Taliban Surprising US Forces With Improved Tactics - Karen DeYoung, Washington Post.
The Taliban has become a much more potent adversary in Afghanistan by improving its own tactics and finding gaps in the US military playbook, according to senior American military officials who acknowledged that the enemy's resurgence this year has taken them by surprise.
US rules of engagement restricting the use of air power and aggressive action against civilians have also opened new space for the insurgents, officials said. Western development projects, such as new roads, schools and police stations, have provided fresh targets for Taliban roadside bombs and suicide attacks. The inability of rising numbers of American troops to protect Afghan citizens has increased resentment of the Western presence and the corrupt Afghan government that cooperates with it, the officials said.
As President Obama faces crucial decisions on his war strategy and declining public support at home, administration and defense officials are studying the reasons why the Taliban appears, for the moment at least, to be winning...
More at The Washington Post.