Friday, August 11, 2006

50,000 Troops Needed To Control Taliban

If ever there was a statement that brought home just how much the adventure in Iraq has weakened the fight against terrorism and its causes, it is this:
Between 40-50,000 Nato forces would be needed to control Taliban fighters in the troubled Afghan province of Helmand, a senior British source said today.

The number far exceeds the 4,500 UK troops currently in the region and their Nato counterparts.

But the source insisted it was never the intention to put international troops in every village in the province, but rather disrupt Taliban influence and encourage stability in rural areas.

"There is absolutely no way that we can garrison Helmand with 4,500 troops," said the source. "If Nato was going to garrison Helmand and carry out that sort of operation, heaven knows how many troops you would need, 40-50,000. But we wouldn't even think about that."
And the reason they wouldn't even think about that is, of course, because they don't have that many combat-ready troops to spare. So the Taliban still operate, from safe havens in "allied" Pakistan mostly, and Osama is still out there.

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