At a Glance, the Failure in Afghanistan

Day to day fighting reveals cynical status quo

Three NATO troops were killed by a roadside bomb this week in eastern Afghanistan, the coalition reported on Wednesday.

The deaths took place on Tuesday of this week, but information on it was not released immediately, and the International Security Assistance Force did not release the exact location nor the country of origin of the three soldiers.

However, press reports referring to NATO troops are usually referring to U.S. troops, and most of the soldiers fighting the insurgency in the eastern regions are from the United States.

In a separate incident, insurgents in southern Afghanistan shot dead a local council chief, along with his son and grandson. Abdul Baqi and his son died immediately when gunmen opened fire on their vehicle, with the grandson dying later from his injuries.

The statement on Baqi and his sons also reported that an insurgent commander named Mullah Abdul Rahim was killed in a NATO airstrike on Monday.

This series of killings show the status quo for the war in Afghanistan. No measurable progress or backslide is apparent in the day to day fight. But where measures are possible – for example, in training the Afghan army or in rates of overall violence – the war is failing on virtually every front.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.