15 August 2008

Highway to Hell

(Graphic From NY Times)

The road between Kandahar and Kabul has become more dangerous than Mel Gibson driving a fuel tanker through the wasteland of Lord Humongous in Road Warrior. The NY Times details 3 soldiers being brutally murdered during a 26 June attack and 7 contractors being beheaded on 24 June while doing a convoy mission on the perilous road. This is reminiscent of Route Irish (the road between the Baghdad Airport and the Green Zone) being labeled "The World's Most Dangerous Road" in 2005. Now attacks on it are incredibly rare, but only after standing up ISF checkpoints, T-walls galore, and swarming the surrounding neighborhoods. Of course, that road in Baghdad is only about 7 miles long, and as a colonel lite once remarked to me, "Iraq and Afghanistan are totally different balls of wax".

It is obvious that the NATO-built highway between Kandahar and Kabul is essential to maintaining governance in the southern portion of Afghanistan, but does anyone have any ideas on how to secure it? More UAVs to monitor for bad dude activity? Enlisting support from the tribes around the highway? It is probably the result of the mission being "under-resourced" that the ISAF commander noted a few weeks ago. Why are we and our NATO allies allowing Afghanistan to be forgotten?