Washington Post story by Ernesto Londoño
Sunday, June 20, 2010
As a new U.S. military operation deploys in Afghanistan, reports overwhelmingly reflect a historical quagmire with recurrent insurrmountable challenges in Afghanistan. Excerpt appears below.
"The U.N. report said that at least 395 people died as a result of armed conflict between April and June, a decrease of 1 percent compared with the same period in 2009. Insurgent attacks caused about 70 percent of those deaths, the United Nations said, slightly more than during the last reporting period. The agency recognized NATO's efforts to avoid civilian casualties, which include more judicious use of airstrikes.
However, NATO forces continue to rely on airstrikes. On Saturday, officials said that troops fired "precision airstrikes" in self-defense during clashes with the Haqqani insurgent group along the border of Khost and Paktia provinces, which border Pakistan. The Haqqani group, which has close ties to the Afghan Taliban, has emerged as one of the biggest threats to NATO troops."