Saturday, April 28, 2007

Spring Spasm

I didn't think the Taliban would pull off a successful spring offensive despite the Taliban hype and the annual hope of Iraq War opponents that finally the Taliban would prove that we are distracted by Iraq and letting Afghanistan be reconquered by the Taliban.

Strategypage notes the results thus far:

This year's Taliban offensive in Afghanistan is shaping up to be as much of a bust as last years. So far this year, about 900 people have died from Taliban related violence in Afghanistan. About two thirds of those have been Taliban, and most of the remainder civilians. Last year, there were 4,000 dead, with two thirds of them Taliban. In other words, this year is starting off looking like a repeat of last year. One difference is that the Taliban are not as numerous as last year. Recruiting, especially in Pakistan, has been more difficult.

Next year in Kabul is becoming their unofficial motto. Eventually, they'll just mutter it in exile in Pakistan without actually doing anything to accomplish it. Or more likely, decide Pakistan is an easier target.

UPDATE: The spring offensive is under way. NATO's, that is:

More than 3,000 NATO and Afghan troops are participating in the operation, the latest effort to bring Helmand province under the control of President Hamid Karzai.

I continue to believe that our fight in Afghanistan benefits from the focus of our anti-war side on Iraq. Without Iraq, I have no doubt that the American anti-war side would turn on the Afghan campaign.