18 Oct '12, 1am

US at a crossroads deep in an Afghan no-man’s land

US at a crossroads deep in an Afghan no-man’s land

Related As Marines leave Helmand, focus turns to training those left behind Marine commandant expects 'rolling transition' in Afghanistan HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — The sun pounds down on the U.S. Marine sergeant and the tribal elder in this faceless, bone-colored plain. “We haven’t seen any Taliban,” the silk-bearded Afghan says, with a grin too large. The sergeant, broiling in his bulletproof vest, anticipates crackling gunfire at any minute. He knows the man is lying and he expects him to lie. This barren, anonymous-feeling landscape matters because it sits outside the biggest U.S. military and coalition base in Helmand province, known as Camp Leatherneck, a miniature city built in the middle of nowhere. The camp has served as the restive province’s command center for American forces during their two-year troop buildup aimed at disrupting the Islamist militants. Ad...

Full article: http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/us-at-a-crossroad...

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