Sunday, September 07, 2008

Afstan: The French/US switch looks like it was real

In April, largely as a result of Canadian demands, it was announced that the French would send a combat battalion to eastern Afstan, freeing up a US battalion to help the Canadians at Kandahar. It appears that US switch actually took place:
When the new French troops arrived they relieved two American battalions in the Kapisa region, a strategically important district near Kabul (France 24, July 25).
A US battalion did indeed arrive at Kandahar (though not I think a net gain in US strength in Afstan--ORBAT via Google). The French, sadly, do not seem to have quite realized what they might face.

Kapisa province in fact does not seem to have been the relatively peaceful area a quote at this earlier post mentioned. From just over a year ago:
In Afghanistan, a monthlong, U.S.-Afghan military operation is under way to rid a province near Kabul of Taliban and other Islamist fighters.

But even with a combined force that vastly outnumbers the insurgents, the Afghans and the Americans are learning that winning this war is hard.

The aim of the joint operation is to reopen Kapisa province's volatile Tagab Valley to the Afghan government and Western coalition. The valley, only 30 miles from Kabul, is rife with drug and timber smugglers, as well as insurgents...
Two pictures from Kapisa earlier this year that may not be what people expect of Afstan:




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