When I started shooting "Police Woman" (1974), someone asked me if I had ever played a sleuth before. I said, "Yes, many times". I thought they were asking me if I had ever played a slut. I didn't know what a sleuth was.
The 2006 controversy over the quality of Harrier support notwithstanding, close air support has proven to be a valuable asset to British forces in Afghanistan. When available and on-station, it provides a high-end counter to the standard enemy tactics of concentration and ambush. The cost of operating modern aircraft, however, and the size of modern air fleets, are both working to put a crimp in that option. Full battlefield coverage that can respond to any emergency within a few minutes is either cost-prohibitive, or beyond most militaries capabilities.
Fortunately, the rise of precision artillery fire offers an alternative with less reach, but 100% persistence and availability within its range. By 2010, MBDA expects to begin selling a loitering attack UAV called Fire Shadow for use in Afghanistan. This one-shot, rocket-boosted UAV sports a range of 165 km, 10-hour endurance, and a 50 pound warhead. To succeed, however, it will have to outclass an already-fielded option: British forces began using the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems M30/31 GMLRS 227mm GPS-guided rockets and their 200 pound warheads in 2007, as a significant supplement to the UKs close support options. British forces have recorded over 140 firings of the rockets in Afghanistan, which have earned GMLRS a nickname: the 70 km sniper.
During this period, the M270 MLRS has maintained 100% mission availability, often operating in switched on and ready mode for 48 hours at a stretch. That kind of use, under conditions that differ significantly from their originally-envisaged role defending NATO from the USSR, created a March 2007 Urgent Operational Request for changes to the vehicle
UK M270, Helmland
(clickto view full)Air conditioning isnt critical in Germanys Fulda Gap, for instance but it is critical in Afghanistans Helmland Province during the hot months. The collapse of the very idea of front lines changes vehicle protection requirements. So, too, does the prevalence of mine threats in Afghanistan, whether placed by deliberate enemy action, or present as leftover ordnance from the USSRs long war.
In response, the GMLRS team, located within the Artillery Systems Integrated Project Team at MOD Abbey Wood in Bristol, worked on a modification set. Bar armour and applique armor now surround the cab, to provide protection against small arms fire and even odds against RPGs. Wire cutters have been added. Some mine protection was added under the vehicle, and energy-absorbing seats minimize the shock transmitted from an underbody blast into the backs of the 3-man crew. A machine gun is mounted on top, supported by 3 thermal imaging cameras with driver and vehicle commander screens for night-time operation and better awareness of nearby threats.
Turnaround was quick, and upgraded M270 vehicles began deploying to Afghanistan in May 2008. Contractors included Lockheed Martin UK Insys (armor, seats, night vision), Dytechna (electronics), and Qinetiq (electronic and automotive trials). UK MoD release.
These upgrades position the M270 GMLRS combination in two ways.
One, they adapt the systems for the needs of modern counter-insurgency warfare. The M270 can now operate on mined battlefields with greater assurance. It can protect itself against surprise enemy infantry attacks through a combination of firepower and true all-terrain mobility, especially if accompanies by firepower support from a fast Jackal wheeled vehicles or a BvS-10 Viking tracked infantry vehicle. Operating autonomously in this fashion, they can remain available for long periods to provide overwatch and close support out to 70 km. With the RAFs C-17 fleet on call to deploy them if needed, M270 vehicles can be expected to become frequent participants in Britains future military operations.
Afghan and international troops have killed 14 Taliban militants while eight civilians were killed in separate incidents of violence, Afghan provincial authorities and the US military said on Monday.
Six civilians were killed and two more wounded when a minibus hit a roadside bomb in Zana Khan district of Ghazni province on Monday. "The roadside bomb was planted by insurgents who were targeting a foreign or Afghan military convoy using this road," said governor's spokesman Sayed Ismail Jahangir.
Separately, two civilians were killed and three injured when a rocket landed on their home in Khost on Sunday. "The rocket was aimed at a nearby foreign troop base," said the provincial police chief Abdul Qayum Batizoy.
In another incident, international and Afghan troops killed five militants in an operation targeting a foreign fighters' network in Ghazni province on Monday, said a statement by US military.
Nine Taliban insurgents were killed during a joint operation by Afghan and international troops in Ghazni's Waghaz district on Sunday, said provincial police chief Mohammad Zaman.
Posted by: Fred ||
10/14/2008 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Taliban
I hate these headlines. They infer the Afghans and coalition killed both the taliban and civilians. It is only after reading the text that all eight civilians were killed by the Pakistanis taliban.
The Surjani Town police have arrested 2 alleged militants and recovered almost 2,000 detonators from their possession, Daily Times learnt on Monday. Gadap Town SP Ejaz Hussain Kumario while talking to Daily Times said that a police party on a tip-off intercepted a yellow cab near Surjani Northern Bypass and arrested two culprits and recovered 2,000 non-electronic detonators from their possessions. The suspected militants were identified as Zahid Shah and Ibarat Shah. During the course of initial investigation, culprits confessed that they picked up the detonators from Sohrab Goth and were on the way to Northern Bypass for delivery but the police have intercepted them, the SP said, adding that the culprits hailed form Dir area of NWFP while further investigation was underway.
Charsadda police on Monday arrested an American citizen with a laptop, maps and other documents as he tried to enter Mohmand Agency, sources said. "We have arrested an American national at Yakaghund checkpost with a computer, some maps and other documents while crossing into Mohmand," the sources said.
The arrested person's name was not disclosed, but the sources said his facial features suggested he was of Afghan descent. "Documents recovered from his possession establish his American nationality, but he looks like an Afghan Hazara," the officials said. "He has been moved to Peshawar for interrogation by a Joint Investigation Team," they added. I have no idea why he survived the process of apprehension. The teevee sez he's a student at a junior college in Florida.
Posted by: Fred ||
10/14/2008 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda
I suppose that he was just going to intern with some business activity in the old country (Pakistan and/or Afghanistan). /s
CNN -- A Pakistani man with dual U.S. citizenship was questioned and released after being detained in a dangerous area of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province, Pakistani police said.
Jawad Ali, a resident of Peshawar, was carrying a U.S. passport when he was detained Monday in a "red zone" area in the village of Shabqadar, said Charsadda District police officer Waqif Khan. Police questioned Ali, told him the area is dangerous and asked him to go back home, Khan said.
Ali's father is a cab driver in the United States, Khan said.
Initial reports on the incident Monday identified Ali as a U.S. student from Florida named Jude Kenan. Khan said he was not aware of an American named Jude Kenan.
U.S. Embassy officials in Islamabad said Monday they had no knowledge of an American being detained.
Troops and helicopter gunships killed at least 24 Taliban in the restive Bajaur Agency, officials said on Monday. "Helicopter gunships and artillery pounded Taliban hideouts, killing at least 24 Taliban and wounding 10 others," a security official told AFP.
The military offensive began on Sunday afternoon and continued into the early hours of Monday, he said, adding four Taliban and two locals were also killed in an exchange of fire between a tribal lashkar and the Taliban. Four tribesmen were killed in clashes between the Taliban and a tribal lashkar in Kotkai village near Charmang area in Bajaur, Reuters quoted another government official as saying. He said several Taliban were also killed, but was unsure of the number.
Five Taliban were killed and fifteen others arrested in a security forces' operation in Darra Adam Khel on Monday, official sources said, according to NNI.
Swat: In an intensified operation against the Taliban in Swat, security forces killed at least 25 Taliban in parts of Khwazakhela tehsil on Monday. ISPR spokesman Major Farooq Pirzada confirmed to Daily Times the death of 25 Taliban in the two-day clash. He also said that two security officials were also killed and three injured in the clashes.
Separately, four people, including a leader of the ANP, were injured when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle in Dir district, an administration official said.
An interpreter who worked for Britain's top commander in Afghanistan has been accused of spying after being passed over for promotion.
London's Old Bailey court was told on Monday that Corporal Daniel James sent a coded message to an Iranian military attaché in Kabul, telling him, "I am at your service."
Prosecutor Mark Dennis claimed the two men exchanged emails and 'many telephone conversations'. Dennis, however, said it was not clear whether Corp. James had attempted to become an agent or was already one.
Does it matter?
"The concern is not so much the actual damage done by the known disclosure of information, but in the potential damage that could have occurred if his activities had not been curtailed by his early detection and arrest," Dennis said.
Corp. James has denied collecting and communicating information useful to an enemy and willful misconduct in public office. The Iranian-born translator, however, is accused of carrying confidential NATO files on a computer flash drive when he was arrested in December 2006.
"The value of these documents to anyone trying to sell himself as an agent to a foreign power, or to continue promoting himself as such, trying to show how close he was to sensitive information, is all too clear," Dennis claimed.
The trial is expected to last three to four weeks. Some sessions are expected to be held behind closed doors.
The revelation about James' alleged spying charges comes at a time when Tehran is at loggerheads with London over the imminent release of the only surviving culprit involved in a 1980 terrorist attack on the Iranian embassy in London. Iran has asked Britain to deport Fowzi Badavi-Nejad, the convicted terrorist, to his home country. Badavi-Nejad's release, meanwhile, will reportedly allow the felon to enjoy a safe stay in the UK.
Corporal Daniel James sent a coded message to an Iranian military attache in Kabul, telling him, "I am at your service."
Are Iranian military attachés in the habit of handing out secret codes to just anybody? Or, contrariwise, did Cpl James send the message off in his own code, hoping the recipient would 1)know that it was in code, and 2)figure out immediately which code he'd used?
You can bet your shepherd's pie this is not an isolated incident considering he's a British raised subject and infiltrated the Army.
Posted by: Jack is Back! ||
10/14/2008 10:55 Comments ||
The accused traitor is said to be Iranian born, yet he answers to a Chrisitian name: Daniel James.
Can anyone offer an explanation for that? Odd.
I for one would like to see more and more young non-muslims learning the languages of the middle east and south east asia. I would prefer to rely on non-muslims for tranlation work. Put another way, if a muslim and non-muslim are equally qualified for the translation job, then the job goes to the non-muslim.
yet he answers to a Chrisitian name: Daniel James.
That would be his English name, so that he didn't have to keep explaining how to pronounce the Iranian one, MarkZ. Much like the Help Desk people answering the phone in India will give their name as Dave or Susan instead of Velmurugan (the real name of the nice man who helped me today) or Nandita.
The IDF nabbed three Palestinians carrying nine pipe bombs at a roadblock west of Nablus Sunday evening, apparently averting a planned terror attack in Israel. The attack was foiled as a result of the alertness and insistence of a female soldier at the checkpoint. No injuries were reported in the incident.
The three Palestinians arrived at the roadblock from the direction of Nablus. The female soldier asked one of them for an identification card, but remained suspicious even after he showed her his ID. At that point, the soldier asked the suspect to open his bag, yet he refused. The soldier insisted, prompting the Palestinian to remove a shirt and pants from the bag before closing it again. However, the soldier was not satisfied, opened the bag herself, and found three pipe bombs inside it. They're...Eid presents. Really.
At that point, troops at the checkpoint activated a special emergency procedure. The Palestinians suspect's two friends were also searched and were found to carry three pipe bombs in each of their bags. They're...his. He said they were Eid presents.
Sappers dispatched to the scene blew up the explosive devices in a controlled detonation. Meanwhile, the three detainees were taken in for interrogation.
A similar attack was thwarted at a different roadblock near Nablus last week. A Palestinian who arrived at the checkpoint with a plastic bag aroused the suspicions of Golani troops and members of the IDF's crossings' unit. The soldiers dispatched a sapper, who discovered two small pipe bombs in the bag and blew them up.
(AKI) - The Sri Lankan military said on Monday that they attacked Tamil Tiger rebels in bunkers, triggering clashes that killed at least 30 people. At least 27 rebels and three soldiers were killed in the clashes that followed in the volatile northern region of Kilinochchi. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan troops claim to have killed six militants and injured six others in the area of Muhamale and Nagarkovil. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said on Monday that the war against separatist rebels would not be slowed by the world financial crisis.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.