Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 7 – The Day the War in Afghanistan Began with U.S. Special Forces leading the way

continued from earlier post "Remembering 9/11"...

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, many U.S. citizens held the view that the attacks had "changed the world forever." The Bush administration announced a war on terrorism, with the goal of bringing Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda to justice and preventing the emergence of other terrorist networks. These goals would be accomplished by means including economic and military sanctions against states perceived as harboring terrorists and increasing global surveillance and intelligence sharing.

On October 7, 2001, the War in Afghanistan began when U.S and British forces initiated aerial bombing campaigns in Afghanistan targeting Taliban and Al-Qaeda camps, then later invaded Afghanistan with ground troops of the Special Forces. This was the second-largest operation of the U.S. Global War on Terrorism outside of the United States, and the largest directly connected to terrorism, resulting in the overthrow of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, by a U.S.-led coalition.

The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front (Northern Alliance) launched Operation Enduring Freedom. The primary driver of the invasion was the September 11 attacks on the United States, with the stated goal of dismantling the al-Qaeda terrorist organization and ending its use of Afghanistan as a base. The United States also said that it would remove the Taliban regime from power and create a viable democratic state. More than a decade into the war, NATO forces continue to battle a widespread Taliban insurgency, and the war has expanded into the tribal area of neighboring Pakistan. The War in Afghanistan is also the United States' longest running war.

In the first phase of Operation Enduring Freedom, ground forces of the Afghan United Front working with teams of U.S. and British Special Forces and with U.S. air support, ousted the Taliban regime from power in Kabul and most of Afghanistan in a matter of weeks.

This is the BBI released Elite Force 1/6 scale Richard Marcinko, Land Warrior 12-inch figure. Richard "Dick" Marcinko (born November 21, 1940), is a retired Navy SEAL commander and Vietnam veteran. He was the first Commanding Officer of SEAL Team Six and Red Cell. After retiring from the United States Navy, he became an author, radio talk show host, military consultant, and motivational speaker.

On 7 October 2001, the U.S. government launched military operations in Afghanistan. Teams from the CIA's Special Activities Division (SAD) were the first U.S. forces to enter Afghanistan and begin combat operations. They were soon joined by U.S. Army Special Forces from the 5th Special Forces Group and other units from USSOCOM.

This is the 2002 released Dragon Models Limited (DML) 1/6 scale CIA Covert Ops Agent "Jones" 12-inch figure supposedly operating in Qala-i-Jangi in November 2001. He came with sunglasses, green hooded sweat shirt, 3-colour desert camouflage trousers, web belt with utility pouch, Smith & Wesson 1006 pistol in holster, Woodlands camouflage butt pack, M9 bayonet in scabbard, Camelbak water carrier, watch, TACBE radio, Kalashnikov AK–47 with Surefire tactical light and double magazine, and Adidas shoes.

The Dragon "Jones" Head sculpt was meant to resemble David Beckham, world famous footballer. This was probably one of the first sculpts done of him. Since then, there have been plenty of Beckham head sculpts released. See MORE pictures HERE :)

Dragon Models Limited (DML) also released this 1/6 scale US Army Special Forces "Dean" 12-inch military action figure in 2002 with head sculpt resembling that of Liev Schreiber who played CIA operative John Clark in the 2002 film "The Sum of All Fears", which was very loosely based on Tom Clancy's 1991 novel of the same title. See MORE pictures HERE

"Dean" wears a black knit cap, goggles, black leather and wool jacket, woodlands camouflage assault vest with utility pouches containing his Motorola Walkie-talkie radio and Mk13 signal flare, desert camouflage trousers, web belt with ammo pouches plus two M67 fragmentation grenades, drop-down holster with his Beretta 92F pistol, water canteen, first-aid pouch, M9 bayonet in scabbard, drop-down woodlands camo pouch with AN/PVS-7 NVG and is armed with the SOPMOD (Special Ops Perculiar Modification) M4A1 Carbine fitted with AN/PEQ2 laser designator and M68 Aimpoint plus the Barrett M82 .50inch sniper rifle.

"Dean" also comes with a HUGE backpack. The color has faded from the original green to this coyote brownish tan over the years, a natural weathering process haha

This is a kitbash 1/6 scale the Afghan United Front (Northern Alliance) soldier. The US-led Coalition was assisted by the Northern Alliance forces (a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996. The organization united various Afghan groups fighting against each other to fight the Taliban instead) in Afghanistan.

This figure is originally Dragon Model's "Mustapha" of the Moroccan Infantry French Expeditionary Corps, circa Monte Cassino 1944. His getup in basically the same, only weapons and gear have been updated.

Close-up of the "Mustapha" head sculpt. MORE pics HERE

This is the first Hot Toys released NSW DEVGRU (Naval Special Warfare Development Group) operator, released in 2003. Before Hot Toys got into the movie business, they were concentrating their efforts in the military genre and produced some very nice 12-inch military action figures.

This 1/6 figure came with the then revolutionary rubber body but as you can see, the rubber has hardened and cracked over time. You can see my post HERE on "What to do about Cracking Rubber and Disintegrating Suits"

The cracked skin does go well with the tiger stripes desert camouflage pants haha

This is the later released Hot Toys 1/6 scale CIA operative in Afghanistan (released in 2007) 12-inch figure with updated equipment and accessories including the LST-5C SATCOM.

He also had on him Afghan wool hat, tactical eyewear, LASH II headset, long-sleeved Afghan style shirt, Shemaghs, AK47 chest-rig, civilian vest, Binoculars, H.A.W.G. Hydro backpack, LST- 5C SATCOM, pants, M9 pistol in 6004 tactical holster, Hiking boots, AKMs with GP-25 underbarrel grenade launcher, flexi-cuffs, camera, mobile phone, SONY WAIO laptop and digital camcorder

Head sculpt was meant to resemble Eric Bana who played Sergeant First Class Norm 'Hoot' Gibson in "Black Hawk Down [2001]" based on real Delta Force operator Norm 'Hoot' Hooten

Last but not least, 1/6 scale Viggo Mortensen as US Navy SEAL. Viggo Mortensen was Master Chief John James 'Jack' Urgayle of the US Navy SEALs in "GI Jane (1997)" together with Demi Moore. He certainly makes a fine addition to the US Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), premier Navy SEAL unit and the USN's primary Counter-Terrorism and covert operations unit.

Check out more pictures HERE :)

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was established by the U.N. Security Council at the end of December 2001 to secure Kabul and the surrounding areas. NATO assumed control of ISAF in 2003. ISAF includes troops from 42 countries, with NATO members providing the core of the force. In 2003, Taliban forces started an insurgency campaign against the democratic Islamic Republic and the presence of ISAF-troops in Afghanistan. Since 2006, Afghanistan has experienced a dramatic increase in Taliban-led insurgent activity. On May 21, 2012 the leaders of the NATO-member countries endorsed an exit strategy during the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago.

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