Chris Sands, whose dispatches from Afghanistan have been unmatched in their hard-hitting truths, writes in today's (tomorrow's!) Independent:
Bloodshed is spreading across Afghanistan, warn aid workers
Bloodshed is spreading to previously stable provinces of Afghanistan, threatening aid efforts as humanitarian workers contend with growing numbers of attacks from insurgents and criminals.
Sands report goes on to put the lie to Canadian government and military officials' pronouncements that the security situation is improving in Afghanistan:
Aid workers ... fear it is pushing disgruntled Afghans into the hands of the Taliban and adding fuel to a guerrilla war that now rages across much of the country.
A series of UN "security accessibility maps" obtained by The Independent paint the same picture, showing areas considered to be in the top danger category spreading across the country in the past year.
...almost all of Helmand, Kandahar, Zabul and Uruzgan is regarded as an extreme risk/hostile environment... Meanwhile, two extreme-risk areas now sit on the fringes of Kabul province, and a high-risk area even exists inside its boundaries.
...Afghans throughout the country often complain they have not received the aid they expected after the US-led invasion. As a result, some say they will turn to crime or join the Taliban...