Winning: Just Another Taliban Media Event

Archives

June 21, 2013: In the last two months the Taliban have been trying to get a proper “Spring Offensive” going. Despite all the hype, this year’s effort has not been very effective. At least not in the way the Taliban would have liked. The attacks are 20-30 percent more frequent and are causing about a hundred civilians casualties a week. Over 80 percent of these casualties are a direct result of Taliban attacks, with their bullets and bombs hitting civilians instead of the Afghan security forces or foreign troops. The rest of the civilian casualties come from Afghan or foreign troops shooting back, often in cases where the Taliban are trying to use civilians as human shields. This often works, but sometimes the foreign troops don’t know there are civilians among the Taliban or Afghan troops don’t care.

The Taliban declared the start of the Spring Offensive in early May. This one was supposed to be different from the failed efforts over the last six years. A Spring Offensive has come to mean, in reality, five months of the Taliban killing civilians and the security forces and foreign troops killing a lot of Taliban. This year the Taliban boasted that it would be different, with fewer civilians and more Afghan police and soldiers killed. So far it’s more of the same, with even more civilian casualties from Taliban attacks. These civilian losses were up 20-30 percent this year over last year. So far the Taliban have killed more police but have in turn suffered more losses themselves. It appears that this year’s Spring Offensive will be as much of a flop as the last six were.

Most Afghans ignore the Taliban and their talk of another Spring Offensive. That’s because most of the Taliban activity occurs in two (Kandahar and Helmand) of the 34 provinces. Some 40 percent of the Taliban violence is in ten Kandahar and Helmand districts (out of 398 in the entire country). Why that concentration of Taliban activity? It’s because of the heroin. The Taliban put most of their effort into protecting the districts where some 90 percent of the heroin in Afghanistan is produced. The other areas cursed with Taliban presence are ones that smuggling routes (to get the heroin to the outside world) go through. The Taliban don’t like to talk about this and they terrorize local media to stay away from it. International media avoid it as well, but on the ground it’s all about drugs and the huge amount of cash they provide for the drug gangs and their Taliban partners.

 


Article Archive

Winning: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close