Afghanistan update — change in strategy

UPDATE IIITask force 121 transfers from Iraq to Afghanistan” according to AM Kansas city Radio. 

This from my Saturday hodgepodge, with new updates that are leading to very interesting developments in Afghanistan. The original article described the upsurge of offense to prep for NATO force takeover, but since then it appears there’s more to it than that. 

While the MSM will paint these attacks as losses for the US and the Afgan government of Karzai, they are largely victories. Masses of taliban fighters are being called back by Mullah Omar and others, and they are dieing in masses. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.

“In the last two months, the Taliban have been conducting larger attacks this year than they did during the same time last year,” Pace said. “The problem for the Taliban is that as they have gotten larger groups together, they have become much bigger targets. And they have lost about 300 Taliban in the last two months during those operations. So the Taliban are a tactical problem for the coalition in Afghanistan. [But] the coalition in Afghanistan is a strategic problem for the Taliban.”

In the end to win in Afghanistan you have to do three things: Kick everyone’s ass, demonstrate that you will persist, and then buy all the local warlords to your side. The warchest needs to re-open in southern Afghanistan, and we need to use it to corner Omar and potentially Bin Laden. This is how the Russians failed, they did not persist and they did not buy allies.

The last time the region was truly conquered, Alexander the Great fought long and hard against a nimble opponent who always ran away to fight another day. In the end Alexander bought off all of the Grey Wolf’s allies and thus conquered him, as detailed in Steven Pressfield’s great  book, “The Virtue of War“. Alexander ended the campaign by defeating Spitamenes Oxyartes and marrying his daughter, Roxana, who bore his son Alexander IV.

UPDATE, Courtesy Captain’s Quarters:

House and Senate negotiators reached agreement last night on a $94.5 billion package to pay for Iraq war and hurricane recovery costs, after shaving numerous extraneous provisions that the Senate had wanted to stuff into the bill.

The bill, which is expected to reach President Bush’s desk next week, would designate $65.8 billion to the Pentagon to cover troop pay, provide recruiting incentives, buy new body armor and fund continued operations of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other items. Diplomacy projects in the region would receive $3.9 billion in new funding.

3.9B for diplomacy will certainly buy some warlords and tribal leaders in Southern Afghanistan and North Pakistan.

Update II

Karzei is now offering weapons to the tribal leaders and warlords of the south for defense purposes…. this is getting interesting. Maybe someone in the White house read Pressfield’s book too?

They are to strengthen the security setup in Afghanistan,” he said.

The president did not say how many tribal fighters would be recruited. But he said there would be a dramatic increase in the ranks of security forces in some areas.

He told the elders that in one troubled district in southern Kandahar province that there were only 45 police for a population of 65,000.

“We need about 150 police in that district for it to be strong, so we need to build the force from within the community,” he said.

Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak told reporters that the tribal forces would “take their command from each district police chief.”

He said local security forces would also be given better weapons and bulletproof vests.

The surge in fighting has killed more than 500 people, mostly militants, since mid-May and raised fears of a Taliban resurgence. Wardak said the rebels have stepped up attacks to scare  NATO countries from deploying troops there.

He said that violence had increased in the south because the Taliban was making an all-out push to scare Britain, Canada, the Netherlands and Romania from deploying some 6,000 troops to the region.

The soldiers are scheduled to resume responsibility for the region from the U.S.-led coalition next month.

“They just want to take advantage of this period of transition from coalition to NATO and they want to have maximum impact,” Wardak said of the insurgents.

He said that once NATO deploys extra troops to the region — effectively doubling the number of foreign combat forces — and the government deploys more soldiers there, “I am absolutely sure that the situation will improve drastically.”

This could easily be coincidental and entirely unrelated, but it’s looking promising to me.

2 Replies to “Afghanistan update — change in strategy”

  1. Good thinking, Sir.

    Be aware that you may be imposing a pattern or a perception of cause/effect where none exists in reality, but then if, after continued observation, the original analysis continues to remain in effect, ACCEPT that the pattern/cause-effect WAS there, IS there, and is NOT purely perceptual.

    And… concur yr analysis re: war-chest in Afghanistan!

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