Afghanistan: December 21, 2001

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U.S. special forces searching the al Qaeda caves in Tora Bora have hired hundreds of Afghans to assist in the search for documents and surviving al Qaeda fighters. This arrangement was made to try to rein in the Afghan's search for loot. One of the major things motivating Afghan warriors is the prospect of loot. This has been, and still is, a major incentive for warrior type fighters. The Tora Bora region was seen as rich in loot for the Afghans to take. Al Qaeda was known to have stored a lot of stuff up there and now, with the al Qaeda fighters either dead or run off, the Afghans were eager to cash in. But their search for loot often led to the loss of terrorist documents or equipment of interest to American investigators. So a deal was made to pay the Afghan's to find stuff the American's wanted. The Afghan's are still allowed to grab stuff not of use to terrorism investigators (like trucks, personal items, money, arms and the like). This makes it unnecessary to bring in U.S. troops to do the search, a move that might have led to disputes with the Afghan's still eager to get on with their search for loot. In other parts of Afghanistan, local fighters are also being put on the payroll to assist in the search for terrorists or Taliban leaders. This arrangement is one special forces troops are taught to use (and was used successfully in Vietnam , especially with the mountain tribes). The Afghan warriors are not reluctant to serve foreigners for pay. It's another ancient tradition. It is, as the saying goes, just business. Besides, there's not much else to do for money.

The vanguard of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF, or the UN peacekeeping force) arrived in Kabul as 30 British Royal Marine Commandos landed. The Afghan government will allow 3,000 foreign peacekeepers, which will be assigned to key airports around the country. Of more concern to aid agencies is the safety of the roads, which are still endangered by bandits and pro-Taliban troops. Negotiations are still under way throughout the country to arrange the surrender of thousands of armed Taliban troops. 

 

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