Konfusion in Kabul?
In a congressional hearing yesterday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates implied that the U.S. military had routed the Taliban from Afghanistan. Gates blathered out a rosy assessment that the Taliban has “lost” in Afghanistan and that they had been “thrown out” of the country:
The Taliban no longer occupy any territory in Afghanistan. They were thrown out of Musa Qala a few weeks ago before over Christmas. And the Taliban have had some real setbacks. Probably 50 of their leaders have been killed or captured over the past year, and we know that that’s had an impact on their capability and also on their morale.I may be in need of some assistance here, in squaring what
- Bloomberg: Gates called on Germany to move troops from the comparatively placid north of Afghanistan to the Taliban-infested south -- and was rebuffed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government.
- AFP: Rice, Miliband travel to heart of Taliban insurgency in Kandahar province address soldiers who are on the frontline of efforts to tackle the Al-Qaeda-linked insurgent movement.
- The Times: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband went to Kandahar the heart of the Taliban insurgency ...
- BBC: The Taleban now control swathes of land across south-west Afghanistan and mounted about 140 suicide attacks last year, including some in the capital Kabul.
- Mirror: More than six years after U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban, the Islamist militia's resurgence and spiralling violence has led Washington to call on its allies to send more troops to Afghanistan, a country bigger in size and population than Iraq, but with only a third the number of foreign soldiers.
- Turkish Weekly: NATO forces in Afghanistan are in a “strategic stalemate,” as Taliban insurgents expand their control of sparsely populated areas and as the central government fails to carry out vital reforms and reconstruction, according to an independent assessment released on January 30 by NATO’s former commander.
- NPR: More than six years after they were toppled in Afghanistan, Taliban forces are resurgent. An average of 400 attacks occurred each month in 2006. ...
I could not believe my bloodshot, reading eyes, so I had to hear it with my ears as well. The cacophony leaves me completely stunned.