What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Interesting details of a recent operation in Helmand

This report, titled Afghanistan's Narco War: Breaking the link between drug traffickers and insurgents is not altogether a brilliant read, but there is one section in it that I would specifically highlight here.
Between pages 18 and 21 you find "A metaphor for war: The battle of Marjah." It details cross-border logistical preparations of a strategically timed "spectacular" in Helmand, which was then thwarted by a preventive attack by U.S. and Afghan troops, and consequently turned into a (partially successful) defense of drug stashes by the insurgents.
I will include a brief excerpt here, for an appetiser, from page 19.
"Marjah was designated by the Taliban leadership as the staging ground for the attack, and fighters from across Afghanistan and as far away as Waziristan in Pakistan began filtering into the village. Along with the usual arsenal of AK-47s, grenade launchers and explosives, they towed in four Soviet-era anti-aircraft guns, a sign the operation was going to be big."
This is from a report prepared for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

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