Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Taliban Rising

Sadly this is not a surprise for anyone keeping an eye on events in Afghanistan. Since his installment /inauguration as America's choice for Mayor of Kabul; Hamid Karzai's influence has barely spread further than the suburbs of the capital. With American forces withdrawn to begin the Iraq invasion Afghanistan and the hunt for Al-Qaida moved from the forefront to the back pages of the news. Emboldened by this, the remnants of the Taliban and its Al-Qaida allies have been able to establish "beach heads" throughout the country; and the strength of local warlords has continued to threaten the fragile stability of the nation.

American foreign policy has been like filling holes dug in sand. With each shovel you release sand from the sides making an never ending effort to stabilize your current position. If Afghanistan blows, will the meager NATO forces be able to respond? Their mandate is limited and would require immediate US reaction and reinforcement. These would have to come from our forces in Iraq and our dwindling Reserves and National Guard forces.
Couple that scenario with the upcoming U.S. hurricane season, where the USNG may be needed in force numbers we just can't attain. The Bush administration has placed U.S. foreign policy and response well within the "Top Gun/Maverick Scenario"

(Mr. President), your ego is writing checks (our soldiers' bodies) can't cash.
US forces moved from Afghanistan
May 3, 2006
Taliban Threat Is Said to Grow in Afghan South

TIRIN KOT, Afghanistan, April 27 — Building on a winter campaign of suicide bombings and assassinations and the knowledge that American troops are leaving, the Taliban appear to be moving their insurgency into a new phase, flooding the rural areas of southern Afghanistan with weapons and men.

Each spring with the arrival of warmer weather, the fighting season here starts up, but the scale of the militants' presence and their sheer brazenness have alarmed Afghans and foreign officials far more than in previous years.

"The Taliban and Al Qaeda are everywhere," a shopkeeper, Haji Saifullah, told the commander of American forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, as the general strolled through the bazaar of this town to talk to people. "It is all right in the city, but if you go outside the city, they are everywhere, and the people have to support them. They have no choice."

The fact that American troops are pulling out of southern Afghanistan in the coming months, and handing matters over to NATO peacekeepers, who have repeatedly stated that they are not going to fight terrorists, has given a lift to the insurgents, and increased the fears of Afghans.

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