September 17, 2009

COIN 101

It's hard to imagine American and coalition forces ever matching Taliban information. The latest attack on Italian forces has prompted the familiar political knee-jerk back home. Though these concerns will be brushed aside, the attack was shockingly precise. The Italian Defense Ministry confirmed that out of 6 dead soldiers, 4 were "senior" corporal majors.

Many mocked the Taliban's new rule book while it continued killing civilians, but high-value targets have certainly been eliminated with frightening efficiency and may be paying dividends.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrived in Brussels for an EU meeting and promptly told reporters,"We are keen to bring our boys home as soon as possible." After assuring that Italy would abide by NATO law and would only make a decision hafter consulting other member states, Berlusconi flatly declared, "We are all convinced that we have to get out of Afghanistan as soon as possible."

Not bad for one car bomb. Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reported that the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and warned, "the purpose is to show that there is nowhere safe in Afghanistan."


  1. This is merely one crumbling facet on the Afghan front. I believe much of Europe will follow in the Italian footsteps, barring Britain.

  2. Europe is disjointed and confused about Afghanistan, which makes it difficult to predict individual state actions. Britain has as much political trouble at home as any other state and could eventually fall itself. NATO will try hard to keep up its fight because losing single states - like Italy - from one attack will destroy the coalition. We expect the Taliban to continue seeking high level targets to scare domestic populations, but for Europe to become more stubborn as time goes on.

    For example, after Germany's misguided air-strike and the political fallout, officials renewed the call to stay in Afghanistan until the job is done. NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen has made similar statements after conceding the Taliban's momentum. This posturing will eventually give way to sincere doubt and possible withdrawal, but Europe, like America, will do everything possible to block out reality before the walls cave in.