Afghanistan: May 4, 2002


A delegation of 80 tribal elders and chiefs representing the ex-king met with warlord Padsha Khan and urged him to stop his attacks on rivals for control of Paktia province. This had some impact, as Khan is basically a politician (if a heavily armed one, which is normal in Afghanistan), and he is in negotiations with the ex-king's delegation. It's interesting to see how the ex-king is getting involved in peacekeeping.

U.S. troops cleared mines in Paktia province, on a road they use that leads to their base in the local airport. Nearly a thousand allied troops are operating in Paktia, looking for Taliban and al Qaeda fighters and camps. The enemy travel light, but this is also a major disadvantage when it comes to surviving sickness, accidents or malnutrition. The more heavily armed and equipped allied troops tire more easily as a result, but are much less likely to be killed or wounded in a fire fight. This has been the result so far and there's not much the enemy can do about it. The Western media, however, have a good time with it, running stories about "out of shape foreign soldiers panting after Taliban in the mountains." The truth is far different, with the foreign troops being in much better shape than the enemy. This can be seen from the reports of the health of captured enemy troops (or autopsies of dead ones.)


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