Afghanistan: January 30, 2002


Searches of al Qaeda camps has revealed more terrorist plans. There were diagrams for building nuclear weapons, but these were crude and indicated the terrorists were concentrating on a "dirty nuke" (conventional explosives just spreading radioactive material all over the place.)

Fighting broke out in eastern Afghanistan between rival warlord militias over control of the town of Gardez. Over a thousand al Qaeda and Taliban fighters are also reported to be gathering in the vicinity of Gardez, but this might just be warlord propaganda. American bombers can be seen circling in the sky, but U.S. special forces have withdrawn from the area as the Afghans fight each other. 

Several thousand Pushtuns have fled their villages in northern Afghanistan for refugee camps in Pakistan, complaining of persecution by Afghan Tajiks and Uzbeks. When the Taliban advanced into northern Afghanistan, they often drove non-Pushtuns from their villages and brought in Pushtuns from the south. But there have always been some Pushtun villages in the north.

It will take two months to install bookkeeping and auditing capabilities in Afghanistan so that the $4.5 billion in foreign aid can start arriving. Meanwhile, the only aid is several hundred million dollars in unfrozen national assets (frozen to keep the Taliban from getting the money) and aid organizations that have their own budgets. These outfits are delivering things like food, medicine and supervising some agricultural projects. 


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