Monday, July 20, 2009

Helmand Anvil

In combat tactical terminology - 'hammer and anvil' essentially means driving foes out of fixed positions into positions where they are trapped, cut apart and annihilated. The anvil part stays firm as a breakwater to repel fleeing or enemy movement while the hammer portion sweetly hammers the living daylights of them.

Like in Afghanistan's Helmand Province - rich in doped up dope fields, illicit cash crop for Taleban - and chock full of Taleban fighters, tribal allies -- and quite possibly al qaeda cats.

"Marines pushing deep into a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province battled insurgents in a day of firefights around a key bazaar Sunday, as an operation designed as a U.S. show of force confronted resistance from Taliban fighters as well as constraints on supplies and manpower. Insurgents at times showed unexpected boldness as they used machine guns, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades to fight the advancing Marine forces."

"Although the Marines overpowered the Taliban with more sophisticated weapons, including attack helicopters, the clashes also indicated that the drive by about 4,500 Marines to dislodge the Taliban from its heartland in Helmand is running up against logistical hurdles.”

Despite Taleban and their Haqqini allies PR coup - releasing a vid of a captured soldier - prompted to request all NATO forces leave Afghanistan -- news also that Afghanis are rebelling againt Taleban - cutting deals with Great Satan as open combat breaks out amidst former semi allies in Nangarhar til now among the least-violent provinces in southern and eastern Afghanistan, where the Taliban are strongest.

Since Tribal structures are stronger in eastern Afghanistan than in many other parts of the country - this is significant.

"The fighting in Nangarhar, which was reported over the weekend, began after Taliban fighters attempted to kidnap an Afghan army officer in the Achin district, witnesses said. The officer escaped and took refuge among villagers, who refused to turn him over to insurgents.

"The Taliban then attacked, prompting a firefight with the villagers, who killed three insurgents and captured 11, said Mr. Abdulzai, the provincial spokesman. Nearly a half-dozen villagers who witnessed the fighting confirmed his account.

"The villagers handed over 10 prisoners to authorities and kept one in hopes of exchanging him for a tribesman being held by the Taliban, Mr. Abdulzai said.