July 6th, 2011
03:53 PM ET

Afghanistan's Eastern Triangle new home to terror groups

By CNN's Nick Paton Walsh and Tim Lister

The mountains of Kunar province are as beautiful as they are deadly. High alpine valleys, sweeping views in every direction. And al Qaeda units hiding beyond the ridges that U.S. military power is unable to control.

On patrol with U.S. forces in this remote eastern corner of Afghanistan, you get a sense of the enormous challenge of pacifying this wild, uncharted territory. The only way to take the high ground is by air – a perilous operation at 9,000 feet.

The ground is vitally important though. Kunar and neighboring Nurestan province are places so rugged and untameable that NATO has entirely pulled out of the latter, and has withdrawn from the Pech valley – a key patch of terrain where Americans fought for years, unsure whether they were just facing locals angry at being invaded, or hardcore militants.

Yet this partial withdrawal – criticized by some as relinquishing ground that America must hold to secure Afghanistan's porous but vital eastern border – has enabled some of the main militants that U.S. forces came to Afghanistan to defeat, to re-emerge.

For years, NATO have fed the narrative that most of al Qaeda have left Afghanistan and are now concentrated in Pakistan's tribal areas. It was rare to hear references to al Qaeda from military officials, their focus being on how the insurgency was political in nature and hence negotiable with.

But now U.S. officials have told CNN that al Qaeda militants have been found in Watuhpur, a remote alpine valley close to Kunar's Pech. American forces were concerned enough about this remote area becoming a safe haven for militants that they launched a large clearing operation in late June, dropping hundreds of troops into forests 9000 feet up. The resistance they met was fierce, one describing a level of sophistication not often seen from local fighters, and reminiscent of Arab, al Qaeda linked fighters. The operation was also sparked by consistent yet unconfirmed reports of al Qaeda using the hills to train and plan its operations in the area.

U.S. forces, led by 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, at first thought it would be a 48-hour operation. But the resistance they found was intense – much fiercer than expected. Three Americans died and dozens were injured – the Afghan army also taking serious casualties. Eventually, over five days later, they had covered enough ground to stop the militants, killing 120 of them in the process. Several of these were Arabs with links to al Qaeda, according to U.S. and Afghan officials familiar with the operation.

This is significant for two reasons:

First, it shows that al Qaeda militants are now finding safe havens again in Afghanistan, rather than feeling more comfortable across the border in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Second, it presents a dilemma for American commanders in the area. Their mantra over past months, in these remote hills that seem impossible to police, is that perhaps a delicate and well-timed withdrawal – leaving Afghans to patrol, is more sensible use of resources in an area that would seem unconquerable. But if the very terrorist group they came to Afghanistan to tackle is returning to these areas, then it is hard to justify lessening your presence there.

The operation was meant to disrupt the safe havens permanently. Yet when CNN joined an American and Afghan patrol back into the valley, the ground seemed to remain pretty hostile. Militants shot at U.S. helicopters, to the surprise of 2nd Lieutenant Trey Vanwyhe. "It's uncharacteristic of the Taliban I know from around here. They're getting pretty gutsy," he said.

And the joint patrols are careful where they venture. Pointing down the valley towards the ridges the troops call the 69 parallel, 2nd Lt Trey Vanwyhe said: "Right past there, usually our patrols don't push much up past that because if you push up past that you're going to take enemy contact, it's pretty certain." The valley is far from humbled by the scale of the American operation launched against it.

The operations in Kunar are a change of focus for U.S. forces, which had closed several forward operating bases in the area as they deployed in greater numbers to the Taliban's heartland in southern Afghanistan. The withdrawal from the Pech Valley began earlier this year, with U.S. commanders saying that the area was soaking up resources better used in priority areas like Kandahar and Helmand.

Some local officials said Afghan security forces would not be able to retain control of the area; others suggested the exit of U.S. forces would actually reduce the influence of militant groups.

How to tackle insurgents in Kunar and neighboring Nuristan goes to the heart of the debate over the counter-insurgency strategy championed by General David Petraeus and more traditional counter-terrorism. The former is a more ambitious program to win hearts and minds – bringing security to contested areas and then building government services and economic development. The latter is a more military-oriented approach designed to inject forces where a terrorist threat is identified. For now, the approach in Kunar appears to have been tilted toward counter-terrorism.

Last month, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace described Afghanistan's Eastern Triangle – of which Kunar is part – as important because of its "location between the capital and the Pakistani insurgent sanctuaries." A report by Gilles Dorronsoro said "the recent reorganization of U.S. forces in Kunar and Nuristan has led to an insurgent advance."

"The fact is, the force was too dispersed, and local opposition - the population was allied with the insurgents - led the American command to evacuate the most isolated valleys ... as well as certain border outposts," Dorronsoro wrote.

The province of Kunar is at the center of a complex regional dynamic. Groups like the Haqqani Network, the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda are using the lawless tribal agencies of Pakistan as a conduit for reaching Afghanistan.

Some military analysts say that if they can occupy the valleys and hillsides of Kunar and neighboring provinces with relative impunity, the Taliban, al Qaeda and their allies will be able to use this impenetrable territory as a safe haven.

Across the nearby border, Pakistani troops have launched an offensive against their own No. 1 enemy, the Pakistan Taliban. Pakistani officials claim the Taliban use Kunar as a safe haven from which to launch mass attacks against Frontier Corps soldiers.

In a recent editorial, the Pakistani newspaper Dawn complained: "While Pakistan continues to be accused of providing safe havens to militants launching strikes in Afghanistan, the movement is increasingly taking place in both directions. Coalition and Afghan security forces are failing to capture those fleeing operations in Pakistan or to prevent them from returning across the border."

In the past few weeks, Pakistani forces have taken to shelling their adversaries along the poorly-defined border, with Afghan officials claiming that the barrage has killed dozens of Afghan civilians.

On Tuesday, President Hamid Karzai said Afghanistan would not retaliate. "Afghanistan never wants to harm civilians in Pakistan," Karzai told a news conference in Kabul after meeting British Prime Minister David Cameron.

"Afghanistan is seriously engaged in talks with Pakistan to solve this issue," he said.

But at the same time, there was a protest against the shelling in Kunar's provincial capital of Asadabad.

In a statement Monday, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said it was "imperative that efforts be redoubled by both sides to attain the objectives of shared peace and security and to enhance cooperation."

But even if Pakistan and Afghanistan "enhance co-operation," only a substantial allied presence in eastern Afghanistan is likely to subdue the Taliban, al Qaeda and other militant groups active here. Dorronso wrote in June that "the coalition seems indifferent to the situation... The most aggressive insurgent players and transnational jihadist groups are increasingly operating there with impunity."

On U.S. Independence Day, outgoing Afghan commander General David Petraeus said more special forces, intelligence, surveillance and air power will be concentrated in areas along Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan later this year, as well as a small number of extra coalition forces. It will mark the latest initiative to pacify what is becoming the most dangerous part of Afghanistan.

soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Scott Wingstrom

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 6, 2021 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  2. fast exchange

    I use firefox and some nights at 12:00 exactly or 12:30 exactly, firefox stops working and does not load a page. The internet connection is perfectly fine though because it says excellent. I am connected to a home router and the signal strength is always excellent. I do not know why this happens at exactly 12:00 or 12:30 on my desktop time but it's a pain. I've tried "ping"ing and everything looks fine..
    fast exchange http://www.htmlcommentbox.com/

    September 27, 2015 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  3. ranger 830

    In 21 years of service and the last 10 in different middle eastern countries and asia.I have taken many passports and docs from dead advisaries bodies.Many of them Saudi , Kuwati,yemeni,syrian,egyptian,libyan,and the list goes on and on!!Long story short this is a battle of ideologies.These muslims will not be happy until all christian, jews etc are dead or converts to islam!!We must keep fighting as if our lives depended on it and they do!! This will never end not anytime soon
    Its time to take the gloves off!!! These people have declared war on the entire civalized world as we know it and will not be happy until we are all under the thumb of islam.

    July 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  4. ranger 830

    In 21 years of service and the last 10 in different middle eastern countries and asia.I have taken many passports and docs from dead advisaries bodies.Many of them Saudi , Kuwati,yemeni,syrian,egyptian,libyan,and the list goes on and on!!Long story short this is a battle of ideologies.These muslims will not be happy until all christian, jews etc are dead or converts to islam!!We must keep fighting as if our lives depended on it and they do!! This will never end not anytime soon
    Its time to take the gloves off!!! These people have declared war on the entire civalized world as we know it and will not be happy until we are all under the thumb of islam.I

    July 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  5. General Chaos

    I will go to this afghanistan and doo doo on all the citizens.

    July 11, 2011 at 6:52 am | Reply
    • Tired of it

      Are we all idiots? We are falling for all the same old lies told to us in Viet Nam. Win-able? Control? Limited resistance? We are hemorraging our best people, our national wealth and dignity to support these Washington Buffoons, that will never get a clue. STOP THIS INSANITY NOW!

      July 11, 2011 at 7:20 am | Reply
      • Garvin Thomas

        Afghanistan – parallels with Vietnam

        Its quite interesting to see the similarities of US policy in the Aghan war with that of the viet nam conflict.
        These two conflicts are/were unwinable and it only took the US right till the end to realise this after spending countless Billions of dollars and human lives. When will the Americans learn, they simply cannot win in Afghanistan, the Russians were there for ten years before they finally withdrew after having achieved nothing but countless dead.
        In Vietnam the Americans were eventually forced to hold talks with their enemies the viet-cong who overan and took control of Vietnam once the Americans left, this is exactly what will happen in Afghanistan once the Americans leave the Taliban will overrun and take control of Afghanistan. Funny how history has a way of repeating itself.

        July 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  6. heavydrop

    This is why we are losing the war in Afghanistan...."2nd Lt Trey Vanwyhe said: "Right past there, usually our patrols don't push much up past that because if you push up past that you're going to take enemy contact, it's pretty certain." ". You simply can't win wars by avoiding contact. You win wars by moving to contact then fixing, closing with, and destroying the enemy. The US military has become way too risk-averse to win here in Afghanistan.

    July 11, 2011 at 5:00 am | Reply
    • KT

      Heavy drop, it is not a matter of being risk averse. It is a matter of being intelligent. How do you close with, fix, and destroy an enemy that attacks you from houses and mountain ridgelines thousands of feet above you? Let me guess, you would suggest to send 2nd LT Vanwhye and his small platoon straight up that mountain on foot into the face of accurate fire. Their fate would not be a good one if they did what you suggest. You could use air power, but you cant destory houses that have civilians in them, so you are left to fighting an enemy that has a far more superior position with basically the weapons you have on hand. That is the point of this article. You really have to air assault hundreds of soldiers in to the high ground to be successful. Is that possible to sustain for a decade? No. Oh also, by the time you make it to that hill, the only thing the enemy has to do to evade you is throw down its weapons and like magicians they are civilians again. The war the US is fighting is much more complex than simply finding, fixing, and destroying. The Kunar province is a mess of a province and truly can not be controlled without thousands of more troops permanently there. Is that worth it? No, not at all.

      July 12, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Reply
      • commander

        PORK CHOP HILL, revisited!!!!!

        July 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • A soldier

      Well so bold to speak and not show support. Belive it or not I am with the 25th ID 3rd BRD 2-35 D co. So that means that this my COP. The reason we don't run gun blazing in is that all the work that we have done there would go to waste by dropping a bomb or motar round on someone who just wants to raise there family and crops. We are doing good thing there. We can't go passed our limits cause it would leave us weak and with out support. I would think that you would have more respect for the people that lay down there lives on a daily basis for our country. Also beor you judge. Think about how you speak of people and that make there loves ones think about what they are doing. So my words to you is to not past judgement on your country or the people who serve it on a daily basis. I hope this helps you and changes you thoughts on our, mine, and your country.

      Triple Deuce Strong!

      July 25, 2011 at 6:36 am | Reply
  7. CatfishCowboy26

    At 0:13, the guy who shot that grenade launcher, is my second cousin, and one of my heroes.

    July 10, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  8. Chakdaddy

    Isreal can flex all it power and can use the lobby in the US to get all the money and push to veto all the UN resolution bribe the politicians, intimidate those who speek the truth with all that, the day will come and the Palestinains will retake their land, GOD said so, stop waisting your time steeling and destroying people houses.Neither the nuke you have or APAC will help you hide the truth from the powerful and just the almighty, the signs of the end of the world are here, llok around you

    the Paletniand with nothing

    July 10, 2011 at 2:51 am | Reply
  9. Chakdaddy

    We are the one who supported Usama and we 're the one who asked the tribal leader to protect him,
    We 're the one supporting Karzai, we know he 's corrupt but we' re still supporting him, 9/11 wasn 't Usama even if it 's was Usama who supported him and put him in that position ?!
    The drug production went up since the Talibans left power , guess who 's making money for sure not the Talibans neither the farmers, most of the drugs end up in Europe !?

    July 10, 2011 at 2:41 am | Reply
  10. I hate doon coons

    Kill all those piece of s****. All those people are crap and so are thier kids. Nuke Afghanistan Iraq Iran. Kill em all.

    July 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • Luisa

      I hear ya bro...I've lost some good friends too

      July 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  11. Johnny

    The US should allow the Taliban to return to power, as long as they keep Al Qaida out of Afghanistan, or else the bombs will return.
    The video below shows how Middle East incidents are reported with a spin by US media, comparing the same news is reported in America and the rest of world.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3ETBtR6HeE

    July 9, 2011 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • guy de maupassant

      The people who wish to bomb our trains, fly planes into our buildings, blow themsleves up in public places, poison our drinking water, shoot our soldiers while acting as responsible citizens in uniform, seek to change our way of life as non muslims, I could go on; are all from Pakistan, Iran any north african state and elsewhere in Africa and worse than all.....live among us. They accept our hospitality, our welfare benefits, freedom to worship, free education, freedom of speech and the right to protest in our democratic countries. They seek sharia law above our national laws and rights. They treat their females as beasts of burden for only for raping and ill treatment. They have access to lawyers without charge or payment and abuse all the priveleges of living in a modern society and call us every name under the sun. The hypocrites wish to live amongst us and think we should give them more than they have a right to or they have earned. Why don't these people stay in Pakistan, India or Afghanistan, Syria, Tunisia and the like or go and try and get the same in China? They don't because they know just what a good thing they have going and just what a soft touch we are. This is why our brave service men and women are fighting in horrendous conditions in these flea infested countries. They fight the poiliticians' war against Al Quaeda, Taliban etc in our name. WE should declare war on these countries and get our soldiers out and commence bombing and to hell with collateral damage, because they have no respect for the collateral damage and deaths they cause in democratic states. Destroy all the poppie fields wherever they are found. We should unite in this endeavour, it is everyones' war that includes those who sit at home in ignorance of just what our forces are facing in the fight against muslim extremism. Anyone disagree?

      July 9, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Reply
    • Elias

      Thank you Johnny sir.
      Much appreciated. About time the truth be broadacst loud & clear. Cameras don't lie.
      So yeah huge thank you brother man.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  12. Nouman Qureshi

    US and allies are just wasting their money and manpower in Afghanistan.
    Because it is impossible to root out Taliban in Afghanistan. Taliban is not a group of people but it is an ideology.
    The only solution is to let Taliban return and rule. With the passage of time the culture will change and a true democracy shall return.

    July 9, 2011 at 8:49 am | Reply
  13. murphy

    the isrealis should pack and go back to eastern europe, western europe, uk and the usa , stop the killing of innocent palestinian poeple and give them their land back, so much for the book of moses,see the jews are killing their own blood cousins the arabs over a land that will be there forever, go figure

    July 9, 2011 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • Daniel

      palestinians should concentrate on fighting their own terror organizations like Hamas that are stealing their money and depriving them of any chance for normal life instead of falling under the propaganda "blame Israelies for everything that is wrong here"
      that scenario "blame the outer enemy" is soo old but apparently always works with dictatorship countries

      July 9, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
  14. Do it to it

    Just nuke the MFs and get it over with. They would do it to us, in a heartbeat. If these F'ers are going to hate us anyway without us doing anything at all to them, then let's really give them a reason to hate us and turn that country into a sheet of glass.

    July 9, 2011 at 4:51 am | Reply
    • Been there done that

      A scholarly masterpiece! Lets get the president on the horn and let him know what his plan of action should be! Pure genius!

      (No sarcasm AT ALL)

      July 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  15. ram

    so the macho soldiers cut and run away from a fight? Is that what happened?

    July 9, 2011 at 3:18 am | Reply
  16. mpa

    This guy never Christian. I am a former Muslim, and I am former Muslim and current Christian because I realized the missed relationship I had. As a Muslim, everything was legalistic, everything was what I had to do. Not to mention that the Quran was so fallible that I felt dumb at what I had been doing. Every Muslim ask this. all prophets are supposed to be perfect lives and never lie. In Quran Jesus was convicted of claiming to be God after speaking to Pilot, then it say he taken to heaven before death and imposter in his place. If He Jesus was just prophet and never lie, why after speaking to Jesus did pilot find him guilty as Quran says? Because Jesus told Him he was God, just as the Bible says. You see? at this Quran falls apart. Quran also supposed to be infallible and total truth, yet it say when sun goes down it sets in a pond to the west? If you seek truth Jesus will find you, just approach the Bible with an open heart. When I met Jesus the true Jesus of Christianity, not Esa, I was curious what the Bible truly was, Jesus revealed himself to me through His holy spirit by way of conviction. This man talks of Noah being Alcoholic, yes, I've heard this preached many times (contrary to what he says) God used a fallible man to do His work, that is point of bible over over. Jesus telling us and showing us that we have fallen by way of sin, that we all imperfect but Jesus (God in flesh) and that God has so much love for us that he come form perfect place to filthy place to purify and cleanse us through the sacrifice of a perfect sacrifice, Himself in flesh. The beauty of love is what drew me to Christ. Don't confuse Catholic with Christian, this is why the reformation happened, because the church became poisoned with men that loved power, not Jesus. We all have fallen astray, but the acknowledgement of Jesus as God, and the acceptance that we are flawed and in need of a savior to carry our load for us is Christian. Not going to church etc. Falling in love with what Jesus did for us is what Chrsitian is. You don't fall out of love once you've experienced the depths of Jesus love for his creation. I feel for this man. Christianity was rules to him, he never experienced the true Christianity. Falling in love with Jesus the Christ the one true God. That is Christian.

    July 9, 2011 at 1:48 am | Reply
    • Naeem

      "In Quran Jesus was convicted of claiming to be God after speaking to Pilot"
      where did you get that from Mr "ex Muslim"? Can you quote the chapter and verse where Quran talks about Pilate speaking to Jesus?

      July 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  17. Pete

    10 years and the US has FAILED to suppress the Afghan "insurgents", or even "pacify" the country. No amount of spin or media fact-twisting can hide the fact that Afghanistan is a Taliban country. As a matter of fact, the US fared worse than the Soviet Union, because this time there was no hostile superpower supplying the Afghans with Stinger missiles and what not, as was the case during the soviet invasion.

    Maybe it is time for Americans to pause and introspect a bit. How many more "Vietnams" will the US need until it begins to realize there is something deeply wrong with its world view?

    July 8, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Reply
    • Abe Lincoln

      Let's review. Dubya refused to be briefed by Clinton about the rising terrorist threat to the US. Bush said, heh, heh, why go for the little guys when we can cut off the head of the snake? So America had barely got its boots muddy in Afghanistan when the little emperor said "we need to crush Sad-dam, because he tried to kill my daddy", and then proceed to turn Afghanistan over to NATO while he put the brunt of the US war machine into Iraq – for how many years? count them. And you have the gall to say "We" made a mistake in getting into Afghanistan? Who is we Kimosabe?

      July 9, 2011 at 2:30 am | Reply
  18. Terry Brookman

    capnronman
    I have been putting up that information for two months and getting laughed at glad to see I am not alone, thanks. That's right folks we are killing people for battery's and for war bucks. We do crap like this and meanwhile back in the land of the stupid they seem to be giving up on space where trillions of tons raw material are there for the taking. We should have a base on the moon and be launching bots to the asteroid belt with a mag lev launcher, first for prospecting and then for mining.

    July 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  19. Critical Thinker

    There is no real terror threat and there never has been... If the threat of terrorism was real, the "terrorists" would have hit unprotected soft targets like buses or malls by now... Banks and government have fabricated an alternate reality to exploit and fool the gullible masses. The global banking entities are the real terrorists and con artists who carry out real terrorist attacks while framing cultures and religions to divide and conquer the world. Stop being a sucker...

    July 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Reply
    • ProUS

      Critical Thinker, you need to pay more attention to world events. There are acts of terrorism almost daily. Cowardly acts like car bombs, suicide bombers which kill innocent civilians. There have been many foiled attempts at terrorist acts such as the one in Times Square, the one that would have blown up 10 airliners in flight, the one in which a muslim tried to set off a bomb in his underwear which on a flight, etc. etc. etc. If we don't keep at these monsters they will continue. Do you know that the main murderers of muslims are other muslims who are a different sect? Yes, really, you do need to read the news once in a while.

      July 8, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Reply
      • Been there done that

        It seems you are scared of the dark. Let's get a night-light in here stat!

        July 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • FactCheck912

      Critical thinker? Try wishful thinker.

      July 9, 2011 at 2:14 am | Reply
  20. JDog

    The truth of the situation isn't convenient unfortunately. If we leave the terrorists WILL bring the fight to us. Wherever we are; our embassies, US Tourists, national interests like oil pipelines. The ONLY good thing about Afghanistan is that we are taking the fight to them. And a proactive war is ALWAYS easier than a reactive one.

    July 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Reply
    • Been there done that

      I'm not sure that I agree with you on that entirely. Terrorism is essentially the scare word of the 21st century, before it was communism, now it's terrorism. It was simple enough to replace. The only difference is instead of being merely an ideology backed by world governments, it's an invisible yet somehow ubiquitous enemy. Terrorism is a result of many things, colliding ideology, political strife, lack of education, low national GDP (if you want to sum it up easily). It has existed since before Christ.

      It appears that merely rocking the boat (bombing the hell out of Afghanistan and directly/indirectly causing the death or displacement of hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens) is a direct result of the presence of allied forces there. There has been little progress in Afghanistan in recent years, in fact in some areas, they have slipped completely in backwards.

      9/11 was never a good excuse for war. 2900+ people and it's ok to start a war that drags on for a decade, possibly longer? Go nation building, and have a nice distraction in Iraq, and oh yeah Libya while we're at it.

      I just don't agree that there is a need for US/Western intervention in the Middle-East. It's their mess, let them clean it up.

      July 8, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Reply
      • Critical Thinker

        Well said. The war plans were well established long ago and terrorism was fabricated by our own government (banker controlled asset) to polarize the nation to support profitable and unjustified war under fraudulent pretenses. Now drug cartels are the new Latin American Al Qaeda who are being armed and supported by the U.S. government (banker controlled asset) to destabilize Mexico and the border region to justify even more global dominance and tyranny.

        July 8, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
      • ProUS

        "It's their mess, let them clean it up." People said that about Europe during WW 2. Where would we be now if we followed that line of thinking?

        July 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
      • FactCheck912

        "It's their mess, let them clean it up..." is neo-isolationism and a defrauded, simplistic, dangerous narrative that always lets us look away from things we'd rather not believe other humans are capable of.

        July 9, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • ProUS

      Agreed, JDog!

      July 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Reply
      • Been there done that

        Well, I just would like people to take a moment and think what it really means to deploy combat troops to the desert, and to kill/displace innocent people.

        Let's take it to the American Revolutionary war, the dynamics were different, however the gist is the same: the homeland is occupied by foreign forces, and the people will do anything to remove them. We would do the same thing in their position.

        Also, the war in Afghanistan is hardly a financial necessity. Let them clean up their mess, that's right, you think that Western help is the reason that Europe got on its feet again? Europe was already economically successful, hundreds of years before World War II. Afghanistan has rarely had much success, and it has very few natural resources to become successful, that is the key difference.

        July 9, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  21. AlaskanKnight

    Name one war.......fought in Afghanastan and won. There never has been, and there never will be. The locals are adept at emerging and then disappearing.....and every time they kill one insurrgent...they create two more. You can not win a war whereby your opposition is constantly growing in numbers as you fight to kill them. These are very poor areas, where Opium is the prime source of income. Fighting for natural resources is beyond the scope of these people to undertsand. All they want is a way to stay alive.........and fighting does not seem the best way to do that.

    July 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Reply
    • climp jones

      Multiple military engagements have been waged in Afghanistan by 'outsiders.' Most of which resulted in the 'outsiders' ruling & dominating.

      July 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  22. Mike

    Don't know why we are we still there... must be due to some resource or other strategic advantage (oil pipelines route etc), otherwise we would have been out of there long ago.

    July 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • capnronman

      Lithium worth over a trillion bucks was found. Enough to power the new electric?battery future. The First Battery war?

      July 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • ukt87

      China.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • RTFU

      Oil pipeline? Going where? You're an idiot Mike. Even if you put an oil pipeline in it would almost immediately be destroyed by the TB or it would be stolen by the locals like when a communication company tried to lay fiber optic cables in Africa. Return to your conspiracy theories about how 9/11 was an inside job with your hippie buddies at your local Starbucks and leave fighting the war to the professionals.

      July 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Reply
      • John

        Nope. Get the heck out and stay out. Those professionals are grown men that want to do nothing more than play like boys with their guns. This country can chase terrorists around the world but they'll never be caught.

        July 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Martin

      I bet these are all marines acting acting on camera!! They have no idea what they are doing out there..

      July 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Reply
    • kade

      idiot

      July 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  23. Ryan B

    Leave it to NATO to withdrawal from a imperative region of Afghanistan and leave the job of re-capturing it to U.S. troops who will put their lives on the line to take it. Disgraceful

    July 8, 2011 at 10:28 am | Reply
  24. Ananimous

    Are we sure we are training Afghans? They look like Taliban or Al-Quida trainee with long beard.

    July 8, 2011 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • TheSeeingEyeListeningEar

      and you mostly look like a redneck white dude, with an inbred son.... see how that works?

      July 8, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
  25. george

    If the US really wants to have a lasting impact on the future of Afghanistan, it has to stay there for the long haul-20, 30, 40 years. Changing the culture and a foreign country’s way of thinking is not accomplished by bombing the countryside and injecting billions of dollars into its economy and then leaving it to its own device. Take the Philippines for example. The US took over the Philippines from its Spanish colonizers during the turn of the 20th century. It was not a smooth transition and an insurgency broke out when the US tried to impose its will on the native Filipinos. But the US persevered. Education among the young natives became mandatory and the love of democracy was instilled on the youth. In time, the Filipinos learned to love America and what it stood for, even today. The Americans were in the Philippines for almost 50 years until it granted independence in 1946. Learn from this for the sake of Afghanistan’s future generations. You just can’t put steel in the fire and hope it will take shape by itself. You have to shape it meticulously, with commitment, with perseverance and with endless patience. If the US is not willing to go this far, then the US should never, NEVER start something it is not willing to finish. Then it is just a waste of lives and a waste of resources.

    July 8, 2011 at 8:44 am | Reply
    • boris karapetyan NY, NY

      We have no business being there, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, were else?

      We are strong people and very strong and innovative nation, always been.

      What is fueling terrorism:

      Money, if those people will not have money, there will be no terrorism, non. What is the main sours of the money for them? Narcotics. They produce we, I mean western world buying.
      How do we buy it, on line, in the pharmacies, in supermarkets using credit cards, or money wires?

      No, you need CASH to buy it on the street corner. All we need to do is to eliminate CASH out of the circulation. I practically do not use cash in the last 20 years. And I strongly believe it can be eliminated for good.

      If they need it will sale it to them, let them have it.

      This way, not only we will not have narcotics on our streets, but we will not have illegal emigration as well, since business people would not be able to pay illegal in checks
      And more: More people all of a sadden will pay taxes, there for Our country will not have financial problems, and the taxes can be lowered, not rased.

      BK

      July 8, 2011 at 10:23 am | Reply
      • Me

        Our freedom, Our Troops, and Our future can be saved by getting them out of there.

        July 8, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • TheSeeingEyeListeningEar

      what is changing ones culture going to improve in a foreign country except create more animosity towards the invader?

      July 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Reply
      • george

        You cannot have a democracy if women are treated like dogs that cannot walk around without a leash, and women accept this as their lot in life. The culture needs to change.

        July 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  26. Xo Vk

    Are you kidding me? 2nd Lt Trey Vanwyhe said: "Right past there, usually our patrols don't push much up past that because if you push up past that you're going to take enemy contact, it's pretty certain."
    We invaded Afghanistan to get rid of Al Qaeda bases and in the process we made the Taliban our enemy. So if we know that we can go to a certain place and see the enemy, then we need to go there EVERY DAY, AGAIN and AGAIN, and kill whoever is shooting at us

    July 8, 2011 at 2:43 am | Reply
    • Me

      Seriously, these kinds of comments are really not needed saying stuff like " They should go there everyday" how many more husbands, fathers', sons need to die for this war???? This whole thing is just a big mess and our troops are dying out there at the hands of these people.... post something along the lines of the "Troops need to return home", there lives are of great value to many.... not everyone wants there loved ones to see an enemy everyday, thats another day that could be there last... think of who they left behind and how bad those people want them home safe and sound.

      July 8, 2011 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • ProUS

      Agreed!

      July 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Reply
      • KT

        Xo Vk it is clear you do not have much experience in the military. It is abudantly clear you have no experience in the Kunar. Do more research before you make silly comments.

        July 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  27. ukt87

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYMKQKSV0bY

    July 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
    • ILoveIslam

      Amazing video!! Already seen it, thanks for sharing. It will hopefully help people open their eyes to the truth.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Reply
      • Bonecrusher

        'Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams
        and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the
        infidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel, (which is a command
        to all Muslims) they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the
        case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?'

        As I understand infidel's are, 'Non-believers!'

        let me make sure I have this straight. All
        followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your
        faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?'

        I have a real problem trying to
        imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your
        faith or Dr. Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to
        guarantee them a place in heaven!'

        July 8, 2011 at 2:01 am |
      • Naeem

        To make the long story short, Islam does not ask Muslims to be in a perpetual war against non-Muslims. Your information is not correct and hence all the comparisons and conclusion you made are also moot.

        July 8, 2011 at 10:30 am |
      • TheSeeingEyeListeningEar

        thats interesting bonecrusher, have you never heard of the crusades? well allow me to inform you, the catholic church had once been the most corrupt and merciless church in europe. more of which was the reason why so many other christian religions branched from it. they killled and massacred thousands who did not follow their practices.Along with the puritans of the Americas. Now this was hundreds of years ago, when europe was not developed, so imagine now countries that are consider under developed "third world countries" like afghanistan, the religions that seem to dominate these countries including have yet to reach a point of true civil liberties. but can we actually blame them? the westerners went through massive amounts of revolutions to be at the state of "questionable" freedom and equality today. and once we were at this point we continued to colonize other countries, enslaving them and limiting their independence till the late 1900s. Alll the developed countries went through this religious strife and punishment. the only difference now is that we're past that stage, and have the ability to view whats going on in the countries we once controlled and then abandoned. we are all to blame for this current religious turmoil, whether we like it or not.

        July 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • george

      Do you have to speak Arabic in order to become a true Muslim?

      July 8, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
      • ukt87

        You do need to understand what is in Quran which is in Arabic. But you don't need to speak it in your daily life just to understand and to offer prayers in it.

        July 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • george

      If I am a disgruntled Christian I would rather be an atheist than join another religious group. If one is very smart he or she could clearly see that organized religion causes a lot of the conflicts in this planet. Imagine for a moment that there is no religion. The Palestinian-Israeli problem will purely be geopolitical, the Taliban will not exist, muslims will not attack christians in Egypt, Iran will not have absolute-ruling mullahs, the holocaust would not have happened, the crusades would not have happened, the Inquisition would not have happened. In other words, it will most likely be a more peaceful world.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
      • ukt87

        I think being an agnostic would be better than being an atheist.

        July 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
      • ukt87

        Also you have forgot about racism.

        July 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • mpa

      This guy never Christian. I am a former Muslim, and I am former Muslim and current Christian because I realized the missed relationship I had. As a Muslim, everything was legalistic, everything was what I had to do. Not to mention that the Quran was so fallible that I felt dumb at what I had been doing. Every Muslim ask this. all prophets are supposed to be perfect lives and never lie. In Quran Jesus was convicted of claiming to be God after speaking to Pilot, then it say he taken to heaven before death and imposter in his place. If He Jesus was just prophet and never lie, why after speaking to Jesus did pilot find him guilty as Quran says? Because Jesus told Him he was God, just as the Bible says. You see? at this Quran falls apart. Quran also supposed to be infallible and total truth, yet it say when sun goes down it sets in a pond to the west? If you seek truth Jesus will find you, just approach the Bible with an open heart. When I met Jesus the true Jesus of Christianity, not Esa, I was curious what the Bible truly was, Jesus revealed himself to me through His holy spirit by way of conviction. This man talks of Noah being Alcoholic, yes, I've heard this preached many times (contrary to what he says) God used a fallible man to do His work, that is point of bible over over. Jesus telling us and showing us that we have fallen by way of sin, that we all imperfect but Jesus (God in flesh) and that God has so much love for us that he come form perfect place to filthy place to purify and cleanse us through the sacrifice of a perfect sacrifice, Himself in flesh. The beauty of love is what drew me to Christ. Don't confuse Catholic with Christian, this is why the reformation happened, because the church became poisoned with men that loved power, not Jesus. We all have fallen astray, but the acknowledgement of Jesus as God, and the acceptance that we are flawed and in need of a savior to carry our load for us is Christian. Not going to church etc. Falling in love with what Jesus did for us is what Chrsitian is. You don't fall out of love once you've experienced the depths of Jesus love for his creation. I feel for this man. Christianity was rules to him, he never experienced the true Christianity. Falling in love with Jesus the Christ the one true God. That is Christian.

      July 9, 2011 at 1:49 am | Reply
  28. DiamondSky

    Afghans need Bibles, literacy and hope. It's amazing they have food there. The whole nation looks barren everywhere.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Reply
    • ukt87

      Read you bible first then send some over there
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYMKQKSV0bY

      July 7, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  29. Zach

    Afghanistan's Eastern Triangle new home to terror groups.

    I include NATO in that. Countless civilian deaths. Use of depleted uranium bombs which cause birth defects throughout entire populations. All in the name of... democracy? Ya right. The fat cats want more power and wealth. We need a world without governments. We don't need to be spied on and have our privacy invaded every day. We need a world where all of Humanity is united as one. We need peace. We need a world free of the wage slavery we call Capitalism. We need a non hierarchical society.

    A brighter tomorrow in my view is a world with a non hierarchical society and a world without governments and capitalism.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Reply
    • Soccer

      That's NEVER going to happen, because humanity is more divided now than it ever has been.

      Dream on.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  30. Amrullah Yousafzai in Mingora, Swat Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (NWFP)

    I HAVE THE SOLUTION TO THE AFGHAN WAR!
    FORGET ABOUT SOLDIERS, BRING THEM BACK AND MAKE ALL AFGHAN GIRLS LIKE THIS SWATI GIRL:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JfggTjKmUk
    The war would be over if all Afghan girls could be like that.

    July 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Reply
    • Jerkinp

      That is an incredible stupid idea. For one thing she would be stoned to death for simply dressing like what the Muslims would see as a "Western painted whore".

      July 7, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Reply
    • george

      If Afghan women can dress like her the men will not be so violent. Their violent tendencies probably comes from the fact that they don't see "enough" of their women and how beautiful they can be. It's a kind of stress release.

      July 8, 2011 at 10:54 am | Reply
  31. John P. Padilla

    The US services should develop some sort of infarred sonar equipment capable of detecting movement miles away placeing them on the hilltops, with the help of sattellite drones and snipers it should not be a problem this is the greatest country in the world with the greatest minds at work lets get it moving. do you need some help?

    July 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  32. Muhammad Saifullah Khalid

    Run terrorists Run...
    This world is really a very short place for terrorists to live.
    Terrorists will instinct just like dinosaurs did...

    July 7, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  33. Vvs1Blue

    Insanity is described as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.....Bin Laden is dead. Our mission is accomplished in the Alf. The Taliban government which harbored Al Queda has been deposed and our presence and support of the present corrupt government only encourages recruitment to their cause. Stop wasting American lives and pull our troops home. These people no idea of Democratic Principles and will go back to killing each other as they have been doing since the time of Alexander the Great.

    July 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  34. ukt87

    @Truth Hurts Next time quote the worse instead of giving your own translation. [5:60] Say, "Let me tell you who are worse in the sight of GOD: those who are condemned by GOD after incurring His wrath until He made them (as despicable as) monkeys and pigs, and the idol worshipers. These are far worse, and farther from the right path."

    July 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  35. Richie

    Did Keep America Safe buy stock in you clowns??

    Always something new here, but it usually follows anywhere in the world extreme poverty could be exploited.

    July 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  36. Abdul Ameer

    Petraeus's policy of winning the hearts and minds of the Moslem population is fatally flawed. The hearts and minds of Moslems are devoted permanently to the doctrines of Islam, the Koran and Muhammad. There is no way we, non-Moslems, can ever win the hearts and minds of Moslems who are taught by their god and their prophet to believe that non-Moslems are their subhuman enemies. We have been fighting in Afghanistan for nearly ten years. After booting out the Taliban government, we have made no progress. Our only interest in Afghanistan is to prevent that territory from being used as a staging ground for international Islamic terrorism. We need to get out of there while being prepared to go back in, mainly by air, if necessary to protect our national interests. We must give up the idea of nation-building in a Moslem country. It cannot be done.

    July 7, 2011 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • Jerkinp

      This entire campaign has been a failure. You destroy one nest and these Islamic terrorist find another. Its best to leave this backward country and let China, Iran and Russia the three regional powers deal with it. The country isn't like Iraq. It was already broken. All the money spent could have been invested into research and development in energy. If any further attacks comes from this country simply nuke the hell out of these mountains and turn it into rubble. Let there be a permanent ban in ever aiding any Muslim country that includes humanitarian aid as that could be going to terrorist trying to harm the Western countries.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • ukt87

      Sub-human ? You need education. No where in teaching of Islam it says non Muslims are sub humans.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
      • Truth Hurts

        Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe. (8:55)

        Verse 7:176 compares unbelievers to "panting dogs" with regard to their idiocy and worthlessness. Verse 7:179 says they are like "cattle" only worse.

        Verse 5:60 even says that Allah transformed Jews of the past into apes and pigs. This is echoed by verses 7:166 and 2:65.

        Hmmmm.....

        July 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • ukt87

        The only reason it says that because according to Islam we all were sent here for a reason when you ignore that reason completely then there is no difference between you and an animal that sleeps eats and have other desires.

        July 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
      • ukt87

        [7:176] Had we willed, we could have elevated him therewith, but he insisted on sticking to the ground, and pursued his own opinions. Thus, he is like the dog; whether you pet him or scold him, he pants. Such is the example of people who reject our proofs. Narrate these narrations, that they may reflect.

        July 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
      • pat brewer

        uk, you are a dumbass idealist

        July 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • pat brewer

      This guy with the interesting name is right... Does he work for the CIA??

      July 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
      • ukt87

        You are the one who is brain washed. If US wanted to win the war they would have attacked both Pakistan and Afghanistan at once. Killing everything in that region. You can never win hearts and minds of people by occupying them. This is same as Vietnam keeping the enemy alive to keep the war going.

        July 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  37. BloodNThunder

    Hate to hear that they are back to no good in the beautiful alpine country of Afganny......

    July 7, 2011 at 11:11 am | Reply
  38. anthony

    If its so remote......nuke it

    July 7, 2011 at 9:53 am | Reply
    • BloodNThunder

      Why would we want to nuke such a beautiful place? I say we launch some VX gas maybe. Or spread some Ebola, small pox, or some other bad ass strain of WMD to get the roaches out of the dark. Lets not destroy the beautiful landscape.

      July 7, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Yes, because spreading more nuclear energy into the atmosphere is a grand idea. You do realize there are still birth defects in Hiroshima and Nagasaki thanks to the United States, right? Personally I think the solution is to get out. It is not the U.S.'s place to spread democracy around the world. it is not our right. If we weren't running around trying to inject our values and way of life onto every culture on the planet, we wouldn't have such problems. There will always be terrorists; if not in Afghanistan, then Africa or some place else. We have domestic terrorism going on inside our own borders. How about we deal with that first?

      July 8, 2011 at 9:31 am | Reply
  39. jordan ramsey

    Hell yeah get there ass rob

    July 7, 2011 at 9:51 am | Reply
  40. Johnny

    Al Qaida is back to Afghanistan? Argh! The 911 commission report indicated that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the number one cause for terrorism against the US. The government should do whatever possible to get out of this situation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxzaa4GZwz8

    July 7, 2011 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • Yakobi.

      The obvious solution is to get rid of the Palestinians. Israel should push them into Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.
      Mission Accomplished.

      July 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Reply
      • Elias

        & the obvious solution to get rid of you Yakobi & the likes of you is to send you back the ghettos of Europe where you'll get a warm welcome.
        I guess you can the Zionist pig out of the ghetto but you can't the ghetto out of the Zionist pig.

        July 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Jerry

      This is the biggest bunch of propaganda I have ever witnessed. U are a disgrace to humanity to try and pass this off as a history channel doc or as credible, unbiased work. It is clear that many of the scenes and and dialogue do not belong where they are used and are used in a context to draw the viewer into emotion as opposed to the use of rational thought. We must never forget that the palestinians started the violence with the massacre of jews in the Hebron massacre in 1929 even before there was a jewish state. Nor should we forget the abuse brought upon jews by arabs, muslims, and christians all around the world for centuries, or the fact that the muslims/arabs have always agreed to a no peace no negotiation policy with the jews. Anyone who sees Israel as the one at fault here forgets that men have freedom of will and at any moment the palestinians can drop their weapons, respect the jews and their culture instead of saying that they're apes and pigs , believe in being different but equal and give peace a chance as israel has done so many times before such as in the returning of the sinai, a huge swath of land with oil, natural gas, and holiness equal to parts of the west bank and well as their disengagement frm gaza in which the palestinians agaian chose the path of destruction and hate instead of peace and reconciliation. No more propaganda, the 21st century is no place for it. The number one threat and cause of terrorism agaianst the US is its imperialism/capitalism as well as the arabs/muslims capitalist tendencies as king faisel of saudi arabia explained, which draw these two forces which are after capital and thus world/resource domination to collide. Progressing is what man is put on this earth for, it is time we understand that if man isnt living to progress, if he isnt living for his children to learn from his mistakes and grow but continues down the same path as the father, then the seeds of culture are not being sown but extinguished. All who wish for an thriving independent palestine must understand this as well as start turning their eyes on themselves and not on others. It is time for them to start growing and wanting better for themselves, I believe they can do it.

      July 9, 2011 at 9:26 am | Reply
      • Elias

        Hey should listen what this Rabbi has to say about the illusion a jewish state.
        They do say the most effective way to illusion is misdirection.
        "Rabbi: zionists have hijacked Judaism".
        I think you seem to fail to understand that the Zionist invading, murdering, racist pigs have come from far away land that they have never seen.
        They go on to claim that God gave it to them when he spoke to Abraham LoL.
        "Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian but a devout Muslim nor did associate any partners with God"
        [Al Imran/chapter 3 verse 67].
        So by the admission of the Zionist pigs God gave the land to the Muslims. Hebrew Muslims of the time as well as the Canaanites who were the original inhabitants of Palestine. That's right Abraham had come from Babylon he wasn't a local. Not that it matters.
        Then you f. pigs go on to claim to be God's children. All the world see a bunch of f. lunatics juggling nuclear weapons LoL.
        Anyway I could go on giving you history lessons but I won't I think you get the point you Zionist f. pig.

        July 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm |

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