Beeb reporter David Loyn managed to gain access to a group of Taliban in Helmand province. It sits just to the west of Kandahar, the province in which Canada's armed forces are operating.
There is no army on earth as mobile as the Taleban.
Taleban fighters are highly mobile
I remember it as their secret weapon when I travelled with them in the mid-1990s, as they swept aside rival mujahideen to take most of the country.
Piled into the back of open Toyota trucks, their vehicle of choice, and carrying no possessions other than their weapons, they can move nimbly.
The bare arid landscape of northern Helmand suits them well.
After one hair-raising race across the desert last week, patrolling the large area where they can move at will, they screamed to a stop at a river bank.
It was sunset, and time to pray before breaking the Ramadan fast they had kept since sunrise.
Before praying, they washed in a dank-looking pool at the side of the almost-dry river bed.
Afghanistan has been in the grip of a severe drought for several years, but the lack of clean water does not seem to concern these hardy men.
We rose up and saved almost the whole country from the evils of corruption and corrupt commanders… that's why people are supporting the Taleban again nowMohammed Anif
They clean their teeth with sharpened sticks taken from trees, and sleep with only the thinnest shawls to cover them.
They have surprised the British by the ferocity of their fighting and their willingness to take casualties.
Their belief in the imminence of paradise means that few exhibit fear. …
The failure of aid policies to make a difference in southern Afghanistan and increasing corruption in the government and the national army, are spreading the power base of the Taleban.
The trucking companies, who backed them first in 1994 when they emerged to clear illegal checkpoints on the roads, are now backing them again.
This time the checkpoints are manned by Afghan government soldiers, who demand money at gunpoint from every driver.
The failure of the international community to stop this makes the military task of the British-led Nato force in the south much harder.
The Taleban official spokesman, Mohammed Anif, explained, 'When the Islamic movement of the Taliban started in the first place, the main reason was because of concern among people about corruption.
“People were fed up with having to bribe governors, and other authorities.
“We rose up and saved almost the whole country from the evils of corruption and corrupt commanders. That's why people are supporting the Taleban again now.”
The story also talked about the problems NATO forces are creating for themselves through the use of brute force in trying to bring security to the area:
In a village damaged by a British attack on the night of 7 October, some people were too angry to talk to me because I was British.
One merely pointed to the torn and bloody women's clothing left in the ruins of the house and said bitterly, “Are these the kind of houses they have come to build – the kind where clothing is cut to pieces?”.
Nato sources describe this village as being heavily defended by the Taleban, who fired on their forces throughout the operation.
British soldiers landed in helicopters, arrested a suspect and flew away.
But they left six dead in one family, including three young girls, and partially demolished the mosque. …
One man, Nazar Mohammed, now squatting with his family in a building site in Kandahar, said the Taleban have most to gain in the continuing conflict.
“It's very obvious. Right now we see foreigners with tanks driving through our vineyards. They destroy people's orchards.
“They break through the walls and just drive across. When they take up positions in the village like this, nobody can cooperate with them.'
In a related story, the Senlis Council released a report on Afghanistan (here's the CTV.ca story) on Tuesday. While it believes Canadian troops should stay in Kandahar province, it urged a rethink of both the security and development strategy.