Hoo boy. The Taleban today conducted two apparently well-coordinated attacks on government buildings in the Afghan capital Kabul, killing at least 19 people and scoring another propaganda victory. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, as even the stupidest man on earth could see it coming already two months ago:
I’m guessing that unless something is done, we will next see concerted attacks in the city centre by small groups of determined gunmen, and that’s when the siege talk will start.
Spencer at the Independent Streak wonders if the inbound U.S. brigade combat team will make a difference in plugging the infiltration routes in Logar and Wardak. Short answer: no, it won’t. For one thing, it’s a mistake to presuppose that the Taleban or their allies aren’t already inside the city. And even if they weren’t, they’d always find other ways in.
It’s real simple: Kabul ain’t Baghdad.
[UPDATE: On the off-chance that some of you read Finnish, here’s a prime example of the feckless naïveté now prevalent in my neck of the woods. The writer of the piece, a reporter for the normally top-notch Helsingin Sanomat, calls the insurgents “the chief sowers of chaos” and wonders whether “there will ever be a day when the Taleban stops torturing Afghanistan”. Two things get my goat here. First is the emotionalism, which I think we can’t afford; the situation requires clearheadedness from everyone, including — and especially — the media. Second, it is precisely because they’re seen as bringing order, by waging jihad on the chaos-sowing foreigners, that the Taleban are winning. As in any conflict, perception is everything. Either the writer deliberately ignores Western airstrikes, government corruption, ineffective reconstruction and the propping up of local warlords by the U.S. as major factors in turning Afghans against ISAF, the U.S. and Karzai — or she simply doesn’t know. Either way, not exactly what you would expect from Scandinavia’s premier newspaper.]