February 19, 2008: The presence of NATO
troops (with their smart bombs and UAVs) makes the traditional Afghan combat
methods (a couple hundred guys with guns) impractical. So the al Qaeda bomb
tactics have been adopted more frequently. Apparently the Taliban missed the
part where al Qaeda got run out of Iraq, by Iraqis, because of the large number
of civilians killed by terrorist bombs. The same cycle is playing out in Afghanistan.
There were 140 bomb attacks in Afghanistan
last year, and the Taliban are apparently trying to up that number this year.
The Afghan police are arresting a lot of the terrorists. Many of the most
skilled terrorists (who can build bombs and deploy them) are foreigners, and
easy to spot. The skill level of Afghan suicide bomb teams is still low, with
bomb makers still getting killed by their own creations, and most attacks
killing nothing but bombers and civilians. This years "Spring Offensive" will
apparently feature more suicide bombs, and attempts to manipulate the Western
media (to pressure Western governments to withdraw troops from Afghanistan).
February 18, 2008: A suicide car bomb,
attempting to attack Canadian troops, missed and killed about 40 civilians in a
crowded Kandahar marketplace, and wounding four Canadian troops.
February 17, 2008: In the southern city of Kandahar, a truck
bomb went off at a sporting event, killing nearly a hundred people. The target
was an anti-Taliban tribal commander, who was apparently the main target.
February 15, 2008: The cold weather in
western Afghanistan has abated. The snow and low temperatures were the worst in
decades. Over 300,000 cattle died, along with over a thousand people. In
addition, several thousand suffered cold related injuries (particularly lost
limbs from frost bite). The cold has also shut down the usual Taliban
activities, which have largely shifted across the border to Pakistan, where the
Taliban is fighting for its very survival against an enraged government and