According to The New York Times, the Taliban have been stepping up their tactic of assassination of government officials as a method of undermining coalition attempts to build up the Afghan government.
The Times story states:
"Some of the victims have only the slimmest connections to the authorities. The most egregious example came Wednesday in Helmand Province, where according to Afghan officials the insurgents executed a 7-year-old boy as an informant. "
The story continues:
"...Taliban insurgents went to his village and dragged the boy from his home at 10:30 in the morning, accusing him of acting as a government informant by telling the authorities of their movements. They killed him by hanging him from a tree in the middle of the village..."
Earlier tonight, I had read in this story from Fox News that Defense Secretary Gates, speaking to reporters in London today ... suggested that winning the war will have to include reconciliation with at least some elements of the Taliban.
"At this point the Taliban are part of the political fabric of Afghanistan, and to adopt a strategy that basically says we're going to eliminate the Taliban I think is unrealistic," Gates said.
Some elements of the Taliban hung a 7-year-old boy on the same day that Gates made this statement.
The boy was identified only as "the grandson of a farmer named Qodos Khan Alokozy, from the village of Herati in the Sangin District of Helmand Province."
Honestly, how do you reconcile with such people?
What is the answer?
Credit here for the photo of children in Helmand Province.