It's springtime in the country of Afghanistan and the Taliban are starting an offensive that has already killed 21 people. This time around though the security forces of Afghanistan are pretty much on their own. Most of the international combat forces are packing up and moving and that includes the United States. Each spring the Taliban climb out of their caves, burrows, or wherever they were hiding in the snowy winter and begin fighting all over the country. The spring thaw allows the Taliban to come down from the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan so that the offensives can begin. This years offensives will allow the world to see if Afghan forces are ready to handle the challenge.
Years past the United States and NATO have been there to help or take on the responsibility of fighting the Taliban, not so this year.
The Taliban had months ago stated that they would start the offensives on Monday and they weren't lying. Yesterday several rocket attacks took place across the country. The NATO base at Bagram was attacked and the airport in Kabul was shelled but both attacks seemed to be more symbolic rather than to aimed at devastation. The justice ministry building in Jalalabad was taken over for about four hours and a gunfight ensued until all insurgents were killed. Several civilians were also killed in the cross fire. It was Afghan security forces who did the fighting.
Outgoing President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly asked that all foreign troops leave his country, and now he has his wish. His security forces will be the ones laying down their lives protecting their country rather than foreigners. Will they be up for the challenge? Only time will tell. With merely some 30,000 troops left in the country the United States will only get involved if they are truly needed otherwise Afghanistan your on your own.