Sunday, September 23, 2007

Afghan diary - part two

Last week we ran excerpts from an RFE reporter's diary of his trip to Afghanistan. Today we hear about his experiences in Chora, Uruzgan, where Dutch ISAF (NATO) soldiers head up the mission.

Chora is a small Dutch base situated amidst a patchwork of areas that ISAF describes as being mostly "nonpermissive." In a "nonpermissive" environment, attacks on ISAF troops are regular. ... [T]he Dutch say they suffer one attack a day. ...

Again, I chat to ANA soldiers who say the Taliban are "strong" in the area. They say they are eager to fight, but complain they remain dependent on ISAF for air cover.

They also tell me many Taliban are local. "They come from Kala-Kala," says one, referring to a notorious regional Taliban stronghold. A Dutch officer concurs, saying "more than half" of the Taliban are locals with mostly petty grudges that drive them to armed violence. ... (link)

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