Tuesday, January 27, 2004


Peter Brookes writes that if the narcotics trade is not wiped out in Afghanistan it could lead to "narcoterrorist mayhem."

'Long, hard slog" might soon describe Afghanistan as well as Iraq. Despite reports of progress coming out of Kabul, there are signs of serious trouble ahead.

First, the good news: The Afghans, under President Hamid Karzai, have agreed on a constitution, laying the groundwork for democracy and building civil society. National elections are set for June. The economy is booming in the capital, Kabul. Major roads linking the country's north and south have been completed, promising progress for the nation's economy and security.

But here's the bad news: Our efforts to snuff out the Taliban and al Qaeda remnants in Afghanistan could shift into a protracted guerrilla war.

The two groups are using funds from the country's booming drug trade to fund fighters and buy weapons - and so increasing their attacks in the provinces along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

If the security situation doesn't improve, aid workers will leave, and the June elections could be jeopardized. (Only 350,0000 of 10 million potential voters have registered so far.) Without drastic action, the newly-minted Afghan state could dissolve into a morass of narcoterrorist mayhem.


Post a Comment

<< Home