Afghanistan: March 27, 2004


In Herat, local provincial warlord, Ismail Khan, is resisting government attempts to set up an army garrison in the city. Khan is reluctant to use force, because he knows the government troops are accompanied by American advisors who can call in smart bombs. It turns out that the death of Khan's son was an accident. With so many weapons around, such accidents are not uncommon. The government is going to try and disarm (via cash payoffs and some jobs) 40,000 organized warlord militiamen by June. But many of these gunmen will be tempted to join the growing payrolls of drug gangs. Many of the warlords are turning to the drug business, if only because they have a hard time coming up with cash and goodies to keep their gunmen on the payroll.


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