'Taliban returning to Afghan stronghold' SANGIN, Afghanistan, March 8 (UPI) -- U.S. commanders say Taliban fighters are filtering back into their former stronghold in Sangin in southern Afghanistan as spring approaches.
I was in Washington just before Christmas and bumped into some of the 3/5 Officers - they were quite humble about their experiences and what had happended out there [under UK control] and what they were consequently doing. A marked contrast from media reporting certainly.
I do wonder whether given time they will achieve the same effect they did in Baghdad in 07/08; The Baghdad Security Plan and "the surge" were all intended to provide local security at a greater number of locations thus creating the conditions to have the locals less concerned about intimidation and overt attacks and then at that point your CIMIC effect takes over. Thereafter you should also potentially gain better local intelligence to exploit and that in turn leads to better and wider security as you can mount more effective operations. It's only the US that will have the manpower to do this but of course it relies upon also having the political freedom to do this and accept what will be greater casualties[initially] as Iraq proved.
I seem to recall it all went quiet around this time last year with the casualty rate for British troops dropping significantly.Someone remarked at the time that the Taliban foot soldiers were off planting Poppies etc and would be back by April.They were!