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Taliban Launches its Own Surge

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  • Taliban Launches its Own Surge

    On Wednesday (May 19) the Taliban launched a ground assault on Bagram Air Base, the main U.S. base in Afghanistan. Rocket attacks against major U.S. bases are common, ground assaults very rare. The fighting lasted eight hours and ended with sixteen militants dead and five captured. One U.S. contractor was killed in the fighting.

    This was followed on Saturday evening (May 22) by a rocket attack and then ground assault on the northern perimeter of Kandahar Air Field, the largest U.S. base in southern Afghanistan. Fighting lasted in this case for about three hours and it appears the perimeter was not penetrated. Several coalition soldiers and civilian contractors were wounded in this attack, but at this time there are no reports of NATO deaths.

    These attacks come on the heals of a suicide attack in Kabul which left nineteen dead, including five U.S. and Canadian service members, along with stepped-up Taliban attacks on Afghan government officials and installations, all part of the Taliban’s announced Spring Offensive.

    Neither of the ground assaults were serious threats to the security of the bases, but both potentially provided the Taliban intelligence as to the strength and responsiveness of the perimeter defenses, and in any case disrupted air operations at both bases for several hours. Whether these were simply propaganda attacks or probes in preparation for more serious ground assaults later is hard to say, but they certainly show an ability to launch coordinated operations in greatly separated parts of the country and a willingness to do so ...


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    Reminds me a little of the Tet Offensive....

    This reminds me a little of the Tet Offensive when individual bases suffered huge attacks. I think this is along the same lines, they are trying to change the political environment by causing the coalition to think that nowhere is safe and to commit more resources to defending bases, rather than controlling Taliban territory. Of course this attack was puny compared to Tet, but it would appear at least superficially similar.
    Anyone else here from the planet fubar?


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