Afghanistan: April 5, 2003


 The long anticipated "Taliban Offensive" is apparently underway. It's not very impressive, with perhaps about half a dozen armed groups prowling around, attacking foreigners (troops or aid workers) and Afghans considered "un-Islamic." Many foreign aid groups are afraid to the point of considering leaving the country. So far, the Taliban have not mustered sufficient power to threaten, much less overthrow, the government.

The number of attacks on US bases are declining. There were 27 attacks, mostly with highly inaccurate 107mm rockets, in March. Last November, there were 55, and the attacks have been declining ever since.  

The new Afghan army battalions are spending a lot of time out on operations, with US Army Special Forces troops along to observe and advise. So far, the Afghan troops have proved very effective, and keep improving. But for the moment, the Afghans have access to American helicopter and bomber support. 


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