It can’t explain every aspect of Taliban resilience, of course — insurgencies survive on passive or active popular support, whether freely given or coerced — but C.J. Chivers of the New York Times notices something troubling:
Of 30 rifle magazines recently taken from insurgents’ corpses, at least 17 contained cartridges, or rounds, identical to ammunition the United States had provided to Afghan government forces, according to an examination of ammunition markings by The New York Times and interviews with American officers and arms dealers.
The presence of this ammunition among the dead in the Korangal Valley, an area of often fierce fighting near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan, strongly suggests that munitions procured by the Pentagon have leaked from Afghan forces for use against American troops.
Chivers surmises that the ammunition has been diverted, probably by Taliban-complicit elements within the Afghan training effort. The Government Accountability Office has criticized U.S. oversight with providing rifles to the Afghan security forces. It’s worth remembering that this happened in Iraq as well.
Crossposted to The Streak.