The refugees

Here's how the Taliban grow. These are refugees from the Bajaur tribal agency who were forced to flee their villages when the army came in looking for Pakistani Taliban. They were caught in the middle.

Now 16,000 (of 85,000) are stuck in Kacha Garhi camp near Peshawar, a flat expanse of nothing but dirt and khaki tents. No water to wash, no firewood to cook, no electricity, overflowing latrines, no work. No future. The government was supposed to resettle them but no sign of it.

These were not Taliban before, but they now provide perfect recruiting material for Islamic militant groups. Talking with the desperate elders, who are nearly in tears at the destruction of their dignity and futures, makes one want to weep. US aid money, if nothing else, should be building them new homes. Much cheaper than fighting thousands of new Taliban.