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Video: A retreat from the Pech Valley is debated as losses appear to outweigh the gains.
BOSTON — In May of last year, military officials decided to leave the Korengal Valley in northeastern Afghanistan because they didn't think the small gains they were making were worth risking the lives of U.S. troops. Now they are having the same debate about the neighboring Pech Valley.
GlobalPost correspondent James Foley spent several weeks in the Pech Valley in September and talked to the soldiers stationed there about what they thought the best course of action would be. Those troops were as divided as everyone else.
Some felt that the presence of U.S.-led NATO forces in the region was just giving the Taliban an excuse to continue fighting and that their efforts would be better used in more populated parts of the country, where they could more effectively fight for the hearts and minds of average Afghans. Others worried the Taliban would view any withdrawal as a victory.
For complete coverage of the Afghanistan War, see GlobalPost's Dispatches: Afghanistan blog.
Here is Foley's full report from the Pech Valley: