Tuesday, May 11, 2010

playing the dirty tribal game

"But the swirling controversy surrounding the American deal in eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province demonstrates that efforts to alter the existing power structure can have unintended and unsettling effects. The plan involving the 400,000-strong Shinwari tribe developed earlier this year when elders told Col. Randy George, a senior commander in eastern Afghanistan, that they wanted to unite to oppose the Taliban and stamp out opium cultivation. As a reward, George offered the Shinwari elders the power to decide how to spend $1 million in U.S.-funded development projects."