Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Taking the fight to the Taliban

NATO's effort deserves attention.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- U.S. artillery and airstrikes killed between 50 and 60 suspected Taliban militants Tuesday, the fourth day of a NATO-led offensive in southern Afghanistan, an alliance spokesman said.

NATO already has reported more than 200 Taliban killed in the operation.

The U.S. troops, operating under NATO command, clashed with the militants in Panjwayi district of Kandahar province, where an offensive began over the weekend to flush out hundreds of Taliban fighters.
It's been five years, almost, since the terrible events of 9/11. The Taliban needs to be destroyed.

The Financial Times:
Nato said the visit by its top civilian and military leaders had been long planned to demonstrate a commitment to the Afghan mission. But officials said it should help fight the perception that the alliance was losing its way there.

Tom Koenigs, the UN’s special representative for Afghanistan, said Nato needed more troops and fewer restrictions on their freedom of manoeuvre. In particular, he said there were “around 71 caveats”, which he argued were “too many and must be removed”.

Caveats limit the combat role of Germany’s 2,800 troops and restrict them to Kabul and the north of the country. Nato can deploy them elsewhere only “under exceptional circumstances and on a temporary basis”.

Mr Koenigs, a German, added that the country’s soldiers “must now accept having to go to the south”. Both the local police and military were currently “hopelessly overstretched”, he said.

On Monday, the Netherlands confirmed that about 100 Dutch soldiers had been temporarily reassigned to the south to assist Canadian forces.
There is also this to report, BBC:
Pakistan has signed a deal with pro-Taleban militants on the Afghan border aimed at ending years of unrest.

The North Waziristan accord calls on tribesmen to expel foreign militants and end cross-border attacks in return for a reduced military presence.

Tens of thousands of Pakistani troops are fighting foreign Islamic militants and their local supporters in the country's restive tribal belt.


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