After spending billions of dollars upgrading and repaving Highway 1, the [US-led] military coalition is now leaving its protection almost entirely to Afghan forces like the soldiers of the Afghan Army’s Sixth Battalion, Fourth Brigade, 203rd Corps. They patrol one of the world’s most dangerous roads like beat cops, responding to domestic disputes and traffic accidents, as well as hidden explosives and sniper fire. Their struggles, which are many, offer glimpses into the road war’s new contours.
Will the Afghan forces be able to protect this vital ring road from the Taliban? If you were an advisor to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, what policies would you recommend for protecting Highway 1 from sabotage and direct attacks (e.g. electric fences, 24-hour patrols, etc.)? If you were an advisor to the Taliban, what strategy would you propose for disrupting traffic on this road (IEDs, destruction of bridges, etc.)? Remember, the Highway 1 ring road is over 2000 kilometers long, and each side in this war has limited manpower and resources, so the real question we are asking is this–how much of your resources would you invest in protecting or attacking Highway 1?
Map courtesy of the examiner.com.