Wednesday, July 2, 2008

WASHINGTON POST: U.S. DEATHS RISE IN AFGHANISTAN. TALIBAN IS GETTING STRONGER

There is a major problem for the U.S. military.

160,000 U.S. troops are stuck in Iraq doing "guard duty" and little else.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan has exploded with the Taliban making its mark all across the country and U.S. deaths during the month of June in Afghanistan topped U.S. deaths in Iraq.

The problem the U.S. military faces is should they continue to rotate troops out of Iraq, or should they deploy them to Afghanistan where the 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan need more support?

The media continues to talk about the success of Iraq, but they have conveniently overlooked how the Taliban is getting stronger in Afghanistan and violence is breaking out all across Afghanistan.

As has been the case with Iraq, the mainstream media appears to pay little or no attention to Afghanistan as the country spirals out of control.

The Washington Post is one of the few mainstream media outlets reporting on Afghanistan.

That in itself is an insult to every GI serving in both Afghanistan and Iraq and their families back in the United States.

COMMENTARY BY BILL CORCORAN, EDITOR OF CORKSPHERE.

U.S. Deaths Rise in AfghanistanJune Is Deadliest Month for Troops as Country Sees Taliban Resurgence

By Josh WhiteWashington Post Staff WriterWednesday, July 2, 2008; A01
http://tinyurl.com/5rndty

June was the deadliest month for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the war there began in late 2001, as resilient and emboldened insurgents have stepped up attacks in an effort to gain control of the embattled country.

Defense officials and Afghanistan experts said the toll of 28 U.S. combat deaths recorded last month demonstrates a new resurgence of the Taliban, the black-turbaned extremists who were driven from power by U.S. forces almost seven years ago. Taliban units and other insurgent fighters have reconstituted in the country's south and east, aided by easy passage from mountain redoubts in neighboring Pakistan's lawless tribal regions.

The officials and experts said the spike in troop deaths should not be the only measure of the growing conflict in Afghanistan, but they acknowledged that the Taliban's persistent attacks on military units and civilians have frustrated U.S. and international efforts to help the Afghan government secure the country.

"What it points to is that the opposition is becoming more effective," said Barnett R. Rubin, an Afghanistan expert at New York University. "It is having a presence in more areas, being better organized, better financed and having a sustainable strategy. In all, their strategic situation has improved."

Violence in rural areas controlled by the Taliban and in eastern provinces along the border with Pakistan has increased in recent weeks as insurgents have begun using more makeshift bombs, borrowing a tactic honed by insurgents in Iraq. According to top U.S. commanders, the number of violent incidents has risen nearly 40 percent during the first half of 2008 compared with last year.

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