Below, a picture of Caporal Abelatif Rafik, from 14e RILSP (Régiment d'infanterie et de soutien logistique parachutiste), based in Toulouse (SW France). This unit was recreated very recently, after being disbanded in 1999 when it was known as 14e RPCS (Régiment parachutiste de commandement et de soutien). It fought in the Algeria war as 14e RCP (Régiment de chasseurs parachutistes).
Joseph, tanks can be quite effective in a Counter Insurgency Environment, the Canadian Army used tanks in Afghanistan quite successfully. We would put them in Observation Posts and use the main gun to provide over watch with very precise fire at very long distances (up to 5000m). You can destroy a grape hut with a tank round and not worry about collateral damage without the enemy being even aware of what happened or what hit them.
The Taliban referred to our Leopards as fire breathing dragons. We also used them rather unconventionally in roles such as Convoy Escort and Reconnaissance. Modern tanks are actually great surveillance platforms because of their advanced optics and laser ranger finders. Our Leopard 2A6s have a Laser Range Finder that is effective out to 10000m.
We would also use first the Leopard C2 and later the Leopard 2A6s to escort convoys as they were basically impregnable to any IED the enemy built and trying to ambush a convoy escorted by Leopard 2A6s is a very big mistake. When we first sent Leopards to theatre, the Taliban didn't know what they were or their capabilities and engaged them with RPGs and Small Arms. That particular engagement ended very poorly for them with the tanks simply turning on their position and running them down while peppering them with 120mm HE and Coax fire.
The Brits, Americans, Dutch, French, etc were all skeptical of our and the Danes use of tanks in Afghanistan until they saw what the machines were capable of. After that, they were in high demand. The Brits would make regular requests to have our Tanks attached to them for clearance operations. Just another tool in the toolbox and one that the Infantry closing with and destroying the enemy are thankful to have when they are available.
As for a couple of tips for operating in the Desert, umbrellas and cooling suits for the crew are a must. The machines will perform well but the crew need cooling suits to be able to operate effectively.
In Afghanistan, the French troops used the AMX-10 RC (image below) in about the same role as the one described in Canuck's post. A company of MBTs “Leclerc” was (and maybe still is) deployed in Lebanon, for example, in the FINUL mission (UN mission in South Lebanon) as a deterrent, in case of an incursion of Israeli tanks through the Lebanese border. There's also an ongoing debate re the ability of wheeled armoured vehicles to perform well in urban warfare vs. tracked ones (which was also a possible configuration in Lebanon). Having said that, I personally believe like Joseph, that, when the biggest ‘armoured’ vehicle you may find in front of you in the middle of a desert area is a Toyota pick-up truck with a Russian 14.5 mm machine gun or a recoil less rifle in the platform behind, an armoured wheeled vehicle is largely enough. But I'm not an expert...
My guess would be a Leopard 2A6s `s armour and firepower is far superior than lighter AFV`s and with that the psychological effect on the Taliban makes it a winner , I did wonder how it performed on mountain tracks , guess the smaller mountain roads were avoided , 60+ tonnes and 1500 hp Destroyer ! awesome!
Nope they've got the Leopard 2A7+ and Leopard 2A8. The A7+ is an upgrade kit similar to the TUSK II the yanks stuck on their Abrams tanks. Its meant to be better suited to counter IEDs and "low intensity" operations. The A8 is going more along the lines of being better suited to Urban operations, the barrel is the shorter L/44 Rheinmetal comapared to the L/55 on the A6/A7 as well as more reactive armour and Remote weapon systems, a system similar to the Trophy is expected as well.