Afghanistan: October 16, 2001


When the Russians invaded Afghanistan, women held about 10% of the public sector jobs. This steadily increased during the war until women held 50% or more of those jobs (including doctors and teachers). Most of these women were recruited and trained by the Soviet puppet regime, which doted on political action meetings and the like. When Taliban took over, not only were many of their members in favor of keeping women at home to start with, but the women who worked in offices were often politically active and were outspoken in their opposition for Taliban. And Sheik Omar could not tolerate the idea of an active political opposition.--Stephen V Cole

Bombing raids continued, hitting more Taliban military units and bases. An AC-130 gunship (Specter) gunship has been reported attacking targets around Kandahar. The long range AC-130 could be operating from Uzbekistan, or even Oman (with a lot of in-flight refueling.) The AC-130 has a large array of sensors and weapons and can accurately hit small targets on the ground. The AC-130 usually operates at night. In the north, Northern Alliance forces moved to within five kilometers of Mazar-i-Sharif. It is rumored that, once captured, this city and it's air port, would be used as the main military base for American forces in northern Afghanistan. The city has good road connections with Tajikistan, and Tajikistan has railroad connections with Russia. The key to American military operations in Afghanistan is logistics (supplies.) A force of 5,000 troops would require at least 250 tons of supplies a day (some 50 truck loads) and several times that if aircraft and weapons were used vigorously. Usually, you try to stockpile supplies before bringing in the troops and their equipment. Some supplies could be bought from the Russians, like aviation and vehicle fuel brought in over the Russian railroad system that reaches into Tajikistan. Humanitarian supplies are already coming in via the rail link. By setting up a base in Mazar-i-Sharif, the US would also provide many jobs for local Afghans, and make use of Northern Alliance troops to help guard the base. Meanwhile, psychological warfare efforts are increasing. Pamphlets are being dropped explaining the American role in Afghanistan and Commando Solo broadcasting aircraft continue to information on frequencies previously used by government radio stations.


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