Taliban Maneuvering for Position in Northwest

Render4/25/2009 12:53:17 pm PDT

re: #34 IslandLibertarian


They’ve (the Taliban/al-Q) been working on this for at least three years. Or about the same time their largest form of income switched from Gulf State oil sheiks to Helmand Province poppy fields. The Predator strikes were only slowing them down, proving once again that air power cannot take ground. There was a brief halt in the Predator strikes around the time of our presidential transition that may have allowed the enemy some breathing space. But it was also around that time that the Shadow Army was first seen, in uniform, operating in organized combat squads, in broad daylight. They were also seen (sorta) in an al-Jazzera video from Swat, defeating a Pakistani Army column that included elements of a veteran Motorized Infantry Regiment (at least two companies in strength), a platoon (five) of Type 59/105 tanks, at least two Cobra helicopter gunships, and reported strikes by Pakistani F-16’s.

They sent the tanks down the road by themselves first. When the tanks took dozens of RPG rounds from well trained Shadow Army squads, they broke and ran back through the truck column. The Pak infantry dismounted their trucks and moved off down the road toward the ambush point. A few rounds were fired and the infantry came tumbling back down the road, mounted their trucks and both trucks and tanks hauled off back to their bases while a Cobra unleashed a single volley of rockets in the general direction of the Shadow Army positions. Al-Jizz reported the air strikes as happening much later.

The tanks came from the local armor training school. Type 59/105’s are obsolete even by Pakistani standards.

The real “strength” of the Pak Army remains squatting on the Indian border. Given that there are a large number of Taliban supporters within both the Pak military and ISI, it’s very unlikely that the regular Pak Army will ever be involved in this war - against the Taliban.