Friday, September 21, 2012

Afghan and British troops are sustaining heavy losses, and take the fight to the insurgents in the Nahr-e Saraj

The meeting took place on Monday last week in the 101 building on the main road just outside the town of Gereshk. At one end of a long table was a large portrait of Hamid Karzai, and she was sitting in front of Saleem Rodi, the district governor speaks slowly. Rodi chaired the meeting, huddled around security officials were the highest in the region - Afghanistan and Colombia - and were in the mood conspiracy

The theme was the insurrection, his goal was to surprise, and his plans had a name. Operation Qalb (heart)

Rodi said the only people in the room knew the details of the impending attack, and the secret was essential if the Taliban were to be taken by surprise, other missions were hampered by leaks. I wanted to hear everyone around the table about how civilian casualties could be minimized if and when the shooting started. "We made a lot of sacrifices of blood already," he said.

Helmand province was the most ferocious battle in the fight against Taliban NATO over the past 11 years, and its central district of Nahr-e Saraj became more violently inside it. There is no place like it.

Eighteen British soldiers have died since the beginning of the year, nine of the last 10 weeks. Afghan soldiers died in greater numbers since April 25. Earlier this safety meeting, a government official was killed less than a mile away.

The violence here has polarized opinions on the state of the country. No other place in Afghanistan better reflects the opposing views on the future - the claims and counterclaims about what can and can not be achieved in the two years preceding the combat troops of the International Security and Assistance NATO (ISAF) in Afghanistan leave forever. This urgency has prompted British and Afghan commanders to make another big push during the fighting season this summer, the coordination of three major operations in order to hunt insurgents in the sparsely populated desert areas where it is expected, will struggle to mount attacks against major cities.

Two of these studies were Nahr-e Saraj where Afghan troops and British pushed the public lands that have been a haven for the Taliban for nearly 20 years, and even more for narco- bands are often aligned.

British commanders say that this is the main reason why the victims were so high:. Because the struggle is conducted insurgents, and not vice versa

But despite the overwhelming military superiority, these gains are progressive and sometimes at a terrible cost. If the land can support in the long term, it is a question nobody can answer.

A British officer involved in operations in Nahr-e Saraj admitted he was surprised by the strength of the insurgents. "I am constantly surprised by them," he said. "They are completely over-compensated by us and the Afghan army. Maintain kill them, but keep coming back for more."

Unable to fight face to face, the insurgents tried to derail the separation strategy with a combination of bombs and snipers. But another tactic proved much more successful. Its ability to "convert" members of the Afghan security forces to attack ISAF troops caused the hasty decision of NATO to reduce some joint patrols with Afghan troops. The blue-green called the killings are not designed by the insurgents, but now they know how to hurt the Western alliance - and make more

For the British, one of the main objectives is to enhance the safe operation near Gereshk Qalb, busy city, which represents more than half of the Nahr-e Saraj. After chasing insurgents Gereshk, street by street, building by building, this is one of the legacies of the top competition in the army.

The bazaar here used to look like a bomb had beaten, or probably more. Now, it is relatively quiet and dynamic companies began to take root. Over the last two years, 500 stores were built in the city, and all were purchased.

Talking to Afghans who live there, it is obvious that we are very grateful to be in the security bubble. Also admitted to feeling anxious about what will happen when Isaf.

Bahlool Khan, who has been reelected president of the local council Gereshk, said. "In the past, there was much fighting there was much bloodshed and people killing each other. There was no education, no health. People were hiding behind the walls. Nobody does not trust the insurgents. Persons not have forgotten. "

A woman living in Gereshk added: ... "Women who live here are very pleased to have with Isaf girls go to school again, I do not want the old tribal wars return became more peaceful, especially in the bazaar. Not want to return to the time when the Taliban will Isaf. "

The best way to protect the Afghan commanders and NATO decided, is to further the insurgents in the city, mostly in Helmand.

The Afghan army has taken the lead in the two most recent operations, with the support of Danish and British forces, including the Grenadier Guards, who are stationed at the main base price, a short Gereshk.

Those who are trapped in the network around the village and gave police. All the details of this operation have not yet been revealed, and it is not finished. But the first day of the mission suggests at least some success. Forty-four improvised explosive devices were discovered, as well as "a major weapons cache equipment radio and hundreds of ammunition."

will be a week before the mission is complete, when the ANA expects to have built permanent checkpoints to deter insurgents back again. Local officials have preached too, offering small gestures - like fixing a roof or - to help convince those who might be skeptical about their "liberation" will last, or do

The fact that the ANA is at the forefront of these exercises and Nahr-e Saraj of elected are considered by the British as a measure of progress that has been made in this area over the past three years. But can the Afghan army, which has basic equipment and continues to evolve as a fighting force, continue to protect the safest areas, let alone deal with insurgents in places where the Taliban seem to be strong?
British commanders believe they can do the first, but there are more doubts about the second. "Last year, there was violence in populated areas this year, violence remains at the same level, but has been moved," said Brigadier Doug Chalmers, Commander of Task Force Helmand

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