Counter-Terrorism: Taliban Taken Over By Bean Counters

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January 16, 2006: The Taliban in Afghanistan is apparently suffering from money problems, as a result of both bad PR and Western attacks on their sources of revenue from the outside world. One result of this is that the Taliban is reportedly restructuring its funding of operations. Hitherto, regional commanders in Afghanistan have been given blocks of money to use as they though most wisely. Apparently some of these regional commanders decided that the wisest course was to a goodly portion of the money away for a rainy day, rather than use it to fund operations against the government and the Coalition forces.

The new operational funding policy uses "performance based" criteria likely to warm to cockles of any fiscal conservative's heart. In effect, regional commanders will now receive money on the basis of the number of attacks they make against government and Coalition forces. This may be one reason for the recent rise in attacks, particularly suicide attacks, in Afghanistan. It may also lead some of the less ardent Taliban commanders to decide that peace is preferable to continuing the struggle, since only in peace will they be able to enjoy the benefit of the money they've been stashing away for some time.

 


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