GHAZNI, Afghanistan, July 10, 2006 - The Taliban were never truly rooted out of Afghanistan's hills and now, five years after the euphoric liberation of the region, they are better armed and organized into large-scale units to fight coalition forces.
The Taliban are copying Iraqi insurgents with disturbing success. There were roughly 1,000 roadside bombs in the past year and 40 suicide bombings in the last nine months.
They are getting help from abroad, including al Qaeda bomb-makers and Arab fighters, but what is more worrisome to the coalition troops here is that the Taliban are getting the assistance of Afghans themselves.
I might just be an old enlisted man but it just seems to me that when the Russians had a hundred thousand troops in country and still couldn't win after a decade, ten thousand of our guys don't have a chance. Had we thrown the same resources into Afghanistan as we did in Iraq (and killed every last Taliban) we might have a viable nation by now.
With the reemergence of the Taliban and the fact the opium crop is at record levels, we can pretty well assume our Afghan policy is working out the same as our Iraq policy, doomed to end in failure.