In Taliban Surprising U.S. Forces With Improved Tactics, the Washington Post adds to the accumulation of news that victory in Afghanistan will be a very expensive proposition:
The Taliban has become a much more potent adversary in Afghanistan by improving its own tactics and finding gaps in the U.S. military playbook, according to senior American military officials who acknowledged that the enemy's resurgence this year has taken them by surprise.
Meanwhile, the WSJ reports on another ominous example in Warlord's Defection Shows Afghan Risk:
HERAT, Afghanistan -- Ghulam Yahya, a former mayor of this ancient city along the Silk Road, battled the Taliban for years and worked hand in hand with Western officials to rebuild the country's industrial hub.
Now, Mr. Yahya is firing rockets at the Herat airport and nearby coalition military headquarters. He has kidnapped soldiers and foreign contractors, claimed the downing of an Afghan army helicopter and planted bombs in central Herat -- including one that killed a district police chief and more than a dozen bystanders last month.
Every day, in every way, Afghanistan looks more and more like Viet Nam. At this point, there appears to be a complicated civil conflict in a mostly-primitive tribal society that the U. S. does not and will never understand and where it is already widely disliked.
Financially, the only beneficiaries of a big war--which has not arrived and may not come-- will be gold and military stocks.
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