Our involvement in Afghanistan is not going to end prettily. The AP reports Top U.S. general in Afghanistan wants more troops ASAP. Gen. David McKiernan wants more troops and other aid “as quickly as possible” because, in my assessment, NATO is losing the occupation.
Speaking to Pentagon reporters, the head of NATO forces in Afghanistan said there has been a significant increase in foreign fighters coming in from neighboring Pakistan this year – including Chechens, Uzbeks, Saudis and Europeans. And he said he needs the more than 10,000 additional forces he has requested, in part, to increase his military campaigns in the south and east where violence has escalated.
While the AFP adds General says reconciling with Taliban a political decision. McKiernan has now called “for enlisting tribes to help pacify the country and did not rule out reconciliation with ousted Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.”
“Asked whether dealing with the man who harbored Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was beyond the pale, McKiernan said, ‘I think that’s a political decision that will ultimately be made by political leadership.'” So, will more U.S. troops really help then?
Meanwhile the LA Times reports that a Trio of warlords blamed for surge in Afghanistan violence.
The escalating insurgency in Afghanistan is being spearheaded by a trio of warlords who came to prominence in the CIA-backed war to oust the Soviets but who now direct attacks against U.S. forces from havens in Pakistan, according to U.S. military and intelligence officials.
Militant groups led by the three veteran mujahedin are behind a sharp increase this year in the number and sophistication of attacks in Afghanistan and pose a major challenge to President Bush’s hope of stabilizing the country by deploying thousands of additional troops…
The three warlords are Mullah Mohammed Omar, the former leader of the Taliban government in Afghanistan; Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Islamic hard-liner who briefly served as prime minister in the 1990s before ordering his forces to bomb the Taliban-run capital; and Jalaluddin Haqqani, a onetime Taliban Cabinet minister whose tribal group has accounted for some of the most brazen attacks this year.
U.S. officials said there was little evidence of substantial collaboration among the three, though there are indications that despite their past differences, they communicate and occasionally share information and resources.
The warlords are generally not blamed for a surge of violence in Pakistan. Instead, they are seen as exporters of violence to Afghanistan…
The three warlords have long-standing ties to Pakistan’s powerful spy service, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, which U.S. officials have accused of collaborating with insurgent groups and tipping them to American strikes.
The Taliban does not fight alone against NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Four at Four continues the Fall of Wall Street’s dominance, Palin’s Big Oil-backed vendetta against polar bears, and trainspotting.