NATO officials are crowing about the week-long offensive in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan, terming it “one of the greatest successes to date” and claiming that at least 200 militants have been “captured or killed” so far.
For most Afghans, however, the latest offensive is nothing to celebrate and just another round of killings in a war that has dragged on for over a decade. Locals see the offensive not as a success, but a potentially destabilizing event.
In the border district of Musa Khel, they see the NATO territorial gains as temporary, good until the troops wander off to attack another district, and the violence likely to attract even more fighters into the area in the meantime.
NATO says the offensive has forced the militants “into hiding” but it also is making commerce along the border virtually impossible, which for a sparsely populated district is just going to make trade harder.