Kabul, May 14 : US-led security forces and the Afghan Army waited for the Taliban Spring Offensive, but it never came. Gun battles with the Taliban were down 50 percent so far, compared to last year.
Roadside bomb attacks were about the same. But Taliban casualties were up, as more Afghan and NATO forces went looking for them.
Last year, 8,000 people died in Taliban violence. So far this year, the death toll is 1,200, indicating casualties for the year will be about half what they were last year, strategypage.com reported.
Some Taliban commanders have tried to develop new tactics to reduce casualties (smaller units of Taliban, and avoiding contact with police and troops), nothing has worked.
The Afghan Army is larger (76,000 troops) and better trained than last year, and there are more foreign troops. Worst of all, more tribal leaders have sided with the government this year, meaning tribal militias are also ready to fight Taliban moving through previously pro-Taliban territory.