Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|The truth about the "successful" US commando raids in Afghanistan|
|11/06/01 at 05:47:07|
|Source: The Guardian UK|
The Pentagon's only publicly announced commando raid on Taliban positions, hailed as a success and beamed around the world in video pictures hours later, actually went badly wrong, seriously injuring American soldiers, sources in Pakistan said yesterday.
The debacle, which saw US Delta Force soldiers come under intense fire from the Taliban, prompted a review of special forces operations in Afghanistan and seems to have led to a delay in similar behind-the-lines operations.
The ferocity of the Taliban resistance caught US commandos unawares and showed that 13 days of bombing had failed to break the Taliban's morale. It sparked a debate in the Pentagon on the advisability of such missions in the absence of clear intelligence.
Soon after the October 20 raid, the US switched its military strategy, throwing its weight behind the opposition Northern Alliance and relying on it to provide ground troops for the campaign.
The day after the raid the Pentagon hailed the operation a success that proved that US forces could strike anywhere at any time, in the manner of their choosing.
But details provided to the Guardian by sources in Pakistan and the US, together with American press reports, present a different picture.
· A raid by Delta Force commandos on a Kandahar compound of the Taliban's leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, ran into heavy resistance, causing serious casualties. One soldier's foot was blown off.
· A simultaneous raid by army rangers on a Kandahar airstrip was carried out only after forward troops had checked that the area was clear. It was mainly for the benefit of the cameras and to boost the rangers' morale.
· The fierce Taliban response to the Delta Force raid led to a review of similar planned operations, and to questioning of the leadership of the war's US commander, General Tommy Franks.
According to an authoritative and independent source in constant touch with Kandahar, Delta Force commandos, the most elite force in the US army, searched Mullah Omar's compound but found it had been stripped of anything that might provide useful intelligence. As they emerged they came under intense fire, forcing them to retreat. The Taliban later retrieved "an American foot", still in its boot.
"There was a lot of blood," the source said. "The Taliban had expected an attack. They were ready and waiting."
During the raid a Chinook helicopter was badly damaged. The Taliban later said they had shot it down and showed off a portion of its landing gear.
The account given to the Guardian was consistent with an article in New Yorker magazine yesterday. The author, Seymour Hersh, said 12 Delta commandos were wounded, three seriously. He quoted a US military officer as saying that the team found itself in "a tactical firefight and the Taliban had the advantage".
The commandos were forced to retreat to helicopters and abandon one of the raid's objectives - the insertion of an undercover team into the area, the New Yorker said.
Delta Force is a primarily anti-terrorist unit based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Its existence is never formally discussed, nor are casualties. Its members are trained to attack with stealth in small teams, but the Kandahar raid was a noisy production, involving a back-up force of 200 rangers, AC-130 gunships and 100 Delta Force commandos.
"The mission was laid on like General Motors coming to the Afghan war, like we did in Vietnam," Mr Hersh said. At the same time, a company of rangers parachuted on to a Kandahar airfield in an operation portrayed the next day in dramatic TV footage. But in his article, Mr Hersh said that before the drop, an army pathfinder team had checked that the airfield was free of Taliban forces. The raid was for the benefit of the cameras.
On October 20, the speed and intensity of the Taliban response at Mullah Omar's compound "scared the crap out of everyone", a senior officer told the New Yorker, which reported that the setback had triggered an inquiry into how such commando raids were planned and executed by central command.
Since military operations began on October 7 there has been grumbling among the Pentagon's civilian leadership that Gen Franks, an artillery officer, is too hidebound and too steeped in US military doctrine and its reliance on overwhelming firepower, to lead a special forces campaign requiring guile and stealth.
Some senior officials want such operations to be run directly from the Pentagon.
Mr Hersh said yesterday he had been used by special forces officers to signal their unhappiness about how the operation was planned.
"The reason I learned about it is [Delta Force] were upset about what happened. This isn't the way you run Delta Force, you can't have this kind of big-scale operation. And so they're sending a message over the fence to the leadership."
Gen Franks and the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, General Richard Myers, both denied that the Taliban had inflicted casualties on US forces. Gen Franks, who is based in Tampa, Florida, said there were injuries during the operation, but "we had no one wounded by enemy fire".
The failure of the October 20 raid prompted senior British officers to emphasise the importance of good intelli gence. They made it clear they did not yet have it, and the post-mortem after the raid has delayed repeat operations.
"We need proper, joined-up, serious operations," a British defence source said.
But with better intelligence, further raids by small groups of special forces are on the cards once more, almost certainly involving British forces
|Re: The truth about the "successful" US commando raids in Afghanistan|
|11/06/01 at 08:37:37|
US commando's body expected in Pakistan city
QUETTA: The body of a U.S. commando captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan has been handed over to the Red Cross and is expected in this Pakistani border city, a Taliban official said here.
Maulvi Hammad said the body of Major John Bolton, who Taliban sources Sunday claimed died of kidney failure at a hospital in Kandahar, would arrive here in a day or two, SADA reported Monday.
He added that more than 20 US commandos, accused of spying, were being held by the Taliban.
Bolton, who had apparently been arrested recently, had identified himself as Major Mohammad Ayub but failed to convince the Taliban militia that accused him of spying for Washington.
The US is bombing Afghanistan for harbouring Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the terror attacks in New York and Washington.
95 US troops killed in Afghanistan: Taliban
ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan's Taliban regime said on Monday that 95 American soldiers had been killed since the launch of the US-led military campaign one month ago.
"The death toll of US soldiers in this war has now approximately reached 95," the Taliban embassy in Pakistan said in a written statement.
The United States has not confirmed the combat death of a single American soldier in Afghanistan.
The Taliban statement regretted that the bodies of American troops could not be returned to their relatives, but blamed the United States for denying the incidents in which the alleged deaths had occurred.
It specifically cited an incident in which the Taliban claimed to have shot down two US military helicopters on Friday, killing a number of American servicemen.
The Pentagon said only one helicopter had crashed in severe weather, and that all the crew members had been rescued before an air strike was ordered to destroy the wreckage.
"The real tragedy with the US soldiers and their families occurred when ... the US heavily bombed the wreckage of their own helicopters," the Taliban said.
"The resulting effect was not that they destroyed the helicopters but that they destroyed any hope of any survivors among its wreckage," the statement said.
"The US did this so that the bodies of the US soldiers could not be shown as evidence of casualties of this war to the American public."
The Pentagon has said it routinely destroys aircraft downed in hostile territory to prevent the equipment on board from falling into enemy hands.
( AFP )
|Re: The truth about the "successful" US commando raids in Afghanistan|
|11/07/01 at 09:47:52|
|He added that more than 20 US commandos, accused of spying, were being held by the Taliban.|
:D Lol... that's funny... "smoke them out" huh President Bush?
The rest of the story is sad. :( How could the U.S. do that? I feel sorry for the families of those soldiers, they won't have a body to bury when the war's over and everything starts to slowly come out.
Now, it's my time to be slaughtered. Going to UT to debate. my first official college debate. i'm doing a persuasive on secret evidence. let's see if i'm booed out of there in light of recent events.
so pray that Allah changes some hearts inshallah through my speech
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