Afghanistan remains a quandary.  The nation is bereft of any civil infrastructure, in fact, it never had any to speak of ever.  The countryside is demanding, landlocked and incredibly fracture with tribal rule the norm.  Combine that with a huge illicit drug crop and you have a recipe for chaos, which Western powers realized as they watched the Soviet army become bogged down and then defeated in the 1980s.  How should we approach this breeding ground for extremists?
The unseating of the Taliban in 2002 was brilliant.  The US managed a conflict with proxy players and technology to stunning effect.  The problem is that the nation requires billions in building dollars and a complete overhaul of its government if it is to maintain its progress.  Unlike Iraq, Afghanistan has no true national identity and no underlying rule of law upon which to rely.  One of my favorite writers in the field is Michael Yon.  He posts routinely from Iraq and now Afghanistan.  His perspective is often from the ground level - a grunt's eye view of the conflicts.  His latest dispatch identifies the plight of our most stalwart allies, the soldiers of the United Kingdom. 

From: Michael Yon [] On Behalf Of Michael Yon
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:15 AM
Subject: Do Americans Care About British Soldiers?

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19 August 2009

Greetings from Afghanistan,

There is every indication that this war will become worse than I saw in Iraq.  Very dangerous here.  Too much happening to explain quickly.  Will require ongoing series of dozens of dispatches.  (Am on it.)  Would need 24/7 head-cam to truly capture this. 

Meanwhile, please see this very interesting dispatch: Do Americans Care about British Soldiers?

Your Writer,

Michael Yon

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