Thursday, June 22, 2006

Afghanistan War: A bad situation deteriorates

Douglas Farah at his self-named blog says that Mounting Troubles in Afghanistan Signal Further Dangers 06/22/06:

Far from weakening, the Taliban and its remaining al Qaeda allies, operating often with the continued assistance of the Pakistani military and intelligence, are gaining strength. For the past year I and others have been forwarding the observations of those on the ground on how the Taliban has re-armed with new weapons, increased its communications capabilities-including encryption-and greatly enhanced its mobility by purchasing a new fleet of 4X4 vehicles. ...

It is the classic dilema in combatting non-state armed groups that enjoy either civilian support or are able to intimidate civilians into cooperation. The central government is weak, drug money provides endless resources to warlords who are able to keep the central government at bay, and radical Islamists thrive in the chaos.

Without intelligence dominance, despite the presence of tens of thousands of Pakistani troops in the region, U.S. and NATO forces will be limited to fighting the hot war there, able to push back against significant armed actions. But they will not be able to decapitate the movement or keep it from growing. The central government, riddled with corruption, badly infiltrated by the enemy and with a fraction of the enemy’s resources, is unlikely to be expanding its influence in the near future.

He links to this article:  In Tribal Pakistan, a Tide of Militancy: Influence of Taliban Said to Be Spreading Beyond Border Areas Near Afghanistan by Pamela Constable Washington Post 06/20/06.

Also related:

Is Afghanistan Turning into Another Iraq? by S. Amjad Hussain New America Media/Pakistan Link 06/19/06.

Four US soldiers killed in Afghanistan by Zeeshan Haider Rueters/Yahoo! News 06/22/06

Karzai calls for reassessing U.S. strategy AP/Yahoo! News 06/22/06

Al-Zawahiri urges Afghans to fight Aljazeera 06/22/06

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