Monday, September 18, 2006

Spoke A Little Too Soon

Bomb Kills 4 NATO Troops in Afghanistan
Associated Press Writer

September 18, 2006, 8:03 AM EDT

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- A suicide bomber on a bicycle attacked Canadian troops handing out candy to children in southern Afghanistan on Monday, killing four NATO soldiers and wounding many others, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast.

The attack in Kandahar province's Panjwayi district came a day after NATO declared an end to a two-week offensive aimed at driving Taliban militants out of safe havens in the same area. More than 500 insurgents were reported killed in the Canadian-led operation, which NATO described as a success despite continuing violence in the south.[....]

The violence comes a day after a top NATO general declared an end to Operation Medusa in Panjwayi and neighboring Zhari districts.

Lt. Gen. David Richards, head of the 20,000 NATO-led force in Afghanistan, described the operation as a "significant success." Richards said the insurgents had been forced to abandon their positions and reconstruction and development efforts would soon begin in the volatile former Taliban heartland.

The insurgents had "suffered significant casualties" and "had no choice but to leave," Richards said.
There's an old proverb that says "Pride goeth before a fall."

Sounds to me like NATO needed a safety net under it. This development, coming on the heels of a request by NATO last week for more troops from the NATO countries, makes for some...interesting...possibilities. A new offensive, really just this southern Afghan offensive shifted a few provinces to the west, has sapped NATO troops, forcing a quick redeployment to combat that new front at the expense of peacekeeping near Kandahar, a strategic stronghold in Afghanistan.

Add to that, Bush declaring that he would need to deploy more forces to secure Baghdad (which by rights should long ago have been secured, locked down even), and we're looking at the US military, along with its allies, easily the most formidable fighting force ever arrayed at any time in history, both at an absolute level as well as relative to other armies it might stand against, fighting losing battles in two nations that have been deemed as necessary to the survival of American security.

Jeez. If these guys had been in charge of the Cold War, we'd all be speaking Russian, komrade!

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