Fighting across southern Afghanistan has left 28 suspected Taliban rebels dead as violence continues in the run-up to legislative elections next month, officials said yesterday.
The bloodiest battle occurred in Zabul province on Sunday when Afghan forces attacked suspected militants, killing 16 and arresting one, according to the defence ministry. Among the dead was a local Taliban commander, Mullah Nasir, the ministry said.
I ask again, with fighting raging “across southern Afghanistan,” is this finally the quagmire war opponents had predicted? The story seems to give the impression that the Afghan Dixie is a madhouse. Well, two little details lead me to say ixnay on the agmirequay. First, as is clear in the story, the bad guys are getting killed in bunches. This is certainly not a new development. Second, somehow omitted from this tale is that this is not a random outbreak of violence. Rather, this is the beginning of a joint Afghan-American offensive. This offensive has certainly drawn very little press — were it not for the military utilization of donkeys, there might have been no press at all.
Chad at In the Bullpen was on the story of the offensive two days ago. In an update to that posting, ItB contributor Mac added the donkey aspect, pointing out the corresponding usage of horses by U.S. Special Forces early in the Afghan theater.