Dec 14 2007

Taliban Crushed In Afghanistan, Key Commander Defected

Published by at 7:50 am under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT

The Wheels are coming of the Islamo Fascist movement across the Middle East. The invincibility of al-Qaeda that was building and hit its peak with 9-11 has been crumbling in the face of real military action on the part of America and the West. Along with the spreading news about their notorious atrocities on fellow Muslims in Iraq, it seems many are turning on al-Qaeda and handing them defeat after defeat. ABC News has the story from Afghanistan of a major offensive against the Taliban and al-Qaeda – assisted by the defection of one of the Taliban’s key commanders:

Afghanistan’s government flag was raised Wednesday on what had been one of the biggest strongholds of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and a leading world center of heroin production.

The town of about 45,000 people was secured at about 9:30 a.m. as Afghan troops, steered by British soldiers and U.S. Green Berets, drove out remnants of the Taliban resistance from Musa Qala in the opium poppy region of northern Helmand.

Embedded with a team of British troops and a detachment “A–team” of U.S. special forces, I watched the Taliban being pounded these last few days with overwhelming force — vapor trails circled in the clear blue sky over the Helmand desert as B1 and B52 bombers backed by A10 tank busters, F16s, Apache helicopters and Specter gunships were used to kill hundreds of Taliban fighters.

The operation was launched last Tuesday with an attack across the Helmand River by British Royal Marine commandos, a thrust from the west by light armor of the U.K. Household Cavalry Regiment; all this, however, was a feint for the main airborne landing from the north of a battalion of soldiers of Task Force Fury from the 82nd Airborne.

Faced with a full brigade of NATO forces, a brigade of Afghan government fighters and the defection of a key Taliban commander, the Taliban chose not to flee at first but to fight a desperate battle.

It is great news from Afghanistan. al-Qaeda had been apparently moving forces (or would that be retreating forces) from Iraq and back to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they made juicy targets. I am sure US and NATO forces controlled the surrounding area but monitored the incoming terrorists as they massed for their big defeat. It was pretty much a route:

U.S. forces believe the Taliban were backed by a large strength of foreign fighters, including those linked to al Qaeda. Soldiers who I accompanied found one dead fighter whose notebook revealed he was from Pakistan.

While hundreds of Taliban are believed to have been killed, two British soldiers and one American soldier lost their lives. All the deaths, however, resulted from vehicles striking mines left not, it is believed, by the Taliban but by Soviet forces in the 1980s.

On three major fronts the terrorists are on the run: Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Only in the latter two do they occupy serious real estate. Maybe with this battle even that is not the case. But al-Qaeda and the Taliban are not on the offensive and making progress anywhere, that much is clear.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Taliban Crushed In Afghanistan, Key Commander Defected”

  1. WWS says:

    The Taliban forces have always been among the most tactically inept fighters in history. At times they have fought well as individuals, but in terms of planning they have repeatedly shown a mindset based on nothing but emotion and bravado.

    Example: an outnumbered guerilla force *never* concentrates in any identifiable locale and tries to create a fortress – that makes it trivially easy for the larger force (in this the US/UK forces) to surround the area slowly, drive the fighters into their fortress, and then annihilate them when all escape is cut off. I suggest the Taliban fought a major battle, which they lost, because they had been manouvered into a place where that or surrender was the only choice left.

    There are reportedly still 3 smaller towns left that they control – Taliban traps is all they will be. Cut off from each other with small garrisons and no reinforcements or escape, they will be easy to pick off one by one, and it won’t be a surprise if the afghan-born fighters there all defect. The foreign born fighters don’t really have that option, and are going to have to die in place.

  2. crosspatch says:

    This year is much different than previous years. This is the first year where we seem to have got a grip on the way to defeat “asymmetric warfare” and that is through what I call “environmental warfare”. No matter what size your force is, the weather is still just as cold for you, your people still need to eat, etc. They still operate in the same environment you are. You can defeat asymmetric warfare by using the environment in which it must operate to your advantage. Force them to fight when it is bitter cold and you can leverage your advantage in gear and shelter, for example. Force them to move and fight for months on the run to leverage your ability to supply.

    In past years we were reluctant to do much in Winter. The Taliban would hunker down for the winter, rest, train, maybe fatten up and every spring we would have the much ballyhooed “Spring Offensive” where these fresh Taliban fighters would pour in from Pakistan and start things going for the summer.

    This year is different. It looks like we are going to push them all winter in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. They are left running around in a part of Afghanistan where most farming has gone to poppies. That’s fine but you can’t survive on eating opium. Growing opium is fine if you can use the cash to buy grain. It is better for a fighting force to move around in an area where there is food stores. That way they can forage off the local area. If there is little food in storage and what is available has been purchased with cash, fighters are going to have a harder go of it because every bushel of grain taken from someone is food out of their mouth.

    We should keep the pressure up all this winter. We should give the enemy hope that the end of hostilities are just around the corner and we will be breaking for the winter only to dash those hopes with new offensives time and time again. By the time Spring arrives they should be tired, on the verge of starvation, out of ammunition, and in control of only a very small area devoid of most resources.