During the past week, Taliban forces blasted their way into Afghanistan’s largest prison to free 800 of their colleagues, and then moved into several villages near Khandahar, and confronted NATO, Canadian and Afghan troops. For some reason, Taliban leaders decided to abandon their suicide and roadside bombings which have been successful and attempt an open confrontation with the enemy. Naturally, firepower from the sky and overwhelming numbers of Afghan, Canadian and NATO forces were no match for the Taliban and they were forced to flee the scene. At one point in the battle, Afghan troops tried to cross a stream, encountered heavy Taliban fire, retreated and decided to cross where there were no Taliban forces. All in all the Afghan troops did OK in the battle.
The real issue is not the success of coalition forces in being able to defeat the Taliban when they are stupid enough to fight in the open, but the fact that seven years after the invasion, there are such fights occurring. Any objective evaluation of the situation would conclude things are worse in 2008 than they were in 2001. Why? What has gone wrong? The world is suffering from the aftermath of the Bush blunder in not completing the original invasion by creating a vibrant democratic society. The warlords and anti-democratic forces were allowed to become powerful and Afghanistan remains in chaos.
The Taliban will most probably avoid further open confrontations with coalition and Afghan troops and resume normal guerrilla warfare. In 2010, the war will still be proceeding.