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The clash - Captains Dead

For many - and it is a view I have heard many times - the recapture of Musa Qala was representative of something very important. Unfortunately there have been too few Musa Qalas.

In the past month it has been briefly occupied by the Taliban before being retaken by Afghan security forces aided by US air strikes. For my part I believe the focus on embedding Influence as an integral element of the entire operation made the difference in not only the number of casualties suffered, but also how its recapture was perceived in the minds of Afghans. Given the rich, convoluted and varied history of conflict in Afghanistan there is no reason to expect it to be anything else.

This left the worst option of all - arriving in the midst of the operation where the outcome was unclear. Within days they were engaging the Taliban.