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The next few months will prove whether the NATO coalition can win this battle.

“He needs to put real pressure to end the corruption,” said Nur Yallae Rasooli. “What we need is infrastructure. What have the Americans done aside from paving a few roads that fall apart after a few years and building some wooden houses?”

A senior military official in Washington on Monday confirmed that NATO forces are set to launch a major offensive against Kandahar beginning in June. The goal of the operation will be to rid the city of Taliban forces prior to the Muslim holiday of Ramadan that begins in August.