Afghanistan Military & News


Junior Member
After doing a search on this part of the world and coming up empty I was a little surprised. So much has occurred here and continues to do so.

Have I missed something? If so, point me in the right direction.

Threatening to capture the provincial capital of Urzugan, Tarin Kot, Taliban militants stormed the city Wednesday and Thursday morning. Fighting was reported near the prison and governor’s house, with reports that local Afghan security forces and police had fled their posts.

Early Thursday morning, Taliban militants had captured the prison complex, but Afghan officials had already relocated the prisoners—highlighting a lesson learned from previous Taliban jail breaks.

By Thursday night, much of the fighting had subsided with heavy casualties on both sides. Bolstered by NATO airstrikes, reinforcements commanded by Kandahar’s feared police chief General Abdul Raziq, and accompanied by the 205th Maiwand Corps arrived at the city, pushing the Taliban back.
Reports estimate 180 Taliban dead and 75 wounded, while 11 Afghan police lost their lives.

A local resident of Tarin Kot reported that the situation was starting to calm, “This morning was very bad, but the security situation is better now,” he said. “This morning the circle of fighting was a kilometer or so from the main bazaar. The government and (officials) were all escaping to the airport and trying to get out to Kandahar.”

The Taliban have made several attempts at capturing Urzugan province this year. The embattled province is a major hub of opium and Taliban financing operations. In late May and early June, Taliban forces attacked and overran several police and army checkpoints in Gizab and Dehrawood districts, and on June 15, the resurgent militant group captured Char Chino district, killing 35 Afghan police and stealing a number of military vehicles and Ford Ranger trucks.

This is not the first time this year that Kabul has relied on Kandahar strongman General Raziq to stave off collapse of Urzugan, further highlighting Kabul’s reliance on warlords for its war strategy.

Earlier in May, General Raziq was, along with the 205th Maiwand Corps, dispatched in a major operation to open strategic roads leading from Tarin Kot to Shawali Kot in Khandahar province. Militants in the area increased attacks on outlying districts in an effort to isolate the populous city; the collapse of the province would provide the Taliban with a springboard to launch assaults into Helmand and Kandahar.

“If the provincial center is captured and liberated, it will inevitably be a huge blow for the enemy as they will lose their only toehold in the province,” Mullah Aminullah Yousuf, the Taliban’s shadow governor for Urzugan said.

On August 23, General Raziq’s forces were once again deployed on a nighttime rescue mission involving four Mi-17 transport helicopters to rescue Afghan local police who were surrounded in the Khas district of Urzugan province.

Raziq has become an indispensable ally of the central government, and a vital component of Ashraf Ghani’s war strategy in southern Afghanistan. The over-reliance on one man begs the question as to what will happen to the region should Raziq die in an operation and whether or not the Taliban strategy in the region is centered on forcing Raziq and his forces out of their stronghold in Kandahar.


Some Dutch people were very proud of the great work Dutch military were doing in Uruzgan until six years ago. They now see it was all wasted.


Junior Member
Further instability in a restive part of the world.

A senior police chief, General Zarawar Zahid, was killed in an IED blast on Sunday in the volatile province of Nangarhar. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Nangarhar has faced increasing instability as Islamic State (ISIS) militants have increased attacks in the region. Zabihullah Zmarai, a member of the provincial council, said, “Out of the 22 districts, only six are secure.”

Attempting to mount a counterattack to stave off collapse of Hisarack district, Gen. Zahid visited the embattled district, where he was struck by the blast.
Zahid was a well-respected officer who boasted an impressive resume that included stints in Zabul and Ghazni provinces.

In recent weeks, Taliban militants have stepped up high profile attacks on high ranking Afghan officials. Last week, twin blasts outside the Ministry of Defense in Kabul killed several high ranking officials, including General Abdul Raziq, the ministry’s senior commander, Kabul’s intelligence chief, and a local district police chief. Sharif Faiz, deputy head of the Afghan National Army Support Brigade, was killed in the second blast, as a suicide bomber targeted first responders.

The successful attacks on high profile targets are a costly blow to Afghan forces. Training and equipping Afghan officers is no easy task and takes years of training. Consider that fact that the United States has been engaged in the conflict in Afghanistan for the last 15 years, but even the first second lieutenant would not yet be promotable to general and staff ranks.

To plug gaps and capabilities for Afghan forces during the early onset of the conflict, U.S. forces relied heavily on militia and former soviet mujahideen commanders to fill the role of company grade officers — with warlords serving as generals. The program failed as many militia commanders were incompetent, illiterate, and personal interests at times trumped national interests.

The current model requires Afghan officers to graduate from the Afghan National Military Academy, a four year academy modeled after West Point, and the Afghan National Army Officer Academy, modeled after the U.K.’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Upon completion and graduation from the military academy, young Afghan officers are promoted to second lieutenant. It can take upwards of 20 to 30 years for a young second lieutenant to gain the requisite battlefield experience to reach the rank of general.

The fact that today, even the very first lieutenants serving in October of 2001–if still alive–would still not have the requisite skill sets to be promotable to general ranks is mind boggling and highlights the complexity of building and fielding a competent Afghan army from scratch. Taking into consideration the probable low life expectancy of an Afghan second lieutenant serving in Helmand Valley, it becomes even more astounding.


In other words the model chosen, by US presumably, to build the Afghan army is plain daft.

It reminds me of the career of Prince Eugene of Savoy. The French king Louis XIV considered him to be unsuitable to become an officer in the French army so he remained with his mother at the French court. When he was nineteen one of his brothers, officer in the Austrian army, was killed and in a few days he left France to take over the unit of his brother. Ten years later he was commander in chief of the Austrian army.


Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Jeff Head

A thread for Afghanistan seems too much :=) but an occasion maybe for have a thread for Asian countries except China, Japan, NK, SK etc... for Central Asia, Andaman Sea area, NZ etc... maybe a good plan ;)

I have yet a Mig-27 Kazakh ready :)

Jeff Head

Staff member
Super Moderator
Jeff Head

A thread for Afghanistan seems too much :=) but an occasion maybe for have a thread for Asian countries except China, Japan, NK, SK etc... for Central Asia, Andaman Sea area, NZ etc... maybe a good plan ;)

I have yet a Mig-27 Kazakh ready :)
Well, we have a "Persian Gulf & Middle East Military" thread to try and catch the countries that are not big fish. We also have a "Southeast Asia Military" thread for the same reason

Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Japan, Korea, China, etc all get their own thread.

I think Afghanistan is probably too small to warrant its own thread. Same with Iraq for example.

We've tried to do the same with the Pacific Islands Thread and Central and South American Thread.

If we do not generalize like that, then we will end up with threads about Qatar, Brunei, and any number of other smaller countries, or small militaries at the least.

I will le this go a few more days...but unless there is a real upswing by a bunch of members...I will fold it into the Persian Gulf/Middle East Thread.


Junior Member
Further fighting in Tarin Kot.

Thursday evening Taliban gunmen stormed police checkpoints in the Charamgar area located on the outskirts of Tarin Kot, the provincial capital of Urzugan province. Tarin Kot finds itself once again under threat of collapse as Taliban forces up their attacks following the end of Eid festivities across the country.

Provincial council chairman Abdul Karim Khadimzai claimed upwards of 22 policemen had been killed and 11 others wounded in the attack. Local officials further claimed that the commander for the Afghan Local Police (ALP) for the region was killed in the three hour clash.

Further reports indicate that the key highway connecting Tarin Kot to Kandahar City has been closed by militant forces, and Afghan commando forces were working to reopen the strategic corridor.
“The way is closed, but we are ready to reopen it for traffic. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure the safety of the highway,” said Fazl Noor, a commando in Uruzgan.

“We can reopen the highway within 24 hours, but the problem is that we want to protect civilians in our military operations,” said Adam Khan, another commando in the province.

On Sunday, U.S. forces accidentally struck and killed eight Afghan police officers in the embattled city in an airstrike. The U.S. military confirmed the air strike took place but said that it was in response to an attack on Afghan National Security Forces.

“We don’t have any further information on who those individuals might have been or why they were attacking ANDSF (Afghan national defense and security forces),” U.S. military spokesman Brigadier General Charles Cleveland said in a statement.

“U.S., coalition, and Afghan forces have the right to self-defense and in this case were responding to an immediate threat.”

Afghan officials are currently investigating the strike.

Taliban forces have relaunched their attack on the small provincial capital after their failure to seize the city earlier this September. The arrival of forces under General Raziq, the feared police commander of Kandahar, bolstered by NATO airstrikes pushed the resurgent militant threat to the outskirts of the city.

Raziq has vowed not to leave the city until it is completely cleared of Taliban militants. Sporadic clashes are still heard and witnessed throughout the city.

Raziq’s absence from his stronghold of Kandahar has left vulnerabilities in the region. On September 12, gunmen dressed as doctors stormed the Mirwais hospital located in Kandahar. In an hour long gunfight, the militants managed to kill one patient and wound several others before being killed by security forces. An Afghan official claimed that an Afghan intelligence officer and policeman were killed in the gun battle.

On September 20, Taliban forces attacked a military outpost in the Kekhi Kotal area of Kandahar province, killing five security forces.

Kandahar has witnessed an increase in attacks since Raziq’s departure to prevent Tarin Kot’s collapse to Taliban forces. With renewed attacks on the city, the general’s services and forces will once again be needed to stave off a fall of the provincial capital. The overreliance of Ghani’s administration on Raziq for its war plans in the south risk plunging the entire region to the Taliban, should Raziq be killed.


Tyrant King
Wait What?!
Russia’s new favorite jihadis: The Taliban
BY THOMAS JOSCELYN | January 4, 2017 | [email protected] | @thomasjoscelyn

Note: This article was first published by The Daily Beast.

More than 15 years into America’s war in Afghanistan, the Russian government is openly advocating on behalf of the Taliban.

Last week, Moscow hosted Chinese and Pakistani emissaries to discuss the war. Tellingly, no Afghan officials were invited. However, the trio of nations urged the world to be “flexible” in dealing with the Taliban, which remains the Afghan government’s most dangerous foe. Russia even argued that the Taliban is a necessary bulwark in the war against the so-called Islamic State.

For its part, the American military sees Moscow’s embrace of the Taliban as yet another move intended to undermine NATO, which fights the Taliban, al Qaeda, and the Islamic State every day.

After Moscow’s conference, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova spoke with reporters and noted that “the three countries expressed particular concern about the rising activity in the country of extremist groups, including the Afghan branch of IS [the Islamic State, or ISIS].”

According to Reuters, Zakharova added that China, Pakistan, and Russia agreed upon a “flexible approach to remove certain [Taliban] figures from [United Nations] sanctions lists as part of efforts to foster a peaceful dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban movement.”

The Taliban, which refers to itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, quickly praised the “Moscow tripartite” in a statement posted online on Dec. 29.

“It is joyous to see that the regional countries have also understood that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is a political and military force,” Muhammad Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman for the group’s political office, said in the statement. “The proposal forwarded in the Moscow tripartite of delisting members of the Islamic Emirate is a positive step forward in bringing peace and security to Afghanistan.”

Of course, the Taliban isn’t interested in “peace and security.” The jihadist group wants to win the Afghan war and it is using negotiations with regional and international powers to improve its standing. The Taliban has long manipulated “peace” negotiations with the U.S. and Western powers as a pretext for undoing international sanctions that limit the ability of its senior figures to travel abroad for lucrative fundraising and other purposes, even while offering no serious gestures toward peace.

The Obama administration has repeatedly tried, and failed, to open the door to peace. In May 2014, the U.S. transferred five senior Taliban figures from Guantanamo to Qatar. Ostensibly, the “Taliban Five” were traded for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an American who reportedly deserted his fellow soldiers and was then held by the Taliban and its jihadist allies. But the Obama administration also hoped that the exchange would be a so-called confidence-building measure and lead to more substantive negotiations. The Taliban’s leaders never agreed to any such discussions. They simply wanted their comrades, at least two of whom are suspected of committing war crimes, freed from Guantanamo.

Regardless, Russia is now enabling the Taliban’s disingenuous diplomacy by pretending that ISIS is the more worrisome threat. It’s a game the Russians have been playing for more than a year.

In December 2015, Zamir Kabulov, who serves as Vladimir Putin’s special representative for Afghanistan, went so far as to claim that “the Taliban interest objectively coincides with ours” when it comes to fighting ISIS head Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s loyalists. Kabulov even conceded that Russia and the Taliban have “channels for exchanging information,” according to The Washington Post.

The American commanders leading the fight in Afghanistan don’t buy Russia’s argument—at all.