Each had differing techniques, tribal affiliations, and goals. * Afghanistan's own weak-state threats: the corruption, smuggling, drugs, and refugee problems associated with 25 years of near-constant war. * A challenging climate: rains in the spring brought powerful floods, the summer heat limited aircraft loads, and extreme cold and snow in the winter cut off cities and even entire provinces from the rest of the country. * Very difficult terrain varying from high plains 7,000 feet above sea level, to densely forested mountains over 10,000 feet high (with only camel trail access), to deep valleys with raging rivers. Measures of effectiveness focused on positive indicators such as changes in infrastructure and institutional capacity (numbers of businesses opening, police manning their posts, children in school, homes with electricity, etc.) and the degree to which the people supported their local and national government (number of IEDs turned in to the police by civilians, voters registering, former Taliban reconciling, etc.).
Combating a Modern
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