Meanwhile in the other war we’re not winning in the country where Osama Bin Forgotten lived and planned the 9/11 attacks…We learn from the Baltimore Sun that a battalion of US troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn and sent to Iraq at a time of critical need for troops in Afghanistan…
As a last-ditch effort, President Bush is expected to announce this week the dispatch of thousands of additional troops to Iraq as a stopgap measure, an order that Pentagon officials say would strain the Army and Marine Corps as they struggle to man both wars.
Already, a U.S. Army infantry battalion fighting in a critical area of eastern Afghanistan is due to be withdrawn within weeks in order to deploy to Iraq.
According to Army Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata and other senior U.S. commanders here, that will happen just as the Taliban is expected to unleash a major campaign to cut the vital road between Kabul and Kandahar. The official said the Taliban intend to seize Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city and the place where the group was organized in the 1990s.
“We anticipate significant events there next spring,” said Tata.
With NATO unable or unwilling to stem the rising violence, the Taliban are pressing their advantage. Rather than withdrawing to regroup over the winter, intelligence officials and combat commanders here said, the Taliban forces – clad in new cold-weather boots and fleece jackets – are fighting through the bitter cold months.
“It is bleak,” said Col. Chris Haas, commander of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan.
“The gains we have made over the past few years are mostly gone,” said a bearded Special Operations officer, fresh in from advising Afghan army units in battle with 600 to 700 well-equipped Taliban fighters. (emphasis mine)