Sunday, February 3, 2008
"WASHINGTON — Islamic insurgents are expanding their numbers and reach in Afghanistan and Pakistan, spreading violence and disarray over a vast cross-border zone where al Qaida has rebuilt the sanctuary it lost when the United States invaded Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.
There is little in the short term that the Bush administration or its allies can do to halt the bloodshed, which is spreading toward Pakistan's heartland and threatening to destabilize the U.S.-backed governments in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In Afghanistan, U.S. and NATO forces are facing "a classic growing insurgency," Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday.
But the U.S. military, stretched thin by the war in Iraq, is hard-pressed to send more than the 3,200 additional Marines the Bush administration is dispatching to Afghanistan. The growing insurgency there is fueling rifts within the NATO alliance as Germany and other nations refuse to allow their troops to participate in offensive operations in Afghanistan....."