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The War in Afghanistan…on different fronts…….

While the Marines have launched a strong military push and media push into Marja , Afghanista…..the CIA has launched another front in Pakistan and Afghansan……by snatching up the heads of the Taliban operations ……..

The Marines are pushing on after a quiet entrance and fierce fighting for the last couple of days….The CIA capture count is up to three and rising…….

The long-term objective will be to hold the ground retaken and try to keep pace with the replacement leadership that filling the vacuum caused by the snatched leaders…..

But the Taliban have been here before and this is their response…….

The full fury of a U.S. military air-ground task force is being unleashed on a small town in southern Afghanistan. Strike jets, helicopter gunships and armed robot drones directed by airborne and satellite sensors tracking enemy movements, and thousands of heavily armed infantrymen are advancing (with a heavy media presence) behind armored trucks and ground-penetrating radar sweeping for IEDs, while rapid-fire artillery rockets whoosh overhead.

Ever since U.S. combat troops descended on Afghanistan in October 2001, the Taliban fighters have been flaunting their ability to fade away when facing this kind of combat power. It seems childishly petulant even to repeat it: insurgents simply don’t fight big modern armies head-on. They disappear, only to pop up later at a time and place of their own choosing.

Now, just 48 hours after the battle for the southern Afghanistan market town of Marja was launched, military commanders are confirming that many of the Taliban fighters who had made Marja a base of operations had slipped away during the weeks that U.S. forces were loudly preparing the assault and freely broadcasting its location and purpose. A senior officer told me this morning that the Taliban leadership had “bugged out,” leaving behind 100 to 150 fighters with orders to fight and die in place. “And they are,” this officer reported. As in previous battles, the Taliban are fighting from compounds jammed with families, and there have been resultant civilian casualties. Given all this, it was odd to hear a British military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Gordon Messenger, assert that the goal of “surprising the Taliban” seemed to have been met. His evidence: “The Taliban have not been able to put up a coherent response. They appear confused and disorientated.”

The CIA front has been sucessful in two ways…..tracking down and making caputures…and working both governmenets to do so…..

The reported capture of Mullah Abdul Salam follows word of the recent arrest, also in Pakistan, of the Taliban’s No. 2 leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, whose influence was described as second only to the movement’s spiritual leader and supreme commander, Mullah Mohammed Omar.

Salam, the shadow governor of Kunduz province in Afghanistan’s north, was arrested earlier this month, according to the officially appointed governor of Kunduz, Mohammed Omar. He said he was informed of the capture by intelligence officials.

“This is a big blow for the Taliban here,” Omar said.

It was not immediately known whether Salam’s arrest was related to that of Baradar, but Taliban shadow governors, who are usually senior commanders, are thought to travel regularly to Pakistan for consultations with the movement’s leadership, known as the Quetta shura.

Omar said he was told that a deputy of Salam’s, Mullah Mohammed, was arrested along with him. Some previous reports have identified Mullah Mohammed as the shadow governor of neighboring Baghlan province.

Taliban shadow governments sprang up across Afghanistan after the movement was driven from power in 2001 by a U.S.-led invasion. By late last year, according to a Western intelligence official, there were shadow governments in all but two of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

One would think that these actions are no coincidence coming from the CIA…… after the Taliban attack on the CIA info  center last month ……that resulted in seven of their members being taken out……

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Marines and Afghan Army begin a major push against the Taliban at Marja……

Thousands of U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers traveling in helicopters and mine-resistant vehicles began punching into a key Taliban stronghold in southernAfghanistan early Saturday, as the largest military operation since 2001 to assert government control over this country got underway.

The first wave of Marines and Afghan soldiers swooped into the farming community of Marja about 2 a.m. Saturday local time (4:30 p.m. Eastern), their CH-53 Super Stallion transport helicopters landing amid clouds of dust on fallow fields. As the troops, weighed down with ammunition and supplies, lumbered out and set up defensive positions, AV-8B Harrier fighter jets and AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters circled overhead in the moonless sky.

Two more waves of troops touched down over the following 90 minutes near other strategic locations in Marja. Like the earlier contingent, they did not meet with immediate resistance.

Map shows location of U.S. offensive against the Taliban in Marja, Nad Ali District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan

At sunrise, hundreds more Marines and Afghan soldiers plan to enter the area by land, using mobile bridges to ford irrigation canals —built by U.S. engineers more than 50 years ago — that have served as defensive moats for the Taliban. Heavily armored mine-sweeping trucks and specially outfitted tanks will work to carve a path through a belt of makeshift bombs buried around the town.

The Marines entering Marja are with some of the first new military units to arrive in Afghanistan as a result of President Obama’s decision in December to authorize the deployment of 30,000 additional troops to combat a growing insurgency. The operation is intended to deprive the Taliban of a haven in Helmand province, which military intelligence officials say is home to numerous bombmaking facilities and drug-processing labs.

“We’re going to take Marja away from the Taliban,” said Brig. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, commander of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. Doing so, he said, could result in “a fundamental change in Helmand and, by extension, the entire nation of Afghanistan.”

The question will be ….like in Iraq…can they hold the ground after taking it….and can they get the locals to feel secure enough to resist the Taliban…..

February 12, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Automobiles, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, Politics, Updates | , , , | 2 Comments

Pakistan is solely focused on one issue….UAV attacks….They could care less about the Taliban….

In a piece in MYDD.com, by Charles Lemos, he highlights the problems the administration has in Pakistan…which the White House is pushing to step up its campaign to go after the Taliban…I just did a post on how Aftghanistan has essential told the United States that it can’t and won’t be able to take care of itself for the next 20 years….Here in Pakistan is a country that is saying we’re not in any hurry..what’s the problem?…and by the way stop flying your Predator’s in our country( and maybe the bad guys will the go away, huh?)…..we’re more worried about getting respect and keeping an eye on India….

This from Shayan Khan of the Pakistan Spectator is typical. Back in October he wrote:

Pakistan’s concerns over Kerry-Lugar bill are there for sure, but they are not that important. The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has backed a bill that would triple economic assistance for Pakistan, a key US ally in the fight against terrorism, to 7.5 billion dollars over five years. But it perhaps come as a surprise for the Kerry that Pakistanis don’t really think much of any aid or such things. They want US to take them as humans like themselves and to understand that the people dying from the drone attacks are 99% Pakistanis, and only perhaps 1% are anything to do with militancy. (The) war on terror has given Pakistan the gory gifts of suicide attacks and bomb blasts and the economic life in Pakistan has come to a grinding halt.

The Taliban are not going anyplace if the Predators stop flying….

and then there is this……

Instead of funding an educational system, Pakistan prefers to invest in tanks. Pakistan spends only 2.3 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education – the lowest level of any country in South Asia – as compared to 3.6 percent on average for other nations in Asia and 3.4 percent in low-income countries overall. This puts Pakistan in the bottom quarter of countries world-wide. Military spending, meanwhile, accounts for 3.5 percent of GDP, an amount that places Pakistan in the top quarter of countries world-wide. The result of inadequate funding for education is that only about half of Pakistani adults can read and write, compared to 92 percent in Sri Lanka and 60 percent in India.

This is not going to be easy folks…….

December 8, 2009 Posted by | Government, Military, Politics | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The future of the Unites States, Afthaganistan and Pakistain……

In the coming weeks the President, Congress, and this country are going to have a public discussion about Afghanistan, and Pakistan (AFTPAK)……the US General running the war campaign there is going to spell out what he needs to carry on the war. The request he is going to hand up  by September 24 is going to include Troops, hardware and money (lots of it)…….this is because the battle with the Taliban is being carried out in a country with no infrastructure……a country (‘right out of the old testament’ )….now some in congress are objecting to the obvious fact that the United States in going to have to fight an enemy AND BUILD AFTGANISTAN INTO A 21ST CENTURY COUNTRY…….and will probably take a lot of time (a decade? ) and patience…….cause AFTPAK is gonna make Iraq look like child’s play if the president gets the ‘go ahead’……..

August 9, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feingold will be against any troop increase in Afghanistan……

Next week Gen. McChrystal, who is in charge of the Afghanistan war campaign, is most assuredly going to ask for more troops. Mindful of the mistakes Rumsfeld  made going into Iraq, and emboldened by the progress with ‘surge’,  he has to ask for more troops………

Sen. Feingold  is staking out the opposite position upfront. Namely:  that more troops will just push the Taliban into Pakistan….. He makes a good point… But what do we do?……If you don’t keep pushing…… you lose the current gains on the ground, since the Taliban WILL regroup and come back stronger………my feeling is that the US wants to push the Taliban back to India, where there is a stronger army, that will present a wall to the fundamentalist’s……….

August 6, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment