Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kandahar blues

Erica Gaston, writing at the Huffington Post, asks in response to an interview of the omnipresent Andrew Exum, whether Kandahar is already fallen to the Taliban.

Exum, aka Abu Muqawama, COINista and part of the immense CNAS machinery, points out in his interview that the Taliban won't be "rolling down the street with tanks", but rather be the de facto power in the city, and that will signify that it has fallen.

Well, yes, from that point of view, Kandahar has fallen, in fact, most of Afghanistan has fallen. But that only means to these incurably optimistic fools that the war will continue, forever if need be. As long as the US can bring unlimited firepower to bear on Taliban tanks, they will continue to rule in the shadows, and the shadows are where the US cannot go, they can only blow them up.

COINistas love to say how there population centric strategy will finally, one day, bring results, and the Afghans will learn to love them and hate the Taliban. Then you'll see! First of all, though, they admit that the US habit of dropping bombs first and asking questions later needs to change, and they won't tell us how.

The most probable course in Kandahar, if the Taliban are ever willing to fight, would be the Afghani version of Fallujah, or more recently, Swat. Massive refugee creation, indiscriminate bombing, and a destroyed city. But why should they fight, all they need to do is wait.


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