May 19 at 8:08pm by David Tate
Listen, it’s time to coin a proper term to get the press, and public, in line with the facts. It is time to officially coronate the enemies of the Afghan government, and ultimately coalition forces, as Anti Government Forces or AGF for short.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this, because frankly, I have none. However, I do want to post two challenges in regards to my newly coined acronym. The fact is, the coalition are fighting two distinct insurgencies in Afghanistan. The first, that keeps those in Regional Command South busy, is certainly a primarily Pashtun-led insurgency that is nationalist and religiously based to an extreme. However, there are also drug dealers, foreigners and criminals also well represented.
In Regional Command East, not only are you dealing with Pashtun nationalists, but wahabbi extremists, islamic revolutionaries, timber barons, drug smuglers, al Qaeda operatives, nationalists, opportunists and, of course, Taliban.
Point is, there are dozens of groups with dozens of issues loosely operating together in a fluidity of rivalry, opportunity and convenience and they are NOT all Taliban. They ARE all AGF.
Challenges: The press needs to call it as it is… AGF. Second, someone with more time than me please write an article about all the AGF! I’ll publish it!
May 13 at 8:08am by David Tate
Anti Government Forces (AGF) attacked three different Forward Operating Bases and assaulted a provincial center May 12 that left at least 16 AGF and nine civilians dead.
The US military says just afternoon three suicide bombers, one wearing an Afghan Security Forces uniform, stormed the governor’s compound in the former Taliban stronghold of Khowst (province is same name). Two of the terrorists were killed by US and Afghan forces and were found wearing explosive vests.
Shortly after, a group of bombers attacked the municipal building a took several civilians hostage. During the assault, one bomber was shot and killed. However, two bombers blew themselves up inside the building. US and Afghan forces then assaulted the building, killing two more AGF and freeing four hostages inside.
The entire engagement lasted just under five hours and seven civilians dead and 20 others wounded. Six Afghan security members were injured as were three US service members.
Later that evening outside of Camp (FOB) Salerno, which lies adjacent to Khowst City, an IED exploded, injuring a number of civilians. This story is still developing.
To the south in Paktika Province, AGF rocket teams launched a barrage of rockets at two Forward Operating Bases (Sharana and Rushmore). During that attack, US counter-battery fire and nearby aircraft killed six AGF and two civilians. Four other civilians were injured. No US casualties were reported during this incident.
May 12 at 12:12pm by David Tate
A US statement just released points the blame at Taliban insurgents for the deaths and maiming of dozens of civilians with white phosphorus (WP) munitions. This is the latest in a PR blitz countering claims that the US military used WP against insurgents and civilians late last week.
KABUL, Afghanistan –An ongoing joint Afghan National Security Forces and Coalition forces investigation team found evidence Friday of non-combatant casualties caused by Taliban fighters’ actions in Farah province.
Investigators interviewed the Surgeon and staff of the Farah Hospital and the three doctors on duty on Tuesday. They treated 16 patients, five ANP and 11 civilians, for flash burns and small lacerations. Afghan doctors said injuries could have resulted from hand grenades or exploding propane tanks.
Local doctors also confirmed that the Taliban were fighting from the roof tops while forcing the locals to remain in their compounds. Locals receiving medical treatment repeated this information to the doctors several times. The doctors also received a call, while the investigators where present, indicating that the Taliban extremists had executed another civilian in the same village.
A large number of Taliban fighters, to include non-Afghans, consolidated on Ganj Abad and Grani villages Sunday, and demanded payments from villagers. The fighters executed three civilians to trigger a response from the Afghan Police that they could ambush.
“We regret the loss of any civilian life,” said Col. Greg Julian. “But we strongly condemn the brutality of the Taliban extremists deliberately targeting Afghan civilians and using them as human shields.”
At least nine children and one teacher at a girls’ school were injured when militants attacked an ISAF base in Kunar province yesterday morning with two rounds of indirect fire. A also killed 16 civilians and injured 31 others in Helmand late Friday.
May 11 at 9:09pm by David Tate
In response to international outrage over the US supposedly using White Phosphorus munitions in civilian areas, the Americans have released the following list of 44 insurgent attacks, or discovered caches, involving white phosphorus. The coalition denies using these munitions that cause severe, indiscriminate burns.
(U) Background: In response to claims that insurgents in Afghanistan are not using, nor have access to, white phosphorus (WP) munitions, ISAF RC-East conducted a summary database query, by which a total of 44 instances of reported enemy WP incidents were uncovered and declassified on 11 MAY 09. Thirty-eight of those occurred in RC-East and are released in this document. Our research also revealed six WP events that occurred in other ISAF regions; this list is available upon request from ISAF PAO press office at email@example.com.
(U) Discussion: Three means of white phosphorus use and access by insurgents can be identified: 1) improvised explosive devices, 2) indirect fire attacks, and 3) ordnance caches or UXO. It is notable that the enemy has stockpiled and used white phosphorus in attacks since 2003 and as recently as the week prior to this release. It should also be noted that these instances have occurred in nearly every province in RC-East, which demonstrates the wide availability of white phosphorus to insurgents. Finally, it is important to note that insurgent stockpiles do not necessarily derive from old Soviet-era left-behind stocks; the white phosphorus munitions found in these 38 events have their origins in a wide range of countries. Also, the vast majority of white phosphorus rounds found in listed caches were determined to be in serviceable condition.
1. Improvised Explosive Devices using White Phosphorus:
(U) 1.1 On 5 FEB 2009, an ISAF unit observed a white phosphorus detonation, determined to be a 107mm WP rocket IED, near a civilian district center in Sabari District, Khost province.
(U) 1.2 On 15 SEP 2008, an ISAF patrol conducting road clearance discovered an IED rigged with one 120mm white phosphorus round, in the Sabari District of Khost province.
(U) 1.3 In MAR 2008, an ISAF convoy in Mandozai District, Khost province, was struck by a vehicular suicide IED, wounding one service member and one local national. Investigators later determined that the IED charge contained both white phosphorus and high explosives.
(U) 1.4 On 9 FEB 2008, a white phosphorus round exploded in the vicinity of an ISAF forward operating base, in Behsood District, Nangarhar province.
(U) 1.5 On 10 JAN 2008, an ISAF EOD team destroyed a Russian 122mm white phosphorus round placed in the vicinity of an ISAF forward operating base in Nader Shah Kwot District, Khost province.
(U) 1.6 On 1 DEC 2007, Coalition forces on patrol discovered an 81mm white phosphorus mortar round set in the vicinity of a convoy in Waza Khwa District, Paktika province.
(U) 1.7 On 23 MAR 07, an ISAF EOD team discovered and defused a 122mm white phosphorus mortar round emplaced on the side of a road in Gardez District, Paktya province.
2. Indirect Fire Attacks using White Phosphorus:
(U) 2.1 On 7 MAY 2009, an ISAF outpost reported receiving two rounds of indirect white phosphorus fire, in Charkh District, Logar province.
(U) 2.2 On 11 AUG 2008, ISAF forces on patrol located a 107mm white phosphorus rocket tube that insurgents had prepositioned to fire in the direction of a nearby ISAF forward operating base in Goshta District, Nangarhar province.
(U) 2.3 On 28 JUN 2008, insurgents fired a white phosphorus rocket at an ISAF outpost in Bermel District, Paktika province.
(U) 2.4 On 4 JAN 2008, insurgents fired nine white phosphorus rounds at an ISAF forward operating base in Darreh-ye PichDistrict, Kunar province.
(U) 2.5 On 21 NOV 2007, insurgents fired at least one white phosphorus rocket at an ISAF forward operating base in Zadran District, Paktya province.
(U) 2.6 On 2 OCT 2007, insurgents fired two 107mm white phosphorus rockets at an ISAF forward operating base in Gelan District, Ghazni province.
(U) 2.7 On 4 AUG 2007, insurgents launched an indirect fire attack on an ISAF outpost, using HE and white phosphorus rounds in Dara Pech District, Kunar province.
(U) 2.8 On 25 MAY 2007, an insurgent mortar team fired two white phosphorus rounds at an ISAF bridge construction site in the Darreh-ye Pich District, Konar province.
(U) 2.9 On 25 MAY 2007, insurgents bombarded an ISAF outpost with 10 rounds of white phosphorus, in Darreh-ye Pich District, Kunar province.
(U) 2.10 On 13 MAY 2007, insurgents fired five white phosphorus mortar rounds at an ISAF outpost in Chawki District, Kunar province.
(U) 2.11 On 11 APR 2007, insurgents fired five white phosphorus mortar rounds at an Afghan National Army compound in Watah Pur District, Konar province.
(U) 2.12 On 26 MAR 2004, Afghan locals intercepted and drove off an insurgent mortar team setting up a group of rockets in the vicinity of an ISAF forward operating base. Coalition responders later destroyed the rockets, including one white phosphorus round, in Khost District of Khost province.
3. Insurgent Caches and UXO Finds of White Phosphorus:
(U) 3.1 On 20 JAN 2009, ISAF troops discovered a diverse weapons and ammunition cache that included three 82mm white phosphorus mortar rounds, in Chowreh District, Oruzgan province.
(U) 3.2 On 24 NOV 2008, an ISAF EOD team located and collected a weapons cache including two 107mm white phosphorus rockets, in Pol-e ‘alam District, Logar province.
(U) 3.3 On 06 JAN 07, an ISAF patrol detected and destroyed an unexploded ordnance find that included one 122mm white phosphorus round in Terezai District, Khost province.
(U) 3.4 On 27 OCT 2006, an ISAF EOD team found a major ordnance cache that included six 122mm white phosphorus rounds in Bagram District, Parwan province.
(U) 3.5 On 23 DEC 2005, a Coalition unit discovered a sizable cache of ammunition and ordnance, including six 82mm white phosphorus mortar rounds, in Kohe Safi District, Parwan province.
(U) 3.6 On 12 DEC 2005, Afghan National Police found a cached mortar assembly, including one white phosphorus round, in Jaguri District, Ghazni province.
(U) 3.7 On 9 JUL 2005, an ISAF unit discovered hundreds of rounds of cached ordnance, including 27 rounds of 82mm white phosphorus mortar ammunition, in Qalandar District, Khost province.
(U) 3.8 On 26 MAR 2005, an Afghan National Police patrol reported a cache of various munitions, which ISAF responders identified and removed, including one 82mm white phosphorus mortar round, in Jalrez District, Wardak province.
(U) 3.9 On 19 MAR 2005, an ISAF unit found a cache of ordnance and IED-making materials including five 82mm white phosphorus mortar rounds, in Sharana District, Paktika province.
(U) 3.10 On 13 MAR 2005, Coalition troops discovered a cache of various ordnance including one 82mm white phosphorus round in Shahid E-Hassas District, Oruzgan province.
(U) 3.11 On 12 MAR 2005, local nationals led an ISAF unit to a cache of ordnance, including eight 107mm white phosphorus rockets, in Mosa Khail District, Khost province.
(U) 3.12 On 19 FEB 2005, an ISAF unit received a tip of a weapons cache in Khogyani District, Nangarhar province. The search revealed IED-making materials as well as two 82mm white phosphorus rounds.
(U) 3.13 On 1 OCT 2004, an ISAF unit discovered an ordnance cache containing an 82mm white phosphorus mortar round and other munitions of Chinese, Russian, Iranian, British origin, in Waza Khwa District, Paktika province.
(U) 3.14 On 13 SEP 2004, an ISAF unit located a cache of ordnance and weapons of various origin, including one round of Russian white phosphorus mortar ammunition, in Orgun District, Paktika province.
(U) 3.15 On 24 MAY 2004, an ISAF unit discovered an ordnance cache that included one 81mm and two 122mm white phosphorus rounds, in Zarghunshahr District, Paktika province.
(U) 3.16 On 5 APR 2004, an ISAF EOD team destroyed multiple weapons caches that included four white phosphorus rounds of various national origin, in Sarowbi District, Kabul province.
(U) 3.17 On 15 MAR 2004, Afghan security forces led ISAF troops to a large cache containing several hundred rounds of ordnance, including six 107mm white phosphorus rounds, in Qareh Bagh District, Ghazni province.
(U) 3.18 On 22 APR 2003, Coalition personnel located an ordnance cache that included four 82mm white phosphorus mortar rounds in Khar Konar District, Konar province.
(U) 3.19 On 6 FEB 2003, ISAF units, following a local tip, destroyed a 107mm white phosphorus rocket found in Bermel District, Paktika province.
May 6 at 8:08am by David Tate
The body of a soldier missing since a May 1 attack in Kunar Province has been found. SSgt. William Vile of Philidelphia was killed with two other Americans and two Latvian soldiers when their small outpost was attacked by an overwhelming Taliban force in Nishagam, Ghaziabad district. Three Afghan soldiers also died and as many as 14 remain missing. The men were part of an international mentoring team assigned to train the Afghan National Army.
May 5 at 8:08am by David Tate
I know it seems as though I have fallen off the planet in the past month. Weird how that always happens after an embed. Regardless, let me quickly catch you up.
I made it home from Afghanistan in great health and spirit. Unfortunately, a month later, I was fired from my NBC affiliate in a year long blood letting session that most broadcast companies are currently embroiled in. To say I was upset is an understatement. I enjoyed my job, my company and the city I live in. Now I am almost completely broke (from Afghanistan), without a job and a serious need to most likely sell my just-refinanced house and move. Understand that Roanoke, Virginia is not a major metropolis and jobs in my field are limited.
Still in a daze, I went home and immediately signed onto a TV job website to see where my prospects might be and wouldn’t you know the one-man band reporter job, for ROANOKE, was available at the ABC affiliate. Best part is, the News Director AND General Manager were my first ND and GM in this business back in 1996. Weirder yet, it was at the NBC affiliate I just left!!
Long story short, I have been busy getting used to the three year contract I just signed. In my free time, I am working hard to get the Getty submission in the mail. Beyond that, I am still working on videos from the embed and will have something available soon. Hell, I haven’t even done my taxes yet…
So, while I work on Afghanistan stuff, here’s a link to my latest story at my “day job”. Enjoy.