The war in Afghanistan is only just beginning as NATO occupation forces, far from winning the Taliban, are entering a widening and deepening conflict they may well lose, NGO said on Saturday.
Taliban fighters, fighting to overthrow the pro-Western Afghan puppet government and eject foreign occupation forces, carried out more attacks over a wider area in 2007, the Afghanistan NGO Security Office (ANSO) said in its report for last year, and the best case scenario for this year, is “more of the same”.
“A few years from now, 2007 will likely be looked back upon as the year in which the Taliban seriously rejoined the fight,” said ANSO, which monitors security for the dozens of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in Afghanistan.
US-led and Afghan puppet forces ousted the Taliban from power in late 2001 after they refused to hand over al Qaeda leaders.
But, “with the Taliban, it has become obvious that their easy departure in 2001 was more of a strategic retreat than an actual military defeat,” the report said.
“In simple terms, the consensus among informed individuals at the end of 2007 seems to be that Afghanistan is at the beginning of a war, not the end of one,” it said.
The Taliban are still most active in their traditional heartlands in the south and east of the country, but have also extended attacks to parts of the west, centre and north.