Afghanistan: November 8, 2003


As the Afghan army is slowly rebuilt, the warlords were allowed to adopt, for their armed followers, the organizational identity of the old army. Thus in north Afghanistan, Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostam controls the 8th army corps, while his nearby rival, Tajik warlord Atta Mohammad, controls the 7th army corps. The national government, using a combination of gifts, coercion and lots of negotiation, has gotten the two warlords to agree to merge their two army corps into a new 15th army corps. The new corps will be commanded by a general provided by the central government.

In southern Zabul province, a Taliban attack in the provincial capital left seven Taliban and one policeman dead. Other Taliban (two Arabs and two Chechens) attempted to kidnap American journalists, but were thwarted when they stopped the wrong car (which they thought contained the Americans.) It is thought that the Taliban will kidnap foreigners in an attempt to negotiate the freedom of Taliban members held by the United States.


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