Today’s Washington Post features a story detailing the increased harassment in which Afghans who have aligned themselves with American forces have found themselves. Similar to their colleagues in Iraq, many of these Afghans have paid for their affiliations with their lives.
Eerily reflective of Iraq, the piece details that “the Taliban’s most powerful weapon has become the calculated assassination. The tools of this campaign are rudimentary — ropes, knives, old rifles — but the results have been devastating. By executing those who work or sympathize with the government, the Taliban has made clear that those supporting the American military effort here are risking their lives. Each new death brings more dread in a city of hunters and hunted.”
As the piece points out, it is the Taliban’s goal is to undermine the U.S. affiliated local Afghan government’s attempts to stabilize the situation in the country. Harassing and in some cases assassinating those who work in conjunction with the local government makes many Afghans think twice about becoming associated with anything related to the American presence.
The article reports that “27 government officials or Afghans working with foreign contractors in Kandahar city were assassinated,” which is a marked increase from previous years.