Afghanistan: October 6, 2003


Taliban and pro-Taliban leaders are trying to use the presence of non-Pushtuns in the government to recruit men to fight against the current government. The sad fact of Afghan life is that anyone with local connections, a real or imagined grievance and lots of cash can start an armed opposition. There is so much unemployment in the country, and so many men with guns, that it's easy to become a warlord. In fact, warlords and men with guns are accorded much respect in the country, even as both are denounced for making it impossible for Afghanistan to build a modern economy.

Coalition troops continue to find and pursue Taliban and al Qaeda forces in the south. This has become more effective in the last week as the Pakistani army begins to attack villages on their side of the border that American intelligence has identified as al Qaeda and Taliban bases.


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