Dexter is back in the sea of poppies.
The Taliban are everywhere the soldiers are not, the saying goes in the southern part of the country.
And that is a lot of places.
The Obama administration has agreed to deploy 20,000 to 30,000 additional troops. But whether extra troops will have the desired impact is unclear.
Back in October, it was noted:
The average Afghan spends one-fifth of his income on bribes.
"Trying to get rid of drugs in Afghanistan is like trying to clear sand from a beach with a bucket," said an American counter-narcotics agent.
From 2006, a snowflake:
Building a new nation is never a straight, steady climb upward. Today can sometimes look worse than yesterday -- or even two months ago. What matters is the overall trajectory: Where do things stand today when compared to what they were five years ago?
From 2007, a UN report:
On aggregate, Afghanistan’s opium production has reached a frighteningly new level, twice the amount produced just two years ago.
From 2008, an NYT Sunday magazine feature:
This past spring, more US troops arrived in Afghanistan. They were effective, experienced warriors — many coming from Iraq — but they knew little about drugs. When they arrived in southern Afghanistan, they announced that they would not interfere with poppy harvesting in the area. “Not our job,” they said.
From late 2008:
Not all "victors" experience wars in the same way.
All Music Guide calls it "a kind of warm, nearly-poppy, guitar-filled trip into Middle Eastern chants, tight bass grooves, and drums that hover beneath the surface."
Finally, Rory Stewart:
Without music, time has a very different quality.
In Afghan South, Taliban Fill NATO’s Big Gaps