Attrition: Afghan Mercenaries Earning Their Pay


July 28, 2006: Apparently the Taliban has lost some 1000-1200 fighters killed in Afghanistan over the past 8-10 weeks. Despite this, there's only been a slight dip in the number of attacks, mainly because there's so much money being offered for those willing to fight. Apparently the Taliban recruited a lot of folks over the winter. Many Pakistani Pushtuns have been identified among the dead. Several hundred of these Taliban fighters have been captured as well, and some report that morale is getting shaky as the string of Taliban defeats continues. The most discouraging thing for these Pakistani Taliban is the hostile reception they often get from Afghans. Some remote villages show fresh graves indicating a recent firefight, as villagers who don't want their school burned down, or daughters kept from learning how to read, will resist with force if they think they can muster sufficient numbers. Some of the tribes have agreed to tell the Taliban to stay away, or take on the entire tribe or clan. Since the Taliban have to operate in smaller groups (to avoid being detected by UAVs or Afghan army scouts), there are many more instances of local tribesmen mustering sufficient force to scare the Taliban away.


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