The Taliban go about it differently:
This year the spring offensive by the Taliban and other insurgent groups has a new and terrifying face: the insurgents are using suicide bombers who create high casualties to sow terror and are planning an assassination campaign as well, Afghan and American military analysts say.
The insurgents’ deadly bet is that fear will trump anger and that Afghans will lose any faith they had in their government’s security forces and eventually turn to the Taliban.
Has a kind of eastern logic to it: Get your security from the folks busily killing you. Who promise to stop killing you once you give up on those trying – however ineffectually – to kill you.
In less than four weeks, 116 Afghans have died in seven suicide attacks, most recently in Faryab Province on Saturday. Two of the attacks, one in Jalalabad on Feb. 19 and another in Kandahar on Feb. 12, involved multiple assailants and were carefully choreographed and skillfully timed to obtain a high death toll and maximum media coverage. In at least one case, the mission was carefully rehearsed.
This is a striking change from Afghan suicide bombings of just six months ago, in which the bombers exacted few casualties.
These new tactics highlight the challenge of an adaptive insurgency with a reservoir of potential fighters, many of them madrasa students in Pakistan’s tribal areas. They show too the increasingly integrated network of insurgent groups that lend their expertise to one another as well as the difficulties the Afghan government has had in rallying its own people to fight them.
President Karzai has compounded the problem, some Afghan analysts say, by insisting that the Taliban are not to blame for the violence and that they are “upset brothers” rather than mortal enemies.
One of the key performance parameters of a useful idiot is that he be useful.
President Karzai is not passing his operational test.