US military: Taliban spring offensive unlikely in Afghanistan
Concerns grow over inadequate US military intelligence about Taliban and Al Qaeda militants in Pakistan
The Taliban are unlikely to launch a spring offensive in Afghanistan this year because all their energies will be focused in Pakistan, United States military officials said. But as that battle heats up, US officials added that they do not have enough intelligence on the ground in Pakistan.Skip to next paragraph
Israeli general hints at another Gaza campaign
Unclaimed attack on Islamic school raises tension in Nigeria
See no evil? Activists doubt credibility of Arab League mission to Syria.
Arab League observers head to Syria's war-ravaged Homs
Christmas church bombings put global spotlight on 'Nigerian Taliban' (VIDEO)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Taliban and Al Qaeda militants have killed more than 600 people in Pakistan in recent months, making 2007 the deadliest year for militancy in Pakistan. Although Pakistan's military has 100,000 troops stationed along the border of Afghanistan, violent extremism has spread inland to large cities like Lahore, where a suicide bomber killed 25 policemen in early January. Pakistan's government and the CIA have also blamed Taliban militants, working with Al Qaeda, for the assassination in late December of Benazir Bhutto.
The deteriorating security makes Pakistan more of a viable target for the Taliban, US officials told the Associated Press.
Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and other militants are staying behind in Pakistan to fight the government there, contributing to a drop in cross-border infiltrations into eastern Afghanistan, a top US commander said Wednesday.
Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez said he does not expect insurgents to mount a spring offensive this year in eastern Afghanistan, once one of the most violent areas of the country.
"The enemy will try to take advantage of some of the challenges they are having over there (in Pakistan) right now," said Rodriguez, who commands US forces in eastern Afghanistan.
The commanders discussed "the overall security situation in the region," a spokesman for the Pakistan Army said. Admiral Fallon was recently quoted as saying that the US military would play a greater role in training Pakistani forces and would provide technical advice to its troops.
That meeting comes as US officials said that they do not have enough intelligence about Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, a lawless zone where Al Qaeda and the Taliban have set up a new base.