June 30, 2011

At the hotel attack in Kabul, the Afghan police were seen "tightly gripping their own AK-47s as they raced away from the gunmen."

A hotel guest recalls:
“I said, ‘Why don’t you shoot? Shoot!'... But they just said, ‘Get away from them.’ And we all ran together.”

Six hours later, at least 21 people were dead, including the nine suicide bombers who managed to penetrate several rings of security on Tuesday night to carry out the attack. The assault has shaken public confidence in the ability of Afghan forces, especially the police, to assume responsibility for security, even here in the capital...

“We talk about the transition to Afghan security, but the Afghan forces are not ready to take over their security and their country,” said Maulavi Mohammadullah Rusgi, chairman of the Takhar provincial council in northern Afghanistan, who was having dinner at the hotel with friends when the attack commenced. Three of his friends were killed.

“The security forces cannot even protect a few people inside the hotel,” he said. “How can they protect the whole country?”
Not ready? It sounds like those police were not willing.
[F]or the hotel guests, many of whom jumped over the perimeter walls, plunged into irrigation ditches or cowered in closets to escape the attackers, the police response was not only slow, but also cowardly. Several witnesses said police officers ran away or refused to shoot.
Cowardly? Or on the other side?

53 comments:

X said...

are they being trained by the Columbine PD?

G Joubert said...

Maybe it's time to cut our losses and get out. Ten years is enough. We aren't going to prosecute this war the way it needs to be to win it --either because we won't or can't, doesn't really matter which-- so let's just get out.

The Drill SGT said...

Likely cowardly.

For better or worse, our recreation of security forces in both Iraq and A-Stan has involved breaking down clan ties in both. However, Clan is everything in A-stan, so....

soldiers do not fight for God, mother and apple pie. They fight for the respect of their squadies. integrate 10 guys from all over a-stan in a squad and why should any of them potentially die to impress the other 9. in a clan based system, shame is a big factor. Look like a coward among men who are at least distant cousins and get gets back rapidly to the Clan boss, and your women folk. Your family will be shamed long term...

as for being pro-Taliban? Well Karzai is corrupt, and the Americans clearly have declared tat they have lost and are pulling out. Didn't you see Hussein Al-bama on TV last week? If they are going to cut and run, then we better start cutting our own deals. 10,000 Afghani's for being on the wrong side of the Hotel each morning at 0900? the alternative being my eldest son gets his head cut off? sure... I can guard the other side just as well...

Jeff said...

It sounds like the police reaction during the Mumbai terror attacks back in 2008.

Scott M said...

soldiers do not fight for God, mother and apple pie.

I fought for my mother's blueberry cobbler, but also for the guys in my squadron. Probably the squadron first, but, damn! That blueberry cobbler is good enough to make you want to smack your grandma.

EDH said...

Six hours later, at least 21 people were dead, including the nine suicide bombers...

Not exactly a high kill ratio.

Shouting Thomas said...

Get out. Get out now.

Don't kill one more American kid.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Cowardly? Or on the other side?..."

Both.

dbp said...

"Cowardly? Or on the other side?"

Make cowardice in the face of the enemy a capital offense and it won't matter which reason motivates them to neglect their duty.

The Drill SGT said...

Ultimately our nation building in A-stan will fail because A-stan is not a nation, but rather a collection of tribes mired in the 19th century...

pulling out is going to get dicey at the end. There won't be a 7th fleet off the coast to land helo's on.

I suspect that the Russians are going to get a lot of satisfaction from seeing that last American convoy pay those road tolls as it pulls into Uzbekistan across the
Freedom Bridge :)


I wonder what the Marines left at the Embassy are going to be thinking that day.

Cato Renasci said...

At some point, we have to simply look at Afghanistan, and Pakistan as well, as beyond redemption. They're strategically located, which means we need to prevent anyone from using them against our interests anywhere, but that's about it.

Create a cordon sanitaire around them and let them stew in their own medieval juice.

Fred4Pres said...

I suspect mostly cowardly with a few actively on the other side.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...A-stan is not a nation, but rather a collection of tribes mired in the 19th century..."

Heck, I think if they could get a working 19th century society working, it would be nothing short of miraculous.

When the population of a nation still identifies along tribal lines, you can pretty much assume its a shithole.

The Drill SGT said...

Butcher and Bolt was the term that the Brits used for their Afghan Management Policy. O'bama seems a 21st century Elphinstone...

Anybody who thinks our withdrawal will be easy should read about the Massacre of Elphinstone's Army fleeing Kabul in 1842.

After the British and Indian troops captured Kabul in 1839, an Afghan uprising forced the occupying garrison out of the city. The East India Company army of 4,500 troops, along with 12,000 working personnel or camp-followers, left Kabul on 6 January 1842. They attempted to reach the British garrison at Jalalabad, 90 miles (140 km) away, but were immediately harassed by Afghan forces. The last organised remnants were eventually annihilated near Gandamak

One Officer survived the 90 mile retreat...Some say he was allowed to escape to send the proper message...

The Drill SGT said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
Heck, I think if they could get a working 19th century society working,


Their 19th Century, when they first got British rifles, not the 19th century of Disraeli and Lincoln...

Sixty Grit said...

But this is the "good" war - Obama said so! Maybe he really is a dick, Dick Nixon.

WV: outdumbo -seriously - what is up with this thing?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Anybody who thinks our withdrawal will be easy should read about the Massacre of Elphinstone's Army fleeing Kabul in 1842...."

I've read it and while I don't dispute it will be all butterflies and daffodils, I question whether they could pull off anything close to that on withdrawing NATO forces (ok maybe the Germans).

William said...

The Afghan government and its security forces are no great shakes. They are, however, a substantial improvement over the Taliban. I don't know if this is such a great victory for the Taliban. All the attackers died, and all they accomplished was the murder of twelve hotel guests.....This could be portrayed as an example of the Taliban's propensity towards wanton slaughter, and the security forces ability to regroup after an initial shock. It won't be, but it could be......I remember the press criticism of the Lon Nol government in Cambodia. What could possibly be worse than that collection of corrupt crooks? And don't get me started on those incompetent jerks in the Weimar Republic.

Hagar said...

9 suicide bombers killing 12 victims do not equate to a very successful operation for the Taliban and does not match to the tone of the article.

Professor, you need to keep the little gray cells working when reading The New York Times!

The Drill SGT said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
I've read it and while I don't dispute it will be all butterflies and daffodils, I question whether they could pull off anything close


Sorry, I was not trying to imply we were going to be slaughtered in the snow, just pointing out that others, the Brits and the Russians had fled with their tails between their legs from Kabul and we'd soon be following....

as for losses, no, our combat forces will get out. But at some point, the regime is going to change for the worse and the impact on our current local allies will be adverse to say the least...

I know you remember the shots of the Siagon Embassy roof in 1975... well that was a 40 mile helo trip to the carriers... There are no carriers.. What will our Embassy staff do, march off into Taliban custody based on their diplomatic protections?

color me concerned...

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...color me concerned..."

Oh I don't disagree there. Honestly I believe we're nine years overdue to leave and should have been gone after Tora Bora.

Unfortunately Bush and company fell into the touchy feely world of let's try and uplift these poor people. Fact is they don't want uplifting and overall don't seem to have much adversity to the Tollybon. Insurgencies can't live without local support so the locals are either supportive or indifferent so either way they deserve whatever happens to them after our departure.

Too bad it couldn't be a 9.0 earthquake with a tsunami chaser.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...9 suicide bombers killing 12 victims do not equate to a very successful operation for the Taliban and does not match to the tone of the article..."

It was successful in the sense they should have.never made it past the front door.

Lem said...

I was getting this message since last night and this morning.

This error (HTTP 400 Bad Request) means that Internet Explorer was able to connect to the web server, but the webpage could not be found because of a problem with the address.

For more information about HTTP errors, see Help
.

Very frustrating.

edutcher said...

One thing to keep in mind here is that Little Zero has done all he could to lose A-stan. He refused to see his hand-picked commander, McChrystal, for 9 months and cut his troop list in half.

Another is that, with time, these things have been changed elsewhere. In 1950, the ROK troops were regarded with contempt by their American counterparts. By the time they went to 'Nam in the middle 60s, the reaction of most Americans was, "I'm glad they're on our side".

It might be nice to see what happens if we have a pro-American CIC, for a change.

The last time we bailed, it took a long time to recover from it. In fact, we're still trying. But maybe that's Zero's objective here - another humiliating Saigon-style rout.

He is a small c communist, after all.

The Drill SGT said...

But maybe that's Zero's objective here - another humiliating Saigon-style rout.

But not until it's the next guys fault...That is why we're going to run, but in slooow motion running out the clock.

pictures of Helo's and Embassy staff kneeling to meet the chopper afre not going to get hung in the O'bama Presidential Library as the "Legacy"

ndspinelli said...

Those weren't Afghans running away in fear, they were French mercenaries.

Oligonicella said...

Even in an equally armed gun fight, if you're enemy is the Taliban and they are getting closer, some of them might be rigged to explode. Getting the hell away from them seems prudent.

nevadabob said...

"Several witnesses said police officers ran away or refused to shoot."

I have traveled to many Muslim-dominated countries and it's been plainly evident to me that many multinational 5-star hotels do not trust their Muslim security officers.

So they don't provide them with ammunition.

Yes, they carry AK-47s. But it's only security theatre.

Those guns are not loaded.

So, of course, they can't shoot.

First rule of hotel security: don't give Muslims ammo and guns or they'll shoot up your hotel.

Scott M said...

Yes, they carry AK-47s. But it's only security theatre.

That's just insane enough to be true.

Phil 3:14 said...

But Mr. Karzai looks so dignified in a "democratically elected leader of a proud independent Afghan nation based on an ancient civilization" sort of way. Those outfits are way cool!

Surely that's worth something.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Another is that, with time, these things have been changed elsewhere...."

Other than getting automatic weapons, I don't think much has changed in that hellhole since Alexander.

Methadras said...

Find Mullah Omar. Kill him, then leave. Leave that giant shithole for the other sub-humans to fuck it up even more. Come back victorious, give our guys some much needed rest and plan for larger fish like China and Iran.

The Drill SGT said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
Other than getting automatic weapons, I don't think much has changed in that hellhole since Alexander.


Funny, the elders think marksmanship really sucks since the kids traded in grandpapy's Lee Enfield for that POS AK47 and the locals adopted the "spray and pray" style of aimed fire.

seriously, marksmanship used to be a hugely valued tradition. Bullets were expensive, so kids spent a lot of time dry-firing, listening to their elders. locals used to pitch in and buy a goat, stake it out 300 yards away, then draw lots for the firing order. first guy to put it down, got meat in the pot that night...

Hagar said...

The Afghans are trying to figure out who are going to be there next year and the years after. To them this should look like a largely botched operation on the Taliban's part, so it is a slight plus for our side.

And the problem is not Afghanistan, but Iran, with whom we would rather not have to fight a "real" war, but we will probably have to if the shadow fighting fails to contain them and there is no regime change in that country.

Skyler said...

Afghan National Police and Army are only brave when they're pointing guns at Americans who are too disciplined to ventilate them for their behavior. If they were to point their guns at terrorists, one of them might shoot back, and that might be scary.

They are a people not worth dog doo. I had thought they attacked us and needed to be punished, but instead we arm them, pay them off and let them point guns at our Marines.

Anyone who has met the ANP or the ANA would not be surprised by this result.

Skyler said...

Drill Sgt, your history of Afghanistan is misleading.

The massacre out of Kabul was just one battle, resulting from a doddering idiot as a commander refusing to fight and abandoning the fort.

The British came back later and were quite masterful in taking over for quite some time. Afghanistan is not unconquerable, it just has nothing in it to make it worth the effort.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Funny, the elders think marksmanship really sucks since the kids traded in grandpapy's Lee Enfield for that POS AK47 and the locals adopted the "spray and pray" style of aimed fire..."

Makes sense although my comment about much not changing was along the lines of societal evolution rather than their proficiency with modern weaponry.

I have little doubt that in Stardate 2789.4, the Afghans will still be tribal barbarians only armed with phasers.

The Drill SGT said...

Skyler said...The British came back later and were quite masterful in taking over for quite some time. Afghanistan is not unconquerable,

I know the history.

You are correct that they came back and were successful for a period, using some tactics that we would have no stomache for.

I will take a nit. A-stan is ungovernable, because I don't think the people there think of themselves that way. You know, but others likely don't that there is no Afghan language. The 2 official languages are Pashtun (one of the tribal tongues) and Dari (a persian variant).

My point being, the chunk of land we call A-stan is inhabited by Pashtuns and a slightly larger number of other peoples (from a large group of ethnic backgrounds). There are no Afghans per se.

The Brits were successful at ruling because they ignored the concept of A-stan. They succeeded by pitting tribe against tribe, clan against clan, by favor, by bribe, by threat, and by the torch...

That doesn't mean its a country

Skyler said...

"You are correct that they came back and were successful for a period, using some tactics that we would have no stomache for."

And that is the entire problem.

Cedarford said...

"edutcher said...
One thing to keep in mind here is that Little Zero has done all he could to lose A-stan. He refused to see his hand-picked commander, McChrystal, for 9 months and cut his troop list in half."

====================
Another time I am grateful that neocon dimbulb John McCain was not elected.
"The military said they need 300,000 more men and 200 billion a year to best help the noble Afghanis. We owe it to the generals to give them what they want, what our Dear Friends the noble Afghans need to become a stable, happy, prosperous Democracy."
Assuming McCain had any troops left tosend there after he started his war to "liberate Iran" and help "it's noble people" while "safeguarding our Special Friend Israel from danger."

Even in Republican ranks, a growing awareness exists that Bush made a horrible strategic mistake getting into two nation-building wars that will cost us 4 trillion owed to China when all is said and done. From listening to the Neocons. That Obama, Like Nixon(!) over LBJ's big blunder, has to clean up. Unfortunately Obama is neither as smart or competent as Nixon.

Meanwhile while Ron Paul is typically isolationist, the message of the aspiring candidates is that Neoconism and the ideas of John McCain are both discredited.

Romney, Huntsman, Bachmann all say the US has limited resources and no business fighting other peoples Revolutionary Wars for Freedom when they themselves are unwilling.

PatCA said...

I totally agree with your assessment: cowardly and on the other side.

Training has nothing to do with it.

KenK said...

Nations build themselves organically. Screw the neo-cons. Get the US the fuck out now.

John Lynch said...

Natural human reaction. Almost no one wants to fight to the death. You have to train people to do it.

That didn't happen.

See Mumbai and Columbine and VT for the same thing happening.

Remember, the terrorists chose to be at a mass murder. The police did not. Mentally, one side was prepared.

ds5929 said...

It was a backward tribal shithole before the Brits came.
It was a backward tribal shithole after the Brits left.
It was a backward tribal shithole before the Soviets came.
It was a backward tribal shithole after the Soviets left.
It was a backward tribal shithole before the Americans came.
Kinda a pattern here, don't ya think??

Cato's got it right. Quarantine the whole f***ing place and be done with it.

David said...

"Cowardly? Or on the other side?"

Or perhaps not on either side. Do they care who wins? Are they at all interested in risking their lives to save some white Euro-American hotel guests? Do Afgans have actual principles, in the sense that we mean the term? Or are they just interested in survival and getting along as best they can?

Having asked these questions, I return to the conclusion that they are cowardly. They do not need to have a position on the Taliban or AQ in order to perform their duty of protecting the hotel guests. It's not a question of sides. If not physical cowards, they are moral cowards. They took the rewards of a job without being willing to assume its responsibilities.

Or perhaps, since they know the Americans will be gone in two years, they have just concluded to risk nothing for Americans and their Nato allies. Realpolitic on a micro, individual scale.

traditionalguy said...

There is nothing worth winning in the Afghan theater...but we must fight to the last man ...Why? Do we just want to punish the Military guys?

John Lynch said...

People are down on Afghans because we haven't won yet. The same things were said about Iraq. In every war our allies vary in quality.

Winning matters, not excuses.

I'm extremely skeptical of the war in Afghanistan, but I don't think that blaming ordinary Afghans is productive.

If we want to win, then let's do what we need to do to win. If we aren't going to win then let's leave now.

Blaming Afghans is displacement.

PatCA said...

That's a good point, John Lynch. Of course the Afghans will not step up, because although we are still there we are not really committed to being there and winning against the Taliban.

Maybe if we left, the Afghans would decide once and for all which side they want to be on.

Cedarford said...

Lynch - What I see is that men are willing to die for the Taliban and their cause, while no one seems willing to die for Karzai and the Government of Freedom Lovers!

No training will fix what isn't in their hearts to start with.

The only reason they are in uniform is the hope that they get 20 cents out of each dollar the US gives Karzai and his henchmen to pay the Afghan police and Army.

The American dollar payroll goes, Bush's "Hero Freedom Lovers" of the Afghan Army and Police will collapse in short order.

(And no, Neocons, that all but telegraphed collapse is not a reason to do another 20 years of nation building and lost treasure and Americans bleeding out on heroic combat ops. When Bush's noble Afghan heroes won't lift a finger to do themselves..Nor can the US bleed off more trillions and gladly take tens of thousands of wrecked soldiers to nation build some 80 unstable countries, lest they become a sanctuary for terrorists. )

We have to consider with America's decay under free trade and globalism - if 200 billion invested in rebuilding America is better than 200 billion spent helping noble Muslims so they won't harbor "Evildoers".

KenK said...

Too bad they didn't hire Xe Services LLC instead of these losers.

Michael said...

The identical problem occured during the Taj hotel disaster in Mumbai. The police did not use the guns in their hands. They were afraid.

murgatroyd666 said...

Cowardly? Or on the other side?

Allah looks with favor upon Muslims who strike against the kuffār. Allah condemns Muslims who kill other Muslims.

Why would you expect the police to act differently than they did?

ZorroPrimo said...

I used to work in Saudi Arabia. It is quite common to see Saudi firefighters standing outside of a burning building...not going inside.

There's smoke and fire inside. Can you blame them?