Afghan Journal

Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics

Kandahar trusts Taliban more than govt – US army poll

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- A poppy field in Arghandab River Valley in Kandahar province REUTERS/Tim Wimborne)

(A poppy field in Arghandab River Valley in Kandahar province. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne)

The people of Kandahar province have greater trust in the Taliban than in the local government and an overwhelming majority consider them to be our  “Afghan brothers” according to a poll commissioned by the U.S.  army ahead of an impending offensive in the Taliban’s spiritual capital.

How is the offensive,  intended to be the turning point in the nearly nine-year war to proceed then, especially when U.S. army commanders have said they need the people’s support before any major operation can be launched in the southern province ?

Danger Room, a military-focused blog, said the unclassified report by the army’s Human Terrain System was a warning that a lack of confidence in the Afghan government “sets conditions for a disenfranchised population to respond either by not supporting the government due to its inability to deliver improvements in the quality of life or, worse yet, by supporting the Taliban.”

America seeking revenge in Pakistan for CIA raid ?

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- (Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud (L) sits beside a man who is believed to be Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal Al-Balawi, the suicide bomber who killed CIA agents in Afghanistan, in this still image taken from video released January 9, 2010)

(Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud (L) sits beside a man who is believed to be Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal Al-Balawi, the suicide bomber who killed CIA agents in Afghanistan, in this still image taken from video released January 9, 2010)

 

The United States has carried out the most intensive series of  unmanned  ”Predator” drone attacks inside Pakistan’s tribal areas since the covert war began, following December’s deadly raid on a CIA base just over the border in Afghanistan. Pakistani newspapers citing interior ministry data, say there were 12 missile strikes in January fired by the unmanned Predator and Reaper planes, the highest for any single month. The highest number of attacks in a month stood at six previously, which was in December 2009. There were just  two strikes in January 2009, reflecting the surge in the drone campaign to fight al Qaeda and the Taliban since the Obama administration took over last year.

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