The Taliban's much-vaunted spring offensive has stalled apparently due to lack of organisation after dozens of middle-ranking commanders were killed by British troops in the past year, according to military sources.For months we've been promised the spring offensive by a wishful media, but now they have to look elswhere. Another season perhaps. Bring your sunscreen, folks.
The death last week of the key Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah at the hands of American special forces has harmed the Taliban's morale to the point that local commanders are having to tell their troops to "remain professional" despite the loss.
After suffering more than 1,000 dead in battles with the Parachute Regiment and Royal Marines in the last year, the Taliban retired to regroup and re-equip last winter.
A spring offensive was ordered by the Taliban leadership based in Quetta, Pakistan, and was meant to be launched in late March.
Of the five main Taliban leaders who managed to escape in the 2001 fighting only two are at large, including Mullah Omar, the spiritual leader, who is living on the Pakistan border.No word on whether that includes a health plan and a per diem.
British commanders are still braced for a possible upsurge in attacks over the summer.
An "increase in enemy tempo" is expected and already the number of clashes has risen from five a day to 15, lasting from 10 minutes to 11 hours.
Within Helmand there is a small group of "irreconcilable" Taliban leading a force of about 1,000, which is reinforced by Chechen, Arab and Uzbek fighters. Some are part-time farmers supplementing their income by earning $25 a day by fighting.
Also at Hot Air, Captain's Quarters, Don Surber.