Tuesday, June 20, 2006

With US Bogged Down In Iraq, Taliban Wages "Full-Blown Insurgency" in Afghanistan

More bad news out of Afghanistan:

PANJWAI DISTRICT, Afghanistan — In their biggest show of strength in nearly five years, pro-Taliban fighters are terrorizing southern Afghanistan — ambushing military patrols, assassinating opponents and even enforcing the law in remote villages where they operate with near impunity.

"We are faced with a full-blown insurgency," says Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil & Fundamentalism in Central Asia.

Four and a half years after they overthrew the Islamic militia that had controlled much of Afghanistan, U.S.-led forces have been forced to ramp up the battle to stabilize this impoverished, shattered country. More than 10,000 U.S., Canadian, British and Afghan government troops are scouring southern and eastern Afghanistan in a campaign called Operation Mountain Thrust.

Even before fighting heated up this spring, Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, warned Congress that the insurgents "represent a greater threat" to the pro-U.S. government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai "than at any point since late 2001."

The article says the Taliban are not nearly strong enough to topple the Karzai government at this point in time, but a long-term insurgent war may be in the offing for the Karzai government and the NATO troops in Afghanistan. Given that the U.S. still has 130,000+ troops in Iraq, the Pentagon can't be thrilled by the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan. Just how many tours of duty can the U.S. expect out of its all-volunteer army to handle these ongoing (and worsening) insurgencies?

What a mess. A corrupt administration is bad enough. So is an incompetent one. But we hit the Daily Double with these guys.
Incompetent - strike one...corrupt - strike two...arrogant - strike three, yerrrr oooouuuuuutttt!!!!
Or perhaps a trifecta of incompetence?
Yes - they hit the trifecta!
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