Afghanistan: February 28, 2005


The Afghan army now has 20,000 trained troops. There are about three times as many armed men under the control of various warlords. But at least half the men in these private armies are due for disarmament and return to civilian life. Moreover, the Afghan army is a trained and united force, while the larger number of gunmen are controlled by dozens of different groups, and vary greatly in combat skill. In addition, there are about 18,000 American and NATO troops in the country. In the next few years, the Afghan army will grow to 70,000 troops, and most of the American and NATO troops will be gone.


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