Sunday, June 18, 2006

Operation Mountain Thrust

The Belmont Club interviews Bill Roggio for Pajamas Media in Kandahar about the coalition offensive in Afghanistan.


Blogger desert rat said...

For another, more British, view of the Afghan challenge there is an article in "The Sunday Times".

The tone of the article is summed up in the closing paragraph, but there are some confirmable facts within the story.
"... Last week in Shanghai the leaders of Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan met under the umbrella of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation. This little-reported group was intended to cement an alliance against further western intervention in Asia. So far, so understandable. But if western diplomacy allows that cement to harden into something more sinister, the “war on terror” will have been the stupidest mistake in history. ..."

Yes, the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation is a creation of the War on Terror.
I wish Mr Bush & Mr Blair were so omnipotent, to have that kind of cause and effect ability in the World.

6/18/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The link to the Times, if interested.
If there is a global media conspiracy,
know the Enemy.

6/18/2006 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Great interview w. Mr. Roggio, Richard. Thanks for making that available.

“All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest...”
— Paul Simon, “The Boxer” circa 1971

Sometimes I despair, thinking that the idiots on the left only read the official idiot news sources, while everyone I regard as sane gets their information from the SANE and TOTALLY REASONABLE information sources. Without bias or distortion or slant. Of course, I use all caps to underscore how TOTALLY RATIONAL AND UNEMOTIONAL I am.

Actually, people have been doing that — seeking out the news that reinforces what they already think is true — since... well, forever. The ones who actually end up in positions of power and hold on to it for any length of time presumably are those who at least take the trouble to find out just what their adversaries think and know.

It’s all very well for me to smugly think I’ve got the world figured out, and sneeringly dismiss or solemnly applaud each new bit of news from the front according to whether it comes from a pathetic LEFT-Wing newsreader or a completely trustworthy and un-biased source... (note to self: Which ones are those, again? I mean, besides Mr. Fernandez...) But occasionally it’s necessary to climb out of the very deep and comfortable rut I’ve carved with my contractor-grade Bobcat, and peer bravely at the rest of the world. I occasionally sneek peeks at the Daily Kos, even DU, and follow links to various liberal and left sites.

Sadly, there is much on those sites to confirm the slavering delusionality of the Left. To criticize some of the people on the right, I would say that we also fall too easily into name-calling, derision, insult, abuse, and temper-tantrums.

Sometimes I try to consider what is the reaction of someone on the LEFT who takes that first step of acting on the still small voice of skeptical inquiry... and peeps into a forum like this one. Is that person going to be persuaded to ponder any of the viewpoints or logic WE hold dear, when we’re using the sort of frenzied vitriolic ranting we despise when we see it at DU?

Well, of course, things are much too civilized for that here (thanks Wretchard!) but I’ve noticed we don’t seem to get many posts of contrary views, civil or otherwise.

That’s not much of a dialog. Not a conversation.

We do cover a lot of territory, and that’s all to the good. But I remember several times when some flaring troll would barge into the comments section at Bill Whittle’s blog, and over a period of days the most amazing thing happened. After a bunch of insults and brickbats, people would start trying to make sense to each other, and find ways to express their opposing views so as to APPEAL to the other side. I recall several intruders finally thanking the other commenters for taking the trouble to engage in dialog, and confessing they had found merit in the arguments that had been offered.

It’s hard to assess how much actual good that does. But it’s like the struggle in Iraq (without the bombs and bullets) in that we need to try to persuade people to consider our way of thinking by showing them that there is a substantial difference in how we do things, and dramatically different consequences and results can be achieved if only they break from their past.

6/18/2006 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

dear _rat,

The Sunday Times of course completely ignores the simple truth that those players have every right to meet with each other, and would have done so regardless of U.S. actions.

Chaos and instability have been around since long before the Bush administration. The Sunday Times institutional memory seems to need a jolt.

6/18/2006 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Observations from Southeastern Afghanistan

Roggio's latest, June 18, 2006 09:02 AM

6/18/2006 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Soft Targets

Roggio's June 16, 2006 07:34 AM

6/18/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Press Conference with Colonel Chris Vernon on Mountain Thrust

6/18/2006 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The Road to Tarin Kot

6/18/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Media Death Watch in action on purported kidnapped Canadian soldier

6/18/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The Long Road Ahead

Michael Yon goes to TK

6/18/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...


Michael Yon driving around Helmand province in an unarmored Land Cruiser with no security.

6/18/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Yon story was fabulous, cannoneer, but tell me, the "bad" dog at the end of the post, the one knawing on the human corpse. Was that photo taken in Afghanistan, or somewhere else in the world?
Mr Yon does not say.
But what is the reader's impression?
The caption just says it's a bad dog.
Which I'm sure is accurate.
But could it also be misleading?

6/18/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The Talibanization of the North-West Frontier

6/18/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

I am led to believe the dog was near TK. I've seen dogs just like that at KAF. Roaming in packs of 4 to 6.

There used to be cute puppies of the same breed as the farmer's dog kept by many units of the 25th ID as mascots, but some puppy got rabies up at Bagram and 50 soldiers had to get rabies shots so all the dogs at KAF that they could catch were liquidated.

6/18/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...


6/18/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Breaking the Tribal Ties in Taliban Country

6/18/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

What we need are some snake-eatin', knuckle-draggin', Pashtun-speaking ethnologists who can make deals with the aggrieved traditional tribal headmen and help them regain power in exchange for target acquisition assistance.

6/18/2006 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So there are human corpses left on the ground for the dogs to knaw at TK?
That would be the most telling part of the story, but was not mentoned, no?

The absence of mentioning the corpse in the story would lead me to think it was a photo Mr Yon had in his file, but that is just conjecture.

6/18/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Buzzards gotta eat. Same as worms.

Same as dogs.

6/18/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

That's one mean looking dog, jeez.

6/18/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was hoping Wretchard, that you would ask Bill about the ethnic or national makeup of the Taliban. Are they (at this point) only Afghanis? Are Pakistanis and other Islamist jihadis being currently considered as "Taliban."

It was very interesting to hear that the poppy growers have made a deal with the Taliban. I'm not sure how that arrangement would work out for them in the long run.

6/18/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...


The Taliban are almost entirely Pashtuns. Pashtuns are a Persian people who have inhabited the frontier between Persia and India since before Alexander the Great came through. They are the Pathans of whom Kipling wrote. Also called Pakhtuns.

Pashtuns make up about 40% of the population of Afghanistan. The parts of Afghanistan where the Pashtuns don't live are fairly peaceful. Pashtuns are about 15% of Pakistan's population and 20% of Pakistan's army. The North West Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas are 95% Pashtun.

The Pashto word for themselves is Afghan. As far as the Pashtuns are concerned, Pashtunistan starts at the Indus. The Durand Line means no more to Pashtuns than the 49th Parallel meant to Sitting Bull.

6/18/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I posted that dog picture some time ago, was SURE it gave the whereabouts.
Have I made my first error in life?

6/18/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

1:56 PM
'Rat linked a Westhawk piece to the effect that Pakistan had used Afghanistan as kind of a back 40 safety valve for these rowdy folks, and our clearing them out has caused new stresses for them.
They used completely different words than that, but I think that sums up what they said.
I say we then owe them the favor of reducing the population problem wherever there are training/recruiting areas in Warizistan.

6/18/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Pakistan’s leaders have considered Afghanistan’s territory to be Pakistan’s “strategic depth,” territory, like Russia’s vast steppes, into which it could retreat from an Indian offensive. Perhaps more relevantly, the frontier territories and Afghanistan beyond have been a “release valve” for religious and ideological fervor. Pakistani leaders were zealous supporters of the resistance to the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, and later helped establish the Taliban in power there in the 1990s. Pakistan has always done what it could to prevent itself from being walled in on its west.

Pakistan and Strategic Depth

6/18/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, "Strategic Depth"
sounds much more impressive than the back 40!

6/18/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...


The remnants of the Islamabad regime can take their nukes and retreat into the NWFP and raise the tribes for jihad against the Hindus.

6/18/2006 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The Dying Tribes

Many Afghans see the Taliban as the dying embers of the once mighty tribal system. As strong as the tribes still are, they are declining in power and influence. Consider them another victim of modern culture. Or, to put it more crudely, Hollywood, MTV and Silicon Valley gave too many tribal people an alternative to an ancient lifestyle. The youngsters have new ideas about how to deal with authority and power. The tribal elders no longer get the respect and deference they once had. The Taliban support all that was ancient and "good." But the majority of Afghans oppose the Taliban. They want their daughters to go to school and they want to elect their leaders. The battle between old and new has been going on for over a century in Afghanistan. But now the "old" are making a last stand, and fighting with an all or nothing desperation.

The Taliban in Waziristan deposed the tribal chiefs and imposed a sharia mullahcracy. Pashtun tribal traditions are under attack from both modernists and Islamists.

Afghanistan has been the Special Forces Olympics for 4 years. We have a lot more Pashto-speaking operators, now, and they have more competent ANA to work with. Do not be surprised in October when a team comes out with Osama's head in a bag.

6/19/2006 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Seems the major thing propping up their continued existence on the Afghan side is the Poppy Crop.
The Farmers receiving protection from the Taliban are their biggest supporters.

6/19/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Great links, Cannoneer.

6/19/2006 11:00:00 AM  

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