Taliban Bounty on US Soldiers. October 2001.

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In the weeks following the 9/11 attacks, the first to fight in Afghanistan was Task Force Dagger.


One of three 12-man special forces ODA 's (operational detachment alpha), ODA 595 of the armys' Fifth Special Forces Group let by Capt. Mitch Nelson, inserted into northern Afghanistan and linked up with a northern alliance warlord, General Abdul Rashi Dostum.


ODA 595's mission was to take the fight to the taliban.  Call in airstrikes and let General Dostum's 1,000 ethnic Uzbek fighters mop up what was left of an estimated 50,000 taliban fighters.


Given the terrain, much of the operation, including some legendary fighting, was carried out on horseback.  


Because the operation was classified, this incredible story was only recently brought to light in Doug Stanton's 2009  book "Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U.S. soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan",  subsquently re-titled "12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers."  The book was made into a film starring Chris Hemsworth which was released in 2018.


A point that has been largely glossed over with more russia-gate lately:


In October 2001, when ODA 595 met with General Dostum, he warned our guys that the taliban had bounties on American soldiers. 


$100,000 for a body.  $50,000 for a bloody uniform.


(This is at the 40 minute mark in the film).


Later, General Dostum also famously said that 500 of his own men could die before a single American gets a scratch.


From The Albuqurque Journal


New Mexico-filmed ’12 Strong’ tells story of first U.S. soldiers sent to Afghanistan


Friday, January 19th, 2018 at 12:02am


Navid Negahban is up for a challenge.


The actor jumped at the chance to be involved in the film “12 Strong.”


The film is set in the harrowing days after 9/11 when an elite U.S. Special Forces unit, led by its captain, Mitch Nelson, played by Chris Hemsworth, is selected to be the first U.S. soldiers to provide an offensive response to the unprecedented attacks on U.S. soil.


Leaving their families behind, the soldiers drop into the remote, rugged landscape of northern Afghanistan, where they must persuade Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, played by Negahban, to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their al-Qaida allies.


In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans – accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare – must adopt the unfamiliar tactics of the Afghan horse soldiers.


The movie was filmed on in New Mexico and opens nationwide today.


According to the New Mexico Film Office, the production employed more than 250 New Mexico crew members, 50 New Mexico principal actors and approximately 2,000 New Mexico background talent workers. It filmed in and around Albuquerque, Socorro and Alamogordo.


“The story itself is very powerful, and I didn’t know anything about it,” Negahban says.


Negahban spent 90 days off and on in New Mexico. Traveling to the various locations in New Mexico proved to be quite a struggle.


“Being in this production allowed me to discover my inner strength,” he says. “It was a rough shoot, and being in the mountains and caves, it was unbelievable.”


Starring alongside Hemsworth and Negahban are Michael Shannon, Michael Peña, Trevante Rhodes, Geoff Stults, Thad Luckinbill, Austin Stowell, Ben O’Toole, Austin Hébert, Kenneth Miller, Kenny Sheard and Jack Kesy.


The film is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Nicolai Fuglsig.


The soldiers “were the tip of the spear, the first American soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan. When they arrived, they found themselves outnumbered 5,000-to-1 by the enemy and were constantly at risk of getting captured because of the huge bounty the Taliban had placed on their heads,” Fuglsig says.


Code-named Task Force Dagger, the mission was as much diplomatic as it was military.


“This small Special Forces team was to link up with a local warlord named Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, a leader in Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, in an effort to help him regain control of the region. It was the initial step in America’s fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida after 9/11,” Fuglsig says.


Fuglsig was also amazed by the cast, especially Negahban.


“Dostum is such a strong, natural leader who commands respect wherever he goes, and I don’t think I could have found a better actor to play him. I love how Navid delivers every line with such power and weight. He really brought Dostum’s big personality to life,” he says.


The problem for Nelson and his men is that the trust of a lifelong warrior like Dostum is not easily won.


“There was huge mistrust,” Negahban affirms, “because Dostum was looking at them as a bunch of kids trying to tell him how to fight and save his country and the Americans were concerned that Dostum and his men might be setting them up. So it takes a while, but through the film you will see how they connect with each other, how they truly become blood brothers.


“For me, it is a very important story to tell. It’s a different perspective – you see that the Afghans are fighting for exactly the same things that the Americans are fighting for. They just want to have their freedom, take care of their kids and be safe. That’s it.”

Edited by fishweewee

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Statue honoring ODA 595 of Task Force Dagger at the World Trade Center Memorial.


Movie: General Dostum warns the team of taliban bounties at the 6:30 minute mark.



Edited by fishweewee

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So the question is who was funding the Taliban back in 2001, I don’t think it was the Russians.

There is also a difference between the Taliban offering a bounty back then and the Russians funding a bounty in 2019/20 while peace negotiations were going on.

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24 mins ago, Jay Dog said:

So the question is who was funding the Taliban back in 2001, I don’t think it was the Russians.

There is also a difference between the Taliban offering a bounty back then and the Russians funding a bounty in 2019/20 while peace negotiations were going on.

Why would Russia bother to pay bounties when the Taliban were going out of their way to kill Americans for free?

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Why a bounty when Taliban are getting money from other sources?


Why a bounty when the risk of a major international diplomatic crisis is hardly worth the scant reward?


Why prolong a stay of US forces with Russian sponsored bounties?  If the taliban were smart they'd lay off until everyone left. 


Maybe common sense is the reason why NSA didn't buy into this ********?


Afghanistan: How does the Taliban make money?

By Dawood Azami
BBC World Service & Reality Check


22 December 2018


here are indications that the US is planning a significant withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan.


American troops are in the country to support the Afghan government's fight against the Taliban and other militant groups.


The Taliban, the main insurgent group in Afghanistan with an estimated 60,000 fighters, now controls more territory in Afghanistan than at any point since its removal from power by the US-led coalition in 2001.


Despite continued US military and financial support for the government in Kabul, the conflict has become both more intense and more complicated.


Maintaining this level of insurgency requires a great deal of funding, from sources both within and outside the country.


So how does the Taliban support itself?


How wealthy is the Taliban?

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, imposing a strict version of Sharia law.


Since its fall from power, it has maintained a long-running insurgency across the country.


Tracking flows of funding is often a matter of informed guesswork and the secretive militant organisation does not publish accounts.


But BBC interviews carried out inside Afghanistan and abroad indicate the group is running a sophisticated financial network and taxation system to pay for insurgent operations.


The group's annual income from 2011 onwards was estimated to be $400m (£316m). But it is believed to have significantly increased in recent years and could be as high as $1.5bn.


The Afghan and United States governments have sought to constrain these networks. A little over a year ago the US army embarked on a new strategy of bombing drugs labs.


However, the Taliban's income derives from far more than just the drugs business. The UN in 2012 warned against the general perception that the poppy economy in Afghanistan is the main source of Taliban income.




Opium, taxes and extortion

Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium.


With an estimated annual export value of $1.5-$3bn, the opium poppy is big business, supplying the overwhelming majority of illicit heroin worldwide.


Although there is some cultivation in government regions, most of the poppy growing takes place in areas controlled by the Taliban and is believed to be an important source of income.


The Taliban earns money from taxes imposed at several stages of the process.


A 10% cultivation tax is collected from opium farmers.


Taxes are also collected from the laboratories converting opium into heroin, as well as the traders who smuggle the illicit drugs.


Estimates of the Taliban's annual share of the illicit drug economy range from $100m-$400m.


Bombing the labs

As part of the Trump administration's more aggressive counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan over the past year, the US renewed its focus on targeting the Taliban's financial networks and revenue sources, including the drugs labs where opium is converted into heroin.


The US military says 60% of Taliban funding comes from narcotics.


By August 2018, the US claimed to have destroyed around 200 of the estimated 400 to 500 Taliban drug laboratories in the country, nearly half of them in southern Helmand province.

It was also claimed that the air campaign wiped out around a quarter of the Taliban's revenue from the opium trade.


But the longer-term impact of this campaign is far from clear. Even when laboratories are destroyed, they are cheap and quick to rebuild.


The Taliban usually denies its involvement in the narcotics industry and takes pride in the total ban on poppy cultivation during its regime in 2000.


Expanding areas of control

The Taliban's financial network extends well beyond taxing the opium business.


A BBC investigation published at the start of 2018 found that the Taliban had an active presence in 70% of Afghanistan.


In these areas, it has sought to maintain its taxation regime.


In an open letter earlier this year, seen by the BBC, the Taliban's Financial Commission warned Afghan traders transporting goods to pay their taxes when travelling through areas it controlled.


It also draws revenue from businesses such as telecommunications and mobile phone operators.


The head of Afghanistan's Electricity Company told the BBC earlier this year that the Taliban was earning more than $2m a year by billing electricity consumers in different parts of the country.


There is also income generated directly from conflict. Each time the Taliban captures a military post or an urban centre, it empties treasuries and seizes scores of weapons, as well as cars and armoured vehicles.


Mines and minerals

Afghanistan is rich in minerals and precious stones, much of it under-exploited as a result of the years of conflict. The mining industry in Afghanistan is worth at least an estimated $1bn.

Most of the extraction is small scale and much of it is done illegally.


The Taliban has taken control of mining sites and extorted money from ongoing legal and illegal mining operations.


In its 2014 annual report, the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team said the Taliban received more than $10m a year from 25 to 30 illegal mining operations in southern Helmand province.


A snapshot of the Taliban operation in eastern Nangarhar province sheds a light on how they operate. The governor of the province told the BBC that around half the revenue from mining in his region goes to either the Taliban or the Islamic State group.


He estimated that they take up to $500 from each of the hundreds of mineral trucks leaving the province daily.


According to the Taliban, local traders and Afghan government officials we spoke to, the Taliban now receives more than $50m annually in revenue from mining all over the country.


Foreign funding

Several Afghan and US officials have long accused several regional governments including Pakistan, Iran and Russia of giving financial aid to the Afghan Taliban, a practice they frequently deny.


Private citizens from Pakistan and several Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are considered the largest individual contributors.


Although impossible to measure, these sources of funding clearly provide a significant proportion of the Taliban's revenue, and according to experts and officials could be as much as $500m a year.


These links are long-standing. A classified CIA report estimated in 2008 that the Taliban had received $106m, from foreign sources, in particular from the Gulf states.


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I read the book as soon as it was released. Worth reading. The statue mentioned sat on the north west quadrant of the WTC site . It is a powerful and stunning tribute to those brave and resourceful warfighters.I saw it daily while commuting & working in the area . I’ll have to find out where it ended up once the site was reopened. I was there the day the Towers fell , and spent countless months / years there during the rebuild .Ive taken visiting relatives to the site to do the whole WTC expierience . I walk in a straight line from the subway entrance to the street , Church, Bway, whatever . I can’t bring myself to gaze into the “ foot print “ memorial fountain, or visit the 911 Memorial / Museum .I always considered myself mentally strong enough to withstand anything , I was wrong , this is different . That statue , for whatever reason has helped me more than any therapist / shrink / counselor ever could , believe me , I’ve tried . If anyone gets a chance to visit the statue , I highly recommend it . 

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