Inside the Ring

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The video quotes a Taliban commander as saying: “You and the entire world know that a big field gun was placed here. The Americans were forced to flee after continuous attacks by the mujahedeen, and as far as you can see here, all fell into mujahedeen hands.”

The video also includes a question-and-answer session with a questioner asking whether the Taliban will be able to capture other bases; the answer is, “We are positive that other bases will be captured in the same way.”

The intelligence reports of an impending attack on Kamdesh were not acted upon because they were dismissed as unconfirmed or insignificant, according to an Army spokesman.

The intelligence indicated a new Taliban subcommander in Kamdesh, named Ghulan Faroq, had been appointed and “charged with attacking COP Keating.” It gave no date for the attack.

The intelligence reporting also states that days before the attack, “fighters in Kamdesh received a resupply of B-10 ammunition” suitable for use with Soviet-designed B-10 recoilless guns that fire 82 mm mortarlike rounds. Another pre-attack report states that around Oct. 2, a Taliban meeting was held in Kamdesh and that “a Taliban commander will arrive in Kamdesh soon to conduct attacks against coalition forces.”

A third report says that in late September, “a Taliban commander planned to conduct simultaneous attacks against coalition bases in Gewardesh, Kamu and Kamdesh regions of Nuristan and that each attack would be perpetrated by 10-15 Taliban fighters in each location.”

Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr. confirmed in closed-door testimony Oct. 22 before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that there were three intelligence reports indicating that Taliban forces were preparing to attack a remote U.S. combat outpost in eastern Afghanistan, according to defense officials.

Great green fleet

As world representatives debate climate change in Copenhagen and skeptics continue to level charges of scientific fraud on the subject, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is taking the sea service green.

A report by Mr. Mabus’ office states that in the 21st century, the Navy will deploy a “great green fleet” that will seek aggressively to reduce the use of fossil fuels and seek to secure energy supplies.

In an interview with Inside the Ring, Mr. Mabus disputed critics who might suggest environmentalism was more important than force readiness. “Our No. 1 concern in becoming energy-efficient and moving away from fossil fuel is to improve war-fighting,” he said.

Also, Mr. Mabus said green technology is available, noting that an F-18 jet has been flown with biofuel instead of kerosine. “It worked fine,” he said.

Mr. Mabus also said the Navy’s first green ship is the amphibious assault carrier USS Makin Island, which is propelled with both gas turbines and electric motors.

In a preface to the report, Mr. Mabus stated that he is committed to “energy reform” and reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

“The underlying reasons for reform are clear,” he said. “Our energy sources are not secure. We need to be more efficient in energy use, and we emit too much carbon. Overreliance on fossil fuels is bad strategy, bad business and bad for the planet.”

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About the Author

Bill Gertz INSIDE THE RING

Bill Gertz is geopolitics editor and a national security and investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He has been with The Times since 1985.

He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.

Mr. Gertz also writes a weekly column ...

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