Thursday, January 3, 2008

Aid chief says Taliban control a quarter of Afghanistan at night

Canadian broadcast sees 'Mission Impossible'

"It has been "a bad year in Afghanistan," according to CBC News, with thousands killed, including hundreds of Afghan police, and large areas of the country still outside government control. The NATO forces battling Taliban guerrillas are stretched thin, unable even to guard key roads, and now some are asking, "Is it Mission Impossible?"

One problem is that NATO has never fought this far from its home bases in Europe. Another is that Afghanistan is twice the size of Germany, "with a rugged geography that dwarfs military efforts of any size and that seems to mock military planning.".....

NATO has only 41,000 troops in Afghanistan, including some from the US, while the US has another 7000 under separate command. The Afghan army is also considered to have a reliable core of about 20,000. Although the Taliban only fields about 15,000 or 20,000 guerrillas and cannot hold territory, it is able to play havoc through roadside bombings.......

"Historically, Afghanistan is the great breaker of armies," CBC concluded. "Could it also break NATO? That's no longer idle speculation.""

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