Taliban plan a bloody spring in Afghanistan
Globe and Mail:
The Taliban rarely warns of attacks in advance, but on Saturday the group issued a statement proclaiming the start of its spring military offensive on May 1 and said it planned to assassinate the Afghan government’s peace envoys as well as foreigners and any Afghans working for foreign contractors.The Taliban is a much weaker force this spring, so what we are hearing from them is a reflection of their desires and intent, and not necessarily their capability. Engaging in mass murder of non combatants is not the strategy of a strong or honorable enemy. It is the act of cowards.
... the latest proclamation is a clear sign of the Taliban leadership’s disdain for all the diplomatic overtures of the past weeks appealing for reconciliation talks. Several members of provincial and national peace councils have already been killed by the Taliban in recent months.
Intimidation and threats are weapons as powerful as suicide attacks and roadside bombs in a guerrilla war. So the Taliban’s new promise to target “places of gatherings,” and to murder Afghan government officials and anyone providing goods or services to foreign forces, is meant to terrify all Afghans.