On 12 January 2008, after tracking his movements for 24 hours, the
coalition established that he was holding a large meeting with other
men in a compound in Pashkari and sent planes which dropped six 500lb
bombs and followed up with five strafing runs to shoot those fleeing
■ 10 March: A Taliban attack in the western province of Farah kills 24
Again, the lethal attack caused political problems. The provincial
governor arranged compensation and held a shura with local leaders
when, according to an internal US report, “he pressed the Talking
Points given to him and added a few of his own that followed in line
with our current story”. Libi remained targeted for death and was
killed in Pakistan seven months later by a missile from an unmanned
2【|ˈvi:əmənt| ① (ADJ-GRADED) 激情的;激烈的;暴烈的 If a person or their actions or comments are vehement, the person has very strong feelings or opinions and expresses them forcefully.】
a vehement denial/attack/protest, etc. 强烈的否认、攻击、抗议等
Children were standing in line with their parents waiting to register
when the bomb went off on Sunday morning.
The multibillionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is the latest
high-profile figure to be released in Saudi Arabia after a major
anti-corruption drive was launched in November. He is reported to have
been freed this morning from detention in a luxury hotel in Riyadh. With
more details, here is our Middle East analyst Sebastian Usher. In hot
cash terms【流动资金上看】, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal has been the
biggest catch of all in the Saudi purge with an extraodinary array of
business interests across the world. He is estimated to be worth some 17
billion dollars. He denied any charge has been made against him and
expressed his total support forthe efforts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman towards a new Saudi Arabia. He 【2】vehemently dismissed a
report, but he had been asked to hand over six billion dollars as the
price ofhis release as well as rumors that he been tortured.
Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies,
an author of many critical reports on the conduct of the war, says that
too little of the training takes place with forward combat units, where
it would be of most use. Close air support, which was vital for NATO,
has dwindled. In 2011 nearly 35,000 combat sorties were flown; in the
first ten months of 2016 that had fallen to 4,500. The number of
missions to evacuate casualties has dropped from nearly 3,000 in 2011 to
The dead include 21 women and five children, killed when the blast hit
the queue outside. A further 119 people were injured.
It made no mention at all of Libi, nor of the failure of the mission
(although that was revealed later by NBC News in the United States).
Crucially, it failed to record that TF 373 had fired five rockets,
destroying the madrasa and other buildings and killing seven children,
before anybody had fired on them – that this looked like a mission to
kill and not to capture. Indeed, this was clearly deliberately
It maybe America’s longest war, but during his election campaign Donald
Trump barely mentioned Afghanistan. When he did, it was somewhat
baffling: at one point, he said that America could not pull all its
troops out because neighbouring Pakistan had nuclear weapons. As the
insurgents of the Taliban prepare for a spring offensive against the
American-backed government, there is still no indication of what the new
administration’s approach will be.
Voter registration began this month for legislative elections which are
due to take place in October.
The log refers to an unnamed “elder” who is said to have “stated that
the children were held against their will” but, against that, there is
no suggestion that there were any Taliban in the madrasa where the
The Islamic State group (IS) said it had carried out the attack.
On balance, that seems unlikely. An administration that sees countering
“radical Islamic extremism” as its overriding strategic priority would
find it hard to justify leaving Afghanistan to its fate. The defence
secretary, Jim Mattis, is reviewing plans “for a path forward”. He and
the national security adviser, General H.R. McMaster, both served in
Afghanistan. Their instinct will be to recommend that Mr Trump set a
bolder objective than Mr Obama was willing to endorse and refrain from
setting timetables that ignore military reality.
宝马娱乐：Donald Trump and Afghanistan A bitter stalemate苦涩的僵局。Minister: Afghan attacks want to spark uprising
The rest of the press release was certainly misleading. It suggested
that coalition forces had attacked the compound because of “nefarious
activity” there, when the reality was that they had gone there to kill
or capture Libi.
There were no immediate details of how the bomb was detonated by the
attacker but the force of the blast also destroyed cars.
A suicide bomb attack at a voter registration centre in the Afghan
capital Kabul has killed at least 57 people, officials say.
Numerous logs show Jpel targets being captured and transferred to a
special prison, known as Btif, the Bagram Theatre Internment Facility.
There is no indication of prisoners being charged or tried, and
previous press reports have suggested that men have been detained
there for years without any legal process in communal cages inside
vast old air hangars. As each target is captured, he is assigned a
serial number. By December 2009, this showed that a total of 4,288
prisoners, some aged as young as 16, had been held at Btif, with 757
still in custody.
The same channel, Reuters news agency reports, showed angry crowds
shouting “Death to the government!” and, before the IS claim of
responsibility, “Death to the Taliban!”
The report records that some 70 people ran to the compound and started
digging into the rubble, on which there were “pools of blood”, but
subsequent reports suggest that Baryal survived and continued to plan
rocket attacks and suicide bombings.
The military in Mali says at least 14 soldiers have been killed in an
attack in the northof the country. Nearly 20 others were injured. The
suspected Islamic militants overran a military base in Soumpi 100
kilometers southwest of Timbuktu. Islamic attacks have increased in
recent months. Earlier this week, 26 civilians were killed when their
vehicle hit a land mine【地雷】 in central Mali. World news from the
“They all wanted to vote,” he added.
This time, the political teams tried a far less conciliatory approach
with local people. In spite of discovering that the dead civilians
came from one family, one of whom had been found with his hands tied
behind his back, suggesting that the Taliban were unwelcome intruders
in their home, senior officials travelled to the stricken village
where they “stressed that the fault of the deaths of the innocent lies
on the villagers who did not resist the insurgents and their
anti-government activities … [and] chastised a villager who
condemned the compound shooting”. Nevertheless, an internal report
concluded that there was “little or no protest” over the incident.
The consequences have been dire. In testimony to the Senate Armed
Services Committee in February, the American commander in Afghanistan,
General John Nicholson, warned that current American troop levels are
inadequate to prevent the Taliban from continuing to retake territory,
especially in Helmand province, the heartland of the insurgency, and
Kunduz. SIGAR (the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan
Reconstruction, a post created by Congress) reckons that the proportion
of the country under uncontested government control fell during the 12
months to November 2016 from 72% to 57%, although about 64% of Afghans
still live in uncontested areas and only 8% in areas fully under the
Taliban’s control (see map).
■ 20 January: Taliban gunmen kill at least 22 people at a major Kabul
The Nato coalition in Afghanistan has been using an undisclosed
“black” unit of special forces, Task Force 373, to hunt down targets
for death or detention without trial. Details of more than 2,000
senior figures from the Taliban and al-Qaida are held on a “kill or
capture” list, known as Jpel, the joint prioritised effects list.
Hello, I’m Mary Marshall with the BBC News. The number of people killed
in the Taliban bomb attack in the Afghan capital Kabul has risen to 95.
A further 158 others were injured. The Red Cross in Afghanistan has
condemned the use of an ambulance to carry out an attack,saying it could
be illegal under International Humanitarian Law. Our South Asia editor
Joemy Giverin reports. The ambulance packed with explosives blew up
close to a fortified area of the city near a hospital, but also offices
used by the government, security forces and foreign missions. The street
was crowded and most of the dead were local civilians. It’s the Taliban
second major attack in Kabul in a week. The current 【1】surgent
violence comes as the US increases its support for Afghan forces,
including more air strikes on militant targets and made government
claims that it’s finally winning the war against the Taliban and other
■ 27 January: Taliban militants drive an ambulance laden with
explosives into a Kabul secure zone, killing at least 100
Another wounded man, who wept as he spoke from his hospital bed, told
local channel Ariana TV, “I don’t know where my daughters are. God damn
Other Jpel targets were traced and then bombed from the air. One,
codenamed Newcastle, was located with four other men on 26 November
- The house they were in was then hit with 500lb bombs. “No
identifiable features recovered,” the log records.
Why are voters being targeted?
What will Mr Trump do? In keeping with his mantra of “America first”, he
might conclude that Afghanistan is a hopeless case, with its divided,
dysfunctional government and a thriving insurgency that still draws
support from Pakistan, a supposed American ally. He could leave the
bickering regional powers—Pakistan, India, Iran, China and Russia—to
sort it out.
What happened on Sunday?
Barack Obama had tired of Afghanistan. What will his successor do?
Sunday’s attack was Kabul’s deadliest since at least 100 people were
killed in a district full of government buildings and embassies in
One of the leaked logs contains a summary of a conference call on 8
March 2008 when the then head of the Afghan National Directorate of
Security, Amrullah Saleh, tells senior American officers that three
named Taliban commanders in Kapisa province are “not reconcilable and
must be taken out”. The senior coalition officer “noted that there
would be a meeting with the Kapisa NDS to determine how to approach
Even then, Mr. Cordesman argues, Mr Trump will also have to pep up
Afghanistan’s political leaders. Corruption, as much as insecurity, has
stymied international efforts to revive Afghanistan’s sickly economy.
Without some progress on that front, no amount of external military
support will kill off the insurgency.
IS’s mouthpiece said a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt had
targeted the centre, which is in the Dashte Barchi area of western
Recent major attacks in Afghanistan
The pursuit of these “high value targets” is evidently embedded deep
in coalition tactics. The Jpel list assigns an individual serial
number to each of those targeted for kill or capture and by October
2009 this had reached 2,058.
Mr Obama further encouraged a resurgent Taliban by suggesting he wanted
to end even America’s modest training mission before leaving office.
However, faced with the possibility that the government might fall to
the insurgency if he exercised this so-called “zero option”, Mr Obama
relented, doing just enough to preserve what has become a miserable
- around me,” Rasuli, 26, recalled when he spoke to AFP news agency from
his hospital bed in the city.
“I found myself covered in blood, with dead people – women and children
■ 21 March: A suspected IS suicide bomb attack near a shrine in Kabul
kills at least 31 people celebrating Persian New Year
In many cases, the unit has set out to seize a target for internment,
but in others it has simply killed them without attempting to capture.
The logs reveal that TF 373 has also killed civilian men, women and
children and even Afghan police officers who have strayed into its
Just to maintain the current deadlock, General Nicholson has asked for
“a few thousand” more troops, some of whom he would expect to come from
other members of NATO. A further loosening of the rules of engagement
and an increase in the air-power available to him would also help. John
McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told
General Nicholson that instead of playing “not to lose”, America needed
a strategy to defeat the Taliban.
Passport-sized photos and forms littered the blast site along with
broken glass and pools of blood.
There have already been at least four attacks on such centres since
voter registration got under way a week ago.
Now, for the first time, the leaked war logs reveal details of deadly
missions by TF 373 and other units hunting down Jpel targets that were
previously hidden behind a screen of misinformation. They raise
fundamental questions about the legality of the killings and of the
long-term imprisonment without trial, and also pragmatically about the
impact of a tactic which is inherently likely to kill, injure and
alienate the innocent bystanders whose support the coalition craves.
The 360,000-strong Afghan security forces are taking a lot of
casualties, says General Nicholson. In the year to November, 6,785 were
killed and another 11,777 wounded. In 2015 and 2016 combined, 19
Americans were killed in action.
■ 23 March: A car bomb in Helmand province kills at least 13 spectators
at a wrestling match
For once, Mr Trump’s refrain that Barack Obama left a terrible mess for
him to deal with has merit. Mr Obama’s policy on Afghanistan seemed
driven more by politics at home than by conditions on the ground. He
ordered a timely “surge” in American forces when warned by General
Stanley McChrystal in 2009 of imminent “mission failure”. But he then
squandered hard-won gains by reducing troop levels faster than his
generals advised, hoping to be able to declare victory and leave in time
for congressional elections in 2014. When NATO prematurely called time
on combat operations at the end of that year, Afghan forces, far from
ready to take full responsibility for the country’s security, were left
Afghanistan’s interior minister told the BBC earlier this year that both
IS and the Taliban were targeting civilians to provoke people against
the government and create chaos.
Two other Jpel targets, identified only by serial numbers, were killed
on 16 February 2009 when two F-15 bombers dropped four 500lb bombs on
a Jpel target: “There are various and conflicting reports from
multiple sources alleging civilian casualties … A large number of
local nationals were on site during the investigation displaying a
hostile attitude so the investigation team did not continue sorting
through the site.”
BBC research earlier this year found that the Afghan government had full
control over just 30% of the country, with the rest of the country under
significant threat from the Taliban, and, to a lesser extent, IS.
The United Nations’ special rapporteur for human rights, Professor
Philip Alston, went to Afghanistan in May 2008 to investigate rumours
of extrajudicial killings. He warned that international forces were
neither transparent nor accountable and that Afghans who attempted to
find out who had killed their loved ones “often come away
empty-handed, frustrated and bitter”.
An international force of 12,600 remains in Afghanistan, of whom 8,400
are Americans. About 2,500 are special forces who carry out raids
against terrorist targets, such as al-Qaeda and the local branch of
Islamic State, but not the Taliban. The rest are there to “train, advise
and assist” the Afghan security forces, including the police. Under
rules of engagement first laid down by Mr Obama and only slightly
relaxed last summer, the NATO troops could only come to the aid of their
Afghan allies when they were facing a defeat that might have “strategic”
implications—a criterion that commanders in the field had difficulty
The legislative elections later this year will be followed by a
presidential poll in 2019.
It is not clear whether “taken out” meant “killed” and the logs do not
record any of their deaths. But one of them, Qari Baryal, who was
ranked seventh in the Jpel list, had already been targeted for killing
two months earlier.
Dashte Barchi is heavily populated by members of Afghanistan Shia Muslim
minority, who have been targeted by IS for their religion in the past.
The plan was to launch five rockets at targets in the village of
Nangar Khel where TF 373 believed Libi was hiding and then to send in
ground troops. The result was that they failed to find Libi but killed
six Taliban fighters and then, when they approached the rubble of a
madrasa, they found “initial assessment of 7 x NC KIA” which
translates as seven non-combatants killed in action. All of them were
children. One of them was still alive in the rubble: “The Med TM
immediately cleared debris from the mouth and performed CPR.” After 20
minutes, the child died.
Among those who are listed as being located and killed by TF 373 are
Shah Agha, described as an intelligence officer for an IED cell, who
was killed with four other men on 1 June 2009; Amir Jan Mutaki,
described as a Taliban sub-commander who had organised ambushes on
coalition forces, who was shot dead from the air in a TF 373 mission
on 24 June 2009; and a target codenamed Ballentine, who was killed on
16 November 2009 during an attack in the village of Lewani, in which a
local woman also died.
Nomination Packets）进行讨论，倘若遇上联合司令部（Combined Forces
The coalition put out a statement claiming falsely to have killed
several militants and making no mention of any dead civilians; and
later added that “several non-combatants were found dead and several
others wounded” without giving any numbers or details.
The coalition put out a press release which referred to the firefight
and the air support and then failed entirely to record that they had
just killed or wounded 11 police officers. But, evidently fearing that
the truth might leak, it added: “There was nothing during the
firefight to indicate the opposing force was friendly. The individuals
who fired on coalition forces were not in uniform.” The involvement of
TF 373 was not mentioned, and the story didn’t get out.
The logs include references to the tracing and killing of other
targets on the Jpel list, which do not identify TF 373 as the unit
responsible. It is possible that some of the other taskforce names and
numbers which show up in this context are cover names for 373, or for
British special forces, 500 of whom are based in southern Afghanistan
and are reported to have been involved in kill/capture missions,
including the shooting in July 2008 of Mullah Bismullah.
The process of choosing targets reaches high into the military
command. According to their published US Field Manual on Counter
Insurgency, No FM3-24, it is policy to choose targets “to engage as
potential counter-insurgency supporters, targets to isolate from the
population and targets to eliminate”.
Mobility Artillery Rocket
US soldiers pursue militants in Helmand province. The shadowy Task
Force 373 meanwhile focuses its efforts on more than 2,000 senior
Taliban figures on a target list. Photograph: Adrees Latif/Reuters
The concealment of TF 373’s role is a constant theme. There was global
publicity in October 2009 when US helicopters were involved in two
separate crashes in one day, but even then it was concealed that the
four soldiers who died in one of the incidents were from TF 373.
Some of these “non 373” operations involve the use of unmanned drones
to fire missiles to kill the target: one codenamed Beethoven, on 20
October 2008; one named Janan on 6 November 2008; and an unnamed Jpel
target who was hit with a hellfire missile near Khan Neshin on 21
August 2009 while travelling in a car with other passengers (the log
records “no squirters [bodies moving about] recorded”).
Yet, later that week, on Sunday 17 June, as Sherzai hosted a “shura”
council at which he attempted to reassure tribal leaders about the
safety of coalition operations, TF 373 launched another mission,
hundreds of miles south in Paktika province. The target was a
notorious Libyan fighter, Abu Laith al-Libi. The unit was armed with a
new weapon, known as Himars – High Mobility Artillery Rocket System –
a pod of six missiles on the back of a small truck.
On the night of Monday 11 June 2007, the leaked logs reveal, the
taskforce set out with Afghan special forces to capture or kill a
Taliban commander named Qarl Ur-Rahman in a valley near Jalalabad. As
they approached the target in the darkness, somebody shone a torch on
them. A firefight developed, and the taskforce called in an AC-130
gunship, which strafed the area with cannon fire: “The original
mission was aborted and TF 373 broke contact and returned to base.
Follow-up Report: 7 x ANP KIA, 4 x WIA.” In plain language: they
discovered that the people they had been shooting in the dark were
Afghan police officers, seven of whom were now dead and four wounded.
and Cobra helicopters）的飞行员来自第160特种作战航空团（160th special
National Directorate of
The coalition made a press statement which owned up to the death of
the children and claimed that troops “had surveillance on the compound
all day and saw no indications there were children inside the
building”. That claim is consistent with the leaked log. A press
release also claimed that Taliban fighters, who undoubtedly were in
the compound, had used the children as a shield.
However, the incident immediately rebounded into the fragile links
which other elements of the coalition had been trying to build with
local communities. An internal report shows that the next day
Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Phillips, commander of the Provincial
Reconstruction Team, took senior officers to meet the provincial
governor, Gul Agha Sherzai, who accepted that this was “an unfortunate
incident that occurred among friends”. They agreed to pay compensation
to the bereaved families, and Phillips “reiterated our support to
prevent these types of events from occurring again”.
In spite of this tension between political and military operations, TF
373 continued to engage in highly destructive attacks. Four months
later, on 4 October, they confronted Taliban fighters in a village
called Laswanday, only 6 miles from the village where they had killed
the seven children. The Taliban appear to have retreated by the time
TF 373 called in air support to drop 500lb bombs on the house from
which the fighters had been firing.
The internal report was marked not only “secret” but also “Noforn”, ie
not to be shared with the foreign elements of the coalition. And the
source of this anxiety is explicit: “The knowledge that TF 373
conducted a HIMARS strike must be protected.” And it was. This crucial
fact remained secret, as did TF 373’s involvement.
Field Manual on Counter
The final outcome, listed tersely at the end of the leaked log: 12 US
wounded, two teenage girls and a 10-year-old boy wounded, one girl
killed, one woman killed, four civilian men killed, one donkey killed,
one dog killed, several chickens killed, no enemy killed, no enemy
wounded, no enemy detained.
Who are TF373?
The leaked war logs show that Task Force 373 uses at least three bases
in Afghanistan, in Kabul, Kandahar and Khost. Although it works
alongside special forces from Afghanistan and other coalition nations,
it appears to be drawing its own troops from the 7th Special Forces
Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and to travel on missions in
Chinook and Cobra helicopters flown by 160th special operations
aviation regiment, based at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.
prioritised effects list）。
A joint targeting working group meets each week to consider Target
Nomination Packets and has direct input from the Combined Forces
Command and its divisional HQ, as well as from lawyers, operational
command and intelligence units including the CIA.
US soldiers pursue militants in Helmand province. The shadowy Task Force
373 meanwhile focuses its efforts on more than 2,000 senior Taliban
figures on a target