The Taliban “do not appear to have the foothold that they have apparently claimed,” Lt. Col. Dave Corbould, commanding officer of the Canadian battle group in Kandahar, said in a statement issued by the NATO force.
The Taliban were already on the defensive and would not resist much longer, the governor of Kandahar, Asadullah Khaled, said at a news conference in Kandahar on Wednesday evening. “We are taking many precautions not to hurt civilians and that’s why the operation is slow,” he said.
First off that is great news, and a testament to both the soldiers of the coalition forces (ISAF) and the Afghan Army and Police. I'm almost left wondering if all of the reports of massive amounts of Taliban were nothing more then the prisoners fleeing the prison break that happened this last weekend in Kandahar? The wire reports are inconclusive right now, and there is definitely not enough information to formulate any opinions from here, but I'm very curious to see what comes out in the after action reports.
The other take-away is I am still stunned that the Taliban would mass this amount of forces in one area for a dedicated fight. From my experience in Afghanistan they did not like bringing together more then a platoon of insurgents since it became very easy for them to be fixed and then destroyed by coalition firepower. If the reports were true and there is much more to this then what is showing right now, then I question why the departure from their previous tactics? The coalition has not changed, but has the Taliban changed? Are we seeing a change in leadership styles that can be exploited, or are they becoming desperate due to the successes of the Afghan Army? I don't have the answer right now, but it is an answer I will be seeking in the coming weeks.
There was another essential element of good news also from this report from the front, and that was Afghan's taking care of Afghans.
Mr. Khaliq said he had evacuated his family to the city the previous day but had returned to his village, Tabin, because the wheat was ripe. “What can we do,” he said. “I am very worried about my wheat harvest, if fighting is prolonged we will lose the harvest.” Muhammad Salim, 40, from the village of Charqulba, said he left everything and fled Tuesday with only his cattle, even though Afghan troops tried to stop him.
“I told them they are so expensive and if I don’t bring them down they will die,” he said. “If they die it means my family will die because they are the only resource that my family relies on.”
Ahmed Wali Karzai, head of the Kandahar provincial council, said thousands of families had fled Argandab district for the city in the last few days. The council was drawing up lists and would provide them with assistance, he said.The people and the government of Afghanistan have come so far in their development as a nation. It is no longer formulate a list and turn it over to the Americans or the Coalition; it is we are drawing up a list, and will assist these families. This is a huge good news story, one that probably deserved its own article. That is the entire reason we are there, to bring stability to Afghanistan, and to help the Afghans stand for themselves. This is just another sign that they are, and that they are doing a great job of it.
God Bless America
Photo is from the NY Times Article and taken by Marco Di Lauro / Getty Images. Sphere: Related Content