NATO troops fought suspected Taliban insurgents northeast of Kabul today, Afghan and NATO officials said, in the first major encounter in the area since the strict Islamist group's government was ousted in 2001.
NATO officials said the clash in the Tagab valley, 70 km from the capital, erupted after an alliance convoy was attacked while hunting insurgents in the area, just east of the main U.S. base at Bagram airfield.
Speaking from a secret location, a Taliban spokesman said militants destroyed several NATO vehicles in the twisting valley, where rebel activity has picked up in recent weeks for the first time since a U.S.-led coalition overthrew the Taliban.
If the security situation around Kabul can't be guaranteed we move from quagmire to outright defeat. The Taliban are increasingly bold, not on the defensive as commanders suggest, but widening the conflict and taking the initiative. What is particularly frightening for Canada, the NATO response lags behind events on the ground and we are now trying to play catch-up.
There is no military solution in Afghanistan, and security will never be achieved by foreign troops. Admitting this reality is the first step in embracing a profound change in strategy. Someone needs to show courage and admit that our troops are accomplishing little on balance, and may in fact contribute to the Taliban resurgence. Afghans will never accept occupation, no matter the circumstance. The only hope for success lies in a massive infusion of capital to prop up domestic forces and re-construction. We can be stubborn and patriotic, but this "resolve" will be our ultimate undoing.