Top US commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal announced today that the Taliban faction is now the strongest it has been since the 2001 US-led invasion which drove them out of powerful and installed the current government in its place.
“The insurgency has grown,” Gen. McChrystal admitted in an interview in Kabul today, “it has grown geographically, and it has grown in levels of violence.”
The generals comments should hardly come as a surprise, considering the various record death tolls seen in the nation in recent months and reports cautioning that the war is taking an increasing toll on the nation’s civilian populace, both in the form of US air strikes and Taliban bombings.
The news is ominous, however, coming just two days before the long-awaited Afghan presidential election, and amid threats by the Taliban that it intends to disrupt the vote with attacks. It has the will, and by all accounts it is more than strong enough to do exactly that.
The assessment must also bring into question the wisdom of the continued American escalation in the nation, as eight years of war has found their enemy getting stronger and stronger, despite repeated strategy changes and ever increasing deployments of forces.