By Mir Bahmanyar
Following the Soviet invasion in 1979, the Mujahideen defenders of Afghanistan constructed and bolstered many typical cave platforms to exploit as provide bases and protecting positions. The Taliban and Al Qaeda extra reinforced those positions within the Nineteen Nineties. Following the occasions of September eleven, 2001, those cave platforms have once again come to prominence and websites comparable to Tora Bora and Zhawar Kili have featured in information headlines all over the world. This identify presents an research of those caves and underground structures, and discusses the U.S.-led Coalition's tactical method of dislodging the enemy from those fortified positions.
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Extra info for Afghanistan Cave Complexes 1979-2004: Mountain strongholds of the Mujahideen, Taliban & Al Qaeda (Fortress, Volume 26)
Fixed wing and helicopter attacks have caused great consternation and casualties. Because of this, the militias tend to travel at night and in small groups. qxd 11/3/09 12:36 Page 41 defend themselves and have adapted several other stratagems of defense. Although heavy machine guns and missiles were employed even at the beginning of the conflict, the simplest of countermeasures were put into place: dispersal, cover and terrain knowledge. Afghanistan’s natural fortress has been instrumental in the survival of the Mujahideen.
Most of this construction was carried out with simple jackhammers or other mining tools. When looking at the IKONOS satellite image taken in 1999 of the Darunta complex, one can make out the various tunnel entrances. The complex featured several training camps, including Abu Khabab’s, the Assadalah Abdul Rahman camp, run by the son of the blind cleric Omar Abdul Rahman, who is now jailed in the United States for the explosion at the World Trade Center in 1993. Pakistani fighters seeking to annex Kashmir are located at the Hizbi Islami Camp.
Although similarities exist to modern-day room clearing techniques and close-quarters battle/combat, in tunnel clearing, grenades should not be used as the noise is deafening and may cause tunnels to collapse. An additional tool for the modern soldier in underground work is the sound suppressor designed to muffle the discharge of the assault rifle. Modern sensory devices and robots designed for this task are helpful, but no matter the technological tools and support available, the simple fact remains that a “footslogger” with a weapon has to go underground.
Afghanistan Cave Complexes 1979-2004: Mountain strongholds of the Mujahideen, Taliban & Al Qaeda (Fortress, Volume 26) by Mir Bahmanyar