Soldiers Describe Fighting In Afghanistan

| Thu Sep. 14, 2006 10:38 PM EDT

American soldiers in Helmand Province have described to journalists from The Independent that "We are flattening places we have already flattened, but the attacks have kept coming. We have killed them by the dozens, but more keep coming, either locally or from across the border....We have used B1 bombers, Harriers, F16s and Mirage 2000s. We have dropped 500lb, 1,000lb and even 2,000lb bombs. At one point our Apaches [helicopter gunships] ran out of missiles, they have fired so many."

The soldiers went on to say that they are constantly ambushed, and in need of helicopters, but cannot get any. They have praise for the Afghan army, but say that the Afghan police force does not wish to fight the Taliban either because they are afraid to or because they are Taliban sympahizers.

New British troops have arrived to help, but France, Germany, Italy, and Turkey say they have no troops to spare because of the peacekeeping effort in Lebanon. In the meantime, Pakistani troops have withdrawn from the border, after getting a "promise" from the Taliban not to cross over into Afghanistan and continue to mount attacks.

According to Lt. Gen Richards: "You also have to think that each time we kill one, how many more enemies we are creating. And, of course, the lack of security means hardly any reconstruction is taking place now, so we are not exactly winning hearts and minds."