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Top US intel officer: "Afghan insurgency can sustain itself indefinately"

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/01/afghan-insurgency-can-sustain-itself-indefinitely-top-us-intel-officer/

excerpts:

The Taliban not only has the “momentum” after the most successful year in its campaign against the United States and the Kabul government. “The Afghan insurgency can sustain itself indefinitely,” according to a briefing from Major General Michael Flynn, the top U.S. intelligence officer in the country. “The Taliban retains [the] required partnerships to sustain support, fuel legitimacy and bolster capacity.”

And if that isn’t enough, Flynn also warns that “time is running out” for the American-led International Security Assistance Force. “Regional instability is rapidly increasing and getting worse,” the report says.

…But Flynn’s December 23rd presentation on the “State of the Insurgency : Trends, Intentions and Objectives” may be the gloomiest public assessment of the war yet. The “loosely organized” Taliban is “growing more cohesive” and “increasingly effective.” The insurgents now have their own “governors” installed in 33 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. And the “strength and ability of [that] shadow governance increasing,” according to the presentation. The Taliban’s “organizational capabilities and operational reach are qualitatively and geographically expanding.”

Improvised bomb “events” have nearly tripled since 2007 — 7228 this year, compared to 2718 two years ago. The bombs have grown bigger — the majority are now 25 pounds or more. “80 to 90 percent” of them are made with homemade fertilizer, rather than military ordnance. That makes it much harder to track and block the distribution of the bomb-making material. Add to that steady supply of cash, thanks to the drug trade and the corrupt Kabul government, and a glut of weapons and ammunition,” and it becomes clear why, in Flynn’s words, “the insurgency is confident… looking toward post-ISAF Afghanistan.”

by teru kuwayama at 2010-01-09 20:08:24 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→


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