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Defending Kabul? A Really Really Bad Sign

Didn’t read this New York Times piece from the weekend about Afghanistan? Shame on you. Alleged relaxation is no excuse. I’ll stop talking to myself and quote from the piece:

Most of the additional American troops arriving in Afghanistan early next year will be deployed near the capital, Kabul, American military commanders here say, in a measure of how precarious the war effort has become.

The Times confirms a piece of news that I think I broke while in Afghanistan — that the Army brigade arriving in Afghanistan next month will situate itself in the Logar-Wardak area, an indication that it will focus on an insurgent infiltration route from Pakistan up to Kabul. Or, at least, “the vast majority” of those troops will go to Logar-Wardak, according to an Army spokeswoman quoted by the Times. It’s not entirely clear to me from the piece, but it seems like some will go east to the border with Pakistan and some will as well go to Kabul to protect the capitol from insurgent attacks.

In Sept., U.S. military officers in eastern Afghanistan told me the Taliban’s goal, as they assesed it, was to cut off U.S. forces from their supply and reinforcement routes and rush through the divides to take Kabul back. Read Brandon Friedman on the severity of the Taliban attacks on U.S./NATO supply routes in Pakistan. Reinforcing the capitol is a step taken only out of strictest necessity, as every soldier or Marine backstopping Kabul is one fewer along the border or in the rugged eastern provinces where insurgent attacks have spiked.

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