National Security

October 6, 2009 5:00 PM

Afghanistan patrol shows limits of U.S. equipment, supplies

As the sky hinted at dawn, U.S. soldiers went hunting for Taliban in the Arghandab Valley. They had satellite-linked monocles to display the locations of platoons. They could summon an aerial drone to buzz overhead with a surveillance camera. They could call on Kiowa helicopters for search-and-destroy missions. On this mission, however, one of their most valuable assets was an informant: a farmer with a taste for opium.

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