February 12, 2011:
Poland has 2,600 troops in Afghanistan, where they guard a long section of the Kabul-Kandahar highway. While the highway is kept pretty safe, the Polish ROE (Rules of Engagement) forbid Polish troops from patrolling off this main road. Thus the Taliban can largely do what they want out in the hills, including building bombs and mines to plant next to the highway. Some of the most effective Afghan forces keep Kabul, to the east, safe. U.S., Canadian and British troops hound the Taliban to the west, in Helmand and Kandahar provinces. But in Ghazni province, the Poles guard their bit of highway, and prepare to leave next year. The Ghazni countryside has become something of a Taliban rest area, because it is safe from attack.