Wednesday, October 08, 2003

AFGHANISTAN UPDATE: Daniel Drezner talks about nation-building in Afghanistan and the progress--or lack thereof-- that's been made recently. He notes a Chicago Tribune article about the city of Gardez, serving as a model for an instable Afghanistan.

The U.S. military chose Gardez, a three-hour drive southeast of Kabul, as the pilot for its first Provincial Reconstruction Team, a concept the U.S. military hopes will restore stability and bolster reconstruction efforts across the country.

The team is made up of about 60 military and civil affairs officers doing mostly humanitarian work. But their presence was an undoubted deterrence to any thoughts of resistance the warlords may have had, said Asadullah Wafa, the governor of Paktia province. "Without the Americans, this would be very difficult," he said. "They are helping us a lot."
New Zealand has an Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamian and Germany may join in.

Meanwhile, there's increased talk of a NATO-expansion and from what I can make up, Germany and the Netherlands are going to be taking a leading role (as they've done in past; they shared the ISAF-command for 6 months). There also... the Serbs. Yes, they're sending about 1,000 combat troops (not peacekeepers) which demonstrates just how desperate we need these guys. Brian Ulrich notes that Serbia and Montenegro have a gendarmerie. Time Magazine notes that the initial deployment to Afghanistan is a "mix of 250 army officers and members of the gendarmerie."

Some have noted Washington Post article which reports a split-up between Northern Alliance and Hamid Karzai. Even though I wouldn't call it a "revolt" I do think this needs a closer look. Do the people of Northern Alliance want to chose a presidential candidate or do they want to use their tanks against Karzai? The rumors that Burhanuddin Rabbani may be the candidate (which I think are false) does indicate that Jamiat-e Islami and Nahzat-e Mille, the main Northern Alliance political parties, may remain aligned. I predict that Fahim, who's firmly in control, may nominate himself or someone very close; using Ahmed Shah Massoud's posters to keep the flames of nostalgia for him burning in an effort to boost their political standing.

UPDATE: Take a look at the latest Reuters/AP pictures.


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