Mullah Omar Orders Attacks on Civilians

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 1 month ago

From Voice of America:

Coalition officials in Afghanistan say they intercepted a message from Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, ordering his followers to never surrender and kill any civilians suspected of helping the coalition forces …

According to the spokesman for the NATO-led ISAF forces, General Josef Blotz, Mullah Omar sent the letter from his alleged Pakistani hideout to his fighters in Afghanistan.

Blotz says the letter encourages Taliban insurgents to fight coalition forces to the death without surrender or withdrawal, attempt to capture coalition forces whenever possible, recruit anyone with access to the coalition and work to get more heavy weapons.

He also says part of the new orders target Afghan civilians. “Capture and kill any Afghan who is supporting and/or working for coalition forces or the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.  Capture and kill any Afghan women who are helping or providing information to coalition forces,” he said.

Blotz says these new orders reverse Mullah Omar’s edict from last year to avoid civilian casualties. “This proves the Taliban are willing to ignore their own code of conduct when they sense that they are losing influence and control.  And make no mistake, that is what is happening as more Afghan National Security Forces take to the streets and more ISAF forces arrive to assist them,” he said.

It’s doubtful that Mullah Omar has ordered the deaths of cooperating civilians because he thinks he is losing.  On the contrary, he isn’t worried about hearts and minds.  They have the initiative, and their campaign of terror has worked.  Consider a recent entry during a patrol from Bill Ardolino who is embedded with the Marines in the Musa Qala district.

As the Marines and Afghan national security forces (ANSF) walked through the village, most of the locals paused what they were doing to watch the patrol with casual interest. Some children poked out from tiny metal doorways set in hardened mud walls to gawk or smile. Here and there, a local businessman or elder moved from under a thatched straw lean-to to greet the Afghan security personnel, usually followed by a handshake with the Marines. Within 20 minutes of navigating the narrow tan streets and alleys, the group broke the perimeter of the village, cutting eastward into the incongruous patch of vibrant green farmland that splits the sandy ridges and imposing mountains towering above the valley.

Their destination was a shura (conference) of village elders scheduled to take place at Panda Ridge, a Marine patrol base on the other side of the valley. The meeting’s topic was grim. The previous Saturday, on June 26, the Taliban detonated a buried roadside bomb amidst an American convoy traveling through a section of the village lining the opposite riverbank. No one was injured in the initial blast, but the insurgents set off a second bomb as Americans and villagers gathered to assess the damage. One Afghan boy was killed instantly, at least dozen villagers were wounded, some seriously, and two Marines were riddled with shrapnel, but will survive. Despite immediate aid rendered by a Navy corpsman and the quick arrival of a medevac helicopter on the dry riverbed, two more small children died on the operating table at Camp Bastion. Navy surgeons were able to save three others.

The aftermath of the explosion has presented a stiff challenge to Marine counterinsurgency efforts focused on protecting the population in Karamanda: villagers living closest to the blast have become wary of the Marines and Afghan government forces. Some protective parents on the western side of the wadi have now instructed their children to avoid the patrols.

The civilians are aligning not with the side who does the best at digging wells, providing schooling, doing governance, and engaging them in Shuras, but the side they believe will win.

  • http://biophilic.blogspot.com burkbraun

    But the civilians have crucial influence themselves, with intelligence, general allegiance and turning into insurgents. So it is a dynamic, reflexive situation, where we will only be successful if we bring all our instruments to bear as intelligently as possible.

    For instance, we could easily terrorize the countryside and beat Afghanistan into submission (as the Soviets did). We have plenty of firepower for that. But that would induce .. well, you know the story. We could even depopulate Afghanistan entirely if we wished. But we don’t, as that would also buy more problems, way beyond Afghanistan.

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Yes, I’ve got it. As the Navy boys would put it, I have “memorized the gouge.”

    I am not necessarily suggesting that we adopt Edward Luttwak’s approach for the population. No, I am making another observation entirely, one that points away from the population.

    I am observing (or in this case forecasting) that the lack of effort to win hearts and minds on the part of the Taliban, while probably counterproductive, won’t effect the results in the end. If it did, this would have already happened, a point also made by Bing West after his most recent embed to Afghanistan.

    I am suggesting that there is something more important, and that is, having the initiative and force projection. By tightly restricting the ROE, by spending ourselves blind trying to rebuild the country, by trying so hard to understand the human terrain, we are targeting only secondary and tertiary issues.

    The population will side with the winner. It’s that simple. They will not pick a loser, no matter how much they might like him. Picking losers gets them killed in the long run. We may care about our population-centric counterinsurgency doctrine, but the Afghanis don’t.

  • http://biophilic.blogspot.com burkbraun

    Yes, I agree- your point about winning is very apt & true.

    But where does that insight lead? It leads to the home front, not the Afghan front. Killing civilians there is not going to win the war any faster, as it turns civilians into terrorists. The reverse behavior bleeds fighters away from the Taliban.

    The issue is here at home, making sure we maintain the will to persevere for the decade it is going to take to set the stable course in Afghanistan, given wiser policy. Look at Iraq and the success there. The opposition was less organized, with fewer safe havens, than in Afghanistan, so was easier to kill and out-wait, but the principles are the same- any chance of leaving depends on a secure and functioning civilian system that it appears to be our job to foster.

    Also, the Afghans have been through so much and are so justifiedly skittish that we have to move heaven and earth to make up lost ground for their overall stability. At least we don’t have the same record of brutality that the Soviets did, which would make the project entirely hopeless.

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    In order to make the point once again, I can only refer you to my most recent featured article.

    http://www.captainsjournal.com/2010/07/19/good-counterinsurgency-bad-counterinsurgency-and-tribes/

    In contrasts your presuppositions (pop-centric COIN) with what we did in Iraq. My opinion: I think you should be a little more skeptical before buying so completely into the Kilcullen/Nagl/FM 3-24 dogma.

    In Iraq we made it extremely dangerous to be an insurgent OR to be affiliated with or even anywhere near insurgents.

    http://www.captainsjournal.com/2007/06/30/recon-by-fire/

    Rather than creating more insurgents, this squashed the insurgency. The FM 3-24 dogma was wrong in Anbar, and the Marines did their own thing.

  • Mike Walters

    There was a recent article which documented the withdraw of Dutch troops from Afghanistan despite ISAF’s request that they stay:

    Link: http://news.xin.msn.com/en/world/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4250450

    This is a worrisome trend. it is expected that other NATO/Coalition forces will follow suit.

    The Taliban are nothing if not patient. They know that all theyhave to do is wait long enough, and the West will weary of the war, weary of further casualties, and eventually the civilian population will demand that the troops be brought home. This is where we will lose the war in Afghanistan. We will lose if the Coalition, and America in particular, fails in their resolve to contine the fight.

    At the end of World War II we left large numbers of troops both in Europe, and Japan. This is THE reason that these areas of the world are productive democracies today. If we pull out too soon, and it seems that this is inevitable, Afghanistan will again be thrown into civil war, the taliban (or another repressive regime) will ultimately gain control, and this region will again become a haven for terrorists.


You are currently reading "Mullah Omar Orders Attacks on Civilians", entry #5292 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Counterinsurgency and was published July 29th, 2010 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (677)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (31)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (7)
Ammunition (22)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (67)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (43)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (26)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (50)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (17)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (5)
Body Armor (17)
Books (2)
Border War (7)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (27)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (2)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (8)
CIA (12)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (215)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (122)
Department of Homeland Security (13)
Disaster Preparedness (2)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (6)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (3)
Featured (176)
Federal Firearms Laws (17)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (457)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (40)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (403)
Guns (944)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (7)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (13)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (45)
India (10)
Infantry (3)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (22)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (378)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (38)
Islamists (60)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (2)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (2)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (49)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (240)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (23)
Memorial Day (2)
Mexican Cartels (23)
Mexico (30)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (3)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (3)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (14)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (17)
NATO (15)
Navy (21)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (1)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (53)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (216)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (31)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Police (205)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (240)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (106)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (74)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (28)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (159)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (24)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (17)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (2)
Survival (12)
SWAT Raids (53)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (1)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (92)
Thanksgiving (5)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (13)
TSA Ineptitude (11)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (13)
U.S. Sovereignty (14)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (42)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (210)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (3)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (57)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (17)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2016 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.