Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Uh, Oh

Do you ever get the feeling that the Bush administration never quite finished pacifying Afghanistan?

Afghanistan is nowhere near as deadly as Iraq, but goddamn, stories like this one from the Associated Press scare me:

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- Militants attacked a coalition forces base in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, sparking a battle that killed two soldiers -- an American and a Canadian -- and at least 12 rebels, officials said.

The battle in Helmand province's Sangin district also wounded three Canadian soldiers, Canadian Brig. Gen. David Fraser told reporters at a base in southern Kandahar city. A U.S. military statement said an American soldier was also hurt.

Helmand is a hotbed of insurgency and center of the booming trade in illegal drugs and has been the scene of some of the deadliest fighting in recent months.

The attack followed separate roadside bombings in the region Tuesday that killed six Afghan soldiers and four private security workers, respectively. Officials blamed both bombings on Taliban rebels. Suspected Taliban rebels also attacked a police checkpoint in Kandahar city late Tuesday, killing two officers and wounding four, police said.

In Wednesday's incident, coalition troops called in aircraft to attack the militants and together with the forces inside the base ''are believed to have killed at least a dozen enemy insurgents,'' the U.S. military statement said. But it added the military was still conducting a full assessment of the battle.

Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata said the troops ''defeated a significant enemy element.''


It was not immediately clear if the violence was linked to the drug trade. Helmand is Afghanistan's main opium poppy growing region and there have been fears of widespread violence since an aggressive poppy eradication campaign started in recent weeks.

Helmand's rugged mountains are also popular hiding places for Taliban rebels, many of whom are believed to slip back and forth across the province's largely unguarded border with Pakistan.

Great - Afgahnistan has two sets of insurgents, Taliban rebels and heroin traders.

I guess the "democratization process" hasn't completely taken hold in Afghanistan.

Too bad the Bush administration didn't finish that process before it took on the "democratization of Iraq."

I bet they'd like to have a few more American troops to chase down the Taliban rebels and the heroin traders.

Insurgencies are very resilient. Maoist doctrine calls for a fall-back and a re-run of early phases if defeated.

Just another reason why Iraq was such a bad idea.
Too bad the Bush administration didn't finish that process before it took on the "democratization of Iraq." Now there is a thought.
Given no one, short of Genghis Khan perhaps, has persuaded the Afghans of anything, what a difference that approach would have made to recent history.
I don't think the majority of the American public knows that much of Afghanistan outside of Kabul is basically run by poppy dealers and Taliban rebels.

I suppose the Iraq news overshadows the Afhganistan news.

But boy it sure is scary to think we are going to spend over a trillion dollars on two wars in the past five years and have accomplished little other than enriching the military-industrial complex and making the region unstable
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