Afghanistan: July 11, 2002

Archives

 The war against the Taliban and al Qaeda continues out in the countryside. Special Forces and CIA agents on the ground continue the tedious and time consuming process of getting to know who is who and where loyalty lies, and what it will cost to change loyalties. In the air, UAVs, satellites and recon aircraft take pictures and sweep up any electronic transmissions. Enemy weapons and munitions stockpiles are regularly being found and destroyed, and every week a few more suspects are arrested. By media standards, it's a frustrating process, but historically, this is the way wars like this are won.

The central government is faced with growing autonomy by regional warlords. Out in the countryside, local strongmen have their traditional rackets and scams to occupy them and bring in money. Most of these angles involve drugs or smuggling. Nations pledging aid to Afghanistan want the illegal operations shut down. The warlords want a share of the aid money, no matter what. Running the central government is a balancing act, trying to keep the warlords and foreign donors happy. At the moment, the central government cannot survive without foreign aid, for it has no other significant source of revenue. Gaining control over major border towns would give the central government access to customs revenues. But the local warlords would resist giving up this revenue source. So there would either be a major fight, or a lot of negotiation and a revenue sharing arrangement.

Efforts to find out who killed Afghan vice president Qadir are complicated by the fact that warlord Qadir had lots of enemies. Many Pushtuns disliked him for working with a government dominated by non-Pushtuns. Qadir was one of the few Pushtuns to fight on the side of the Northern Alliance. Many non-Pushtuns hate him because he's a Pushtun. Qadir has been involved in the drug trade, which often results in murder and revenge as gangs battle for market share and raw material. Qadir was also active in Pushtun tribal politics, acting as a mediator for disputes. It was this skill that made him a valuable addition to the government. 

 

Article Archive

Afghanistan: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close