Spend some time in Brussels and Kabul with the soldiers and civilians of NATO and you’ll hear the same thing: If there ever was a place and a time when winning support of the local population would help win a war, the place is Afghanistan — and the time is now.

Afghanistan is beginning to thaw, which means a spring offensive against the Taliban looms. Perhaps that’s why NATO troops, cobbled together from 36 countries into the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, have begun publicly promoting their efforts to avoid harming ordinary Afghans.

Read the article in full on The New York Times’s site.