NATO Denies Taliban Getting Stronger as Toll Mounts

Spokesman Claims Taliban 'Cornered'

Though the argument seems to be increasingly difficult to take seriously, NATO is again maintaining that the Taliban are not getting any stronger, and indeed suggesting that they might be getting weaker.

The insurgency has not become stronger,” insisted Gen. Josef Blotz. “We are actually squeezing the insurgency, we are cornering the insurgency, we are taking out the oxygen out of the insurgency.

If the Afghan insurgency is being “cornered,” however, there are no indications of where that corner is. This weekend has seen at least seven NATO troops killed, including six on Saturday, a large number of police killed, a border post entirely overrun in the north, and a district governor assassinated.

Coming fresh off the record death toll of June there is indeed little sign that July will be any better, and top US commanders are already preparing the public with predictions that the death toll will continue to rise throughout the summer, though they too are insisting that this is not a sign that the war is getting any worse as such.

NATO has continued to report large numbers of Taliban killed and more and more “crucial” leaders captured. Yet this appears to be having no real impact on violence in the nation, and the claims of progress in certain districts don’t seem to be stopping the Taliban from launching attacks seemingly at will and at any location in Afghanistan. From the southwestern provinces along the Pakistani border to the northeastern frontier along Tajikstan, the insurgency seems to be growing in intensity, and the NATO claims to the contrary, after nine years, are increasing ringing hollow.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.