 15:57
If you look around the world to various third world places, you will see Aks that are running with little or no maintenance in the hands of child soldiers in Africa and such.

FWIW Rusted Ace is operating in one of those third world places where the people's primary mode of transportation is still livestock.

In fact, I believe part of his responsibilities is instructing the locals in the use of some of those AKs that have seen little or no maintenance....;)

recon
12-02-07, 11:14
So which company is supplying them? Colt or FN?

Alpha Sierra
12-02-07, 11:32
I find it laughable that some think taking care of an M16 is so difficult.

A rag and some diesel fuel is all that is needed to clean it up. Some motor oil will lube it up. Any semi straight stick that fits loosely in the bore and a piece of rag will patch it out.

Looking through the TM, very, very few special tools are needed to work on one, and what few are needed can be copied by any semi-skilled metalworker.

It ain't rocket science or nuclear power.

Ed L.
12-02-07, 21:51
I find it laughable that some think taking care of an M16 is so difficult.

Can you point out exactly where I wrote that the M16 is difficult to take care of?

What I said was that the AK is more robust and more tolerant of lack of care than the M16.

There is a difference between the two.

texasyid
12-03-07, 13:36
I have AK's and AR's. If you look at a schematic of both that pretty much says it all.

Noff
12-03-07, 16:34
I'm kind of assuming that we're going to have at least some Americans in Afghanistan to supervise such things as weapons training and maintenance for a very long time, and if we don't then the whole situation has probably gone to hell anyway, and we won't necessarily want those rifles to be maintained well enough to be firing back at us. And if nothing else, in a scenario where large segments of the Afghan Army were to turn on us, wouldn't it be harder for them to get a sustained supply of 5.56 ammunition than 7.62 or 5.45?

Besides, I'm sure we spent nearly as much buying all those nice Bulgarian AKs for the Iraqis, and the Afghans probably want what the US soldiers are using, so I don't really see the problem with the whole situation.

To be honest though, I'm more interested in this thread because I'd like to hear some first hand assessments of how stable the Afghan army is and what its capabilities are. The whole AK vs. AR thing is done to death elsewhere.