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19 May, 2010 23:59

Taliban militants attack Bagram air base

Bagram air base, once considered themost secure place for Americans in Afghanistan, was attacked by Taliban militants on May 19. The attack killed a US contractor, 10 militants and wounded nine American soldiers.

The attack started at around 3 am local time with small arms fired into the base. Some militants attempted to detonate explosive vests outside the entrances to the field, but were killed before they could blow themselves up.

The raid comes just one day after a suicide bomber targeted a NATO convey in Kabul, killing five US troops and bringing the death toll for American soldiers in the country past the 1,000 mark.

Jake Diliberto of Rethink Afghanistan believes the growth of the Taliban is a result of the Afghan people not being a part of the rebuilding process.

"The Taliban and the insurgency has grown in popularity," Diliberto said. "We’re seeing a rejection of foreign occupying forces."

“The saddest thing about this all is that this was all preventable,” said Diliberto, who believes the decision to focus on stabilizing the north of the country and not putting enough effort into the rest of Afghanistan was a mistake.  

Diliberto has been to the country many times and said the local security forces in Afghanistan were never really legitimate.

“The notion that we could ever secure Afghanistan and build up a nation-state is absurd,” said Diliberto. “Afghanistan is probably going to be a failing quagmire for decades to come.”

Afghans want coalition forces to be involved, but they want aid and development. With military involvement civilians are always at risk. Military accidents and civilian deaths “send shock waves throughout the country” and increase local opposition to US forces in Afghanistan.

“There is no way to stop the demographic time bomb that’s taking place in Afghanistan," said Diliberto.