Afghanistan: June 7, 2004

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The new coalition and Afghan tactics are working against the Taliban raiding groups. Using ground and air patrols (often with UAVs), as well as an increased number of friendly villages (willing to give information) has made it more difficult for the Taliban to move around undetected. When a group of Taliban are spotted, coalition (mostly American) and Afghan troops are rushed to the area by truck and helicopter. If the Taliban know that they have been spotted and about to be attack, they will disperse and scatter as individuals or smaller groups (two or three men each). They will hide their weapons (in one of the thousands of caves found in the hills) and turn into civilians. But if the Taliban are confronted while they are still a group, they will fight. Because the Americans have airpower and smart bombs, once the Taliban are located, they are toast. A few smart bombs come down on the Taliban as the Afghan and coalition troops close in to capture the Taliban who survive the bombs. It's dangerous work, as even a wounded Taliban will often continue fighting. The Taliban are losing a dozen or more men a day (dead or captured), and it doesn't look good for the Taliban's much heralded "offensive."

 

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