Taliban turn to Iraq-style tactics to take Kabul districts

#1
Taliban turn to Iraq-style tactics to take Kabul districts

By Tom Coghlan in Taggab District, Kapisa Province
Last Updated: 11:31PM BST 26/05/2008
Taliban militants have begun infiltrating districts around Kabul, adopting Iraq-style insurgency tactics against Nato forces and the fragile Afghan government.
The strategy can be seen in microcosm in Taggab, which lies just 40 miles to the north of Kabul and where the Taliban is seen by many as a credible alternative to the weak US-backed government.

"Three months ago there were many Taliban preachers who moved through this area, calling the people to begin jihad," said Mohammad Nabi "Rahimullah" Safi, the deputy governor of Kapisa province.

"Then armed groups arrived. The people were consulting the government less. They went to the Taliban instead to sort out their issues."
More on the link
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...aq-style-tactics-to-take-Kabul-districts.html
 
#2
The Talibs understand one simple thing much better than 'thinkers' in Washington. The main battle in Afghanistan is for 'hearts and minds'.
 
#3
KGB_resident said:
The Talibs understand one simple thing much better than 'thinkers' in Washington. The main battle in Afghanistan is for 'hearts and minds'.
Sorry Sergei you contradicted yourself there. It's not so much thinking as knee jerk reflex. :D
 
#4
KGB_resident said:
The Talibs understand one simple thing much better than 'thinkers' in Washington. The main battle in Afghanistan is for 'hearts and minds'.
That's a technique your nation understands and applies soooooo well in all its ventures, Sergey, isn't it? Do one. :roll:
 
#5
sorry sergey but I must agree with "in_the_cheapseats" regarding Russia's past exploits.

Your boys were hardly handing out presents to the people when they were there (unless you mean mines).

Hearts and minds is always a predominant aspect of British srategies, However in Afghanistan the people are too scared of the Taliban
 
#6
in_the_cheapseats said:
KGB_resident said:
The Talibs understand one simple thing much better than 'thinkers' in Washington. The main battle in Afghanistan is for 'hearts and minds'.
That's a technique your nation understands and applies soooooo well in all its ventures, Sergey, isn't it? Do one. :roll:
Mate, likely you are absolutely unaware about big (though resultless) efforts to win 'hearts and minds' of Afghans in 80's. Fist of all it was distribution of land among poorest peasants in expense of the rich. As a result the rich became active leaders of the insurgency. The poor were afraid to cultivate 'stolen lands' and as a rule returned it to previous owners. There was distribution of food that mainly was stolen by corruptioners. Yes, digging of wells in some waterless regions is still remembered by the locals but it hadn't any strategic effect. Soviet leaders sent specially formed regiments (that included Soviet Uzbeks and Tadjiks). It was not very effective measure. Moreover, in Pushtun regions it caused even much more fierce resistence. Pro-Soviet government tried to bound influence of the Muslim clerics. Really initiative was mainly on Afghan side and Soviet leadership even urged their allies in Afghanistan to follow more moderate line. Soviet medics healed many Afghans but alas it was not appresiated. As I remember there were planting of trees by Soviet soldiers, concerts, meetings with local population. Ironically those that received Soviet soldiers as dear guests with traditional cup of tea sometimes attacked them at night.

Whatever Soviet ledeaship did, the majority of Afghans regarded Soviet soldiers as occupants.
 
#7
Sorry, I have to stand up with Sergai, the average middle income Afghani has fond memories of the Russians who built schools,clinics and housing, the police also have fond memories of exchange training and funding....
 
#8
Thats because you were occupants. The main objective in seizing Afghanistan was so that Russia had a better foothold in the mid east and a launch pad for hostilities against the west. Russia did not go for the sake of the Afghan people or even its own but rather to attempt to damage the west.

And you can also not deny that the Russians did some terrible things to the Afghan people during the occupation...

p.s. this is not a personal attack against you but rather the strategies that the Russian military has employed in the past.
 
#9
Also if the Russians were saints then why did a 3rd of the country flee to Pakistan to escape the occupation?
 
#10
fusil89 said:
Thats because you were occupants. The main objective in seizing Afghanistan was so that Russia had a better foothold in the mid east and a launch pad for hostilities against the west. Russia did not go for the sake of the Afghan people or even its own but rather to attempt to damage the west.

And you can also not deny that the Russians did some terrible things to the Afghan people during the occupation...

p.s. this is not a personal attack against you but rather the strategies that the Russian military has employed in the past.
Of course, there were war crimes, there were bombings, killings and so on... Once few soldiers were killed. Soviet commander ordered to capture the same number of locals were laid on the road and a tank rolled over them. From that point killings of Soviet soldiers stopped.

There is a problem with the Afghans. They understand mainly language of force, respect force and constantly try to demostrate their force.

As for the reasons - why exactly the Soviet leaders (the Kremlin elders) decided to enter Afghanistan? Then it was of course a part of the cold war, it was an attempt to create close ally in this corner of the World with clear intention to spread Soviet influence (along of influence of communist ideplogy) to neighbouring countries. Success in Afghanistan would cause (from point of view of the 'Kremlin elders') the domino effect.

By the way if we compare Soviet and modern American strategies then there are many similiarities (only replace 'communist ideas' by 'democratic values').
 
#11
fusil89 said:
Also if the Russians were saints then why did a 3rd of the country flee to Pakistan to escape the occupation?
First of all many Pushtun tribes don't regard the border as something significant. Previously and now they freely cross it in both directions. Of course during Soviet invasion they prefer to settle on Pakistan's side and launch raids against Soviet forces from abroad.

Also a war is a war anyway. Refugees during a war is inevitable thing. Let's look at Iraq for example. More than a million are refugees. We can see the same picture in Afghanistan.
 
#12
Thats actually rather apt... (America - Russia point)
however ruling by terror seldom works out for the best particularly because in that scenario Russian atrocities only served to fuel the resolve of the Afghans who later chased the Russians out (with a little help from the west) in which case killing of Russians definately increased.

Also the Afghans do not respond respond to force (at least not in a desirable manner), they never have done. There has always been someone trying to occupy them (my nation included-UK) and they always rebel and wont bloody quit...stubborn b*stards
 
#13
KGB_resident said:
in_the_cheapseats said:
KGB_resident said:
The Talibs understand one simple thing much better than 'thinkers' in Washington. The main battle in Afghanistan is for 'hearts and minds'.
That's a technique your nation understands and applies soooooo well in all its ventures, Sergey, isn't it? Do one. :roll:
Mate, likely you are absolutely unaware about big (though resultless) efforts to win 'hearts and minds' of Afghans in 80's. Fist of all it was distribution of land among poorest peasants in expense of the rich. As a result the rich became active leaders of the insurgency. The poor were afraid to cultivate 'stolen lands' and as a rule returned it to previous owners. There was distribution of food that mainly was stolen by corruptioners. Yes, digging of wells in some waterless regions is still remembered by the locals but it hadn't any strategic effect. Soviet leaders sent specially formed regiments (that included Soviet Uzbeks and Tadjiks). It was not very effective measure. Moreover, in Pushtun regions it caused even much more fierce resistence. Pro-Soviet government tried to bound influence of the Muslim clerics. Really initiative was mainly on Afghan side and Soviet leadership even urged their allies in Afghanistan to follow more moderate line. Soviet medics healed many Afghans but alas it was not appresiated. As I remember there were planting of trees by Soviet soldiers, concerts, meetings with local population. Ironically those that received Soviet soldiers as dear guests with traditional cup of tea sometimes attacked them at night.quote]

Freudian slip of the tongue there methinks :wink:
 
#15
Yes, first of all the 'fist' was used. Some measures and laws were essentially in the interests of ordinary Afghans... in theory. But in practice land reform and many other projects (to win hearts and minds) failed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan

During its first 18 months of rule, the PDPA applied a Soviet-style program of reforms. Decrees setting forth changes in marriage customs and land reform were not received well by a population deeply immersed in tradition and Islam, particularly by the landlords who were hit by the abolition of usury and the cancellation of farmers' debts.
So debts of ordinary farmers were cancelled but it caused rebells.
 
#16
Yes I accept that you "tried" hearts and minds but then found it much easier to use brute force and there is nothing wrong with that (my country participated in centuries of imperialist and colonialist domination), but please do not try and deny it or pretend that what Russia did in the cold war was for anyone elses benefit but it's own.
I repeat my point in saying that you were not interested in spreading the communist ideal but rather wanted to try and turn the tables of the cold war by putting yourselves in a better position to harm the interests of the west.

Let us all accept that Afghanistan was a failure on all sides (although Russia more than ourselves). Russia wasted many lives and huge amounts of money in trying to hold Afghanistan and we (the west) created monsters by funding the mujahadeen who later turned on us.
 
#17
fusil89 said:
Yes I accept that you "tried" hearts and minds but then found it much easier to use brute force and there is nothing wrong with that (my country participated in centuries of imperialist and colonialist domination), but please do not try and deny it or pretend that what Russia did in the cold war was for anyone elses benefit but it's own.
Now (I repeat now) modern Russia acts in own selfish interests (as many other countries). As for the Soviet union then motivations of its leaders were not so simple. Of course national interests sometimes were taken into account but frequently namely communist ideology not national interests were on the first place.

However you are right in your conclusion. As the USA was the main obstacle to spead communist system around the World then harming American interests was in line with communist ideology.

fusil89 said:
I repeat my point in saying that you were not interested in spreading the communist ideal but rather wanted to try and turn the tables of the cold war by putting yourselves in a better position to harm the interests of the west.
There are no contradiction here.

fusil89 said:
Let us all accept that Afghanistan was a failure on all sides (although Russia more than ourselves). Russia wasted many lives and huge amounts of money in trying to hold Afghanistan and we (the west) created monsters by funding the mujahadeen who later turned on us.
Ironically taken into account approaching collapse of the Soviet union it would be much more profitable for the West to support pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan. At least it was mostly secular. However, history can't be redrawn.
 
#18
KGB_resident said:
The Talibs understand one simple thing much better than 'thinkers' in Washington. The main battle in Afghanistan is for 'hearts and minds'.
While Washington may not understand I think the US commanders in Afghanistan--by and large--do seem to understand it better.
 
#19
KGB_resident said:
fusil89 said:
Thats because you were occupants. The main objective in seizing Afghanistan was so that Russia had a better foothold in the mid east and a launch pad for hostilities against the west. Russia did not go for the sake of the Afghan people or even its own but rather to attempt to damage the west.

And you can also not deny that the Russians did some terrible things to the Afghan people during the occupation...

p.s. this is not a personal attack against you but rather the strategies that the Russian military has employed in the past.
Of course, there were war crimes, there were bombings, killings and so on... Once few soldiers were killed. Soviet commander ordered to capture the same number of locals were laid on the road and a tank rolled over them. From that point killings of Soviet soldiers stopped.

There is a problem with the Afghans. They understand mainly language of force, respect force and constantly try to demostrate their force.

As for the reasons - why exactly the Soviet leaders (the Kremlin elders) decided to enter Afghanistan? Then it was of course a part of the cold war, it was an attempt to create close ally in this corner of the World with clear intention to spread Soviet influence (along of influence of communist ideplogy) to neighbouring countries. Success in Afghanistan would cause (from point of view of the 'Kremlin elders') the domino effect.

By the way if we compare Soviet and modern American strategies then there are many similiarities (only replace 'communist ideas' by 'democratic values').
Why didn't you win the war then?
 
#20
KGB_resident said:
fusil89 said:
Thats because you were occupants. The main objective in seizing Afghanistan was so that Russia had a better foothold in the mid east and a launch pad for hostilities against the west. Russia did not go for the sake of the Afghan people or even its own but rather to attempt to damage the west.

And you can also not deny that the Russians did some terrible things to the Afghan people during the occupation...

p.s. this is not a personal attack against you but rather the strategies that the Russian military has employed in the past.
Of course, there were war crimes, there were bombings, killings and so on... Once few soldiers were killed. Soviet commander ordered to capture the same number of locals were laid on the road and a tank rolled over them. From that point killings of Soviet soldiers stopped.
I heard this same story from an Armenian friend who served in the Soviet Army in Afghanistan. He claimed that the soldiers had been captured and then brutally tortured to death. The local town was suspected of harboring the guilty insurgents and Soviet commander was so incensed he personally drove over them and warned that if any of his men were found tortured to death he'd do the same again.

That's having a commander that looks out for you.
 

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