(I’ve been getting a lot of hits through Google on this, so here goes. Supply and demand, baby.)
The big news last night was the breakout of some 1,000 inmates, including several hundred insurgents, from Kandahar Jail. Since the Taleban don’t exactly lack recruits, the attack was perhaps militarily less important than may seem. But it’s another embarrassing PR blow to ISAF and its Afghan partners. It also highlights the problem reported by the New York Times in May: with an escalation in fighting, and mass arrests being an integral part of the U.S.-led counterinsurgency campaign, prisons in Afghanistan are overflowing. This may partly answer why apparently high-value Taleban detainees are being held in poorly guarded facilities like Kandahar.
Still, the Michael Burrows-style breakout overshadowed the really bad news yesterday, as reported by Reuters: NATO has no idea how it’s going to replace the 3,000 U.S. Marines now fighting in Helmand when they pull out in November.