By Mir Bahmanyar
Following the Soviet invasion in 1979, the Mujahideen defenders of Afghanistan built and strengthened many ordinary cave platforms to exploit as provide bases and shielding positions. The Taliban and Al Qaeda additional reinforced those positions within the Nineteen Nineties. Following the occasions of September eleven, 2001, those cave platforms have once again come to prominence and websites akin to Tora Bora and Zhawar Kili have featured in information headlines all over the world. This identify offers an research of those caves and underground structures, and discusses the U.S.-led Coalition's tactical method of dislodging the enemy from those fortified positions.
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Additional resources for Afghanistan Cave Complexes 1979-2004: Mountain strongholds of the Mujahideen, Taliban & Al Qaeda (Fortress, Volume 26)
The Mujahideen held a field tribunal and tried and executed the colonel of the Commando Brigade and another colonel who landed with the brigade to adjust artillery fire. There were 78 other officers among the prisoners. They were given a chance to confess to their crimes from different battles and then all were executed. All the soldiers were given amnesty since they were conscripts who were forced to fight. The amnestied soldiers were asked to perform two years of labor service in exchange for the amnesty.
The presence of a tunnel complex within or near an area of operations poses a continuing threat to all personnel in the area. qxd 11/3/09 12:35 Page 32 Team clearing a long tunnel, throwing a three-pronged device to trigger any booby traps. Cave-clearing techniques must be executed properly and require a great deal of trust in your teammates. Even though Coalition forces regularly use airpower to destroy caves, “boots on the ground” are required to assess the damage and root out any intact enemy force.
Qxd 11/3/09 12:36 Page 43 Bunker/pillbox One of the most difficult obstacles for an invading army to overcome in mountainous terrain are bunkers. Although simple in design they tend to be relatively well camouflaged and resistant to small-arms fire. Airpower has been the answer for Soviet troops as well as Coalition units in their campaigns to root out guerrillas from 1979 to 2004. In certain areas of Afghanistan a series of bunkers and caves cut into the side of mountains can prove deadly to aircraft due to the well-planned interconnecting fields of fire.