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Ominous Developments in Afghanistan

Filed under: Central Asia

CNN reports:

Taliban militants attacked a coalition military base in southern Afghanistan for the second time Saturday and the third time this week, the U.S.-led coalition said. It warned the ambushes could "possibly be a rehearsal for a much bigger attack, possibly an attempt to completely overrun the post." Afghan and coalition soldiers at Firebase Anaconda in Uruzgan province fought off the attackers Saturday. Several Taliban militants were killed, and two insurgents were wounded and taken into custody. Earlier, another attack at the base led to fighting that killed four militants. On Tuesday, 75 fighters ambushed the same outpost from three directions. Almost a third of them were killed when troops and U.S. warplanes repelled the attack. Along with U.S.-led coalition forces, there is a large Dutch troop presence in Uruzgan. There have been a flurry of battles this week in two other volatile southern Afghan provinces -- Kandahar and Helmand. A battle on Saturday northwest of Sangin in Helmand province "ended with another defeat of the Taliban by pro-government forces," the coalition said. Three Afghan and one coalition soldier were wounded. Afghan and coalition troops defeated Taliban insurgents in a daylong battle Friday in Kandahar province that was triggered by an attempted ambush, the U.S. military said. About a dozen insurgents were killed, and one Afghan and one coalition soldier were slightly hurt. Earlier Friday, Afghan and coalition troops fought a large battle with militants in Helmand province. The battle began Thursday and lasted more than 13 hours, the U.S. military said. It said at least 10 insurgents were killed, with no Afghan, coalition or civilian losses reported. On Tuesday, Afghan police staved off an ambush north of Sangin in Helmand province, and coalition aircraft pounded insurgent positions, the military said. More than two dozen insurgents were reported killed.

Why do we always assume that, once defeated, our rivals are just going to reform and/or disappear? Would we behave this way if we were them? We thought this would occur in Russia when the Cold War "ended" -- it didn't. And it seems Afghanistan is going to be more of the same.

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marvin says:

The Taliban are getting a late start on their 'fabled' spring/summer offensive.

Timed to impact a report from another area, perhaps.

Russ says:

Agreed. Kim, you need to do some reading. Nobody's been assuming anything about the Talibs except insofar as they're getting their butts kicked so badly that they're starting to adopt terrorist tactics.

Jauhara says:

The belief that we, like the Soviets before us can be beaten decisively is going to have to be proven, because as long as we do half-ass measures, we only engage the enemy on their terms.

RTLM says:

More hand wringing from Kim Zigfeld. My advice - firstly - would be to stop regurgitating CNN histrionics and avail yourself of other sources. Bill Roggio for one.

La Russophobe says:


I think you've got it exactly backwards. This post is about the opposite of terrorism, a bold (repeated) direct frontal assault on a U.S. military base in regular army fashion. In fact, that's the whole reason the post appeared, it's a disturbing development with echoes of old west cowboys and indians.

If there's things you think we should read, please link to them and we'll be happy to (as will readers).

La Russophobe says:


I'm concerned that, as in Vietnam, our forces are not being adequately supported and we're losing. The drug trade is exploding and the outlying areas are becoming unstable. It's a bad situation and calls for hand wringing as well as serious suggestions for how to improve the situation. Got any?

Russ says:

Try StrategyPage for current events 101. Then OpFor, then Roggio, then, oh, anywhere that has **actual milbloggers,** because you are badly misinformed.

The Taliban has *never* been a terrorist organization, and up-in-your-face assaults, operating as an army, is what they do when they can't launch an ambush. And we stomp them flat whenever we find them.

It's nice to see you're concerned, but for God's sake, ditch CNN as a news source. They SUCK, and have for years and years. I was posting corrections to their crap all the way back in the mid-to-late nineties when they were simply making shit up about events in the Balkans (especially Amanpour), and they hasn't improved yet.

andrew says:

The purpose of the frontal assualts have zero military value. They are purely for propaganda purposes.

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