"But if the situation for ordinary Afghans is worsening, the machinery and industry of NATO's presence in their country is thriving. As I arrived at Kandahar Air Field this week for my second reporting stint in Afghanistan, I was struck by just how comfortably the West is settling in here. The NATO base, which grew from the rubble of the old Kandahar airport after the first round of fighting ended seven years ago, was a wonder even when I was here last, in spring 2007. Housing about 5,000 troops from several different nations, it had a sophisticated electricity system, fast-food outlets, cement plants and steak-and-lobster nights."
"The complex known simply as KAF has only multiplied since then."
"Like urban sprawl, new barracks have appeared on land I last saw being cleared of mines."