Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, June 12, 2006

As the U.S. Shifts Some Tasks to NATO, the Taliban Surges

As reported in the New York Times by Carlotta Gall, “American forces are handing over operations in southern Afghanistan to a NATO force of mainly Canadian, British, and Dutch troops, and militants have taken advantage of the transition to swarm into rural areas.”

Gall reports that “the Taliban are running checkpoints on secondary roads” in rural village areas, forcing many people to flee and seek refuge in nearby cities and other small towns. “The situation is really, in the last four years, the most unstable and insecure I have seen,” said Talatbek Masadykov, who is in charge of the United Nations assistance mission in Kandahar.

The article reports that NATO “has deployed a 9,700 member force in Afghanistan that will grow to 16,000.” While NATO is deploying troops, “the United States will reduce its force by about 3,000 and keep 20,000 in the country under a separate American chain of command.”

Gall reports that the Canadian commander of forces in southern Afghanistan, Brig. Gen. David Fraser, is firmly optimistic. “The Taliban have this great ability to blend into the villages and towns, but they are not the superstar people make them out to be. They are capable fighters, but defeatable.”

To read this article in full click here.


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