December 7th, 2009
12:29 PM ET

One town's insurgency fight

Baraki Barak, Afghanistan (CNN) - One year ago, walking the streets of Baraki Barak would have been unthinkable. The Taliban ruled the town 30 miles south of Kabul, the market place was deserted and people stayed away. Today, it has a busy city center and the U.S. troops rely heavily on Afghan forces to keep it safe.

"This was one of the areas that was considered a sanctuary of the Taliban and the enemy. We fought with them to clear the area, secure the people, protect the population," says U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti.

The troops are heavily focused on working with Afghan forces to improve security in places like Baraki Barak. For example, Afghans control the town's checkpoints here. But it's not been easy. In Baraki Barak, the police chief started with just five men, and that number has grown to 50. Even with the additional help, attacks just outside the town continue.

Watch scenes from the streets and more from CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Zeba - Kabul

    An Advise to the US Army officers: Guys, you will never win these battles if you really think these corrupt, under resourced and ill recruited Afghan Policemen will contribute towards the greater security required for the Afghan people and to protect them, what you guys are really needed to focus on is to recruit Local people to join you guys to protect themselves and their population from Taliban. The Local initiatives will also help in providing you guys better Intel and this way it would be much easier to pin point the Taliban members and their whereabouts, at this time you guys are chasing ghosts because these insurgents are taking refuge in the same houses you sometimes pass by or distribute a few candies.

    The Taliban number is very small comparing to the local population, what you really need to focus on is to seperate the two from one another, the minute you do that, you will break the back bone of the entire Quetta Shura, HIG and AQ in Afghanistan.

    Do it, don't waste time thinking about it or you will likely to be packing and leaving soon with taking home a huge load of problems which will eventually force you guys back to invade Afghanistan and that shall not be easy for many regional powers inculding China to digest. You are here so do it and do it right.

    Thank you

    December 13, 2009 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |