Pounding the Taliban

41 Taliban killed in firefight near Kandahar; Mountain Lion & the 3-block war

Afghan and Coalition forces have met the Taliban’s much-heralded springtime offensive head on. “Acting on intelligence reports that Taliban have gathered in Sangisar to plan an attack in Kandahar, we launched this operation Friday and the fighting continued from morning to evening,” said Asadullah Khalid, the provincial governor of Kandahar. Afghan security forces, backed by U.S. Apache gunships, launched a strike against the Taliban in the town of Sangisar, and killed 41 Taliban fighters and wounded several more. Six police were killed and nine were wounded in the strike. A Canadian unit responding to assist in the fighting was hit by an RPG attack, but no Canadian soldiers were injured.

In Uruzgan Province, a joint Afghan and Coalition mission broke up an al Qaeda cell. The Afghans provided the ground forces, while the Coalition provided AC-130 gunships. “Elements of the 3rd Kandak [Battalion], 1st Brigade, of the ANA’s 205th Corps and Coalition members killed two insurgent fighters and detained two people who were responsible for recruiting suicide bombers to attack Afghan government officials and Coalition forces.”

In Kunar province, Coalition and Afghan forces complete the third day of Operation Mountain Lion. CENTCOM reports no major engagements were encountered in Kunar, except for the discovery of weapons caches in Khost Province.

But Mountain Lion is not purely a kinetic [combat] operation. The military is fighting the “Three Block War” (the close if not simultaneous conduct of combat, stability and support, and humanitarian operations) in Afghanistan. CENTCOM reports that as Mountain Lion is carried out in the Pech River Valley, “construction and development projects are gathering momentum. In one project – for which the materials already are en route – Coalition forces will build a bridge over the Pech River . The bridge project will provide jobs through a local contractor, stimulate commerce by providing a new crossing and ensure that surrounding villages no longer will be isolate when water levels rise in the winter and spring.”

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • dj elliott says:

    “Beware who you chose as an enemy, for you will become like them.”
    Take a deep breath, calm down, and consider the source.
    P.S. Part of the reason I am hypertensive is, I can’t take my own advise on this subject…

  • Neo-andertal says:

    From looking at several incidents in Afghanistan two things come to mind.
    The Taliban has unfortunately come back fairly strongly in Pakistan’s western provinces. They may be weakening their Kashmir campaign though to do so.
    The good news is the Afghan security forces do seem to be coming into their own as an effective fighting force. I see the Afghans are doing a lot more of the heavy lifting now. Working as ground troops in the middle of complex air supported ground missions takes a good deal of training from what I am told. The US troops might still be calling a lot of it in, but it takes good awareness to work along with air support. Otherwise you can be in a heap of trouble real fast. Previously the Afghans were religated to less complicated roles such as cordon and search, defensive support, holding battle positions, light probing and sweeping areas.

  • Marlin says:

    Jim Maceda from MSNBC is embedded with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division during Operation Mountain Lion. He has an interesting blog piece up about their first night out.

  • Michael says:

    Thankful for the troops, you Bill, Soldiers Dad, all you do, all who fight for and protect us and this nation. May God bless, protect, give wise counsel to and guide our troops and their leaders for victory upon victory each day ahead. And a prayer for our enemy that eyes and ears may be opened, that they may not blindly follow leaders of death, oppression and destruction. That instead they turn from fear and war, and join others in rebuilding their nations.
    Lisa, I once was what most consider today far left πŸ™‚ But it was a very ‘uninformed’ position and I was young and wreckless. It is sad the amount of vilification, name-calling which arises, pure anger and hatred by far left. I was appalled to see PINK protesting outside the hospital where our injured troops are treated. There are people with no objective morals. They are blind.
    So much effort, battles won, millions of people being helped for the first time in their lives by our troops is not being told to the public enough. Children, women, families getting healthcare for the first time in their lives, clean running water, schools and education, electricity, a new army, police and government that are learning ‘ethics’ for the first time, not ‘bribes and payoffs’. Its not perfect, corruption still leaks in. Its difficult to change a way of life so many have known for 30 years or more. But our troops and all involved are making a lasting impact. That is why the enemy is fighting so hard. They know that a liberated people will lead to disaster for the dictators in surrounding countries. Watch as more and more it succeeds, people will flow into areas of success.
    Instead, political views are force fed to the masses by talking heads. They talk of failure by our troops, our President, or – name here – instead of the enemies cruel deeds of killing innocent life. Utilizing disgusting terrorist tactics of funerals being blown up, mosque after prayers – dressing like women. This is horrendous acts of violence against innocent people. Our media should be outraged by these acts. But unfortuntely, they’re more apt to talk up small offences on the part of our troops first and foremost with more disgust.
    The news many times is presented as failures on the part of America and Iraq by many who hope for failure of the administration. Having lost an election – they cannot disconnect their loss and resulting hatred from the reality of war in Iraq, nor do they understand the consequences of their blind cheering of all things against our administration. Of what it would mean to pull out. Unfortunately, the leaders on the far left dangerously lead our public astray.
    They refuse to name the barbaric acts of our enemy, the utterly senseless killing of innocent people and join in complete support for a victory. If we had TRUE support by the left, the media was balanced in reporting the truth, our enemies moral would dive precipitously downward. Instead of the repeat of failure drum beats again and again against our troops, our President and our country – we should be hearing drum beats of utter dispicable human acts by those against innocent victims.
    If you’re not happy with the coverage – write the broadcasters, but after you’ve calmed down. And yes, a good letter explaining point-by-point reasons gets attention. You feel better, I know I did.
    So yes, it gets frustrating and we all get angry. But the truth is the hatred projected onto us or our troops or the President is uninformed opinions, or simply “fear”. We need not stoop to their levels, but calmly point out where our troops are succeeding, making a difference, support out troops and good resources like this, Soldiers Dad and many others. You’re doing good, staying very informed, so you can relay the good news to others who may only get their news in 30 second sound bites on TV. Don’t get overly frustrated. Losing our temper is not good for us or our troops.
    Let the other side rant and rave even louder if they must. Most people recognize it for what it is. Hysteria.
    Instead, with a smile, point out what a great job our troops did in killing 41 Taliban, how brave, how passionate these young men and women are who keep re-enlisting again. And the sacrifices they’re making so we can all disagree. Whereas under Saddam, a wrong word meant instant death. Remind them of that.
    Thanks again Bill for all you’re doing.

  • tblubrd says:

    Thanks for the note about the embed reporter.
    However, I was a little surprised to hear about his “previous life” experience:
    Coming in at a 1, my embed with Chechen rebels outside Grozny, where my cameraman Kyle Eppler, and I literally “embedded”


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