Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Afghan War Set To Escalate
Obama has always said that he would work to win the war in Afghanistan, so it should come as no surprise that an increase in commitment brings with it an increase in violence. This week brought three announcements. First, neighboring Pakistan has cut a deal with the Taliban that allows them a haven within their borders. Will Pakistan become the new Cambodia? I don't think so. Pakistan has always had a role in the Afghan conflict. In fact, they were one of the Taliban's initial sponsors. Second, we learn the Obama has sent 17,000 more US troops to the region. That's in addition to the 36,000 already there. And, lastly, we get a report the civilian deaths rose sharply in 2008. There were 2,118 in 2008, up from 1,523 in 2007. Fifty-five percent were killed by the Taliban, thirty-nine percent by the US and NATO forces, and the responsibility for the other six percent could not be determined.