Meanwhile in Afghanistan

Stars and Stripes reports on an Afghan policeman killing an American soldier and the mounting concerns that militants have infiltrated the national force:

JALALABAD, Afghanistan — A U.S. soldier was killed in eastern Afghanistan
Thursday when an Afghan policeman opened fire on an American patrol returning to
its base.

The Afghan National Policemen opened fire and threw a hand grenade at the
U.S. patrol as it returned from a meeting with tribal elders in Bermel District,
Paktika Province, near the border with Pakistan. The remaining U.S. troops
killed the policeman, according to the military.

SNIP

But Thursday’s
incident was the second time in less than a month that an Afghan officer has
killed a U.S. soldier, raising concerns that militants may have infiltrated the
Afghan police force.

60 Minutes will air a report in which a top general in Afghanistan states that enemy numbers have increased by up to 30% and their activities are becoming more complex:

“I’m telling you that the enemy did increase from 20 to 30 percent this
last year…I’ll tell you that they are doing more complex activities
which concerns me greatly,” says Gen. Schlosser.

SNIP

“I’m here to predict this winter will be the most violent winter so
far,” says Gen. Schlosser. “We are doing a winter campaign, Lara, that
just plain gets after the enemy.” But he’ll need help. “I’ve been very
clear that I need more resources, more soldiers and more assets,” he
tells Logan.

AndAP reports al-Qaida will weather the global economic crisis just fine:

CAIRO, Egypt – Al-Qaida, which gets its money from the drug trade inAfghanistan and sympathizers in the oil-rich Gulf states, is likely to escape the effects of the global financial crisis.

One reason is that al-Qaida
and other Islamic terrorists have been forced to avoid using banks,
relying instead on less-efficient ways to move their cash around the
world, analysts said.

SNIP

Al-Qaida and the Taliban
have benefited from the drug trade’s growth in Afghanistan after the
U.S.-led invasion in 2001, and the booming business likely will not be
affected by the global slowdown.

Opium
cultivation has fallen slightly this year but is still about 20 times
higher than in 2001, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

3 thoughts on “Meanwhile in Afghanistan

  1. This topic was also up at Abu Muqawama (a counterinsurgency blog) this morning:‘New Look’ Rays = Neo-Taliban?.
    The story it references is up at Rolling Stone:How We Lost the War We Won. It’s a fairly long piece, 12 pages, but it’s worth digging through for the third party commentary if for no other reason. NOBODY this side of certifiable insanity seems to think the war in Afghanistan is winnable anymore. And thatincludes Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    The bottom line seems to be that the tipping point in Afghanistan passed at least two years ago. By this late date, “hearts and minds” aren’t going to win it and “more troops” aren’t going to win it either.
    The “New Taliban” is even more firmly entrenched than the old one was, and they’re a lot smarter. And insanly high levels of corruption in the Karzai “government”, particularly among the police, have stripped them of even the smallest figleaf of perceived legitimacy.
    We’re not going to win this by any means short of turning Afghanistan into a radioactive puddle. So the next government, which will probably be an Obama government, is going to have to start talking with the Taliban.

  2. Stormcrow,
    Absolutely right. In fact, Saudis are already talking to their old Talib friends and looking for some sort of deal with the American-puppet Karzai regime.
    Meanwhile, in an effort to regain the “win”, we are desperately pounding villages throughout the country from the air. A strategy thatdidn’t work to well for the Soviets but one we are willing to reprise now. More troops are NOT the answer – less troops are. More investment into a loser is not the answer – less is.
    One of my gripes with the proposed policies of the Obama campaign is its stubbornness regarding Afghanistan. Iraq is already branded a withdrawal from a mistake, but in Afghanistan, we must fight to “preserve victory.” I would prefer less stridency and more realism. Afghanistan is not a normal “nation” by any means; the more we try to make it into one, the more we risk in what appears to be inevitable loss (because, we are going to leave one day). I’d much prefer we start talking about what (minimal) conditions will equal a “victory” (getting Bin Laden and Al Zawaheri are about it) that presages a unilateral withdrawal.
    Bottom line, Afghanistan is going to quickly become the new Iraq and the sooner we withdraw our combat forces from there, the better.
    SP

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