Sunday, October 7, 2007

Six years in Afghanistan: A timeline; Prince William's mentor killed

Lifted from The Independent:

* October, 2001 – British-backed US-led air strikes against Taliban strongholds. Taliban leader Mullah Omar flees to Pakistan border as his forces forced to withdraw.

* December, 2001 – The Bonn deal on the future of Afghanistan sees the creation of an interim government, headed by the US-backed President Hamid Karzai. .

* January, 2002 – Nato peacekeepers arrive with a year-long mandate.

* June, 2002 – The "grand assembly" selects Hamid Karzai as interim president.

* July, 2002 – Attacks increase throughout country and a vice-president, Haji Abdul Qadir, is shot dead with his son-in-law in Kabul.

* September, 2002 – Assassination attempt on President Karzai.

* January, 2004 – The Assembly backs a new national constitution

paving way for elections.

* September, 2004 – Another attempt on life of Karzai who is confirmed as President with 55 per cent of vote in elections - first for a generation.

* Spring/summer, 2006 – Taliban regroup in the south and carry out a series of fierce attacks there and elsewhere.

* July-October, 2006 – Nato peacekeeping forces, 18,500 and rising, take over full control.

* Spring, 2007 – Renewed efforts made by British-led coalition troops to force Taliban out of south.

* October, 2007 – Violent incidents, especially suicide bombings, are up 30 per cent on last year, with an average of 550 a month.

Patrick Cockburn on Afghanistan
Six years after a war was launched to overthrow the Taliban, British solders are still being killed in bloody skirmishing in a conflict in which no final victory is possible. ...

The outcome of the conflict in Afghanistan will be decided in Washington and Islamabad. There is no chance of defeating the Taliban so long as they can retreat, retrain and recoup in the mountain fastnesses of Pakistan.

Yesterday, we learned of the death of another British soldier. Although his identity has not been released, it is believed that the dead man acted as a mentor to Prince William. ...

Victory in Afghanistan six years after the start of the war to overthrow the Taliban is not likely. Even massively expanding troop levels would just mean more targets, and more losses. Armies of occupation, or perceived occupation, always provoke a reaction. ... (link)

No comments: