An American-led military unit pulverized an Afghan village in Kandahar's Arghandab River Valley in October, after it became overrun with Taliban insurgents. It's hard to understand how turning an entire village into dust fits into America's counterinsurgency strategy -- which supposedly prizes the local people's loyalty above all else.
But it's the latest indication that Gen. David Petraeus, the counterinsurgency icon, is prosecuting a frustrating war with surprising levels of violence. Some observers already fear a backlash brewing in the area.
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