Obama Takes Fight to Pashtuns
New strategy will result in immediate spike in battles
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2009 10:44 AM CST
U.S. Marinespass by Afghani villagers in the Nawa district in Afghanistan's Helmand province Saturday, July 4, 2009.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

(Newser) – Barack Obama’s new strategy will result in an immediate spike in combat clashes, as the US directly advances on the ethnic Pashtuns in eastern and southern Afghanistan. The first wave of reinforcements is already moving, reports David Wood in Politics Daily, with marines expected to begin landing in the south almost immediately. Army brigades will follow throughout the spring and early summer. But the move is a huge gamble, because the Pashtun hate intruders.

The Taliban is made up of ethnic Pashtuns, who have long been the most tireless fighters of invaders. Obama is gambling that this concentrated assault on the Taliban strongholds in the Pashtun’s homelands will break the insurgents’ fighting capabilities faster than it drives up their recruiting. But it won’t be easy. “When threatened, they tend to stay and fight,” says one Pentagon adviser.