A while ago, I posted that the US assault in Kandahar is a sideshow compared to the drone attacks on high level taliban in Pakistan. The reason I think so is that disrupting the chain of command by drone attacks seems to be more effective in driving the taliban to peace talks than trying to kill off peasants and dodge suicide bombers in Afghanistan.
I still think this is true. But the Kandahar assault has produced a surprise. A new US weapon that targets command and control points in the field. Check out this quote from NYT
Some of the gains (in Kandahar) seem to have come from a new mobile rocket that has pinpoint accuracy — like a small cruise missile — and has been used against the hideouts of insurgent commanders around Kandahar.
These are called “himars” and they appear to be scaring the hell out of local taliban commanders who, it is reported, are fleeing their posts. We might also mention that the assault has successfully targeted taliban supply lines. Result? The taliban are losing bases that they have controlled for years and appear to have lost face in an area where they were top ogs. Effect? Less taliban leverage in the peace dialogue and perhaps a stronger incentive to do a deal before the situation gets even worse.
So it seems that General Petraeus had one more ace up his sleeve to disrupt command and control. Will it be enough? Let’s see. But a couple of things are pretty clear by now. First, Patraeus knows what he is doing. Second, the US military is impressive at what it does.