In comments today NATO spokesman General Josef Blotz insisted that there would be no lull in fighting over the winter, as there has been every single year so far in the war, and indeed predicted that there would be an increase in violence over the course of the winter.
The claim seems difficult to justify, as the lull was primarily a function of the lack of infrastructure making most of the nation completely impassable after snow, and billions of dollars in NATO aid have done little to improve that across most of the nation.
Gen. Blotz insisted, however, that the record violence was proof of NATO’s “progress” in Afghanistan and seemed to put forth the predicted further increase as a metric. Since violence can be predicted to trend worse annually in Afghanistan, this seems a safe bet, but the winter timetable seems more than a little odd.
So far however, the winter hasn’t been a particularly bad one in Afghanistan, and the December death toll, the worst on record, reflects this. Gen. Blotz had previously predicted that 2011 would be a more violent year in Afghanistan than 2010 in general.