The Taliban Is Hitting, but Not Winning
Arvamus 26 May 2010  EWR
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Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Secretary General of NATO),

BRUSSELS — The news from Afghanistan over the past few days has been disturbing: a Taliban terrorist attack in Kabul; a failed but dramatic attack on a NATO base; and reports of Taliban intimidation in Central Helmand and Kandahar, where Afghan and NATO forces are ramping up operations.

None of this can or should be dismissed. But it is important to frame accurately what is happening in 2010. We know that there will continue to be Taliban and other insurgent terrorist attacks. It would be impossible to try and stop or prevent each and every one.

The point is that in 2010, preventing each and every attack is not the point. Yes, there is an Afghan and NATO offensive in 2010 — but ours is a political offensive, and it is aimed right at the heart of the Taliban.

The aim of this political offensive is, in essence, to change the political conditions in the key strategic areas of Afghanistan, so that the most extreme elements of the insurgency — those that will not under any circumstances give up terrorism and intimidation — are marginalized. Our aim is to ensure that they will not have the political support that they would need to pose a strategic challenge to the Afghan government — after which they will wither on the vine.

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