In the Taliban’s Heartland, U.S. and Afghan Forces Dig In
Three months ago the area was an uninhabited war zone where Taliban fighters roamed freely. A Taliban flag flew over the village.
But since mid-November the Taliban have retreated, punched hard by the influx of thousands of American and Afghan forces into the area, and Zhare has enjoyed more than two months of calm. American and Afghan forces are setting up joint bases across the district, in a strategic and deeply symbolic victory that they hope is part of a turning point in the war.
Zhare now stands as one of the most important tests of the gamble President Obama took more than a year ago in adding 30,000 American troops to what had been a failing war effort. The question on everyone’s minds is whether the American and Afghan forces can hold on to their gains.
It may be time for a refresher course on the Umma and jihad.
If Egypt falls to the Islamists, all bets are off in regard to the Middle East, oil and the struggle against the struggle.