Monday 17 September 2012

Camp Bastion attack major boost for Taliban

If there are any more weekends like the one that has just passed, then there won't be any need for the Taliban to negotiate. Six Coalition soldiers were shot dead by Afghan Police in two separate incidents, a team of Taliban commandos dressed in US Army uniforms penetrated the huge American and British army base at Camp Bastion and destroyed aircraft and stores worth more than $250 million dollars and - to cap it all - American aircraft bombed and killed eight women and wounded many others collecting firewood in Noor Laam Saeb area of Alingar district, Laghman province, leading to rioting in the provincial capital. In Kabul and other cities there were large demonstrations against the anti-Mohammad film made by Coptic zealots in America.
The Camp Bastion night attack will go down as one of the most one-sided and audacious attacks in the history of modern warfare. Around 15-20 Taliban got into the base - home to 21,000 US and British soldiers - and proceeded to destroy six US Marine Harrier AV-8B jump jets, as well as damage many others. The cost to the Taliban, besides the deaths of its fighters, was probably no more than a few thousand dollars. The costs to the Coalition runs into hundreds of millions of dollars. The base, which is surrounded by desert, was thought so safe that even Prince Harry was allowed to stay there. He was hidden away in a bunker for the duration of the four-hour firefight. Not our most glorious moment.
The attack parallels similar attacks by the Tehreek-e-Taliban in Pakistan against Pakistan military targets, including the naval base at Mehran and the airforce base at Kamra. In both these cases small team of fighters dressed in official uniforms penetrated the bases and concentrated on destroying very expensive planes and equipment. As with Camp Bastion, almost all the attackers died having achieved their goals.

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