Taliban search for heavier weapons


Canadian with a hyphen
#1
By Murray Brewster,

Frustrated by their inability to punch through the reinforced plating on Canadian fighting vehicles, the Taliban are scouring the black market for bigger and better weapons to take on Canadian armour, coalition and Afghan security sources say.

Being able to destroy even one light armoured vehicle - a Bison armoured troop carrier or Coyote reconnaissance vehicle - would be a significant moral victory in the eyes of insurgents, a senior coalition source told The Canadian Press.

"They want to take out one really bad," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "To them it would be a huge victory because they haven't be able to do that to this point."

A handful of LAV-IIIs have been attacked with rocket propelled grenades and roadside bombs, suffering relatively minor damage such as blown tires. But none has been seriously disabled with a major loss of life.

Four Canadian soldiers did died recently in an insurgent attack, but they were travelling in a relatively lightly armed Mercedes G-Wagon.

There also have been no direct attacks Canada's forward operating bases in the Sangin district of Helmand province and the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province - a peaceful interlude coalition commanders attributed to the presence of armoured vehicles.

"The reason they haven't tried to attack our (forward operating bases) is because of the presence of the LAVs," said one combat officer.


The anti-armour weapon of choice among the Taliban and al-Qaida is the RPG-7, which can be fired by an individual fighter.

Insurgents are apparently looking for shoulder-launched weapons similar to the German Armbrust and possibly armed with some kind of supercalibre warhead, said an Afghan security source.

Ideally, the Taliban would like to lay their hands on a jeep-mounted AT-1 Snapper, a Soviet-built system that was part of the Taliban's arsenal prior to the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that drove them from power. It's unclear how many of those systems, exported to the Middle East during the Cold War, are still available.

In addition, the hunt is on for additional anti-tank mines, which have the dual benefit for the insurgents of being easily rewired into lethal improvised explosive devices.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, the commander of coalition forces in southern Afghanistan said the Taliban were "looking for ways to kill us."

But Brig.-Gen David Fraser declined to discuss the specifics of the threat, which coalition counterintelligence officers are working to mitigate.

"We just don't sit around and wait for them to kill coalition forces," said Fraser, who is also the multinational brigade commander in the south.

"We're always changing and adapting and staying ahead. We can counter anything the Taliban can throw at us right now."

Prior to deploying Canadians to southern Afghanistan, Ottawa spent $34 million adding reinforced plating to almost all of its thin-skinned vehicles operating in Kandahar.

"The Taliban are frustrated right now," said Fraser. "They're frustrated because they can't kill. Having said that, I can't reduce the risk to zero. We've had casualties and we are prepared for casualties."

In the craggy mountain passes and mud-walled compounds north of here, mujahedeen veterans attempt to school a new generation of jihadists on how to destroy armoured vehicles. They rely on their experience fighting slow-moving Soviet tanks, such as the T-72, a generation ago.

"The tactics we see date back to the mujahedeen, but we studied the same books," Fraser said.

"We've adapted."

Unlike Soviet tanks, the LAVs and Bisons move swiftly and are more manoeuvrable, especially off-road, making them a much tougher target to hit with either a shoulder-mounted weapon - or even anti-tanks mines, which are traditionally sown along roadways.

Just as worrisome are the persistent rumours the Taliban have managed to reactivate a handful of U.S-made Stinger missiles using recently purchased battery packs. The CIA-sponsored weapons date to the Soviet occupation.

To date, it's not been conclusively proven that the militants have such capability, but it is also a subject coalition commanders are loath to discuss.

Two interview requests directed to the U.S. military by The Canadian Press were turned down.

Afghan sources said a turncoat Taliban commander has offered to turn in two of the weapons for the $100,000 US per missile reward offered by the Afghan government. However the unnamed commander has yet to produce verifiable evidence he has access to them, said a coalition intelligence source.

Last year, Pakistani forces along the Afghan border seized as many as six dilapidated Stingers.

Since the Canadians fly only a handful of transport planes into Kandahar and have no battlefield air transport of their own, the principal threat from the missile comes when Canadian troops ride in coalition helicopters.

"It's something we consider every time we do our planning," Canadian Maj. Blair Baker, the air space co-ordinator for the multinational brigade, said in a recent interview.

"We're always aware of the threat that's out there and we do take precautions."

For security reasons, Baker wouldn't discuss the range of countermeasures being taken, but all helicopters are equipped with flares and other devices meant to confuse incoming missiles


I know many of you will use this post as an opportunity to show their anger towards our troops being in Afghanistan and to criticize the conservative's agenda, But for once try to see that the Taliban are driven by hatred to the west ,They're dangerous enough with whatever they have now , Can you immagine if they get heavier weapons?
 
Lineman
#2
Destroying just one LAV and killing its occupants is likely all the Taliban and insurgents want for now. Their hope is to destroy the Canadian resolve to see this mission through. We as a country are in a very shaky state right now as reflected in the polls. We want our troops to do well but I think there's the unwarranted fear of being labeled as American supporters. You'll note most of the anger will be an anti-american rant as opposed to any real reason for Canada to pull out and that's because they can't argue against the true nature of the Canadian mission.
Blowing up a LAV and showing our troops are vulnerable may swing the balance to the "cut and run" crowd. Without this media focused Taliban victory the more success the troops have the more the balance will sway in support of the mission. Now if the media could concentrate equally on reporting the re-construction efforts as opposed to only the combat efforts the support would grow substantially faster. I hope for continued success defeating the Taliban, peace and prosperity for the people of Afghanistan and for all our troops and the NGOs to come home safely.
 
Canadian with a hyphen
#3
Lineman ... if the Canadian army ever needed to succeed in a mission , it would have to be Afghanistan...I mean we are not invadors , we are not there for the opium, we are there to make the country stable.
I think some canadians need to walk out of their comfort zone and see the world outside their shell. It is a different world ... It is a scary one ... we need to stop this anti-americanism , anti-anything and do what is good for this world that we all live in.
on the other hand , I agree that the media needs to focus on the reconstruction efforts instead of the combat effort so that Canadians could see the whole picture.
 
Johnny Utah
#4

Canadian Forces perhaps need to acquire one or two Predator UAV's to run recon and defense ahead of them before engaging Taliban Forces..
 
Jersay
#5
That would be a nice plane to have. But with only 1.1 billion these issues aren't going to be addressed.
 
aeon
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Canadian with a hyphen

Lineman ... if the Canadian army ever needed to succeed in a mission , it would have to be Afghanistan...I mean we are not invadors , we are not there for the opium, we are there to make the country stable.
I think some canadians need to walk out of their comfort zone and see the world outside their shell. It is a different world ... It is a scary one ... we need to stop this anti-americanism , anti-anything and do what is good for this world that we all live in.
on the other hand , I agree that the media needs to focus on the reconstruction efforts instead of the combat effort so that Canadians could see the whole picture.


bull strawberry crap, we are in afganisthan to serve the american to build their pipeline, and the opium.I talk on a daily basis to afgan peoples that moved to montreal, and they all agree that we are not there for the security and freedom, it is an outrageous claim as they say.
 
Jay
#7
How would they know?
 
Johnny Utah
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Jersay

That would be a nice plane to have. But with only 1.1 billion these issues aren't going to be addressed.

The Predator UAV would definitely give Canadian Soldiers an advantage over the Taliban..
 
Jersay
#9
I agree totally with you. However with a smaller military budget than expected and money having to go to other areas, we don't have too much money under this conservative government so if you want to give a few for free it would be perfect.
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#10
Ther is a reason that the media has not been able to consentrate on the reconstruction work being carried out in Afghanistan, is because it's not getting done, most of the aid money has been stolen by American contractors and Afghan warlords. There are many reports of crumbling pavement and grumbling concrete, buildings that fall apart and looting of construction materials, while the so called democratically elected warlords build new mansions and purchase new expensive personal vehicles.It's a totally rotten and corrupt mission that Canadians are involved in. We are handing prisoners over to Afghans and Americans for torture. Why does any Canadian have to feel proud about the mission? Is it treasonous not to support a failing enterprise? Is it unpatriotic to want better results from our Armed forces?
Is it anti-Canadian to be anti-American?
 
Lineman
#11
Canadian with a hyphen,
I have to say I'd prefer a balance of reporting, both the combat and reconstruction. While the combat reporting can be very uncomfortable to watch or hear about it should not be minimized. It's part of getting out of that comfort zone you mentioned and seeing things for what they are.
 
Mogz
Conservative
#12
1.
Quote:

bull strawberry crap, we are in afganisthan to serve the american to build their pipeline, and the opium.I talk on a daily basis to afgan peoples that moved to montreal, and they all agree that we are not there for the security and freedom, it is an outrageous claim as they say.

Why then would they move to a nation that is waging "war" on their country? Furthermore why would they move to Montreal of all places? I call bullshit aeon

2.
Quote:

Canadian Forces perhaps need to acquire one or two Predator UAV's to run recon and defense ahead of them before engaging Taliban Forces..

My retort:


P.S. I guess should should address the point of the thread:

They can search all they want for something to pierce a LAV-III, they'll be hard pressed to find anything. Furthermore, they'd be lucky to get close enough to even fire the weapon, seeing as the 25mm canon on that bad boy has some serious "reach out and touch someone" capacity. I say let them try. We're switching over to the Nyala's in theatre, and they can sustain the effect of two anti-tank mines going off at the same time. Good luck Dirkadirka.

P.P.S. Where's this pipeline being built to Aeon?
 
Nuggler
#13
Seein as how it's mainly Canuks in the field protecting the pipelines in Affy, do you think George Bush might sell the Taliban some RPG's

Strickly on a as-is-where-is basis or course. Under the table. No receipts. No paper trail.

Didn't someone's grandpappy have something to do with what's his name?? Adolph somebody??

Nah, he wouldn't do that. No way.

Nudge nudge, wink wink.

 
Mogz
Conservative
#14
Quote:

do you think George Bush might sell the Taliban some RPG's

That'd be kind of hard considering an RPG-7 is a Russian made anti-armour weapon.
 
Nuggler
#15
Well of course he couldn't sellem American stuff, it would be too obvious.
If he would
Which he wouldnt.
Joke
You think he might have a line to mother Russia?
Nah.


 
Mogz
Conservative
#16
 
sanch
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver

Ther is a reason that the media has not been able to consentrate on the reconstruction work being carried out in Afghanistan, is because it's not getting done, most of the aid money has been stolen by American contractors and Afghan warlords. There are many reports of crumbling pavement and grumbling concrete, buildings that fall apart and looting of construction materials, while the so called democratically elected warlords build new mansions and purchase new expensive personal vehicles.It's a totally rotten and corrupt mission that Canadians are involved in. We are handing prisoners over to Afghans and Americans for torture. Why does any Canadian have to feel proud about the mission? Is it treasonous not to support a failing enterprise? Is it unpatriotic to want better results from our Armed forces?
Is it anti-Canadian to be anti-American?

Here is another view from CIDA.

http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/CIDAWEB/a...-129153625-S6T

Quote:

Canada's Commitment

Support for Afghanistan's reconstruction is a high priority for Canada. Our development assistance is part of a coordinated, long-term approach that brings together three arms of Canadian foreign policy: diplomacy, defence, and development, as outlined in Canada’s International Policy Statement.

Reconstruction in Afghanistan is key to creating lasting security in that country, the region, and the world. It is critical that Canada supports Afghan and international reconstruction efforts with long-term investments. Canada's goal is to help Afghanistan stand on its own as an independent, stable, and prosperous nation so that it never again becomes a haven for terrorism.

Before 2001, Canada’s assistance was largely humanitarian aid, typically $10 million per year for basic human needs. Since the Tokyo Conference in January 2002, Afghanistan has been the single largest recipient of Canadian bilateral aid. CIDA's aid program to that country consists of reconstruction and development assistance directed at rural development and governance priorities identified by the Afghan government in its National Development Framework. CIDA supports national programs that assist the Afghan government in reaching people and communities throughout the nation.

Canada has responded to the Afghan government's appeal for long-term development investments. We renewed our commitment to Afghanistan in March 2004 with $250 million in new funds for development assistance between 2005 and 2009, of which $100 million is allocated to fiscal year 2005–2006. In March 2006, a further $40 million was allocated by CIDA. This brought the total to $656.5 million between 2001 and 2009, and maintained the funding level at $100 million for the coming fiscal year.

Afghanistan has made remarkable strides since September 11, 2001, and the fall of the Taliban with:

-a new constitution;
-successful presidential and legislative elections;
-more than one million girls enrolled in school;
-reforms begun in defence, justice, and finance;
-significant progress made in demining; and
-the reintegration of nearly three million Afghan refugees.

Canada has taken a lead role in several initiatives: helping the Afghan government collect and store 10,000 heavy weapons such as artillery, tanks, and rocket launchers; providing savings and microloan services to 140,000 clients, 89 percent of them women; and helping with demining and the destruction of ammunition stockpiles.

Canada has recently fielded a provincial reconstruction team that will help the government stabilize the Kandahar region. The team will focus on building the capacity of the provincial government, with an emphasis on the security sector.

Canada has a very corrupt system and this does not prevent darkbeaver from getting 3 square meals a day. What is wrong in hoping that one day Afghans will have a similar opportunity. And they will have this opportunity if the community of nations does not abandon this mission.
 
sanch
#18
http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/CIDAWEB/a...H?OpenDocument

Quote:

Specific results of CIDA-funded initiatives include:


More than 62,000 former combatants have been disarmed and demobilized through the CIDA-funded Afghan New Beginnings Program. Under the program, former soldiers selected reintegration packages to enable them to slowly return to a new civilian life. Training programs included initiatives in agriculture, tailoring, teaching, and demining.


The Microfinance Investment and Support Facility (MISFA), which is one of the Afghan government's top priorities, expanded the existing microfinance network in Afghanistan and provides a range of financial services, including loans for income generation and enterprise development, savings services, and consumer loans to low-income people, particularly women. Canada is the lead donor to this program, one of the largest microfinance schemes in the world, and one which has reached almost 100,000 clients so far, 91 percent of whom are women.


The Government of Afghanistan has asked Canada to be the sole donor for the National Priority Programmes Co-ordination Unit within the Government of Afghanistan. Through this project, CIDA is helping the government of Afghanistan to direct its resources and programs into the provinces where it will have the greatest strategic reach and impact. It will also help the Government of Afghanistan extend the positive reach of the central government to rural Afghanistan.


More than 8,000 villages have been identified for funding through the National Solidarity Program, enabling an estimated 140,000 families to access basic rural infrastructure.


More than 9,000 pieces of heavy weaponry such as artillery, tanks, and rocket launchers have been surrendered and returned to central government control. These weapons are the same that bombarded Kabul and other major cities in Afghanistan for months and killed thousands. This impressive achievement was made possible by very close collaboration between development and political officers from the Canadian Embassy in Kabul, and Canadian military personnel based in Afghanistan.

 
fuzzylogix
#19
We are in Afghanistan because of the Americans. The Americans are in Afghanistan because it is a crucial base for control of the Middle East. That is why Afghanistan has been fought over by Persians, Indians, The British, the Russians..... The instability of external war is now complicated by basically civil war between the different Muslim factions.
 
sanch
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by fuzzylogix

We are in Afghanistan because of the Americans. The Americans are in Afghanistan because it is a crucial base for control of the Middle East. That is why Afghanistan has been fought over by Persians, Indians, The British, the Russians..... The instability of external war is now complicated by basically civil war between the different Muslim factions.

This is the cynical view.

There is a very big difference between the current situation and previous conflicts. The Afghans have not risen up against the coalition. This is significant as the Afghans take great pride in never having been conquered. Their poetry and oral history is full of references about independence and the nobility of warding off invaders. If the Afghans themselves thought this an imperial mission they would rise up as they did with the Soviets.
 

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