The personal items of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan — photos sent from home, letters from distant spouses and children, military awards — have been cropping up in remote markets in Pakistan, CNN reports, as the Taliban seeks to tilt the balance in the costs of battle.
Taliban insurgents are keen to the realities of war in the United States: Militarily, they don’t stand a chance against the might of the Western world. For these tribal Afghan forces, the key to victory lies not in the supremacy of their violence, but rather in their ability to outlast the U.S. onslaught.
As such, one increasingly popular Taliban strategy has been to attack resupply convoys coming in from Pakistan — the United State’s likeliest route of entry into sprawling, landlocked Af-ghan-istan. Snaking through hundreds of miles of tribal country, trucks on these routes make conspicuously easy targets.
Earlier this month, a large attack was perpetrated just outside of Pakistan’s capital city, Islamabad, destroying some 80 vehicles in just a handful of minutes, witnesses reported. Employing a mere 12 gunmen, Taliban forces were able to handily thwart a major U.S. resupply mission.
The radical Islamists have distributed pamphlets threatening death to any drivers who cooperate with U.S. forces. And as the danger rises for local convoy drivers — who, owing to tradition and military logistics, operate in the absence of U.S. protection — so do the financial costs.