Showing posts with label RC-North. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RC-North. Show all posts

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Taliban's Offensive in Northern Afghanistan

The eyes of the world are focused on the Taliban's recent success in taking and holding (for only a few days) the first provincial capital since 2001. Their takeover of Kunduz City shocked the Afghan public and others. The subsequent accidental bombing of a Doctor's Without Borders hospital in Kunduz City by a U.S. Air Force AC-130 gunship further focused the world on Kunduz. However, not readily apparent to others is that the Taliban are mounting a late fighting season surge across all of northern Afghanistan. Other districts have fallen under the control of the Taliban in recent weeks across the north; including two in Faryab province (The Long War Journal, Oct 8, 2015). The European component of Resolute Support at Camp Marmal in Mazar-e Sharif has very little fighting strength to offer assistance. A handful of NATO SOF advisors are available to "advise and assist" Afghan SOF units (which number too few to make a real difference) but their ability to offer air support will now be curtailed due to the CIVCAS incident in Kunduz. The coming weeks will show that the ANDSF are resilient and can counter the Taliban offensive or that it is too weak (for whatever reason) and the Taliban may carry some real gains into the winter season.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Taliban Offensive in Northern Afghanistan

The Taliban have launched a major offensive in the past few weeks to make significant gains in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban has seized nine districts in five provinces in northern Afghanistan in the span of five days. While the world's eyes and ears are focused on the fall of Kunduz, Russians bombing the CIA's allies in Syria, Syria refugees in Europe, and elsewhere the insurgents have scored success after success in rural Afghanistan - especially in the north. Read more in "Taliban overruns another district in Afghan north", Threat Matrix, October 2, 2015.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Contract Helicopter Support for TAAC North

German forces in Afghanistan have recently contracted for civilian contract air with Basta Holdings Corp. The contract has an initial deployment of one helicopter for non-military logistical support. A medium-sized utility helicopter is now operating out of Mazar-e-Sharif (Camp Marmal) in northern Afghanistan. There may be an option for providing additional helicopters as needed. Read more in "Basta Holdings to Provice ACMI Helicopter Leasing in Afghanistan Through New Agreement", Finance News, October 13, 2014.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"No Go" Areas in RC North Afghanistan

Areas of northern Afghanistan now considered "no go" areas. With the pullout of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) units across Afghanistan comes the risk that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will start to yield territory to the Taliban and other insurgent groups. This seems to be happening on a small scale not only in the east and the south where the Taliban have historically always been strong but also in parts of the north of Afghanistan. Apparently there are now areas of Faryab and Jawzjan provinces that are controlled by the Taliban and considered "no go" areas. Read more in "Jihadists create 'no-go zones' in northern Afghanistan", Threat Matrix of the Long War Journal, February 17, 2014.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Task Force Reaper Concludes Mission at Camp Marmal

Task Force Reaper has concluded its mission in Regional Command North. The members of the unit served a long deployment performing a diverse set of missions that included providing security to convoys and moving men and equipment throughout the regional command. The helicopters in the task force included Apaches, Black Hawks, and Chinooks. The busy OPTEMPO was due in part to the retrograde of troops from Afghanistan back to the states. Read more in "Task Force Reaper concludes successful tour at Camp Marmal", DVIDS, January 25, 2014.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hairitan, Afghanistan: A Glimmer of Hope in Northern Afghanistan

Advisors conducting the Security Force Assistance mission in the border town of Hairitan, Afghanistan are impressed with the progress being made by the local community. The advisors see economic development and cooperation among the local leaders and various elements of the Afghan security forces. A key tenet of the Security Force Assistance or SFA mission is stepping back from doing things for the Afghans to assisting them in solving their own problems with the assets and resources available to them. Learn more about the success of Hairitan and of how the SFA advisors are assisting. See "West Point grad eyes success in Afghanistan", DVIDS, January 22, 2014. (Photo at left is of Army CPT Thomas Pierczynski, photo by LT Bryan Mitchell - DVIDS).

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Northern Afghanistan Looking Secure (According to Admiral Stavridis)

The security situation in northern Afghanistan - also referred to as RC-North is looking quite good according to the EUCOM Commander - Admiral James Stavridis. The Admiral recently toured northern Afghanistan and has commented on his observations in a blog post on the EUCOM blog on February 28, 2013 entitled "Way Up North ...".

He opens the blog post up with his impression of a book entitled "The Afghan Campaign" by Steven Pressfield. The book is a historcal novel about soldiers fighting for Alexander the Great in Afghanistan. Stavridis says the novel's history is spot on and depicts the problems foreign armies have in conquering Afghans, eliminating corruption, and adjusting to cultural differences. I read the book a few years back and it is quite good. The Afghan Campaign: A Novel

Stavridis goes on to say that the economy of northern Afghanistan is humming along, security is doing very well (despite pockets of insurgent areas), and that even though ISAF is drawing down its strength and capabilities in the north the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will be able to handle the security situation.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Deploy to Northern Afghanistan

The 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team currently stationed in Germany will soon deploy to northern Afghanistan.  It will replace the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division that will return to Fort Drum, New York.  Part of the brigade will deploy to RC-South and one of its battalions will be engaged in training units of the Afghan National Security Forces.  Read more in "Baumholder-based brigade to patrol northern Afghanistan", Stars and Stripes, January 10, 2011.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Oil Contract Awarded for Northern Afghanistan

An oil development contract has been awarded to a local Afghan firm for an area in northern Afghanistan that is near the Afghanistan / Turkmenistan border.  Read more in "Afghanistan Awards First Oil Deal", LogisticsWeek, January 14, 2011.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Critics of Arbakai (or ALP) in the North of Afghanistan

Segments of the media continue to post stories of abuse by militia groups operating in the north of Afghanistan.  The target of their criticism are the militias or "arbakai" that are abusing the population and running amok with no accountability to government authorities.  Some critics state that the new Afghan Local Police (ALP) initiative is nothing more than a government-funded militia program.  While the coalition forces see the ALP as a method of gaining security in rural areas there is great concern that private militia armies will grow out of the program instead.  Read more in "How to Gauge Victory (in the North)",, January 12, 2011.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Taliban Expands into the North of Afghanistan

"PUL-E-KHUMRI, Afghanistan—The Taliban's influence in northern Afghanistan has expanded in recent months from a few hotspots to much of the region, as insurgents respond to the U.S.-led coalition's surge in the south by seizing new ground in areas once considered secure.  Taliban militants stop traffic nightly at checkpoints on the road from Kabul to Uzbekistan, just outside Baghlan province's capital city of Pul-e-Khumri, frequently blowing up fuel convoys and seizing travelers who work with the government or the international community."
Read the rest of the story in "Taliban Influence Grows in North", The Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2010.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Special Forces Sponsored Militias in Northern Afghanistan Under Question

A recent posting by the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) questions the support of militias in northern Afghanistan by U.S. Army Special Forces.  The AAN editors wonder if the program of supporting "local defense forces" are good for northern Afghanistan.  Read the online posting at "Another Militia Creation Gone Wrong", Afghanistan Analysts Network, October 18, 2010.