Marines can gather intelligence by picking up the notebooks, receipts and other papers left behind in raids that could provide insight into the opium business the Taliban uses to buy their weapons, Afghan expert Gretchen Peters said.
She told Marines before the Los Angeles patrols that they should follow the lead of some Afghans who have gone from using the term “mujahadeen” or “holy warrior” to identify the Taliban to calling them gangsters.
That, she said, shows how fed up the villagers are with being extorted by them and calling them gangsters will win them over.
“Think of the Taliban as the Sopranos in turbans,” she said. “I think essentially they’re criminals.”
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