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Gates: Afghan Attacks Rising

The neo-con logic (an oxymoron, if ever I heard one) that compels Bush to start a new front when the original front in Afghanistan is as bad as pre-wa

The neo-con logic (an oxymoron, if ever I heard one) that compels Bush to start a new front when the original front in Afghanistan is as bad as pre-war times never ceases to amaze me.


Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday insurgent attacks from Pakistan into Afghanistan were increasing, hours after Pakistan launched an air strike on a militant camp near its Afghan border, killing up to 20 people.

Violence in Afghanistan surged last year to its worst since 2001. While fighting has tailed off since winter set in, big clashes have been taking place in the south and east and U.S. and NATO forces expect a fresh Taliban offensive in the spring.

Thirteen Taliban were killed in clashes in the southern province of Helmand, where two British soldiers were killed in recent days, and Afghan authorities arrested an aide to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar in a town on the
As violence has increased in Afghanistan, pressure has mounted on Pakistan to tackle Taliban sanctuaries on its side of the lawless border, where its troops have also been battling militants.

Gates, while hailing Pakistan as "an extraordinarily strong ally" of the United States in the war on terrorism, said militancy on the Pakistani side of the border would have to be dealt with.

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