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Posts Tagged afghanistan
REAL COMBAT footage in Afghanistan, “Attack on the Fourth of July”
Documentary telling the story of soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team 25th Infantry Division (Airborne) defending a combat outpost from a massive Taliban attack that took place on July 4th, 2009. This documentary is part of an EMMY nominated series that is currently airing on the Pentagon Channel. This “redux” version is in full HD and has actual footage taken by the Taliban on the day of the attack and was procured by U.S. soldiers after the battle. Produced and Shot by SSG Robert Ham.
A KC-135 has crashed just a few days after a 747 crashed in Bagram.
From Military Times:
This is the third crash of a U.S.-based plane in the region in the last week, following two crashes in Afghanistan. An MC-12 Liberty surveillance plane crashed April 27 near Kandahar Airfield, killing crewmembers Capt. Brandon Cyr, Capt. Reid Nishizuka, Staff Sgt. Richard Dickson and Staff Sgt. Daniel Fannin. On April 29, a Boeing 747 belonging to National Air Cargo crashed on takeoff out of Bagram Airfield, killing seven crewmembers.
“Avoiding the Wars That Never End is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
By George Friedman
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States would transfer the primary responsibility for combat operations in Afghanistan to the Afghan military in the coming months, a major step toward the withdrawal of U.S. forces. Also last week, France began an intervention in Mali designed to block jihadists from taking control of the country and creating a base of operations in France’s former African colonies.
The two events are linked in a way that transcends the issue of Islamist insurgency and points to a larger geopolitical shift. The United States is not just drawing down its combat commitments; it is moving away from the view that it has the primary responsibility for trying to manage the world on behalf of itself, the Europeans and its other allies. Instead, that burden is shifting to those who have immediate interests involved. Read the rest of this entry »
From RAND Corporation:
In the first few days of 2012, the Afghan Taliban confirmed in an email to media outlets what had been whispered about for weeks: that a tentative agreement had been reached to open an office in Qatar from which to engage in preliminary peace negotiations with the U.S.-led coalition. The move drew criticism for cutting the Afghan government out of the loop and for lending legitimacy and influence to the Taliban even as it continued carrying out serious attacks. However, it also represented the first important step toward the near-universally accepted reality that any resolution in Afghanistan would occur at the negotiation table and not on the battlefield.
One significant trend is the expansion of al Qaeda’s global network. The leaders of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al Shabaab in Somalia, al Qaeda in Iraq, and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (in North Africa) have sworn bayat, or loyalty, to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and provided him with funding, global influence, and a cadre of trained fighters. None of these affiliate organizations existed a decade ago. But, over the past several years, attacks by these affiliates have increased.
An Army sniffer dog who died of a seizure shortly after his handler was killed in Afghanistan will posthumously receive the highest Military Honour available to animals today.
“Defining al Qaeda is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
By Scott Stewart
The Obama administration’s efforts to counter the threat posed by al Qaeda and the wider jihadist movement have been a contentious topic in the U.S. presidential race. Political rhetoric abounds on both sides; administration officials claim that al Qaeda has been seriously crippled, while some critics of the administration allege that the group is stronger than ever. As with most political rhetoric, both claims bear elements of truth, but the truth depends largely on how al Qaeda and jihadism are defined. Unfortunately, politicians and the media tend to define al Qaeda loosely and incorrectly.
The jihadist threat will persist regardless of who is elected president, so understanding the actors involved is critical. But a true understanding of those actors requires taxonomical acuity. It seems worthwhile, then, to revisit Stratfor’s definitions of al Qaeda and the wider jihadist movement. Read the rest of this entry »
“Evolution and Trends in Terrorism Tradecraft is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
By Scott Stewart
The terrorist tradecraft discussed in last week’s Security Weekly does not happen in isolation. The practitioners of terrorist tradecraft conduct their activities in the midst of other people — the authorities attempting to identify them and thwart their plans as well as civilians. Terrorist tradecraft also does not remain static. It is constantly evolving. These changes are prompted not only by countermeasures put in place to prevent terrorist attacks but also by advances in technology — a powerful force that can serve to either nullify old tradecraft practices or to provide new tools to the purveyors of terror.
Terrorism is an enduring reality. While geopolitical changes may cause a shift in the actors who employ terrorism as a tactic, terrorism will continue to be used no matter what the next geopolitical cycle brings. It is, and will continue to be, a tactic used by militant actors who want to confront a militarily superior enemy. Focusing on the tradecraft used in attacks and charting its changes and trends not only permits observers to understand what is happening and why but also provides an opportunity to forecast what is coming next. Read the rest of this entry »
From: Micheal Yon
This is the most stunning and forceful letter I have read from the Afghanistan war. It was written in 2010 from Afghanistan by Colonel Harry Tunnell, the Brigade Commander of 5/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
After this letter, Colonel Tunnell was investigated and the normal smear campaign unfolded. Having been embedded with his Brigade in 2010, it became obvious that they were put into a no-win situation, with troops spread over several provinces in Afghanistan.
Dakota L. Meyer (born June 26, 1988) is a United States Marine Corps veteran and recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Ganjgal on September 8, 2009, part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Kunar province, Afghanistan. He is the third living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War, and the first living United States Marine in 38 years to be so honored.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September 2009. Corporal Meyer maintained security at a patrol rally point while other members of his team moved on foot with two platoons of Afghan National Army and Border Police into the village of Ganjgal for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders. Moving into the village, the patrol was ambushed by more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes above. Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off, Corporal Meyer seized the initiative. With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner’s position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area. During the first two trips, he and his driver evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded. When one machine gun became inoperable, he directed a return to the rally point to switch to another gun-truck for a third trip into the ambush area where his accurate fire directly supported the remaining U.S. personnel and Afghan soldiers fighting their way out of the ambush. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, Corporal Meyer made two more trips into the ambush area in a third gun-truck accompanied by four other Afghan vehicles to recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and search for the missing U.S. team members. Still under heavy enemy fire, he dismounted the vehicle on the fifth trip and moved on foot to locate and recover the bodies of his team members. Corporal Meyer’s daring initiative and bold fighting spirit throughout the 6-hour battle significantly disrupted the enemy’s attack and inspired the members of the combined force to fight on. His unwavering courage and steadfast devotion to his U.S. and Afghan comrades in the face of almost certain death reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service