31 December 2009

Attacks in Afghanistan starting to pile up

Although not directly coordinated, well-timed attacks are being linked across Afghanistan by virtue of their close timing.
A suicide bomber penetrated a foreign army base in Afghanistan and killed eight CIA employees on Wednesday, one of the U.S. agency's largest death tolls, while four Canadian troops and a journalist died in a separate attack.
A 'well-dressed' Afghan army official detonated a suicide vest at a meeting of CIA officials in southeastern Khost province, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters.
'This deadly attack was carried out by a valorous Afghan army member when the officials were busy gaining information about the mujahideen, in the (fitness) club,' he wrote in an email.
The attack is one of the most ambitious of the war, highlighting the Taliban's reach and coordination at a time when violence has reached its highest levels since the overthrow of the Taliban regime by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in 2001.
It was also the second Afghan army killing in as many days on the foreign troops and officials who are meant to be mentoring them, casting a shadow over plans to bolster the Afghan army and police to allow their troops to eventually bring them home.

First, prepare for the inevitable over-reaction to Afghan soldiers coming in through the gate. (Hey! We could use full-body scanners to check them for contraband!) If not, some enterprising reporter will want to know why not without bothering to address the logistical reality of checking everyone in and out of the gate with that level of scrutiny. It's a war and sometimes people are going to die. You don't wish it on anyone but it's the reality of armed conflict.
Second, are these escalating attacks a harbinger of a Tet-like offensive that shows the range and reach of the enemy, even if in a last-gasp suicide mission that results in his death and our public opinion souring against a war that the enemy can no longer win?

By: Brant

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