Afghanistan: October 10, 2003

Archives

Over three hundred people have died violently in the south in the past two months. Most of these were Taliban fighters. The Taliban is still popular in parts of the south, if only because this is where the Taliban came from. The severe rule of the Taliban was based on customary tribal rules followed by some of the southern Pushtun tribes. So these tribes are protecting a lifestyle, not a political movement. It's further complicated by the growing power of the drug gangs, who often can support the Taliban and their drug business at the same time. The tribalism is so insular and hostile to "outsiders" that even economic development programs are opposed. 

The "national" government in Kabul has never controlled the southern tribes in any sense that Western nations understand it. There have often been understandings between the central government and the tribes, quite similar to treaties between separate nations. The central government understands this, the American military leadership understands this, the US government understands this, but the media, in general, is pretty clueless on this subject. This is a largely self-inflicted wound, as the reality of the situation in Afghanistan does not make for good (that is, exciting and easily sold)  stories. But portraying the situation as one of national disintegration and constant rebellion does sell. And that's what gets shipped out of the country by most journalists. 

 

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