In the first nine months of 2005, there were only four suicide bomb attacks in Afghanistan. In the last four months, there have been over twenty. There were only two in 2003, and none before that. There were four in 2004. The manpower and technology for the suicide bombs is coming from Pakistan, where suicide bombing has long been used by Islamic terrorists operating in Indian Kashmir. Pakistan and India are trying to make peace over Kashmir, so the Pakistani terrorists are being discouraged, by the Pakistani government, from operating in Kashmir. Apparently, terrorism efforts are being switched to Afghanistan.
January 24, 2006: An opinion survey revealed that 70 percent of Afghans believe their lives are improving, and 57 percent believe that Afghanistan is going in a positive direction.
January 23, 2006: The Afghan army now has 35,000 troops. While trained and equipped, the troops are finding themselves evenly matched by Taliban and warlord fighters equipped by copious amounts of drug money. The drug gangs are getting rich, and lots of that cash goes for the most modern weapons and military equipment (night vision and radio gear). This wealth enables the drug lords to terrorize the civilians in those remote areas. The Taliban have gotten into the drug business, as the Taliban interpretation of the Koran allows for such criminal activity in the pursuit of a religious goal (a religious dictatorship in Afghanistan.)
January 22, 2006: Seven mid-level Taliban leaders escaped from an Afghan run prison outside Kabul. It is suspected that several prison guards took bribes to facilitate the escape. Each of the escapees were serving a 16 year sentence.
In the south, police freed five men who had been kidnapped by Taliban gunmen. Three of the captives worked for an American security company.
January 19, 2006: Canadian troops discovered a car bomb near their base in Kandahar. The bomb was disabled and carefully examined by investigators. Capturing an intact bomb provides much information on the bomb makers.