Afghanistan's war economy started taking its current shape after 1992, when the main politico-military actors had to find alternative sources of revenue, having been dropped by their international sponsors. The same actors integrated into the 'peace economy' following the official end to the war in 2001, in a process which resembles the formation of 'mafia' networks, in which the narcotics trade appears to play an important role. If the central government turns out to be too corrupt and uncommitted to address the issue, the international community might one day have to directly engage these actors in order to facilitate their evolution from 'robber barons' to legitimate magnates.
International Peacekeeping (2007) 14 (1) 75-89 [DOI: 10.1080/13533310601114285]
War and Peace Economies of Afghanistan’s Strongmen