April 17, 2007:
The Taliban appear to be changing tactics, switching to kidnapping and
suicide bombing. For over a year, they have been shut down whenever they sent
large forces (over fifty men) out. NATO
aircraft, and better trained troops, tended to catch the large Taliban groups
and destroy them. Even the Afghan army and police were able to defeat large
groups of Taliban. But the large groups were needed to terrorize unfriendly
villagers to support the Taliban. This is how the Taliban ruled the country in
the late 1990s. Despite the fact that it didn't work then, the Taliban are
traditionalists and insisted on returning to the past. Now, realizing that they
have a lot of support in the home countries of the foreign troops in Afghanistan, they are
trying to mobilize that support, in order to get the foreign troops withdrawn.
This would enable the Taliban to fight on more effectively. By allying
themselves with drug gangs, the Taliban have a source of income, and can keep
hiring gunmen to stir up trouble in the south. "Another Colombia" is
what the Taliban is looking for. But for now, they have to survive, so
kidnapping foreigners and using suicide bombers against foreign troops seems a
more effective strategy. Let the headline hungry foreign media work their
magic, and all will be well, or at least less bad.
April 15, 2007:
In the last two years, Afghan army conducted 10,224 operations. These
resulted in 2,822 hostile individuals
being killed and another 1,324 arrested.
Government forces lost 331 soldiers
killed and 861 wounded. The army currently has 46,000 troops, although two
years ago the force was about 25 percent smaller. April 13, 2007: In the last week, the Taliban have lost
nearly a hundred fighters, about four times as many as the security forces and
their foreign allies. The Taliban have been most successful at inflicting
casualties using suicide bombers. But these tactics also cause a lot of
civilian casualties, which makes the Taliban more unpopular in general.
April 12, 2007:
NATO is trying to recruit 3,400 trainers for Afghan service, and is
finding a shortage of volunteers. The media makes Afghanistan sound like a
lawless hell-on-earth, so qualified trainers for the military and police are
reluctant to come forward.