Afghanistan: May 12, 2002


Afghan and U.S. troops seized a radio station in the eastern province of Khost. The station was broadcasting anti-government propaganda at the behest of a warlord (Padsha Khan) who opposed the provincial governor installed by the government in Kabul. Padsha Kahn is your classic Afghan warlord. Poorly educated, but skilled in the use of armed force and a natural combat leader. Khan will keep maneuvering for power unless killed or confronted with the threat of superior military power.

The major problem with eastern Afghanistan is that this is where most of the truck traffic from Pakistan. Those trucks pay custom taxes of over $6 million a month. Currently, the warlords that control the border crossings grab most of that money. Retaining control of that money is seen by warlords as something worth fighting for. The government is openly saying that the warlords must be put out of business before Afghanistan can be free. This will mean some hard fighting in the future, as not all warlords can be convinced to "retire" peacefully.


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