National Security

October 6, 2009

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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