Crash Landing

 Capt'n Fiddler's Prosthetic Leg

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Floating up & down, floating all around

A floating nightmare unable to hit ground

I see Kabul, I see Herat

The parachute an eternal tea-party hat

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Down below in Pluckame I see

The last Taliban setting fire to the voting shed

I loosen my artificial leg, it falls free

Like a smart bomb it hits him in the head

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This vortex of wind is exasperating me

I shrug, embrace Afghaneeland reality

Dozing off with one leg left a dangle

I become a banner of star spangle

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Sunrise sunset ticktocks by again & again

Dehydration comes along, hyperventilation too

Pretty soon I’m twirling with a crazy-boy grin

& a palpitating heart tells me I’m about thru

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Then an arrow sticks into the heel of my one & only boot

Tied to the arrow is a very long string

This string gets taut as someone hauls me down

My last leg breaks when I slide across the ground

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Mine is now a sorry plight

Without flight & without fight

Yours truly blacks out

& without light

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Afghaneeland Adventure Series | Old Timer Chronicle II

Rawclyde!

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(Text Copyright Clyde Collins 2014)

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ANA Climbs Out Of Twilight Zone

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by Aref Musavi

TOLO news

18 September 2016

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The Afghan National Army (ANA) battling insurgency in the northern parts of the country has changed its war strategy from a defensive one to an offensive position and are systematically attacking insurgent strongholds, military officials confirmed.

“Now we are not in a defensive position, everyone knows that we attacked insurgents in Sar-e-Pul province and advanced up to Masjid-e-Sabz and Deh Mordeh villages. Also we attacked the Taliban in Baghlan and our operation is ongoing in Kunduz as well,” said General Mohmand Katawazai, a military official in the north.

Katawazai added that Afghan security forces are targeting the enemy but that they are having difficulties destroying Taliban strongholds in remote areas.

He said that the Afghan security forces are not afraid of the risks as they advance on the insurgents.

Meanwhile, military officials in the north have said the Taliban’s “Omari” operation – their summer offensive – has failed and that in the past five months a large number of insurgent have been killed in the north and south-east of the country.

“In the recent five months, 1,010 insurgents were killed and their bodies remained on the battlefields,” said General Hasibullha Quraishi, a special forces commander in northern Balkh province.

Quraishi added: “Around 405 wounded insurgents have been arrested by security forces. We can say that intelligence forces have confirmed this.”

He added that Afghan security forces also had sustained casualties, but their numbers were less.

However, the Kohistanat district in Sar-e-Pul province has been under Taliban control for the past year while a few other districts in the province are under serious threat.

Asked why an operation has not been launched to retake Kohistanat district from the Taliban, Mohammad Zahir Wahdat, governor of Sar-e-Pul, said: “The reason why a large-scale operation has not been launched in Kohistanat, I think is because security forces, the president, the chief executive, ministers and other security sectors are busy trying to solve the problems.”

However, he did not clarify what he meant by the word problems.

Officials have however urged the public to cooperate with security forces and to not listen to the propaganda of insurgents.

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http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/27314-ana-changes-war-strategy-in-northern-zone

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Daesh Won’t Leave Nangarhar Alone

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by Ziar Ya

TOLO news

16 September 2016

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A number of tribal elders and residents of Nangarhar said that despite of the ongoing military operations by Afghan security forces, Daesh insurgents have captured parts of the province once again.

They said that parts of Achin, Kot and Haska Mina districts have fallen to Daesh after security forces cleared the areas and were shifted to other parts of the province.

“Daesh has moved forward instead of moving back. They [Daesh militants] were in Mardana, Narai and Oba villages of Achin in the past, but now they have captured many areas in the district,” said Malik Osman, a tribal elder in Achin district.

Other tribal elder from the province, Jahanzeb Mohmand, said: “The sacrifices of the army, police and the NDS operatives did not help the province to be cleared of Daesh completely. There is no security in

Nangarhar and the reason is the poor management in relevant organizations.”

Meanwhile, a number of provincial council members of Nangarhar blamed local officials for insecurity in the province.

“Those who are working with government to suppress Daesh are following their own benefits. They used to get money for ‘Taliban project’ in the past and now they are taking money for ‘Daesh project’. Therefore, the presence of such figures is the main reason behind government’s failure in fight against Daesh,” said Ashab Wali Muslim, member of Nangarhar provincial council.

Member of Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament), Fraidoon Khan Mohmand, meanwhile said government does not have the will to destroy Daesh.

“We doubt government’s measures against Daesh, because we witnessed that President [Ashraf Ghani] and the NDS chief came here and vowed that they will eliminate Daesh with the help of foreign forces, but now we see that the local officials are deceiving us and they are not uprooting the militant group,” he said.

Despite repeated efforts, Nangarhar officials would not comment on the report.

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http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/27281-parts-of-nangarhar-fall-to-daesh-once-again-residents

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One Hundred U.S. Soldiers

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by Sune Engel Rasmussen

in Kabul for The Guardian

22 August 2016

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More than a hundred US troops have been sent to Lashkar Gah to help prevent the Taliban from overrunning the capital of Afghanistan’s Helmand province, in what is thought to be the first US deployment to the embattled city since foreign troops withdrew in 2014.

Since late July, the Taliban have seized new territory across Helmand, defying a series of about 30 US airstrikes, and raising concern of an attack on the capital. The militants have also stepped up attacks in the country’s north, closing in on Kunduz, which they briefly captured last year.

“This is a big effort by the Taliban. This is probably the most serious push we’ve seen of the season,” Brig Gen Charles Cleveland, spokesman for the coalition forces in Afghanistan, told reporters on Monday.

Cleveland called the US reinforcement in Helmand a “temporary effort” to advise the Afghan police, though he declined to say how long it was expected to last, citing “security reasons”.

“They’re not about to go out and conduct operations or something like that,” Cleveland said.

Neither did he specify the exact number of troops, but said they numbered “about a hundred”. Sources in Helmand believe about 130 US troops have arrived at the airport where they will be based.

The most significant Taliban advances have been Nawa and Nad Ali districts, a stone’s throw west of Lashkar Gah, where the government retain control of only a few administrative buildings.

The situation has become so bad that civilian elders of Nawa, traditionally one of Helmand’s most peaceful districts, have asked the provincial governor for weapons to join the fight, said Wali Mohammad, a villager from that district.

The Taliban also continue to block parts of the main highway leading north from Lashkar Gah, said Mohammad Rasoul Zazai, spokesman of the Afghan army’s 215th Corps. He said the road would take days to clear because it had been heavily mined.

In recent days, the Taliban have also closed in on Baghlan province, as well as Kunduz, the northern city they seized for two weeks last year, where a US airstrike destroyed a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) trauma centre.

On Saturday, government forces were briefly pushed out of the nearby Khanabad district. Fighting has already forced families to flee, as they did barely one year ago.

In Helmand, MSF has relocated part of its international staff from Lashkar Gah.

The uptick in violence has caused the Afghan army to send senior commanders around the country in a flurry to boost morale. Efforts have concentrated on Helmand, where government forces have reportedly fled the battlefield when faced with attacks, despite vastly outnumbering the Taliban.

Meanwhile, as soldiers and police are looking to commanders for military guidance, the political leadership in Kabul is on the brink of disaster as well.

In a rare public outburst, President Ashraf Ghani’s government partner, chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, recently lashed out at the president for neglecting him, calling him “unfit” to rule the country.

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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/22/us-troops-sent-afghanistan-taliban-lashkar-gah

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