Day By Day

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back to Tora Bora

The troops are surging in Afghanistan, too.

Hundreds of US-led troops have launched an offensive against al Qaida and Taliban militants in eastern Afghanistan, while a bomb attack near the capital killed three German nationals, officials said.

The offensive involving ground troops and airstrikes in the Tora Bora region of eastern Nangarhar province is targeting "hundreds of foreign fighters" who are using dug-in fighting positions, said coalition spokeswoman Capt Vanessa Bowman.

The remote mountainous area bordering Pakistan was heavily bombarded in late 2001 by US troops hunting Osama bin Laden and his associates following the September 11 attacks in America. Bin Laden is believed to have escaped that assault.

"This region has provided an ideal environment to conceal enemy support bases and training sites, as well as plan and launch attacks aimed at terrorising innocent civilians, both inside and outside the region," Bowman said in a statement released by the Pentagon.

There were no immediate reports of casualties among militants or US and Afghan troops.
Read it here.

The first battle of Tora Bora failed because Bin Laden was able to bribe his way through local forces we had previously bribed. We won't make that mistake again.

And, note this from Strategy Page:

August 14, 2007: China and Pakistan has signed a formal agreement covering security arrangements for the 4,000 Chinese citizens working in Pakistan. What this has done is make China a major player in the war against al Qaeda inside Pakistan.

Read it here.

The major contribution here is that we and Pakistan will have access to China's rather formidable intelligence capabilities in the region.

The noose..., she be tightening. Pakistan, even the tribal areas, will not be a safe haven much longer for al Qaeda. Unfortunately, the Pakistani military seems to have leaked the targets of the combined offensive to radicals who have vacated the camps under attack. We won't get to kill the radicals, but it will be very hard for them to return to what heretofore was a protected area.

Keeping them running....