Afghanistan: December 5, 2003


The central government, backed up by US and NATO troops, is making progress against the warlords who still run most of the country. The warlords can also be bought off with government jobs and freedom to do as they wish. Unfortunately, this involves the drug business. This is the most lucrative business in the country, and men with guns, lots of guns, control it. The warlords will give up a lot of things to avoid a confrontation with American firepower, but their drug operations are the last thing they will surrender. Without the drug money, a warlord cannot pay his troops. Historically, warlords only arise when there are men with enough wealth (earned or stolen, makes no difference) to spread around. Drugs mean lots of money, money mean lots of power, and firepower.

Warlord and Taliban violence has left 400 dead in the last three months. This is less than the murder rate in many countries not at war. 


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