Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jeremy Page, "Rockets, guile and the lessons of history," The Times, August 23, 2008.

"...this looks increasingly like a city under siege as the Taleban start to disrupt supply routes, mimicking tactics used against the British in 1841 and the Soviets two decades ago"

“We're seeing history repeat itself,” said Haroun Mir, co-founder of the Afghanistan Centre for Research and Policy Studies and a former aide to Ahmad Shah Massoud, the assassinated Mujahidin commander. “The Taleban's trying to cut the main roads to Kabul to target supplies for foreign forces, just like the Mujahidin did with the Soviets. If the highways are cut even for two days, it could also create riots in the city.”

Quotes to keep for later: Des Browne, British Defence Secretary Des Brown this week dismisses recent Taliban raids near Kabul: “In no sense have they created, or can they make, a strategic threat to the Government of Afghanistan.”

Brigadier-General Richard Blanchette, an ISAF spokesman, says: “We're fine for fuel and food. With the air power we have, and the quality of troops on the ground, there is no way they can win.”

History of war in Afghanistan

1839 British invade Afghanistan to install compliant king
1842 British retreat from Kabul; 16,500 troops and civilians killed; one survivor
1878-80 Second Anglo-Afghan War
1979 Soviet forces invade to prop up Communist Government
1988-89 Soviets retreat
1989-92 Civil war among warlords
1996 Taliban take over
2001 US-led invasion topples Taliban Government

Read the whole article here =>
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