Under resourced British outsmarted by Taleban in Musa Qala

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Under resourced British outsmarted by Taleban in Musa Qala

The British tactic of appeasement by giving the hard fought village of Musa Qala back to the taleban finally reached a climax when the village elders tried to throw the Taleban out themselves, and the US said they would reclaim Musa Qala again.

Seems that the under resourced British were in danger of losing the district to the Taleban so tried to make a deal with them. The Taleban demonstrated just how they see negotiations as weakness and reoccupied the village using it as an arms dump. The Americans now have to go and retake the village and eject the Taleban from the region.

Theres the story as far as I can make out

The village of Musa Qala was the scene of fierce fighting between British Pathfinder Platoon troops and Taliban fighters during the summer of 2006.

The British had set up a stronghold in the local governor's office and faced daily waves of determined attacks. The British garrison was later relieved by a Danish infantry team who faced renewed Taliban attacks, culminating in better trained Taliban fighters equipped with rockets and mortars.

At that point, Britain had only 1,000 or so fighting soldiers in Afghanistan, and they lacked sufficient helicopter resources to bring in reinforcements to relieve the siege. They had a maximum of seven Chinook heavy lift helicopters, and eight Apache AH-67 attack helicopters to escort them.

By late summer there was real fear that one of the platoon house fortresses would be overrun altogether and their garrisons massacred. At Musa Qala and Sangin, mortars and heavy machine guns were fired at point-blank range. In Now Zad, a Gurkha platoon fought a long night battle, throwing grenades at an enemy only ten feet away.

After a month of these attacks the fighting died down and the Danish forces handed control of the base back to British forces.

In October a ceasefire was agreed through village elders that both the British and the Taliban should leave the centre of the town, which would be run by the elders. The deal involved President Karzai himself, and British commanders as well as local leaders.

The ceasefire held, at times uneasily, while Britain's allies, principally the Americans, accused British commanders of being soft and allowing the Taliban to use Musa Qala as a weapons dump and a sanctuary for its fighters.

Early today, the Taliban moved into the town and smashed a tractor into the police station. Nato surveillance aircraft have reported Taliban marauding through the town burning and looting compounds. Witnesses say most of the elders have fled.

There had been fighting and tension for more than a week. The elders had demanded that a known Taliban commander, Mullah Gaffur, leave the town. Nato bombers then carried out a precision strike on his house, but he left a few minutes before they bombed.

Surveillance aircraft then tracked his car, and last sighted it abandoned in a ditch. The elders put a price on his head and told the Taliban around the town to surrender weapons.


American forces in Afghanistan are now poised to attempt to recapture the town of Musa Qala. General Dan McNeill, who is about to take over as commander of Nato’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, is believed to be ready to order US troops into the town — a key spot in the opium smuggling route in northern Helmand — amid fears that it is now back under Taleban control.

About 30 paratroops from 16 Air Assault Brigade Regiment were ordered to withdraw from Musa Qala in November as part of a deal with tribal elders and the governor of Helmand. The American military were said to be “absolutely furious” at what they saw as a pullout by their principal partners, complaining that it left Musa Qala under Taleban control.

By netchicken: posted on 4-2-2007

Negotiating with the Taliban and believing the twats capable of honoring their part of the bargain is like cutting your belly on the African savannah and asking the hyenas and vultures NOT to rip your entrails out and eat you alive.....and then believing that they will honor their word.
By Twilight_Rogue: posted on 9-2-2007

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