Until recently, all the stories coming out of Kabul were about conducting talks with the Taliban. This attack shows the Taliban are not in a talking mood, but rather, as New York Times writers Alissa J. Rubin, Ray Rivera, and Jack Healy wrote in today’s paper, it signals “Taliban resolve to battle Western forces to the hour of their exit.”
Ms. Rubin and company win today’s prize for Best Understatement by a Western Diplomat.
“This doesn’t show reconciliation; it does show determination. If the Taliban can do this with five guys perched in a building and they can alternate it with these vehicle-borne I.E.D.’s” – car bombs – “which they have been doing more of, well then this won’t be the last time.”
In the Monitor, Pentagon correspondent Anna Mulrine writes that US military officials tend to see large-scale attacks like this as a “last gasp” for the Taliban. But she also notes that a few more gasps like this could be effective in weakening trust in the fragile Afghan government, and they show that the Taliban are adapting their battlefield techniques.