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« We Might Have To Reconsider The 'No Women In Combat' Rule | WILLisms.com | Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 94 »

This Just In: The Taliban Are Still LOSERS

By defeating the Taliban in a period of weeks, not years, President Bush achieved a military feat on par with crossing the Alps with elephants. After all, Afghanistan is one of the world's great burial grounds for armies, by virtue of its topography, crossroads geography and the tremendous elan of its fighters. Britain never did completely subdue Afghanistan either before nor after the Anglo-Afghan Wars, and the Soviets lost about half a million killed, injured, ill or missing during their ill-fated foray there. The relative peace and stability Afghanistan now enjoys is near-miraculous, something unseen there since the 1970's.

The rout of the Taliban continues, meanwhile, and the Talibs have never come close to staging anything like a successful comback in Afghanistan. Operaton Mountain Thrust, NATO's counterpunch to the Taliban's vaunted southern Afghanistan offensive last year, cost the Taliban 1,134 fighters compared to NATO's 24. Last year's Canadian-led Operation Medusa yielded a similar woeful slaughter for the Taliban - 517 Talibs killed compared to 20 for the coalition. Moreover, Afghanistan is set to receive its own Surge this year, as veteran British troops leaving Iraq redeploy to Afghanistan.

The Taliban are a bigger threat to Pakistan unfortunately, who sadly have lost about 3,000 troops fighting the Taliban in Waziristan since 2004 - roughly the same number the US has lost in Iraq.

This Spring, the Taliban promised the largest annual offensive ever in Afghanistan, and the February 27th attack on Bagram airfield with Cheney in the vicinity was perhaps part of this offensive. The failed assassination attempt that so disappointed scores of patriotic HuffPo readers was perhaps more an indication of the futility of Taliban attacks than a demonstration of their effectiveness, and the Taliban have few successes to point to. True, the Taliban may have taken parts of southern Afghanistan (as breathlessly reported by The Globe and Mail), but don't expect it to last. The Talibs were easily run out of Kandahar last fall as part of Operation Medusa, and will be run off again quite soon. Count on it.

Besides, our ever-dependable ally France is in full retreat. This is often a sign that complete allied victory is just around the corner.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 5 March 2007 03:55 AM



Posted by: zsa zsa at March 5, 2007 07:27 AM

I think Hanoi Jane or Jihad Jane these days, should go talk to the taliban!

Posted by: zsa zsa at March 5, 2007 02:47 PM

Waziristan is a great example of how not being able to fight a war for diplomatic reasons hampers Coalition efforts.

I am concerned about our inability to solve the opium problem in Afghanistan. I confess it may be simplistic, but as there is a legitimate pharmaceutical for the stuff, why don't we just buy all of it at decreasing rates over the years? The average Afghan factors in the danger of the high price-illegal market, and may find our safe, but lower price attractive. What am I missing in this equation?

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at March 5, 2007 04:38 PM

Do we really have a need for Opium? I would bet there is a better option out there somewhere?

Posted by: zsa zsa at March 5, 2007 04:52 PM

Assistant Village Idiot, re: the opium solution: BINGO!...zsa zsa, you said: "Do we really have a need for Opium?" Yes. That's where morphine comes from, and morphine is the only drug that doesn't "top out". When it quits working it's time to draw the sheets up.

Posted by: bryanD at March 5, 2007 08:17 PM

Does Chris Matthews recall his breathlessly rendered 2001 predictions of the imminent doom of thousands of American troops in the mountains of Afghanistan at the hands of the invincible Taliban? No, I'd guess.

Posted by: allen at March 6, 2007 10:26 PM

Poppies are used in several other legitimate painckillers as well.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at March 7, 2007 05:06 PM