By Mir Bahmanyar
Following the Soviet invasion in 1979, the Mujahideen defenders of Afghanistan constructed and strengthened many normal cave platforms to take advantage of as provide bases and shielding positions. The Taliban and Al Qaeda additional bolstered those positions within the Nineties. Following the occasions of September eleven, 2001, those cave platforms have once again come to prominence and websites equivalent to Tora Bora and Zhawar Kili have featured in information headlines worldwide. This name offers 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 resources for Afghanistan Cave Complexes 1979-2004: Mountain strongholds of the Mujahideen, Taliban & Al Qaeda (Fortress, Volume 26)
Excellent satellite imagery from IKONOS that clearly shows cave entrances and training camps. The IKONOS satellite weighs about 1,600lb. It orbits the Earth once every 98 minutes at an altitude of approximately 423 miles (681km). IKONOS can produce one-meter imagery of the geography. The digital imaging sensor is designed to produce images with superior contrast, spectral resolution and accuracy. qxd 11/3/09 12:36 Page 39 Along with strengths come weaknesses. The most prominent being a lack of unified leadership or strategy.
Logistics (Ordnance/Quartermaster/Transportation) The critical resources and capabilities to arm, fuel, transport and maintain materials and supplies and to ensure the health and lives of the fighting forces. qxd 11/3/09 12:36 Page 50 May 6, 2002. A burial mound rests in the middle of the village of Markhanai, which lies in a valley in the Tora Bora region. This region was the last known site where Osama Bin Laden was located. Targets in Tora Bora were bombed with 2000lb GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) with hopes of taking out Bin Laden and his followers while closing caves.
Complete exploitation and destruction of tunnel complexes is very time consuming, and operational plans must be made accordingly to ensure success. The presence of a tunnel complex within or near an area of operations poses a continuing threat to all personnel in the area. qxd 11/3/09 12:35 Page 32 Team clearing a long tunnel, throwing a three-pronged device to trigger any booby traps. Cave-clearing techniques must be executed properly and require a great deal of trust in your teammates. Even though Coalition forces regularly use airpower to destroy caves, “boots on the ground” are required to assess the damage and root out any intact enemy force.
Afghanistan Cave Complexes 1979-2004: Mountain strongholds of the Mujahideen, Taliban & Al Qaeda (Fortress, Volume 26) by Mir Bahmanyar