Kunduz shows whack-a-mole force to space problem

NY Times:

Far from the heartland of the Taliban insurgency in the south, this once peaceful northern province was one place American and Afghan officials thought they did not have to worry about.

Afghan officials cut the police force here by a third two years ago and again earlier this year. Security was left to a few thousand German peacekeepers. Only one Afghan logistics battalion was stationed here.

But over the last two years the Taliban have steadily staged a resurgence in Kunduz, where they now threaten a vital NATO supply line and employ more sophisticated tactics. In November, residents listened to air raids by NATO forces for five consecutive nights, the first heavy fighting since the Taliban were overthrown eight years ago.

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Kunduz became strategically important to the Taliban when the US opened a norther supply route to avoid the Taliban attacks on the supply route through Pakistan. That explains their renewed interest in the area.

Their reappearance there also demonstrates how the economy of force limits on US troops leaves once secure areas vulnerable forcing you to buy the same real estate more than once. This is playing whack-a-mole with the Taliban. It is what I mean when I say having fewer troops leads to a longer and bloodier war.

Having more troops in the country will make it harder for the Taliban to move to contact and maneuver their forces. If they are operating in company size units they will also be vulnerable to our superior fire power if we get good intelligence or are able to observe them with UAVs.

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