Table: Phase Two

With the war in Afghanistan grinding to a finish, huge issues remain to be resolved:


Representatives of several Afghan factions agreed in Germany to endorse exiled King Mohammad Zahir Shah as an interim leader. Also on the table: Laying the groundwork for a grand tribal council, which would devise a power-sharing formula. But while the factions are war-weary, enmity runs deep, and an agreement may prove elusive.


As the U.S. and its allies continued to root out Taliban resisters in Afghanistan, the focus shifted to capturing or killing Osama bin Laden. The U.S. put a $25 million bounty on bin Laden's head in hopes of prompting his speedy handover. Equally likely was a risky cave-by-cave hunt for the Al Qaeda supremo that could result in U.S. casualties.


As Bush ratchets up the anti-Iraq rhetoric, some allies in the war on terror--Russia, France, and China--remain uncomfortable with the idea of a military strike on Baghdad. In fact, the U.S. seems unlikely to start a war with Iraq anytime soon. Rather, Bush's saber-rattling appears intended to pressure U.S. allies to tighten the sanctions noose around Iraq.

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