Saturday, January 02, 2010

Attack on CIA post in Afghanistan

Do we have any answer to the phenomenon of the suicide bomber? It would appear not, judging by the deadly attack on a CIA outpost on the Afghan-Pak border, which claimed the lives of seven CIA agents, including the lady head of the base.

The Taliban has claimed that the attacker was a sympathiser on the Afghan army. He had been brought into the CIA outpost for the purpose of 'debriefing'. Whatever his identity, the attack demonstrates the Taliban's capacity to hit back in the face of mounting US pressure. Obama is hoping that the troop surge of 30,000 he announced recently will help pacify Afghanistan. But Russian military experts don't give the Americans much of a chance. The Russians should know: they tried the same thing in Afghanistan and failed.

The insurgents' strategy is simple: melt away in the face of a military onslaught, regroup and return when the foreign army withdraws- as it has to some day. Obama will have to pull out troops ahead of the next Presidential election as nothing is more fatal to an incumbent that the spectacle of US soliders bogged down in far away lands in an unwinnable war.

To return to my question, the Israelis have had some success in countering suicide attacks. But that is when the terrorists try to attack inside Israel. The Israelis have managed to fend off such attacks by building a wall alongside their borders, tight monitoring of all entry and exit points in Gaza and the West Bank and savage reprisals for attacks on Israel. These tactics are not replicable everywhere, least of all when you are battling insurgents on their home ground.

No comments: