In multiple attacks, too, no mean feat.
4 US troops were killed in an IED attack, 1 more was killed in a gunfight, and three were killed in a Taliban effort to overrun a US-Afghan police base in Kandahar. The last attack involved a suicide car bomb, followed by RPG and automatic weapons fire, along and many rockets fired at the base.
All Americans were killed in the South, which probably means Kandahar and Helmand.
4 more troops, all British, were killed. 3 of them were killed in in Helmand in yet another attack by a Taliban mole posing as an Afghan soldier. Either that, or an Afghan soldier who went over to the other side. We are seeing more and more of these “traitor attacks” where Afghan troops or police open fire on NATO forces that they are working with. These are essentially suicide attacks, since the attackers are often killed, but they are often deadly. In this case, incredibly, the guy escaped, and there is a huge manhunt on for him.
I am not sure what to do about Afghanistan. It’s quite clear that we are spending almost nothing on education, health care, roads, etc. for the Afghans. If we spent more on that, would they like us more? Hard to say. I also do not believe reports about a Taliban-Al Qaeda rift. The two groups are very well integrated, especially in Pakistan. It’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. If the Taliban win in Afghanistan when we pull out (dubious but possible) they could once again turn the place over to Al Qaeda.
The Taliban’s problem is that they are an ethnic militia. They are primarily, if not exclusively Pashtun. The Taliban anymore are simply a vehicle for Pashtun nationalism. Non-Pashtuns such as Afghan Hazara, Tajiks, Uzbeks, etc. are scarce if not nonexistent in the movement. So the Afghan Hazara, Tajiks, Uzbeks, etc will never go over to the Taliban, as the Taliban are racist Pashtuns who will oppress all the other groups.
But the Afghan government is almost worthless. The cops are corrupt and evil, often kidnapping young boys for sex and shaking down residents for bribes just to drive on the roads. They do nothing to help the people. In areas outside of Taliban control, highway robbery and brigands are very common. The Taliban come in and put a stop to all of that.
I really don’t know what to do about this situation, but I am not sure “we are going to win” with the way we are going.
Mullah Omar is still alive and is probably living in Quetta.