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21 septembre 2012 5 21 /09 /septembre /2012 12:20

Bw-TIGER-Tiger-UHT-ASGARF-F-two

 

Sep. 21, 2012 by Craig Hoyle – FG

 

London - Eurocopter expects the German army to make its first operational deployment to Afghanistan with the Tiger support helicopter in late 2012 or early next year, having already delivered a first batch of aircraft to have been modified for such a commitment.

 

Four Tigers have been upgraded so far under the Afghanistan Stabilisation German Army Rapid Deployment (ASGARD) programme, Eurocopter announced on 12 September. Adaptations made to the type include "a sand filter, additional defence weaponry, a mission data recorder and enhanced communications equipment for multinational missions", the company says.

 

Deliveries of the upgraded aircraft began to the army's 36 Combat Helicopter Regt in Fritzlar in July, with a second batch of four to be handed over from December, says Eurocopter. It has so far handed over a total of 27 Tigers originally built to the UHT configuration to the German army (example pictured below at the ILA Berlin air show).

 

If confirmed, a German decision to deploy the Tiger to Afghanistan would follow France's use of the armed type in support of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Berlin could also send some of its NH Industries NH90 tactical transport helicopters to the country in mid-2013, according to Eurocopter, with the aircraft to carry medical evacuation equipment.

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21 septembre 2012 5 21 /09 /septembre /2012 07:55

ISAF-Logo

 

21 septembre 2012 Guysen International news

 

Les derniers des 33.000 soldats américains envoyés en renfort en Afghanistan sur ordre de Barack Obama il y a plus de trois ans se sont retirés du pays, a déclaré vendredi un responsable du Pentagone.

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20 septembre 2012 4 20 /09 /septembre /2012 07:55

afghanistan-australia-flag32

 

September 20, 2012 David Wroe - with agencies -- smh.com.au

 

AUSTRALIA has suspended some joint patrols with Afghan soldiers amid fears the anti-Islam film that has sparked violence across the world could heighten the risk of insider attacks.

 

In keeping with an order from the International Security Assistance Force - of which Australia is a member - the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, said yesterday joint operations between Australians and Afghans in Oruzgan province had been halted for the past two days.

 

But the abrupt way the decision was announced by ISAF has drawn strong criticism from one retired general for embarrassing Australia and Britain, who were caught by surprise.

 

Mr Smith told Parliament yesterday no joint patrols below the level of battalions - made up of 500 or 600 soldiers - had taken place on Monday and Tuesday.

 

Meanwhile, Australian and Afghan National Army commanders were holding talks with the ISAF southern regional commander about resuming joint patrols.

 

Mr Smith could not say how long that would take.

 

''I am not putting a timetable on that,'' he told Parliament. ''That will be an operational matter.''

 

ISAF announced on Tuesday night that ''in response to elevated threat levels resulting from the 'Innocence of Muslims' video, ISAF has taken some prudent, but temporary, measures to reduce our profile and vulnerability to civil disturbances or insider attacks''.

 

The move marked a setback for the coalition's war strategy, as the planned withdrawal of Western troops hinges on training and advising Afghan forces to take over security by the end of 2014.

 

Under the new order, most joint patrols and advisory work with Afghan troops will be conducted at the battalion level and above.

 

Co-operation with smaller units will have to be ''evaluated on a case-by-case basis and approved by RC [regional] commanders'', ISAF said.

 

Retired major-general Jim Molan said last night the suspension should not over hinder Australia's mission of training Afghan soldiers provided the suspension did not go on too long.

 

But he slammed the announcement by ISAF commander General John Allen as ''clumsily handled''.

 

Key contributors including Britain, which has lost 430 soldiers since the war began in 2001, were left in the dark. ''General Allen acted without adequate consultation in my view, with all the countries involved,'' General Molan said. ''You never put your allies into a position where they are politically embarrassed.

 

''That's the first rule of alliance warfare. And people were surprised when it came out. That didn't have to happen at all.''

 

Mr Smith told ABC radio yesterday Australia was ''less surprised than others''. But he said he was ''not asserting we were consulted before the decision''.

 

The suspension decision follows the deaths of three Australian soldiers recently in a so-called ''green on blue'' attack in which an Afghan soldier opened fire on the Australians. Sapper James Martin was buried in Perth on Tuesday.

 

ISAF's statement said the suspension balanced ''the tension of the recent video with force protection, while maintaining the momentum of the campaign''.

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20 septembre 2012 4 20 /09 /septembre /2012 07:25

ID44811 600

 

September 19, 2012. David Pugliese - Defence Watch

 

News release from Navistar:

 

LISLE, Ill., (September 19, 2012) Navistar Defense, LLC received a delivery order today for up to $282 million to provide more than 2,300 survivability upgrade retrofit kits for International MaxxPro Dash Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. The order from the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command will upgrade MaxxPro Dash vehicles in theater with additional protection in response to evolving threats in Afghanistan. The order also includes parts and service.

 

“Anticipating the needs of our Armed Forces continues to be a top priority for Navistar and we are proud to offer the vehicle of choice to help them complete their missions safely,” said Archie Massicotte, president, Navistar Defense. “Threats continue to change and it is our responsibility to stay out ahead of those threats with the best technology available.”

 

The MaxxPro family of vehicles was originally designed to accommodate rapid vehicle enhancements as threats evolved in theater. Since 2007, the company has provided enhancements to both survivability and mobility through its work on its rolling chassis body swap, DXM™ independent suspension retrofit kits, armor kits and more.

 

“We also understand the balance of keeping our service men and women well equipped at a reasonable cost to taxpayers,” said Massicotte. “We will keep offering integrated solutions as well as alternatives to buying new vehicles so that we can keep our Armed Forces modern and ready for future operations.”

 

Navistar has delivered nearly 9,000 MaxxPro units in nine major variants to the United States and its allies. This order follows the company’s MaxxPro rolling chassis body swap, which upgrades more than 2,700 MaxxPro vehicles with a DXM™ independent suspension, MaxxForce® 9.3 engine, 570 amp alternator and driveline.

 

Work for the survivability upgrade will be done in Afghanistan beginning in December 2012. The order is scheduled to be completed by July 2013.

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19 septembre 2012 3 19 /09 /septembre /2012 11:45

Afghan National Army and UK Forces - photo UK MOD source B

 

Sep. 18, 2012 Defense News (AFP)

 

LONDON — NATO’s reduction of joint patrols with Afghan troops will have a minimal impact on operations and are not a change in strategy, British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said Sept. 18.

 

Hammond accused the media of overreacting to the decision, made after a spate of “insider attacks” in which Afghan recruits turned their weapons on Western troops preparing them for a security handover in 2014.

 

The issue led to a stormy session in parliament, with a lawmaker from the opposition Labour party being banned from the House of Commons after calling Hammond a liar.

 

“There has been no change of policy in Afghanistan,” Hammond told lawmakers after he was called to answer an urgent question on the issue.

 

“The UK partnering and mentoring operations will continue substantially unchanged by this order.”

 

Hammond denied that the move would affect the coalition’s war strategy, under which the planned withdrawal of Western troops hinges on training Afghan forces to take over security in just over two years’ time.

 

“We have a strategic plan that takes us to the end of combat operations in 2014, while strengthening the ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) to take over security responsibility from us.”

 

Hammond said he had not been aware of the order until the afternoon of Sept. 17, just after he had given a separate statement to parliament.

 

Labour lawmaker Paul Flynn was suspended from parliament after accusing Hammond, a Conservative, of lying to lawmakers over the danger to troops of prolonging Britain’s involvement in Afghanistan.

 

Flynn said that “brave soldier lions are being led by ministerial donkeys”.

 

Accusing a fellow lawmaker of lying is against the rules of the House of Commons, the lower house of parliament.

 

Foreign Secretary William Hague earlier gave a similar assurance that Britain’s strategy was unchanged.

 

“It is about assessing and mitigating the risks of conducting partnered operations, but we expect any change or any impact on UK operations to be absolutely minimal,” Hague told a committee of lawmakers.

 

A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron meanwhile confirmed the national security council was discussing the Afghan withdrawal timetable at a meeting Sept. 18, but stressed that it was on the agenda before the recent news.

 

Two British soldiers were among six NATO troops killed in suspected “green-on-blue” shootings by Afghan police at the weekend, causing increasing concern in London.

 

“How many more wasted lives?” Britain’s right-leaning Daily Mail newspaper asked in its front-page headline Sept. 17.

 

Hammond said last week that he was considering bringing back some of Britain’s 9,500 troops based in Afghanistan earlier than expected.

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19 septembre 2012 3 19 /09 /septembre /2012 11:40

Forces armees belgique source mil.be

 

19 septembre 2012, LeSoir.be - P.LA. (avec Belga et AFP)

 

L'Otan a décidé de limiter ses opérations avec les forces afghanes. En conséquence, les militaires belges ne peuvent plus aller sur le terrain en Afghanistan.

 

Les militaires belges qui se trouvent à Kunduz ne peuvent actuellement plus se rendre sur le terrain avec les soldats afghans qu'ils forment, et ce en raison d'un nouveau renforcement des normes de sécurité établies par l'Otan, peut-on lire dans De Standaard et Het Nieuwsblad.

 

L'Otan s'est résolue mardi à limiter ses opérations conjointes avec les forces afghanes après avoir vu 51 de ses soldats se faire tuer depuis le début de l'année par des policiers ou des soldats locaux.

 

« Une mesure à la fois temporaire et illimitée »

 

Désormais, les patrouilles ou séances de formation communes entre les soldats de l'Isaf (la force de l'Otan en Afghanistan) et les forces afghanes ne seront plus conduites automatiquement qu'à partir d'un certain niveau d'effectifs (bataillon pour l'armée, forces de district pour la police), a annoncé l'Isaf.

 

Cette mesure est à la fois « temporaire » et illimitée, selon la coalition. « Nous ne savons pas jusqu'à quand cela va durer », a dit un porte-parole de la mission, Hagen Messer.

 

La multiplication des « attaques de l'intérieur » a conduit la force, après des mois de réticences, à reconnaître que ces violences menacent gravement son effort de guerre dans le pays, et à réfléchir sur les moyens d'endiguer cette vague aussi dévastatrice pour le moral des Occidentaux que de leurs alliés afghans.

Les militaires belges sans travail

 

Cette décision est lourde de conséquences pour les militaires belges qui ne peuvent donc plus accompagner les recrues afghanes lors de leurs missions à l'extérieur de la base.

 

Les soldats belges à Kunduz sont responsables de la formation du bataillon afghan Kandak 209.

 

Les policiers et soldats afghans devront être aptes à assurer eux-mêmes la sécurité du pays après 2014, lorsque les troupes de l'Otan auront quitté l'Afghanistan.

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19 septembre 2012 3 19 /09 /septembre /2012 11:25

ISAF-Logo

 

September 19, 2012 American Forces Press Service – defpro.com

 

WASHINGTON | Recent media coverage regarding a change in the International Security Assistance Force model for assisting Afghanistan’s security forces “is not accurate,” ISAF officials said Sept. 18 in a statement released from the command’s headquarters in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

 

Officials said ISAF “remains absolutely committed” to partnering with, training, advising and assisting Afghanistan’s national security forces.

 

“The ISAF [security force assistance] model is focused at the battalion level and above, with exceptions approved by senior commanders,” the statement said, adding that partnering occurs at all levels, from platoon to corps.

 

“This has not changed,” the statement said.

 

In response to elevated threat levels resulting from the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube video, “ISAF has taken some prudent, but temporary, measures to reduce our profile and vulnerability to civil disturbances or insider attacks,” the statement said.

 

This means that in some local instances, operational tempo has been reduced, or force protection has been increased, officials explained.

 

“These actions balance the tension of the recent video with force protection, while maintaining the momentum of the campaign,” the statement said. “We've done this before in other high-tension periods, and it's worked well. Under this guidance, and as conditions change, we will continue to adapt the force posture and force protection.”

 

The security force assistance model is integral to the success of Afghanistan’s national security forces, and ISAF will return to normal operations as soon as conditions warrant, the statement said.

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19 septembre 2012 3 19 /09 /septembre /2012 08:00

IED bomb source aviationweek.com

 

September 18, 2012: strategypage.com

 

NATO is seeking a solution to the growing number of attacks on NATO troops by Afghan security personnel. There have always been such attacks, but they have gone from 6-7 percent of NATO deaths in the last few years to over 15 percent this year. A major reason for this jump in attacks is the growing number of joint NATO-Afghan military operations. At this point, most (about 80 percent) of these operations are run by Afghans, with NATO troops in support roles. But these offensive operations are not the problem, as they usually involve Afghan commandos and other special operations troops. Most of the attacks on NATO troops are by police and local self-defense militias. Compared to the army, the police have much less training, and less effective recruit screening. The police leadership is not as good as the army's and there is a lot more corruption in the police. Throughout the Afghan security forces the quality of leadership and professionalism is much lower than in the NATO forces. This is largely a cultural thing, as the Afghans are more inclined to go to be more casual and sloppy (by Western standards) when it comes to warfare and security. This is why the Taliban avoids fighting the foreign troops, as the Taliban invariably lose. But with so many (over 300,000 police and soldiers) Afghan security personnel in action now, there are many more opportunities to exploit sloppiness and buy or coerce (usually by threatening family) inside cooperation.

 

The Afghan police are more susceptible to being turned because they are local and in the south that means the cops are Pushtuns who might even have kin who are in the Taliban. The army is a different matter, being largely non Pushtun (especially units operating in the Pushtun south). The non-Pushtuns dislike and distrust the Pushtuns and are rarely involved in security forces attacks on NATO troops.

 

A Kabul airport a female suicide bomber drove a car loaded with explosives into a minibus carrying foreign airport workers, leaving a dozen people dead.

 

September 17, 2012: The U.S. ordered a halt to joint operations between American and Afghan troops. This is in response to the growing number (36 so far this year) of attacks by Afghan soldiers or police (or Taliban disguised as such) on NATO troops. This comes at a time when the Taliban are continuing to lose battles with NATO and Afghan troops. The Taliban use of roadside bombs also continues to decline in effectiveness. Overall NATO casualties are also declining. But the use of attacks on NATO troops by friendly forces (often via recruitment, coercion or bribes), while not causing a large number of casualties, does gain a lot of media attention and that is considered a useful victory because it encourages Western nations to pull their troops out of Afghanistan.

 

September 16, 2012: Four American troops were killed by someone in an Afghan police uniform.   The circumstances of this incident are unclear as the U.S. troops were coming to the aid of policemen at a checkpoint who asked for help because they were under attack.

 

September 15, 2012: In Helmand province two British soldiers were killed by someone in the uniform of a pro-government local security militia.

 

September 14, 2012: At Camp Bastion in Helmand province fifteen Taliban, wearing American uniforms, got into the airbase area and destroyed eight American AV-8 aircraft. The base is shared by British and U.S. Marine Corps forces. All fifteen attackers were killed, as well as two marines. Some of the attackers wore suicide bomb vests and none apparently expected to survive the operation. This was the most successful Taliban attack ever on a NATO base and defensive measures are being reviewed to find and fix what went wrong. NATO bases are protected by multiple layers of defenses.

 

September 12, 2012: In the northeast (Badakhshan province) in a joint NATO, Russian and Afghan operation destroyed six heroin processing labs and seized six tons of drugs (180 kg of heroin, 1.5 tons of morphine, 1.2 tons of opium, two tons of opium poppy seeds and 700 kg of drug-making precursor chemicals). Russia has long cooperated with NATO in going after Afghan based drug operations that are sending heroin and other highly addictive drugs across the northern border. Those drugs are smuggled through Central Asia and end up in Russia and the rest of Europe. Russia has over two million heroin addicts and 20 percent of Afghan drug production is believed to end up in Russia. So Russia shares intelligence on the Afghan drug gangs (especially their smuggling operations like the ones in Badakhshan province) so that effective attacks can be made.

 

September 11, 2012:  In the west (Herat province) a suicide bomber killed a police commander and four other Afghans.

 

September 10, 2012: One of the regular rocket attacks on Bagram air base (north of Kabul) hit a helicopter and killed three Afghan maintenance personnel.

 

In the northern city of Kunduz a suicide bomber killed 21 people attending a demonstration for a local warlord accused of killing civilians.

 

The U.S. turned over Bagram Prison outside Kabul to Afghan control. The Afghans are now responsible for 3,000 prisoners there. The Americans retained custody of several hundred "high value" Taliban (and other terrorist group) prisoners, because of fear that Afghan control of these men would lead to bribes or coercion being used to obtain freedom for these terrorists.

 

September 9, 2012: In Kabul a traffic accident led to a gun battle between Tajiks and Hazaras. Tribal and ethnic differences still count for a lot in Afghanistan.

 

September 8, 2012: In Logar province (south of Kabul) several Chinese mining specialists left for China because of threats and security concerns. Some Chinese workers remained at a large, Chinese run copper mine project. The security problems are the, largely expected, result of local tribal leaders, politicians and warlords disagreeing on who should get what amount of money from the project. Such disagreements have long stalled, and often cancelled economic development projects in Afghanistan.

 

In Kabul a 14 year old suicide bomber tried to get into a NATO base, failed and detonated his bomb outside, killing six Afghans (most of them other kids his age).

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19 septembre 2012 3 19 /09 /septembre /2012 07:55

Taliban attack in Kabul Apr 15 2012 photo @AJELive

 

18.09.2012 par Frédéric Lert (FOB)

 

Il aura fallu dix ans aux insurgés pour réussir un de leurs plus jolis coups contre une base de l’Otan en Afghanistan. Samedi dernier, peu après 22 heures, quinze hommes se sont attaqués avec un certain succès à Camp Bastion, principale base britannique et américaine dans la province du Helmand. L’attaque a fait la une des médias en raison de la présence sur la base du prince Harry, alias Captain Wales, qui sert au sein du 662 Squadron, 3 Rgt Army Air corps. Dès l’attaque de la base, le VIP de 28 ans a été mis en sécurité, sous la haute protection de quelques SAS. Il aurait été illusoire pour les insurgés d’imaginer atteindre l’héritier de la couronne britannique en lançant une attaque aussi limitée contre une base mesurant près de 50 km2 et abritant plusieurs dizaines de milliers de soldats de l’Otan.

 

L’important est ailleurs : avec seulement quinze hommes, les insurgés ont réussi à détruire six chasseurs bombardiers AV-8B de la VMA 211 (US Marines Corps) qui étaient alignés sur les parkings. Deux autres appareils ont été endommagés. La VMA 211 est (était ?) le seul escadron d’avions de combat des Marines déployé en Afghansitan. Un escadron des Marines étant en rgèle générale équipé d’une dizaine d’appareils seulement, la VMA 211 peut sans doute plier les gaules et rentrer en Californie pour se rééquiper… Attention toutefois, les stocks de AV-8B ne sont pas inépuisables. Il restait avant l’attaque moins d’une centaine de ces avions en service. Leur remplacement par l’usine à gaz F-35B doit se faire d’ici dix à quinze ans. Suite à l’attaque, un porte parole de  l’ISAF a expliqué que les capacités d’appui air sol de la coaltition ne seraient pas impactées. On ne sait pas si c’était un trait d’humour.

 

L’attaque a commencé avec le suicide d’un homme porteur d’explosifs qui a réussi à ouvrir une brèche dans le mur d’enceinte. Une quinzaine d’assaillants armés d’AK 47 et de RPG se sont alors engouffrés dans la brèche, filant en direction des parkings avions. Ces hommes étaient vêtus de treillis américains, ce qui a semble-t-il gêné les troupes de l’OTAN dans leur réaction. Tous sauf un ont été tués par les défenseurs qui ont repris le contrôle total du périmètre après trois heures de combat. Deux Marines ont été tués et une dizaine d’autres soldats de la coalition ont été blessés.  Qu’en aurait il été si derrière cette avant garde de quinze hommes, les insurgés avaient pu rassembler une centaine de combattants lourdement armés ?

 

L’Otan peut lancer une enquète sur la facilité avec laquelle ces quinze hommes ont réussi à s’approcher du périmètre et à pénétrer dans la base. Une réflexion équivalente pourra être conduite au profit de Kaboul et Kandahar, dont la piste à certains endroits n’est séparée des champs environnants que par un simple grillage. Les Américains pourront également réfléchir à  la meilleure façon de transporter leurs treillis. Ceux-ci ne font pas partie jusqu’à présent des matériels « sensibles ». Ils voyagent par voie routière à travers le Pakistan dans des conteneurs qui se font régulièrement piller…

 

Pour mettre les choses en perspective, jetons enfin un coup d’œil rapide dans le rétroviseur de l’Histoire : l’attaque de samedi dernier n’est pas sans rappeler le sport national vietnamien au cours des années 60, lorsque le Viet Cong se faisait un devoir d’attaquer régulièrement les bases américaines pour aller y casser au sol des machines volantes. Les Américains perdirent de cette manière un total de 103 avions et hélicoptères en une dizaine d’années de guerre, avec un pic en 1967 et 1968 (respectivement 23 et 35 avions détruits ces années là). Une paille par rapport aux 8588 (huit mille cinq cent quatre ving huit !) avions et hélicoptères de tous types perdus au total par l’Oncle Sam en dix ans de guerre au Vietnam !

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19 septembre 2012 3 19 /09 /septembre /2012 07:55

ravitaillement-du-poste-anjiran-en-kapisa-2.jpg

photo MinDef FR

 

18.09.2012 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

La multiplication des "attaques de l'intérieur" ("green on blue"), qui ont déjà coûté la vie à 51 membres de l'Isaf cette année, a convaincu la coalition occidentale de reconnaître, après des mois de réticences, que ces attaques menacent gravement l'effort de guerre occidental dans le pays.

 

L'Otan a donc annoncé ce mardi qu'elle allait limiter ses opérations conjointes avec les forces afghanes après la flambée d'attaques meurtrières contre ses soldats perpétrées par des policiers ou soldats afghans. La plupart des patrouilles communes ou séances de formation ne seront plus conduites qu'à partir d'un certain niveau d'effectifs, la coopération avec des unités plus réduites devant désormais être évaluée au "cas par cas et approuvée par les commandements régionaux" de l'Isaf.

 

Un impact particulier pour la France? "Il s'agit plutôt d'aménager" les opérations conjointes, selon l'EMA qui confirme que l'objectif est bien de "réduire les risques de "green on blue". En pratique, les mesures prises visent à réduire la proximité physique entre contingents et impliquent de faire marche arrière sur "l'intégration complète".

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19 septembre 2012 3 19 /09 /septembre /2012 07:55

The Union Jack Flag photo UK MoD

 

18 Sep 12 UK MoD - A Defence Policy and Business news article

 

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond today addressed the House of Commons in response to reports that NATO's policy regarding ISAF and Afghan troops working together has changed.

 

Below is Mr Hammond's answer to a parliamentary urgent question which asked him to make a statement on the change of NATO's strategy in Afghanistan:

 

There has been no change of policy in Afghanistan. As I told the House yesterday, the security of our deployed forces in Afghanistan or anywhere in the world remains a Defence priority. The safety of our Service personnel is an issue that all in government and in the military chain of command take extremely seriously.

 

In respect of the International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] fragmentary order issued on Sunday, not for the first time the media have become a little overexcited. It might help the House if I quote a press release issued by the Commander of ISAF forces in Kabul this morning.

 

He stated that: "recent media coverage regarding a change in ISAF's model of Security Force Assistance [SFA] is not accurate. ISAF remains absolutely committed to partnering with, training, advising and assisting our ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] counterparts. The ISAF SFA model is focused at the battalion-level and above, with exceptions approved by senior commanders. Partnering occurs at all levels, from Platoon to Corps. This has not changed.

 

"In response to elevated threat levels resulting from the 'Innocence of Muslims' video, ISAF has taken some prudent, but temporary, measures to reduce our profile and vulnerability to civil disturbances or insider attacks … The SFA model is integral to the success of the ANSF, and ISAF will return to normal operations as soon as conditions warrant."

 

The Commander of ISAF Joint Command has effectively directed a change to the level at which partnering and advising are scrutinised and authorised. Most partnering and advising was already at the kandak, or battalion, level and above. The change does not mean that there will be no partnering below that level. The need for that will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and approved by the regional commanders in theatre.

 

The regional commander in Regional Command (South West), where British forces are based, is Major General Mark Gurganus, a US Marine Corps general. He has endorsed the approach currently being taken by the UK-led Task Force Helmand, including mentoring and partnering at below kandak-level. That means that the UK partnering and mentoring operations will continue substantially unchanged by this order.

 

It is normal practice that all elements of our operations are subject to oversight by the chain of command, and operations will continue to evolve and risk assessments will continue to be updated. The ANSF capability for independent operations is, in any case, steadily increasing, and our level of partnering activity on the ground has therefore been steadily decreasing.

 

The personal safety of our deployed personnel remains a Defence priority, and we will take every step necessary to minimise the risk to them. We have always kept the level at which we mentor the ANSF under review and will continue to do so through the process of security transition.

 

British commanders on the ground retain the flexibility to mentor at the appropriate level in consultation with the regional commander. We have a strategic plan that takes us to the end of combat operations in 2014 while strengthening the ANSF to take over security responsibility from us. I have every confidence in the way that Commander ISAF is executing that plan.

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19 septembre 2012 3 19 /09 /septembre /2012 07:40

Afghan National Army and UK Forces - photo UK MOD source B

 

18 Sep 2012 ,James Kirkup and Ben Famer in Kabul - telegraph.co.uk

 

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, has admitted that he had been unaware of Nato’s decision to restrict joint patrols with Afghan forces when he briefed MPs on the future of Britain’s mission in the country.

 

Nato has said it is scaling back operations with Afghan soldiers in the wake of a spate of so-called ‘green on blue’ shootings. It said that joint patrols would now require the approval of a regional commander.

 

General John Allen, the American who commands Nato forces in Afghanistan, ordered the changes on Sunday night. It is a tactical shift that raises doubts about the Alliance’s entire strategy in Afghanistan, which is based on handing over security duties to Afghan forces by 2014.

 

On Monday however, Mr Hammond told MPs that “partnering” with Afghan forces remained at the heart of Nato’s approach. Despite the deaths of another two British soldiers in a ‘green on blue’ shooting on Saturday, the Defence Secretary insisted Britain’s mission in the country would continue as before.

 

After details of General Allen’s order emerged publicly this morning, Mr Hammond was summoned to the House of Commons for the second time in 24 hours to explain why he had failed to mention the tactical change.

 

He admitted he had been unaware of the new order when he addressed MPs on Monday, but insisted it was only a minor tactical adjustment that would have “no practical impact on operations”.

Mr Hammond said he had not known about Gen Allen’s order until he received a “routine briefing” on Monday afternoon, but that “no particular significance was attached to it”. He also claimed that when he saw media reports about the order yesterday morning, he did not even immediately connect those reports with his briefing.

 

That drew Labour claims that Mr Hammond had “forgotten” the order and that he had “humiliated” and left in the dark about the mission.

 

Jim Murphy, the shadow defence secretary, said: “This is an astonishing admission. Afghanistan is our country’s biggest defence priority and there is no excuse for the Defence Secretary not knowing his own policy.”

The minister however, insisted there was nothing wrong with the situation.

 

“Gen Allen has made a tactical decision where he is right and entitled to do,” Mr Hammond said. “Politicians have a role, commanders have a role. I do not seek to involve myself in military decisions.”

 

Despite his suggestion that the new order was routine, Nato sources in Afghanistan today made clear that it would mean significant changes on the way troops from the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) work with Afghan forces.

 

The order said that “until further notice”, most joint operations between Nato and Afghan forces would be large-scale battalion-sized missions. Smaller operations would have to approved “on a case by case basis” by senior commanders.

 

Following a series of conversations between senior figures in London and commanders in Afghanistan, the Isaf headquarters in Kabul later “clarified” Gen Allen’s orders, insisting they were temporary, and not a permanent change.

Isaf “remains absolutely committed to partnering with, training, advising and assisting our Afghan National Security Force counterparts,” it said in a statement, adding that Western forces “will return to normal operations as soon as conditions warrant.”

 

Two British soldiers were killed by rogue Afghan soldier at weekend, the latest in a growing number to die at the hands of the personnel they are deployed to train and support, while 51 Nato personnel have been killed in so-called “insider attacks” this year.

 

The British soldiers were killed at a checkpoint when a man dressed as an Afghan policeman pretended to be injured so they would help him.

 

Mr Hammond told MPs that such attacks have a corrosive effect on public support for the Afghan mission. “I recognise that incidents of insider attacks are sapping public morale in ISAF home countries,” he said.

 

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, insisted that Britain and its allies will not change their approach to Afghanistan and will “defeat the threat” of insider attacks.

 

“We will defeat this threat as we have defeated so many threats,” Mr Hague told the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons. “We will persist and defeat this threat as we have defeated all others.”

 

He added: “The Taliban should be very clear and I make it very clear to them now that our strategy in Afghanistan has not changed in response to these attacks and it will not change.”

 

Mr Hammond faced calls from MPs to accelerate the withdrawal of troops, with Labour’s former Europe minister Denis MacShane arguing that they should all be brought home by Christmas.

 

Conservative MP and former soldier John Baron said that the Isaf announcement threatened to “blow a hole in our stated exit strategy”

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19 septembre 2012 3 19 /09 /septembre /2012 07:00

Afghanistan.svg.png

 

MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti)

 

Afghan servicemen will keep conducting joint operations with NATO on the battalion, brigade and corps level, Gen. Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the country’s Defense Ministry, told the Pajhwok news agency on Tuesday.

 

He said “joint operations on levels below battalion have been suspended due to the appearance of a film discrediting the Prophet Mohammad.”

 

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement on Tuesday: “Recent media coverage regarding a change in ISAF's model of Security Force Assistance (SFA) to the Afghan National Security Forces is not accurate.”

 

“ISAF remains absolutely committed to partnering with, training, advising and assisting our ANSF counterparts. The ISAF SFA model is focused at the battalion level and above, with exceptions approved by senior commanders. Partnering occurs at all levels, from Platoon to Corps. This has not changed,” it said.

 

“In response to elevated threat levels resulting from the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ video, ISAF has taken some prudent, but temporary, measures to reduce our profile and vulnerability to civil disturbances or insider attacks,” ISAF said.

 

“This means that in some local instances, operational tempo has been reduced, or force protection has been increased. These actions balance the tension of the recent video with force protection, while maintaining the momentum of the campaign,” it said.

 

ISAF also said such measures had been taken before and worked well.

 

Over 50 foreign soldiers and officers have been killed by Afghan police officers and servicemen since the start of the year.

 

“Innocence of Muslims” is a anti-Islam video recently released in the United States that has sparked outrage and riots throughout the Muslim world.

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18 septembre 2012 2 18 /09 /septembre /2012 16:47

ISAF-Logo

 

Kabul (AFP) Sept 18, 2012  -Spacewar.com

 

NATO was forced onto the defensive Monday over a humiliating attack on one of its most heavily guarded bases in Afghanistan that destroyed six US fighter jets in unprecedented damage in the 10-year war.

 

At a weekly press conference given by the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) at its closely guarded headquarters, chief spokesman Brigadier General Gunter Katz was pressed on Friday night's assault.

 

ISAF says it is still investigating how Taliban commandos, armed with suicide vests, guns and rockets and wearing US uniforms, breached the perimeter wall of Camp Bastion, in the southern province of Helmand.

 

The vast base -- where Prince Harry is deployed -- was deliberately built in the middle of the desert to have a vantage point.

 

The cost of the damage runs to tens of millions of dollars.

 

"Yes, we assess that this attack was well-organised, well-equipped and destroyed six Harrier jets, they damaged two additional Harrier jets and they destroyed buildings, they killed two US Marines, but we must not forget out of those 15 attackers, we killed 14 and captured one," Katz told AFP.

 

The Taliban said the assault was conducted to avenge an American-made film that insults Islam and which has sparked a violent backlash in Muslim countries across the world.

 

They also said that had they found Harry they would have killed him.

 

NATO insists the insurgency, now in its 11th year, is on the back foot with Afghan forces taking the lead over 75 percent of the population, as part of a phased departure of most Western troops by the end of 2014.

 

"Since the insurgency is clearly losing the fight and the security situation is becoming better everyday here in Afghanistan, they look for attacks that attract the media," Katz told reporters.

 

But he conceded that ISAF would learn lessons from the attack on Camp Bastion and adopt force protection measures accordingly, but declined to go into detail.

 

The raid kicked off a devastating weekend for NATO in which two British and four American soldiers were shot dead by suspected members of the Afghan police, and its warplanes were accused of killing eight women in an air strike.

 

Such "insider" attacks carried out by colleagues in the Afghan forces threaten NATO plans to hand over security to locals.

 

Concern is growing on how to halt them with 51 Western soldiers already killed in 36 such incidents so far this year alone.

 

In Japan, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sought to downplay such fears, calling the attacks a "last-gasp" tactic from Taliban who have lost ground in the last two years since a surge of NATO troops, now being withdrawn.

 

The US military is looking at further steps to protect troops, Panetta said, but insisted the attacks would not force a change in war strategy.

 

Analysts said the Bastion attack showed how well trained insurgents had become.

 

"It showed the Taliban no longer attack blind. They have learnt to plan attacks and train their fighters for them. After a decade the Taliban have also learnt from and know their enemy, they have become hi-tech," said Afghan analyst Waheed Mujda.

 

Others speculated about possible help from turncoats within the base, home to around 28,000 personnel.

 

"It would not have been possible without any help from inside. I'm sure they've had people among the Afghan police and army on the base," said Kabul-based analyst and writer Ahmad Saeedi.

 

NATO is gradually withdrawing its 112,600 remaining troops. The Pentagon said last week that there are currently 77,000 US troops in Afghanistan.

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18 septembre 2012 2 18 /09 /septembre /2012 16:43

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/120712-afghanistan-operation-ana-led-dans-la-vallee-de-la-koh-e-safi/120712-operation-ana-led-dans-la-vallee-de-la-koh-e-safi-15/1865669-12-fre-FR/120712-operation-ana-led-dans-la-vallee-de-la-koh-e-safi-1.jpg

photo MinDef FR

 

Kabul (AFP) Sept 18, 2012  -Spacewar.com

 

NATO-led forces are scaling back joint operations with Afghan forces after a spate of "insider attacks" in which Afghan recruits turned their weapons on Western allies, officers said Tuesday.

 

The move marked a setback for the coalition's war strategy, as the planned withdrawal of Western troops hinges on training and advising Afghan forces to take over security by the end of 2014.

 

Under the new order, most joint patrols and advisory work with Afghan troops will only be conducted at the battalion level and above.

 

Cooperation with smaller units will have to be "evaluated on a case-by-case basis and approved by RC (regional) commanders", the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

 

As the so-called "green-on-blue" attacks have grown, US commanders have gradually acknowledged the assaults pose a serious threat to the war effort and have struggled to stem the problem.

 

The commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, General John Allen, "has directed all operational commanders to review force protection and tactical activities in the light of the current circumstances", a US military officer in Washington said in an email.

 

"This guidance was given at the recommendation of, and in conjunction with, key Afghan leaders," said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

 

"This will likely lead to adjustments in exactly how, when and where ISAF troops operate, especially during the current period of heightened tension."

 

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, speaking at a news conference in Beijing, said the insider attacks were worrisome but that he believed General Allen had taken the right approach to counter the problem.

 

"We are concerned with regards to these insider attacks and the impact that they're having on our forces. General Allen has reflected that in the steps that he's taken," Panetta said after holding talks with his Chinese counterpart.

 

But he insisted the insider assaults would not delay or derail plans to complete a drawdown of troops by the end of 2014 as planned.

 

The decision came after six ISAF soldiers were shot dead by suspected Afghan police and after the Taliban destroyed six US fighter jets in an unprecedented assault on a major base in the south.

 

The change by NATO also followed violent protests by Muslims around the world over an amateur, American-made film deemed to insult the Islamic faith.

 

It was unclear how the new rules for joint patrols might affect the plan to pull out the bulk of NATO combat forces, as some Afghan units are considered ill-prepared to begin operating independently.

 

More than 30 insider attacks have claimed the lives of 51 troops in the NATO-led coalition so far this year, sowing mistrust between the Western force and its nominal allies and casting doubt on ISAF's "shoulder-to-shoulder" motto.

 

Commanders believe only a quarter of the assaults are the result of infiltration by Taliban insurgents and that the remainder were caused by cultural clashes and personal grievances.

 

Afghanistan's defence ministry said earlier this month that it had arrested or sacked hundreds of Afghan soldiers for suspected insurgency links.

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18 septembre 2012 2 18 /09 /septembre /2012 16:35

ISAF-Logo

 

Kabul (AFP) Sept 18, 2012 – Spacewar.com

 

NATO said it had arrested a Taliban leader on Tuesday wanted for an unprecedented attack on a major military base in southern Afghanistan that destroyed six US fighter jets and killed two US Marines.

 

The US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said troops detained the suspect and two other suspected insurgents in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province, where the giant Camp Bastion is located.

 

"The Taliban leader was successfully taken into custody by the security force following joint efforts by Afghan and coalition forces to track down the Taliban insurgents responsible for the Camp Bastion attack," ISAF said.

 

The military said it believed the suspect had provided support to those who stormed the base late Friday, but did not elaborate further.

 

ISAF says it is still investigating how 15 Taliban commandos, armed with suicide vests, guns and rockets and wearing US uniforms, breached the perimeter wall of Camp Bastion, one of the most heavily guarded bases in the country.

 

The third in line to the British throne, Prince Harry, who is deployed to the base, was moved under guard to a secure location during the attack, Britain's defence minister said.

 

The prince was about two kilometres away with other Apache crew members when the base was attacked, but was not in danger, according to the minister, Philip Hammond.

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18 septembre 2012 2 18 /09 /septembre /2012 16:32

Afghan National Army and UK Forces - photo UK MOD source B

 

18 septembre, 2012 - bbc.co.uk/afrique

 

L’OTAN restreint les patrouilles qu’elle menait jusqu’alors conjointement avec les forces afghanes.

 

Désormais, seules les opérations de grande échelle, impliquant plusieurs centaines de troupes, pourront être conduites avec des militaires afghans.

 

Cette décision survient après une “attaque de l’intérieur” survenue samedi dans la province de Helmand dans le sud du pays.

 

Un membre présumé de la police locale afghane a retourné son arme contre des soldats de la force de l’OTAN en Afghanistan (Isaf).

 

Deux soldats étrangers, dont la nationalité n’a pas été divulguée, ont été tués, ainsi que l’auteur de l’attaque abattu sur le coup.

 

Ces “attaques de l’intérieur”, se multiplient, portant le nombre de soldats de la force internationale, tués par leur compagnons d’armes Afghans, à 51 cette année.

 

Ces attaques portent un coup au moral des troupes étrangères, quelques 113.000 soldats, qui doivent quitter l’Afghanistan d’ici la fin 2014.

 

Depuis début septembre l’Isaf, en charge de former la police et les militaires afghans, a suspendu ses entraînements militaires.

 

La formation et l’autonomisation des forces afghanes sont indispensables pour la transition pacifique prévue par l’OTAN.

 

Les procédures de recrutement de la police et des militaires afghans restent floues et ouvrent la voie aux infiltrés rebelles.

 

Selon l’Isaf, seul un quart des “attaques intérieurs” auraient été menées par des infiltrés talibans, les autres étant liées à des disputes et des incompréhensions culturelles.

 

La région de Helmand, l’un des plus gros foyers des talibans, est le théâtre des insurrections contre les forces internationales.

 

Dimanche, une dizaine de talibans ont pris d’assaut une base militaire de l’OTAN, le camp Bastion où le prince Harry est déployé, infligeant de lourds dégâts matériels.

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18 septembre 2012 2 18 /09 /septembre /2012 07:55

general-Olivier-de-Bavinchove.jpg

photo Isaf

 

17/09/2012 Par Maeva Bambuck – LeFigaro.fr

 

INTERVIEW - Le chef d'état-major de l'Isaf, le général Olivier de Bavinchove, dresse le bilan de la présence française en Afghanistan.

 

Le général Olivier de Bavinchove est le chef d'état-major de l'Isaf, le bras armé de l'Otan en Afghanistan. Il commande également l'Eurocorps et les forces françaises en Afghanistan. À ce titre, il supervise le retrait français.

 

LE FIGARO. - Quel bilan tirez-vous des onze ans de présence de l'Otan en Afghanistan?


Général de BAVINCHOVE. - Nous avons apporté à ce pays un changement radical. C'était un monde hostile, replié sur lui-même, parfois moyenâgeux, auquel nous avons donné une ouverture, de nouveaux modes de fonctionnement, un système éducatif en construction et une bien plus grande sécurité.

 

Des soldats américains vont remplacer les soldats français en Kapissa: la France part-elle avant d'avoir achevé le travail?


Entre 200 à 250 Américains seulement vont succéder aux Français, c'est donc que la situation s'est nettement améliorée en Kapissa. En outre, ils ne seront pas chargés de mener les opérations mais d'aider les Afghans à accomplir leurs missions sécuritaires.

 

Dans d'autres provinces transférées, l'armée afghane combat sans l'aide de la coalition. La Kapissa est-elle particulièrement problématique ou stratégique?


La vraie différence, c'est que la Kapissa est très proche de la capitale. Et ce qui se passe dans le grand Kaboul résonne dans le monde entier. Dans des provinces plus éloignées des centres urbains, nous pouvons prendre certains risques parce que nous considérons que la menace est faible ou qu'elle ne remettra pas en question le processus de transition. En revanche, pour tout ce qui touche au grand Kaboul, nous ne sommes pas prêts à prendre de risque. Ce sont donc des mesures de prudence.

 

Depuis la mort de 11 soldats français l'été dernier, nos troupes ne sortent presque plus de leurs bases. Avez-vous eu des directives en ce sens?


Le devoir de tout chef, en tout temps et en tout lieu, est de préserver la vie de ses soldats. Jamais nous n'avons imaginé prendre des risques inconsidérés. Il se trouve que la décision de l'Isaf de démarrer le processus de transition au printemps 2011 a coïncidé avec les décisions prises en France. Nous sommes en Afghanistan depuis presque onze ans, deux fois la durée de la Première Guerre mondiale. Il existe dans nos pays une lassitude vis-à-vis de l'Afghanistan parce que nous avons fait énormément pour ce pays, plus que pour aucun autre pays au monde. Il est temps que les Afghans prennent leurs responsabilités.

 

La France a passé des accords avec les pays du Nord pour faire transiter le matériel militaire rapatrié. Pourquoi n'empruntons-nous pas ces voies de sortie?


Il reste des détails techniques à régler - taxes, horaires de passage, type de matériel. Cela prend du temps, mais je pense qu'au début de l'an prochain, nous aurons à la fois résorbé l'embouteillage à Karachi - qui nous empêche pour le moment de faire transiter du matériel par le Pakistan - et ces détails techniques avec les pays du Nord. Nous pourrons ainsi accélérer l'évacuation du matériel.

 

Les attaques «green on blue», de soldats afghans contre les forces de la coalition, se multiplient: comment analysez-vous cette «menace de l'intérieur»?


La menace de l'intérieur est réelle. Le général Allen a d'ailleurs dit au président Karzaï: «Nous sommes prêts à mourir pour votre pays parce que c'est la mission qui nous a été confiée par nos chefs. Mais nous ne sommes pas prêts à être assassinés par vos propres soldats.» Ces soldats qui s'en prennent à nos forces sont très souvent non éduqués, illettrés. Nous avons eu 45 morts dans ces incidents depuis le début de l'année et à peu près un quart de ces pertes sont attribuables aux talibans. Dans les autres cas, certains n'avaient pas eu leur solde depuis deux mois ou avaient vu une permission refusée…

 

L'Otan a voulu bâtir une armée de 352.000 hommes en cinq ans. N'a-t-elle pas recruté un peu n'importe qui?


Avions-nous le choix? Il est clair que si nous voulons rendre le maximum de souveraineté à l'État afghan, nous devons nous retirer. Mais encore faut-il que les forces de sécurité soient à la hauteur des défis qui subsistent dans ce pays. Après 2014, les forces afghanes devront encore faire face à des situations assez difficiles. Alors oui, nous avons fait beaucoup de recrutements à bride abattue. Mais nous avons aussi pris des mesures pour éviter que des infiltrations ne menacent nos forces.

 

La France pourrait-elle renoncer à maintenir des instructeurs après 2014?


Nos formateurs travaillent avec des recrues sans munitions. Nous sommes dans la formation académique et non avec des unités de combat, le risque est donc moindre.

 

N'êtes-vous pas inquiet de voir les insurgés continuer leurs attaques tous azimuts?


Il s'agit le plus souvent d'attaques à portée médiatique, mais sans portée militaire et stratégique. Cela démontre une capacité à harceler, mais il n'y a pas de reprise du terrain, ce sont des actions sans lendemain. Plus de 80% des Afghans vivent désormais dans des régions stabilisées.

 

Pourtant, l'Otan mène actuellement une vaste offensive contre-insurrectionnelle près de la frontière du Pakistan?


L'objectif de cette campagne est de repousser l'insurrection loin de la route no 1, pour permettre la libre circulation entre Kandahar et Kaboul. Mais les talibans ont perdu la main. Ils ont perdu le soutien de la population. Ils se sont réfugiés dans des actions localisées et presque toujours suicidaires. À Ghazni et aux alentours de Kaboul, la population est excédée car elle souffre bien plus que nous de ces attaques. On la voit même se révolter. Il n'y avait pas ce genre de manifestations l'année dernière. Les Afghans se prennent en charge. Ils ont compris que c'était à eux de choisir et ils ne sont pas décidés à retomber dans le régime de la terreur.

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18 septembre 2012 2 18 /09 /septembre /2012 07:50

Harrier

 

sept 17, 2012 Damien Kerlouet (BRUXELLES2)

 

Le Camp Bastion, situé dans la province instable du Helmand (sud), a été ce week-end la cible d’une des attaques talibanes les plus déterminées et efficaces depuis le début du conflit.

 

L’attaque a commencé vendredi peu après 22h (14 septembre) et a fait deux victimes du côté des américains. Environ une quinzaine d’insurgés, portant l’uniforme de l’armée américaine ont lancé l’assaut armés de lance-grenades, de ceintures explosives et d’armes légères, indique le communiqué de la force internationale ISAF. En plus des deux soldats américains tués, huit soldats et un garde privé ont été blessés lors de l’attaque.Selon Sayed Malook, chef de l’armée afghane dans le sud, un kamikaze se serait fait exploser contre un mur de la base, ouvrant une brèche par laquelle 14 autres combattants sont entrés. 13 de ceux-ci ont été tués lors de l’affrontement et un autre a été blessé et capturé.

 

Gros dégâts : 8 avions en pièces


Les dégâts matériels sont lourds côté coalition. Trois réservoirs d’essences ont été détruits et six hangars de maintenance ont été touchés. Six avions Harrier AV-8B, c’est à dire plus ou moins la moitié d’une escadrille de la sorte, ont également été détruits par les combattants talibans et deux autres ont été endommagés «de façon significative», confirme le communiqué de l’ISAF. Des pertes lourdes jamais infligées en une seule fois à l’aviation alliée par les talibans. Au passage l’addition n’est pas négligeable, puisque ces avions conçus pour des attaques au sol et dont la production date des années 80/90, couteraient approximativement entre 30 et 40 millions $ pièce.

 

Le commandement des forces alliés indique que «les insurgés étaient bien équipés, entraînés et préparés». Et la déclaration récente de Leon Panetta – le secrétaire d’Etat Us à la Défense – précisant que c’est un signe que les talibans sont à bout de souffle, sonne quelque peu faux. L’attaque s’est seulement terminée dans la matinée de samedi. On est donc largement au-dessus de l’attaque de la base aérienne de Kandahar de 2010 où les talibans avaient été complètement arrêtés avant même de rentrer à l’intérieur de la base.

 

Objectif ?


Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, porte parole taliban, a fait savoir que l’attaque arrivait «en représailles du film insultant des américains». Innocence of muslims, film amateur à caractère anti-islam et réalisé par un américain, met le feu aux poudres depuis plusieurs jours dans tout le monde arabe. Mais l’objectif aurait pu être double. Le Prince Harry est stationné dans la base de Bastion depuis seulement quelques jours pour une mission temporaire de quatre mois en tant que pilote d’hélicoptère Apache. «L’objectif n’était pas le Prince Harry» a précisé M. Ahmadi, alors que lundi dernier (10 septembre), il affirmait tout le contraire. «Nous ne cherchons pas à le kidnapper, mais à le tuer» avait déclaré Zabihullah Mujahid, autre porte-parole taliban. Quelque était l’objectif final, les talibans n’ont certainement pas manqué de profiter de la présence du petit-fils de sa Majesté. Les rebelles devaient savoir qu’un assaut frontal contre cette base serait vouer à l’échec mais leurs apporterait la couverture médiatique internationale du fait de la présence du Prince.

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18 septembre 2012 2 18 /09 /septembre /2012 07:45

ISAF-Logo

 

September 17, 2012 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: U.S Department of Defense; issued September 16, 2012)

 

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT --- The NATO chiefs of defense had a good discussion on events in Afghanistan and alliance plans in the region, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said today.

 

Dempsey spoke aboard a C-40 aircraft taking him from Sibiu, Romania -- where the NATO Military Committee met -- to Ankara, Turkey.

 

The meeting was the first for the chiefs of defense since the Chicago Summit where alliance heads of state approved the NATO Strategic Plan for Afghanistan. The plan includes how the alliance will remain engaged in the country post-December 2014, when the NATO International Security Assistance Force mission ends.

 

ISAF commander Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen briefed the chiefs via video-teleconference. “He briefed on the campaign as well as his thinking of the timing of future decisions on things like the enduring presence and the rate at which the [NATO] forces will decline,” Dempsey said.

 

“This meeting was to validate the way ahead for the decisions to be made,” he said. Each nation will review its commitments, and the political leaders will decide how best to move forward.

 

It is important to note that the United States is not yet finished recovering the surge forces, which will happen by the end of this month. At that point, Allen will present his semi-annual campaign review.

 

“After the review and following the decisions made in Chicago, the analysis will be brought forward,” Dempsey said. “Sometime by the end of the year, I would expect, we would begin to have an idea of what our post-2014 presence [in Afghanistan] will be.”

 

With that information, Allen said he can make plans to get from 68,000 U.S. forces to the number needed on January 1, 2015.

 

The chiefs also discussed insider attacks -- where Afghan security forces, or those disguised as security forces, fire on coalition troops. There was another instance of that yesterday when a member of the Afghan Local Police allegedly killed two British soldiers.

 

“We’re all seized with [the insider attack] problem,” Dempsey said. “You can’t whitewash it. We can’t convince ourselves that we just have to work harder to get through it. Something has to change.”

 

Commanders in Afghanistan are doing all they can to reduce the problem -- vetting, counterintelligence agents in the force, a guardian angel program or changing the posture of the force.

 

“But we’ve got to make sure our Afghan counterparts are as seized about it as we are,” Dempsey said. “We have to get on top of this. It is a very serious threat to the campaign.”

 

The attack on Camp Bastion in Helmand province was not an example of an insider attack, Dempsey said.

 

“We pulled the intelligence string -- we and the Brits -- and the initial assessment is that it was a breach of the perimeter and there is no indication at this point that it was aided by anyone inside,” he said. “It’s really too soon to tell. We certainly need to continue to examine that.”

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18 septembre 2012 2 18 /09 /septembre /2012 07:10

ISAF-Logo

 

17 Sep 2012 By James Kirkup - telegraph.co.uk

 

Philip Hammond has admitted that Nato forces are finding it "difficult" to defend their main base in Afghanistan's Helmand province from Taliban attack.

 

 

Mr Hammond, speaking in the Commons after a weekend attack on Camp Bastion, told MPs that securing a base with an area similar to that of Reading, was inevitably a struggle.

 

British and American troops on Friday night had to fight off a significant Taliban force which breached security at Camp Bastion, where Prince Harry is stationed.

 

A number of aircraft, hangars and other buildings at the base were hit and badly damaged by insurgent fire during the attack.

 

The attack was one of several incidents over the weekend that left two British soldiers and four Americans dead.

 

Camp Bastion is the centre of British operations in Afghanistan, and also host to a large US Marine Corp presence.

Despite its extensive garrison, numerous fences and remote location, Mr Hammond admitted that defending the base is highly challenging.

 

“It is difficult to defend a site of this size, particularly when faced with a suicidal attack,” he said.

 

Mr Hammond told MPs that “a number of improvements” have been made in base security since the attack, including an increase in perimeter patrols

 

People living in several villages and settlement close to the base’s fence line have been told they must move “so that we will have a clearer field of fire,” Mr Hammond said.

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18 septembre 2012 2 18 /09 /septembre /2012 07:05

Predator over Afghanistan photo USAF

 

September 14, 2012 Interview -     Peter W. Singer, Director 21st Century Defense Initiative

 

 

Editor's Note: In a video interview with Need to Know on PBS, Peter Singer talks about the future of military technology and the impact that drones have had in Pakistan.


HANNAH Yi [narration]: Shuja Nawaz – a native Pakistani – is the South Asia director at the Atlantic Council in Washington — a nonpartisan foreign policy institute. He says in years past, the Pakistani government approved the American drone strikes with a wink and a nod.

 

But the US relationship with Pakistan deteriorated last year when it was discovered that Osama Bin Laden had been hiding out in a home just 100 yards from a Pakistani military academy – suggesting that Pakistani authorities had harbored the world’s most wanted terrorist.

 

A few months later, the Pakistanis were angered by a U.S.-led NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

 

And amidst all this acrimony, the Pakistani government, at least publicly, has now taken a more vocal position against drone attacks within its borders.

 

SHUJA NAWAZ: Sovereignty is now the key issue. It’s a matter of honor and respect.

 

PETER SINGER: The Pakistani government took the public position "how dare you violate our sovereignty" except a key critical detail they don’t talk about. They were actually flying from a Pakistani air force base. It’s kind of hard to violate your sovereignty if it’s actually flying from a base within your own country.

 

HANNAH Yi [narration]: Peter Singer is with the Brookings Institution – a nonpartisan public policy group. He writes about the transformation of war technology. . . and says unmanned aircraft, like drones, has enabled the U.S. to fight the war on terror without sacrificing more American lives.

 

PETER SINGER: It’s a game changer in the history of war and technology. To me it’s a lot like where the computer was around 1980, where the airplane was around 1916. It’s a new technology that allows the operators, the users to do things they couldn’t imagine doing just a generation earlier.

 

HANNAH YI: So in the past 8 years there’s been an estimated 43 al Qaeda leaders who’ve been specifically targeted and killed by drones. Would that have been possible in that 8 year time frame if it hadn’t been for the drones that the U.S. was using in Pakistan?

 

PETER SINGER: It’s very unlikely we would have gotten that number of leaders frankly because you would have either had to put boots on the ground in a way that the president and the people around him and congress and American public would have been comfortable with – I don’t think they would have authorized that level of intervention in Pakistan. And in turn the Pakistani government – for all its public decrying of drone strikes – allowed them, allowed them to happen in a way they wouldn’t have allowed boots on the ground or even manned bombers.

 

Watch the full interview on PBS.org »

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17 septembre 2012 1 17 /09 /septembre /2012 11:45

AV-8B Harrier sur un porte-hélicoptères d'assaut américain. crédits : US NAVY.

 

AV-8B Harrier sur un porte-hélicoptères d'assaut américain.

crédits : US NAVY

 

17/09/2012 Mer et Marine

 

Les talibans ont porté hier un coup sévère à l’ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), la force internationale de l’OTAN en Afghanistan. Dans une attaque particulièrement audacieuse contre Camp Bastion,  une base implantée dans la province d’Helmand, pas moins de six avions de combat AV-8B Harrier de l’US Marine Corps ont été détruits et deux autres endommagés sérieusement, alors que deux militaires américains étaient tués, un bilan auquel il faut ajouter neuf blessés. En parallèle trois postes de ravitaillement ont été anéantis et six abris d’avions plus ou moins touchés.   D’après l’ISAF, l’attaque des insurgés était particulièrement bien préparée. Une quinzaine d’individus, revêtus d’uniformes de l’armée américaine, se seraient introduits dans la base munis d’armes automatiques, de lance-roquettes et d’explosifs pour pouvoir mener une opération kamikaze. Seul un membre de ce commando serait encore en vie.

 

AV-8B Harrier ravitaillé au dessus de la province d'Helmand (Photo : US NAVY)

 

C’est la première fois que l’OTAN subit de telles pertes matérielles lors d’une attaque en Afghanistan, où les forces alliées sont présentes depuis 2001. L’assaut a été d’autant plus médiatisé que Camp Bastion est la base où est actuellement stationné le prince Harry, fils cadet de Charles, héritier de la couronne d’Angleterre, qui est pilote d’hélicoptère.

 

D’après l’AFP, qui cite des sources de l’OTAN et du ministère britannique de la Défense, les effectifs de Camp Bastion s’élèvent à 28.000 hommes, cette base comptant 600 mouvements d’aéronefs quotidiennement. Les AV-8B américains servent au soutien aérien des troupes au sol engagées contre les talibans. Ces appareils à décollage court et atterrissage/appontage vertical sont soit déployés depuis des bases terrestres, soit depuis les porte-hélicoptères d’assaut de l’US Navy.

 

AV-8B Harrier sur un porte-hélicoptères d'assaut (Photo : US NAVY)

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16 septembre 2012 7 16 /09 /septembre /2012 11:40

ISAF-Logo

 

September 16, 2012    By David Axe - wired.com/dangerroom

 

Insurgent fighters wearing U.S. Army uniforms breached the defenses of the main British-run air base in southern Afghanistan on Friday. Firing guns and rockets and apparently triggering suicide vests, the attackers killed two U.S. Marines and damaged or destroyed several hangars and fueling facilities. Before they were all killed or captured, the insurgents also managed to destroy six U.S. Marine Corps jet fighters and “significantly” damage two others, landing a shocking blow against NATO air power in the region.

 

The attack on Camp Bastion, in restive Helmand province, came after the Taliban vowed to take revenge for the release by a mysterious U.S. filmmaker of an inflammatory, albeit amateurish, movie mocking the Muslim prophet Muhammad. The insurgent group had also threatened to kill or capture the U.K.’s Prince Harry, who recently deployed to Camp Bastion as an Apache helicopter pilot. The prince “was never in any danger,” NATO’s International Security Assistance Force stated.

 

The assailants’ true motives are impossible to verify. In any event, the attack underscores the Afghan insurgency’s boldness and striking power in the waning years of the U.S.-led NATO intervention.

 

The assault began “shortly after 10:00 p.m.” when “approximately 15″ insurgents — organized in three teams and wearing American uniforms — “penetrated at one point of the perimeter fence” and “executed a well-coordinated attack against the airfield,” according to ISAF. The Harrier jump jets destroyed or damaged in the assault had been parked out in the open on the flightline, the alliance stated.

 

The Harriers reportedly belonged to Marine Attack Squadron 211, based in Yuma, Arizona. VMA-211 had shifted its Harrier jump jets to Bastion from nearby Kandahar in July, in order to better support the British troops and Marines operating from Bastion. Harrier squadrons typically deploy with 10 jets, meaning all but two of VMA-211′s planes are now out of action. Despite this, ISAF unconvincingly insisted there would be “no impact to ground or air operations from Camp Bastion.”

 

Startlingly, the six destroyed Harriers represent no less than 1/15th of the Marines’ entire inventory of the versatile, vertical-landing jets. The F-35B version of the stealthy Joint Strike Fighter is slated to replace the Harrier over the next 15 years.

 

Nine NATO personnel — eight military and one civilian — were injured in addition to the two Marines who died. One of those killed was from VMA-211, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Base defenders killed 14 of the attackers and captured one. “This information is subject to change as new details become available,” ISAF warned.

 

The Bastion attack is not the first time insurgents have targeted NATO aircraft. Last month a rocket damaged an Air Force C-17 cargo plane assigned to carry Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey on his Afghanistan tour. Two maintainers were injured in that strike. And in 2005 a rocket barrage aimed at Kandahar Air Field destroyed a British Harrier and damaged another.

 

Nor is Friday’s attack the first perpetrated by insurgents disguised as U.S. troops. In 2010, following a spate of such attacks, the Pentagon ordered the Army to begin treating stocks of uniforms as “sensitive” and remove them from “pilferable” ground resupply convoys moving through Pakistan. “There is evidence that the enemy is using pilfered out-garment uniform items to gain a tactical advantage,” the Pentagon warned.

 

It’s unclear to what extent that advantage factored into the Bastion attack. In any event, the death and destruction wrought on a heavily-defended NATO base by just 15 determined attackers is a chilling reminder of the insurgency’s enduring potency.

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16 septembre 2012 7 16 /09 /septembre /2012 11:35

Harrier

 

16.09.2012 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Une nouvelle attaque, probablement commise par des infiltrés dans la police afghane, a fait quatre morts ce dimanche parmi les soldats de la coalition occidentale anti-taliban.

 

L'attaque de ce dimanche a eu lieu dans la province de Zabol, une province du sud de l'Afghanistan où sont basées les forces américaines. Un des attaquants, qui portait l'uniforme de la Police nationale afghane a également trouvé la mort.

Après la mort de deux soldats britanniques du Yorkshire Regiment tués samedi par un policier afghan, cette attaque porte à 51 le nombre de militaires étrangers tués cette année par des insurgés infiltrés au sein de la police ou de l'armée afghanes.

 

Camp Bastion. Par ailleurs, un communiqué de l'ISAF a donné des détails sur l'attaque lancée dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi contre Camp Bastion (Helmand). Six avions de combat américains Harrier ont été détruits et deux ont été endommagés "de façon significative" lors de l'attaque lancés par un groupe de 15 insurgés dont certains portaient des treilis US. Trois postes de ravitaillement ont également été détruits et six hangars d'avions ayant été atteints,

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