Tuesday, October 28, 2003

AFGHANISTAN UPDATE: I said it and I'll say it again. The Washington Post seems to be the only newspaper with decent coverage of Afghanistan.

Karzai has stepped up to the plate. These are decisive times. Can Karzai handle the warlords and will the warlords give up without a fight? As I've noted, warlords Abdul Rashid Dostum and Atta Mohammad have been battling for power in northern Afghanistan, especially around Mazer-e-Sharif. The two sides have fought numerous times last year and last month the battle heated up again. An instable cease-fire was declared but Karzai moved even further. On Monday, both Dostum and Mohammad were removed from power. In another move today, 300 newly trained police officers took over in Mazer-e-Sharif.

The man behind all of this seems to be Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali. He's an exile who worked at the Voice of America and is close to Hamid Karzai. He was also behind the firing of the Kabul police-chief after a housing-scandal. Read both stories for the details.

UPDATE: Brian Ulrich is fact-checking my ass in the comments section. Dostum and Mohammad weren't removed, but low-level commanders were. When you hear and conflicting reports, you mess things up.

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