British troops fighting the Taliban are facing three times as many attacks as any other Nato force in Afghanistan amid spiralling violence across the country which has seen insurgent bombings and shootings rise by 73 per cent.
The details of the ferocity of the conflict emerged as Nato ministers meeting in the Netherlands acknowledged that the tide must be turned in the conflict. The US Defence Secretary Robert Gates stressed the urgent need to "shift the momentum", saying "the patience of the American people and Congress would wear pretty thin... if in a year or so it appears we are in a stalemate and we're taking even more casualties"
Memo to SecDef Gates: regarding that statement about '.... "the patience of the American people and Congress would wear pretty thin... if in a year or so it appears we are in a stalemate and we're taking even more casualties": We the People have absolutely zero patience for continuing these wars without end, period, end of discussion!
Thinking Americans know that the only "winners" in this war are the weapons makers and the drug dealers. They are certainly not the Afghan people, with all the devastation and carnage we have heaped upon them.
And for people in Congress and the Pentagon, the entire Afghan population is simply "collateral damage", to be "neutralized" by any means necessary in order to make the place stable enough to install the pipelines the oil companies want to install here.
Sec Def Gates, you know, with absolute certainty, that we don't have any where near enough boots on the ground to successfully occupy Afghanistan, not even with all the contract mercenaries we have under contract.
We can't get more forces from NATO, because, at least to some degree, NATO countries' leadership listens to their people, and their people think that this war is insane.
The only way to possibly come up with a troop strength to begin to pacify Afghanistan would be for President Obama to re-institute the draft.
And frankly, at this point in time, I almost wouldn't bet against that possibility.