Tag Archives: Coalition forces

Afghanistan Demands End To Civilian Harassment

President Karzai is demanding an end to the bombing if his nation’s population by US and coalition forces in an effort to restore confidence in his government. He told the people of Afghanistan he had sent request to his allies regarding troop behavior in his nation. “Part of that list was they they shouldn’t on their own, enter the houses of our people and bombard our villages and detain our people.” The president has repeatedly urged his allies to avoid actions which backfire by persuading ordinary citizens to look more favorably on Taliban forces. His comments came on the same day, UN chief in Afghanistan, Kai Eide, called for Coalition forces to rethink their strategy of entering homes and bombing.

The behavior of Coalition and US forces in Afghanistan simply reflects an inability to learn from mistakes in Vietnam and Iraq the importance of winning over ordinary civilians if an insurgency is to be defeated. The use of military force in itself will not end the Taliban.

Taliban Warns US And Coalition Forces

Mullah Omar, leader of the Taliban, warned western powers any increase in their forces within Afghanistan would only result in more and more casualties. “Your current casualties of hundreds will jack up to thousand casualties of dead and injured” warned the fugitive leader. Ironically, Omar warns there will be more death and destruction as George Bush is talking about sending additional American forces into Afghanistan. There are currently about 62,000 troops in Afghanistan and talk of an additional 20,000 soon to arrive. Omar is calling upon Afghans to abandon the Karzai government while Karzai is asking Afghans to abandon the Taliban and join his side.

Both the Taliban and America discuss the situation in terms of troops and fighting, but neither side has any program of economic assistance to the people of this devastated land. Seven years after the Taliban were driven out, America is discussing the need to build an effective Afghan army. Why wasn’t this idea accomplished seven years ago when it was then possible to destroy the Taliban which was weak and disorganized? Is this another topic, George Bush doesn’t wish to rethink?

Afghanistan Violence Escalates

Violence in Afghanistan is reaching levels not seen in years as the situation continues to deteriorate amidst growing chaos. In a damning indictment of the international effort in Afghanistan, more than 100 aid agencies said security makes it difficult for them to do their job of assisting the people of the war torn nation. The umbrella organization noted: “There has been a surge in the number of civilian casualties caused by all sides, a spread of insecurity to previously stable areas, and increasing attacks on aid agencies and their staff.” Despite claims by some US agencies to the contrary, the aid groups emphasize, “So far this year, the number of insurgent attacks, bombings and other violent incidents is up by approximately 50 percent on the same period last year.”

In the province of Helmand where most British forces are concentrated, the UK lost 13 soldiers in June, more than three times the dealt rate in the same period last year. The report blames the Taliban for causing two-thirds of civilian deaths, but also points out increased use of air strikes is a major factor in rising civilian deaths.

The emphasis on military action is definitely a necessity, but failure to focus on developing the economy and dealing with the issue of drug farmers does not add to stability. Coalition forces have also failed to bring into the mix neighboring nations such as Iran which have intense dislike of the Talbian.

Airstrikes In Afghanistan Kill Police And Civilians

American led troops and Afghan forces killed nine Afghan police on Sunday after airstrikes were called in to deal what was originally thought to be militant action. Both sides mistook the other for Taliban militants and exchanged fire. The United States airforce admitted it accidentally killed at least four afghan civilians on Saturday night. In the western province of Farah near the Iranian border, a convoy of foreign forces showed up in the Anar Dara district and clashed with Afghan police, killing nine of them. Local officials insisted coalition forces had not told them they were coming to the town and when the police saw them fighting broke out. As the fight proceeded during the day and into the night, coalition forces called in airstrikes and the result was death to Afghan police.

The confused guerrilla style warfare now going on in Afghanistan requires considerable more troops on the ground. The lack of such forces makes it even more imperative that coalition forces are prone to call for airstrikes when encountering opposing troops. This is but one aspect of the increasing series of mistakes which have resulted in the death of civilians and Afghan police. Each time there is such an incident, it increases civilian anger toward coalition forces as well as towards their own government.

The Story Of A Taliban Fighter

Mullah Janan, a black bushy-bearded farmer, told members of the Canadian press why he is fighting for the Taliban and why he enjoys killing members of coalition forces. He explained that Taliban views on religion were similar to his own, but he also felt more secure living in a Taliban world which offered security in his everyday life. He grew up in Kandahar province and was a farmer until one day, NATO planes bombed his village. “I lost my wife and children” as a result of the bombing raid. “Even before this operation, I supported the Taiban. But, this was the key point that made me a more committed Talib and made me declare war against these people(coalition forces).”

This is undoubtedly a simple story of a bombing raid that went slightly off target, but, in so doing, transformed people into fervent enemies of coalition forces. Mr. Janan does not regard the current government of President Karzai as one which can provide safety and law and order so he has moved towards the Taliban for a world in which his family will not be killed.

Bombing attacks on the Taliban are undoubtedly necessary, but coalition forces must also accept the corollary that for every mistaken bombing attack, new members of the Taliban are being created.

Afghanistan Deaths Set Record

The good news is deaths are declining in Iraq, the bad news is just as those go down, the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan has risen. In fact, June marked the second straight month in which deaths of coalition and US forces exceeded those fighting in Iraq. Defense Secretary Robert Gates blames the death rise in Afghanistan on the Iraq situation, but most experts believe we are witnessing a stronger and more well organized militancy in Afghanistan that is able to gain power due to the ineffectual government of President Karzai. There were 45 deaths of coalition troops in June including 27 Americans and 12 British soldiers. For example, in Ghazni province, a Taliban rocket attack destroyed a Humvee with the loss of three American soldiers.

Mustafa Alani, of the Gulf Research Center, says, “I think possible we’ve reached a new turning point. Insurgents are now more active, more organized and the political environment whether in Pakistan or Afghanistan favors insurgent activities. The bottom line is the lack of a short or long term plan of action on dealing with insurgency in Afghanistan. Is anyone in charge is the terrifying question to pose.

The War In Afghanistan Goes On And On

It is seven years since the United States armed forces drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan and the Bush administration assured the world a new democratic society would be created in that country. In the past few days, battles raged in southern Afghanistan as coalition forces and the Taliban battled one another. US troops called in air strikes but still had to fight against Talban forces which were ready with weapons and rockets even after planes left the scene. The US claimed 36 militants were killed, but as the Army Times notes: “It is not possible to verify the military account of the fighting” and casualties due to the remote nature of the battle.

In a report issued by the Defense Department, it was emphasized, “the struggle between security forces and Islamic militants is intensifying across the southern half of Afghanistan, illustrating the limited success of the nearly seven year effort to stabilize the country.” The Pentagon went on to note, the Taliban “will maintain and even increase their scope and pace of its terrorist attacks and bombing in 2008.”

Seven years is a considerable time to be fighting a war and one must raise questions as to the planning and goals of such an objective whose results are getting worse rather than better. Will Afghanistan witness a “surge” of troops?

Talibn Routed In Afghanistan-Is That A Problem?

During the past week, Taliban forces blasted their way into Afghanistan’s largest prison to free 800 of their colleagues, and then moved into several villages near Khandahar, and confronted NATO, Canadian and Afghan troops. For some reason, Taliban leaders decided to abandon their suicide and roadside bombings which have been successful and attempt an open confrontation with the enemy. Naturally, firepower from the sky and overwhelming numbers of Afghan, Canadian and NATO forces were no match for the Taliban and they were forced to flee the scene. At one point in the battle, Afghan troops tried to cross a stream, encountered heavy Taliban fire, retreated and decided to cross where there were no Taliban forces. All in all the Afghan troops did OK in the battle.

The real issue is not the success of coalition forces in being able to defeat the Taliban when they are stupid enough to fight in the open, but the fact that seven years after the invasion, there are such fights occurring. Any objective evaluation of the situation would conclude things are worse in 2008 than they were in 2001. Why? What has gone wrong? The world is suffering from the aftermath of the Bush blunder in not completing the original invasion by creating a vibrant democratic society. The warlords and anti-democratic forces were allowed to become powerful and Afghanistan remains in chaos.

The Taliban will most probably avoid further open confrontations with coalition and Afghan troops and resume normal guerrilla warfare. In 2010, the war will still be proceeding.

Afghans Protest American Raids

Hundreds of Afghans chanted anti-American slogans to protest the deaths of nine policement who were killed during American offensive actions. According to Abdullah Nasir of the province’s government, “coalition forces launched an operation north of Ghazni. Unfortunately, we got reports that second district commander Kamyag along with eight other officers were killed.’ The US led force insists they killed insurgents, but an Internet report claimed to see the officers approach coalition forces only to be fired upon.

There are always accidents in any war, but the increasing number of civilians being killed by coalition troops indicates something more complex may be at work. Apparently, there is lack of effective communication between Coalition troops and local Afghan leaders. There is also the factor of placing great dependence on air strikes which invariably result in the death of innocent civilians. This problem cropped up during the Vietnam war which also relied upon air planes to “kill insurgents.” Flying thosands of feet in the air while going hundreds of miles per hour invariably results in the death of innocent people.

Afghan Protestors Shout Death to Canada

Hundreds of Afghan protestors marched through the streets of Khandar shouting ‘Death to Canada” and “Death to Foreigners” after a series of Coalition raids led to the death of an important religious leader and his brother. Their bodies still lay in the open as demonstrators proclaimed their anger at what they believed to be a botched raid that was probably the result of incorrect information provided by an informer. A Canadian reporter was told, The day is not far off when these innocent civilians will stand against NATO and other foreign troops.”

During the past several months hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent civilians have either been killed by the Taliban or by coalition forces. The use of bombing raids invariably results in killing innocent bystanders since Taliban forces hide among villagers. We are living in the aftermath of America’s failure to follow through on its successful invasion of Afghanistan by using a large army to decisively defeat the Taliban. Instead, we got diverted to Iraq.