Afghanistan: February 26, 2002


In northern Afghanistan, negotiations have led to disarmament of some warlord militias. A crucial motivation for this disarmament is the promise of money from the central government. The troops and warlords are, in effect, selling their weapons and "right of plunder" to the government. But the foreign aid is coming with auditors attached, and it will be interesting to see how the accountants will deal with what amounts to a bribe for the warlords. It's likely the accounts will deal with it, as it is becoming clear that the warlords have to be dealt with one way or another. And it appears that it will be cheaper to use money, rather than force, to retire the warlords. 


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