RealNews

Afghan Warlords Thrive Beyond Official Reach

The fighting in this fertile bowl flared as the harvest neared, and that was not a coincidence. From bountiful crops of cotton, corn and wheat would come a cut for local commanders. The more land the commanders controlled, the more crop they could claim. So in a place ostensibly at peace 20 months after the fall of the Taliban, they went to war. Throughout early summer, men toting weapons roamed in pickup trucks. Gunshots echoed. Farmers watched powerlessly, wanting nothing more than to be free of the men who had once fought for their freedom. Armed by two decades of war, unimpeded by a weak government, the warriors Afghans mustered to fight first the Soviets and then the Taliban are fighting one another for coarser causes these days — land, money, power. Full Story

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