Skip to comments.The Wana Campaign -- Maps, Place Names and Participants An FReference Thread
Posted on 03/21/2004 3:34:25 AM PST by Boot Hill
[This thread was designed primarily as a reference tool. Please limit posts to necessary additions, corrections, questions and pings. Thank you.]
This thread is a reference source of basic information on the Wana (Pakistan) anti-terrorist campaign. It inlcudes maps, locations of geographic place names, ethnic, religious and population information that can benefit the FReeper trying to get a handle on what's happening in this major battle of the War on Terror.
Map #1, Pakistan
As can be seen on the map below, Pakistan is comprised of 4 provinces and one Federally Administered Tribal Areas (or FATA). The Wana campaign is being fought in these tribal areas. The tribal areas can be found on the map about 1/3 of the way down and 1/2 way across, along the border with Afghanistan.
Map #2, The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (in gray)
FATA is comprised of seven distinct agencies. The current campaign is being conducted in the South Waziristan Agency, and more specifically, in the area surrounding the capitol city of Wana. (see below)
Map #3, Waziristan (not labeled), but centered about the capitol of Wana
Map #4, Wana (center) and surrounding area, higher resolution
Map #5, Wana (center) and surrounding area, highest resolution
Finally...If you need a map of Afghanistan (including the provinces) the following link will open in a new window.
Map of Afghanistan
IMPORTANT PLACE NAMES OF THE WANA COMBAT AREA
|Azam Warsak||Azamiwarsakai||PK||NO||27 km (17 miles) SSW (213°) of Wana||GEONames|
|Shin Warsak||Shin Warsak Sat||PK||NO||6 km (3 miles) WWS (239°) of Wana||GEONames|
|Kaloosha||Kalosha||PK||NO||11 km (7 miles) W (264°) of Wana||GEONames|
|Zarian Noor||PK||NO||"within 15 km of Azam Warsak"||News Reports|
|Shakin ||Shkin||AF||YES||37 km (23 miles) NW (311°) of Wana||GEONames|
|Angorada ||De Angur Kot Zyabu||AF/PK||NO||6 km (4 miles) NE (37°) of Shkin||GEONames|
|Lwara ||Lwara Dasta||AF||NO||74 km (46 miles) N (353°) of Wana||GEONames|
GEONames data base
University of Texas Map Collection
If anyone has a more inclusive ping list, would you mind pinging it?
Why does the map show the important names in the smallest type? (That's on the last two maps with the yellow lines)
Are those expressways?
Or Donkey trails?
FYI, w/ maps!
Thanks, Boot Hill.
Thanks for the ping, Ernest. (^:
In fact, the fighting that continued into Sunday is concentrated in about a 30 square mile area near the city of Wana, around the villages of Shin Warsak, Daza Gundai, Kallu Shah, Ghaw Khawa, and Khari Kot.
WHY THE WANA AREA?
Much has been made of the fact that the Pakistani tribal areas are desolate, mountainous areas peopled by fierce warlords. But the reasons for al-Qa'ida and the Taliban hiding out there is much more complex than that.
In 1893, Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, the foreign secretary of British India (which included Pakistan) completed a treaty with the Amir Abdul Rahman Khan of Afghanistan to establish what is known today as the "Durand Line" as being the official boundary between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The surveying and mapping that produced that line, was based more on geography and British wishful thinking, than on problems of regional ethnicity. And therein lies the seeds of the current situation today.
To understand the crux of the problem, look at this Map of ethnic distribution in Afghanistan and Pakistan (opens in anew window, honest!) and note the distribution of the Pashtun peoples. Note, in particular that the Pashtun areas in Pakistan are in the narrow band along the western edge of Pakistan comprising the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). This was Pakistan's "apartheid", to isolate the Pashtuns and their language (Pashto) and fundamentalism from the rest of Pakistan.
The Pashtun people are Sunni fundamentalists, the same faith from which springs the Salafi and the Wahhabist sects that fire the philosophy of Osama bin Laden, al-Qa'ida and, most especially, the Taliban. It is not a surprise then, that the Pashtun people would become famous as the "brutal warriors of the Taliban". No artificial constraint, such as the political boundary between two countries, could restrain this Pashtun support for fundamentalist Islamic causes. Even if it meant harboring terrorists from foreign lands.
The current battle for the tribal areas that Pakistan (and the U.S.) are involved in, not only confronts al-Qa'ida, but also Pashtun fundamentalism. Pakistan has always governed the tribal areas under the principle that "if you don't cause us any problems, we won't cause you any problems". Of the seven tribal agencies within FATA, only North and South Waziristan continue to cause any problems. Pakistan has used the "iron fist and velvet glove" approach to pacify the other tribal areas, but in Waziristan, they are finding, they need more iron fist and less velvet glove.
This battle is winnable.
WHAT IS TASK FORCE 121?
Since the beginning of the Wana operation, there has been much buzz in the press about a major player in the action, namely the mysterious Task Force 121 and its commander, Admiral McRaven.
Task force 121 was established by order of President Bush in July of 2003. It is a special operations, joint service task force, comprised of elements of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, CIA and DIA. It has been charged with the task of tracking down and either capturing or killing Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Mullah Muhammad Omar and other important terrorist leaders.
Task Force 121s composition includes four major elements:
Grey Fox: a deep-cover organisation based at Fort Belvoir in Northern Virginia. Members specialise in spying and intercepting communications. They carry hardware that can tap into electronic-eavesdropping satellites and can splice fibre-optic cables. Grey Fox maintains a fleet of aircraft at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. On occasion, members enter countries on "non-official cover" using assumed identities. Created principally to combat international drug smugglers, Grey Fox has turned out to be the perfect unit for Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfelds demand for "actionable intelligence" to kill or capture Al Qaeda operatives and other terrorists.
The army once maintained Grey Fox, but after September 11 the Pentagon shifted direct control to Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at Fort Bragg, NC. Ultimately, Grey Fox reports to US Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla.
Although officials still refer to the intelligence unit as Grey Fox, a defence source said its code name was changed during the war on terrorism. The source asked that the new designation not be reported. Grey Fox has operated under a number of different code words. In the early 1990s, for example, it was called "Capacity Gear".
JSOC: This is the headquarters for an elite 800-member group of Army Delta Force and Navy SEALs who specialise in counter-terrorism. Left mostly on the shelf pre-September 11, JSOC is today the most active it has ever been.
JSOC was the bulk of Task Force in Afghanistan that hunted Bin Laden, Mulla Omar and other high-value targets. It then reinvented itself as Task Force 121 in Iraq. Sources say its likely the task force will take on a new designating number now that it is back in Afghanistan.
JSOC and Grey Fox make up the "black" world of special operations. The "white" units which operate more publicly include Green Berets and civil-affairs officers.
CIA Special Activities Division: These are CIA paramilitaries who can aid Task Force 121 by setting up networks of sources in Iraq and Afghanistan, and provide intelligence directly to the warriors.
The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment: This fleet of Black Hawk, Chinook and AH-6 "Little Bird" helicopters ferries the Delta Force and SEALs where they need to go, quickly, at night, at low altitudes. Saddam was loaded onto a "Little Bird" Dec. 13 and taken to Tikrit after Task Force 121 and a 4th Infantry Division unit found him hiding in a hole on a farm.
The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), also known as the Night Stalkers (more detail here and here), is the group responsible for many of the "black helicopter" stories that were so common a few years back. They are also the black ops group that practiced the assaults on a number of small American cities as training exercises in preparation for just the kind of operations they are currently conducting in Iraq, Afghanistan (and dare we say it) Pakistan.
I searched the GEONames database for the place names you suggested, or anything remotely resembling those names. I searched an area two degrees square, or 104 miles on a side, centered on Wana. These are the results.
Shin Warsak -- Already included in list of place names, above.
Daza Gundai -- Most likely "Ghundai", meaning mountain or hill, but still no hits on Daza Ghundai or anything like it.
Kallu Shah -- The only thing close was "Kala Rajan Shah, but it was substantially outside the 30 mile "box" to the NE of Wana, while newspaper reports place Kallu Shah as being in the Azam Warsak area, which is to the SW. So, imo, we have no hit on this one either.
Ghaw Khawa -- A big zero. Nothing on GEONames and nothing on Google.
Khari Kot -- Indeterminate. Google had zero hits, but the GEONames database had four possible hits. The most likely was Karim Kot (14 km, 9 miles, NW at 320° from Wana), but I have a low confidence that I correctly identified the Khari Kot named in the article. However, if you think that's the one, I'll add it to the table.
WHY IS IT SO HARD TO FIND THE PLACE NAMES OF THIS REGION?
There are several reasons.
For example if the battles were taking place in New York City, and you gave locations of the action like , lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, most foreigners not familiar with New York City sections, may not relate to those places,and think they are outside the city.
I think you have it right it is a language difference in describing the locations.
Remember these battles are in several places in Waziristan and not just at the more famous one where AL Zawahiri was thought to be. - Tom
WHY THE WANA AREA?
The 1893 treaty that established the Durand Line as the official border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, was term limited to 100 years. That means that as of 1993 (11 years ago), the Durand Line ceased being the official border between these two countries. A provision in that treaty called for a re-negotiation of the exact boundaries of that border upon the expiration of the treaty. A Tripartite Commission has been formed to do just that.
"Coincidently", it was just one year shy of that treaty expiration date in 1992, that Pakistan installed the Taliban government to power in Afghanistan.
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