I have been receiving daily press releases from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) – Afghanistan and carefully reading news updates from major media outlets. We can always be assured that we will hear of a helicopter crash or civilians being killed by NATO forces, but most of you are missing the daily reports that when viewed as a whole provide the big picture of what is happening.
I can tell you that on almost a daily basis there are reports of another Taliban leader captured or killed. Other reports indicate that their replacements have been killed or captured within days of assuming command. And, these reports are coming from nearly every province. General Petraeus is on the offense. ISAF forces are actively engaging the enemy throughout Afghanistan.
In the southern provinces – home of the Taliban – ISAF is conducting massive operations to clear and hold territory which has long been controlled by the Taliban. Last year’s Marine Corps operation to clear Helmand and deny the enemy access to the largest poppy growing area in the world is proceeding. And, the Marines are making progress. The 101st Airborne, Special Forces, Canadian troops and the Afghan Army have been working for months to quietly drive the Taliban from Kandahar Province, again with good results.
Evidence of our successes can be seen by the Taliban’s recent desire to sit down and talk. If they had the upper hand, they would not be so eager to talk. I personally believe that the Pakistan border closure and the attacks on our logistic tail as the trucks sit parked in Pakistan is another indication of how desperate the enemy is getting.
A Taliban victory is in Pakistan’s interest. The powers in Islamabad have already been told that America will start withdrawing next year so they want a friendly government in power when we leave. There is also an elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge.
Pakistan’s mortal enemy is India and the ISI and the Pakistan military have always had a doomsday strategy in case of a real war with India. It has always been the plan to retreat into southern Afghanistan and continue a guerrilla fight with India from the rugged Afghan mountains. If a stable government prevails in Afghanistan that has American support, the Pakistanis have nowhere to run. So, the border closing is no accident, we should consider Pakistan as part of the problem until they show us with deliberate action that they are working to be part of the solution.
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