Article here and a load of photos here.
A few snippets:
A few snippets:
Major Mike Shervington, commander of a company of British troops stationed in the hills above the village, scowls. For the past few weeks, the Taliban has been following in his footsteps, stealing by night the gifts his soldiers gave out during the day. But the villagers couldn't--or wouldn't--fight back. "We are afraid," says Madin. "The Taliban has force. It has power." Shervington, who leads about 200 men, asks, "More than me?" Madin shrugs. "You will come down and fight, and you will win," he concedes. "But you will win only for one hour. Then you will go back to your base. The Taliban will return."
Military officials say the insurgency doesn't have the numbers to win a conventional fight. But the Taliban doesn't need to win. It just needs to outlast the will of foreign nations. Few Afghans believe that the Taliban offers a better alternative to the current government, but many are convinced that it will be around longer.
There are only 8,500 British troops in Helmand. According to U.S. Army counterinsurgency doctrine, Helmand needs at least 25,000 troops to be secured--nearly half the foreign forces in Afghanistan. NATO officials call the effort in Afghanistan an "economy-of-force operation," meaning that the few troops available have to be applied strategically. In Helmand, that means troops are concentrated in urban areas. In Kajaki, according to Lieut. Colonel Joe O'Sullivan, commander of the 2nd Parachute Regiment, of which Shervington's troops are a part, "the force there at the moment is sufficient to defend the base of the dam and to keep control of the 2.5-mile [4 km] circle of ground there. It is not designed to do any more than that."