Looks like it is time for some more house cleaning in Afghanistan:
Bands of 50 or more pro-Taliban fighters have begun appearing around Kandahar, both along the border with Pakistan and in the interior of the province. Just over the border in the Pakistani town of Chaman, high-ranking Taliban officials are meeting openly and handing out guns, money and motorbikes, according to a witness and Afghan police officials. Poor Afghans who don’t share the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islam or its mission of jihad are nevertheless accepting Pakistani money to plant land mines and bombs in Afghanistan, they said.
In addition to Taliban fighters, other men with guns — warlords — dominate much of Kandahar, allowing the trade in illegal drugs to flourish. Civic activists who once hoped to provide an alternative to both radical fundamentalists and marauding militiamen feel silenced and afraid.
“If someone rises up to say something about democracy or social equality, then tomorrow he won’t exist anymore,” said Mohammad Wali Hotek, head of one of the largest tribes in the Pashtun ethnic group, which is predominant in the south. “As there is no rule of law in Afghanistan, the gunmen can do anything they want.
I hope people understand it is going to take a long time to ‘fix’ Afghanistan.
Military resources, contrary to popular opinion, do tend to be finite:
I understand this- we should be able to handle the situation with the conventional troops we have in the region.
This is the kind of thing which made me think that invading Iraq was a bad idea at the time — it seemed like a distraction from Afghanistan, which it has turned out to be.
Of course, the Administration probably bought into its own fantasy that we’d only need 20,000 troops to hold and rebuild Iraq after we took it, so that explains why they did not see it as a major distraction.