October 27, 2010
Insurgents appear confident they can outlast troop buildup
By Greg Miller
An intense military campaign aimed at crippling the Taliban has so far failed to inflict more than fleeting setbacks on the insurgency or put meaningful pressure on its leaders to seek peace, according to U.S. military and intelligence officials citing the latest assessments of the war in Afghanistan.
Escalated airstrikes and special operations raids have disrupted Taliban movements and damaged local cells. But officials said that insurgents have been adept at absorbing the blows and that they appear confident that they can outlast an American troop buildup set to subside beginning next July.
“The insurgency seems to be maintaining its resilience,” said a senior Defense Department official involved in assessments of the war. Taliban elements have consistently shown an ability to “reestablish and rejuvenate,” often within days of routed by U.S. forces, the official said, adding that if there is a sign that momentum has shifted, “I don’t see it.”
One of the military objectives in targeting mid-level commanders is to compel the Taliban to pursue peace talks with the Afghan government, a nascent effort that NATO officials have helped to facilitate.
Phi Beta Iota: Winston Churchill has said
Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it. We are rather sadly reminded of how Henry Kissinger undermined the Paris Peace talks for political purposes, resulting in 20,000 more dead on the US side, hundreds of thousands more dead on the Vietnamese side, and no change in the ultimate outcome–the expulsion of the US from a foreign land it had no business invading in the first place. It is helpful that the US Intelligence Community seems to be articulating truth to power.