They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Monday, May 29, 2006

Pay Attention to Afghanistan

zaman: Afghanistan is experiencing the most violent and bloodiest clashes in recent years since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001.

At least 300 people have been killed in clashes between the Taliban forces and the US-led coalition forces, especially in the southern provinces of the country since May 16. In the meantime, about 3,000 Afghans fleeing the battle zones have taken refuge in Kandahar.

The Taliban militia forces who launched a series of attacks with the coming of spring have suffered more casualties in the country, however, Afghan civilians caught in the crossfire are also dying or being wounded. The ISAF-NATO coalition forces are suffering losses as well. For instance, four members of the French Special Forces were killed in fighting last week. By the way; today there are about 200 French Special Forces in Afghanistan fighting alongside US forces and French warplanes also give support to the Americans.

According to certain sources, these bloody developments, which outnumber the clashes and death toll in Iraq within the corresponding time period and demonstrate the strength and courage of the Taliban in Afghanistan, have made the US Command in Afghanistan, which used to underestimate the Taliban and tried to portray it as unimportant, very worried. Consequently, the spokesman of the command, Colonel Tim Collins, had to admit in his recent statement that the Taliban has become more powerful and has won over the population in Kandahar, Helmand and Uruzgan provinces, adding, "That's the reason we are after them."

The Taliban has increased its attacks in the southern provinces in past month as Collins admitted and is implementing new tactics in these attacks.

Within this framework, the Taliban forces are conducting frontline operations in groups of 100-200 men rather than hit-and-run attacks with small groups. That's the very reason the Afghan police and army, in particular, are suffering heavy losses. In short, Taliban forces are carrying out their attacks more professionally with more men and with sophisticated tactics, they are obtaining certain results and are even drawing battle lines.

Needless to say this is a new and efficient method of fighting, however, the Taliban forces are very vulnerable to air strikes while doing this. Taking advantage of this, the US does not hesitate carrying out heavy air bombardments in areas where Taliban forces are dominant. Read more

db: How many Brits have the faintest idea of what faces UK troops in Afghanistan?