The Afghan front

IT is hardly a secret to the world community that a particularly nasty war continues to be fought in Afghanistan between the Soviet-backed Kabul regime and the Afghan mujahideen -- the so-called ``freedom fighters.'' Thus, it should come as no surprise that Washington has just approved special new funding for the Afghan rebels, reportedly some $250 million. The ``secret'' funds will in part be used to supply new weapons to the rebels, who found themselves caught up in a major Soviet offensive this past summer.

Disclosure of the congressional approval for the additional ``secret'' funds pointedly reminds the world community that the war goes on -- and that more than 100,000 Soviet troops are still in Afghanistan, following their 1979 invasion.

Disclosure of the funds also serves to underscore the continuing American resolve in backing the rebels. Still, a diplomatic solution must not be ruled out. Another round of UN-backed talks regarding Afghanistan is scheduled for later this year, probably in December. The brutal Afghan war has gone on too long.

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