The Islamofascist slugs just can’t catch a break.
Afghan and security forces waited, and waited, for the Taliban Spring Offensive, but it never came. Gun battles with the Taliban were down 50 percent so far, compared to last year. Roadside bomb attacks were about the same. But Taliban casualties were up, as more Afghan and NATO forces went looking for them. Last year, 8,000 people died in Taliban violence. So far this year, the death toll is 1,200, indicating casualties for the year will be about half what they were last year. This year, a higher proportion of the dead are Taliban and al Qaeda, and a lower proportion civilians. While some Taliban commanders have tried to develop new tactics to reduce casualties (smaller units of Taliban, and avoiding contact with police and troops), nothing has worked. The Afghan army is larger (76,000 troops) and better trained than last year, and there are more foreign troops. Worst of all, more tribal leaders have sided with the government this year, meaning tribal militias are also ready to fight Taliban moving through previously pro-Taliban territory.
This year the Taliban switched to terror bombings, and threats against civilians. The suicide bombing campaign has not been very successful. This year’s threats involve demands that civilians limit cell phone use, stop watching TV and shut down schools for girls. None of these demands were very popular, and nothing much happened except in areas where the tribal leaders were too scared to stand up to the Taliban. This depended more on tribal politics than anything else. The Taliban movement has always been about tribal politics, with ambitious, and often religious, tribesmen seeing the movement as a way to work themselves into a tribal leadership position. That meant more money, as well as more power.
……many al Qaeda leaders and technical experts have departed Iraq in the last year. Some have “retired” (gone inactive, and into hiding), but most of those who have disappeared from Iraq have been showing up in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The ones who come to Afghanistan find themselves constantly under attack by Afghan police and foreign troops. In Pakistan, the Taliban is trying to arrange a ceasefire with the government, and negotiate safe havens from which Islamic terrorists can operate against the Afghan government. The Taliban leadership is taking a beating in Afghanistan as well, and also want a safe place to hide out.
The Taliban, upon getting their asses handed to them, fled across into Pakistan and relative safe haven. This is mostly because the Pakistan government is about as useful as tits on a nun, and the Pakistan Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) has Taliban moles on its payroll.
Good luck with the ceasefire.