The lorry drivers who bring the Pepsi and petrol for Nato troops in Kabul have their own way of calculating the Taleban's progress towards the Afghan capital: they simply count the lorries destroyed on the main roads.
By that measure, and many others, this looks increasingly like a city under siege as the Taleban start to disrupt supply routes, mimicking tactics used against the British in 1841 and the Soviets two decades ago.
The road from Kabul to Kandahar is even more treacherous, according to other drivers. “If the Afghan Army isn't there, a fly cannot pass,” said Bashir, a lorry owner, pointing to the scorched shells of three vehicles he retrieved from a Taleban raid on the Kandahar road last week. Of 60 lorries, 13 were destroyed, he said. “Why can't the Americans stop this?”
Neither the US nor NATO can "....stop this" because they don't have any where near enough boots on the ground to make this happen.
As reported in at-Largely (http://www.atlargely.com/2008/06/400000-troops-n.html):
"ISAF Commander McNeill has said himself that according to the current counterterrorism doctrine, it would take 400,000 troops to pacify Afghanistan in the long term. But the reality is that he has only 47,000 soldiers under his command, together with another 18,000 troops fighting at their sides as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, and possibly another 75,000 reasonably well-trained soldiers in the Afghan army by the end of the year. All told, there is still a shortfall of 260,000 men."
The US doesn't have the person-power without a draft.
And trust me, you won't hear much about a draft right before this election.
But no matter who winds up getting elected, watch for a "National Service Act" (which has been floating in Congressional Committee for a long time) to suddenly lurch to the head of the agenda after congress returns from their winter holiday.