Afghanistan: January 24, 2003


 Attacks continue against US troops, but these are largely uncoordinated and inept. US Special Forces continue to seek out and obtain information (for money or favors) on Taliban or al Qaeda activity. Meanwhile, the first Afghan army battalion has been deployed to the south-eastern border area. There are six Afghan army battalions trained or in training. Special Forces continue to advise the battalions. In the past, Afghan army units tended to become criminal enterprises, running their own rackets, or protecting criminals who did. This time around, selection, training and supervision are trying to avoid the bad habits. Time will tell if it works, for the army is not attracting the best recruits, as many potential soldiers are playing a wait and see game. No one is sure the new army will last. 


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