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25 April 2011


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Colonel Lang,

Well, in a sense they were right, progress was being made - by Taliban sappers at approximately 10 feet per day [based on newspaper accounts of schedule and distance].

USMC 1965-1972
FBI 1972-1996


"...the escape CASTS DOUBT on the ability of Afghan forces preparing to take more responsibility for providing security."

Are you sure this wasn't the Telegraph or Times of London? Because that sounds like British understatement to me.

William R. Cumming

The Great Escape? Incarceration of brave men for whatever reason is a tough job and in particular when their outside connections have not been severed.


The Houston Chronicle, today, based on wikileaks:

"On Sept. 11, 2001, the core of al-Qaida was concentrated in a single city: Karachi, Pakistan."

We're fighting the wrong war and have been fighting the wrong war since 9/11; and I don't mean just Iraq. The Kandahar escape is really irrelevant.

The Global War on Terror cannot ever end if we don't fight the right enemy.

Patrick Lang

Arun et al

I am barred from discussing the Gitmo situation by confidentiality agreements. pl


"this incident has made the residents of the city very uncomfortable. They feel insecure and they are worried about what will happen after today. ... they don’t believe in the government,..."

Since when has anyone other than the Neocons and Karzai's bankers believed in his government?

Perhaps someone at the Christian Science Monitor could remind our elected officials that the Taliban did not attack the US and are their insurgency is aimed at Karzai and his crooks.


Arun-In my opinion, there never should have been a declaration of a "global war on terrorism". That's just a way to box yourself in and fight bogeymen under your bed. But I guess since the "evil empire" is gone, we needed a new scary enemy.


Col. 900 escaped from this very same prison in 2008. This isn't the first time for this location.

If they can dig a 1000 foot tunnel for 5 months adjacent to a government complex, can they also dig one and pack it with explosives or fighters?

Note that the entrance of the tunnel hasn't shown up in the news. Mosque?

There have been over 125 such tunnels up to 1/2 mile along the Mexican border that have been publicly acknowledged as discovered.


We need to get out of this place as soon as possible!


I read somewhere--maybe here-that NATO is eerily quiescent in Kandahar this Spring--not the usual tramping around the countryside, making a show of their supposed authority.

It's hard to believe that "progress" is being made, if NATO is dis-engaging.

For some of us, that would in fact be progress, since we didn't think they should be there in the first place.


Jail break roughly equals total number of Taliban killed this year.



Capt Nils French wrote about the Sarposa Prison break that occurred in 2008.
Depressingly familiar, though I suspect the Talebs have lessons learnt from that ordeal.
I was gobsmacked when I saw the initial reports. 500-odd ? Blimey. The Marines in Helmand, whom have been taking it to the enemy in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, have to do it all over again.


Found it:


Off-topic required reading. What is most important is that the author is extremely conservative (non-political sense) in his views.

Obviously, this article is relevant to Libya.



I can't abide their ideology but wall-hi they are a bold and resourceful lot. Pulling this off in what has to be the most densely concentrated area of intelligence operations in the world is remarkable.

Any comments from D. Petraeus Mesopotamicus?

Charlie Wilson


Much as we like killing wogs you have to do this yourself. We have trouble telling one from the other. Good luck. May Vishnu hold your hand steady.


This is a perfect example of something that makes you unsure if you should laugh,cry or both.I am positive that 90+% of the people reading this were shaking their heads back and forth while reading.

Atlanta Roofing

It seems quite likely there’s been some complicity in this escape from prison staff. But one area where Brechers analysis fails is that it wasn’t prisoners digging out, it was Taliban digging INTO the prison to spring their fellow boy-cuddlers. There was no need to carry any dirt out to the yard. The tunnel was dug from outside and then it was just a matter of breaching the floor and letting the prisoners out, which to be fair here would probably have taken some looking the other way on part of at least some of the guards.

Charles I

bth, the tunnel exit building was clearly shown with sign on CTV news in Canada last night. Some kind of community centre, whatever that means. Who cares?

The country is bought and sold, closes daily up or down,like the Dow. I wouldn't waste another dime or drop of blood on either.


I was recently reminded in Tracey Kidder's Vietnam memoir of an officer’s responsibility; “mission, men, self”. I am sure pl and other veterans here know this better than I do.
As it applies to Afghanistan, what is the mission now? Can anyone tell me? To keep fighting? To win? I thought a mission was something specific and finite. Like “take hill XYZ” or “remove leader Q” (as in Qaddafi) from power. Keeping the Karzai government in power is not a mission statement. That is not finite; it is open ended. It is also questionable whether the Karzai administration has any power or is even a legitimate government.
The responsibility to “men”, the responsibility of all Americans to “support our troops” should include advocating, even agitating to remove them from harm’s way as expeditiously as possible when there is no clearly defined, obtainable objective.
It is time to leave Afghanistan.

R Whitman

Col Lang

If you had put an episode like this in one of your novels, every reviewer and reader would have said "absurd" or "preposterous".

Nancy K

I agree with all who say it is time to leave. When Afghan officers start to kill our soldiers I think we should take it as more than a sign that they don't want us there.
Don't we have enough problems in our own country with Donald Trump being in the lead with Republicans for President. Paul Ryan wanting to take from the poor to give to the rich, and Faux news just existing, need I say more.

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