visitors since 4 oct 2008

All Clear

At 0630 this morning, Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in the form of the Kabul Critical Response Unit (CRU) finished off a crew of villains who had been fighting for the past 16 hours.  These guys, most likely HIG militants, had barricaded themselves in a building under construction next to the Azizi Bank located on Zambaq Square, which is right next to the diplomatic quarter.  This is the same tactic they used in the attack on the diplomatic quarter last September, but this time they fired from the opposite direction.

The location and approximate range fan for yestedays attack on the diplomatic quarter.  Deeper in this range fan (but well within Machinegun range) are the US Embassy, ISAF HQ, and Camp Eggers

The location and approximate range fan for yesterday's attack on the diplomatic quarter. Deeper in this range fan (but well within machinegun range) are the US Embassy and ISAF HQ.

At dawn the villains were still active in the 3rd and 4th floors (counting top down).  ANSF was hitting them with RPG's and rockets about every 45 seconds followed up with automatic weapons fire

At dawn the villains were still active in the 3rd and 4th floors (counting top down) from this building. ANSF was hitting them with RPG's and rockets about every 35 seconds, followed up with automatic weapons fire

Heavy Machinegun fire following up a rocket strike
Heavy Machinegun fire following up a rocket strike.  Camp Eggers is just off to the left of that building, Wazar Akbar Khan, where many expats live, is in the foreground.

ANSF had pinned the attackers in that building from the start and by the time I was able to climb up Bibi Mahroo hill to get a look at the site, the fighting was all outgoing.  The attackers may have still been firing AK’s at that point, but I could only confirm that they were taking all the incoming rockets and heavy machinegun fire while returning little of anything.  When a brick wall is all that separates you from the effects of RPG’s and rockets, the pounding your body takes from the overpressure is brutal.  I doubt that the villains were in any condition to offer effective resistance by the time the CRU went in to finish them off.  At 0630 local time, the scene was declared secure and ANSF announced that the insurgents involved in other attacks in the city had also been terminated.

These attacks, like those before them, accomplished very little tactically.  But they don’t have to accomplish much of anything.  Just mounting the attack is a victory for insurgents with the only audience that counts: the people of Afghanistan.  It may seem weird, but tactical victories are meaningless now for all sides of this conflict.

Watching the action from Bibi Mahroo Hill

Watching the action from Bibi Mahroo Hill

So we now have another problem.  Not the attacks – they accomplished nothing, as they usually do, except to demonstrate the insurgents’ ability to stockpile weapons and ammunition inside the most secure parts of Kabul.  That takes time, money, and access.  They had to pay for that access and whoever they did pay – that’s the problem.  But it’s not an ISAF problem; this problem belongs with the Afghans.   The latest casualty figured via Reuters;

Afghan security forces have killed 32 gunmen and arrested one more in operations to stop co-ordinated attacks by Taliban fighters that hit the capital, Kabul, and three other provinces, the defence ministry said on Monday.  Eight members of the security forces have been killed and 44 others, including five civilians, wounded, Mohammad Zahir, Kabul CID chief, said on Monday.

Given the amount of ordnance the insurgents fired off that is amazing.  This  isn’t the last time Kabul is going to be targeted; we’ll be in the hot seat again soon.  For now the local people are going about their business hoping that the next time insurgents decide to make a statement their luck continues to hold.

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    10 comments to All Clear

    • dennis

      Well from what i could see, thay just throw there lives away. But are guys are OK so that’s what counts.

    • B

      Possible reasons for the attacks:
      1. Staking territory. When the Americans pull out, it will be a free-for-all, like in the 90s. Whoever makes a name for himself as a player now will be in a stronger position vis-a-vis recruiting, securing foreign sponsorship, etc, just like the guys who split the country in the 90s had made their bones with spectacular attacks on the Soviets a decade before.
      2. A message to the Afghans on the fence. If ANSF can’t keep this kind of shit from happening in broad daylight, what makes you think you’ll be safe in your compound, especially as the American drawdown takes place? Get down or lay down.
      3. Logistics dry runs for something more spectacular. If retards with no real game plan can do something spectacular like this, think about what a couple of dozen guys not suffering from neurological handicaps and with a clear plan can do.

    • Razer Ray

      One less monolithic piece of Western architecture in the country must make ALL the ethnic groups quite happy… Except of course the ones who lived most of their lives in Vienna Virginia or other ex-patty place. As far as “Wasted Lives”. Haven’t seen the ISAF corpse count recently, and the Pentagon’s tally keeping of dead US soldiers has always left a lot to be desired. Maybe they’ve gotten more efficient at flying the dying to Hamburg so there are no ‘combat casualties?

    • The only thing they proved was that they could coordinate attacks on numerous sites. The effectiveness of those attacks seems to have been minimal.The Taliban are very media savvy and need to control the narrative.

      Almost on schedule there was a big jailbreak in Waziristan, so I’m sure we will see more ISI directed incidents in coming months. Look for some really nasty stuff.

    • J Harlan

      The positive effects (not in order of importance)for AOG are:

      1) the ability to get a platoon into the centre of the city is again proven,
      2) Kabul will be seen as increasingly dangerous making it harder and more expensive to staff foreign organizations
      3) more ANSF will be diverted to the city
      4) foreign agencies will increase their security- more guards, concrete and traffic jams
      5) two days of TV coverage showing ~ 36 guys taking on ANSF and NATO in the capitol. If the roles were reversed there would be a Hollywood block buster’s script being written before the smoke cleared.
      6) increased sense in the west that the situation is hopeless as well as a waste of resources.

    • RJ

      Back home our government, along with pals in the media are ramping up their game of “pulling the rug” out from underneath our soldiers in your neck of the woods.

      Can’t wait for John Kerry to make another grand statement on that last person to die…

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