Monday, October 18, 2004

Odd behavior by some, er, "allies"

Canadian forces in Afghanistan find a huge arms bunker complex near their post:

"In the dusty foothills, 10 minutes drive from Camp Julien (population 2,000), 82 buried bunkers, each 20 metres long, housed thousands of Soviet FROG missiles (one step down from Scud missiles), and every variety of rocket and mortar shells.

"Some of the FROG missiles were still in their original cases. Some heaped in the open. Some stacked to the roof in the unlocked, open bunkers. Much of the ordnance had warheads removed to collect the explosive for homemade bombs -- or for blasting at a nearby quarry.

"'Unbelievable!' was Maj. Brian Hynes' reaction when he saw them. 'We (troops of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)) have been here some two years, and no one knew this was at our back door. Unbelievable.'"

"In truth, the Soviet bunkers were well-known in an area supposedly under control of the Afghan Militia Force (AMF) -- not to be confused with the ANA (Afghan National Army). The AMF is paid by various warlords and so their loyalty is to them."

Soon after the discovery, a strange thing happened:

"In the midst of examining the bunkers and taking photos, a Swedish UN guy, a French major and a German colonel arrived to make a fuss and order the Canadians to leave. The French major insisted his government had a deal with the Afghan government for the area, and ISAF had no business being there.

"This cut little ice with Maj. Hynes, who is responsible -- not to the commander of Camp Julien, Col. Jim Ellis -- but to the ANA, which has now moved in to secure the site.

"The French major was clearly bluffing, hadn't checked the bunkers and got a classic Canadian roasting from Maj. Hynes -- who was supported by a German general who was also appalled at the laxity.

"'Now we've stirred up the hornet's nest,' grinned Maj. Hynes. 'Good. Now we may get some action.'"

Another Oil-for-Food? Cash-for-Weapons? Heroin-for-Missiles? Something fishy going on there, I'd bet.

From Blackfive, the Paratrooper of Love

No comments: