Afghanistan: September 12, 2003


The Afghan government fears that it has a situation developing in the south where the Pushtun drug gangs are hooking up with Taliban and al Qaeda fighters for mutual benefit. In a situation similar to Colombia, where rebel groups provide security for drug cartels in return for money, the tribal drug gangs generally agree with many of the conservative ideas professed by the Taliban. Al Qaeda has international connections that can assist the drug smuggling and distribution.  Ignored in all this is the fact that the drug business in Afghanistan is creating a growing number of local addicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The drug business in southern Afghanistan is big money, which buys lots of guns and other gear (SUVs, satellite phones, and etc.) 



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