Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hundreds of Taliban take Ghazni district

Agence France Presse reports claims of local officials that hundreds of Taliban fighters stormed a district centre in Ghazni, killing two police in the process. Surviving police retreated, leaving the Taliban in charge.

Readers will no doubt be aware that a mass of hundreds of insurgents is a rarity in Afghanistan lately. NATO and US military officials predicted that Taliban would never again amass in large groups after Operation Medusa, which military brass claimed killed hundreds of insurgents.

Also of note, the incident occurred in Ghazni, in central Afghanistan, where Taliban have lately been without control of any districts, unlike Helmand and Kandahar provinces where Taliban have their own in administration officials operating in some districts.

Norway's quid pro quo

OSLO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Norway expects NATO to help defend its Arctic borders given its involvement in the western military alliance's operations in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strom-Erichsen said.

Norway shares its Arctic sea and land borders with Russia, which has increased military activity there over past months. ... (link)
Cynics might point to Canada's recent yearnings in the Arctic (and the parallel Russian rivalry) and suggest Canada kick up a similar fuss to make our needs known.

Rubin Video, Part 2
The second part of an interview with Barnett Rubin, the leading academic authority on Afghanistan. (link)

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