Monthly Archives: February 2008

FM 3-0 INFORMATION ENGAGEMENT for Civilian Irregular Supporters

7-10. Land operations occur among populations. This requires Army forces to contend constantly with the attitudes and perceptions of populations within and beyond their area of operations. Commanders use information engagement in their areas of operation to communicate information, build trust and confidence, promote support for Army operations, and influence perceptions and behavior. Information engagement is the integrated employment of public affairs to inform U.S. and friendly audiences; psychological operations, combat camera, U.S. Government strategic communication and defense support to public diplomacy, and other means necessary to influence foreign audiences; and, leader and Soldier engagements to support both efforts. Commanders focus their information engagement activities on achieving desired effects locally. However, because land operations always take place in a broader global and regional context, commanders ensure their information engagement plans support and complement those of their higher headquarters, U.S. Government strategic communication guidance when available, and broader U.S. Government policy where applicable.

7-16. Psychological operations are planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator’s objectives (JP 1-02).

 

 

Commanders focus psychological operations efforts toward adversaries, their supporters, and their potential supporters. They may integrate these capabilities into the operations process through information engagement and the targeting process. Psychological operations units may also be task-organized with maneuver forces.

Army forces must contend with the attitudes and perceptions of the American voter.   They have to communicate information, build trust and confidence, promote support for Army operations, and influence the perceptions and behavior of Americans.

Somebody who supports the mission has to convey selected information and indicators to American audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of American  politicians, organizations, groups, and individuals.  Somebody who supports the mission needs to induce or reinforce American attitudes and behavior favorable to mission accomplishment.  Plenty of elements who oppose the mission are doing this.  Domestic oppositional elements deter the military from doing this for itself.  Our defenders serve whatever political masters We The People saddle them with.

That Somebody is us.

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FM 3-0 Operations for Civilian Irregular Supporters

1-15. Irregular threats are those posed by an opponent employing unconventional, asymmetric methods and means to counter traditional U.S. advantages. A weaker enemy often uses irregular warfare to exhaust the U.S. collective will through protracted conflict. Irregular warfare includes such means as terrorism, insurgency,and guerrilla warfare. Economic, political, informational, and cultural initiatives usually accompany and may even be the chief means of irregular attacks on U.S. influence.

 

1-26. A political analysis also addresses the effect of will. Will is the primary intangible factor; it motivates participants to sacrifice to persevere against obstacles. Understanding the motivations of key groups (for example, political, military, and insurgent) helps clarify their goals and willingness to sacrifice to achieve their ends.

1-34. Joint doctrine defines the information environment as the aggregate of individuals, organizations, and systems that collect, process, disseminate, or act on information (JP 3-13). The environment shaped by information includes leaders, decisionmakers, individuals, and organizations. The global community’s access and use of data, media, and knowledge systems occurs in the information shaped by the operational environment. Commanders use information engagement to shape the operational environment as part of their operations. (Paragraphs 7-10 through 7-22 discuss information engagement.)

 

1-35. Media representatives significantly influence the information that shapes the operational environment.  Broadcast and Internet media sources can rapidly disseminate competing views of military operations worldwide. Adversaries often seek to further their aims by controlling and manipulating how audiences at all levels perceive a situation’s content and context. Media coverage influences U.S. political decisionmaking, popular opinion, and multinational sensitivities.

1-36. Complex telecommunications networks now provide much of the globe with a vast web of communications capabilities. Observers and adversaries have unprecedented access to multiple information sources. They often attempt to influence opinion by providing their own interpretation of events. Televised news and propaganda reach many people. However, in developing countries, information still may flow by less sophisticated means such as messengers and graffiti. Understanding the various means of communications is important. Observers and adversaries control information flow and influence audiences at all levels.

 

1-43. Army forces interact with people at many levels. In general, the people in any operational area can be categorized as enemies, adversaries, supporters, and neutrals. One reason land operations are complex is that all four categories are intermixed, often with no easy means to distinguish one from another. They are defined as—

An enemy is a party identified as hostile against which the use of force is authorized. An enemy is also called a combatant and is treated as such under the law of war.

An adversary is a party acknowledged as potentially hostile to a friendly party and against which the use of force may be envisaged (JP 3-0). Adversaries include members of the local populace who sympathize with the enemy.

A supporter is a party who sympathizes with friendly forces and who may or may not provide material assistance to them.

A neutral is a party identified as neither supporting nor opposing friendly or enemy forces.

 

1-86. The disciplined and informed application of lethal and nonlethal force is a critical contributor to successful Army operations and strategic success. All warfare, but especially irregular warfare, challenges the morals and ethics of Soldiers. An enemy may feel no compulsion to respect international conventions and indeed may commit atrocities with the aim of provoking retaliation in kind. Any loss of discipline on the part of Soldiers is then distorted and exploited in propaganda and magnified through the media. The ethical challenge rests heavily on small-unit leaders who maintain discipline and ensure that the conduct of Soldiers remains within ethical and moral boundaries. There are compelling reasons for this. First, humane treatment of detainees encourages enemy surrender and thereby reduces friendly losses. Conversely, nothing emboldens enemy resistance like the belief that U.S. forces will kill or torture prisoners. Second, humane treatment of noncombatants reduces their antagonism toward U.S. forces and may lead to valuable intelligence. Third, leaders make decisions in action fraught with consequences. If they lack an ethical foundation, those decisions become much, much harder. Finally, Soldiers must live with the consequences  of their conduct. Every leader shoulders the responsibility that their subordinates return from a campaign not only as good Soldiers, but also as good citizens with pride in their service to the Nation.

 

 

 

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Combat Cops

I talked to MG Mike Jones about the training our Italian comrades are providing the Iraqi National Police.

So that’s good and right now, they’ve entered a new phase and that is they have the Italian carabinieri who have come to Iraq in order to set up a training program that is a very high end policing skill leadership development program, which one battalion of the national police rotating through that at a time. They’ve already graduated two battalions and in the coming week, they’ll have the third battalion start rotating through that training cycle.

MR. HOLT: Doug, are you still with us?

Q Yes. Sir, this is Doug B. with the Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group.  I was interested in the Carabinieri and the leadership development course.

You said entire battalions are going to be trained?

GEN. JONES: Right. Doug, what we have is there’s a camp that they did this at and what they do is they basically take a battalion at a time out of their sector. They bring them in here. They actually give them a little bit of a break before the training begins. They bring them in and the Carabinieri have a program of instruction that is partially skills, kind of higher end skills that these type of units need, partially rule of law, human rights and other kinds of things that help guys who have been in a more of a paramilitary role on the military side, to help them understand that as the situation changes and they fulfill more police duties, kind of what those duties entail and what the requirements are and those kinds of things and then very intensive on basic leadership skills, helping the leaders develop their small unit leader repertoire of capability.

Q About how many Carabinieri instructors do we have?

GEN. JONES: I think the number is something like 56 instructors from the Carabinieri and generally it’s about 450 of the units, the battalions are about 450 people that come to the training and then, of course, part of what they do as part of the leader development aspect is they use the chain of command, the Iraqi chain of command to do a portion of this training where what they do is they bring the leadership in, they train the leadership to prepare them to train their own police and then they kind of supervise as that’s going on and so that’s part of this leader development piece that also results in a better trained group of policemen.

Q And how many battalions have completed this training? Are we noticing any performance differences between the trained battalions?

GEN. JONES: Well, it’s a little bit early. Prior to this, the first major training effort for the national police is part of this reform effort was what they called re-bluing training and that occurred at a place called Numaniya that’s southeast of Baghdad and what they did there was they took one brigade at a time out and took them down and put them through a training cycle that went through really basic skills and basic fundamental policing principles, human rights, legal instruction, rule of law instruction, that kind of thing. And in many cases in those units, that’s the first real training that a lot of those units had had and then that ended up with some collective training where they went out and trained as platoons in tactical situations and so forth. That was done and completed. The last brigade went through that in November, which is then when we started this new carabinieri like training where we then went to an even higher level of sophistication in the training program and that’s why they went to one battalion at a time instead of doing a brigade at a time. And so far, they’ve completed two battalions since November; it’s about a month-long force, a little bit more than that and they’ve completed two battalions and have the third battalion like I said coming in this week.

MR. HOLT: Okay.

Q Well, thank you, sir. Very interesting. I think the Carabinieri concept they’re using in RC West in Afghanistan and this [in Iraq] is exactly what we’ve got to be doing. T he type of things we’re doing now, counterinsurgency, law enforcement sort of interacts [I meant intersects] with [at] the Carabinieri paramilitary police force level.

GEN. JONES: Right. Well, one of the reasons why we were very lucky to have the Italians here is because we really don’t have an equivalent of this kind of force in the United States and to tell you the truth, the reason why you do have them in Italy is because they’ve had some problems with mafia and higher levels of violence than what you experience in most communities in many places, and so they’ve been very useful for them for that kind of thing, and again, just the nature of the environment here in this region. Many of the countries in this region have this kind of a force [like the Turkish Gendarmerie] and it appears to be valuable to them in terms of dealing with places where you have significant numbers of weapons and criminal elements and that kind of thing that can, on occasion, overwhelm the capability of normal police. It appears in the region that this seems to work, which is why I think the Iraqis are pursuing it and trying to really develop the capability.

We have never had a sizeable national paramilitary police organization in America.  We’ve had the U. S. Army enforcing laws.  We’ve had special weapons and tactics teams of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Federal Bureau of Investigation making war.  The Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers was a state force, but it seems about as close as Americans get to a combination military and constabulary force.  Americans  fight wars with soldiers and catch crooks with cops, and the civil libertarian’s nightmare police state always includes heavily militarized Imperial Storm Troopers to crush dissent.

Westphalian nation-states develop forces of order that reflect the heritage of the people who live in them.   American forces of order parallel our federal system of government; local yokels, county mounties, Smoky Bear, G-Men, but not every country devolves power to sub-national administrative areas like provinces and districts and cities.   If we want to do FID right,  we need to sell the HN on an acceptable template upon which to model their forces of order.  Since there is no American template for a national paramilitary police force, Americans must look outside their own experience. 

Eventually the killing people and breaking things phase of a war transitions into Something Else.  The doctrine writers have come up with several names for Something Else over the years, but when the Major Combat Operations peter out and the Something Else ramps up, door-kicking, kinetic trigger-pullers, treadheads, cannon cockers,   et al. have to dial it back, tone it down, become kinder and gentler.   This is not an easy adjustment for a traditional American combat arms unit at present.  I think the U. S. Army Military Police and light Infantry communities are looking at Carabinieri, Guardia Civil, and Gendermerie.   Here in the States we’re seeing the militarization of American Law Enforcement.  Overseas we’re seeing the copification of American infantry.  Are we mongrelizing our Sheep Dogs, or improving the breed?

Italian police to train Iraqi National Police,  20 July 2007
Italian Carabinieri to Begin Training Iraqi National Police Forces, Sept. 21, 2007
First Day of Carabinieri Training Starts for Ready Iraqi Students, 27-Nov-2007
Iraqi National Police Complete first Carabinieri Training Course,  20-Dec-2007

But if optimism ain’t your thing, read this.

UPDATE: Continued Courage and Committment

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Buccaneer.com

INFOSEC Privateering as a Solution to Cyberspace Threats by Michael Tanji

There are only a few courses of action available when it comes to addressing cyber threats. The first is the maintenance of the status quo: victim hood. Note that organizations that deal with cyber threats all have “response” in their name and you will realize that INFOSEC today is almost entirely reactive.

The second course of action has the government building the capability to bring law and order to cyberspace. This is unlikely if for no other reason than the stateless nature of the Internet precludes exercising dominion by any single nation. Consider that the Department of Justice’s cyber crime budget for 2005 was projected to be roughly $300 million dollars and a similar program within Homeland Security’s was much less.6 Contrast cyber defense spending to the tens of billions of dollars malicious actors are estimated to be making and you will understand the priority cyber threat has on Capitol Hill.7

 

The final option – outsourcing – has private-sector enterprises performing the tasks necessary to defend national interests online. Unlike the government the private sector has ample resources and a strong motivation to succeed: reducing threats means less risk which translates into higher profits.

 


I’m loving this.  Read the whole thing.  Non-state actors are eating our lunch in the infowar and the regularly constituted authorities of my beloved Westphalian nation-state have neither the mandate, the resources, nor the political will to capture or destroy enemies in cyberspace.  Those of us who still think America and Americans and American minds and American intellectual, virtual, and physical property are still worth protecting are rapidly realizing the limits of .gov.  

I’m old.  Meatspace analogies make sense to me.  The Bad Guys in cyberspace are numerous but most of them don’t work well together.  Cyberspace is Major Dundee meets The Road Warrior.  Rustlers, horse thieves, and raiders under every rock, plus invading armies.  Irregulars, a cyber Magnificent Seven, can do more than cavalry that never comes.  

You don’t have to sit around and bitch that Bush hasn’t asked you to buy War Bonds or conserve food.   Mobilize yourself.  You don’t even have to get off your ass. 

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Filed under CNA, CND, Electronic Counter Media, G-2, IA, InfoPaladins, IW

What we have come to call “conservative” or the Right is a group of principles whose definitional names have been invented by those who hate those principles.

The Left-Right political spectrum is simplistic and not particularly useful to oppositional elements arrayed against the Left.  There damn sure is a Left.  I’m not so sure there’s a Right, at least not in America.  Such expressions of doubt will no doubt elicit howls from The Other Side, who are in no doubt at all of my Rightwing nuttiness.  One of many reasons the anti-Left does so poorly in the infowar is that the Left controls the terms of discussion, thus restricting the language that can be used in describing and thinking about anybody so politically incorrect, so culturally insensitive, so jingoistic, so environmentally selfish as to unbellyfeel.

Bruce Walker over at American Thinker is more articulate than I am, so I will just point you in his direction:

Who gave us the terms “Left” and “Right”?  The atheistic, murderous French Revolutionaries, who were  themselves on the Left Bank of the Seine,  and whose implacable enemies were on the Right Bank of the Seine.  These monsters, overshadowed by the evils of other Leftists later, were quite prepared, by their own admission, to kill one quarter of the population of France – many millions of people – to achieve their revolutionary aims.
 
Who invented the terms “liberal,” “conservative,” “progressive,” “reactionary,” “revolutionary,” “radical,” and “moderate” in the sense that we use those terms today?  Karl Marx and those who largely accepted the Marxian view of things created this lexicon of political shades.  Marx, who influenced Lenin, Mussolini and Mao, has been allowed from the grave to give us those words that we use to describe our politics today. 
Orwell presciently told us that language is the key to politics. 
 

I gotta quit calling myself a conservative.

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People’s Information Support Team

A People’s Information Support Team is a Civilian Irregular Information volunteer auxiliary on-line working group collaborating on electronic media engagement of oppositional, neutral and friendly blogs, forums, discussion groups and websites.  Irregulars have no official Table of Organization and Equipment and are under no obligation to follow doctrine, but this particular PIST  is a five-person element composed of a PSYOP officer Team Chief,  a noncommissioned officer Assistant Team Chief, two PSYOP specialists Civilian Irregular Counterpropagandists with photography, videography, journalism or editing skills; and an analyst with linguistic and area studies specialties.

Capabilities to be developed:

Disseminate selected  public information to target audiences.

 

 

 

Counter enemy propaganda.

YouTube Smackdown

Counter enemy Morale Operations

Cheerleader
Attack anti-military arguments
Publicize heroes
Resist infantalization, victimization, marginalization and slander of American soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen

Engage Hostile Media

Relentless, destructive critique of MSM persons and publications
Expose media bias
Resurrect buried stories
Force corrections

 

 

 

 

The ultimate objective of PIST is to convince domestic audiences to take actions contributing to the defeat of Islamofascist terrorists and their supporters. PIST should promote resistance within the  domestic civilian populace against  hostile ideology or  enhance the image and legitimacy of  friendly ideologies.

Steven Metz, Rethinking Insurgency

p. 12 The most common evolutionary path for 21st century organizations—be they corporations, political organizations, or something else—is to become less rigidly hierarchical, taking the form of decentralized networks or webs of nodes (which may themselves be hierarchical).   Such organizations are most effective in a rapidly changing, information saturated environment.20   Insurgent movements organized as “flat” networks or semi-networks are more flexible and adaptable than rigidly hierarchical ones. Resources, information, and decisionmaking authority are diffused.   Such organizations are effective in
environments where rapid adaptation is an advantage.  In the contemporary era, polyglot organizations which combine a centralized, hierarchical dimension (which gives them task effectiveness) and a decentralized, networked dimension (which gives them flexibility and adaptability) can maximize mission effectiveness.

p.28-29 One other type of militia merits consideration. Some analysts contend that the Internet has made “virtual” militias (and insurgencies) possible and potentially dangerous.66 That runs counter to the definition of militias used here since “virtual” militias do not control territory or assume state functions. Perhaps, though, virtual militias and insurgents should be considered a separate category.   Interestingly, just as the emergence of “real” insurgents sometimes spawn the creation of counterinsurgent militias, the emergence of “virtual” insurgents has led to the formation of virtual counterinsurgent vigilantes. One example is the “Internet Haganah,” part of a network of private anti-terrorist web monitoring services, which collects information on extremist websites, passes this on to state intelligence services, and attempts to convince Internet service providers not to host radical sites.67   The logic is that it takes a network to counter a network.   As insurgents and terrorists become more networked and more “virtual,” states, with their inherently bureaucratic procedures and hierarchical organizations, will be ineffective. Vigilantes, without such constraints, may be.

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Somebody Strategically Communicate to me

Why in the hell is our esteemed NATO “ally”,  the one that shafted us at the start of OIF, the one whose population  hates Americans, invading Iraq and nobody seems to be giving a shit? 

Why do the Kurds prefer the Turks come in to  police up the PKK?

Why do the Iraqis prefer the Turks come in to police up the PKK?

Why do the Americans put up with this?

I hope my old panzer isn’t in the Turkish Army. 

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Maintiens le Droit

New Afghan Program Graduates First Police

Afghan National Police Graduate FDD

Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David M. Votroubek
February 22, 2008

A color guard of Afghan National Police from the Bala-Beluk district listen to a speaker during their graduation Thursday from the new eight-week Focused District Development training.

Much depends upon their newly absorbed professionalism, resistance to bribery, and loyalty to the Mayor of Kabul.  Can they extend the writ of Kabul to places it has never run before?  I’m prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

Bitter Masochistic Scab-Picking Cynicism

Focus District Development

The Law in RC West

in a counterinsurgency environment the best force to use is generally taken to be indigenous security force

The Law West of the Hindu Kush

UPDATE:  Afghanistan Initiative Seeks District-by-District Police Reform

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Are the Democrats so intent on denying George Bush retroactive vindication for a war they insist is his that they would deny their own country a now-achievable victory?

Democrats Dug In For Retreat

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Would you like to know more?

It’s on.

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“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

Click here.

http://www.opgratitude.com/

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Bitter Masochistic Scab-Picking Cynicism

One must laugh.

Laugh, or spit on your hands, hoist the black flag, and begin  slitting throats.

You may believe after reading the manual that controlling the border is vital for a COIN effort. The Command recognizes the importance of the border and so has developed Afghan Border Police mentor teams and empowered them to train the Afghan border police so long as the team can make do without any logistical support. The command recognizes that not-too-interested Pakistani tribesmen now man check-points on the Afghan side of the border. This has been ignored by the Command in order to allow Pakistan-based fighters to flow more easily into Afghanistan and allow us to kill more of them.

The new field manual indicates that information operations should be pushed to the lowest possible level. The Coalition strongly believes in this, and in accordance with COIN principles has pushed information operations decisions down all the way to a one-star, so long as he completes a 48-hour approval process before releasing anything.

I’ve never been on a PMT.  I’ve talked to some guys from the ETT at Camp Sherzai.  I know enough about what they have to put up with to understand that they will never receive the recognition they deserve.

H/T:  Lord John

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Eloquence

Grimmy used to comment over here.  This comment of his at Blackfive deserves preservation and dissemination.  This ought to be on millions of T-shirts

when a culture or society has a loud mouthed faction of sniveling bags of enemy sympathizing shit any twisted tale of malfeasance will get accepted as gospel no matter how dumbass a moron you have to be to swallow that particular blend of black propaganda


Oo-fucking-rah.

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Intel Wiki

Internet Anthropologist Think Tank wants YOU

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Warrior Traits Being Bred Out of the Flock

Read this list.

Then read this one.

I’m old enough to remember when these traits were exhibited by many Grampas and Daddies and Scoutmasters and Coaches.  They were role models for the Ideal American Man.   American Boys watched, and listened, and learned.

Those on the cutting edge of societal evolution just can’t stand men who have confidence in who they are and Do not succumb easily to political correctness.

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We were ALREADY at war with Iraq, even if you failed to notice that fact

Every day, I see events unfolding that cause me concern, yet the vast majority of my fellow Americans are content to go about their daily lives just as they’ve always done.  They view these events as unrelated, if they take the time to consider them at all, and the threats continue to grow while they remain unalarmed and complacent.

Every day, I feel myself drawing further and further away from those who are too blind to see these many threats, or too apathetic to care.

Complacency kills, you fucking pogues my fellow Americans. 

Kafir Alalazoo is a talented videographer.  Long comment thread at YouTube.  KA is a Jawa, he impressed Uncle Jimbo and he is rising on the same shit lists I aspire to be on.

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iWar can extend the franchise of offensive action to an unprecedented number of amateurs, whose sole qualification is their connection to the internet.

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WikiLeaks Plugged

Those Red Chinese dissidents who like to post classified US military documents have come upon hard times.

Some people are getting worried.    Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Let the fear trickle down your leg.

FUD, baby.

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VBIED at Spin Boldak Kills 37 Afghans, Wounds 3 Canadians

Suicide bomber kills 37 in Afghanistan: government

The attack happened on a narrow bridge in the bustling town of Spin Boldak in southern Kandahar province

Bomb attack kills 37 civilians in southern Afghanistan; wounds 3 Cdn soldiers

The Afghan-Pakistan border was closed Monday because of elections in Pakistan, but several of the Afghan wounded were taken across the border to a Pakistani hospital in Chaman for treatment.

One of them, Abdul Hakim, lay in a hospital bed, his clothes caked with dust and splattered with blood.

“A white Toyota Corolla car rammed the second vehicle in the (military) convoy as it passed through the bazaar,” said Hakim, who witnessed the attack from his grocery store.

“Then there was a huge explosion. It was dust. I do not know what happened to me.”

Afghan-Pakistani border sealed for elections

The Torkham and Spin Boldak posts, used by thousands of people daily, were shut on the request of Pakistan and for the ‘smooth’  running of the elections, they said.

Suicide bomber kills more than 35 civilians in Afghanistan

At about 2:30 p.m. today, local time, [0500 EST] an assailant crashed his explosive-laden vehicle into a small convoy of Canadian armoured vehicles traveling along a highway near the town of Spin Boldak, a few kilometres from a busy Afghanistan-Pakistan border crossing.

A hub for travelers going between the two countries, Spin Boldak is only a few kilometres from a Canadian forward operating base, where soldiers regularly launch regional patrols and train Afghan security forces.

Tens of thousands of people use the border crossing each day.

Because a general election was being held in Pakistan Monday, the border was to have been closed.

According to reports, many of the civilians killed in the explosion Monday were roadside vendors selling fruits and vegetables to travelers. More than 100 wheelbarrows filled with fruit were destroyed and 20 shops damaged, according to sources.

The Canadian Main Stream Media were the target audience for this.

Spin is RC South’s throat.  What doesn’t come in on C-17’s and Il-76’s comes up from Karachi on jingle trucks and tankers.  All those LAV III’s, RG-31’s, MRAP’s and uparmored humvees burn a lot of fuel.  Almost the entire Line of Communication is not under NATO control. 
 

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Abdul Hakim Jan — Cop, Alokozai Arbakai, Militia Chief

Mr. Jan had the right enemies.  The Taliban killed 80 people and wounded 70 to get to him.  No word yet on the IQ of the suicide bomber.  I regret that I had never heard of Jan until this morning, but he has made the news before.   He is variously described as

an anti-Taliban militia leader,

a powerful tribal elder and former Kandahar police chief

A prominent militia commander who stood up against the Taliban,  the provincial police chief in Kandahar in the early 1990s and was the only commander in the province to stand up against the Taliban during its rule, and the commander of an auxiliary police force _ a government-backed security force made of area tribesmen that is often shorthand for a local militia operating with government approval _ to protect the Arghandab, a strategic area north of Kandahar.

a senior Afghan National Auxiliary Police commander

The Taliban apparently have removed a thorn in their side.

The Auxiliary Police serve one year with an option to convert to another police organization.  More than 11,000 strong, the Auxiliary Police are responsible for providing a police presence at checkpoints and other static positions in order to bolster areas with significant security concerns. The Auxiliary Police will be phased out by October of this year.

The Alokozai have been in the news:

Sifting out the Afghan ‘bad guys’

Karzai under fire for his crowning gesture  

A Mullah Dies, and War Comes Knocking

The Canadians pitched a bitch to get some help.  Every spring since 2002 the dreaded Taliban Spring Offensive has always been more psychological than kinetic.  Maybe this spring things really do get interesting. 

“We have a lot of grief in our hearts,”

UPDATE:  Afghans long on memory and short on forgiveness  How good are the indig Good Guys?  Compared to whom?

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