December 24, 2007 • Vol. 13, No. 15 Download Now! (pdf)


Mormons, Muslims, and Multiculturalism
by Kenneth Anderson

Alive and Kicking
by Jeffrey Bell

McCain's Last Stand
by Fred Barnes

The Perils of Huckaplomacy
by Stephen F. Hayes

Time to Move On...From Hillary
by William Kristol

Global warming, Ike Turner, etc.

The Man Who Started It All
by Andrew Ferguson

Independence Day
by Stephen Schwartz

Try a Little Forgiveness
by Irwin M. Stelzer

Guess Who Didn't Come to Annapolis
by Jonathan Karl

Flight 93 Remembered
by Jonathan V. Last

At the Filling Station
by Christopher Hitchens

Man with a Plan
by Ernest W. Lefever

The Write Stuff
by Mark Bauerlein

Earth to Newt
by G. Tracy Mehan III

Where the Auction Is
by David Guaspari

Beyond Betar
by David Gelernter

Weepers Creepers
by John Podhoretz

The Books of Christmas
by Joseph Bottum

Nonprofits, Google, and more

Maureen Dowd's "Memories"

« EU Relief and Schadenfreude About NIE On Iran | Main | Rafale Down »

The Battle for Musa Qala Has Begun

The assault on the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala in the southern Afghan province of Helmand is officially underway. After a month of rumors and a feint by a British armored column to the outskirts of the town in mid-November, Afghan National Army and international troops pushed to the edge of town. "This operation will continue for the next few days," the International Security Assistance Force press release stated.

The BBC reported the attack is occurring from three directions, and U.S. forces will conduct the final strike into the city. British, American, Estonian, and Danish troops conducted an air assault on the outskirts of Musa Qala City, while a large Afghan National Army force set up a blocking position outside the city.

The Taliban boast over 2,000 fighters in their ranks, and vow to fight, not flee. "Our lines are so strong that the foreigners will never break them," a local Taliban commander named Enqiadi told a report from IWPR at the end of November. "The foreigners say they are going to launch a major operation in Musa Qala. We are ready for that. In Musa Qala alone, we have 2,050 fully armed fighters. It will be very easy for us to resist the attack. We want to take the whole province this winter."

Helmand province has been the hub of the Taliban insurgency in the south since the British negotiated a controversial deal with the Taliban and withdrew from the district center in October 2006. The Taliban consolidated their gains and militarily overran the district center in February 2007, and have been in control ever since. Last month there were reports a senior Taliban tribesman in Musa Qala was seeking to negotiate a deal with the Afghan government, but the tribal leader did not turn on his fellow Taliban.

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