The 10th Mountain Division has recently deployed to Afghanistan's Wardak province in an effort to apply U.S. counterinsurgency tactics to the region 30 miles west of Kabul. Although security has improved since they arrived, American and Coalition efforts still face significant challenges.
Insurgent attacks, mainly mortar and roadside explosive devices, remain a threat. The performance of Afghan police and army units -- a central component of U.S. and Coalition strategy -- is markedly improved but still leaves much to be desired. And winning the trust and allegiance of Afghan villagers, in particular among the Pashtun, is a daily struggle, often undone by Taliban reprisals come nightfall.
Balint Szlanko has been embedded with the 10th Mountain Division for the month of July. His WPR reporter's notebooks can be found here.