Afghanistan: April 18, 2004


The Afghan army is being slowly built, a battalion at a time. The army currently has 9,000 troops, compared to some 50,000 warlord militiamen throughout the country (and several hundred thousand gunmen that can be raised from tribesmen on short notice). The government believes that, in two or three years, they will have enough trained and reliable troops (about 40,000) to disarm and depose most of the warlords. This will not be done by going to war with the warlords, but by giving them an offer they can't refuse "by having a stronger military force and offering the warlords money or some power to give up the more extensive power they have now.)


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