A low-volume event I recall is during the Sierra Leone unrest, when a small army The West Side Boys captured 11 British military personell, and helf them prisoner for a month or so. The SAS, with army and navy cover, landed. After 20 minutes of landing, the SAS rescued the hostages, and proceeded to capture/kill (I can't remember which) the leader of the group, and were lifted back after only a 90 minute fight. The SAS suffered _one_ fatality.
*finds a link*
The SAS are one of the few things that make me actively proud of my country! They are the military group I respect *most* for being able to very accurately "get" the bad guys without hitting a single innocent.
Although not applicable in Afghanistan, and especially against Osama bin Laden (who does not use radio phones), Michael the Technical Director (who knows lots of history), was telling me about an America assassination of some military leader who was being bad once - actually he was attacking Israel, though I can't remember who he was.
The Americans assinated him with absolute precision... with a missile. He used a phone that was traced, and was pinpointed exactly, and you guys hit him with a single missile across half a country. Which is about as accurate as you can get.
I'm good at not-quite remembering these things!
I hope that we, the West, are cabable of taking out the Teleban with as much care as possible. With the complete closing of Afghanistan's borders by the Teleban forces even to aid, food, etc, it's populace are in severe trouble, so now I feel that we should also destroy the Teleban quickly, because it is necessary to get aid through again.
But I do not believe the answer lies in helping the Norther Alliance, because if we've leartn anything, it's that arming one group to fight another has always backfired. We, particalarily the USA (the world's biggest exporter of arms), and the UK (who helped the American's train the Teleban in the first place to create more resistance against Russian forces), should have learned from our history. Although we should co-operate and exchange information with the Northern Alliance, I do not believe in arming them (although some is necessary for negotiation and because we actually need their help).
Our biggest problem is that Saudi Arabia, Iraq + Palestine (the people if not the governments) and of course Afghanistan (along with many other Arab and Muslim countries) are absolutely sick and tired of seeing Western forces invade yet again, and I fear that once we remove the Teleban, we will leave behind even more hatred of the West.
But... it's a no-win situation and for now I'd like to see the Teleban and Osama bin Laden (don't forget he has previously killed many hundreds of American's in various bombings and combat in the last 10 years, the Sep-11 attacks were just shockingly on American soil) removed. We created a monster, now we have to deal with it.
I just hope the Islamic world can forgive us.