Afghanistan: August 19, 2003


Afghanistan is accusing Pakistan of not only allowing the Taliban to operate in Pakistan, but providing weapons, money and other support. It is thought that members of the Pakistan military who are Islamic conservatives are again seeking to use the Taliban to keep Afghanistan weak and under Pakistani control. 

The Taliban are trying to do the same thing they did ten years ago. The warlords are not enforcing law and order, so the Taliban are coming in and promising to enforce their own strict form of order (civil and religious). This is becoming attractive because it is taking so long for the central government to build police and military forces that can bring the warlords to heel. The basic problem is that every tribe (over fifty) or major clan (hundreds) sees it self as a potential ruler of the region it lives in. The most common reason for the tribes and clans to unite is to oppose outside authority (foreign, or from a national Afghan government) imposing control on their area. Some warlords are cooperating with the Taliban, to allow attacks on Afghan and American army bases in the province.

President Karzai is shuffling around his senior people, trying to achieve a combination that will keep these guys (from various powerful tribes and clans) out of trouble, and happy.


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