20 November 2005
Casualties rise in war against Afghanistan.
Ths is the first time that I have commented on the American war against Afghanistan. This conflict tends to take a back seat, largely because the war has taken a long time to get going. However, slowly but surely, the Afghans are increasing the number of Americans that they cull every year.
In just over three years of war prior to this one, the Afghans only culled 102 invaders. However, during this year alone they have managed to send 94 home in body bags.
The Americans were hoping to hand off Afghanistan to their British poodles, but this plan looks set to run into trouble. Britain cannot fight Afghanistan alone and needs help from NATO. The Dutch now look set to refuse to send more troops because the country is "too dangerous" for them. (*) This means that either Britain will have to make up the shortfall, or the Americans will have to stay.
Needless to say, if the Afghans increase their run rate next year, then the Americans are going to have to send more troops into the country whether they want to or not. Either that or accept that they cannot fight a war on two fronts for long.
The issue in guerrilla war is not how many enemy troops the guerrilla forces can kill. The issue is can the conventional forces suppress the guerrillas? If they can't then the guerrillas usually win because they have the advantage of time on their side. Eventually, even the most enthusiastic imperialist will get sick of seeing his army being picked off by insurgents, as his tax bill rises to pay for it all. That could take decades, but the Afghans certainly have decades and more to spare: they are going nowwhere because Afghanistan is where they all live.
(*) Readers are reminded that The Times and Sunday Times are scab sheets that are produced by non-union labour. Care should be taken with anything that they print.