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Sunday, October 8, 2006
Growing Violence in Afghanistan
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 7:48 am

Via the NYT: NATO Sees Spike in Afghanistan Violence

Taliban militants have launched 78 suicide attacks across Afghanistan this year, killing close to 200 people, NATO said Sunday. Violence has increased sharply across Afghanistan the last several months, and the Taliban has acknowledged adopting the suicide bombings and remote-controlled attacks commonly used by insurgents in Iraq.

[…]

‘’There have been more suicide attacks in Afghanistan in 2006 than in the entire history of the country combined,'’ Jones said. ‘’That is one reason that the fatality numbers are so large — the suicide attack.'’

The unfortunate learning curve of insurgents emerges.

Filed under: Afghanistan | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Thursday, October 5, 2006
NATO Role Expands in Afghanistan
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 7:20 am

Via the NYT: NATO Assumes Control of Eastern Afghanistan

NATO took over eastern Afghanistan from U.S.-led forces Thursday, assuming control of 12,000 American troops and extending its military role to the entire country.

[…]

Eikenberry will continue to command some 8,000 U.S. troops functioning outside NATO who are tracking al-Qaida terrorists, helping train Afghan security forces and doing reconstruction work.

Eikenberry also retains administrative and legal responsibility for U.S. forces under NATO, overseeing matters such as logistics and military justice, said U.S. military spokesman Col. Tom Collins.

Eikenberry said that consolidating the command under Richards streamlines western troops’ effectiveness. It confines direct U.S. control to a single chief enclave: the sprawling American base at Bagram. Most air operations in the Afghan theater also remain under American oversight.

U.S.-operated prisons and interrogation centers at Bagram will remain under U.S. command, while NATO will continue to transfer its detainees to Afghan police.

Filed under: US Politics, Afghanistan | Comments (3) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Saturday, September 16, 2006
We’ve Heard This One Before…
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:02 pm

Via the PakTribune: Top arrests soon to cut off Afghan drugs trade: US official

Some of the key players behind Afghanistan’s record-high opium trade are expected to be brought before court over the next year, a top US counter narcotics official said.The arrests would be vital to a strategy to stem the increasingly sophisticated narcotics trade before links between insurgents and drug traffickers become entrenched, Thomas A. Schweich said on Saturday.

“I think you are going to see some big people being prosecuted over the season … over the next 12 months,” the US deputy assistant secretary for international narcotics told reporters in Kabul.While

any such arrest is good news insofar as these are individuals who have seriously transgressed the law, one would think that at some point the claims of how given a arrest are going to seriously curtail the drug trade would stop being made.

As a point of reference: there have been major drug cartel busts in Colombia and Mexico for decades now, and yet the flow of drugs continues unabated. Even if it was possible to arrest every person involved in the drug trade at a given moment, the fact of the matter is that that would only create a temporary cessation in the drug trade itself. The demand for the substances would continue, and the money would flow. As such, new persons would emerge to cultivate the plants, process the materials and traffick the finished product.

Filed under: US Politics, War on Drugs, Afghanistan | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Thursday, September 14, 2006
“New” Europe Responds
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:36 am

I noted earlier in the week that NATO countries were balking at US and UK requests for more troops for Afghanistan.

Now, via the BBC:  Poland to boost Nato Afghan force

Poland has announced it will send 1,000 troops to Afghanistan next year as part of the Nato peacekeeping force there.They will join 100 Polish soldiers already on the ground in Afghanistan, but will not arrive until February.

The announcement comes after Nato generals met on Wednesday to demand an extra 2,500 troops for the operation in southern Afghanistan.

[…]

The announcement comes while Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski is on a three-day visit to the US, which included a brief meeting with President George W Bush on Wednesday.

However, since the Polish troops will not be arriving until February, our Kabul correspondent says pressure will continue to be put on countries already supplying significant forces to Afghanistan, but which lack the political will to join the fighting in the south.

Filed under: Afghanistan | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
NATO not Sending More Troops to Afghanistan
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:04 pm

Via the London Times:  Nato rejects appeal to boost Afghan troops

Five years after the world stood “shoulder to shoulder” with America in the aftermath of 9/11, The Times has learnt that many of the countries that pledged support then have now ignored an urgent request for more help in fighting a resurgent Taleban and its al-Qaeda allies.Turkey, Germany, Spain and Italy have all effectively ruled out sending more troops. France has not committed itself either way, but the military sources in Kabul said that there were no expectations that the French would contribute to a new battlegroup, especially now that they were providing a substantial force in Lebanon.

Given the ongoing resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, this is not good news.

The rejection in the face of requests from the US and UK:

They have rejected an appeal from General James Jones, the American Supreme Allied Commander Europe, for 2,500 more troops to fight alongside American, British, Canadian and Dutch soldiers. The 26-nation alliance has not volunteered a single extra combat soldier.

Britain, which has 5,500 troops in Afghanistan, most of them in the south, has told its Nato partners that they must do more if the line is to be held against the resurgent Taleban. The conflict has cost the lives of 33 British troops since June.

Filed under: War on Terror, Afghanistan | Comments (5) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » “New” Europe Responds linked with [...] I noted earlier in the week that NATO countries were balking at US and UK requests for more troops for Afghanistan. [...]


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