Following up on my post about progress in Afghanistan, a reader sent me the following message he received from a Blackhawk helicopter pilot now serving in the Arghandab Valley:
Things are going well. We have seen improvements in the security in around the Arghandab Valley and Kandahar. That can be attributed to the combined effort of ground forces putting the hurt on the Taliban and aviation assets making it easier to move manpower and equipment from one side of the battlefield to the other.
In addition to absolutely destroying Taliban fighters in fights in recent weeks, we have captured a ridiculous amount of opium and weapons caches resulting in a huge loss of Taliban revenue and fighting capability. I can’t go into too much detail but we are seeing more and more of the local populace volunteering information on who and where the Taliban are. Hopefully this continues to improve and it’s not just because the temperatures are falling.
This success is a definite result of “surging” 30,000 troops into Afghanistan throughout this year. I think if we can keep this pressure up, we will look back and say this was the turning point in the war in Afghanistan, just another chapter in the 101st Airborne Division’s history.
Our reader tells me that this is the first optimistic message he’s received from his friend in the eight months or so he has been in Afghanistan.