With increased pressure to actually show some progress in the war, or at the very least to slow the momentum of the insurgency, General Stanley McChrystal has quietly ordered a significant escalation of clandestine special forces operations inside Afghanistan.
The special forces have more than quadrupled the number of raids in recent months, concentrating on attempting to kill members of the Taliban. It’s a strategy at odds with the official line on the conflict.
US officials have suggested that the exit strategy in Afghanistan is to reintegrate the Taliban forces into the government, and that the almost non-existant al-Qaeda forces are the top priority.
Yet the reality on the ground is that the Taliban are taking a growing amount of territory from the international forces, and the pretense of grand exit strategies is just that, a pretense. In the near term the US forces are just hoping to slow the Taliban, something which the last few years suggests they aren’t able to do.
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