“A spokesman for the delegation, Mohammad Daoud Abedi, said the Taliban, which makes up the bulk of the insurgency, would be willing to go along with the plan if a date was set for the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country. Publicly, a Taliban spokesman denied that.
The plan, titled the National Rescue Agreement, a copy of which was given to The New York Times, sets that date as July 2010, with the withdrawal to be completed within six months.”
Jim Michaels of USA Today reports that the U.S. is hoping to win the support of poppy farmers who lost their livelihood in Marjah through jobs and financial aid.
“Marines are in the final stages of an overall assistance plan that they can offer to farmers in Marjah, Helmand province. They are considering tapping into a cash for work program and other funding sources. Poppies are about to flower and the harvest will begin in coming weeks,” Michaels writes.
Some other news reports and perspectives:
- Jeffrey Fleishman (Los Angeles Times): “An unwilling Afghan bride's defiance leads to death”
- Yaroslav Trofimov (Wall Street Journal): “Cell carriers bow to Taliban threat”
- Alan Gomez (USA Today): “Much work ahead for Afghan police force”
- Michael O’ Hanlon (New York Times): “Pakistan’s war of choice"
- David Ignatius (Washington Post): “Caution lights for the military's 'information war'”