Kandahar 'offensive' scaled back; new goal to improve government
By Dion Nissenbaum and Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers 
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Although it's just beginning, the U.S.-led effort to pacify the Taliban's spiritual capital in southern Afghanistan already appears to be faltering.
Key military operations have been delayed until the fall, efforts to improve local government are having little impact and a Taliban assassination campaign has brought a sense of dread to Kandahar's dusty streets.
NATO officials once spoke of demonstrating major progress by mid-August, but U.S. commanders now say the turning point may not be reached until November, and perhaps later.
At the urging of Afghan leaders, U.S. officials have stopped describing the plan as a military operation. Instead, they've dubbed it "Cooperation for Kandahar ," a moniker meant to focus attention on efforts to build up local governance while reducing fears of street battles.
"We're not using the term 'operation' or 'major operations' because that often brings to mind in peoples' psyche the idea of a D-Day and an H-Hour and an attack," U.S. Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal , the commander of U.S.-led international forces in Afghanistan , said Thursday in Washington .