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March 18, 2013 3:32 PM

Cyclical nature of Afghan fighting may mask deeper trends, experts warn

NATO troops have followed an annual rhythm in the Afghan War, referred to by Pentagon officials, the soldiers on the ground and journalists alike as the “fighting season.” Generally, they describe it as beginning and ending with the warmer months. The lull is ascribed to snowbound mountain passes. But that common wisdom isn’t exactly true, and may have distorted the real picture of how the war has evolved, one counterinsurgency expert says. He thinks the Taliban have begun hoarding their fighters over the warm months, biding their time until the Americans leave.

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