Kim Barker and Aamer Madhani question if a mini-surge would work in Afghanistan:

More than Iraq, Afghanistan's terrain--craggy and mountainous--presents challenges. The insurgency here is more rural; militants exploit the weakness of the government outside Kabul and intimidate villagers. Afghanistan also is so poor and illiterate that it's easier to recruit fighters than in Iraq, counterinsurgency experts say.

In parallel with the surge in Iraq, U.S. troops were able to undermine the enemy by paying former Sunni insurgents to become part of the so-called Sons of Iraq, who now help battle Al Qaeda forces. But in Afghanistan, Afghans are increasingly suspicious of foreign troops, blaming them for killing civilians, arresting innocent Afghans and heeding the advice of hated warlords.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to