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Kunduz

Kunduz city located in Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan is the 5th largest city (some say 6th) in the country. Its population numbers around 300,000. The city and the surrounding areas are a strategic gateway to Central Asia. The city is about 140 miles north of Kabul. For many years after the initial invasion of U.S. forces in 2001 the city and surrounding area was relatively stable and secure when compared to many cities in eastern and southern Afghanistan. However, the situation in Kunduz has deteriorated over the past few years. The Taliban and other insurgent groups have increased their operations in northern Afghanistan. Kunduz has a diverse ethnic makeup of Tajik, Uzbek, and Pashtun residents (as well as a some Turkmen and Hazara) and a long history of illegal militias that compounds the security situation.

Map of Kunduz Province
Map of Afghanistan with Kunduz Province in Red (Creative Commons)


Map Kunduz Province - UNAMA Feb 2010
Map Kunduz Province by UNAMA Feb 2010


Map Kunduz City
Map of Kunduz City -  © OpenStreetMap contributors


IMU and Other Foreign Fighters.
The presence of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) fighters in Kunduz province contributes to the instability caused by the Taliban. Some reports indicate that the IMU has declared loyalty to the Islamic State. Afghan government sources say that a variety of foreign fighters from Pakistan and Central Asian countries are found within the insurgent ranks of militant groups operating in the Kunduz.


Fight for Kunduz 2015

The beginning of the Taliban fighting season in 2015 saw a major push by the insurgents for control of the areas surrounding Kunduz. They were somewhat successful although their attempts to take the city of Kunduz were stymied by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) - many who were rushed to reinforce the beleaguered ANDSF stationed in the city. However, it seems that the insurgents established control over five of the province's seven districts over the length of the 2015 fighting season.

In June 2015 the Taliban mounted another offensive - seizing more areas surrounding Kunduz, but, once again failing to take the city. Afghan SOF units, local militias, Afghan Local Police, Afghan National Police, and the Afghan army all worked together (sort of) to stop the Taliban's conquest of Kunduz. Government troops spent much of the summer of 2015 recapturing lost territory.

In late September 2015 the Taliban were successful in seizing the city. Many Taliban infliltrated the city in advance of the attack. Some rode in on secondary roads using motorcycles. The fall of Kunduz marks the first time since 2001 that the Taliban have controlled a major Afghan city or provincial capital. ANDSF units were rushed into the area for a counteroffensive that took several days to establish. By October 1st the Afghan government was declaring Kunduz center to be in the control of government forces. The September 2015 battle is further described below.


September 2015 Fall of Kunduz

After a series of attacks for the past several months and a month-long siege the northern provincial capital of Kunduz fell to Taliban fighters on during the last days of September. Many government officials and employees fled to the city's airport to seek safety. The Afghan security forces fell back to the airport as well as a few other locations. Early reports indicated that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) moved to the airport and other locations after abandoning their posts - to include police stations, the governor's mansion, city prison, and other installations.

Areas held by Taliban. By Monday most of Kunduz fell to the Taliban to include the National Directorate of Security (NDS) office, UNAMA, city prison, and most government offices. The airport and part of a police hqs remained in government hands.

Airport. Government forces retained control of the Kunduz airport during the fight despite Taliban efforts to take the airport. The airport, located to the southeast of Kunduz City, was key for the arrival of government reinforcements, supplies, ammunition, and medical evacuations. For a few days it was the only area under the control of the government forces.

Roads. Most roads leading into Kunduz were controlled by the Taliban and/or were mined. In a seemingly coordinated effort Taliban elements in Baghlan province were preventing convoys of Afghan security forces from reaching Kunduz from ANDSF installations near Kabul. The two major routes - the Kunduz-Baghlan highway and Kunduz-Takhar highway - have been blocked by insurgents. The Kunduz-Balkh highway was made almost impassable a few months ago when Taliban fighters blew up a connecting bridge. 15. 

Prisoners Released. The Taliban liberated more than 600 prisoners - among them an estimated 100 to 150 Taliban fighters.

Taliban's Brutal Clampdown. With the capture of the city the Taliban were able to go door-to-door to find and punish those who supported the government of Afghanistan. These unfortunate individuals were security members, government officials, employees, teachers, female doctors, and others. The offices of the government, UN agencies, health care workers, and NGOs were ransacked and destroyed. As the Taliban moved into the city they dispersed into selected neighborhoods with 'hit lists" targeting personnel allied or associated with the Afghan government. While the Taliban made statements that the citizens need not worry the truth is there was plenty to fear. 4. and 11. Some international organizations such as Amnesty International have compared the Taliban's action in Kunduz as a "reign of terror". 12.  Some news reports indicate that the Taliban have committed extrajudicial killings of civil and military individuals - as well as committing incidents of torture. 14.  Many of the city's radio stations were destroyed by the Taliban to include one that was that was women-run.  23., 29. 

U.S. Airstrikes. Reports were muddled about how many U.S. airstrikes took place. Statements from RS HQs indicated that the airstrikes were in support of U.S. troops (SOF) on the ground in a "self-defense" context. The RS HQs folks seemed pained to stress that the use of air power (as well as 'return fire' by SOF advisors) was justified for reasons of self-defense. Evidently RS HQs seems to think that using airpower to help the Afghan SOKs engage the enemy would make some folks squeemish! 13. The National Directorate of Security (NDS) says that the shadow governor (Mawlawi Salam) was killed in an air strike (although he said in a later audio interview reports of his death were premature).

Kunduz Hospital Bombed. In an unfortunate airstrike the U.S. apparently struck a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz. The MSF stated that they had provided the coordinates of the hospital to NATO and the U.S. on the 29th of September. At least nine staff workers were killed with many more injured. 26. Total deaths, including patients, reached in the low twenties. The U.S. has stated that the U.S. aircraft (an AC-130 gunship) was responding for a call for air support by Afghan security forces on the ground. 19. The U.S. military had a difficult time explaining how it wound up bombing the MSF hospital. 20. Some international organizations are calling the airstrike a war crime although most likely it is just one huge screwup by the U.S. Air Force and others involved in calling for the airstrike. 21. Human Rights Watch (international organization) is calling for compensation for the victims and an independent investigation. 22.  The incident has caused international outrage and forced President Obama to issue a personal apology. 24., 25.  MSF released an internal review of the attack on the Kunduz Trauma Centre on Nov 5, 2015. Read more about the air attack against the MSF medical facility in Kunduz.

NATO SOF. Some news reports say that U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) along with British and German SOF were involved in the fight at the airport. Reportedly the Brits had their elite Special Boat Service (SBS) commandos deployed to Kunduz. The U.S. SOF were most likely they were advisors attached to the 5th Special Operations Kandak (SOK) based in northern Afghanistan. Perhaps some were attached as advisors to one of the Kabul-based Afghan special mission units of the MoI. 1.  8.  The SOF operators were likely instrumental in calling in U.S. airstrikes to support the advised Afghan SOF units. Although these NATO SOF operators were in an advise and assist role it is very likely that they took part in the fighting.

Shaken Confidence in Government. The fall of Kunduz dealt a psychological blow to the Afghan security forces, Afghan government and people. The capture of this important city by the Taliban coincided with the one-year anniversary of the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG).  While the Taliban may soon relinquish control of Kunduz city to the Afghan security forces the loss of confidence of the Afghan people in the government will be significant. 7. 

Provincial Politics. During the initial phases of the Kunduz occupation by the Taliban the provincial governor (Mohammad Omer Safi) was reported in press reports to be either: 1) on vacation in Turkey, 2) having fled to Tajikistan by helicopter (to the north), or 3) in exile in the UK. He later re-appeared in Kabul - dismissing reports that he had fled to London. 5. President Ghani fired the governor of Kunduz during all the turmoil. Ghani replaced Safi with Hamdullah Danishi appointing him as Kunduz Acting-Governor. Safi, an ethnic Pashtun, was appointed by Ghani. The Provincial Chief of Police (PCoP) was a Tajik and appointed by CEO Abdullah. This balancing act between two provincial power brokers contributed to the deteriorating security situation. 3., 30. 

Central Asian States Worried. Kunduz province forms part of the northern border of Afghanistan - the country of Tajikistan lies directly to the north of Kunduz. Naturally the Tajikistan nation is worried about the deteriorating situation in the province to the south. The country has invited the Russians to redeploy troops in an effort to beef up security. 6., 27. 

Initial Embarrassment. Many critics say that 5,000 - 7,000 highly equipped Afghan security forces should not have fallen to a guerrilla force number roughly 1,000 to 2,000 in number. It appears that there was a lack of will to fight off the insurgents.

Non-Pashtun Taliban a Growing Problem. An emerging trend that has analysts worried is the growth of non-Pashtun Taliban members in the north. By recruiting Tajik, Hazara, and Uzbek members the Taliban will become more entrenched in the north of Afghanistan. 17. 

Government Counterattack. Some news reports stated that Afghan government forces started a counterattack at mid-week - on Wednesday. The operation was a joint attack by Afghan army and police units - spearheaded by Afghan special operations forces. By Thursday, the fourth day of the battle the Ministry of Interior (MoI) issued statements that the city was in the control of Afghan government forces - but little outsider reporting backed that statement up. According to official Afghan sources the Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF) control Kunduz City. The ASSF is comprised of the Army Special Operations Kandaks and police special units. Some witnesses and news reports stated the center of the city was in the control of government forces by Thursday morning (Oct 1, Kabul time). 9.  Other accounts said that the battle was still raging with the Taliban forces scattering about the city in groups of 10 to 12 individuals (a typical and effective guerrilla fighting tactic).

Taliban Fall back to Outskirts of City. The Taliban, after initially fighting off the counterattack by government troops filtered out to the outskirts of the city and continued their attacks against the ANDSF from those vantage points.

Taliban Announce Withdrawal from City. The Taliban, after days of fighting within the city proper, announced that they were withdrawing from Kunduz City to take up positions on the outside of the city and in the other areas of the province. This action, the spokesman said, would avoid unnecessary casualties within the Taliban ranks and reduce civilian casualties. 28. 

Symbolic Victory for Taliban? Many look at the fall of Kunduz, despite the quick counterattack by the ANDSF, as a symbolic victory for the insurgents. In fact, the new leader of the Taliban said as much in a phone interview with the Associated Press. 10.  

Kunduz a Former German Area. Germany was the third-largest contributor of troops to the U.S.-led coalition under the ISAF flag and Kunduz was touted as one of its success stories. A Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) provided much development and humanitarian assistance in the area. As of September 2015 about 850 German troops were participating in the Resolute Support mission (replacing the ISAF mission) but are mostly concentrated in the Mazar-e Sharif area at Camp Marmal.

Resolute Support Re-Examines Strategy? Many critics of the Obama administration's time-phased withdrawal (as opposed to event-driven withdrawal) point out the fall of a provincial capital to the Taliban as evidence the current strategy is flawed. Perhaps they are right! The pulling off of advisors (SFAATs) from ANA brigade and kandak units was certainly too soon. ISAF (later RS HQs) proclamations that the ANDSF 'know how to fight' but need continued advise and assistance in "sustainment" in some essential functions at the ministry level are starting to sound very hollow.

Kunduz Fact-Finding Team. President Ashraf Ghani assigned a fact-finding commission to probe the fall of Kunduz City. The commission was headed by Amrullah Saleh - a former head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS). The commission released its findings on Saturday, November 21, 2015. It found fault with the National Security Council (NSC) - saying there was no coordination or unity among the NSC members and recommended a change in the structure of its members. The commission found no conspiracy over the fall of the city but that poor management had led to the crisis. It also cited the government as negligent in the security situation in the run up to the crisis. One aspect of the report was the identification of a "grey network" that was running a parallel government in Kunduz - in favor of a weak government but still anti-Taliban. When the government took control of Chardara and Dasht-i-Archi districts the government should have retaken these districts - not doing so contributed to the fall of Kunduz. 31.


Kunduz During Early Days of Operation Enduring Freedom

The city of Kunduz was one of the first cities to fall to the Northern Alliance at the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The city was placed under siege by General Mohammed Daud Daud - who was linked up with U.S. Army Special Forces and supported by U.S. air support. The city fell on November 23, 2001 after the Taliban surrender. 2. Many Taliban commanders were airlifted out of the city by C-130 to safety while others surrender to the Northern Alliance.


Kunduz During Later Stages of Enduring Freedom

Kundez was a primary area of concern for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Regional Command North (RC-North) was composed primarily of Europeon nations and controlled coalition operations in northern Afghanistan. The Germans were responsible for the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) located in Kunduz province. The PRT's overall tasks were to improve security, extend the authority of the Afghan government, and facilitate reconstruction. The Kunduz PRT was closed down in October 2013. 16.  At the time, there was hope that with a massive infusion of development funds that security would follow; but some PRT members started to question the concept - and consider the idea that development should follow security. 18.  


Websites with Info on Kunduz

Past Afghan War News Blog Posts on Kunduz
www.afghanwarnews.blogspot.com/search/label/Kunduz

Kunduz Province by WikipediA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunduz_Province

Kunduz City by WikipediA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunduz

Afghanistan's New Northern Flash Points by Radio Free Europe
www.rferl.org/fullinfographics/infographics/27013992.html

Counterinsurgency in Northern Afghanistan by WikipediA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterinsurgency_in_Northern_Afghanistan


Papers about Fall of Kunduz

Ali, Obaid, The 2016 Insurgency in the North: Beyond Kunduz City - lessons (not taken) from the Taleban takeover, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), January 30, 2016. An analysis of the current situation (Jan 2016) in and around Kunduz City.
www.afghanistan-analysts.org/the-2016-insurgency-in-the-north-beyond-kunduz-city-lessons-not-taken-from-the-taleban-takeover/

UNAMA, Special Report on Kunduz Province, December 12, 2015.
http://unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/civcas/Special%20Report%20on%20Kunduz%20province_12%20December%202015.pdf

Cordesman, Anthony H., The Tragedy in Kunduz, the Real Threat to Afghan Civilians, and the Need for Changes in U.S. Strategy, Center for Strategic & International Studies, October 9, 2015.
http://csis.org/publication/tragedy-kunduz-real-threat-afghan-civilians-and-need-changes-us-strategy

Cordesman, Anthony H., Afghanistan and the Defeat in Kunduz: The Crisis in Transition, Center for Strategic & International Studies, September 29, 2015.
http://csis.org/publication/afghanistan-and-defeat-kunduz-crisis-transition


Videos about Kunduz

Video from the North. Resolute Support HQs released a 5-min long video on YouTube featuring the cdrs of TACC-North and the 209th Corps. This done on the same day that Kunduz fell - 29 September. www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e4ICoEU1w4

Video Interview. Michael Kugelman discusses the battle of Kunduz with Gandhara RFE, 2 October 2015. www.youtube.com/watch?t=226&v=EdGL3__zqls


News Reports About Kunduz

July 9, 2017. "New Taleban Attacks in Kunduz: Less coordinated, still well-placed to threaten the city", Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN). The AAN provides a detail account of how the ANDSF have gotten better at cross-coordination between security organizations and how fragmentation of the Taleban have hurt efforts to take control of Kunduz city.

March 28, 2017. "The Taliban's New Plan for Capturing Kunduz", The Diplomat. Franz J. Marty explores new options for the insurgents quest to capture a provincial capital.

January 12, 2017. "Civilian casualties confirmed in Boz Village, Kunduz", Resolute Support. RS HQs acknowledged that In November 2-3, 2016 33 civilians were killed and 27 wounded during an aerial bombing of civilian homes used by the Taliban. U.S. Special Forces advisors who were accompanying Afghan SOF requested air support. Two U.S. Soldiers were killed and four wounded during the enemy engagement.

January 12, 2017. "Kunduz Attack in November Killed 33 Civilians, U.S. Military Says", The New York Times.

June 9, 2016. "Taliban seeking to undermine security perception in Kunduz", by Franz J. Marty, IHS Jane's 360. In May and June 2016 the Taliban have been setting up illegal roadblocks and executing some passengers they accuse of being members of the ANDSF.

February 6, 2016. "Kunduz Residents Live in Fear of Taliban's Return", The New York Times.

December 16, 2015. "Afghanistan: After Kunduz", by Patricia Gossman, The Diplomat.

November 26, 2015. "Visiting Kunduz, a Taliban Target, Afghan Leader Urges Security Overhaul", The New York Times. Ghani says the fall of Kunduz was a coordination and intelligence failure. He says illegal militias should stop victimizing the people of Kunduz.

November 15, 2015. "Afghan Official: Over 1,300 Foreign Fighters in Kunduz Battle", Voice of America. Most observers think the estimate is too high.

October 16, 2015. "The 2015 Insurgency in the North (3): The fall and recapture of Kunduz", by Obaid Ali, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), 16 October 2015.

October 10, 2015. "Kunduz Frontline Report: 10 Days After the Taliban Siege", by Sanjay Kumar, The Diplomat. An Afghan journalist embedded with Afghan special forces in Kunduz is interviewed.

October 7, 2015. "The Fall of Kunduz and What It Means for the Future of Afghanistan", by Jason Campbell, War on the Rocks.

October 6, 2015. "Bombed Doctors Without Borders Clinic's Location Was No Mystery". By David Axe, The Daily Beast.

October 5, 2015. "Afghan Forces in Kunduz, Raising Flag, Appear to Gain Against Taliban", by Alissa J. Rubin, The New York Times.

October 5, 2015. "U.S. Airstrike on Kunduz Hospital: An Open Source Overview", by aric Toler, Bellingcat.com. Videos and photos of U.S. airstrike on the Kunduz hospital.

October 2, 2015. "Kunduz fighting: Could city's fall boost peace prospects?", BBC News.

October 2, 2015. "Taliban Fighters Remain in Kunduz, One Day After Afghan Army Regains Control". Gandhara Blog. Some fighters take up positions in civilian homes.

October 2, 2015. "Five Questions Congress Should Ask About Afghanistan After Kunduz". By Christopher D. Kolenda, Foreign Policy. The Kunduz debacle will likely be misdiagnosed as a military rather than political problem. It's not about U.S. troop numbers, but rather the Afghan government itself.

October 2, 2015. "What the Fall of Kunduz Means for Afghan Stability", By John C. K. Daly, Silk Road Reporters. This is a watershed moment for the post-Soviet states of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan - all of whom share frontiers with Afghanistan.

October 2, 2015. "Watching Kunduz Collapse from the Sidelines". By Raza Rumi, Foreign Policy. The fall of Kunduz jeopardizes Pakistan's quest for internal stability.

October 1, 2015. "The Regional Roots of Kunduz's Collapse", by Daud Khattak, Foreign Policy.

October 1, 2015. "Lesson from Kunduz: Afghanistan's civilian & military heads must come together". By Enayat Azad, Catch.news. Azad is an Afghan journalist working in Kabul.

October 1, 2015. "Afghanistan's Elite Special Forces Take Lead in Fighting Taliban". By Frud Bezhan, Radio Free Europe.

October 1, 2015. "Afghan Forces Rally in Kunduz, but Fight Is Far From Decided". The New York Times. Report by Alissa J. Rubin. The importance of Kunduz province lies in the road network connecting Afghanistan with Central Asia (transit route for drugs) and its fertile agricultural land (a basis of taxes for the Taliban).

October 1, 2015. "A grunt's thoughts on the loss of Kunduz: I used to tell my squad that it was worth it", By Ryan Blum, Foreign Policy.

October 1, 2015. "Kunduz Regained?" The Atlantic.

October 1, 2015. "Kunduz: Not Afghanistan's Saigon". Gary Owen provides his take in his It's Always Sunny in Kabul.

October 1, 2015. "Why Kabul struggled to retake Kunduz". Deutsch Welle.

October 1, 2015. "Afghan Taliban attack: Fierce clashes for control of Kunduz". BBC News.

October 1, 2015. "Afghan forces reclaim Kunduz, but face questions about why city fell". Los Angeles Times. Ali M. Latifi and Shashank Bengali provide details on the fall of Kunduz.

October 1, 2015. "Afghan special forces seize control of Kunduz city from Taliban", Khaama Press. The Taliban held the city for almost four days.

October 1, 2015. "Kunduz and the Many Failures in Afghanistan". By Ershad Ahmadi in The New York Times. The author points out what has been done wrong and must be done right by the National Unity Government.

September 30, 2015. "Kunduz's Fall to a Resurgent Taliban May Signal Deeper Woes for U.S.-Backed Government", Time.com. Article by Mark Thompson.

September 30, 2015. "How We Lost Kunduz". War is Boring. Robert Beckhusen tells us that the militias the U.S. paid to fight the Taliban helped bring it down. Beckhusen appears to get his facts half-right when he describes the role the U.S. plays with respect to the Afghan Local Police and the arbakis.

September 30, 2015. "A Taliban Prize, Won in a Few Hours After Years of Strategy", The New York Times. Joseph Goldstein examines the fall of Kunduz.

September 30, 2015. "U.S. Base Seen as Monument to Futility as Afghans Watch Kunduz Fall". The New York Times. Veterans who served in Kunduz wonder if the effort was worth it.

September 30, 2015. "Taliban widen offensive as NATO special forces join fight for Kunduz". The Guardian. Good maps depicting the fight for Kunduz.

September 30, 2015. "The Fall of Kunduz: What does it tell us about the strength of the post-Omar Taleban?", Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN).

September 30, 2015. "Kunduz City Falls", Foreign Policy. Ionannis Koskinas writes that ". . . security in Kunduz did not deteriorate overnight. For more than a decade, the NATO and Afghan government strategy in the province has been clumsy and largely ineffective".

September 30, 2015. "Veteran Observer Dissects Taliban Kunduz Victory", Gandhara Blog. A former UN and EU advisor on Afghanistan reflects on the stunning takeover of Kunduz by the Taliban.

September 30, 2015. "Why the fall of Kunduz, Afghanistan, matters to the USA". USA Today.

September 30, 2015. "Kunduz Security Long in Decay Before Taliban Takeover". Voice of America.

September 29, 2015. "Afghan forces battle to regain control of city after stunning loss", Reuters. President Ghani partly attributes the loss to ANDSF restraint in an effort to avoid civilian casualties. Hmmm. A little spinning happening here?

September 28, 2015. "The bloody history of Kunduz, from Afghanistan's 'Convoy of Death' to now", by Dan Lamothe, The Washington Post.

September 28, 2015. "President Ghani: Kunduz City is being cleared of terrorist groups", Office of the President, http://president.gov.af/en/news/53308

June 5, 2015. "The Failed Pilot Test: Kunduz' local governance crisis", Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN). Article examines the political leadership (or lack of), control of local militias, and how the security situation hurts the ability to govern.

May 3, 2015. "Thematic Dossier VIII: The evolution of insecurity in Kunduz", Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN). The authors examine the latest attack (April 2015) on Kunduz as well as the overall security and political situation in the province.


News Reports from Soviet Occupation Era

August 15, 1988. "A Big Afghan Town is Seized by Rebels". The New York Times. Afghan guerrillas took control of Kunduz from the Soviet-backed government forces. Soviet spokesmen indicated that the Soviets would not reinforce the city with Soviet troops and that the fall of Kunduz was the fault of local Afghan commanders.


 


Endnotes

1. For more on SOF in Kunduz during the fall of 2015 fight read "What are NATO Special Forces doing in Kunduz?", Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), September 2015.
www.sipri.org/media/blogs/writepeace/NATO_special_forces

2. For more on the capture of Kunduz in 2001 by the Northern Alliance see Siege of Kunduz, by WikipediA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Kunduz

3. Read more on the ethnic and political strife that affected the Kunduz security situation in "Kunduz Security Long in Decay Before Taliban Takeover", Voice of America, September 30, 2015.
www.voanews.com/content/kunduz-security-long-in-decay-before-taliban-takeover/2985571.html

4. Read more in "Taliban's Brutal Measures Belie 'Charm Offensive' in Captured Kunduz", Gandhara Blog, September 30, 2015.
http://gandhara.rferl.org/content/afghanistan-taliban-charm-offensive-in-kunduz/27279986.html

5. Read more in "Kunduz Governor Reappears, Vows to Spill His 'Last Drop of Blood' Fighting Taliban", Gandhara Blog, September 30, 2015.
http://gandhara.rferl.org/content/afghanistan-kunduz--governor-reappears/27279991.html

6. Read more in "Russia to Redeploy Troops to Afghanistan - Tajikistan Border", ValueWalk, September 30, 2015.

7. For loss of confidence see "Fall of Kunduz threatens to erode confidence in Afghan government", Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2015.

8. For info on U.S. advisors see "U.S. troops dispatched to Kunduz to help Afghan forces", The Washington Post, September 30, 2015.

9. One report says "Afghan special forces seize control of Kunduz city from Taliban", Khaama Press, October 1, 2015.

10. See "AP Exclusive:Taliban leader says Afghan insurgency strong", Associated Press, October 2, 2015.

11. For more on the clampdown by the Taliban in Kunduz read "Taking Hold in Kunduz, Afghanistan, New Taliban Echoed the Old Taliban", by Joseph Goldstein, The New York Times, October 1, 2015.

12. See "Afghanistan: Harrowing accounts emerge of the Taliban's reign of terror in Kunduz", Amnesty International, 1 October 2015.

13. The U.S. spokesmen seemed to take great pains to explain that the use of airpower or return fire by SOF on the ground during the fight for Kunduz was only for 'self-defense'. Read Robert Chesney's ponderings on this topic in "Why the Emphasis on Self-Defense?", Lawfare Blog, October 2, 2015.

14. For more on Taliban brutality see "Taliban Atrocities Alleged in Kunduz", Voice of America, October 2, 2015.

15. For more info on blocked roads read "Afghanistan: Offensive to Retake Kunduz Fails". The Diplomat, September 30, 2015.

16. For more on PRT Kundez read The PRT Kunduz: An Unsuccessful Command Structure, by LTC Lars Werner, German Army, posted on the website of Global ECCO.
https://globalecco.org/the-prt-kunduz-an-unsuccessful-command-structure

17. For more on non-Pashtun members of the Taliban read "Here's the Most Disturbing Thing About the Talivan Takeover of Kunduz", by Akhilesh Pillalamarri, The Diplomat, October 2, 105. The Taliban is gaining currency outside of its traditional Pasthun base - a troubling trend.

18. The former head of the German PRT speaks about recent events in Kunduz in "A Shocking Development in the Long Struggle to Hold on to Kunduz", NPR Parallells, October 4, 2015.

19. See "U.S. General Says Afghans Requested Airstrike That Hit Kunduz Hospital", The New York Times, October 5, 2015.

20. Explanations for the bombing was difficult - see "U.S. military struggles to explain how it wound up bombing Doctors Without Borders hospital", The Washington Post, October 5, 2015.

21. Screwup or War Crime? Read more in "Did the US Bombing of an Afghan Hospital Cross the Line Between Screwup and War Crime?", Mother Jones, October 7, 2015.

22. For more on international organizations and their reaction to the airstrike see "Afghanistan: US inquiry Must Go Past Admitting Mistakes", Human Rights Watch, October 6, 2015. HRW demands compensation for MSF and victims and an independent investigation.

23. See "Taliban Flips the Switch on Women's Radio, TV in Kunduz", Radio Free Europe, October 7, 2015.

24. See "Obama Apologizes to MSF for Air Strike on Kunduz Hospital", Radio Free Europe, October 7, 2015.

25. For another account of the Kunduz hospital strike read "By evening, a hospital. By morning, a war zone", The Washington Post, October 10, 2015.

26. Many of the hospital staff died in the air attack of the MSF facility to include one of the janitors. (The New York Times,  Oct 10, 2015).

27. For more of Russia in Central Asia read "After the Fall of Kunduz, Russia Tries to Shore Up Defenses in Central Asia", by Joshua Kurcera, The Bug Pit, Eurasianet.org.
www.eurasianet.org/node/75486

28. See "Taliban Withdraw From Kunduz After Days of Fighting", By Rod Nordland, The New York Times, October 13, 2015.
www.nytimes.com/2015/10/14/world/asia/taliban-afghanistan-kunduz.html

29. For more on clampdown read "Screams From Northern Afghanistan Have Been Silenced", by Jade Wu, Small Wars Journal, October 12, 2015.

30. See more on Kunduz fact finding report in "Negligence of Presidency, Executive Office led to fall of Kunduz", ATN News, November 19, 2015.

31. For more on the Kunduz fact-finding commission report read "Govt to Assess NSC Structure: Hashemi", Tolo News, November 2, 2015.

 


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