Afghanistan: September 13, 2002

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The half century old struggle between the regular army and Special Forces continued as Special Forces troops in Afghanistan were ordered to shave their beards and stop dressing like Afghans. The Special Forces have done this from the beginning in order to blend in and make it easier for them to get around without getting shot at. But army commanders, upset at the "unmilitary appearance" and complaints from aid groups that they might be endangered  by being mistaken for Special Forces, ordered the Special Forces troops to shave and wear only their uniforms. The troops are very upset at this and it will probably have a negative effect on their operations, not to mention re-enlistments (fewer of them) and early retirements (more of them).

Under enormous pressure from the US and other nations, the Afghan government is seizing drugs and destroying drug crops. The government has been reluctant to do this because the farmers and drug gangs are heavily armed and willing to fight to protect their drug business. 

 

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