Afghanistan: October 24, 2001

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The Taliban are increasingly placing their armored vehicles and supplies in mosques and residential neighborhoods to avoid American air raids. Partly as a result of this, US warplanes are dropping more bombs on Taliban forces north of Kabul and outside Mazar-i-Sharif. While the Northern Alliance has made some progress, the Taliban are resisting strongly. 

Adopting a tactic used by the North Vietnamese during the 1960s, Taliban troops are moving closer to Taliban lines in order to discourage American bombing. The North Vietnamese called this "grabbing the enemy by the belt" as US bombers are afraid to bomb this close to friendly troops lest there be cases of "friendly fire."

Each day, 80-100 US warplanes are hitting targets over Afghanistan. In addition, the US had been using armed drones (Predators with Hellfire missiles) to targets of opportunity. The drones can spend a lot more time over potential target areas and the Hellfire can easily take out an individual vehicle. 

Over 600 Afghan tribal leaders met in Pakistan to begin working out how to form a new Afghan government. Representatives of the deposed king were there.

The Taliban continue to fight the Information War, combining fact, lies and half truths about the effects of US bombing on Afghan civilians. Knowing that the Islamic press will believe and push any anti-American news, the Taliban hope to increase anti-American sentiment in the Islamic world. 

 

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