Another Taliban ambush backfired, resulting in at least 25 dead Taliban.
NATO and U.S. aerial surveillance, and a growing network of informants, puts
the Taliban at an enormous information disadvantage. When the shooting starts,
the Taliban have only vague idea of who is where, while their opponents are
getting live overhead video of the action. That, plus smart bombs and better
trained troops, usually results in a very lopsided outcome. As a result of
this, the Taliban now says it is getting out of the countryside and moving the
war to the urban areas. This would appear suicidal, because the Taliban has far
more support in the countryside than they do in the towns and cities. But with
Pakistan and Iran forcing the remaining four million Afghan refugees to return
home, it is believed that many of these people will settle in the cities. These
refugees were the original source of Taliban recruits, and continued to be very
pro-Taliban. Moreover, the Taliban believe they will be safer in the cities,
carrying out a terrorist campaign. The Taliban appear to be ignoring what's
going on in Iraq. There, the terrorist bombers are hated by the population, and
most of the Iraqi Sunni Arab population that supports the terrorists, have been
driven out of the country. Trying to move the war to the cities is a desperate
measure, and one that will only make the Taliban weaker. It's bad news for the
many future victims of Taliban suicide bombers, but good news in that it is a
sign that the Taliban is losing and desperate for something that will save
May 20, 2007:
Someone fired rockets at fuel trucks preparing to cross the Pakistani
border. Several trucks were destroyed. Moving this fuel is big business, and
involves big payoffs to warlords and tribal chiefs to insure safe passage. It's
believed that recent attacks on trucks are not Taliban related, but the result
of disputes over who can haul fuel, and at what cost.
May 19, 2007:
Three German soldiers, and six Afghan civilians, were killed by a
suicide bomber in the northern town of Kunduz. The Taliban have been trying to
kill German soldiers, knowing that many German politicians want to withdraw
German soldiers from Afghanistan, and have so far blocked German soldiers from
participating in combat. So far this year, sixty foreign soldiers have been
killed. That's about four times the murder rate of Washington, DC.
May 18, 2007:
In another example of how disadvantaged the Taliban is on the
battlefield, a large Taliban ambush force had the tables turned on them near
the Pakistan border. Nearly 70 were killed in the subsequent fighting.
May 17, 2007:
There continues to be gunfire between Afghan and Pakistani border
guards, who are feuding over where the border should be. Afghans assert that
the Pakistanis moved their border posts during the 1980s, while everyone was
distracted fighting the Russian invaders. Pakistan refuses to call in surveyors
to check the location of border posts. U.S. officials have quietly urged the
Pakistanis to do the survey, because American satellite survey photos make it
clear that the Pakistani border posts are often many kilometers inside what
should be Afghan controlled territory. Pakistan does not want to move the
border posts because it would anger some of the Pushtun tribes on their side of
the border, who would lose control of some territory.
May 16, 2007:
Three of the Taliban freed two
months, in exchange for a kidnapped Italian journalist, were killed alongside
Taliban Mullah Dadullah last weekend. One of them was also Dadullahs brother.
The government also thanks unnamed Afghans who had passed on information about
Dadullahs movements. The Taliban have been arresting "traitors" on
both sides of the border, and killing some of them. It appears that some
innocents have died as a result.
May 15, 2007:
At least ten percent (36 Afghans) freed from Guantanamo have turned out
to be Taliban, and rejoined the fight. Two have been killed and another
captured. So far, 340 detainees have been freed from Guantanamo, nearly all of
them were captured in Afghanistan.