Posts Tagged taliban

Insurgency and the Protracted War

From STRATFOR:

By Scott Stewart

In recent weeks, insurgent forces in several countries have been forced to withdraw from territories they once held. Somalia’s al Shabaab, which was pushed out of Mogadishu in October 2011, was ejected from Afmadow on May 30. The group now runs the risk of losing its hold once again on the port city of Kismayo, an important logistical and financial hub for al Shabaab.

In Syria, the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups were forced out of the city of Idlib and Homs’ Baba Amr district in March. They also withdrew from Al-Haffah on June 13.

Meanwhile in Yemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been forced to retreat from towns it took control of last year in southern Abyan province, including Jaar, Shaqra and Zinjibar. The organization controlled the area it seized from the government through its Ansar al-Sharia front organization. AQAP was able to capitalize on the infighting that began in Yemen in 2011 and successfully diverted the government’s focus away from AQAP and other militant groups. But in February, the election of new Yemeni President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi allowed the rift created by the infighting to be slowly healed. As a result, a combination of Yemeni soldiers and local tribesmen, backed by U.S. intelligence and fire support, have been able to push back AQAP and Ansar al-Sharia in recent weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Afghanistan: Moving Toward a Distant Endgame

From STRATFOR:

By George Friedman

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suggested last week that the United States could wrap up combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of 2013, well before the longstanding 2014 deadline when full control is to be ceded to Kabul. Troops would remain in Afghanistan until 2014, as agreed upon at the 2010 Lisbon Summit, and would be engaged in two roles until at least 2014 and perhaps even later. One role would be continuing the training of Afghan security forces. The other would involve special operations troops carrying out capture or kill operations against high-value targets.

Along with this announcement, the White House gave The New York Times some details on negotiations that have been under way with the Taliban. According to the Times, Mullah Mohammad Omar, the senior-most leader of the Afghan Taliban, last summer made overtures to the White House offering negotiations. An intermediary claiming to speak for Mullah Omar delivered the proposal, an unsigned document purportedly from Mullah Omar that could not be established as authentic. The letter demanded the release of some Taliban prisoners before any talks. In spite of the ambiguities, which included a recent public denial by the Taliban that the offer came from Mullah Omar, U.S. officials, obviously acting on other intelligence, regarded the proposal as both authentic and representative of the views of the Taliban leadership and, in all likelihood, those of Mullah Omar, too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maj. Samuel Griffith, USMC – Killed in Afghanistan

Maj. Samuel Griffith, USMC

Maj. Samuel Griffith

Maj. Samuel Griffith, a former F-18 driver with VMFA 533 and volunteer FAC (forward air controller) was killed in action In Helmand Provence Afghanistan on Dec 14th 2011.

More  here, here, and here

Maj. Samuel Griffith

Maj. Samuel Griffith VMFA- 533

Maj. Samuel Griffith

Maj. Samuel Griffith in Afghanistan

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V-22 Fights it’s First Gun Battle

From: Jacksonville Daily News and Danger Room

V-22

It was June 12 in the Sangin Valley in southern Afghanistan. U.S. Marines had been fighting the Taliban all day and had suffered heavy casualties, including two killed. Several resupply convoys had been turned back by enemy attack. The Marines were running low on food, water, ammunition and medical supplies.

That’s when the Marines’ V-22 Osprey tiltrotor swooped in, carrying life-saving supplies — and machine gun fire.

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Ahmed Shah Massoud

“We consider this our duty – to defend humanity against the scourge of intolerance, violence, and fanaticism.”

– Ahmed Shah Massoud

 

 

Ahmed Shah Massoud was a Kabul University engineering student turned military leader who played a leading role in driving the Soviet army out of Afghanistan, earning him the name “Lion of Panjshir”.

A Sunni Muslim who reportedly always carried a book of Sufi mystic Ghazali with him, he strongly rejected the interpretations of Islam followed by the Taliban, Al Qaeda or the Saudi establishment.

Following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan the Wall Street Journal named Massoud “the Afghan who won the Cold War”.

After the collapse of the communist Soviet-backed government of Mohammad Najibullah in 1992, Massoud became the Minister of Defense under the government of Burhanuddin Rabbani. Following the rise of the Taliban in 1996, Massoud returned to the role of an armed opposition leader, serving as the military commander and political leader of the United Islamic Front (also known in the West as Northern Alliance).

On September 9, 2001, two days before the September 11 attacks in the United States, Massoud was assassinated in Takhar Province of Afghanistan by two suspected Arab al-Qaeda suicide bombers posing as journalists.

The following year, he was named “National Hero” by the order of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_Shah_Massoud

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Marine Medal of Honor Recipient Sues Defense Giant BAE After Sniper Scope Fight

“Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer is perhaps this country’s best-recognized war hero, a man who risked his life over and over again to save his buddies from a Taliban ambush. That’s why he’s the only living Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor — the nation’s highest award for valor — for his actions in Afghanistan or Iraq.

It’s undoubtedly one reason why the defense giant BAE Systems hired Meyer after he left the Corps.

Then, BAE considered selling high-tech sniper rifle scopes to the Pakistani military. Meyer objected, given Islamabad’s um, unambiguous relationship with the terrorists and militants based in Pakistan. Then he quit. Suddenly, Meyer’s former bosses at BAE started calling the war hero “mentally unstable” and a drunk.

“We are taking the best gear, the best technology on the market to date and giving it to guys known to stab us in the back,” Meyer wrote to his supervisor…

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/11/bae-dakota-meyer/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Index+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29

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NATO service member killed in southern Afghanistan

From: Statesman.com

NATO says one of its service members has been killed in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan.

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Special Operations In Afghanistan

From USA Today:

In Afghanistan, commanders say, Special Forces have become an indispensable component of a strategy that involves killing the enemy in places where no one else can, and acting as ambassadors, protectors and instructors to Afghans who have expressed a desire to free themselves of militants and overlords.

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Taliban Killed In Small Battle

From The Washington Post:

The fighting lasted less than two hours, ending by about 8:30 p.m. No U.S. troops were killed. A spokesman for the Paktika governor said that 50 to 60 insurgents were killed.

The U.S. outpost has become a favorite target for Haqqani network insurgents based in Pakistan, who exploit the porous border to attack Americans. It was at least the third major attack on the base in a little more than a year.

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US forces ‘massing on Afghanistan-Pakistan border’

By Dean Nelson

US forces are massing on the Pakistan border in eastern Afghanistan amid reports of an imminent drone missile offensive against fighters from the feared Haqqani Network, a Taliban faction which operates from safe havens in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency, Pakistan Army sources have confirmed.
US forces ‘massing on Afghanistan-Pakistan border’

The scale of the American build-up, including helicopter gunships, heavy artillery and hundreds of American and Afghan troops, caused panic in north Waziristan where tribal militias who feared they could be targeted gathered in the capital Miranshah to coordinate their response.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8834040/US-forces-massing-on-Afghanistan-Pakistan-border.html

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NATO, Afghan forces kill 13 insurgents in operation in northern Afghanistan

From: Washington Post

KABUL, Afghanistan — NATO and Afghan forces killed 13 insurgents in an overnight operation targeting local Taliban leaders in northern Afghanistan, officials said Friday.

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Afghanistan – The Longest War

From: CBS

Ten years ago this week, U.S. forces went to war in Afghanistan to root out the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11, and to topple the Taliban government that gave them safe haven.

That’s been done, but Taliban insurgents – using Pakistan as a base – fight on, and the top U.S. general in Afghanistan says that the U.S. troops will remain there for a “long time,” likely far beyond a planned 2014 handover of security responsiblity.

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Kabul: Taliban member enters home for peace talks – detonates bomb hidden in his turban

“A Taliban suicide bomber on Tuesday killed Burhanuddin Rabbani, former Afghan president and head of the government’s peace council, a dramatic show of insurgent reach and a heavy blow to hopes of reaching a political end to the war.

The killing was a strong statement of Taliban opposition to peace talks, and as the latest in a string of high-profile assassinations will increase the apprehension of ordinary Afghans about their future as the insurgency gathers pace.

“A Taliban member who went to Rabbani’s house for peace talks detonated a bomb hidden in his turban,” a statement by the Kabul police chief’s office said.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/20/us-afghanistan-attack-idUSTRE78J3Y820110920

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The Evolution of a Pakistani Militant Network

The Evolution of a Pakistani Militant Network is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By Sean Noonan and Scott Stewart

For many years now, STRATFOR has been carefully following the evolution of “Lashkar-e-Taiba” (LeT), the name of a Pakistan-based jihadist group that was formed in 1990 and existed until about 2001, when it was officially abolished. In subsequent years, however, several major attacks were attributed to LeT, including the November 2008 coordinated assault in Mumbai, India. Two years before that attack we wrote that the group, or at least its remnant networks, were nebulous but still dangerous. This nebulous nature was highlighted in November 2008 when the “Deccan Mujahideen,” a previously unknown group, claimed responsibility for the Mumbai attacks.

While the most famous leaders of the LeT networks, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, are under house arrest and in jail awaiting trial, respectively, LeT still poses a significant threat. It’s a threat that comes not so much from LeT as a single jihadist force but LeT as a concept, a banner under which various groups and individuals can gather, coordinate and successfully conduct attacks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Eerie Photos and a New Report from Michael Yon

One Night in Zhari

12 September 2011

Note: This rough dispatch was written over many days during slivers of time between prepping gear and going on missions. Different sentences were written at different times.  Many operations unfolded and there were more injuries and fatalities in the brigade, and more progress against the enemy in this area.  On the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, 4-4 Cav was again in combat, as they are every day.

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