Afghanistan: August 17, 2005


The Taliban are trying to disrupt the September 18 national elections. Their efforts are scattered and largely ineffectual. American and Afghan counterattacks are killing many of the Taliban, and chasing most of them back into Pakistan, or to their Afghan villages. Someone is putting up millions of dollars to pay these guys, as few of them will risk their lives for free any more. Some of the money is believed to be coming from the drug trade. The heroin trade is bringing billions of dollars a year into the Afghan economy, and some of that is being spent to try and disrupt anti-drug efforts. Taliban gunmen are available for that. 


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