Afghanistan in Peril
Taliban Rising?

Another crisis that the Obama Administration thought it had successfully relegated to the back burner appears to be furiously bubbling up again. Three rockets slammed into Kabul yesterday, according to Reuters:

Initial reports said one rocket had landed near Masoud Square close to the entrance to the U.S. Embassy, another hit the nearby area of Shirpur while a third landed further away near the city centre, Kabul police officials said.

Sirens could be heard in the area but no details were immediately available on any casualties or damage.

The explosions took place hours after a suicide attack on a military patrol near Bagram air base killed six NATO soldiers, including Americans, and just over a week after an attack on a Spanish embassy guesthouse in the Afghan capital.

The Taliban has been consolidating its gains in the south of Afghanistan at a steady clip, having all but taken the city of Sangin in Helmand province in the past 24 hours. Most of the government buildings in the city, as well as the city’s bazaar, were overrun in an offensive yesterday after fighters besieged the city over the weekend. The police headquarters in the city was said to be holding out, but its defenders were low on ammunition and food. Around 60 American Special Forces and around 30 British SAS fighters have been in pitched combat in and around the city, with NATO airstrikes likely forthcoming.

When Obama came to office, he promised to pull out of Iraq and focus on fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, which he said was the necessary war, the one we needed to win. And yet Afghanistan is currently another example of the dangerous world Obama will leave behind. Unless things change pretty dramatically next year, some thick and urgent dossiers will await the next inhabitant of the Oval Office. The world the President is preparing to leave behind him increasingly doesn’t look like the one he promised on the campaign trail in 2008.

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