Afghanistan: on the cliff-edge

Afghanistan: on the cliff-edge
Paul Rogers

The Taliban sophisticated, deadly new tactics are bringing them closer to Kabul. The United States' response is to redouble the failed tactics that helped achieve this outcome, says Paul Rogers 28 - 08 - 2008

Many sober analysts of the war in Afghanistan expected a military offensive by the Taliban in the early months of 2008. They also suspected that Taliban paramilitaries would avoid major confrontations with foreign forces, out of awareness of the overwhelming firepower that these could launch even on quite small groups. They expected instead an extension of the use of small raids, improvised roadside-bombs and suicide-attacks.

In the event these tactics have indeed been widely used. But the increased level of Taliban activity has been expressed in many other ways as well. They have included a closely coordinated assault on a prison in Kandahar that released hundreds of Taliban detainees; an attack on the Serena international hotel in the heart of Kabul on 14 January; the bombing of the Indian embassy there on 7 July; and a major increase in attacks on transport links (see "The global economic war", 14 August 2008).
Worth a read for those who may be interested in what they may be doing in the next few years1

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