Monday, September 22, 2003

ISAF-EXPANSION UPDATE: Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is the new NATO secretary-general, who supports the idea of peacekeepers outside of Kabul. NATO is currently drawing plans to expand the peacekeeping force. Kofi Annan and Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN office on drugs and crime, is also pushing NATO to cut drug trafficking routes in Afghanistan.

Sources tell me that the size of an expanded ISAF-mission will depend on the willingness of the biggest contributors to send more troops, but thinks a deal is very likely. The source is also reporting on cabinet in-fighting between those who oppose the expansion and those who welcome it. "The warlords don't want to loose their control and they make their money by opium poppy cultivation through local commanders."

The United Nations will debate on the ISAF-mandate in December.

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