16 October, 2006

Afghanistan: all points bulletin no. 3

Current news reports coming out of Afghanistan indicate that Taliban activity is mainly, but not exclusively, concentrated towards the east of the country, in the provinces closest to Waziristan and Balochistan.

Click on map to enlarge.

Kandahar is still bearing the brunt of the attacks. For the most part it is suicide bombings but Taliban mount occasional larger attacks. Both the Canadians and the Americans continue to suffer casualties. However, the Taliban are not having it all their own way. Fox News reports that in Ghazni,

U.S.-led coalition and Afghan troops, backed by warplanes, carried out a raid on a militant hideout that killed three suspected insurgents and wounded one soldier, the U.S. military said.
and from the same report,
...in eastern Kunar province, U.S. troops fighting under NATO command killed four insurgents near the Korangal outpost in the Pech district, attacking them with rocket-propelled grenades and semi-automatic weapons, a NATO statement said.
Elsewhere, the IHT says that Afghan police and Taliban clashed in Paktika and there are reports that the Taliban are increasing in strength in Lowgar, just south of the capital, Kabul.

Isolated attacks continue throughout the country including, in the west, in Herat, and in the north, in Baghglan. In the south, Helmand has been quiet recently, at least as far as news reports are concerned.

The overall picture to emerge is of the Taliban fighting a series of disjointed actions, presumably wherever and whenever the leadership can find individuals willing to earn their 72 virgins. No overall strategy can be discerned, other than a war of attrition, the outcomes of which will be decided by which side has the most political will to go for the long haul.

The French have surrendered, again and are pulling out their combat troops (special forces). They must have signed whatever trade deals they were after.

No comments: