Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Jeff Stein, CQ - The increasingly bold attacks on NATO supplies in Pakistan should be cause for serious worry, U.S. counterterrorism operatives are saying.
The attacks mean that Islamic extremist fighters in the region are adopting the tactics that their fathers and uncles employed more than a quarter century ago -- with CIA backing - to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan.

The objective: to choke off supplies to occupying troops on the ground. "The bad guys understand our operations and what our lifelines are all about," said an analyst with counter terror experience in the region.

"These guys are good. Rather then look at one target, they look multi-dimensionally at all the targets."

Taliban guerrillas struck two truck stops in northwest Pakistan, destroying containers and more than 150 vehicles carrying supplies bound for U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan.


At December 11, 2008 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...are adopting the tactics that their fathers and uncles employed more than a quarter century ago -- with CIA backing - to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan."
Isn't that the height of hubris and just plain ignorance of history?
The story is not a new one:

At the end of the day, the British had spent an enormous amount of effort to achieve a situation that seemed virtually identical to that at the beginning of the war. However, events were to prove that their decisive action did indeed forestall Russian advances into the country, and things were to be as quiet as things ever can be in that part of the world for a while at least. The various tribes still made it abundantly clear that as little as they liked each other, they liked the British still less. The North-West Frontier was still considered the wild frontier and caused headaches for British planners in India for a long time yet to come. Although, as long as the tribes were fighting each other rather than inviting Russians in to help them the British were not overly concerned with the situation.
The period of this campaign was to presage an era of enormous change for the British and Indian Armies. Setbacks in Zululand in 1879, Maiwand in 1880 and Majuba Hill in 1881 meant that the Army had lost some of its lustre of invincibility. Indeed, this particular campaign had demonstrated that the British Army had still not learnt all of the costly mistakes it had learnt in the Crimea. Transportation was still a fundamental weakness that could so easily have turned triumph into disaster on more than one occasion. Equipment was also scrutinised as it became obvious that the standard issue items were frequently unsuitable to the harsh conditions on the ground. Much to the chagrin of many officers, it meant that the British soldiers had to improvise in ways that were emminently suitable to their requirements, but pitifully awful to look at. Uniforms were virtually unidentifiable as troops responded to boiling summers, freezing winters and Afghan marksmen with an imagination and improvisation that made NCO's and officers weep at the sight of them. The first victim of decorum was the white issue summer uniform which the soldiers quickly threw into pots of tea in a desperate attempt at making their uniforms a kind of Khaki colour and hopefully making themselves less indentifiable to the Afghan hillsmen who constantly kept the soldiers on their toes. There were other developments for the infantryman (Slade Wallace equipment) and the cavalryman (Patterson equipment), but these were all responding to what the soldiers were doing by themselves anyway.


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