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Old Nov 24, 2006, 12:23 AM   #1
Mr Black
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Scenario: Rise of Taliban



I need ideas regarding civs, techs and units for a Rise of Taliban scenario I want to make.

It will run from October 1994 - When Kandahar falls to an obscure militia of religious students, or taliban. Ending in November 2001, when the Taliban government collapsed. Each turn lasting one month for a total of 85 turns.


Civs to be included

Northern Alliance (Jabha-yi Muttahid-i Islami-yi Milli bara-yi Nijat-i Afghanistan): Locked Alliance made up of the following 5 civs...


Civ: Jamiat-I Islami
Leader: Ahmded Shah Massoud
Capital: Talaqan

Civ: Hizb-I Wahdat-I
Leader: Abdul Ali Mazari
Capital: Bamian

Civ: Jumbish-I Mili
Leader: Abdul Rashid Dostum
Capital: Shebergan

Civ: Harakat-i-Islami
Leader: Ayatollah Muhamad Asif Muhsini
Capital: ???

Civ: Ittihad-I Islam Bara
Leader: Abdul Rasul Sayyaf
Capital: ???

Taliban (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan):

Civ: Taliban
Leader: Mullah Mohammed Omar
Capital: Kandahar


Neutral Civs:

Civ: Herat
Leader: Ismail Khan
Capital: Herat

I'd prefer to have more neutral civs not locked in any alliance, cause it makes the scenario more fun with the backstabbing AI. But I can't think of any other neutral civs. The backstabbing tribes in Afghanistan that I've read about, were part of the Northern Alliance. Anybody know the names of these tribes which switched alliances at the first sight of money???

Potential Civs???
Waziristan
Iran
Tajikistan
Uzbekistan
Pakistan
Russia
US

I can represent these civs without them being actual civs in the game through wonders and stuff and it would make the map concentrated only in Afghanistan. What do you think???
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 01:29 AM   #2
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Uh oh, quite a daring step to make up a scenario that is still in contact with actual world politics. I guess anyhow this will be a complicated story.

Well first of all I would stop the scenario in September 2001. By doing so you can more accuratly bring the US/Saudi/Pakistan in an alliance with the Taliban, reflecting the funding and supply that was channeled to them in their early years. With 9/11 this would clearly(more or less) be at an end and as such the alliance. (alternatively the US/Saudi/Pakistan CIV or CIVs could be set on very friendly terms with the Taliban at the start, prone to change over the time).

I would also bring at least the Herat Muğāhidūn Civ into alliance with Iran (Maybe also (Ayatollah?) Sheik Muhamad Asif Muhsini since he is Shiite).

Making up something like a northern alliance with the other Muğāhidūn factions might be complicated, since I guess, that they were not in such a strong relation at the given time(94), another reason why the failed to rebuff the Taliban.

Maybe it would be more accurate to make one or two alliances with other surrounding states (civs). Maybe linking a few Muğāhid factions.
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Last edited by Mentat; Nov 24, 2006 at 01:38 AM.
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 04:17 AM   #3
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Dangerous, you'll face a lot of debate, no matter what direction you'll give it. (Do you remember this silly Rambo movie where he aids the Taliban against USSR?)
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 05:20 AM   #4
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I like the look of this!

Welcome back! (If this is your first time in a while to the Civ3 C&C forum )
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 06:32 AM   #5
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This is a great idea, that I myself have been thinking about from time to time, but never gotten around doing. Do you have a map? Need one to be made? If you do then I can probably help you, unless it's too big. (I'm not really interested in playing on maps that are bigger than ~120:120 max! Prefer standard maps.) Remember that it would be almost 100% landmass so that's still quite a big map for a standard map. If you want me to make one then please specify exactly what area you want

You can see my other maps in my profile.

edit: Actually it might prove harder than I imagined. Making a map without coastlines is actually pretty difficult.

Last edited by Yoda Power; Nov 24, 2006 at 10:24 AM.
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 01:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorgos
Dangerous, you'll face a lot of debate, no matter what direction you'll give it. (Do you remember this silly Rambo movie where he aids the Taliban against USSR?)
Aye its daring, but then its just a CIV scenario, ain't it?
Though the Rambo movie was indeed silly, he did by no means aid the Taliban.
As far as I know they didn't even exist as a faction in Afghanistan at that time(1988). Rambo was more or less aiding a unspecified Muğāhidūn village, probably in reflection of the military aid and weapons that were supplied from the US to the Muğāhidūn during the Russian ocupation.
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Old Nov 25, 2006, 11:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentat
Uh oh, quite a daring step to make up a scenario that is still in contact with actual world politics. I guess anyhow this will be a complicated story.

Well first of all I would stop the scenario in September 2001. By doing so you can more accuratly bring the US/Saudi/Pakistan in an alliance with the Taliban, reflecting the funding and supply that was channeled to them in their early years. With 9/11 this would clearly(more or less) be at an end and as such the alliance. (alternatively the US/Saudi/Pakistan CIV or CIVs could be set on very friendly terms with the Taliban at the start, prone to change over the time).

I would also bring at least the Herat Muğāhidūn Civ into alliance with Iran (Maybe also (Ayatollah?) Sheik Muhamad Asif Muhsini since he is Shiite).

Making up something like a northern alliance with the other Muğāhidūn factions might be complicated, since I guess, that they were not in such a strong relation at the given time(94), another reason why the failed to rebuff the Taliban.

Maybe it would be more accurate to make one or two alliances with other surrounding states (civs). Maybe linking a few Muğāhid factions.
I'm leaning toward not including the civs outside of Afghanistan, & represent them with techs, wonders, improvements & the units per turn feature. For example, the Hizb civ receives units per turn, or gold from improvement named Iran Assistance, etc... Below is some info from the different civs.


Jamiat-i Islami-yi Afghanistan (hereinafter known as Jamiat). Jamiat was one of the original Islamist parties in Afghanistan, established in the 1970s by students at Kabul University where its leader, Burhanuddin Rabbani, was a lecturer at the Islamic Law Faculty. Although Rabbani remains the official head of Jamiat, the most powerful figure within the party is Ahmad Shah Massoud. Both Rabbani and Massoud are Tajiks (Persian-speaking Sunni Muslims) but from different areas. Massoud's ethnic power base has historically been in Parwan and Takhar provinces, where he established a regional administrative structure in the late 1980s, the Supervisory Council of the North (SCN, Shura-yi Nazar-i Shamali). Massoud has received significant military and other support from Iran and Russia, in particular.

· Hizb-i Wahdat-i Islami-yi Afghanistan (Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan, hereinafter known as Hizb-i Wahdat). The principal Shi'a party in Afghanistan with support mainly among the Hazara ethnic community, Hizb-i Wahdat was originally formed by Abdul Ali Mazari in order to unite eight Shi'a parties in the run-up to the anticipated collapse of the communist government. Its current leader is Muhammad Karim Khalili. The leader of its Executive Council of the North, Haji Muhammad Muhaqqiq, commanded the party's forces in Mazar-i Sharif in 1997. Hizb-i Wahdat has received significant military and other support from Iran, although relations between Iranian authorities and party leaders have been strained over issues of control. The party has also received significant support from local Hazara traders.

· Junbish-i Milli-yi Islami-yi Afghanistan (National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, hereinafter known as Junbish). Junbish brought together northern, mostly ethnic Uzbek, former militias of the communist regime who mutinied against President Najibullah in early 1992. It also included former leaders and administrators of the old regime from various other ethnic groups, mainly Persian-speaking, and some Uzbek mujahidin commanders. In 1998 it lost all of the territory under its control, and many of its commanders have since defected to the Taliban. Its founder and principal leader was Abdul Rashid Dostum, who rose from security guard to leader of Najibullah's most powerful militia. This group took control of the important northern city of Mazar-i Sharif in alliance with other groups in early 1992 and controlled much of Samangan, Balkh, Jowzjan, Faryab, and Baghlan provinces. A coalition of militias, the Junbish was the strongest force in the north during 1992-97, but was riven by internal disputes. Since 1998 the Junbish has largely been inactive, although Dostum returned to northern Afghanistan in April 2001.
(These guys were supported by Uzbekistan & Turkey. I read it somewhere.)

· Harakat-i Islami-yi Afghanistan (Islamic Movement of Afghanistan). This is a Shi'a party that never joined Hizb-i Wahdat, led by Ayatollah Muhammad Asif Muhsini, and which was allied with Jamiat in 1993-95. It has since fought with Hizb-i Wahdat in central Afghanistan. Its leadership is mostly non-Hazara Shi'a. Its most prominent commander is General Anwari. The group has received support from Iran.

· Ittihad-i Islami Bara-yi Azadi Afghanistan (Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan). This party is headed by Abdul Rasul Sayyaf. During the war against the Soviet occupation, Sayyaf obtained considerable assistance from Saudi Arabia. Arab volunteers supported by Saudi entrepreneurs fought with Sayyaf's forces.

Regarding the Ittihad-i Islami: These guys might be better as an independent civ fighting the Taliban. They were mostly Pashtuns and it is believed that Abdul Rasul Sayyaf set up the meeting in which Massoud was assassinated. What do you think?

My idea for 9/11 is to represent it as tech "WTC Attack", which would unleash all sorts of new modern units (Stealth Bombers, Stealth Fighters, Cruise Missiles, Paratroopers) for the remaining Northern Alliance civs, while at the same time cutting all military hardware from Pakistan, but increasing the regular Pakistani volunteer units.

If one is playing as one of the NA civs. You will have a few rubbish units to deal with the Taliban onslaught, for most the game. There has to be goal for you, and that is the 'WTC attack' technology, where an influx of new units will get you on the offensive late in the scenario.
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Old Nov 25, 2006, 11:23 AM   #8
Mr Black
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoda Power
This is a great idea, that I myself have been thinking about from time to time, but never gotten around doing. Do you have a map? Need one to be made? If you do then I can probably help you, unless it's too big. (I'm not really interested in playing on maps that are bigger than ~120:120 max! Prefer standard maps.) Remember that it would be almost 100% landmass so that's still quite a big map for a standard map. If you want me to make one then please specify exactly what area you want

You can see my other maps in my profile.

edit: Actually it might prove harder than I imagined. Making a map without coastlines is actually pretty difficult.
Let me know if you want to try this one. I think it should be cut down to include only Afghanistan borders, eliminating the outside civs. This will make the squares between the cities further apart, so it doesn't become a battle of the cities.
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Old Nov 25, 2006, 11:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Virote_Considon
I like the look of this!

Welcome back! (If this is your first time in a while to the Civ3 C&C forum )
Thanks, it's been years!

Here is some info regarding Taliban units.

Infantry: Of the 45,000 men available to the Taliban, Pakistani and Arab religious volunteers have played an increasingly important military role. The Arabs, deployed mostly on front lines north of Kabul, number an estimated 500 to 600 and form part of Osama bin Laden's `055 Brigade'. Pakistani volunteers are far more numerous. By mid-1999 as many as 9,000 to 10,000 Pakistanis were believed to be serving in Taliban ranks, some in combat roles and others in rear support, static guard and administrative functions.

Armour: The Taliban are estimated to field some 100 main battle tanks (MBTs) for operations and about 250 armoured fighting vehicles of various types - a number of which were captured from enemy forces in northern Afghanistan during the Summer and Autumn of 1998. There are doubts as to the serviceability of some of these, but it is significant that, during the lull in fighting between 2000 and 2001, many armoured vehicles operating in the Kabul theatre were reconditioned.

Some armour has been organised into an armoured brigade (or brigade equivalent) tentatively identified as Armoured Force No 4 and based in Kabul. However, this unit has never operated as an independent armoured brigade, and most of its assets are allocated to infantry units when required. Other armoured elements are attached on an ad hoc basis to infantry task forces.

In July 1998 Taliban forces used an armoured column of T-54/55 and T-62 MBTs to achieve a breakthrough on one flank of a twin-pronged advance on Maimana, in northwestern Afghanistan. This appeared to be the first time the Taliban had used armour in an independent armoured role, as distinct from employing them in a mobile artillery or fire-support role.

Artillery: The most effective of their specialised arms, the Taliban artillery consists of about two hundred operational artillery pieces, as well as truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers (MRLs). Artillery batteries are attached to infantry task forces as required.

Organisation: Despite some efforts to reorganise the Taliban military along more conventional lines, offensive operations have fallen mostly to task force groups thrown together on an ad hoc basis under different commanders from different provinces. On paper at least, an army corps is based in Kabul, commanded by Mullah Mohammad Fazl, along with an independent armoured brigade. However, there is no evidence to suggest that any meaningful divisional structure has emerged in the provinces.

Primary military bases are located in Kabul, Herat and Kunduz. There are also smaller garrisons in other cities that were formerly Afghan Army corps headquarters, specifically Kandahar and Jalalabad, as well as northern cities occupied in the Summer of 1998 - Mazar-e Sharif, Shiberghan and Maimana.

Assessment: Following their emergence in late 1994, many of the Taliban's early successes in the south were due partly to their own popular appeal and to disbursements of cash among opposition commanders, or a combination of both. However, the Taliban have also displayed an innovative approach to warfare characterised by the use of surprise, mobility, speed, impressive logistics support and an efficient command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I) network.

All unusual in the context of warfare in Afghanistan, these elements, along with other evidence, have lent credence in the past to reports of involvement at both planning and operational levels by Pashto-speaking Pakistani military intelligence advisers or technically retired Pakistani military personnel acting on secondment. This was the case during the Taliban's 1998 Summer and Autumn campaign and 1999 Summer offensive.

Taliban forces have generally come from three distinct backgrounds: former students of madrassas (religious schools) in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, who constitute the ideological core of the movement; former Mujahideen or jihadi (holy war) groups whose commanders joined the Taliban for financial or ethnic reasons; and officers of the former (pre-1992) Afghan Army, many from the hard line, Pashtun nationalist Khalq (Masses) wing of the communist party. The latter have formed a skilled, professional core in artillery, armour, communications and in the air force, but some of these former communists were purged in late 1998.

More recently, another distinct element has been playing an important military role: Pakistani and Arab religious volunteers. The Arabs, mostly deployed on front lines north of Kabul, are estimated to number between 500 and 600. Pakistani volunteers are far more numerous. By late 1998, as many as 9,000 to 10,000 Pakistanis were serving in Taliban ranks. These different backgrounds have inevitably resulted in some friction. To minimise this, Taliban troops are kept in separate units based on nationality and, in some cases, region, district, or tribe.

Equipment in Service

Equipment supplied by the former USSR remains in service whenever spares can be obtained. The following represents a listing of equipment that we believe may be available to the Taliban:

25 planes

Armour

Main Battle Tanks/Light Tanks: T-34/85; T-54; T-55; T-62; PT-76.

Reconnaissance Vehicles/Armoured Fighting Vehicles: BDRM-2. APC: BTR-40; BTR-50; BTR-60; BTR-70; BTR-80; BTR-152; BMP-1; BMP-2.

Taliban estimate - operational: 100 main battle tanks; 250 armoured fighting vehicles.

Artillery

Towed: 120mm 2S9 SPM/H; 76 mm M1938 mountain gun; 76mm M1966 mountain gun; 76mm M1942 FG; 85mm D-48 ATG; 100mm M1944 FG; 122mm D-30 howitzer; 122mm M1938 howitzer; 152mm D-1 howitzer; 152mm D-20 gun-howitzer.

Multiple rocket launchers: 122mm BM-21; 132mm BM-13-16; 140mm BM-14-17; 220mm BM-22.

Taliban estimate - operational: 200 guns of all calibres.

Infantry

Pistols: 7.62mm Tokarev.

Sub-machine guns: 7.62mm PPSh41; 7.65mm CZ; vz-61.

Rifles: 7.62mm Simonov SKS; 7.62mm AK-47, AKM.

Machine guns: 7.62mm RPD, RPK; 12.7mm DShK.

Close support weapons: 30mm AGS-17.

Mortars: 82mm M37; 107mm M38; 120mm M1943; 160mm M1943.

Anti-tank weapons: 73mm SPG-9; 82mm RCLB-10; ‘Snapper’ anti-tank guided weapon.

Air Defence

Surface-to-Air Missiles: SA-7 ‘Grail’ man-portable SAM.

Anti-Aircraft Artillery: 12.7mm LAAG including M53 (4 × 12.7mm in rear of BTR-152 armoured personnel carrier); 14.5mm ZPU-1, ZPU-2 and ZPU-4.

Light Anti-Aircraft Guns: 20 × 23mm ZSU-23-4 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun; 23mm (twin) ZU-23 light anti-aircraft gun, also truck-mounted for convoy escort; 57mm S-60 AAG; 85mm KS-12 AAG, with `Fire Can' radar; 100mm KS-19 AAG.

Taliban estimate - operational: 20 SAM launchers; 300 air defence guns of all calibres.
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Old Nov 26, 2006, 03:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Black View Post
Let me know if you want to try this one. I think it should be cut down to include only Afghanistan borders, eliminating the outside civs. This will make the squares between the cities further apart, so it doesn't become a battle of the cities.
Well I can still give it a try, but not untill something like thursday, 'cause I'm stuck with some R/L stuff untill then.
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Old Nov 29, 2006, 02:06 PM   #11
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Re: US involvement or Russian and Iranian involvement for that matter. First, let the scenario end on Sep 10, 2001. That will enable you to model the US involvement by means of a combination of techs/wonders/resources rather than having the US as a separate civ. The same could be done for the Russians, if they still supplied weapons and troops after 1994, which I'm not so sure they did, for Najibullah's government was the one the Taliban eventually toppled in 1994.
Iran and Pakistan? They could be their own civ, also the Usbeks and Tajiks. You could use the culture group functionality to model their affinity with certain factions inside Afghanistan. Requires some research who is what and is related to whom, etc. All I know is that the Pakistanis more or less openly supported the Taliban and were instrumental in their success.
What about al-Qaida? Hmmm.... I don't think they should be their own civ, but maybe could be represented by some powerful wonders and units for the Taliban?
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 04:20 AM   #12
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@TopGun69:
Umm, the Taliban had nothing to do with the end of Nadjibullahs regime (though with his death), that occured in April 1992. Even less with the war against the Soviets in the years before. They simply did not exist at this time (not before 1994).

Starting in 1994 they first got hold over the pashtun provinces in southern Afghanistan. They were considerably backed by financial and military support from the US and Saudia Arabia, aswell as from Pakistan.

In order to keep up the fundings they basically had to fullfill two goals for US/Saudi/Pakistan. The first one was to secure a route from Turkmenia to Pakistan for the Oil-companies planned pipeline. The second goal was to install a highly orthodox sunni regime in Afghanistan to improve the pressure on Iran from both sides, Irak and Afghanistan.

Naturally the other factions in Afghanistan were not very happy with the newcomers(Taliban), especially the non-pashtunes and shiites. For a time the were able to rebuff the Taliban and keep them at bay. They even scored a significant victory over the Taliban in 1995, when they first tried and failed to conquer Kabul. In October 1995 thopugh the Taliban managed to take Herat, a major city mainly inhabited by the Farsi shiites.

The major reason, why the Taliban finally managed to topple the Kabuli government in 1996 was the more or less unfortunate political maneuver of Hekmatyar, who joined the government of Rabbani, that he had actually been fighting against since the end of Nadjibullahs regime. This decission though lead most of Hekmatyars supporters, who were mainly pasthunes to join the Taliban.

When the Taliban finally conquered Kabul in September 1996, they killed Nadjubullah, who was held in "quasi" prision in a UN-building till that time. Additionally the royalist wing inside the Taliban was "accidently" crushed in that attack, so any hopes that had existed in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the US to bring the Zahir Shah as King were destroyed.

Seeing their country taken out of their hands the remaining factions Jamiat, Wahdat, Hizb und Jumbish set aside their feuds and joined together into the northern alliance to save their country. About 1997, Afghanistan was somewhat divided in 2 parts, a Taliban south, and the Nothern Alliance.

@Mr Black
What about Hekmatyar and Hizb i Islami? Have you thought of making them part of the scenario?
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 09:43 AM   #13
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Just in case you missed it, here some additional info about foreign pro-taliban fighters. This comes from Jane's World Armies, like the article in post #9

Foreign pro-Taliban fighters inside Afghanistan (pre-hostilities)

In itself, the presence of foreigners on the Afghan battlefield is scarcely new. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, thousands of volunteers from across the Islamic world joined the anti-communist jihad. However, following the 1992 fall of Kabul and the beginning of the civil war between the Mujahideen factions, the foreign presence dropped sharply as many young enthusiasts returned to radicalise Islamic movements in their home countries, or moved to conflicts where Muslims were not killing Muslims.

Since 1995, however, the rise of the Taliban movement has brought with it a major resurgence of the jihadi foreign legion. It has also changed its complexion in several notable aspects. Estimated by regional military and intelligence sources to number between 8,000 and 12,000, today's foreign combatants are more numerous than before. They are also better organised, and in many cases better equipped with heavier weaponry than their counterparts of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Operating at the centre of a global network of radical Islamists, they are evidently ideologically more focused than their counterparts of the 1980s.

Finally, the foreigners are far better integrated into the military machine of their Afghan hosts than was ever the case before. Indeed, constituting between a fifth and a quarter of total Taliban combat strength of 40,000 to 45,000, and in recent times frequently spearheading offensive operations, foreign units have become an indispensable element of the Taliban order of battle. This, in turn, has given their parent groups increasing organisational autonomy and political leverage within Afghanistan.

From the early days of a movement which found its earliest recruits among Afghan refugees studying in Pakistani religious seminaries, Pakistanis have constituted a clear majority of the Taleban's foreign fighters. Geographic proximity, ease of transport and the often seasonal nature of the fighting have meant that numbers have fluctuated from month to month. Current estimates indicate between 5,000 to 7,000 Pakistanis - or over half of the total foreign contingent - are operating in support of the Taliban. Increasingly ethnic Pashtuns from Pakistan's Baluchistan and North-West Frontier Province border belt - who share a language and culture with the Afghan Taliban - have been joined by volunteers from Punjab, Sindh and Karachi.

For the purpose of analysis, the Pakistani contingent can be broken up into three broadly distinct but occasionally overlapping categories. The first and most numerous consists of youths recruited en masse from Pakistani madrassahs (seminaries) of the Deobandi school - particularly those affiliated to the Jamaat-e-Ulema Islami (JUI) party which maintains close links with the Taliban. Waves of madrassah youths, quickly mobilised and often with little or no military training, were particularly important in the period between 1995 and 1998 when Taliban advances often entailed heavy losses and the requirement for rapid reinforcements was paramount.

UF/Northern Alliance sources, however, believe that, more recently, losses and the uncertain military effectiveness of these volunteers have tempered both the enthusiasm at source and the demand from commanders within Afghanistan.

Fewer, but undoubtedly more effective on the battlefield, have been volunteers from Pakistan's militant jihadi organisations, most notably the Harakat-ul-Mujahideen (formerly Harakat-ul-Ansar) of Fazlur Rahman Khalil; and the aggressively anti-Shi'a factions, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and its smaller, more violent offshoot, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Both the latter factions have a record of sectarian terrorist outrages in Pakistan and several key figures are wanted by Pakistani authorities on terrorist charges. (Appeals to Kabul by Pakistan's Home Ministry for their extradition have been repeatedly ignored, however). In many cases, party-affiliated militants have had access to basic military training courses of up to 40 days before moving to the front. Training has usually taken place either at Rishkhor, the former Afghan Army 7th Division base on the southern outskirts of Kabul, or at camps in the

Zhawa complex near Khost on the Pakistan border.

Arabs constitute the second largest foreign contingent and, according to a range of UF/Northern Alliance and regional sources, their numbers have grown notably over the past 18 months. There seems little doubt at least 2,000 combatants - all apparently affiliated to and financed by Osama bin Laden - were active in support of the Taliban at the time of the September attacks in the US. One source monitoring the military situation estimated that up to 3,000 Arab combatants may have been in the field in September. Certainly an Arab presence, including numbers of civilians and their families, was quite open in the southern cities of Kabul, Jalalabad and Kandahar.

Reports from both Western and UF/Northern Alliance sources indicate Arab military camps, some of which double as training facilities, are situated at Ghaziabad and Darunta (east and west of Jalalabad respectively); Naghloo dam near Sarobi; Kunduz; and Kandahar airport. Recent unconfirmed reports suggest one, or possibly two, training facilities may also have opened in Herat province.

Both Arab instructors and trainees have been seen at Rishkhor, near Kabul. Following the August 1998 US cruise missile attack on training camps at Zhawa, Rishkhor expanded to become probably the biggest training base in the country, housing up to 1,500 trainees - Pakistanis, Arabs and others - as well as some 30 to 50 instructors (some of whom had moved from Khost). Courses covered basic field craft and small-arms training, graduating to specialised courses in support weaponry, demolition and escape and evasion. In June 2000, however, following international publicity and growing diplomatic pressure, the facility was emptied. Kabul-based journalists were permitted to visit it but official denials that foreigners had ever trained there were belied by large signs on buildings in Arabic and Urdu. More recently, Rishkhor has again been off- limits to outsiders and appeared to be being used for training, though whether of a new Taliban unit or foreign combatants remains unclear.

Following the Taliban's 1996 capture of Kabul, several hundred Arabs began serving on fronts on the Shomali plain north of the capital. According to UF/Northern Alliance military sources, many remain there today, based at the villages of Gozar and Tutakhan and commanded by a Tunisian with the nom de guerre of 'Abu Emad'. As hostilities intensified in the northeast, however, other units moved north, notably in May 2001 when a force of 1,000 Arabs and Pakistanis was pulled out of Shomali and flown north to Kunduz as part of the spring build-up against the UF/Northern Alliance. Other units have been reported in central and western Afghanistan operating as parts of Taliban flying columns used as quick reaction forces following UF/Northern Alliance attacks.

Generally, Arab units are deployed in an infantry role armed with nothing heavier than rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), PK machine guns and mortars. They are, however, widely recognised as currently the most aggressive and committed fighters in Taliban ranks. Significantly, among several hundred foreign POWs held by the UF/Northern alliance, there are scarcely any Arabs.

The growing isolation of the Kabul regime and international opprobrium it incurred even before September 2001 almost certainly increased the political influence of Osama bin Laden and his associates with the Taliban - influence cemented by the close personal relationship between Bin Laden and Mullah Omar. Indeed, several analysts believe Arab influence may have played a key part in the clearly political decision to defy the international community and destroy the Buddhas of Bamiyan - a move guaranteed to deepen Taliban isolation and strengthen the pact with bin Laden's Islamists.

Chechen units and the forces of the IMU constitute the other two main foreign contingents. While organisationally separate with distinct leaderships, links between

Islamist militants from the two ex-Soviet territories are longstanding and it seems likely that Chechens are today attached to IMU combat units. Other foreigners, including Pakistanis from the SSP and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, are also operating under the IMU's military umbrella. (Unclear, however, is whether southeast Asian militants from the southern Philippines and Indonesia operate with the IMU or with independent Pakistani units).

To the fury of Moscow, a Chechen embassy was first established in Kabul in January 2000 and Chechen consulates were later set up in Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif. As with the Arabs, there has grown up a civilian Chechen community in cities such as Kandahar and Mazar. Military bases have been identified at Kod-e-Barq outside Mazar; and at a facility just south of the highway between Tashkurgan and Mazar. At least one all-Chechen unit - a platoon of some 30 fighters - has been identified operating on the front line near Bagram airbase, north of Kabul.

While IMU leaders Tahir Yuldash and Juma Namangani have enjoyed sanctuary in Afghanistan since the Tajikistani civil war of 1992 to 1997, IMU numbers appear to have risen more recently as new recruits from Central Asia have joined units in Afghanistan. Diplomatic estimates put current IMU strength at between 1,500 to 2,000, including Uzbeks, Kyrgyz, Tajkistanis, Xinjiang Uighurs, and some Pakistanis. This year the IMU is for the first time participating in the Taliban campaign with the unit stationed at Koh-e-Siah Boz. Other units are believed to be based at Deh Dadi, headquarters of the former Afghan Army 18 Division, 15 km west of Mazar.
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 10:58 AM   #14
Cimbri
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I was thinking: Juma Namangani's IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) should be a faction.
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Old Dec 01, 2006, 01:29 AM   #15
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maps describing evolving situation from soviet invasion on are here:

Afganistan Situation Maps

maps specifically referred to Taliban regime overthrow (op. Enduring Freedom) can be found at:

OEF Maps

More generally, for information about Enduring Freedom, including order of battle and deployment, look at:

OEF Info
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