Afghanistan: Tilting at Windmills


May 4, 2006: Afghan and NATO operations in the southern Helmland province resulted in the death of two Taliban leaders, and a number of their followers. At least one Taliban unit was essentially destroyed, with the members dead, captured or fleeing through the hills, without any more desire to terrorize the countryside.

May 3, 2006: In southern Afghanistan, 7,000 NATO (including U.S.) troops, about 10,000 Afghan troops and even more Afghan police, are playing hide and seed with as many as 2,000 armed Taliban. The enemy is trying to keep large segments of the population terrified, so Taliban operations and identities won't be reported to police. Also, the Taliban want to kill foreign troops, as this makes big news in the West, and increases the political pressure to pull foreign troops out of Afghanistan.

May 2, 2006: The kidnapped Indian engineer was killed by his Taliban captors. The Taliban have declared war on all foreigners, including Hindu (most Indians are Hindus, and some migrated to Afghanistan centuries ago) Afghans. All non-Moslem Afghans are encouraged, by the Taliban to leave the country.

May 1, 2006: Over the weekend, in several actions, police and NATO forces killed about three dozen Taliban and arrested over a dozen suspects. Three policemen were killed. Canadian, Afghan, British and American forces are all over southern Afghanistan looking for Taliban, who are trying to get a "Spring Offensive" going.

In the last 24 hours, four suicide bomb attacks were made, but all failed (one victim was wounded.)

April 30, 2006: Acting on a tip, police arrested ten suspected Taliban south of Kandahar. The police are getting more and more tips, partly because of the growing presence of cell phone service. A recently kidnapped Indian was a telecommunications engineer. The Taliban know that the cell phones work against them, and often seize mobile phones from civilians around them.

April 29, 2006: An Indian engineer who disappeared yesterday, was kidnapped by Taliban, who have demanded that all Indians leave the country within 24 hours, or the captive will be killed. The Taliban want the Indians out for two reasons. First, the Indians are working on reconstruction projects, and some of them speak local languages, and are Moslem. The second reason is the Islamic radical urge to drive out all non-Moslems. But even Indian Moslems are unwelcome because, well, they are different, and the Taliban does not like different.


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