Feb 06, 2008 — Afghanistan is sliding, politically, militarily, and in human terms. Six years after the Taliban was driven from the capital city of Kabul the conventional word for the radical Islamists is now "resurgent." Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice flew to London yesterday to try to convince NATO to do more to help defeat the Taliban. The United States has about 27,000 troops in Afghanistan, around half of them in a NATO-led force. More than 1400 New York National Guard troops are due to go to Afghanistan in March for 10 months. Britain has about 7700 soldiers there, Canada 2500. Rice and Defense Secretary Robert gates have been pressing allies for more.
Meanwhile the news out of Afghanistan gets worse. According to a new UN report, the country now accounts for 0ver 90% of the world's opium. And opium and marijuana are major sources of income for the Taliban. Former All Before Five host Gregory Warner has made four trips to Afghanistan since last March as a reporter, and a mentor to radio journalists there. He's in Kabul now, probably his last trip given the deteriorating security conditions. His blog entries have given glimpses of taxi drivers and interpreters, lovers and clowns, as well as aid workers and tribal chiefs. He's found his accordion to be a real icebreaker. But over the year, he's been a witness to the country's deterioration, and the tone is grimmer these days. He spoke with Martha Foley yesterday.