August 29, 2007

Major Taliban Engagement Ends In Rout

Taliban forces ambushed American and Afghan troops in Kandahar province today -- and now probably wish they hadn't. They killed one Afghan soldier and wounded three others, but lost over 100 men when the Americans called airstrikes down on their position:

More than 100 Taliban insurgents and allies have been killed in a major battle with US-led troops in southern Afghanistan, according to the US military.

The fighting erupted after a convoy of Afghan and US coalition forces came under attack in Shah Wali Kot district in Kandahar province and called in air support.

There were no civilian casualties reported but one Afghan security force member was killed and three foreign troops and three Afghan soldiers were wounded.

The Taliban continues to prove wildly inept at actual warfare. They lost 100-1 in this engagement -- when they had tactical surprise and presumably the best ground. In any rational armed force, or even with partisans, this kind of leadership would have transferred to latrine management, if not the stockade.

They don't want to conduct actual warfare, for reasons that become more obvious after each attempt. The Taliban want to intimidate Afghan communities one by one into surrender. They can't do that while NATO forces support the Karzai government, and the US insistence on the hard-line approach to the Taliban forces them to engage against vastly superior forces.

They're getting desperate, as this defeat shows. They can't even win an ambush. Mullah Omar and his feckless gang of thugs have few options left, and all of them look bad.


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Comments (18)

Posted by stackja1945 [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 29, 2007 6:35 AM

According to the left-wing agenda, this is a defeat for the USA.
The USA must immediately retreat.

Posted by bayam | August 29, 2007 6:49 AM

Unfortunately, Karzi and other credible sources are telling us that the security situation in Afghanistan has continued to deteriorate over the past year. Despite American military superiority, the ability of the Taliban to mount this kind of attack isn't a great sign. A recent UN report also cited Afghanistan as a larger producer of drugs than Columbia and Peru combined- not exactly a promising outcome.

The war in Afghanistan has broad political support in the US. It's unfortunate that our leaders aren't doing more to support coalitian forces and rebuilding programs in that country. You'd think that some of our new allies in E. Europe might be convinced to make a larger commitment in manpower. It's easy for the fight in Iraq to oversahdow Afghanistan, but it shouldn't.

Posted by wolfwalker | August 29, 2007 7:18 AM

Despite American military superiority, the ability of the Taliban to mount this kind of attack isn't a great sign.

100 casualties suggests an attacking force somewhere between company-size and battalion-size -- that is, somewhere between 100 and 1000 men. That's not a particularly large force for an enemy that claims to have hundreds of thousands of followers.

A recent UN report also cited Afghanistan as a larger producer of drugs than Columbia and Peru combined- not exactly a promising outcome.

No, it isn't. We agree on that. It's an unintended consequence of three facts: the removal of the antidrug Taliban; the fact that the opium poppy is one of few crops that will grow well in Afghanistan; and the enormous black-market price that opium brings. What's the best answer to it? Well, the medical painkiller morphine is an opiate, just as heroin is. And some sources claim that there's a worldwide shortage of morphine. What do you think would happen if the Coalition provided funds to buy up the opium crop at current market prices, then sent the entire crop into the legitimate morphine market instead of the illegal heroin market?

Posted by Cybrludite | August 29, 2007 7:18 AM

Despite American military superiority, the ability of the Taliban to mount this kind of attack isn't a great sign.

So you're saying that it's a bad sign that the Taliban still crowd together close enough for us to kill them in batch lots like this? That they seem incapable of learning from their mistakes? (Granted, a lot of the ones making these mistakes aren't around afterwards to learn from them and pass the lessions on...)

Posted by Clyde | August 29, 2007 7:21 AM

Sure hate it for them.

The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist. I applaud our military's successful effort to turn this latest batch into good terrorists.

Posted by Bennett | August 29, 2007 7:29 AM

"The Taliban continues to prove wildly inept at actual warfare. They lost 100-1 in this engagement -- when they had tactical surprise and presumably the best ground."

Well it was probably really a wedding, that's why they were so unprepared. Isn't that what usually gets reported? That the military mistook a harmless gathering for an armed attack.

Posted by NahnCee | August 29, 2007 8:36 AM

Waiting for the first claim from some Afghan warlord that 90 of those 100 killed were innocent civilian goatherders.

Posted by Casper | August 29, 2007 8:36 AM

"According to the left-wing agenda, this is a defeat for the USA.
The USA must immediately retreat."

Retreat from Afghanistan? Dude, you are out of your head. Find me one single credible left-wing source that is rallying for a withdrawal from Afghanistan. The left wing is calling for a withdrawal from Iraq, not Afghanistan. I know ya'll still think Saddam was responsible for 9/11 and all, so I can see how you'd get confused, but do try and keep up.

I too applaud our military in crushing the Taliban and anyone else associated with bin Laden, at every opportunity.

Posted by burt | August 29, 2007 10:40 AM

I have the strong impression that both the Taliban and Al Queda have a higher percentage of engagements which result in disasters than they did a few years ago. This would be expected to occur if the seasoned leaders and foot soldiers are dead or captured.

Posted by Duke DeLand | August 29, 2007 11:48 AM

I almost choked on my coffee this morning sitting in the waiting room of a repair shop. The CNBC report interpreted the fight as a "demonstration of the ability of the AQ to field a large force."

Seems to me that they had better bring THOUSANDS if they wish to inflict any meaningful damage upon the coalition forces. 100-1...China could not stand that ratio of losses.

An above commenter found the point. The AQ is becoming basically leaderless....They are also about out of talented fighters.

Keep the hammer down folks!

Posted by DCM | August 29, 2007 12:00 PM

Wolfwalker -
At what price do you purchase the poppy crop? The legal or illegal price? If you offer the legal price, the farmers won’t sell to you because they can get a higher price, the “illegal price”, from the illegal drug marketers. If you pay the “illegal price”, you will increase the amount of poppy crop being produced because by registering and legally selling the crop at the illegal price more farmers will grow more of the crop because its not illegal and therefore less risk in growing the crop. If you succeed in taking even some of the “illegal” poppies off of the illegal market, you will drive up the illegal price, thereby increasing the incentive to produce more poppy crops and increasing ht eprice you have to pay the farmers. Do you keep buying until no one in the world can produce anymore poppy crops to sell for the illegal price? The process will only end when the US has transferred so much wealth to the poppy growers that no one in the US has enough money to buy drugs any more. (The reason I say no one has any money left instead of the drug users is because the drug users will steal the money to buy their drugs from the non-drug users.)

Decriminalize drugs (control like liquor), let people grow them here in US, destroy the market for drug production outside US, spend 10% of the money wasted on the “War On Drugs” on drug research and education and bury those too stupid not to kill themselves taking drugs before they kill us, directly or indirectly. No other approach will ever, ever, ever work.

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 29, 2007 12:08 PM


I had a family member on drugs. You view drugs as a victimless crime. It isn't.

Posted by Mark Collins | August 29, 2007 3:08 PM

bayam: There are around 1,200 Poles fighting with the US in eastern Afstan, along with a Romanian battalion:

Poles now operational in Afstan

"Carpathian's Hawks," the Romanian 182nd Infantry Battalion

Not bad compared to some of the other European Allies (Dutch, Danes and Estonians excepted).


Posted by Tim W | August 29, 2007 3:39 PM

What I always find amazing is that liberals think Afghanistan is the strategically important battle that we must win while Iraq is not. If we are going to choose to lose on one front, I would surly rather leave Afghanistan to the Taliban than leave Iraq to Al Qaeda and Iran. Iraq is at the center of the most strategically important region in the world while Afghanistan is nothing but a tribal backwater.

What even more amazing is how liberals try to tell you that there is no Al Qaeda presence in Iraq even though there is a group there that calls itself Al Qaeda in Iraq. After that bit of absurdity falls apart they go back to the "they were not there before we invaded", which while even if it’s true, is irrelevant to the current situation. Now liberals are stuck on the even more absurd line of "even though there is a group that calls itself Al Qaeda in Iraq, there not really Al Qaeda” even though Zawahiri has said multiple times that Iraq is the central front in the global jihad.

I would rather fight them in Iraq, where it’s flat than in Afghanistan which has some of the world’s most difficult terrain and is very tough to supply logistically. We need to defeat these 7th century barbarians in both places and elsewhere and if we need to pull every soldier out of Germany and Korea and redeploy them we should do it. We certainly should not be subsidizing two wealthy nations who seem particularly ungrateful for our presence.

I am sure the media in the next few days will revise its figures on Taliban dead to 90 or so innocent women and children and 10 males who may or may not be Taliban. Its sad that they always believe anything an islamic radial says and report it as fact.

Posted by Nony Mouse | August 29, 2007 4:51 PM

There currently isn't a "legal" price for export poppy in Afghanistan. Several people have advocated to get the country on the "historical producers" list, which would allow legal purchase for medical suppliers.

Posted by Shaprshooter | August 29, 2007 7:20 PM

100 down, a bunch more to go.

Better get back to work!

Posted by Jack Okie | August 29, 2007 7:21 PM


Many years ago, when I was still in college a wonderful uncle of mine died from the effects of prolonged drug use. In this case, his drug of choice was alcohol. I'm sorry for your family member's situation, but we all are exposed to the consequences of the choices we make. Since your family member apparently became entangled despite the "War On Drugs", how exactly are we helping anyone by criminalizing marijuana and keeping price supports on the harder stuff?

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