December 21, 2015 - San Francisco, CA – PipeLineNews.org – Though President Obama has reversed course, deciding to retain a token [9,800] troops in Afghanistan, the about face has neither aided efforts to stand up a reasonably effective indigenous Afghan defense force, nor has it resulted in insulating U.S. soldiers from the effects of a full court push by the Taliban, which is especially acute in Helmand Province.
Just hours ago a convoy deployed out of Bagram Air Base was attacked by a motorcycle driver carrying a VBIED resulting in the death of 6 American troops and the wounding of at least one more. [see, Mujib Mashaal and Matthew Rosenberg, 6 American Soldiers Killed In Taliban Attack In Afghanistan , NYT]
Afghan casualties are listed as two.
Located in Parwan Province, Bagram had been considered as one of the more secure areas in the country.
Obama’s consolidation of troops has rather than increasing security, resulted in making locked-down troops sitting ducks since the lack of true offensive operations allows the resurgent Taliban to probe ever deeper into areas in which they had previously unable to penetrate.
Helmand Province. the birthplace of the Taliban, is a strategic target, it being the center of the area’s opium trade. The province’s capital, Lashkar Gah fell under furious assault in October and is still encircled and under threat.
“In Helmand, the Taliban controls or contests six of the province’s 13 districts, according to data compiled by The Long War Journal. All of the districts due north of the provincial capital of Laskhar Gah — Sangin, Baghran, Musa Qala, Kajaki, and Now Zad — are controlled or heavily contested by the jihadist group. The Taliban uses these districts to assemble its forces and assault Lashkar Gah and neighboring districts. Taliban forces are currently positioned in Marja and Babaji, just miles from Lashkar Gah.” [source, Bill Rogio, Dozens of Afghan Troops Surrender to Taliban in Helmand , Long War Journal]
Obama’s gambit in Afghanistan has been disastrous.
Fully 75% of U.S. casualties in the country have taken place under his watch and the on-again-off-again troop drawdown has emboldened the enemy. Perhaps of more import, it has sent a clear signal to the Afghan people that they have already been sold-out by a vainglorious American CIC.
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