Gen. David Petraeus said the number of attacks in Afghanistan over the last week hit the highest level since the December 2001 fall of the Taliban.
“Some of this will go up because we are going to go after their sanctuaries and safe havens as we must,” Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, said during a speech at the Washington think-tank Center for a New American Security.
“But there is no question the situation has deteriorated over the course of the past two years in particular and there are difficult times ahead,” he said.
So how much violence?
There were more than 400 insurgent attacks last week, including ambushes, small arms volleys, assaults on Afghan infrastructure and government offices, and roadside bomb and mine explosions. In comparison, attacks in January 2004 were less than 50 per week.
Extremist attacks in the rural nation tend to increase in the summer months, and in part are spurred by military efforts to crack down on insurgents, Petraeus said.
It looks like we’re going to be there for a while. And I think most Americans are fine with that since Afghanistan always has been the central front in the fight against Islamic extremism.
Why we didn’t finish the job when we had the chance will be one of those things historians look back on and shake their heads about. But we’re there now and we can’t allow it, or Pakistan, to descend into chaos. Especially since Pakistan has nukes. That would be bad, bad news.