Afghanistan: June 6, 2003


Afghanistan continues complaining to Pakistan about Taliban fighters based in Pakistan, and raiding into Afghanistan. Pakistan says this isn't happening. In any event, much of the border area belongs to Pakistans North West Frontier Province, which is controlled by pro-Taliban Islamic conservatives since last years elections.

The government is sending troops and police to take control of border crossings. This is to get control of the fees and duties collected their. This is a lucrative business, amounting to over a hundred million dollars a year. Since late 2001, local warlords have controlled the crossings and taken most of the money. It may require armed force to make the warlords give up that kind of money.  The warlords can call in drug gangs for extra firepower. The government has warned the drug gangs (often run by warlords or tribal chiefs) that they are next. And then there are the smuggling gangs. Afghanistan is a tough place to govern. It can be done, it has been done, but to do so the government has to be tougher than all those warlord forces.

And then there's the Taliban. They want to take over again, something most warlords oppose, but the drug and smuggling gangs know they could live with. So far, the Taliban are mostly talk and bluster. Small groups of Taliban ambush vehicles and patrols, and mount a few attacks with more than a hundred men. But the coalition has a lot of advantages. US Special Forces have set up a good intelligence system, and American helicopters and bombers provide a major edge in combat.


Article Archive

Afghanistan: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close