April 10, 2008

THE DREADED SPRING OFFENSIVE...

The Taliban talk the talk (Syed Saleem Shahzad, 4/11/08, Asia Times)

Brigadier General Carlos Branco, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, is skeptical of the Taliban's claims, calling them unrealistic and no more than propaganda.

"Every year they claim a spring offensive. What offensive are they talking about? Blowing up cell phone towers in Helmand and Kandahar [provinces] or blowing up power stations in Ghazni? This is not an offensive," Branco told Asia Times Online in a telephone interview from Kabul.

"You know much better than me this [cutting supply lines] is not true. We rely on various means of transportation; besides, we do have a lot of supplementary stocks with us. Therefore, a few attacks will never have any effect. We do have sea problems [Afghanistan is landlocked] but this claim of completely chopping off our supply lines has no base in reality. I completely deny their claim," Branco said.

Commenting on the Taliban's new strategy, Branco dismissed it as old wine in new bottles.

"The Taliban haven't had a new strategy in the past, neither will they have one in the future. They will do what they did in 2007. They avoided any confrontation with NATO or the Afghan National Army and instead they attacked district headquarters and claimed they had captured the whole district. But before the arrival of our troops, they left.

"They did indeed attack some of our forward operation bases, but their attacks were ineffective as they lack the military capability ... it makes me laugh when they try to compare their guerrilla strategy with that of General Giap's," said Branco.

"This is really nonsense. General Giap used coordinated guerrilla attacks and employing conventional tactics with a range of weaponry. The Taliban's tactics are useless. The tried to use those tactics in 2006 and suffered heavy losses. I don't think they will be able to repeat those tactics. They are not able to confront us on open ground, not even at the platoon level," Branco said.


...also known as, serving their own heads up on a plate.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 10, 2008 7:06 AM
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