A Dearth of Troops

While the U.S. and its allies have dithered for months over whether to deploy more troops outside Kabul, Afghanistan's countless warlords have established a reign of terror in the nation's small towns and rural areas. At the same time, a recrudescent Taliban, aided by its al-Qaeda allies, has stepped up attacks on U.S. troops and reconstruction efforts in southern and eastern regions of the country, assassinating 13 aid workers since May. The latest, a French U.N. employee, was shot in the face and killed early last week by suspected Taliban gunmen in the southern town of Ghazni.

Although NATO has...

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