Progress in Afghanistan


by Astronuc
Tags: afghanistan, progress
mheslep
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#109
Oct12-09, 06:09 AM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
...And if that is not a concern then think about this
The IED: Weapon of Choice - washingtonpost.com
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...092601410.html

How long before IED's are used in US metropolitan areas?
This last bit is not coherent. Look at why IED's are used in Afghanistan, and what's required to make them.
Astronuc
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Oct12-09, 06:13 AM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
This last bit is not coherent. Look at why IED's are used in Afghanistan, and what's required to make them.
It's based on a comment made by one of the people in the video. Materials to make IEDs are readily available in the US or can be brought in via any of the illicit smuggling/trafficking operations.
mheslep
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Oct12-09, 07:52 AM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
It's based on a comment made by one of the people in the video.
Yes by the WaPo reporter, who just says 'many people' say we'll see them here. That's a silly comment imo
Materials to make IEDs are readily available in the US or can be brought in via any of the illicit smuggling/trafficking operations.
No the 'materials' are not readily available here, the important material being the explosives, not the triggering device. The number one source for IED explosives in Iraq is artillery ordinance, which is widely available there. In the US (and I expect elsewhere), explosives are extremely tightly controlled since 911 including the base materials. Yes, explosives can still be had with difficulty, but if the primary goal was simply to cause maximum random mayhem via explosives then then most effective route is to plant them in or alongside a building or other confined space, as history as unfortunately shown. No doubt it will happen again in the US sooner or later. However, for purposes of random violence it is incoherent to put such a device on the side of the road where most of its energy is dissipated as 'IEDs' are, unless the primary goal is to attack patrolling military forces because that is the only place they are accessible, and used that way they unfortunately have tactical value.
mheslep
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Oct15-09, 05:35 PM
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Frontline's piece on Afghanistan, Obama's War, is up online now.
http://video.pbs.org/video/1295117818
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obamaswar/
Astronuc
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Oct15-09, 06:34 PM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Yes by the WaPo reporter, who just says 'many people' say we'll see them here. That's a silly comment imo

No the 'materials' are not readily available here, the important material being the explosives, not the triggering device. The number one source for IED explosives in Iraq is artillery ordinance, which is widely available there. In the US (and I expect elsewhere), explosives are extremely tightly controlled since 911 including the base materials.
One can easily purchase materials on the 'global black market' in Central Asia, Africa, S. America, . . . . and given the illicit substances that are readily available on the streets of most metropolitan and suburban areas in the US - it's not as hard as one would imagine. Actually, explosive materials have been under stricture control since 1995 and Timothy McVeigh's bombing in Oklahoma April 19, 1995, which is interesting given the bombing at the WTC on February 26, 1993.

I would also recommend reading Steve Coll's Ghost Wars.

The big concern since about 1985 has been that militant groups would strike back at the US. The term is called 'blowback'. Unfortunately, successive administrations pretty much ignored those concerns - until September 11, 2001.
mheslep
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Oct15-09, 07:34 PM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
One can easily purchase materials on the 'global black market' in Central Asia, Africa, S. America, . . . . and given the illicit substances that are readily available on the streets of most metropolitan and suburban areas in the US - it's not as hard as one would imagine.
What do you mean? That US residents can easily buy explosives on the black market overseas and get them into the US? What do you base this on? Transportation hubs now commonly have electronic explosives detectors, not electronic narcotics detectors.
Actually, explosive materials have been under stricture control since 1995 and Timothy McVeigh's bombing in Oklahoma April 19, 1995, which is interesting given the bombing at the WTC on February 26, 1993.
Since the 2002 Safe Explosives Act Yousef's fertilizer truck bomb is going to be quite a bit harder to repeat. Even so, I doubt fertilizer is very suitable for man powerful portable explosives. An individual would do much more damage w/ a firearm I expect.

I would also recommend reading Steve Coll's Ghost Wars.
Why? Does Coll suggest as you do that there is a waive of explosives coming into that IED's could be common in 'US metropolitan areas' as you have?
mgb_phys
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Oct15-09, 08:22 PM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
What do you mean? That US residents can easily buy explosives on the black market overseas and get them into the US?
The IRA never seemed to have much trouble moving them in the other direction - and security in Northern Ireland went a lot further than taking nail clippers off you at the airport.

Transportation hubs now commonly have electronic explosives detectors,
They swab a few peoples hands, they don't strip down every container and open every package. 20,000 containers arrive in the US everyday - shouldn't be impossible to get a few kg of C4 in that.

Since the 2002 Safe Explosives Act Yousef's fertilizer truck bomb is going to be quite a bit harder to repeat.
But not impossible there is still a lot of Ammonium nitrate and fuel oil sold in the US

Even so, I doubt fertilizer is very suitable for man powerful portable explosives. An individual would do much more damage w/ a firearm I expect.
Not much use in a IED, but a truck full makes a mess. It's also very easy to detonate.
Best source for an IED is military explosives/munitions. You would need a country with many 1000s of military bases in remote areas with many miles of poorly guarded fences and forgotten about stores.
mheslep
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Oct15-09, 08:47 PM
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Quote Quote by mgb_phys View Post
The IRA never seemed to have much trouble moving them in the other direction - and security in Northern Ireland went a lot further than taking nail clippers off you at the airport....
We're not talking about Northern Ireland or anywhere else with a full blown insurrection / civil war under-way. If we did IED's would not be on the top of my worry list.

Again: The topic was not what might happen one or twice, or how once or twice someone would go to great lengths and risk to obtain a one time 1-2kg of C4 (which is a silly risk, when opening a gas line is much simpler and as effective). The US already had once or twice, and they'll be more. The suggestion was that IEDs, that is, common and easy to obtain explosive devices, would widely appear in the US, circa 2009, despite an ATF, an FBI, new explosives restrictions, and new explosives electronics detectors at border entries.
mheslep
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Oct15-09, 09:04 PM
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Quote Quote by mgb_phys View Post
... Best source for an IED is military explosives/munitions. You would need a country with many 1000s of military bases in remote areas with many miles of poorly guarded fences and forgotten about stores.
Exactly, as stated before
http://www.physicsforums.com/showpos...&postcount=111
Astronuc
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Oct16-09, 01:27 PM
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One [More] Death in Afghanistan: Ben Sklaver's Story
http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...930683,00.html
Last week, Laura and Gary Sklaver buried their oldest boy, Ben, who was 32 when killed by a suicide bomber in the remote village of Murcheh in the distant land of Afghanistan. Ben was a captain in the U.S. Army. Now he has become one of 804 Americans, 37 from Connecticut, to lose their lives in an expanding war that belongs mostly to the parents and families of those who serve a nation preoccupied by a wounded economy and political polarization.
. . . .
Ben Sklaver grew up drawn to service. He admired his grandfather, who served with George Patton's Army in World War II. He joined ROTC at Tufts, received a master's in international relations from the Fletcher School of Diplomacy, was commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserve in 2003 and became convinced that a world consumed with conflict and terrorism might be changed by Americans bringing clean water, medicine and food as much as by drones, missiles and military might.
. . . .
In memory of Cpt Benjamin Sklaver - http://www.clearwaterinitiative.org/benjamin/

Projects - http://www.clearwaterinitiative.org/...s/projects.htm
mheslep
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Oct16-09, 02:05 PM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
One [More] Death in Afghanistan: Ben Sklaver's Story
http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...930683,00.html
Thanks for the Sklaver story Astronuc. That village appears to be in mostly trouble free province of Bamyan, so this is unexpected there.

I do object to Time's rendering of the story. The closing:
...two more casualties of a war waged by the forgotten few.
They are not forgotten by me.
Astronuc
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Oct16-09, 02:24 PM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Thanks for the Sklaver story Astronuc. That village appears to be in mostly trouble free province of Bamyan, so this is unexpected there.

I do object to Time's rendering of the story. The closing:

They are not forgotten by me.
Bamiyan or Bamyan is home of the Hazaras, who may be more amenable to the US presence. Unfortunately, Taliban or Taliban/al Qaida sympathizers seem to move throughout the country.

I wish US and ISAF troops weren't in that situation, but the alternative of just up an leaving would allow for worse situation.

Some of the Taliban may be very focused locally or provincially, but the Taliban have evolved under the influence of foreign entities like al-Qaida, Jamaat-E-Islami, Hezb-e Islami, and similar organizations. The situation has become more dire in Pakistan, and both Pakistan and Afghanistan face the same insurgency more or less.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091016...pakistanunrest

Pakistan Attacks Show Tighter Militant Links
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/wo...a/16pstan.html


The situation is a bit like fighting a wildfire with unpredictable winds.
rootX
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#121
Nov12-09, 11:24 PM
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8357011.stm
A 14-year-old boy in the tribal region of Bajaur, in north-west Pakistan, says he was detained by Taliban forces who tried to turn him into a suicide bomber. The boy is now in army hands.

He provided a detailed account to BBC correspondent Orla Guerin. His story cannot be independently verified.
mheslep
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Nov13-09, 04:17 PM
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That's some story. His kidnappers seemed to have skipped the injunction in the Quran
against suicide. The Taliban (and Al Qaeda) appears to be little more than a group of megalomaniacs, a cult, using Islam as cover - something worth fighting.
mgb_phys
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Nov18-09, 09:27 AM
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Quote Quote by triks View Post
opium production went up, that wasn't much but it's the progress that was made by Bush and Co..
So you have:
A trade deficit with China
You want stuff China exports
You don't make anything they want
You have a weak currency and they want paying in silver
Meanwhile you have a possession in the Indian sub-continent that grows opium.

A historical solution does seem to present itself.
mheslep
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#124
Nov18-09, 08:31 PM
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I plotted the US/UK fatalities by month and year below. Lets hope November brings quiet to Afghanistan as it has in past years.
http://www.icasualties.org/OEF/ByMonth.aspx

US:


UK:
Astronuc
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#125
Dec3-09, 11:18 PM
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Something that apparently works in Afghanistan.

National Solidarity Programme

The National Solidarity Programme (NSP) was created in 2003 by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development to develop the ability of Afghan communities to identify, plan, manage and monitor their own development projects. Through the promotion of good local governance, the NSP works to empower rural communities to make decision affecting their own lives and livelihoods. Empowered rural communities collectively contribute to increased human security. The programme is inclusive, supporting entire communities including the poorest and vulnerable people.
http://www.nspafghanistan.org/
Sorry!
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Dec4-09, 01:22 AM
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I'm wondering how exactly everyone feels about the current situation in Afghanistan. Actually I'd love to be brought 'more up-to-date' on what's actually going on if anyone has a recent article they could share with me.

I have no idea if these points have been brought up sorry if it has I just skimmed through it.
The way I see it is that it's great that countries are going in and supporting rebuilding the country and supporting the people. However this is an enviroment that is going to be used against the troops in a war. For instance I recal watching on CNN a story about a base that was near the pakistan border and was ambushed HEAVILY only 2 soldiers survived from the entire base and they were pinned down for quite some time before reinforcements could come and land.

I assume that America's target is mostly to get rid of the terrorist and continue their war on terror however we should look at this area's history. They have been constantly at war and they do really well on home turf I have no doubt in my mind that America given enough strength in Afghanistan could destroy every sign of terrorist in the region and guard it. Will it be worth it to get to that point though?

Maybe we should instead focus more on building the urban areas and helping the people of the country instead of attempting to eliminate the terrorist along the borders? If you look on youtube for videos of battles between Americans on the borderland you will probably be quite shocked by how well the enemy is able to fight. They even do recon missions with the Americans having any idea until they find videotapes.

I guess what I'm saying is that maybe we should ease off the border (it's an extremely difficult area to defend) and focus more on the internal system of Afghanistan. Maybe that will be more rewarding? (I.e. Winning over the people of the country so they no longer support or help the terrorist?)

I've enlisted in the military, Canadian, I have to go through all my testings etc. in a little bit and I would love to go over there to know we are helping and making a difference to the Afghan people lives now.

This could all be wrong however as my views are mostly based on reports from just before the summertime, so it's obviously probable that things have changed since then.


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