General Stanley McChrystal was just one of several officials who touted the Marjah offensive as a turning point in the war with the Taliban over the past few days, saying NATO was starting to “see a weakening of the organization’s confidence.”
But even beyond the dubious nature of the Marjah offensive, analysts say the declarations may have spawned today’s major attack in the capital city of Kabul, which killed at least 18 people.
“The Taliban once again is showing its power,” noted analyst Wahid Mazhda, adding that they are saying “we are still active.” The Taliban said earlier in the day the attack was aimed at foreign nationals from countries that have troops in the nation.
The Marjah offensive has involved some 15,000 troops invading a small agricultural community in Helmand Province, a region which hasn’t been under the Karzai government’s control since the 2001 US invasion. Despite predictions of a quick victory not panning out, officials say they hope to use Marjah as a “test” operation and apply the same strategy for much larger attacks in Kandahar.
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