Afghanistan: 10 French Soldiers Killed ; 21 Wounded ; Six Suicide Bombers Attack US Base ; Rockets Hit ISAF HQ
August 19, 2008
A convoy of French soldiers was ambushed 50 km east of Kabul. The battle lasted for 24 hours and left 10 French soldiers dead and 21 wounded. The ISAF HQ in Kabul was attacked by rockets but they missed. An attack on a NATO base – called Camp Salerno – in Khost by six suicide bombers was repelled. On Monday nine Afghans died when a suicide bomber attacked t he gate of the same base.
These are all signs of the increase in Taliban activities in Afghanistan. The number of dangerous areas increases and even Kabul is now surrounded by unfriendly territories. The main highway connecting Kandahar and Kabul was a major project of the US after the Taliban were pushed back in 2001. But now heavy attacks on the road increase and it is impossible to drive along without protection. The Afghan Army has to occupy former Soviet positions along the road to protect the road.
The NATO troops are getting more and more tense. Firing as soon as they fear an attack. Which is another big success for the Taliban. The NATO troops are more and more alienating themselves. Every new dangerous area on the map is another success for the Taliban. Because it means that they conquered the "hearts and minds" of the local people or the local governor/warlord. The NATO troops seem to be weak they drive by by day but by night the Talibs rule the streets. While the NATO comes by day and gives presents and tries sweet talk the Talibs come by night and chop of the hands of every suspected traitor. These are your options as a peasant.
Here is a BBC video about the situation on the Kabul-Kandahar-Highway. (It can’t be embedded).
Btw. the last major Soviet operation in Afghanistan was an operation to free the highway to Khost.