The Taliban now have a presence in nearly three-quarters of Afghanistan, and are beginning to encircle its capital, Kabul, according to a new thinktank report.
The Paris-based International Council on Security and Development, which has offices in Afghanistan, says that Taliban fighters have advanced from the south of the country and now carry out regular attacks in the west and northwest.
"The West is in genuine danger of losing Afghanistan."
This campaign has been run with a combination of magical thinking, a contempt for military history and troop strength protocol, and a complete ignorance of the history of this area.
Magical thinking; that any less than the US military's own protocol on numbers to successfully attack and occupy this country would work. According to the US's own protocol, we needed 500,000 troops on the ground to attack and hold this country. Right now, we've got 30,000, plus or minus 8,100 Brits on the ground. The "surge" will add another 20,000. Do the math. At the end of the day, we'll have around just over 10 % of the total number necessary to hold this occupied territory.
A contempt for military history; believing that what is essentially a ground war can be won from the air. One has to wonder how many of the military "tacticians" (if one can call them that) actually served in Viet Nam. Had they, the planning and execution of this occupation would have gone far differently. Aerial bombing will guarantee two things, and two things only; mass civilian casualties (women, kids, elderly, and the medically fragile), and that you will radicalize people even further against the tin-pot dictator we're trying to prop up. (The Afghani people have every reason to believe that their government leaders are so crooked they have to screw their socks on in the morning).
And in terms of history, the last guy to conquer and hold this country was Alexander the Great.
Chew on that for a moment.
The cold, hard fact that we are losing in Afghanistan is no surprise; and it is doubtful that anything President-Elect Obama can do anything to reverse this, even with the surge.