Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Does Afghanistan need a surge?

US journalists frequently report that "the surge" dramatically reduced violence in Iraq. Unfortunately, even as violence has declined in Iraq, it has increased significantly in Afghanistan.

The past two months, in fact, more troops have died in Afghanistan than in Iraq. This report is from yesterday's AP story:
Militants killed more U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan in June than in Iraq for the second straight month, a grim milestone capping a run of headline-grabbing insurgent attacks that analysts say underscore the Taliban's growing strength.
Militant attacks are up 40% over 2007, reportedly and are apparently becoming more sophisticated in a number of ways. The US just had its deadliest month in Iraq since the war started in 2001.
"I think possibly we've reached a turning point," said Mustafa Alani, the director of security and terrorism studies at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center. "Insurgents now are more active, more organized, and the political environment, whether in Pakistan or Afghanistan, favors insurgent activities."
Critics charge that the coalition lacks a strategy for victory in Afghanistan:
Barnett Rubin, an expert on Afghanistan at NYU, said the Paris conference shows a strong international commitment to Afghanistan, but he said there is still no strategy for longterm success.

"Let's focus on the essentials: creating a secure environment for Afghanistan and Pakistan to address their problems and for the international community to eliminate al-Qaida's safe haven," Rubin said. "We haven't been getting there, and we are not getting closer, pledges or no pledges."
Both Pakistan and Afghanistan have launched new attacks in their border area, so the violence in the region continues to escalate.

Visit this blog's homepage.

No comments:

Post a Comment