2.12.06

Time is on the Taliban's side

Asia Times Online :: South Asia news - Time is on the Taliban's side:

The feared symptom is that public opinion back home vital to sustaining military involvement will gradually sour in a prelude to withdrawal.

Regardless of whether adjustments are made, a regrouped Taliban contingent estimated at 10,000 fighters is prepared to take the fight to 'surprising' levels against international forces through the winter and on for as long as it takes to bleed Western resolve. Commander Mullah Obaidullah warned on Thursday that the possibility of more NATO troops 'does not worry the Taliban, [but] rather will make it easier for our combatants to attack them'.

These are more than fighting words. Suicide and roadside bombings targeting foreign troops and government officials have increased fourfold this year, up to 600 a month, with violence recorded in all but two of the country's 34 provinces. Officials say between 3,700 and 4,000 people have died in insurgent-related violence this year, including at least 186 coalition troops.

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