By CARLOTTA GALL, New York Times, August 4, 2008
KABUL, Afghanistan — Six years after being driven from power, the Taliban are demonstrating a resilience and a ferocity that are raising alarm here, in Washington and in other NATO capitals, and engendering a fresh round of soul-searching over how a relatively ragtag insurgency has managed to keep the world’s most powerful armies at bay.
The mounting toll inflicted by the insurgents, including nine American soldiers killed in a single attack last month, has turned Afghanistan into a deadlier battlefield than Iraq and refocused the attention of America’s military commanders and its presidential contenders on the Afghan war.
But the objectives of the war have become increasingly uncertain in a conflict where Taliban leaders say they do not feel the need to control territory, at least for now, or to outfight American and NATO forces to defeat them — only to outlast them in a region that is in any case their home.
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