A great man once said, "Politics is inherently stupid." That great man was me.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Actually, I Think It Proves the Opposite

While media pundits gloat over the recent prison break in Afghanistan, saying it proves the Taliban are too powerful to beat and crowing that it was only a short while ago that military commanders told us the Taliban was losing the war, they are forgetting one thing: the attack was an act of desperation by the Taliban. The attack proves the exact opposite of what they're telling us.

Think about it for a second. The Taliban know full well that they cannot face NATO in a conventional military campaign - the last time they tried, they lost almost 2,000 fighters. An assault on a (presumably) fortified prison would be quite a gamble. But why take such a risk? As we have seen, the propaganda victory (as reported by compliant western media) is a coup, but a propaganda victory alone will not help kill NATO soldiers.

No, what the Taliban needs in manpower, and this risky prison break gives us a hint into the problems the Taliban are facing. Specifically, they need fighters and this prison break shows us that they are running low on cannon fodder for NATO's guns. They wouldn't risk it otherwise.

Was this prison break a daring, successful propaganda coup? Yes. Does it mean NATO will have a rougher time of it in the short term? Yes. But to suggest one prison break is going to lose NATO the war is pure fantasy. NATO is going to pay the price for their lack of security at that prison, but if the Taliban are resorting to desperation attacks like this, it is a clear sign that they are losing the war.

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