Afghanistan, Iraqified

Tom Paine
by Jim Lobe


Five years after the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency was putting the final touches on a brilliant campaign plan to oust the Taliban and its al-Qaida allies from power, Afghanistan is back in the headlines here, and the news isn't good. An unexpectedly fierce and prolonged Taliban offensive that began last spring has U.S. and NATO officials deeply worried that they face a serious insurgency fueled by a thriving drug trade and growing popular disaffection with the government of President Hamid Karzai. Greatly compounding their concern is Pakistan's cease-fire agreement with pro-Taliban, Pashtun tribal leaders signed earlier this month to withdraw thousands of army troops from North Waziristan and release several hundred Taliban and al-Qaida militants from jail...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

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