Apr 6, 2008

Afghan National Army leading the operations in 2008

This was already written but i forgot to put here.

On Sunday January 13, Corps No 201 Commander Brigadier General Mohamad Rahim Wardak while visiting the Maiwand military base in Char district of Logar province said: "In 2008, the Afghan national army will lead the whole of operations in Afghanistan, with the help of coalition forces."

The Afghan National Army seems to have proven itself in a key test last month – retaking the strategic toehold town of Musa Qala (which was turned into a terror university town) from the Taliban.

In 2001 at the BON conference the initial goal that was set to train around 70,000 Afghan troops no longer applies to Afghanistan's new realities. Afghanistan's Defense Ministry says the country needs a 200,000-strong National army to stand against external threats and to tackle the insurgency led by the Taliban.

The Afghan National Army remains severely under-equipped and under-supported. I asked General Mohammad Rahim Wardak about military equipments and facilities.
"The ANA suffers from lacking sufficient military aid, trainers, clothing, food and is hobbled with old weapons", He regretfully answered.

I asked General Mohammad Rahim Wardak about the recent message by Mullah Omar who warned that the harsh winter is waiting for the foreign forces, does this warning also include attacks against ANA or not?
"No, firstly I am assuring you that Taliban can't do anything in the winter, the winter makes them unable to attack because they are not able to stay during the winter nights in the deserts out of the villages, Taliban are not the locals, they are coming from the border area and
Pakistan," said Mohammad Rahim Wardak.

"Within the coming weeks in some areas we have operation and some times
they are planting bombs on the road side. After we clean the area of insurgents we will make Shura (local Jerga) from elders to avoid returning the insurgents," he added.

In another meeting at the military base in the Tagab district of the Kapisa province, General Mohammad Rahim was asking the ANA commander who handled the recent strikes against Taliban insurgents in Tagab.

Major Jan Aqa was giving information about his last forces operation. "Just two days before my force found the place of one of the famous Taliban insurgents: Qari Mohib. But due to lack of enough weapons we couldn't start the operation against them. Not much later when they
realized our presence in the area Qari Mohib and his insurgents escaped the village," said Major Jan Aqa.

"When we reached the area where they escaped from, we found four bullet boxes with one machine gun and four bags of hashish," he added.
I asked Jan Aqa what he thinks about the security in Tagab and other villages that are mostly influenced by insurgents.
"God willing! We are very hopeful to bring security in Tagab district; we are going to launch a few operations by the help of coalition forces to clean the area from Taliban. We are very happy that the villagers are with us and supporting us. For example in the area we clean from Taliban
insurgents the villagers are telling us that they were forced by Taliban to pay and give them shelter. If we receive enough equipment, the enemy has no chance to come back," he added.


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