“Last year was particularly devastating, with Afghan officials claiming they were killing Taliban at unprecedented rates: more than a 1,000 a month, perhaps a quarter of their estimated forces by year’s end. In addition to airstrikes by Afghan forces, the U.S. dropped about 7,400 bombs, perhaps the most in a decade. Even at the peak of the long American military presence and the coordinating effort to help the Afghan government win hearts and minds in the countryside, the Taliban were able to keep recruiting enough young men to keep fighting. Families keep answering the Taliban’s call, and booming profits help hold it all together.” For Americans, this story will sound familiar compared to Vietnam. For Afghans, this story will just sound familiar. NYT: How the Taliban Outlasted a Superpower: Tenacity and Carnage. (And a lot of help from Pakistan…)