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Thread: US Soldier captured in Afghanistan

  1. #1
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    Default US Soldier captured in Afghanistan

    via Fox News...

    KABUL Insurgents have captured an American soldier in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Thursday. Spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias said the soldier went missing Tuesday.
    "We are using all of our resources to find him and provide for his safe return," Mathias said.

    More info at the link...

    Is this a first? And what are the prospects of this ending better than similar situations in Iraq?

  2. #2
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    Bad news. A lot depends on who captured him.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Armchair comment

    Based on a BBC comment I suspect the first to be captured: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8130476.stm

    I recall reading a linked report on fighting in the Korengal Valley, to Taliban attempts to drag away wounded soldiers.

    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Brandon Friedman's Avatar
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    Wow. The Taliban claim to have him:

    An American soldier has been captured by insurgents in Afghanistan, the first to be taken prisoner since the US-led invasion of 2001.

    The US military refused to confirm details but a commander of the Taleban's hardline Haqqani faction said that his men had captured the soldier in the southeastern Paktika province, which borders Pakistan.

    “One of our commanders named Mawlawi Sangin has captured a coalition soldier along with his three Afghan guards in Yousuf Khail district of Paktika province,” the commander, named only Bahram, told the AFP news agency.

  5. #5
    Council Member Brandon Friedman's Avatar
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    On CNN, Barbara Starr just suggested the possibility that they'll transport him to Pakistan.

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    So, the question now is what do they do with him?
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Council Member IntelTrooper's Avatar
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    Something isn't adding up here... he just happened to wander off the FOB and there happened to be enough Taliban hanging around to capture him and the three guards? This reminds of me when that Marine disappeared and then reappeared in another country in perfect condition...
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
    -- Ken White


    "With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

    "We are unlikely to usefully replicate the insights those unencumbered by a military staff college education might actually have." -- William F. Owen

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    Council Member Brandon Friedman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IntelTrooper View Post
    Something isn't adding up here... he just happened to wander off the FOB and there happened to be enough Taliban hanging around to capture him and the three guards? This reminds of me when that Marine disappeared and then reappeared in another country in perfect condition...
    Exactly. I can think up a few potential scenarios here of what happened, but they'd all amount to nothing but inappropriate speculation at this point. What I think is clear is that this is not a case of a soldier being captured despite doing everything he was supposed to be doing.

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    Default How do you know...

    How does a person tell if a US soldier hasn't been captured and the enemy is bluffing? What does our military do if a soldier really is captured?

  10. #10
    Council Member IntelTrooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamiyugikun View Post
    How does a person tell if a US soldier hasn't been captured and the enemy is bluffing? What does our military do if a soldier really is captured?
    I imagine he would miss guard mount or some other activity, then his team and squad leader would conduct a search of the base, followed (probably) by 100% accountability formations, followed by the First Sergeant screaming at everyone, then the Company alerting the Battalion, etc. etc.
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
    -- Ken White


    "With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

    "We are unlikely to usefully replicate the insights those unencumbered by a military staff college education might actually have." -- William F. Owen

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    Default CNN has a different take

    Even curiouser and curiouser.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapc...ier/index.html

    Did I goof again?

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    Council Member IntelTrooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Eagle View Post
    Even curiouser and curiouser.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapc...ier/index.html

    Did I goof again?
    This sounds more plausible... though I think his Afghan friends may be receiving a cut of whatever money is getting passed around.
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
    -- Ken White


    "With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

    "We are unlikely to usefully replicate the insights those unencumbered by a military staff college education might actually have." -- William F. Owen

  13. #13
    Council Member Brandon Friedman's Avatar
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    Default Threatening Afghan civilians is probably a bad idea

    Some of you might have seen this story from CBS yesterday about how the U.S. is delivering threatening leaflets in Afghanistan to coerce the release of the captured American soldier:

    At least two Afghan villages have been blanketed with leaflets warning that if an American soldier kidnapped by the Taliban two weeks ago isn't freed, "you will be targeted."

    Villagers near the border of two volatile provinces, Ghazni and Paktika, tell CBS News' Sami Yousafzai that aircraft dropped the leaflets during the past several days.

    Military spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias confirmed that the leaflets were produced at Bagram Air Base, the primary U.S. installation in Afghanistan, and distributed in the region. She told CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark, however, that they were distributed by hand, not aircraft.

    The papers show on one side an image of a soldier with his head bowed so that his face is not visible (above). A message in the local Pashtun language over the image says, "If you do not free the American soldier, then..."

    On the other side, an image shows Western troops breaking into a house. The rest of the message is printed across the photo: "...you will be targeted".
    The leaflets literally show a soldier kicking in a door, and the significance isn't lost on CBS:

    While American military and intelligence services have dropped leaflets on Afghanistan for years, most of them have clearly targeted militants -- frequently carrying photos or caricatures of Taliban leaders.

    The new leaflet represents a broader, direct warning to local people in the region where the U.S. soldier was seized.
    I think this is a clumsy and ham-handed way to go about doing things that ultimately won't work (and will likely do more harm than good). Earlier today, I offered the reasons why I think that. Instead of taking up space re-printing the entire thing here, however, I'm interested to see what everyone else thinks of this technique.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-17-2009 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Posting moved to this dormant thread; last post is IOops and more.

  14. #14
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Step backwards?

    Brandon,

    A bizarre tactic IMHO and how are the locals supposed to help the coalition locate the captured soldier? Where is the appeal to the pashtun code of honour and a reward?

    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Saw that. Said to myself, 'that is REALLY stupid...'

    and moved on. Thought it bad enough that I couldn't bring myself to post it here. Agree it's far more likely to do harm than good.

    I'd like to report I'm always shocked when we do something dumb but I do try to be honest here...

    David's point is very appropriate; the leaflet sort of makes a mockery of 'knowing the culture.' Hopefully, the PsyOps people and the IO guys were not involved. David was quite polite, calling it "bizarre." True, it is that, however, I'm inclined to stick with my "stupid."

  16. #16
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
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    Default Let it work it's way out.

    Too many knowns. The media needs to shut up and shut down as the did with their yellow journalist NYT captive until he escaped.

    We, too, need to be quiet about unknowns.

    Let it work it's way out.

  17. #17
    Council Member Brandon Friedman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George L. Singleton View Post
    Too many knowns. The media needs to shut up and shut down as the did with their yellow journalist NYT captive until he escaped.

    We, too, need to be quiet about unknowns.

    Let it work it's way out.
    This is not one of those situations. In context or out of context, this is clearly stupid and dangerous. It's something COL Steele would've done. And I'm glad I know about it.

  18. #18
    Council Member Greyhawk's Avatar
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    Default Hmmm...

    You have knowledge others lack, and thus higher confidence. No argument - I think that's a fine point with which to close the discussion.

  19. #19
    Council Member Brandon Friedman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greyhawk View Post
    You have knowledge others lack, and thus higher confidence. No argument - I think that's a fine point with which to close the discussion.
    Not quite sure what you're saying. You eager to close the discussion?

  20. #20
    Council Member Greyhawk's Avatar
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    Default I look forward to the resolution of the situation

    ...and hope it is "positive". I wouldn't presume to declare a discussion closed. But the leaflets represent the tip of an iceberg of effort that I personally haven't seen.

    I'm confident enough that I don't know enough to discuss because I have been peripherally involved in similar efforts. Sometimes things don't make sense in isolation - even (or especially) when compared to other knowns. I concur with George re: unknowns.

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