The Taliban doesn’t really fight during the winter. That fits a 30-year pattern of Afghan insurgency: the terrain is too unforgiving for winter operations. But this year, U.S. military sources are warning, the script might be rewritten. My latest for the Washington Independent:

Capt. Christian Patterson, a media-affairs officer based at Bagram Airfield, was direct about the higher threat level. “They will decrease levels of activity from the summer, but will likely be higher than any previous winter during Operation Enduring Freedom,” Patterson told The Washington Independent. “We are also expecting them to attempt spectacular attacks such as suicide bombings or assassination attempts. The militants will continue to use indiscriminate weapons such as IEDs,” referring to the homemade improvised explosive devises that litter the roads. …

“I hate snap assessments,” said a retired Central Intelligence Agency officer with deep experience in the region, “but if this comes to pass, this might at the very least indicate that they think they are strong enough to start putting pressure pressure on the NATO garrisons — or, perhaps, even Kabul.”

Eep.

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman