Reading this BBC piece on the attack in the eastern Afghan province of Nuristan on a military outpost that killed 8 Americans, one gets the sense that this operation carried out by the Taliban went beyond the run of the mill "hit and run" ambushes that have marked their strategy for years.
It was a very sophisticated attack that first targeted local Afghan officials (they took 35 policemen prisoner) and then hit the outpost from two sides using hundreds of fighters:
About 300 militants attacked one outpost at the foot of a hill, before turning their fire on a US base on higher ground, attacking from two sides, a provincial police chief said.This is the sort of thing General McChrystal has been warning about; that the enemy is growing bolder and more sophisticated in their operations. This is the threat he sees to his troops - and the administration is failing to believe him much less give him the resources necessary to prevail.
One Nato spokesman called it a "complex attack in a difficult area".
US jets carried out air strikes in response.
"Coalition forces effectively repelled the attack and inflicted heavy enemy casualties while eight Isaf and two ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] members were killed," the Nato statement said.
It was the worst loss coalition troops have suffered since August 2008, when 10 French troops were killed in an ambush in Kabul province.
National Security Advisor Jones says a decision on what to do about Afghanistan will be made in "weeks." One wonders how many more attacks like this it will take before the administration realizes its "take your time, no hurry" attitude is getting Americans killed.