KANDAHAR (AFP) - Residents of Afghanistans Helmand are sceptical about US and British operations underway in their southern province, uncertain they can end Taliban attacks and intimidation. It is not just the insurgency that contributes to a dire situation but also official corruption, the drugs trade and unemployment, they told AFP as 4,000 Marines pushed south and hundreds of British soldiers were busy further north. Landowner Abdullah Khan was dismissive of the assault that saw hundreds of Marines helicoptered into his home district of Nawa, along the Helmand River. For several years there have been operations and bombings and explosions, but the Taliban were not destroyed, the 48-year-old told AFP by telephone while he was visiting the provincial capital Lashkar Gah. Instead, Fighting increased and, now, also, I dont think that this operation can succeed, he said. International soldiers deployed after the removal of the Taliban regime in 2001 had only brought instability which was increasing day by day, he said, criticising useless bombings, arrests and searches of private homes. In Helmand, it is a case of Taliban rule by night and the soldiers by day, he said. If we take this side, that side will beat us, he said. Khan was critical of the Afghan police and intelligence services, which he said were corrupt, a common complaint in Afghanistan where government officials at the highest levels are alleged to be involved in opium and heroin traffic. He said it was unlikely he would vote in August 20 presidential and provincial council elections, the focus of a recent series of Afghan and international operations aimed at clearing out insurgent strongholds. We are not able to participate in the election because fear of the Taliban is more than anything else, he said. Haji Nazir was disillusioned with the international troops in Afghanistan, charging their airstrikes had destroyed families by taking their sons. Foreign troops should leave the country and the Taliban must be accepted as a political movement, said the 56-year-old farmer who is from Garsmir, where hundreds of Marines landed Thursday, but was talking from nearby Gereshk. We neither support Taliban nor the government because the hands of both are red with blood, he said. But 28-year-old Abdul Baqi, a student in the Lashkar Gah town, was more hopeful the flood of Marines into his large and troubled province would turn things for the better. We want stability and security from the foreign forces and we want the prevention of poppy cultivation, he added. Here unemployment is high and a lot people are trying to get money in illegal ways like in drugs trafficking or they are involved in terrorist activities, he said. Military commanders have said 17,000 reinforcements pledged by Obama as part of a new strategy for Afghanistan would allow troops to hold areas from where they had cleared insurgents - unlike before. Another 4,000 US security trainers are also due this year as part of efforts to build the Afghan police and army as fast as possible so they can be inserted into unstable areas. The new strategy has seen a greater focus on building a good government. It is not just about the military but partnering with the Afghan government international aid agencies and organisations to do what people want, build the government and economy, US Rear Admiral Greg Smith told AFP.