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A Battle in Baghlan

Embedded with an Afghan warlord:

This is a local insurgency, often with local causes: a corrupt district governor, predatory police, or abuses by the local militias, the arbakis.

Last Stand in Kandahar

The apparatus of counterinsurgency and occupation has funneled billions of dollars into Afghanistan, and much of it has ended up in the hands of insurgents. For those who have profited—be it through aid, extortion, corruption or legitimate business—there is very little incentive to bring the conflict to an end.