Taliban Unimpressed by Promised US Surge

Mullah Omar Warns US Will Face Same Fate as Soviets

With the Pentagon announcing yesterday its intention to nearly double the number of American forces in Afghanistan next year, the long-promised US surge is closer to becoming a reality. But seven years into the war if the Taliban is concerned at having to fight another 20,000 US combat troops, they’re not showing it.

More troops – that means there will be more targets for the Taliban,” said Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for Mullah Omar who was the leader of Afghanistan before the 2001 invasion. “When the US increases its troop levels to that of the Russians, they will also be cruelly defeated.”

In another statement released by the Taliban leader, Omar urged Afghans who fought against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s to abandon their government jobs and join the Taliban while mocking the suggestion of creating tribal lashkars to fight them. “No Afghan will lower himself to such an irrational and insensitive position to fight against his own brothers for the interests of the invaders,” Omar insists.

In September, Mullah Omar offered to give the international forces a “reasonable opportunity” to withdraw from Afghanistan. Violence is at its highest rates in the seven year war. Taliban have a permanent presence in at least 72 percent of Afghanistan, leaving in doubt how much impact 20,000 more troops will have in a large nation of mountains, villages, and desolate roads connecting them to one another. Still, the US seems unwilling to end the war anytime soon, and the 60,000+ thousand troops which will be in place next year will be in place for at least three or four more years, according to the Pentagon.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.