More Violence, More Guns, More Bloodshed in Afghanistan
Yesterday, as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visited Afghanistan, we told you how â��The U.S. military is seeing early signs that al-Qaida may be stepping up its activities in Afghanistan.â�� Turns out, we were right. [Mic Check]
While Gates and other top officials claim theyâ��ve seen no â��up-tickâ�� in al-Qaida violence, their actions lead us to believe otherwise. U.S. officials said they now were considering providing arms to local tribes in Afghanistan, along with training, equipment and other support. [AP]
The strategy of arming local tribes has been modeled after similar â��successfulâ�� attempts that have been made in Iraqi neighborhoods.
And can you blame them? A suicide car bomber targeted a NATO convoy in Kabul on Tuesday not long after Gates had passed along the same road, which had been closed to other traffic while Gates was traveling on it. NATO said 22 civilians who were near the blast were wounded.
According to the Associated Press: â��The U.S. military has been pushing the idea that more attention must be paid to tribal leaders in the provinces in both Afghanistan and Iraq, rather than focusing all the attention on buttressing the central governments of those two nations. The thinking is that the locals are closer to the community and their people, and thus can better police their own streets.â��
And then thereâ��s the Taliban. At this point, thereâ��s very little doubt that the Taliban has been refueled and is on the rise. The opium trade â�� which accounts for 93% of the worldâ��s supply â�� has funded militant groups, allowing them to trade drugs for arms and bomb-making supplies.
This year has been the most violent since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Insurgency-related violence has claimed nearly 6,200 lives, according to a tally of figures from Afghan and Western officials. Meanwhile, the number of attacks has surged, including roadside bombings and suicide assaults.
We smell a ticking time bomb.