KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. and Afghan troops seized a key Taliban figure after a four-hour gunbattle — part of a strategy that NATO officials said Thursday had eliminated more than 100 insurgent leaders in the past four months.
The campaign to disrupt the Taliban's midlevel command structure is moving into high gear just as a new Afghan government is poised to offer economic incentives to lure low-level foot soldiers off the battlefield — a twin approach to pressure the Taliban's top echelon into seeking peace.
The campaign against the Taliban leadership — a strategy used successfully against both Sunni and Shiite insurgents in Iraq — is intensifying at a time of rising violence and growing concern in Washington and other allied capitals over the direction of the war. The 120,000-member NATO-led force is awaiting the arrival of a new commande
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