Afghanistan: February 15, 2003


Special Forces operations have concentrated on intelligence, because armed and organized Taliban fighters are hiding in plain sight. These Taliban groups gather in villages where the Taliban believe no one will betray their presence. But there are some travelers going from village to village (merchants, family business) and some of these people can be persuaded to talk. The Special Forces offers rewards and the promise of continued peace and growing prosperity. Despite most Afghans distrust of outsiders (both foreigners and those "outside" their own tribe), this program is generating more and more solid information. The government, not surprisingly, has gotten behind this intelligence gathering program, partly to benefit from the good will the Special Forces (and their growing number of Civil Affairs troops) are obtaining.


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