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Gains in Kandahar Came with More Brutal U.S. Tactics
Posted by The Agonist on December 19th, 2010

From our partners at The Agonist

Gareth Porter | Washington | Dec 17

IPS – The Barack Obama administration’s claim of “progress” in its war strategy is based on the military seizure of three rural districts outside Kandahar City in October.

But those tactical gains have come at the price of further exacerbating the basic U.S. strategic weakness in Afghanistan – the antagonism toward the foreign presence shared throughout the Pashtun south.

The military offensive in Kandahar, which had been opposed clearly and vocally by the local leadership in the province, was accompanied by an array of military tactics marked by increased brutality. The most prominent of those tactics was a large-scale demolition of homes that has left widespread bitterness among the civilians who had remained in their villages when the U.S.-NATO offensive was launched, as well as those who had fled before the offensive.

The unprecedented home demolition policy and other harsh tactics used in the offensive suggest that Gen. Petraeus has abandoned the pretense that he will ever win over the population in those Taliban strongholds.

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