Afghanistan: November 6, 2003

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The ability of the Taliban and bandits to operate in many parts of Afghanistan is largely because many of the provincial governments are run by local warlords. These men are there to maintain their power and get rich. That means they are more interested in protecting smugglers and drug gangs, who are major sources of income for warlords. Tribes will protect their own villages, fields and pasture, but no one is responsible for the roads in between. The situation varies greatly from province to province. The border provinces, especially along the Pakistan frontier, have the most trouble because of the concentration of smugglers and Taliban gangs. At the rate progress is being made, it will take the national government two or three years to bring order to all parts of the country.

 

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