Jonathon Burch and Ismail Sameem for Reuters open with further indications that the people of Kandahar aren’t interested in the upcoming NATO offense. But they also add this:
Commanders are playing down the possibility of heavy fighting in the city, stressing the political aims of extending the reach of the Afghan state into an area of growing Taliban influence.
Even the language adopted by military officials has changed, with words like “operation” or “offensive” no longer used.
“We would like to call it a process that is encompassing military and non-military instruments,” Brigadier General Josef Blotz, the spokesman for NATO forces, told reporters this week.
Is there a “rolling my eyes” emoticon?