Source: (2006) In Naomi Roht-Arriaza and Javier Mariezcurrena, Ed., Transitional Justice in the Twenty-First Century, Beyond Truth versus Justice. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press. Pg. 255-277.

"It is perhaps the most heavily armed country in the world, measured in per capita quantity of small arms. Its economy is one of the weakest in the world, and its illicit economy far outstrips legal government revenue and foreign aid combined. Its illegal economy is based primarily on the production of opium; it can be said that as of 2005, the afghani, the national currency, was the only opium-backed currency in the world. Control of the country's currently exploitable resources, along with traditional social ties, makes up a large part of the power base of the militarized patronage networks - the leaders of which are frequently referred to as "warlords" - that represent the greatest obstacle to security in Afghanistan. These leaders and the power they wield both wihin the government and outside it also constitute the greatest challenge to pursuing accountability for past violations as well as curbing ongoing abuses." (excerpt)