According to anonymous US officials, the latest intelligence estimate on Afghanistan reveals that once again, the size of the Taliban insurgency is growing dramatically.
The intelligence community now believes that the Taliban has 25,000 full time fighters on its side, an increase of 5,000 over the estimate from the previous year and quite a hike considering the the large numbers of Taliban the US claims to have killed on a fairly regular basis.
The 25,000 doesn’t include the group’s part time supporters, people paid to provide support, or the various gangs which have ties to the group. It also doesn’t include the assorted “Pakistani Taliban” factions which though they may have common cause with the Taliban are not affiliated with them.
Officials cite the growing discontent with the corrupt Afghan government for the group’s resiliency, but with President Obama apparently poised to announce another dramatic increase in American troops on the ground it must be asked what they hope to accomplish, as the last precipitous troop increase has only increased the size of the force fighting against them.