Saturday, December 13, 2003

Whitehouse policy in trouble in both Iraq and Afghanistan: "'Reacting with anger and disbelief, some of the affected governments warned that the move could create problems for efforts to rebuild Iraq, restructure its foreign debt and patch up strained relations between Europe and the United States... White Officials officials were reported to be "fuming about the timing and the tone of the Pentagon's directive," and the President "distinctly unhappy" that he had to make previously scheduled calls to the leaders of the three main offended countries about easing their stances on the Iraqi debt burden just after the news broke."

"'As soon as we leave the base, we see lights flashing down the highway for miles,' one senior officer said. 'Whenever we enter the town the horns start hooting. The enemy intelligence network is on top of every move we make.' Across impoverished southern and eastern Afghanistan, the Taliban's tribal homeland, the same desperate pattern is emerging. Military analysts and aid agency bosses in Kabul say America's two-year military campaign has failed to root out the Taliban or to bring peace. 'The Taliban are getting stronger; they're regrouping, reorganising, and we're getting a lot of fire right now,' said Sergeant Ken Green, a National Guardsman seconded to US special forces."

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