Monday, August 10, 2009

Taliban Now Winning: Afghanitnam

"The Taliban have gained the upper hand in Afghanistan, the top American commander there said, forcing the U.S. to change its strategy in the eight-year-old conflict by increasing the number of troops in heavily populated areas like the volatile southern city of Kandahar, the insurgency's spiritual home.

The militants are mounting sophisticated attacks that combine roadside bombs with ambushes by small teams of heavily armed militants, causing significant numbers of U.S. fatalities, he said.

"How many people do you bring in before the Afghans say, 'You're acting like the Russians'?" said one senior military official, referring to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. "That's the big debate going on in the headquarters right now."

The U.S. is working to persuade Helmand's farmers to replace their poppy fields with wheat and fruit. Pretty crazy stuff. If poppies pay better, what farmer want to plant wheat? Then again, people do need to eat...

If you haven't yet read Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns read it now! It has never been more relevant than right now.

Oh, and Amazon, next time I search for a book - link me to the PAPERBACK, NOT the KINDLE version. You know I don't have a Kindle.

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