Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mini Battlefield Digest: Afghanistan, Week 43, Year OEF+7

Battlefield News, Afghanistan

The "news" from Afghanistan is almost all grim.

There are not enough boots on the ground to secure the country. In COIN-speak, that means that the battle will either be lost or fought to a standstill, right?

Al-qa'ida, elements of Pakistan ISI, and Iran are all implicated, alongside the flourishing drug trade, as enablers of the ongoing conflict. A political "resolution" seems well on the horizon, with both sides dug in deep, in hopes of the elusive "win".

Political Developments and Major Campaign Resource Shifts

  • Roggio: The prime minister of Canada said he intends to pull all Canadian forces out of Afghanistan by December 2011. The Taliban said attacks have been stepped up to influence Canada's election. -Wednesday, September 10, 2008
  • Roggio: A senior Taliban commander said Iran is supplying EFPs to the terror group. -Monday, September 15, 2008
  • Roggio: The Taliban welcomed Canada's decision to withdraw by 2011. The Taliban have killed 720 police officers in the past six months. -Tuesday, September 16, 2008
  • Roggio: The US defense secretary said three more combat brigades will be available to deploy to Afghanistan by the spring of 2009. -Tuesday, September 23, 2008
  • Roggio: The Governor of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province said the US must negotiate with the Taliban, the Haqqanis, and Hekmatyar. Six policemen were killed in attacks in Kabul province. -Wednesday, September 24, 2008
  • Roggio: President Karzai requested Saudi Arabia assist with opening peace negotiations with the Taliban. -Tuesday, September 30, 2008
  • Roggio: The Taliban refused to negotiate with the Afghan government. "We reject an offer for negotiation by the Afghan's puppet and slave President Hamid Karzai," Mullah Baradar said. The US notified Pakistan of an airstrike near the Afghan-Pakistani border. -Friday, October 3, 2008
  • Roggio: The senior US general in Afghanistan said more troops are needed immediately. -Wednesday, October 1, 2008
  • Roggio: A leaked report by the British Ambassador in Kabul claims US strategy is wrong and the war is as good as lost. -Wednesday, October 1, 2008
  • Roggio: A leaked Spanish report said Pakistan's ISI provided arms, IEDs, and other support to the Taliban. -Wednesday, October 1, 2008
  • Roggio: Germany has extended its mandate to operate in Afghanistan by 14 months. -Tuesday, October 7, 2008
  • Roggio: A battalion of French troops reportedly oppose being deployed to Afghanistan. Germany's foreign minister wants the country's commandos withdrawn. -Saturday, October 4, 2008
  • MCT: Though under-staffed, multi-national forces are making progress in Afghanistan, the former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan told the Beaufort Rotary Club during a luncheon Wednesday. -Thursday, October 16, 2008

COIN: Actions, Reactions, Counteractions, etc.
  • Roggio: A 100-man Czech special forces team unit is operating outside of NATO command. -Thursday, September 4, 2008
  • Roggio: The US defense secretary apologized for recent airstrikes that caused civilian casualties. NATO seeks to implement rules to decrease civilian casualties. -Wednesday, September 17, 2008
  • Roggio: The US is re-evaluating its Afghan war strategy. -Thursday, September 18, 2008
  • Roggio: Russia warned it would cut off NATO's air bridge to Afghanistan if countries did not stop "hostile" policies toward Moscow. -Thursday, September 18, 2008
  • Roggio: Australian forces accidentally killed a district leader and several of his men in Uruzgan province. -Thursday, September 18, 2008
  • NPR: When a new administration takes over in January, it will inherit the challenging and overlapping problems of Afghanistan and Pakistan, two countries that are critical to U.S. national security. -Friday, October 17, 2008
  • RTTNews: In what could be disturbing news for the government of President Hamid Karzai, the former mayor of Afghanistan's Herat province is now the most powerful local Taliban commander, media reports said. -Friday, October 17, 2008
  • Canwest : Another senior government official has been shot dead in Kandahar city, fuelling a new fear in the troubled area as Taliban assassins increasingly target Afghans linked to the government and foreign organizations. -Wednesday, October 15, 2008
  • Roggio: The US Army closed down a combat outpost in the Gowardesh Valley in Kunar province. The US secretary of defense said negotiations with some elements of the Taliban is possible. -Thursday, October 9, 2008
  • theherald: The ratio of dead to wounded for British soldiers fighting in Afghanistan is approaching loss levels not seen since the Second World War, The Herald can reveal. -Wednesday, October 15, 2008
  • Roggio: The Pakistani military fired on two US helicopters operating along the border inside Afghan territory in Khost province. Pakistan claimed the helicopters crossed the border, flew over a Paksitani outpost, "returned fire and flew back." -Thursday, September 25, 2008
VIOLENCE: Tactical Developments
  • Roggio: The Taliban freed 118 Afghan laborers who were kidnapped last week in Farah. -Friday, September 26, 2008
  • Roggio: A battalion of French troops reportedly oppose being deployed to Afghanistan. Germany's foreign minister wants the country's commandos withdrawn. -Saturday, October 4, 2008
  • Roggio: The Afghan government denied reports it conducted peace talks with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia last month. President Karzai's brother denied accusations that he is involved in Afghanistan's heroin trade and threatened to sue The New York Times. Spanish military intelligence said Iran offered to shelter Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. -Monday, October 6, 2008
  • AP: An Afghan official says a suicide bomber in northern Afghanistan has killed two German soldiers and five children. The governor of Kunduz province, Mohammad Omar, says two other German soldiers and two children were wounded... -Monday, October 20, 2008
  • IRNA: Taliban insurgents pulled some 50 passengers off a bus in southern Afghanistan and beheaded as many as 30 of them after accusing them of being soldiers traveling in civilian clothes, Afghan officials said. -Monday, October 20, 2008
  • AFP : A British aid worker was shot dead in the Afghan capital on Monday in a killing claimed by the Islamic Taliban militia which accused her organisation of "preaching Christianity" -Monday, October 20, 2008
  • Reuters: Taliban insurgents killed 25 Afghan civilians, including a child, after firing on one bus and seizing control of another in the southern province of Kandahar, a local police chief said on Sunday. -Sunday, October 19, 2008
  • BBC: A woman has been arrested on charges of kidnapping three children. Giving details to Afghan Islamic Press [AIP] about this, Mr Abdol Rauf Ahmadi, the spokesman for Security Command of police in west zone, said that the police detained... -Sunday, October 19, 2008
  • AFP: The car bomb exploded at the gates of a base which is run by Italian troops in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) with some Spanish soldiers also stationed there. "We did have casualties - just wounded,"... -Saturday, October 18, 2008
  • AFP: A suicide car bomb exploded outside a base of the NATO-led military force in Afghanistan's western city of Herat, wounding several troops, the alliance said. -Saturday, October 18, 2008
  • AP: Five Afghan immigrants enslaved a teenage girl they brought to the United States, with some forcing her to do chores and one beating and sexually assaulting her, according to a federal indictment unsealed this week. -Saturday, October 18, 2008
  • abc.net: Afghan locals say women and children were among civilians killed in an air attack by international forces in the country's south. Locals say that 25 civilians were killed in the attack in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province. -Thursday, October 16, 2008
  • Denverpost: In a bow to public outrage over a recent spate of U.S.-led airstrikes in Afghanistan that resulted in more than 100 civilian deaths, NATO officials have ordered commanders to try to lessen their reliance on air power in battles with insurgents... -Thursday, October 16, 2008
  • Reuters: Twenty-two Taliban insurgents and six Afghan policemen were killed in overnight clashes in the south of the country, provincial authorities said on Wednesday. -Wednesday, October 15, 2008
  • AP: Five Afghan scholars visiting the University of Washington to work on their master's theses were reported missing after failing to show up for training sessions, university officials said. -Wednesday, October 15, 2008
  • BBC: At least 18 Taliban militants have been killed while attacking a police checkpoint in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, officials say. Police say dozens of insurgents took part in the attack - the second major assault on Lashkar Gah this week. -Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Economic Developments, Reconstruction, and General Good News

[this space purposely left blank because of lack of de-classified, systematic data]

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