The return of the Taliban

Road Ratt

Diabloii.Net Member
The return of the Taliban

Oct. 2, 2006 issue - You don't have to drive very far from Kabul these days to find the Taliban. In Ghazni province's Andar district, just over a two-hour trip from the capital on the main southern highway, a thin young man, dressed in brown and wearing a white prayer cap, stands by the roadside waiting for two NEWSWEEK correspondents. It is midday on the central Afghan plains, far from the jihadist-infested mountains to the east and west. Without speaking, the sentinel guides his visitors along a sandy horse trail toward a mud-brick village within sight of the highway. As they get closer a young Taliban fighter carrying a walkie-talkie and an AK-47 rifle pops out from behind a tree. He is manning an improvised explosive device, he explains, in case Afghan or U.S. troops try to enter the village.

In a parched clearing a few hundred yards on, more than 100 Taliban fighters ranging in age from teenagers to a grandfatherly 55-year-old have assembled to meet their provincial commander, Muhammad Sabir. An imposing man with a long, bushy beard, wearing a brown and green turban and a beige shawl over his shoulders, Sabir inspects his troops, all of them armed with AKs and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. He claims to have some 900 fighters, and says the military and psychological tide is turning in their favor. "One year ago we couldn't have had such a meeting at midnight," says Sabir, who is in his mid-40s and looks forward to living out his life as an anti-American jihadist. "Now we gather in broad daylight. The people know we are returning to power."

Source

I've heard the war in Iraq heralded as the "War of Wills", I guess when it comes to Afghanistan... we have no will left.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
It isn't; Afghanistan is currently experiencing the worst fighting since the overthrow of the Taliban.

Afghanistan is fast becoming the Forgotten War of this century.
 

DurfBarian

Diabloii.Net Member
"Return"? They went away?

The NATO forces have been making some headway recently, actually, but it isn't enough. The war has been forgotten by most of the public. Luckily the end result is plenty of delicious opium for all of us.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
Well, I suppose this is good for the pro-war side; they can point at Afghanistan and say "look what happens when we cut and run".
 

Yaboosh

Diabloii.Net Member
SalivaMonster said:
Lets face it, you can't win a war without winning hearts and minds.

Sure you can, you just kill everybody on the opposing side, even if that is everybody.
 

Drosselmeier

Diabloii.Net Member
Afghanistan is full of warlords who govern rival factions. All the militias I've heard about represent one of the various ethnic factions. When the Taliban were removed the rest of the warlords gained strenght, relatively speaking. Afghanistan has not been properly policed, despite the pleas of the local civilians living in rural areas. The warlords have consolidated their positions and have been harassing the locals out of view of most western media. Even if the Taliban had been gone for good the place would have started falling apart sooner or later since nothing is done to deal with the militias.

The Taliban are back for real this time. They've been coming back for two or three years now, but this is the first time the news is leaking out into the mainstream media. The reason the Taliban have managed a comeback, and always will come back no matter what anyone does, is that they're the representatives of the pushtuns, who make up roughly 40% of the population. As long as Afghanistan is Afghanistan the pushtuns will feel that they need an armed force and that armed force is the Taliban. They were in power, living the sweet life, until they were kicked out. Why would they (the 40%) not sieze the first opportunity to climb back in the saddle? They'd rather be in charge than be bossed around by tajiks or uzbeks, I bet.

It's been pretty easy for them to mobilize since the US and UN have mostly kept to Kabul and their bases. That's the only place where you can have a hot shower, clean water and cooked food, and also the only place where you're not liable to get hurt. The rural areaas have not been properly policed. There are too few international soldiers in Afghanistan, and those who are there are not out in the villages disarming militia men. The few patrols they go out on are not nearly enough to keep a place like Afghanistan peaceful. The civilians who wanted the warlords kept on a tight leash have now learnt that the US/UN lack the will and resources to properly police the place, and this means the smart thing for them to do is to pick a warlord to represent them instead. For a lot of pushtuns that means the Taliban.
 

jackthelad

Diabloii.Net Member
This isn't news to me; almost 20 UK troops have been killed by the Taliban in the south recently: its hardly ever out of the news. ITN news have had a few special reports from frontline bases too, the Paras manning those bases say that it is much, much harder than Iraq ever was, they have used hand grenades (max range ~30m) several times to prevent being overrun. One report in particular told of 17 UK troops, 10 Estonians & 200 Afghans who went in to recover a Taliban-held base: they were meant to be there for less than 24 hours, & were actually there for nearly 6 days. They had to call in nearly 50 airstrikes during that time to prevent being overrun.

On here, theres a video report at the bottom which may be it, I cant open it with FF so Im not sure.

Some more here.
 

HAMC8112

Diabloii.Net Member
jackthelad said:
the Paras manning those bases say that it is much, much harder than Iraq ever was, they have used hand grenades (max range ~30m) several times to prevent being overrun.
Shouldnt they been using landmines to prevent that?
 

skihard

Banned
dondrei said:
Afghanistan is fast becoming the Forgotten War of this century.
Good thing this century is only 6 years or so old, we luckily will have plenty of time to have other Forgotten Wars of this century.
 

jackthelad

Diabloii.Net Member
HAMC8112 said:
Shouldnt they been using landmines to prevent that?

Im not sure on this but I think we have signed up to that international land mine agreement thing, which means we dont use 'em anymore.
 

HAMC8112

Diabloii.Net Member
jackthelad said:
Im not sure on this but I think we have signed up to that international land mine agreement thing, which means we dont use 'em anymore.
Ask them para's in the front line if they think that is a good idea.

How stupid can it get? I can see it now, the soldiers at the frontline putting mines before their trenches or positions in general. The officer: hey you cant do that! The soldier: how are we supposed to kill the enemy? The officer: use handgrenades! :laugh:

The enemy: lets attack the Brittish soldiers, they are not allowed to use mines, only handgrenades.:laugh:
 

skihard

Banned
Mine fields are still used by the US and its allies only they have changed how they are put down now. Now all mine fields have to have a way to be cleared once the conflict is over, the best way to do that is to have mines that self detonate after a specified time frame. The most commonly used dispersal system in the army is now the volcano system. It deploys mines with built in timers over pretty accurate area by helicopter, truck, and even boat. The air force uses a cluster mine dispensing system that also has self detonating mines in it. They are often used on enemy run ways and lines of advancement that the enemy may use. Unintended loss of life is very minimal and the mines detonate when their time is up 98.6% of the time.
 

jackthelad

Diabloii.Net Member
This is one reason for not using mines (tho its in the Sun so sensationalist to the max!)
Also we are supposed to be winning over the people, so having civilians killed in minefields (lots of these firebases are in towns) isnt going to help.

Some more background.
 

jimmyboy

Diabloii.Net Member
I think the report is now the Taliban and Al-Qeida is using parts of Pakistan as sanctuary. We can't go in there because we'd be violating Paki sovereignty.

Pakis don't go there because they've an unwritten truce with the locals of that region.

Essentially, Osama and his boys are there, but untouchable. And it's from there they can plan their return and rebuild the Taliban and Al-Q.

We got played by the Pakis. But we can't do jack, since it's our biggest ally.

Man what a freaking mess we're in.
 

HAMC8112

Diabloii.Net Member
jackthelad said:
This is one reason for not using mines (tho its in the Sun so sensationalist to the max!)
Also we are supposed to be winning over the people, so having civilians killed in minefields (lots of these firebases are in towns) isnt going to help.

Some more background.
Here's a bit from your second link, the first didnt open.

Commanders have been surprised, too, by the Taleban tactics. They expected classic guerrilla hit-and-run attacks but, instead, the Taleban have been carrying out wave after wave of frontal assaults on the British bases.
Commanders are not allowed to put up mines for the defence of their posts and they are surprized that the Taliban are doing frontal assaults,

What sick and twisted politicians do we have nowadays? They take away a major defensive force (landmines) from their own soldiers in the name of what? How bleeding stupid can you get?

The politician: Hey soldier, you cannot use mines anymore.
The soldier: But sir? We are dieing!
The politian: Shut up! We are civilized! You dieing is a small price to pay. Dumbass civilians keep voting for us anyway.
 
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