'We Were Better Off Under the Russians'

The Afghan commander laughed at the way the Americans were going about their work. U.S. troops, he said, were obsessed with finding caches of Taliban documents to help track down their fugitive enemies. The commander's friend explained the mirth by pulling out his own identification card: a small passport-like book made by the Taliban and authorized with a Taliban stamp. It was issued April 16, long after the fall of that regime. It's a legitimate document, and the man isn't an enemy—the local government doesn't have money for stationery, so decrees and papers are still being printed on leftover Taliban...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!