According to NATO accounts, the Brits in Helmand and the Dutch in Uruzgan province - make that the Afghan National Army - killed 165 Taliban insurgents in fire fights yesterday.
In each case it appears that our side put the boots to the Taliban when the guerrillas chose to attack in relatively conventional combat. The Taliban were said to have used small arms, rocket propelled grenades and mortars. Our side, of course, has all that stuff along with tanks, armoured personnel carriers, artillery, attack helicopters and jet strike fighters - so it's a matter of when they stand up, we knock them down.
What's not clear is just what the Taliban were up to. When the outcome of this sort of fighting is so predictable, why did they do it? The NATO reports claim in each firefight it was the Taliban insurgents who attacked. Unless they're simply insane - and I doubt that - there must've been something they hoped to achieve that would warrant the mauling they would receive from NATO firepower superiority. Who knows?
Yes, the US was beating the Viet Cong just this way in January 1968. Counter insurgency and guerrilla warfare is not the same as reporting on the advance on Paris or El Alamin. Body counts are silly when what the Army considers "Taliban" could be a farmer caught in the cross-fire or a wedding party.
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