Pervez Musharraf, who resigned under pressure last year, said it would be "disastrous" for the United States to pull out of Afghanistan now. If the Taliban are allowed to return to power, he said, they surely would allow al-Qaeda terrorists to rebuild strength in Afghanistan, destabilizing the region and posing a major threat to the United States.
Musharraf says we need to stay.A few days ago an Afghan soldier killed some Americans in their sleep. Today we have a bold attack where 8 Americans are killed and their Afghani police cohorts are kidnapped? Is this a new tactic? Infilltrate from within? Keep the Americans nervous, sleepin with one eye open, suspicious of their Afghani allies?
Is Musharraf right?
Hat tip: Doug
Eight U.S. Soldiers Dead in Bold Attack in Afghanistan
By SABRINA TAVERNISE and SANGAR RAHIMI
Published: October 4, 2009 NY Times
KABUL, Afghanistan – Groups of tribal militia attacked two American outposts in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, the American military said, killing eight American soldiers and two Afghan police officers in a bold attack that was the deadliest for American soldiers in months.
The attack took place on Saturday night in the Nuristan province, a remote area that shares a border with Pakistan.
Tribal fighters staged the attacks from a mosque and from a village close to the outposts, small bases shared by American and Afghan forces, the military said in a statement on Sunday. The military did not say whether the outposts had been overrun.
The commander of the American unit, Col. Randy George, called the strike "a complex attack in a difficult area."
U.S. troops have had trouble there before: nine American soldiers were killed when 200 insurgents stormed their small outpost in the village of Wanat in 2008.
The governor of Nuristan province, Jamaluddin Badar, reached by telephone on Sunday, said that 11 Afghan police officers, including the district police chief, had been kidnapped in the strike. He described one of the outposts as a district police station, and identified the attackers as Taliban fighters, not tribal militia.
The attack took place in the Kamdish district in the eastern part of the province, he said. The American military statement said American forces had "effectively repelled the attack and inflicted heavy enemy casualties," but did not give the location of the attack.
Mr. Badar said the fighting left at least five dead insurgents in the area. He believed the insurgents had come from Pakistan after military operations pushed them out of bases in the area, and that the operation was led by a Taliban commander in the area named Dost Muhammed.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahed, claimed that Taliban fighters overrran the outposts. He said Taliban fighters were holding the district police chief, and an intelligence chief hostage. He said seven Taliban fighters had been killed, and that the fighters eventually withdrew because the area came under bombardment.
The area had suffered civilian casualties in the past, and villagers there are extremely wary of American forces.
American forces had planned to pull out of the sparsely populated area, as part of a stragetic shift to place more troops in heavily populated centers. The American military statement said that plan "remained unchanged."
The battle of Wanat in 2008 is being described as the ''Black Hawk Down'' of Afghanistan, with the 48 American soldiers and 24 Afghan soldiers outnumbered three to one in a four-hour firefight that left nine Americans dead and 27 wounded in one of the bloodiest days of the eight-year war.
Is it all about , dare I say, oil and gas?