Slow, deadly road to peace in Kandahar

Slow, deadly road to peace in Kandahar

“Can you hear that? They are blowing their horns again,” one soldier shouts down the line.
It is a sound the US soldiers have become accustomed to nearly every time they go out on patrol — insurgents sounding their car and motorcycle horns, warning each other the Americans are on the move.

A couple of hours into the patrol and the even more familiar crack of gunfire breaks the mundane silence. The soldiers dive for cover, bullets whistling past their heads, as they work out where the shots are coming from. As the soldiers advanced, the insurgents lose heart and disappear into thick vegetation.

This is Kuhak, a small village nestled inside the pomegranate orchards of Afghanistan’s Arghandab valley, only miles outside Kandahar city. It is a scene the soldiers from Alpha Company, 2-508th Parachute Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, are getting all too used to since they moved into the area in December. The reason the insurgents are putting up a tough fight in Arghandab is because the district forms a gateway to Kandahar from the north and the militants do not want to give that up.

Military commanders have now shifted focus from neighboring Helmand to Kandahar, in a bid to drive the insurgency from its heartland strongholds.
Instead of launching a massive offensive, however, commanders are talking of bringing a slow wave of security to the area with alongside more effective government.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)