Afghanistan: December 20, 2001


Australia has sent 120 SAS troops of a Special Forces Task Group into Afghanistan. The troops are equipped with 6x6 Long Range Patrol Vehicles (unarmored cross-country trucks) for mobility, and are supported by S-70 BlackHawk helicopters flying from the amphibious ship HMAS Kanimbla.--Stephen V Cole

In an initial move to enforce the peace was made in Kabul, when the government (which officially takes charge on December 22nd) ordered all men not on duty not to carry their weapons in public. The Taliban has enforced a ban like this, but look what happened to them. 

Although there have been no bombs going off in the White mountains for the last two days, the military aircraft (bombers and recon aircraft) continue to circle in the sky. U.S. troops and some Afghans continue to explore the caves and valleys in the border region, checking for deal al Qaeda (the bodies sometimes contain useful documents, and some of the dead may be wanted terrorists) and any records or other evidence in the many caves al Qaeda occupied in the region. The bombers above provide back up firepower if the troops encounter more live al Qaeda than they can deal with on the ground. The intelligence efforts are intense. This operations will provide useful information on the limits of current airborne and space based reconnaissance systems. On the ground, over a hundred al Qaeda and Taliban members are being interrogated by military and FBI interrogators. French intelligence has also flown in some of it's Arabic language interrogators to join the effort. Even though the al Qaeda are usually reluctant to talk, they tend to say something, and clever interrogators can piece together comments from many subjects, and produce useful information. 


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