The news out of Afghanistan is truly alarming. This week, Taliban forces staged two of their most complex and audacious attacks of the war. Nearly 100 insurgents killed 10 French paratroopers in an attack near Kabul. At least 10 suicide bombers mounted a coordinated assault on one of Americaâ€™s largest military bases, wounding three American and six Afghan soldiers. An earlier attack at the base killed 12 Afghan workers.
The number of US and NATO casualties is mounting so quickly, that unless something happens soon this could be the deadliest year of the Afghan war. Kabul, the seat of Afghanistanâ€™s pro-Western government, is increasingly besieged. Afghanistanâ€™s president, Hamid Karzai, must rein in his governmentâ€™s rampant corruption that has all but driven his people into the hands of the criminal warlords. The international community needs to provide more resources to build up Afghanistanâ€™s security forces and administrative capacity and accelerate rural development.
Afghanistanâ€™s war is not a sideshow. It is the principal military confrontation between America
and NATO and the forces responsible for 9/11. Washington, NATO and the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan must stop fighting it like a holding action and develop a strategy to win. Otherwise, we will all lose.