Thursday, July 02, 2009
Marines push into Helmand, Afghanistan
In what is being billed as a test of Obama's more assertive Afghan policy, 4,000 Marines and a contingent of Afghan soldiers have launched an offensive into Helmand Province, reportedly a stronghold for the Taliban and a place where lots of opium poppies are grown. First reports indicate little resistance. I'll be surprised if that isn't because the Taliban have simply moved elsewhere or are hiding in the hills. Guerrilla forces have known forever that you avoid direct battles with better-armed conventional armies, but move out to live to fight another day, catching them by surprise if and when they start to get complacent.