Afghanistan: September 27, 2003


Afghanistan's countryside, especially in the south, is plagued by groups of bandits and Taliban gunmen. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference, as both groups will kill and rob just about anyone they come across, especially foreigners. The bandits will do it for money, the Taliban will do it to terrorize the population into obeying them (no education for girls, no music or movies, etc), and for the money. The solution to this has always been the establishment of local police forces. This takes money, as local men will take the time and risk to put down the bandits if they are paid. The local police forces are being established, and the police jobs are often going to men who used to serve in warlord militias. The major obstacle to progress in this is the time it takes to at least screen and train the police supervisors. If you're not careful, the local cops can turn into another gang of local bandits.


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