Afghanistan: February 18, 2004


American troops are doing fewer raids, but are settling down in small bases along the Pakistan border and getting to know the local tribes better. PRTs (Provincial Reconstruction Teams) are there with the troops, to provide goodies for the tribes. The troops protect the PRTs from Taliban thugs, and the US troops get more tips about Taliban operations from grateful tribesmen. Or at least that's the plan. Special Forces teams have made that approach work on a small scale, but now it's being done on a large scale. With the Pakistani army set up on their side of the border (for the first time ever), it is hoped that American and Pakistani troops (using a new communications system) can coordinate their moves to trap and destroy any Taliban and al Qaeda groups working along the border.


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