The private word from the people who are closest to these things is that Iraq is doing slightly better than most Americans think it is, and Afghanistanis in much more danger than most of us realize. Chances are you’ll be seeing more about it in the months to come, and it won’t be purple-fingered “good news.”
Our people in Tarin Kot (along with the Dutch and Aussies) are outnumbered. Several of the bases I saw seemed vulnerable to catastrophic attack as the enemy continues to strengthen. This didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t say much for the unguarded places at which I was staying at night. Kabul might be relatively safe, but Southern Afghanistan is dead man country.
… Despite these reports, the obvious dangers our troops face isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t making a big footprint in the news back in the US. When I say ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œour troopsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?, I mean that Canadian, Australian, British, French, Italian and Dutch and other blood of our allies is our blood. Their blood is as important as ours. And where are our friends the Indians?
Despite that there are firefights ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ big ones ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ occurring frequently, the soldiers are calling Afghanistan the Forgotten War. I am calling it The About to Bite us War because like a shark this beast has many rows of teeth.
The money from the massive opium harvest in 2006 will buy weapons and influence that will be used against us in the spring of 2007.
Remember, if you will, this was the one almost all of us but the fringes of the fringes agreed was just, necessary, and legal.
More here, excellent photojournalism, but better bring your high-speed connection.