Afghanistan casualties rising for US, threatening for UK

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 at 03:34 PM

In a 2003 speech to the National Endowment for Democracy President Bush said "With the steady leadership of President Karzai, the people of Afghanistan are building a modern and peaceful government."  Since then, he has often mentioned democracy in Afghanistan as an example of success in the war on terror.  In America, most people no longer talk much about Afghanistan, as if they, too, think that we have "won" there.

Except that we haven't.  Lots of recent news reports indicate that Taliban activity has recently been on the rise, and that the Taliban fighters now appear to be employing tactics learned in Iraq.

More specifically, the site reports that there were 99 US deaths, in Afghanistan during 2005, compared to 52 in 2004. Similarly, deaths of soldiers from other countries went from 6 in 2004 to 30 in 2005.

And this may be a continuing trend, if you believe The Sunday Times of Britain, which headlined "Military fears big Afghan losses," in a piece on New Year's day.  That piece says:
"BRITISH troops set to deploy to southern Afghanistan this spring could sustain losses on a scale not seen since the Falklands war, military intelligence officers have warned.

"They say insurgent forces in the south are preparing for a large offensive by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, backed by sophisticated weapons and training from Iran.

"The warnings follow an increase in fighting in southern Afghanistan over the past year. Several thousand people, including about 100 US soldiers, have been killed."