Monthly Archives: June 2006

Excerpts from the Osama bin Laden Tape

The latest Osama bin Laden tape has focused almost exclusively on the death and lionization of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, with very little deviation on this theme. As Evan Kohlmann indicated last evening, the “intended audience are those primarily supportive of Al Qaeda.” Excerpted below are items of interest in the tape (post will be updated […]

Insurgent Counterproposal to Reconciliation; offer to lay down arms

Evan Kohlmann’s chart of the major Sunni insurgent/terrorist groups. Click to view. Eleven insurgent groups, eight of which are being led by the 1920 Revolution Brigades, have issued a counter proposal to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s plan for national reconciliation. The insurgent groups have offered to quit the battlefield if the following conditions are […]

Maliki clarifies reconciliation; Task Force 145 continues operations

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has provided clarity to the controversial provision of amnesty for insurgents who killed U.S. and Coalition soldiers. “Any amnesty for insurgents will exclude fighters who killed Iraqis or soldiers of the multinational forces because these troops came to Iraq according to international agreements and they are contributing in making the […]

Iraq and National Reconciliation

National Review Online invited me to participate in an online symposium about the Iraqi government’s efforts to end the insurgency by offering a plan for national reconciliation. There has been much criticism of this plan as it is feared insurgents responsible for killing American soldiers will be given a pass for their crimes. But in […]

Taliban losses in Afghanistan, gains in Pakistan

The latest round of fighting in southeastern Afghanistan has claimed over 82 Taliban fighters in two separate engagements in Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces. Security Watchtower provides a breakdown of the estimated casualties of Taliban and Coalition forces in southeastern Afghanistan since the beginning of April. An estimated 600 Taliban have been killed and 22 captured, […]

Kabul to Qalat

Haji, our Afghan driver and guide. Click to view. After arriving back in Kabul on a U.S. Air Force military C-130 transport from Kandahar, I met up with my friend Tim Lynch, the Afghanistan country manager for World Security Initiatives, a private contracting firm. WSI is located off of Jalalabad road, the main artery between […]

Observations from Southeastern Afghanistan

Here are some personal observations, from Kandahar, which are supported by numerous discussions with senior officers and the foot soldiers: Afghan police “on duty” at Patrol Base Wilson in Zari District. Click image to view. – Pakistan’s lawless tribal belts are a major source of Taliban support, including indoctrinating, funding, arming and training Pakistani and […]

Soft Targets

Haji Agha Lalai (left, Director of Kandahar Strengthening Peace) and Mullah Ibrahim (right). Click image to view. Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan: As Coalition and Afghan forces press on with Operation Mountain Thrust in southeastern Afghanistan, the fighting in the Zari and Panjwai has abated. Lieutenant Colonel Ian Hope, the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion of […]

Three Days of Operation Mountain Thrust in Kandahar

The other side of FOB Martello. Click image to view. Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan: On Saturday night, Charlie Company from the 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry moved from Forward Operating Base Martello to the “430 compound”, a small, austere ANP base infested with large ants and adorned with a well in the […]

Press Conference with Colonel Chris Vernon on Mountain Thrust

Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan: Coalition forces have officially announced Operation Mountain Thrust, a concerted effort to dislodge the Taliban from eastern and southeastern Afghanistan. This operation has been ongoing for some time, and includes the offensive operations in Kunar, Uruzgan, Kandahar, Helmand and Zabul provinces. Colonel Chris Vernon, the Chief of Staff of Multinational Forces Brigade […]

Reflections on Haditha

Iraqi child from Barwana attack receiving treatment at Al Asad Air Base after being rushed to the hospital by the Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. Photograph by SSgt Beckstead.. Click image to view. Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan: The accusations of a Marine “massacre” in Haditha continue to dominate the headlines, but the fact is […]

The Road to Tarin Kot

Troops from the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry prep for the field. Click image to view. Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan: I’ve embedded with 7 Platoon, Charlie Company of the 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment. This is a proud group of soldiers who bristle at the common perception in Canada that […]

Media Death Watch in action on purported kidnapped Canadian soldier

Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan: Earlier this week, Glenn Reynolds reproduced an informal email from Afghanistan, which included an anecdote about the Canadian media maintaining the “Death Watch” (their own words) at Kandahar Airfield. The reporters are restricted to maintaining a presence at the airbase to report on potential deaths or wounding of Canadian soldiers. The soldiers […]

Kabul accident changes ISAF driving rules; Suicide attacks in Kandahar

Traffic in downtown Kabul. Click to view. The fallout from last week’s traffic accident and subsequent riots has reached the international troops. On last week’s radio interview with Rob Breakenridge, I predicted Coalition forces would soon be forced to moderate their driving habits. Today, Lt. Gen. David Richards, the commander of the International Security Assistance […]

Chora Police Station Retaken; Kabul Police Chief Sacked

Map of ISAF Mission in Afghanistan. Click to Enlarge. Coalition and Afghan National Army (ANA) forces retook the Chora district police station in Uruzgan province which was attacked and seized Taliban earlier in the week. This was a joint air assault operation, and Chora received a reinforcement of Afghan National Army troops to bolster security […]

Quiet Friday in Kabul; Mullah Abdullah threatens Canada, Britian

Mullah Dadullah on Al Jazeera. Kabul, Afghanistan: Kabul remains calm as demonstrations failed to materialize following Friday’s day of pray in the mosques throughout the city. Afghan, Coalition and United Nations intelligence feared further protests would be organized to punctuate fiery sermons from radical mullahs, but there were no reports of protests or violence in […]

A day in Kabul; Police remain a target in Southeast

Kabul, Afghanistan: The city of Kabul remains quiet as evidence emerges that U.S. Army troops fired on demonstrators while leaving the scene of Monday’s accident. According to General Amanullah Gozar, Kabul’s chief of highway police who was present at the accident, the U.S. convoy started to leave the accident site after the Afghan mob turned […]