Eight years ago, Afghanistan was over run by American forces, and the world breathed a sigh of relief that the hated, brutal Taliban had been driven from power. Two days ago, a Taliban leader sought medical assistance at a local facility. Ordinarily, reports of an insurgent in a village would have resulted in bombers being called in to level the village, but US forces are finally learning some lessons on how to fight the Taliban. Villagers were consulted, people evacuated from the area, and the bombing begun.
At least 44 Americans have died in Afghanistan this month as we head for the highest figures of casualties since the war began. Perhaps, new tactics of engaging the population and working closely with people to ensure civilian casualties will be reduced can initiate a new era. Unless the people of Afghanistan identify reasons to fight the Taliban, the cause is hopeless.