Taliban Scarier Than Iraq Enemy

By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2009 4:52 AM CDT
US Marines push ahead to drive Taliban fighters out in Herati, Afghanistan.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Taliban forces in Afghanistan are bolder, better organized, and more tenacious than the deadliest Iraqi insurgents, a war-hardened Marine told the New York Times. “In Iraq, they’d hit you and run,” said Sgt. Jacob Tambunga, who spent three tours fighting in Anbar Province. “But these guys stick around and maneuver on you.”

In less than a month in Afghanistan, Tambunga has repelled three ambushes that lasted longer than the most intense Iraq battles, he said. More worrisome is the enemy's mature battle planning: retreating when out numbered, and regrouping to strike later. A recent 4,000-Marine offensive has met less resistance than expected, meaning fierce battles could lie ahead in Taliban strongholds, he warned.