Afghanistan: Taliban Terror Effort Falters

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July 17, 2006: The Taliban Summer offensive continues to fail in spectacular fashion. While the Taliban war parties still roam southern Afghanistan, terrorizing tribesmen, closing schools and driving out government officials, Afghan and Coalition troops continue to catch up with the Taliban and kill them. The results have been disastrous for the Taliban, who have lost over a third of their gunmen in the last few months. The word is getting around that, if you join the Taliban fighters, you eventually get blown up, or shot, by the foreign troops. This is causing desertions, and more difficulty for Taliban recruiters. It's the Afghan custom, to desert a faction that appears to be losing.
July 16, 2006: The Taliban are trying to use bombs more often, but they lack the skilled support personnel to make, and plant, roadside bombs effectively. Even with help from a few al Qaeda experts, most of the suicide bombing attacks are failures (killing only the bomber) or only partial successes (killing civilians rather than security forces or foreigners.)
July 15, 2006: Evidence of al Qaeda personnel has been found, in the form of captured documents, interrogations and dead bodies of armed foreigners.
July 13, 2006: Afghanistan has offered to recruit soldiers for the Afghan tribe from Pushtun tribes across the border in Pakistan. Many Pushtun tribes have clans on both sides of the border, and allowing tribal members from both sides of the border to enlist will make the Pakistani branches less likely to support the Taliban.
July 12, 2006: The Afghan defense minister wants the army to be at least five times its current strength of 30,000. But Afghanistan cannot afford that. Moreover, foreign trainers are only turning out a thousand new troops a month. It also takes years to develop NCOs and officers for a larger force. Moreover, there are still problems with corruption in the Afghan army, with money meant to pay troops and buy stuff, instead disappearing into the pockets of defense ministry officials.

 

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