By Martin Bourne
|picture source: cryptome.org|
"This was a well organized attack, planned and led by experienced insurgent commanders.", a US Intelligence Officer said, "We have also found evidence of foreign jihadists participating in the assault - Al Qaida Fighters from Syria and Iraq and probably also Chechens."
Only the fierce resistance of US soldiers trapped inside the base and the overwhelming use of Air Power prevented a bigger catastrophe. Despite suffering three dead and several wounded, the US Military regards the battle as a success. "The enemy has suffered an estimated 50% casualty rate, with several hardcore insurgents and foreign fighters among the dead. We believe that this battle dealt a big blow to the Taliban command structures and that the horrific casualties will affect the number of new recruits willing to join the insurgents. The enemy is now on the backdrop, in need to regroup and reorganize. We are not going to give them time to rest though.", said Lt-General Hathfield, commanding officer in the region. However, some security analysts do not share his optimistic evaluation of the attack. William Shannon, researcher for the Afghan Security Board, offers a different interpretation of the battle: "What we have seen here is a complex engagement, successfully planned and executed without the knowledge of any US intelligence. The fact that such a huge number of enemy fighters where able to gather close to a US outpost is a shameful display of how little we know about the local support for the Insurgents and how bad our disposition with the local populace is. Though the attack was ultimately repelled by Apache Helicopters, the attack shows how thinly stretched the US forces are in the region. While lead elements are pushing ever deeper into the area, there is hardly enough strength left to protect regions that where already secured earlier from reoccupation.", Shannon says. "The Taliban retreated and melted away after being confronted with Airpower - this is their usual reaction and merely means they are still somewhere in the region, preparing for their next strike. Meanwhile, US casualties are mounting and public pressure on a quick withdrawal is increasing."
|picture source: worldofdefense.blogspot.com|
US Forces are scheduled to leave the country until the end of 2014. Until then, Afghan Securities Forces are supposed to take over province by province. "We are confident that the Afghans are able to take responsibility during the next year. Our effort to train and equip the Afghan soldiers are showing good results. Though are assistance will be needed beyong 2014, we will be able to hand over the security tasks to the local forces and concentrate on training and aid."
Despite these claims of the US Military, Shannon remains sceptical.
"Though the quality of Afghan Forces is improving, substential doubt remains if the Afghans will be able to take over full responsibility as early as 2014. Serious issues with literacy, discipline and corruption are still running rampant within the Afghan security forces. If left alone with this collossal task, the Afghan Army might succumb to the pressure. Especially in the southern regions, where the opium trade is still flourishing, Nato presence will be required after 2014 to keep this source of income closed to the Taliban and prevent corruption within the Afghan Army, which means that both Lagashkar District and the neighboring Qalah-eh-Bagh will require Nato presence long after other districts have been handed over."
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction, though resemblance with real events is intended. All names and locations are purely fictional, any similarity with real persons is coincidencial. If anyone feels offended, please contact me.