Afghanistan: April 18, 2003

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 The ancient problem of independent minded provincial governors continued. The government openly accuses governors, by name, of  corruption and taking care of their own personal power at the expensive of national, or provincial well being. Some governors support criminal gangs (in return for a piece of the action) while others fight neighboring governors over territory or control of smuggling routes. Worst of all, governors refuse to send much of the money they make, or steal, to the central government. Historically, the central government has solved this problem by forming an army that was more powerful than any the provincial governors had. This army is being built, battalion by battalion, using Western trainers. It's important that the army be professional, and not easily used for a coup. So you have to create the army the hard way, a process that takes several years. Meanwhile, all the central government can do with the governors is threaten and negotiate with them.

 

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