Afghanistan: August 21, 2002

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 US patrols in southern Afghanistan continue to uncover arms caches and encounter armed resistance. Special Forces units working with the Afghan tribes are discovering that many Afghans simply don't tolerate foreigners, or even people not from their own tribe, in their traditional tribal territory. But there are also tensions within the tribes, with many younger men wanting some economic opportunity. Many of the millions of Afghans who fled the country over the last 20 years are returning with new ideas, and this is causing problems in the tribal villages out in the mountains. The Special Forces are identifying those villages, clans and tribes that are pro-Taliban and al Qaeda. But this situation changes as more of the refugees return and the balance of power in the tribes shifts. All politics is very local in Afghanistan.

 

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