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Afghans make deadly foes: British trainer

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    Assalamu alaikum, Afghans make deadly foes: British trainer http://www.timesofindia.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=35343314 LONDON: Special forces veteran Tom
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2001

      Afghans make deadly foes: British trainer


      LONDON: Special forces veteran Tom Carew fears that Afghan guerrillas will
      make redoubtable foes for the Americans. He should know - he trained them
      back in the 1980s.

      "They are really ferocious. As an enemy, they are your worst nightmare,"
      said the ex-soldier from Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) who taught
      the Afghans how to fight the Russians.

      Now that guerrilla expertise could be turned against US and British
      special forces hunting for Osama Bin Laden, the Islamic militant suspected
      of masterminding the suicide attacks on New York and Washington. Bin Laden
      is believed sheltering in Afghanistan.

      The military message from Carew is a simple one - sending in ground forces
      would be suicide. This is a "dark and dirty" war for special forces and
      time is running out as the Afghan winter draws ever closer.

      "The last time the Afghans were conquered was by Alexander the Great back
      in the fourth century BC," he told Reuters.

      Carew, sent in to train anti-communist mujahideen forces from May 1980 to
      December 1981, said: "I was teaching them how to evade helicopter
      reconnaissance and taught them to shoot and scoot - ambush and not let the
      enemy dictate to you."

      So how can Taliban forces be defeated? "You have to contain them down on
      the plains with their guns and tanks. If you let them get into the
      mountains, it will take years to clear them out.

      "They know the mountains. There are thousands of them and they are all
      full of caves. I went within two metres of a cave and I couldn't even see
      it. It's like a rabbit warren up there."

      The weather is another giant hurdle to surmount as snow sweeps in
      neck-high to the mountains.

      "The weather is a problem if this (campaign) doesn't go in the next week.
      This should have happened in June. In the middle of October, the weather
      comes in really bad."


      Carew, a 25-year veteran of Britain's most famous regiment, has served
      with the SAS from the Gulf War to the Kosovo conflict. But he has never
      experienced anything like Afghanistan.

      "That terrain is a natural fortress. They know it like the back of their
      hands. These guys know where all the caves are and all the ammunition is
      buried," he said.

      The Afghans travel light, they can recognise a Western footprint in the
      most arid terrain. They melt away after attacking. There will be no "High
      Noon" shoot-out on the plains.

      They are fiercely disciplined martyrs ready to die for their cause. "I
      called it the lemming factor. They really believe they are going to sit on
      the right hand of Allah," Carew said.

      Poet Rudyard Kipling had some blunt words of advice to British Imperial
      troops risking capture by Afghans: "Just roll on your rifle and blow out
      your brains."

      For, as Carew said, the Afghans do not fight wars by the rules of the
      Geneva Convention. "They couldn't even find Geneva on a map," he said.

      Thirty percent of Carew's best-selling book "Jihad! The Secret War in
      Afghanistan" was cut by publishers as unpalatable.

      And he concluded with a stark word of warning: "What the Afghans did would
      make your hair stand on end. Many Russians had a really painful time. I
      have seen some things in my time but I had to turn and walk away from

      And he speculated that bin Laden may have already crossed into Pakistan.
      "I think he will be well entrenched in the Northwest frontier and no one
      is going to turn him in. I would say he is down by Quetta. That is a real
      (Wild West) Clint Eastwood town."

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