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Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

Afghan Insurgents Killed

Posted by Larry Barnes on April 19, 2010

Combined Forces Make Gains in Afghanistan

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, April 19, 2010 – Afghan and international forces killed several insurgents and captured at least one other, according to initial reports of a firefight in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province this morning, military officials said.

The forces were moving through the Qarah Bagh district in search of a senior Taliban commander and were approaching a compound when multiple insurgents engaged the force with machine guns, small arms, grenades, and rocket-propelled grenades. The combined force returned fire, killing several insurgents.

As the combined force secured the compound, they continued to receive small-arms fire, grenades and heavy machine-gun fire from insurgents throughout the village.

A search of the target area revealed a vehicle-mounted 12.7 mm heavy machine gun, heavy-machine-gun ammunition, multiple automatic rifles, grenades, RPGs, RPG launchers, and communications equipment.

In other recent operations in Afghanistan:

— In Helmand’s Garm Ser district this morning, a combined patrol found a Russian-made 122 mm projectile, three incomplete bombs, five pressure-plate triggering devices and other bomb-making materials.

— In Kandahar province this morning, an International Security Assistance Force patrol found a cache containing five blocks of plastic explosive, an RPG and three RPG propellant charges.

— In Ghazni province last night, a combined force searched a small compound in the Gelan district and detained several suspected insurgents for further questioning.

— In Kandahar’s Khakrez district last night, a combined patrol came under small-arms fire. They returned fire, wounding an insurgent. During a search, the force captured a suspected Taliban commander responsible for leading armed fighters in attacks against coalition forces, and the movement of weapons and supplies. Several other insurgents were also detained, and the force found automatic rifles and a shotgun.

— In Khost province yesterday, a combined force was en route to search a compound in the Sabari district when suspected insurgents departed in two directions and one of the insurgents engaged the force. The security force returned fire and killed a suspected Haqqani terrorist group weapons trafficker. The security force found a machine gun, magazines and grenades at the site and detained another suspected insurgent for further questioning.

— A combined force targeted two suspected Taliban insurgents in a vehicle in a rural area of Kandahar province’s Daman district yesterday. The two
demonstrated hostile intent and were shot and killed. A search of the militants found 10 blasting caps and a probable homemade bomb.

— In Helmand province’s Nad-e Ali district yesterday, a combined force found two RPG boosters, an 82 mm mortar, nine pressure plate devices, eight blasting caps, 100 feet of detonation cord, 61 pounds of explosive material, bomb-making materials, 200 rounds of small-arms ammunition and a disassembled anti-aircraft gun.

— Another patrol in the same district yesterday found a cache containing six rocket-assisted warheads, two boosters, nine chest rigs, a pressure plate initiation device; a 50-pound jug of homemade explosives and miscellaneous shrapnel. An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the hazardous material.

— In Kandahar’s Registan district yesterday, an ISAF patrol came across a burning truck that matched the description of one seen earlier avoiding a checkpoint. Troops searching the scene discovered that the truck contained about 500 pounds of hashish and heroin.

— In Kabul province’s Sarobi district yesterday, an ISAF patrol found 43 anti-personnel mines, 20 rockets, five mortar rounds, an anti-tank mine and 40 boxes of 12.7 mm rounds.

— An ISAF patrol Ghazni’s Gelan district yesterday found a five RPGs, 12 mortar grenades, two assault rifles, a shotgun and more than 5,000 rounds of ammunition.

— In Kandahar’s Arghandab district yesterday, an Afghan civilian pointed out a roadside bomb to an ISAF patrol. It consisted of an 88 mm mortar round and three shaped charges.

— A combined patrol found two trucks containing 2,040 pounds of raw opium, 1,875 pounds of processed opium and 615 pounds of hashish in the Garm Ser district of Helmand province yesterday. The truck’s occupants were taken into custody.

— An Afghan-international patrol in Helmand’s Nad-e Ali district yesterday found 150 pounds of homemade explosives and a 100-pound drum of ammonium nitrate, a banned fertilizer that can be used to make explosives.

— A combined security force captured a Taliban bombing-cell commander and other militants in Helmand province April 17.

— In Helmand’s Garm Ser district April 17, a combined patrol found a 120 mm projectile, five completed roadside bombs, three incomplete roadside bombs, three battery packs, some spools of wire, a bag of carbon rods, rubber tubing and other parts for bomb construction.

— In Helmand’s Lashkar Gar district April 17, a combined patrol detained several men and seized high-value material used to build roadside-bomb detonators. The team seized two assault rifles with 15 magazines, material used to build detonators, a pistol, two grenades, and 165 pounds of liquid opium.

— Based on a tip from an Afghan civilian, an ISAF patrol found a barrel full of mortar rounds, a tactical vest and wire, two 155 mm artillery rounds, a 155 mm shell and three empty casings in the Panjwa district of Kandahar province April 17.

— An ISAF patrol in Helmand’s Reg-e Khan Neshin district found 200 pounds of marijuana seed near the Helmand River.

No civilians were harmed in any of these operations, officials said.


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Tour Bus Terrorist

Posted by Larry Barnes on April 12, 2010

Afghan Civilians Killed in Bus Incident

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 12, 2010 – NATO’s International Assistance Security Force in Afghanistan is expressing regret over civilian casualties that occurred today after a bus was driven toward a patrol of international troops, military officials said.

ISAF officials released a statement that says ISAF “deeply regrets the tragic loss of life” in the Zhari district of Kandahar province early this morning after troops fired at a bus in which the driver ignored warnings and tried to speed into the patrol.

Four civilians were killed, five others were treated for injuries at the scene, and 13 people checked themselves into medical facilities following the pre-dawn incident, which occurred when a large vehicle speeded toward the rear of a slow-moving ISAF route-clearance patrol, officials said.

The convoy could not move to the side of the road to allow the vehicle to pass due to the steep embankment, officials said. The ISAF patrol warned off the approaching vehicle once with a flashlight and three times with flares, but the driver didn’t heed the warnings.

Perceiving a threat when the vehicle approached once more at an increased rate of speed, the patrol attempted to warn off the vehicle with hand signals prior to firing upon it. Once it was engaged, the vehicle stopped.

Upon inspection, ISAF forces discovered the vehicle to be a passenger bus.

The ISAF patrol provided immediate medical assistance to five injured civilians and transported some of them to local medical facilities.

A combined Afghan-international incident assessment team is reviewing the events.

In other news from Afghanistan:

— A combined security force captured a Haqqani terrorist group member believed to be responsible for improvised explosive device attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. The combined force was approaching a group in the Zurmat district of Paktia province when several militants started to run. One turned and charged the security force, and was shot and wounded. The rest of the militants were quickly cornered by the force and surrendered. A search of the militants’ tents uncovered multiple automatic rifles, grenades and ammunition.

— In Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province this morning, a combined patrol found a cache containing seven rocket-propelled grenades, two mortar rounds, 30 artillery rounds, eight 60 mm shells and other ammunition. An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the cache.

— In Kandahar last night, a combined force searched a compound in south Kandahar City and detained two suspected militants for further questioning.

— Also in Kandahar last night, another combined force searched a compound west of Kandahar City after intelligence indicated militant activity. The force captured a Taliban member involved in roadside-bomb emplacements, defenses and assignments. Several other militants also were captured in the operation. The assault force also found explosive materials.

— In the Tirin Kot district of Uruzgan province yesterday, an ISAF patrol found a cache containing two RPG rounds, an RPG rocket and three boxes of small-arms ammunition. An EOD team destroyed the cache.

— Afghan soldiers detained a man with bomb materials and pictures of ISAF vehicles in the Sabari district of Khost province April 10 after members of an ISAF unit saw the man emplacing a roadside bomb. The explosives were destroyed.

–Also on April 10, a combined force searched a compound in north Lashkar Gah in Helmand province and detained two suspected militants for further questioning.

No shots were fired and no civilians were harmed during these operations, officials said.

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news releases.)

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YouTube – Marines In Afganistan Firefight With Taliban

Posted by Larry Barnes on April 9, 2010

YouTube – Marines In Afganistan Firefight With Taliban.

ldbkbarnea April 06, 2010Marines In Firefight
06 April 2010
U.S. Marines engaged in a firefight with insurgents Monday near the town of Marjah in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

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Taliban Fading In Afghanistan

Posted by Larry Barnes on April 6, 2010

Afghan, International Troops Capture Taliban Commander

American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 6, 2010 – Afghan and international forces last night captured several insurgents in Afghanistan, including a Taliban commander suspected in several attacks against coalition forces, military officials said.

A combined Afghan-international force captured the commander during a search of a compound southwest of Kandahar City after intelligence indicated militant activity there. The man is suspected in a prison attack and assaults on coalition forces, and is believed to be part of the Taliban’s media efforts.

Combined forces captured several other militants during that search and others around the country last night.

In the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province, a combined force searched a series of compounds and detained several militants for further questioning.

In Khost, a combined force captured several militants while pursuing a Haqqani terrorist network subcommander. The force searched a compound in the Sabari district after intelligence indicated militant activity, detained the militants, and found automatic rifles, grenades, fuses, ammunition and a large amount of explosives.

In Kunduz, a combined force searched a compound northwest of Kunduz City after intelligence indicated militant activity. The force detained two suspected militants for further questioning.

No shots were fired and no Afghan civilians were harmed in those operations.

Meanwhile, Afghan and international forces are investigating two unrelated incidents of civilian deaths.

Four Afghan children were wounded today during a firefight between insurgents and international troops in Kapisa province. The children were medically evacuated to an International Security Assistance Force medical facility. One of the children reportedly has died from the wounds.

It is unclear who caused the children’s injuries, and the case is under investigation, military officials said.

Also, combined forces in Helmand’s Nahr-e Saraj district discovered the bodies of two women, an elderly man and a child, along with four dead militants, following a prolonged battle with insurgents yesterday. The bodies were found inside a compound insurgents were using as a firing position. Coalition forces, unaware of the possible presence of civilians, directed defensive air assets against the compound, officials said.

Afghan and ISAF military officials have launched an incident assessment team to review the factors leading up to the incident.

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news releases.)

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Push In Kandahar Is Under Way

Posted by Larry Barnes on March 30, 2010

Kandahar Shaping Operations Under Way, Official Says

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 30, 2010 – U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan are laying the groundwork for their much-anticipated efforts to combat extremists in Kandahar, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said in a Pentagon news conference today.

Morrell said combat operations will begin in earnest in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, he said, troops are engaged in what military officials refer to as “shaping” operations in preparation for the upcoming offensive there.

“The truth is they have begun,” Morrell said of shaping operations taking place in Kandahar, the spiritual center of the Taliban. “They have been months in the making.”

A U.S. Stryker brigade combat team arrived in southern Afghanistan last summer, marking the beginning of operations there. The Stryker vehicles are used to secure routes in and out of Afghanistan’s second-largest city, while other preparatory work, such as tribal engagements by U.S. special operations forces, are also under way.

Shuras – meetings of influential community leaders – are a critical component to shaping the eventual operation by gaining local support, Morrell said.

“So clearly, a lot of the preparatory work, the shaping operations that will be essential to ultimate success in Kandahar, are under way, and have been under way, frankly, for months now,” he said.

Morrell wouldn’t speculate on a timetable for major offensives to begin in Kandahar, but more forces will be dedicated to operations there in the weeks ahead, he said. More civilian support also will be required from NATO and the Afghan government to be successful there, he added.

“Ultimately, we need a more sizeable force to be successful there than we currently have in place,” he said.

Coalition and Afghan security forces are building on successful operations in Helmand province to launch similar operations in Kandahar city and province. However, Morrell stressed that forces in Kandahar would constitute more of a “facilitating” role, because the city has “some semblance of government control, unlike Marja, which was mostly entirely in the hands of the Taliban.

“There may be some foundation on which to build,” he said of operations in Kandahar and its government. “Therefore we would more in the role of facilitating additional government assets and support and security elements coming in, and that they could be more the providers of security and better government services.”

Kandahar will be an important operation to establish security in the country. The operation alone will not decide the overall outcome in Afghanistan, but it’s a necessary step to root out the Taliban, given the city’s historical significance to the Taliban movement, Morrell said.

“[Kandahar] is the likely next stop on a 12-to-18-month-long campaign,” he said. “It will clearly be a very important operation. We certainly hope it will be one that will break the back, to a large extent, of the Taliban who have called it home and who have used it as a sanctuary for some time.”

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Kandahar Operations Kill Terrorists

Posted by Larry Barnes on March 30, 2010

Combined Forces Kill, Detain Militants

American Forces Press Service
KABUL, March 30, 2010 – Afghan and international forces killed several militants and detained numerous suspected militants in recent operations, military officials reported.

No Afghan civilians were harmed in the operations, officials said.

— An Afghan-international security force detained several suspected insurgents for further questioning after searching a compound in north Kandahar city last night.

— In Paktika province’s Bermal district last night, several militants were killed when they threatened a combined Afghan-international security team. The combined force detained several additional militants and found automatic rifles and multiple rocket-propelled grenades at the compound.

— In Wardak province’s Sayyidabad district last night, an Afghan-international force captured a Taliban weapons facilitator accused of buying and selling large amounts of weapons, munitions and explosives for other militant networks. The security force also detained a few other suspected militants.

— In Zabul province’s Shinkai district last night, a combined force went to a rural area where intelligence information indicated militant activity. Two militants engaged the approaching force and were killed. During a follow-on search the combined force found radios, an automatic rifle, ammunition and a rocket launcher with multiple rounds.

— In Farah province’s Shewan district yesterday, an Afghan civilian turned in two 155 mm rounds and an improvised explosive device to a security force.

— On March 28, a combined Afghan-international force noticed suspicious movements in an uninhabited area outside of Shindand in Herat province and launched an illumination round. Insurgents then opened fire on the force, causing no injuries. The security force returned fire with small arms and mortar fire, forcing the insurgents to flee. Upon searching the area, the security force found more than 300 pounds of explosives, an 82 mm mortar round, four artillery shells, two grenades, three anti-tank rockets, a 122 mm anti-tank round and small-arms ammunition. The cache was destroyed.

(From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news release.)

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Taliban In The Nad-e Ali District Of Helmand

Posted by Larry Barnes on March 26, 2010

Forces in Afghanistan Detain Suspects, Seize Weapons

American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 26, 2010 – Afghan and international forces detained several suspected insurgents in Marja, Afghanistan, yesterday and found numerous weapons caches in recent operations, military officials reported.

Officials also provided details on two incidents involving civilian casualties.

In the Marja operation, a combined Afghan-international force searched a compound in the southeastern part of the town in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province after intelligence information indicated militant activity. During the search, the combined force detained several suspected insurgents for further questioning.

In Ghazni province last night, an International Security Assistance Force patrol recovered a weapons cache after it was reported by an Afghan civilian. The cache contained a hand grenade, 62 mortar fuses and shotgun ammunition.

An ISAF patrol in the Maidan Shahr district of Wardak province last night found a weapons cache containing a 107 mm rocket, four rocket fuses, two 82 mm mortar rounds, two mortar fuses and nine Russian-made projectile fuses.

In the Bala Boluk district of Farah province yesterday, a combined Afghan-international patrol found a cache containing more than a half ton of suspected ammonium nitrate, a banned fertilizer often used in making homemade bombs.

An Afghan-international patrol in Helmand’s Nad-e Ali district found a cache containing seven assault rifles, two shotguns, a rifle, two 9 mm pistols, various machine-gun ammunition, pressure-plate initiation devices and various bomb-making materials.

Another Afghan-international patrol in Nad-e Ali found a cache containing 15 82 mm mortar rounds, a rocket-propelled grenade and two fragmentation charges, each containing 25 pounds of homemade explosives.

In other news from Afghanistan, three injured children were brought to an ISAF forward operating base near Tarin Kowt today after ISAF soldiers had completed a training exercise involving live ammunition. They received immediate medical attention and were evacuated for further treatment, although none of the injuries initially appear to be life-threatening, officials said.

An investigation is under way, officials said, and compensation for injuries or property damage caused by ISAF activities will be offered according to local customs.

Meanwhile, preliminary investigation results of a March 24 incident in the Bak district of Khost province indicate that a combined ISAF-Afghan force accidentally caused the deaths of two civilians and injuries to four others when the force was returning indirect fire against an insurgent attack nearby.

The injured civilians initially were brought to a nearby military compound by villagers. Afghan commandos and coalition medics provided immediate medical treatment, and the injured people subsequently were taken to an ISAF military hospital for further treatment.

A boy later was taken to Bagram Airfield for more treatment, and three other injured civilians were treated at the hospital and released.

After the incident, Afghan and coalition leaders immediately met with village elders and relatives to help determine the cause of the incident. The governor and subgovernor also were notified.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this terrible accident and their families,” said Navy Capt. Jane Campbell, ISAF Joint Command spokeswoman. “We take accidents such as this very seriously, and we incorporate investigative findings into our operations to improve our procedures. We remain fully committed to the people of Afghanistan, and we take every precaution to prevent civilian casualties.”

(Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news releases.)

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Drone Warfare Is Not A Nintendo Game, But Enemy Propaganda Is A Cause Célèbre

Posted by Larry Barnes on March 26, 2010

War, we should sadly acknowledge, is not a Nintendo game.
bin Laden has observed that 90 percent of his battle is waged in the media.

CIA director Michael Hayden has said that “By making a safe haven feel less safe, we keep Al Qaeda guessing. We make them doubt their allies; question their methods, their plans, even their priorities,” he explained. Hayden went on to say that the key outcome of the drone attacks was that “we force them to spend more time and resources on self-preservation, and that distracts them, at least partially and at least for a time, from laying the groundwork for the next attack.” Since law-enforcement authorities have uncovered few serious plans against U.S. or European targets, the plan seams to work, at least in part.

Privately, American officials rave about the drone program. One former Bush administration official said that the drones had so crimped militant activity in FATA that they had begun discussing a move to Yemen or Somalia. It has been pointed out that the number people spying on Al Qaeda and the Taliban that have been killed has risen dramatically in the past year. The obvious sign that that the militants are turning on themselves in an effort to root out the sources intelligence for the often pinpoint intelligence that has led to the deaths of close to half of the top militant leaders in the area under attack.

When the dead leaders are replaced by more junior members of the group they lack the experience and quality of leadership. Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence testified befor Congress, reporting that “replacing the loss of key leaders, since 2008, in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas has proved difficult for Al Qaeda.” And that is the point of major significance, the quantity of fighters is not as important as the quality of leadership. Bad leadership can march superior numbers into battle only to see them slaughtered.

The truth of the effectiveness and the pain that the drone program has inflicted on Al Qaeda surely must be a reduction in the number of audio and videotapes that the terrorist group has released through its propaganda arm. bin Laden has observed that 90 percent of his battle is waged in the media, and the leftards have joined the battle. As Sahab authored close to 100 tapes in 2007. After the drone war started in 2008, the number of releases dropped by a significant number, again, clear indication that the group’s leaders were in disarray and concerned more with their survival then propaganda.

Between 2002 and 2004, al Qaeda leaders had opted for the perceived safety of Pakistan’s teeming, anonymous cities. They failed to realize that activities such as making cell phone calls or making Internet connections targeted their locations exactly or or provided clues as to the whereabouts of Al Qaeda operatives. As a result, in the first few years after September 11, many key Al Qaeda operatives were captured. Following a series of arrests, Al Qaeda members and remaining leadership moved to the areas of Pakistan not tightly controlled by the central government, this made them easy targets in the drone war.

There has been a concerted effort to inform the Pakistan people about the dangers of the Taliban, al Qaeda nexus. Dramatic efforts to drag the civil population in the war has resulted in a muted anti-government campaign in their MSM and a feeling that such propaganda is an unpopular form of expression. Terrorist attacks on civilians generally are a concession that they have lost, or have diminishing support. Taliban and al Qaeda YouTube channels have engaged in a war of words with Pro-Pakistan Patriotism YouTube channels, a bald face admission that they fear the loss of the educated and prosperous sectors of the population. The areas of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas which are subject to strikes by “drones”, are barren earth to grow a YouTube audience. Conversely, the well educated, connected population centers that have been the point of attack from the terrorists, will generate a larger number of people committed to their defeat.

The conventional wisdom in the MSM and leftard bolggers is that the drone program is unpopular among Pakistanis. They of course ignore the people polled in the FATA that say the drone strikes are accurate and are damaging the militant organizations. Fewer than half said that anti-American sentiment in the area had increased due to the drone attacks. The only people surprised by this have never had a large group of religious nuts take over their neighborhood, kill their family, kidnap or rape their children and steal food or household furnishings, deliver night mail and institute a rule of law that violates their religious tenets. To them, the occasional missiles falling from the sky must look like a gift from God (Allah).

In any case, fears of infringement on their sovereignty and general anti-Americanism can be whipped up by the MSM and bloggers in America and Pakistan. Pakistan Priminister Gilani has told CNN that there was no agreement between his government and the Americans to allow the strikes. The experienced listener considers the fact that years old satellite photos reveal the presence of advanced drones on Pakistani soil. And a shallow parsing of this statement would reveal that it does not exclude the possibility that Pak military may be in control of the operational aspect of the drone attacks. Even the Senate “drone” Feinstein has said, “As I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base.”

The militants have actually understood the political reality on the ground. They used the drone attacks as an excuse to strike. The leader of the Pakistani Taliban, has said that attacks were “in retaliation for the continued drone strikes by the U.S. in collaboration with Pakistan on our people.”

In large part due to terrorist, MSM and blogger propaganda the United States is the victim of an unfavorably opinion held by four out of five Pakistanis. This not being bad enough, a majority of Pakistani people blame the United States for the violence plaguing their country. I consider this to be a symptom of the old human conditioning to believe that “the enemy you know is better than the enemy you don’t know”.

Pakistani officials have gone to great pains to distance themselves from the drone attacks and at the same time taken no actions to stop them.

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BBC Conducts Drone Attack In North-West Pakistan

Posted by Larry Barnes on March 24, 2010

The BBC has a set list of sentences to select from when reporting drone attacks in Pakistan. After reporting the number killed and the location they plug in the following slug lines:

“North and South Waziristan are known sanctuaries for al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters and the US has recently stepped up drone attacks in the region.”

“Hundreds of people, including a number of militants, have been killed in scores of drone strikes since August 2008.”

“Pakistan has publicly criticised (sic) drone attacks, saying they fuel support for militants, but observers say the authorities privately condone the strikes.”

“The American military does not routinely confirm drone operations, but analysts say the US is the only force capable of deploying such aircraft in the region.”

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Afghan Ceremony to Reintegrate Repentant Brothers; al Qaeda Rats Soon To Flee A sinking Afghanistan

Posted by Larry Barnes on March 23, 2010

Afghan Ceremony to Reintegrate Repentant Brothers
Video produced by Sgt. Dan Caudill. Afghanistan
Previous Posts: Iraqi Voters Defeat Terrorists; Next Afghanistan
• Vice Adm. Robert Harward (US), Commander

300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Videodeo by Sgt. Daniel Caudill
Date Taken: 03.15.2010

Video of an Afghan ceremony to reintegrate eight repentant former members of the anti-government insurgency. They were reintegrated into their communities after renouncing their terrorist ways.

Representatives of the major insurgent faction have included an exclusion of al Qaeda from Afghanistan in a formal 15-point peace plan presented to Hamid Karai and the Afghan government. The chance of this, the first concrete proposal, to end hostilities would make reconciliation a probability after his re-election last year with promises of just such a move.

His representatives met recently with President Karzai and other Afghan officials in the first formal contact between a major insurgent group and the Afghan government.

Though a separate insurgent group, it has links to the Taliban leadership and Al Qaeda. A Taliban spokesman denied that they would be willing to go along with the plan if a date was set for the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country. As in any agreement negotiations setting July 2010 date with six months to withdraw is just a starting point. As is often the case, the more unreasonable the starting point, the larger the bribe expected.

Despite the Taliban’s hard-line public statement, he also said he was confident that the Taliban would be willing to countenance the plan. Afghani comity is well know, tough demands with a wink and smile, and everyone knows an agreement will be reached. “If the U.S. announces a withdrawal date, they are ready to support our plan,” said Mr. Abedi. “I promise that personally, this is my own connection and I personally promise that.”

A spokesman for the Taliban said, however, that they had had nothing to do with the Hezb-i-Islami, of course this sets the stage for a “Awakening” scenario. “What we want is expulsion of foreign occupation forces unconditionally,” Zabiullah Mujahid, has said. “They have to leave Afghanistan now”.

“Our policy is that it is an Afghan-led process, and we completely support reintegration and reconciliation,” said American Embassy spokesman, Brendan O’Brien. “United States supported Mr. Karzai’s effort to reach out to members of the Taliban and Hezb-i-Islami”. The understanding that as long as the insurgents accepted the Afghan Constitution, renounced violence and renounced links to Al Qaeda and other insurgents peace could be achieved.

Members of Hezb-i-Islami have held meetings with State Department officials, who have urged the Afghans to make peace among themselves if they want American troops to withdraw, said Mr. Abedi, the spokesman for the delegation.

Mr. O’Brien said American officials would not be meeting with the Hezb-i-Islami delegation while it was in Kabul, but diplomats here have said that the United States gave the green light for Mr. Karzai to open contacts with Mr. Hekmatyar nearly two years ago.

The Hezb-i-Islami proposal, while categorical about the demand for foreign forces to leave Afghanistan, and to end military operations and detentions, goes some way toward meeting the demands of Western nations and the Afghan government on other issues.

It accepts having the current government to stay in power, and having the Afghan police, army and intelligence services assume responsibility for security, while a seven-member national security council is formed as the ultimate decision-making body until foreign forces leave and new elections are held.

A future elected parliament would have the right to review the Constitution, and the Afghan courts would prosecute those accused of corruption, drug smuggling, theft of the national wealth, and war crimes.

Although the provision is not stated in the document, Mr. Abedi said his party wanted international assistance for rebuilding Afghanistan to continue, and for the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference to help broker the peace.

The plan also declares that no foreign fighters would be present in the country after the departure of the international forces, a wording unlikely to please Western countries concerned about the influence of Al Qaeda and other foreign militant groups.

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