Afghanistan: September 18, 2003


The fighting with the Taliban has evolved into a cat and mouse game as Taliban form groups in Pakistan, cross the border and are joined by local recruits and then attack rebuilding projects. More government police and troops are sent to guard the rebuilding operations. The Taliban have to operate in  groups of at least a dozen men in more areas, in order to be able to overcome local resistance to them. So far, the Taliban have only been operating in southern Afghanistan, in Pushtun areas that were the source of the original Taliban leaders and recruits. But even in these areas, many oppose the Taliban and what has developed is a low level civil war. The Taliban had their chance, and brought mainly economic ruin and unpopular laws. But the Taliban have made deals with some of the drug gangs, which are organized on a tribal basis, providing them with some economic (if not ideological) allies. The drug gangs don't want any government officials or foreign aid projects in their areas either.



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