Afghanistan: Taliban Announce a Retreat


September 21, 2006: So far this month, NATO forces in the south have killed over a thousand Taliban gunmen, wounded more than that, overrun several Taliban camps, captured over a hundred Taliban and seized large quantities of documents and equipment. The Taliban have used large units in this area to scare off the police and enable terror teams to work on the civilians. In one case, a force of 400 Taliban crossed the Pakistan border and tried to take control of a district. But the swift appearance of NATO troops forced the Taliban to disperse and flee.
After two weeks of getting hammered like this, the Taliban have announced that they are dispersing their forces in the south, in the face of the NATO offensive. That Taliban announcement just confirms what can be seen on the ground. This means that the Taliban will concentrate more on their terror operations, which have managed to enrage a large chunk of the population in the south. The Taliban terror operations have concentrated on extorting aid from the locals, and trying to impose very conservative customs (like no school for girls) on tribes that don't practice that kind of stuff. Without the larger groups of Taliban to back up the terror teams, many villages and districts will resist the terror. Some of the Taliban teams will switch to just anti-government operations, which the villagers favor. By driving away corrupt cops and government officials, the Taliban score points with the civilians. But the Taliban is more of a religious, than a political operation. Ultimately, burning down schools is more important than chasing corrupt bureaucrats.
September 18, 2006: A suicide bomber attacked a Canadian patrol outside, killing four Canadians and several children. The patrol had stopped and was giving out books and pens to the kids when the Taliban terrorist came in on a bicycle and detonated his bomb.
September 17, 2006: The government has agreed to arrest and prosecute senior tribal and government officials involved in the drug trade. Believe it when you see it. But if this did happen, it would make a difference, and hurt the drug trade.
September 16, 2006: In eastern Afghanistan, a force of 7,000 U.S. and Afghan troops are moving to shut down Taliban operations in five provinces along the Pakistan border. A slightly smaller NATO/Afghan force continues to do the same in southern Afghanistan.


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