US Fails to Stop Taliban at Afghan-Pakistan Border

Upcoming Escalation Unlikely to Relieve Sense of "Shortage" in Helmand

When your military is tasked with occupying an entire sparsely populated landlocked nation with rugged terrain and no infrastructure, it seems there’s no such thing as “enough” troops.

At least that’s the message coming out of Southern Helmand Province, where a few hundred US Marines are being asked to control a border region along Pakistani Balochistan which encompasses about 6,000 square miles. The troops don’t dare approach the border, because they will be hundreds of miles from the nearest field hospital.

It is exactly this sort of troop shortage that the Obama Administration would have us believe the 30,000+ man escalation is designed to relieve, but with officials aiming to control population centers across the massive nation with those troops few, if any, will find their way down to the virtually empty border region.

The reality is that the war is going so poorly and Afghanistan is so inhospitable to invaders, there is likely no number of troops which would be sufficient to give America operational control over all the important regions. The border with Pakistan alone is 2,400+ kilometers of hills, mountains and empty, unmarked fields. Short of sending a million soldiers to the nation and deploying them in rotating shifts to stand along the entire border watching, there is literally no way to prevent cross-border traffic.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.