Monday, June 02, 2008


Good News From Afghanistan

When those who cannot stand for our President to succeed at anything began to twig to the fact that things actually were getting better in Iraq, and it was dangerous to continue to say that we had lost that war, some turned their attention to Afghanistan, where, they said, the ever resurgent Taliban was ever ready to stream back into the country they were swept from so abruptly in 2002 and overwhelm our troops and those of our NATO allies. Here are but a smattering of the 'all is lost in Afghanistan' articles to appear in newspapers and elsewhere over the past few years.

Here is another view, and I think, having followed some of the campaign there, the much, much more accurate one. Money quote:

The new "precise, surgical" tactics have killed scores of insurgent leaders and made it extremely difficult for Pakistan-based Taliban leaders to prosecute the campaign, according to Brig Mark Carleton-Smith.

In the past two years an estimated 7,000 Taliban have been killed, the majority in southern and eastern Afghanistan. But it is the "very effective targeted decapitation operations" that have removed "several echelons of commanders".

This in turn has left the insurgents on the brink of defeat, the head of Task Force Helmand said.

Here is a telling paragraph:

However, with the shortage of helicopters still a problem, most movement is by road and Brig Carleton-Smith warned that British forces must prepare for an increasingly Iraq-style insurgency as the Taliban modified its tactics from pitched battles to ambushes and roadside bombs.

As the Taliban loses stand up fight after stand up fight, it will indeed resort to the IED ambush tactic which has been the preferred tactic in Iraq for years. Thus, as the Taliban's tactics change, there will be more IED casualties, but that won't mean that the Taliban is really fighting or actually, uh, winning.


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