Petraeus: Violence In Afghanistan Is Up. Way Up.

Petraeus: Violence In Afghanistan Is Up. Way Up.


From AP:

Gen. David Petraeus said the number of attacks in Afghanistan over the last week hit the highest level since the December 2001 fall of the Taliban.

“Some of this will go up because we are going to go after their sanctuaries and safe havens as we must,” Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, said during a speech at the Washington think-tank Center for a New American Security.

“But there is no question the situation has deteriorated over the course of the past two years in particular and there are difficult times ahead,” he said.

So how much violence?

There were more than 400 insurgent attacks last week, including ambushes, small arms volleys, assaults on Afghan infrastructure and government offices, and roadside bomb and mine explosions. In comparison, attacks in January 2004 were less than 50 per week.

Extremist attacks in the rural nation tend to increase in the summer months, and in part are spurred by military efforts to crack down on insurgents, Petraeus said.

It looks like we’re going to be there for a while. And I think most Americans are fine with that since Afghanistan always has been the central front in the fight against Islamic extremism.

Why we didn’t finish the job when we had the chance will be one of those things historians look back on and shake their heads about. But we’re there now and we can’t allow it, or Pakistan, to descend into chaos. Especially since Pakistan has nukes. That would be bad, bad news.

  • kranky kritter

    Obama’s albatross. Plain and simple.

    Just in case there is anyone out there who doesn’t have a hard and fast and inflexible view on our post 9/11 policy, I’ll throw out the following: the US had a multitude of VERY good reasons for choosing not to make Afghanistan the centerpiece of its then-new “war on terror” TM. And those reasons together are a pretty plausible explanation for why, after a quick bug spray in Afghanistan, we went after Iraq as well, and then shifted the focus there.

    Those opposed to the escalation of the WoT into Iraq made a big deal about how we should have focused on and finished the job in Afghanistan. Now, as time passes and Afghanistan proves a very difficult nut to crack, much harder than Iraq, folks who spent 6 years bitching about Iraq are likely to blame Bush and say that we could have fixed Afghanistan properly if we had focused exclusively on that situation in the aftermath of 9/11.

    Well, we’ll never know, will we? And that’s what affords the anti-Iraq-war folks the luxury of continuing to blame it all on Bush. So much easier than digging into the details and history of places like Afghanistan and Iraq and noticing how, with the world’s help, they are dysfunctional sociopolitical cesspools.

    I think reforming Afghanistan into something resembling a functioning modern democracy was a fantasy then, and I think its a fantasy now. Unless a young charismatic and truly insightful native figure rises up to lead these folks, and he (or she, but in Afghanistan, let’s face it, probably he) can be kept alive.

  • ExiledIndependent

    Why are we in Afghanistan?

  • B.

    Exiled, For the Heroin of course…

  • ExiledIndependent

    My bad…. It’s not the War on Terror, it’s the War on Drugs. Wait, there *is* no War on Terror. Redefining the universe makes me all confused and stuff.