Tuesday, October 14, 2003

AFGHANISTAN UPDATE: Afghans have always been great entrepreneurs. There are dozens of Afghan markets and restaurants just in Northern Virginia alone. Many Afghan-American, from this exact region, have gone to Kabul to take up the task of funding and managing the private sector. Since Halliburton is not very interested in Afghanistan, I think that the task of privatization is in the hands of exiled Afghan refugees returning to rebuild Afghanistan. The Washington Post has a good story on this matter and it notes that "$4.5 billion in private development projects have been registered with the government, from pharmaceutical plants to fruit-packing operations." Can you believe that? A country ravaged for 20+ years and almost 5 billion in investment! Also, take a look at the guy in the picture. He's selling skittles and Nesquik.

And then there's more great news: the U.N. Security Council has voted to expand the ISAF-force in cities beyond Kabul. I actually expected this vote to happen in December but apparently NATO's secretary general, George Robertson and Germany took the initiative to make it happen faster, which would pressure NATO's members for the expanded mission.

Al Jazeera is reporting that Taliban fighters have shot four policemen in Uruzgan province, which is not a border providence (where such attacks have happened most of the time) but two provinces inside Afghanistan. Those peacekeepers better hurry. Brian Ulrich has more.


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