US to Heighten Afghan Role?
By Gordon Lubold
The Christian Science Monitor

Friday 25 April 2008

Pentagon weighs lead role in NATO's combat mission in the south to better fight Taliban.

Washington - The Pentagon is considering whether it should push to change the NATO mission in volatile southern Afghanistan to give the US greater control in the fight against a growing Taliban threat.

The move is one of many being assessed as fears rise that the collective effort of NATO forces there lacks coherence. The Taliban's comeback over the past two years has been marked by a spike in suicide bombings and other violence - at the same time that critics say the complex command structure governing NATO and US forces has stifled combat and reconstruction efforts.

American officials see a possible answer in modeling the southern region after the east, which falls under NATO but is led by a subordinate US command and viewed as relatively successful.
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