July 28th, 2010
09:08 AM ET

Officials: Drone crashes in Kunduz

A unmanned aerial vehicle went down in northern Afghanistan on Wednesday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.

ISAF spokesman Col. Hans Bush said the Luna UAV had mechanical problems and went down in a Taliban stronghold area in Kunduz province.

He said there had been reports of the Taliban seizing a "reconnaissance plane" after an emergency landing, but those accounts are "misleading."

There are no plans to retrieve the UAV, the ISAF spokesman said.

"Because the aircraft went down in an area known to be littered with IEDS and has absolutely no benefit to the enemy, we decided not to recover it," Bush explained, referring to the bombs called improvised explosive devices.

The small craft is only a bit larger than the "average toy remote-controlled airplane purchased from a hobby shop," Bush said. It's 2.28 meters (or about 7 feet) long, has a take-off weight of 37 kilograms (about 80 pounds) and is powered by an engine similar to a lawnmower motor, he said.

U.S. military incident reports recently published by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.org say scavengers many times get their hands on downed unmanned aircraft, also known as drones.

On several occasions, military units sent to recover the aircraft have arrived to find them already stripped of valuable parts.

Filed under: Drone strikes
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. George Patton

    I only wish that all you right-wing nutjobs would just shut the hell up.And to think that we went to war with Germany in order to stop the ones over there.What ironie!!!

    July 31, 2010 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Daniel-2

    Get off of it,AllAmerican.This right-wing bla-bla-bla does get awfully old!

    July 30, 2010 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mandolorian

    Unfortunately the enemy in Iraq aren't concerned with honor, patriotism, or unity. All they care about is their right to kill and pillage the "western crusaders." They have a mentality in this war that I think relates to the NVA back in Vietnam. This is why US soldiers keep dying and why the public (myself included) is opposed to this war. As for the UAV's yes I think they are necessary because they save countless lives and keep the enemy at bay, think of it as the equilibrium device to the IED's the Taliban have used against us.

    July 29, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Like George Patton already said,you right-wing nutjobs are really a disgrace to this country!

      July 30, 2010 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. bailoutsos

    They are being taken down by unmanned IUDs.

    July 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. The Mentalist

    A Question: If NATO can not dare to retrive the plane in the area due to presence of "enemy" and explosives, how can they "stop Afghanistan from becoming a sanctuary for blah, blah, blah?"

    July 29, 2010 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |

      Now that's a very good question.

      July 29, 2010 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Robrob

      Because risking soldiers lives for a few thousand dollars of *junked* toy airplane would be stupid?

      July 29, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • 1MG

      Whitman just told you, it's a German bird (UAV) they are to scared to go get it.

      July 29, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • pushtoon

      nato is filled wid poossies

      July 29, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. strdst

    Remote control war: Is it a good idea? Hell no! If it was being used against the good ol' US of A there'd be hell to pay. But those Taliban, I guess, just don't fight fair. Of course, there is one difference – they live in Afghanistan, that remote control joystick jockey in Nevada only sees the people he kills on video.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Those filthy creeps who operate those cursed drones make me feel ashamed to be an American.I just wish that they would arrest them and take them to a war crimes tribunal where they 'd be dealt with appropriately!

      July 29, 2010 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |

        You just nailed it,George!!!

        July 29, 2010 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        Thank you,George.You just took the words right out of my mouth.Something really should be done about these low-lifes.

        July 29, 2010 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
      • USAF

        Hahaha at least we dont strap bombs to our children and semd them after our target. We dont hide behind our people and strike and run like cowards. Maybe we wouldnt have to use drones if they'd step up and fight the war they want so bad.

        July 29, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Probe

    If anyone would like to know. Sorry about my bad grammer.

    July 28, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Probe

    Arn't drones also supposed to crash to kill terrorist?

    July 28, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. pushtoon

    pretty soon drones will b for sale in blackmarket

    July 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Adan

    The unfortunate part of the Iraq and Afghanistan war is that they have shown terrorist around the world of the potential for IEDs, I think U.S millitary grasped the magnitude and implication of this simple device a bit too late, and unwittingly contributed to its growing popularity among terrorist groups.

    Obviously it has a long history, but its use was popularized in Iraq thanks to the careless strategy of U.S politicians at the time, they should have left some decisions to the generals; for example firing thousands of educated and trained Iraqi millitary personel, no doubt some had knowledge in electronics or had better potential to learn than uneducated Iraqi, this human resources were given to the insurgency and some likely joined terrorist groups.

    NATO forces were hoping that use of this weapon doesn't spread to Afghanistan, not only did it spread but it now litters the country. This simple device has become a game changer; American millitary knows that if they lose in Afghanistan it will be because of IEDs, and that is one message they just can't afford to send to all other terrorist groups around the world.

    IEDs have restricted movement of NATO forces, and the Taliban in return have to watch out for drones/planes (symmetry), there are obvious advantages and disadvantages in both, but one thing is clear, IEDs have given insurgents a bigger breathing room than when Russia was there. So this has really become a "..battle of wills" as US General David Petraeus put it.

    It is just madness to expect Talibans to surrender, this war can go on for another 1000 years and it will not have any more progress than it already had, if a U.S politician disagrees with this assessment, check to see if he/she has some connections with an industry tied to defence spending.

    Solution is simple: Put your pride aside and do the unthinkable; sit down with the Taliban, give them governance on the condition that they don't allow Al-Qaida to operate from their borders. Give them the governance, let them build their country and economy then they will have at least something to lose other than a collapsed cave.

    July 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grotar

      Give them the governance,... What are you thinking? So they can continue to supply their cash crop of opium to the world. No, I say the Taliban need to realize that their repressive society won't survive much longer. Russia failed to win against the Taliban because of US assistance–yes we supported the Taliban against the Soviets. IEDs are not new either. Read about the booby traps set by the Viet Cong in Southeast Asia–nothing more than improved explosive devices set to harass and kill and restrict troop movement. IEDs are just being used more now because that is all they have to work with. It is a war of attrition at this point and when it crumbles and the US leaves, the US will be there to help erect a decent and just government.

      July 29, 2010 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
      • George Patton

        Come on,Grotar.The Russians tried it and failed much to my chagrin.The main difference between NATO and the Russians is their motivation.The Russians by their ideology and NATO by it's own greed.Wise up!!!

        July 29, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
      • Adan

        Do some reading and fact checking on the Taliban and Opium first before you open you mouth, people like you is why the world is so messed up.

        July 29, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • stormvet13

      well put. "Adan"...we need our politicians to read this post.

      July 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Adan

        Feel free to forward it to them.

        July 29, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JP

      these guys already knew that IED's could cause huge damage....that's what they did against the russians! just not on the same scale because at the same time we were giving them rpg's and stingers, but they would also use IED's to trap convoys in the mountain areas and then unload on them when the troops got out to clear the wreckage....though with technology they have been able to be more efficient with their usage of ied's thanks to remote detonation devices....such as cell phones which are now very very widely available compared to the 1980's when cell phones were still a thing of the future

      August 17, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Andy

    My wife is cooking pork chops for dinner. I am sick of pork chops. Any one want to come to my house and eat pork chops?

    July 28, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. joe Retterd

    Where is Bin Laden?

    July 28, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      You mean,where are his remains,joe.Osama bin Laden is in all probibility,already dead.

      July 28, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mike

    some UAV's are disposable- let the Afghans use it for Scrap metal. Nothing Classified there

    July 28, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rml steeler fan

    Wait, let me get this straight! UAV crews scanning for IED's,suicide bombers, and murders are godless? While terrorists represent everything holy? Get a grip people...

    July 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • JP

      well, the terrorists pray to god....UAV's can't do that....so they don't have god....therefore, they are godless

      however god does not seem to side with terrorists very often either....they are "mostly godless" 🙂

      August 17, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Slam

    Ok...let's make a choice here. Unmanned aircraft cost far less than manned aircraft. They can be sent into areas that would be unsafe for bigger, manned aircraft. Unmanned aircraft use weapons chosen for their accuracy. Which would YOU prefer: a single Predator-type aircraft sending a single missile into THAT window on THAT house, or a flight of B-52 bombers, wingtip-to-wingtip, carpet bombing the entire village? Godless? Ungodly? Please...

    July 28, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Popeye

      A good carpet bombing is one good way to clear out the IEDs.

      July 29, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
      • George Patton

        You right-wing nutjobs make me sick with your stupid "shoot'em up" mentality.Maybe if the Russians succeeded here this stupid war wouldn't be happening now .How sorry I am that they didn't!!!

        July 29, 2010 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
      • Joseph McCarthy

        You got that right,George!

        July 29, 2010 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  16. Daniel-2

    It's kind of strange that these ungodly drones always crash due to "mechanical" problems.

    July 28, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Old Man Clark

      How right you are,Daniel!!!The people operating these godless aircraft really need to be brought to justice and dealt with appropriately!

      July 28, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • whitman

      the uav used didnt use missles, it was german and germans are too scared too go recover their birds and yesss uavs do go down to mechanical problems ive experienced it, its not like operators decide to make the bird do a 2000 ft plunge

      July 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • bailoutsos

      Drone operators need to spend more time practicing on a Wii.

      July 29, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |