The Observer newspaper says the Taliban show no signs of winding down for winter.
"The Taliban are planning a major winter offensive combining their diverse factions in a push on the Afghan capital, Kabul, intelligence analysts and sources among the militia have revealed," the British newspaper reported Sunday morning.
The insurgent Taliban forces have a stronghold around Kandahar, the country's second largest city, and are reported to be winning both the military conflict and the battle for hearts and minds of Afghans.
Typically, warring groups in Afghanistan take most of the winter off and concentrate on warmth and shelter.
But new tactics adopted from foreign fighting groups -- such as suicide bombings, roadside bombs and targeted assassinations -- make it easier for insurgents to continue their campaign during the most difficult weather conditions.
A "push" on Kabul? On of the major criticism of the Afghan government, Karzai is more the mayor of Kabul than the leader of the country. If the Taliban feels so emboldened to target Kabul, it serves as further proof of how grave the situation has become. If NATO forces were actually winning, then the Taliban would be focused on re-grouping and simply maintaining their sphere of influence. However, the Taliban thinking belies expansionist tactics and the confidence to carry on in the winter.
If the security situation in Kabul becomes unstable, precious coalition resources will have to be diverted to the capital, much the same as we currently see in Iraq. What a complete mess if NATO forces were forced to defend the capital in a more vigorous way. Hard to be on the offensive, eradicating Taliban, when forced to defend already held areas. The rhetoric from the Taliban is bold, aggressive and unparalleled. The danger for Canada, we have a government that sees stubbornness as a virtue, while a fluid situation evolves.