Saturday, February 8, 2014

Expert Says Taliban Living in Fantasy World

Brigadier Ben Barry, a senior fellow on land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), states that the Taliban failed to achieve their objectives during the 2013 fighting season and that the Afghan security forces are thoroughly in control of counter-insurgency. Hmmmmm. He gets it half right. The Taliban didn't achieve their "stated objectives" during the 2013 fighting season but they didn't lose much territory and they bloodied the Afghan security forces at higher numbers than any previous year. An insurgency doesn't have to gain territory to continue to exist - it just has to continue to exist. The Taliban have their "stated objectives" for political consumption and internal motivation and they have their realistic objectives that are the focus of their long-term strategy. The ANSF is thoroughly in control of counter-insurgency? Not so much. While the Taliban didn't gain significant territory from government forces neither did the Afghan security forces take much territory from the Taliban; and the Afghan security forces have certainly not defeated the Taliban. And, oh, by the way, the Afghans can't even spell "counterinsurgency". Read more in "Taliban living in fantasy world: IISS defence expert:", Business Standard, February 6, 2014.

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