Talking to elders

I drove to the provincial capital of Maidan Shahr in Wardak province to try to get a sense of life outside Kabul.

Several months ago this trip would have been impossible. Taliban had cut the main road, Highway One, which is the northern gateway to Kabul. Fifteen hundred new US troops and additional Afghan army forces pushed back the Taliban (who basically melted away). Now the question is whether those gains can be held, and economic aid can be swiftly funneled into the province to convince local farmers that it is worthwhile to resist Taliban entreaties or threats.

These elders, members of the Provincial Council, say they have yet to see the development projects they were promised by Afghan and US officials. This does not bode well......