Last week was not a good week in Afghanistan…
First, the ‘high ranking’ Taliban member that had been negotiating with Karzai? Yeah, not so much.
They now believe he was nothing more than a shopkeeper from the Pakistani city of Quetta.
American officials say they were skeptical from the start about the identity of the man who claimed to be Mullah Mansour — who by some accounts is the second-ranking official in the Taliban, behind only the founder, Mullah Mohammed Omar.
Senior American officials, including Gen. David H. Petraeus, said the talks indicated that Taliban leaders, whose rank-and-file fighters are under extraordinary pressure from the American-led offensive, were at least willing to discuss an end to the war.
To be clear, fault does not lie with the MRAP, MATV, or any other armored vehicle. It lies with how commanders are using the vehicles due to their aversion to risk and their attempts to minimize coalition injuries at the expense of the broader counterinsurgency mission.
Ultimately, the IEDs prevent us from going where the insurgents do not want us to go. Many people fail to realize that causing casualties is only a side benefit of the IED. The true prize for the insurgent commander is separating the coalition and Afghan security forces from the populace. Every time we add another layer of armor in response to casualties, we are playing right into their hands.