The Irish Times is reporting that US troops have landed near Kandahar, Afghanistan...
October 17, 2001 7:42 AM   Subscribe

The Irish Times is reporting that US troops have landed near Kandahar, Afghanistan...
It looks like the ground war just started...
posted by tomcosgrave (12 comments total)
Almost no details. A little more than rumor. Besides, special forces have been inside Afghanistan since 9/11. Would like more details than Iranian radio transmissions.
posted by Rastafari at 8:13 AM on October 17, 2001

special forces have been there for weeks. Who do you think is pointing the lasers for the laser guided bombs?

This is likely an just increase in scale of deployment; the spectre gunships they started using the other day are normally used to support special forces on the ground.
posted by argon405 at 9:28 AM on October 17, 2001

"Laser guided bombs" are guided by lasers aimed by the launching jet. Most of them are two-seaters, and the "guy in back" is the weapons officer. He's the one who aims the weapon, using a joystick to control a pointer on a TV screen which is usually showing an image captured by an IR camera mounted on the bottom of the jet.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:46 AM on October 17, 2001

Steven - a co-worker of mine who was in the Marine recon Brigade, and others who were Army Rangers, tell me that it can be done the way you suggest, but it is much more accurate to have the spotter on the ground.

The Dallas Morning News has a link to a flash animation of a "bunker buster" that shows the laser guide to be from ground forces (I can't see how to copy the exact link; its a javascript popup, but you can see it on the main page)
posted by argon405 at 10:21 AM on October 17, 2001

Direct link to the bunker buster animation.
posted by xiffix at 10:28 AM on October 17, 2001

Here's the link from the Dallas Morning News.

I've used a ground laser designator before. They are more accurate if you have a target that can be properly illuminated from a ground position. However, if you are trying to hit the top of a building, it's easier having the bomber do it.
posted by nickonomicon at 10:28 AM on October 17, 2001

Gosh I feel so much better now. . the military is recycling old cannon barrels to make the Bunker Busters. . .the first "Green" war. . . .
posted by Danf at 11:21 AM on October 17, 2001

the first "Green" war

And to think some worried that Nader would have no influence on national policy by not getting the desired % of the vote.
posted by ethmar at 12:17 PM on October 17, 2001

It debuted in the Gulf War.
posted by NortonDC at 12:34 PM on October 17, 2001

The Times of India has now provided a longer article, and Iranian TV is now reporting it too, claiming witnesses, but there is no independent (non-Iranian) confirmation yet.
posted by anewc2 at 12:53 PM on October 17, 2001

200mm is big. Sounds like WWI type stuff.
posted by stbalbach at 6:09 PM on October 17, 2001

Finally reported by American media over two days later.
posted by xiffix at 5:56 PM on October 19, 2001

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