I refrained from posting the claims earlier this week that the government had recaptured Musa Qala because I didn't believe it. Well, "Afghan forces are still battling for control of a symbolic district of southern Helmand province, the NATO forces commander told reporters, contradicting the defence ministry, after more than a week of intense fighting supported by U.S. air strikes." To be precise, that is 24 U.S. air strikes.
Meanwhile, a poison gas attack on a school in Herat sickens 134 girl students and their teachers in Herat city, one day after 200 were poisoned elsewhere in the province.
Seven police are killed and their weapons taken in southern Helmand province, apparently after having been rendered unconscious by a spiked drink. A similar tactic was used in August in Lashkargah.
Three police defect to the Taliban in Baghlan.
For what it's worth, the Afghan MoD makes the usual claims of 100 Taliban killed or wounded vs. 8 ANA soldiers killed in the past 24 hours. Make of it what you will.
Xinhua gets specific, reporting 1 ANA soldier killed and 2 injured in Kunar province in an attempt to reopen the road between Asmar and Ghazi Abad district. The police chief's statement indicates that this has yet to be accomplished.
Vikram Sood comments on the bizarre unwillingness of the U.S. to distinguish between friend and foe in its continuing pretense of alliance with Pakistan. Can't really summarize it all but here's a bit:
Pakistan’s Deep State finds its stock of terror assets depleted in the last few years. The first to go was Osama Bin Laden sheltered in Pakistan for 10 years while Pakistan pretended to ‘co-operate’ with the US in his hunt.. . Mullah Omar, nursed by the Pakistanis for two decades, died in a Karachi hospital on April 23, 2013 but this too was disclosed in July this year. . . .
Couldn't have said it better myself.
The acknowledgement that Mullah Omar was irrevocably dead and the postponement of the next round of Pakistan-owned talks were followed by what was obviously Pak-inspired terrorism in Kabul. The Haqqani group unleashed a string of attacks in early August and President Ghani's ten-month old peace overture to Pakistan died a quick death as he angrily accused Pakistan of fomenting terror.
It is difficult to accept that the Americans were blissfully ignorant about Mullah Omar's death unless there was a failure of both intelligence and imagination. This was a failure to imagine that, having once hidden the truth from them about Osama bin Laden, Pakistan would repeat this subterfuge. It was a failure to accept that Pakistan would not change its policy on Afghanistan (or any other delinquency) and invite only some gentle rebukes. This reflects a consistent American unwillingness to distinguish between friend and foe.