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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the new way the Taliban will fight

If we are to negotiate our way out of Central Asia we will have to make sure its against a noble enemy.  All wars come to an end through a negotiated settlement; it may be total surrender or some sort of power sharing agreement.  
Total victory is usually impossible.  

If we negotiate a truce to someone who would cut off their wife's nose or kill their own daughters for going to school then I think its worth the fight to stay. We can not negotiate with a primitive belief system not in this century. 

There are times to stand up for the innocent.
We must continue to help train the Afghans to be a professional army that is capable and well equipped.  
That will take political effort at home and good insight on the battle field.

The enemy will always be looking at new ways to kill us.  

As Canadians brought more armour to the fight the enemy brought bigger explosions to bare.  IED's have been the focus on the Canadians and most deaths have come from them.  As the Brits have used drones, SAS/ SBS teams, and foot patrols to find the enemy so the enemy has brought its own special forces to the table.  
Taliban formation....the four men team are probably the man with radio, the security guy with AK47, the ammo carrier with Lee Enflield rifle and the man on the end with AK74 (prob the marksman), the man with sword is prob district commander and security behind him. 
For several months a Taliban sniper teams was stalking the Brit forces in Sangin a small town in Helmand province.

"A Taliban sniper has shot dead up to seven British soldiers during a five-month killing spree in a town regarded as the most dangerous place in Afghanistan.  The 600 soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, the Rifles, stationed at Sangin, fear that the gunman is stalking his prey for days on end and may have been trained in neighbouring Iran or by Al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan.  The Taliban hitman demonstrated his skill last month when he picked off a British sniper who was on the lookout for his insurgent rival. Three of his suspected victims have been army sharpshooters, including one killed by a single bullet between the eyes."
"Four foreign snipers hired by the Taliban, thought to be responsible for the deaths of ten British soldiers, have been hunted down and killed.  The mercenaries were found by British special forces in Helmand province in Afghanistan after a tip-off from locals. Recruited from Pakistan, Egypt and Chechnya, the snipers could kill from up to 650 yards away and were considered a serious threat by British commanders.  When their identities were confirmed and their exact locations ascertained, pilots of U.S. F-16 jets were sent precise coordinates to ensure their high-explosive bombs killed the enemy without hurting innocent civilians."   
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Where did this sniper team come from?

When the Russian army left Chechnya after the first war they left almost 550 SVD sniper rifles in country.  These are the very weapons that we are seeing in the Afghan war.
The Chenchnyans would employ the sniper teams into four man teams, one a RPG gunner, another a PKM gunner (machine gunner), one carrying ammunition and the last would be the spotter/ SVD marksman. Chechnyan marksman would engage Russian forces anywhere from 500 meters to over 1000 meters.  The team approach allowed the sniper to be covered from multiple distances and from multiple targets.  They used this approach with limited success in the open deserts but in areas with good camouflage these types of teams could go almost anywhere.
Taliban sniper with  H&K G3 rifle in 7.62x51mm caliber with a Schmidt & Bender scope and security element with RPG
In the future this type of fighting will be typical as the NATO led force continue to train and equip the Afghan National Army in western professional tactics.  American, British, Canadian and Afghan special forces work side by side and a certain amount of camaraderie is developing.  This combat trust (if you will) changes the dynamics of the battlefield.  The enemy will have to improve its fighting style and since its experience is mostly Soviet in tactics it will continue to do so.  The Taliban and its allies will use these kind of sniper tactics as the Afghan forces although very exposed in the unarmoured vehicles they have are also very vulnerable during foot patrols in disputed areas.
The Taliban have brought new fighters to the table that have experience from across the world.  These sniper teams that have combat experience not only in Afghanistan, but Iraq, Chechnya, Bosnia and other hot spots around  the world.  These fighters are well trained and with great experience and we should never under estimate them.
The British sniper fight in Sangin makes for a great read and would make a great movie one day but we have to remember the Brit soldiers that were lost in this fight.  Its not cardboard game pieces being moved back and forth.  The Afghan nation is at risk.  This time we stand beside the Afghans doing the fighting and are living and dying as they do.
  Afghans are just like us, they want the same things as us:

Fear is the greatest enemy

1 comment:

  1. MIRANSHAH, Pakistan - A US missile attack killed at least three militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal district on Wednesday, security officials said.

    The US military is striking at known bases in Waziristan on the Afk-Pak border looking and hitting "foreigners" (non Pasthun) fighter.

    "Missiles struck a compound at Haiderkhel village, some 25 kilometers (15 miles) east of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan, three security officials said.

    "A US drone fired two missiles at a militant compound. At least three militants were killed and two others were injured," a senior Pakistani security official told AFP.

    The identities of the dead militants were not immediately clear, but local intelligence officials said they were "foreigners", a term used for Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked non-Pakistani Arab and Central Asian militants.

    "They were foreigners," an intelligence official told AFP, adding they were checking on the nationalities.

    The area is a stronghold of Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur.

    Washington says wiping out the militant threat in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt is vital to winning the nine-year war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and defeating Al-Qaeda.

    Militant networks in North Waziristan are accused of escalating the nine-year war in Afghanistan and US officials want Pakistan to launch a ground offensive in the district to limit the Islamist threat.

    The United States does not confirm drone attacks, but its military and the Central Intelligence Agency operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy the unmanned aircraft in the region.

    In 2010 the campaign doubled missile attacks in the tribal area with around 100 drone strikes killing more than 650 people, according to an AFP tally.

    Pakistan tacitly cooperates with the bombing campaign, which US officials say has severely weakened Al-Qaeda's leadership, but has stalled on launching a ground offensive in North Waziristan, saying its troops are overstretched.

    by Julien Mivielle
    (c) 2011 AFP