A Washington Post article is only one of many lately to chronicle the extraordinary violence with which the Obama administration is pursuing the war in Afghanistan:
“The pace of Special Operations missions to kill or capture Taliban leaders has more than tripled over the past three months. U.S. and NATO aircraft unleashed more bombs and missiles in October – 1,000 total – than in any single month since 2001. In the districts around the southern city of Kandahar, soldiers from the Army’s 101st Airborne Division have demolished dozens of homes that were thought to be booby-trapped, and they have used scores of high-explosive line charges – a weapon that had been used only sparingly in the past – to blast through minefields.”
In deploying tanks to the south, the U.S. is in a sense only catching up to Canada, which has used Leopard tanks for some time in Kandahar. But Gen. Petraeus seems to have gotten over his earlier reluctance to use air support. As Colleague Potter likes to point out, it’s getting harder to find real evidence of counterinsurgency in the Afghan south. Counterterrorism — killing bad guys, in the hopes that’s all you’re killing — has increased radically.