AFGHANISTAN: The Winter Offensive (12/17/2004 entry)
The situation in Afghanistan is basically in the “mopping-up” phase, though popular misconceptions may think “mopping-up” means it’s over. It’s not. And it’s still a dangerous place at times. But we’re making headway rounding up many of the last hold-outs:
The week long American offensive has led to the arrest of about three dozen terrorist suspects, and the killing of at least ten who resisted. Weapons, documents and communications equipment has been seized as well. The offensive has gotten the attention of both the Taliban and al Qaeda networks in Afghanistan, sending many terrorists running for new hiding places. The offensive mainly consists of hundreds of raids against suspected terrorist hideouts. It’s Winter now, and men fleeing through mountain passes and valleys show up better to heat sensing vidcams. These devices are mounted on many UAVs that can constantly prowl the back country. Fugitives like to hide in the many caves found in Afghanistan’s hills. But in the Winter, starting a fire in a cave just makes it easier for the heat sensors to spot you and bring a chopper full of American troops your way.
I was going to mention the almost-total lack of coverage in the media that the offensive (or anything, for that matter) in Afghanistan has received. Do we have to put panties on someone’s head to get a little press over there?
But then I decided not to even bring it up, as coverage would probably consist of something along these lines: RUMSFELD QUESTIONED: If this winter offensive is so successful, why didn’t we start it in June?. Tell me I’m wrong.