Days after blasting their way into a major Afghan prison and freeing hundreds of their comrades, the Taliban have moved into areas surrounding the Khandahar area and openly proclaimed their intention of fighting NATO and Afghan forces. They have taken over villages near the city, moved into grape and pomegranate fields, driven thousands away and are awaiting a NATO response. Reports indicate the Taliban have blown up bridges and planed hundreds of mines in the area as they await a response. One Taliban militant, Mullah Ahmedullah even telephoned an AP reporter to brazenly say, “We’ve occupied most of the area and it’s a good place for fighting. New we are waiting for the NATO and Afghan forces.”
It is seven years since the Taliban were first driven from power and Afghanistan remains in chaos. President Karzai issues threats about sending troops into Pakistan to attack the Taliban when he can’t even protect his own prisons. It increasingly appears necessary for a complete overhaul of how the war in Afghanistan is conducted. In the meantime, thousands of Afghan farmers will not be able to harvest their grape and pomegranate fields due to this fighting.