A suicide bomber attacked the entrance to the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan on Tuesday during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, killing up to 23 people and wounding 20. Cheney was unhurt in the attack, which was claimed by the Taliban and was the closest that militants have come to a top U.S. official visiting Afghanistan. At least one U.S. soldier, an American contractor and a South Korean solder were among the dead, NATO said.If I were the Taliban, I'd be worried right about now. Cheney's pretty good with a gun and can hit lawyers from 30 paces in his sleep. Imagine what he can do if he's motivated. Now multiply that by a couple million times - that's what the US armed forces are like.
Cheney, who visited with President Hamid Karzai and then left the country two hours after the blast, said the attackers were trying "to find ways to question the authority of the central government."
The vice president had spent the night at the sprawling Bagram Air Base, and it was about 10 a.m. when the explosion sent up a plume of smoke visible by reporters accompanying. U.S. military officials declared a "red alert."
"I heard a loud boom," Cheney told reporters. "The Secret Service came in and told me there had been an attack on the main gate."
The Taliban have to make high profile attacks to stay relevant. Going after Bagram while the Vice President is on base is definitely one way to get the media exposure they need. This single suicide bombing doesn't mean that the Taliban are resurgent or that they're successful at undermining the Afghan government and coalition forces rebuilding efforts. It means that a single suicide bomber managed to get to the front gate of the base.
However, it does show that the US and NATO must exert even more pressure on neighboring Pakistan to clamp down on the border and to go after al Qaeda and Taliban on the Pakistani side of the border. A safe haven in that region means that no one is safe and that the Taliban and al Qaeda will continue to be a menace not only to Afghanistan but the rest of the world. Failed states and regions have a way of doing that.
Guess who is applauding the Taliban attempted assassination of the US Vice President. AJ Strata has more on the leftist reaction. It isn't pretty. These folks are openly rooting for enemies of the US to assassinate US leaders.
Did someone within the Pakistani ISI tip off the Taliban as to where Cheney would be going? That appears to be the direction things are headed.