<< Previous day Blog posts in this category Next day >>
<< Previous year (same day) (if any) Next year (same day) >>
June 19, 2006 [LINK]
Air strikes in Afghanistan
The Coalition counteroffensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan is getting a lot of help from the U.S. Air Force. Surprisingly, one of the most effective aircraft is the B-1 "Lancer" supersonic bomber, which was once criticized as either redundant or obsolete for the mission of delivering nuclear warheads onto Soviet soil. With its swing-swing configuration, it can patrol in a circular pattern for hours, and then race quickly to the target when the bad guys are pinpointed. It has a heavier payload capacity than a B-52. Most of the attacks have been in the southern province of Kandahar, where the poppy cultivation is centered. Other air strikes have targetted the moutainous region along the border with Pakistan, whose forces have cooperated in rooting out Taliban and/or Al Qaeda sanctuaries. One worrisome sign in the recent military campaign is that the Taliban has begun operating in larger-size units than before. On the other hand, the Taliban has lost its fundamentalist ideological fervor and has evolved into just another band of drug racketeers, like the FARC in Colombia. See Washington Post.
These facts suggest that the war is likely to drag on as a "low-intensity conflict" for years. Meanwhile, progress in training Afghan regular army troops and building government institutions is slow and frustrating. There are many differences with the war in Iraq, which is really just a series of terrorist actions, not a military campaign per se. Afghanistan is fractured among several ethnic factions, while in Iraq there are just three main rival groups. The Coalition in Afghanistan enjoys much broader international support than in Iraq, so the fledgling democratic government in Kabul can count on a steadier degree of assistance than the one in Baghdad. Hopefully, the often-impatient American public will at least keep that in mind as the long-term campaign to encourage a more liberal, open political system in Afghanistan goes on.
North Korean missile test?
U.S. worries about nonproliferation in recent weeks has been focused on Iran, but now North Korea is clamoring for more attention, declaring its plans to test launch its new intercontinental ballistic missile, which could reach California. The United States, Australia, and Japan have warned the Pyongyang government of "serious consequences" if it proceeds. The missile is on the launch pad and has apparently been fueled, so it appears North Korea is calling the Allies' bluff. (See CNN.com.) What would the United States do in response to such a blatant provocation? I was wondering whether the U.S. Air Force might use some secret anti-missile system to shoot the thing down, presumably during the early launch phase. Rush Limbaugh thinks that option is being seriously considered as well.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 19 Jun 2006, 9: 58 PM
(unformatted URL) .
ALL blog posts today
New blog post entry
This post is over a week old, so comments are closed.
Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 7, 2006 ~ DeLay gives up majority leader post
January 12, 2006 ~ Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
January 16, 2006 ~ Michelle Bachelet wins in Chile
January 19, 2006 ~ Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
January 24, 2006 ~ Fallout from Canada's election
January 31, 2006 ~ Second (& third) thoughts on Iran
February 1, 2006 ~ The State of the Union, 2006
February 8, 2006 ~ D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
February 18, 2006 ~ Checks and balances in wartime
February 22, 2006 ~
Neocons & Neolibs: chastened alike
February 28, 2006 ~
The Dubai Ports World uproar
March 14, 2006 ~ New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
March 24, 2006 ~ In the footsteps of France?
April 7, 2006 ~ Immigration compromise fails
May 16, 2006 ~ Bush militarizes Mexican border
June 6, 2006 ~ Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
June 9, 2006 ~
Zarqawi: The death of a terrorist
July 3, 2006 ~
Election in Mexico: too close to call
July 5, 2006 ~ North Korea goes ballistic
July 28, 2006 ~ Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
August 4, 2006 ~ Israel invades Hezbolland
September 6, 2006 ~ "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
September 25, 2006 ~ Nationalists thwart conservation
October 3, 2006 ~ Nationals: Year in review
October 29, 2006 ~ Virginia's marriage amendment
November 7, 2006 ~ The people render their verdict
November 8, 2006 ~ Republicans lose big time
November 9, 2006 ~ Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
November 13, 2006 ~ Toward consensus on Iraq?
December 1, 2006 ~ Realism and our goals in Iraq
December 6, 2006 ~ Latin America & U.S. trade policy
December 8, 2006 ~ Iraq Study Group reports
December 22, 2006 ~ Yuletide political roundup
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)