Afghanistan: May 13, 2003


American Special Forces are trying to sort out which tribes, clans or factions are supporting the Taliban and anti-foreigner nationalists like warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In addition, you have dozens of plain old warlords just out for a quick buck. These include all the drug operations, who will support any leader that promises to leave the drug trade alone. The American troops know how the Afghans fight, and have no problem dealing with them in combat. But by making deals (using threats of violence and promises of aid and other goodies), many hostile factions can be neutralized, or at leased cowed into a corner.  


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