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Afghan ops that don’t make the news

For the last two months, 12,000 NATO troops along with 7,000 Afghan soldiers and police, have been swarming all over Kandahar province, taking down Taliban bases, safe houses, headquarters, and bomb workshops. This op was concluded with the recent air-land assault on the Horn of Panjwai (a hilly, heavily fortified Taliban base area, 30 kilometers long and 10 kilometers at its widest, shaped like a rhino horn). The bad guys have controlled this rural area for four years, but now admit they have been forced to leave. They also say they will return from their Pakistan sanctuaries when the foreign troops leave. And we have announced that we’ll begin our withdrawal next summer.
The biggest reason this op was so successful was intel. The UAVs and other assets allow us to monitor the enemy 24/7 if we wish. Cell phones are very popular in this area. While more tips are coming in from disgruntled Afghans (who are getting tired of the Taliban, even if they are the home team), the Taliban are also very reliant on them. Now the Taliban are well aware of the fact that the Americans can tap into cell phone networks, but too many Taliban use them freely anyway. Smart phones are particularly popular, and newly recruited Taliban will often blow their first month’s pay on one, and then do all sorts of stuff with their new toy, providing our intel analysts with lots of useful information. This drives the Taliban leaders nuts, but that’s how it is with kids and their toys.

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