"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tag Ab : The Taliban's gateway to Kabul

Combined Joint Task Force 101 made this announcement on Sunday

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (April 27, 2008) – Coalition forces engaged Anti-Afghan forces in the Tag Ab District of Kapisa province, Saturday, resulting in the death of several AAF militants.

Coalition forces conducted a search of several compounds in the Tag Ab District in an effort to disrupt AAF IED activities. Coalition forces’ search also targeted a Taliban militant known to have facilitated both Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device attacks and attacks against Afghan government and Coalition forces by foreign fighters.

The targeted Taliban militant was believed to be planning operations to disrupt the Afghan National Independence Day celebrations and is believed to be among the dead.

During their search, an unknown number of AAF engaged Coalition forces with small-arms fire from several buildings. Coalition forces responded to the AAF attack with small-arms fire, artillery and close-air support. During the battle, Afghan National Security Forces and additional Coalition forces provided reinforcements.

A day after this raid , six (?) Taliban snipers opened fire on the Mujahidin Victory parade in Kabul as hundreds of journalists, dignitaries, and government officials gathered to observe the national holiday and President Karzai.

Four people, including a Member of Parliament from Paktia province and a ten-year old boy, were killed in the attack. Three of the Taliban attackers were shot dead by police and the remaining three were arrested.

The attack is believed to have been carried out by the Haqqani Network, a terrorist organization led by insurgent commander Sirajuddin Haqqani, who outsourced logistical needs from local gunmen loyal to fugitive commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

The Taliban’s ability to attack a ceremony amid heightened security in the heart of Kabul while scores of VIP’s attended served as a major propaganda coup for the Taliban who previously claimed they can launch an attack anywhere in Afghanistan at a time of their choosing. The preceding raid in Kapisa may also be significant, indicating the Taliban’s reliance on the Tag Ab Valley as the key staging ground for attacks against targets in Kabul and Bagram.

Today abc news reports that Amrullah Saleh the Afghan Intelligence chief told Parliament that Karzai was warned of an attack 3 weeks ago.

Coalition forces and their Afghan counterparts, are targeting Tag Ab Valley but there is little evidence that the Taliban will move anytime soon. Further Commando operations are planned and other security initiatives continue to play out in the area. In the latest operation, one Coalition soldier was killed and another seriously wounded after insurgents ambushed their patrol in the Tag Ab district on April 29.

Just last month, insurgents nearly assassinated the newly appointed governor of Kapisa during a remote-control bomb attack against his convoy. Governor Ghulam Ghaus Abu Bakar was going to Alasayee to introduce newly-appointed district chief Abdul Momin Muslim to local administration officials. No one was injured in the attack.

The brazen attack which struck the governor’s security convoy provided by Coalition forces highlights the freedom of movement Taliban enjoy throughout the district.

At the White House today President George Bush the battle as "an ideological struggle" that can be won by advancing democracy.

"We're dealing with a group of ideologues who use asymmetrical warfare - that means killing innocent people - to try to achieve their objectives," he said.

"And one objective is to drive us out of Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East or anywhere else where we try to confront them," Mr Bush said.

"And so, yes, I mean, look, is it tough? Yes, it's tough. Is it difficult? Absolutely. Is it worth the fight? In my judgment, yes, it is."

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