One gazes from the foxhole toward the enemy but all that will be uncovered are some bloody clothes, an empty water bottle, a rag and spent ammo. As Cpl. Martin noted: The only time we see them is when we are in contact.” Of course, the “them” are the Taliban. Cpl. Lang put it more clearly: “I’ve seen the Taliban a couple of times, but it’s only for brief seconds. It’s like fighting ghosts. The’re in, they’re out. They’re quick.” Talliban fighters have figured out how long it takes the Marines or soldiers to call in helicopters to assist them in the fighting, but before those planes arrive, the Taliban have melted into the population and become part of the civilian population. Most Americans are surprised how the Taliban even cleans up after the fight and not only do they police the area, but they depart with wounded and dead comrades. After they become civilians, one is engaged in a cat and mouse game trying to ascertain who is or is not a member of the Taliban. Cp[l. Martin saw a Taliban militant firing at him, but when the man was later encountered in the streets, denial was his weapon of war.
The war in Afghanistan will go on and on until someone blinks. Guess who is the blinker?