He can't read. He grows hashish. He's a former warlord. But Haji Ghani may be America's best hope at taming the violence in an Afghan district dominated by the Taliban. The district governor doesn't like Ghani, but U.S. soldiers are grateful that he and his men have provided some protection for them, cutting out a bubble of safety in an area so they may operate, farmers can grow crops funded by the U.S., and children attend an American-supported school. With coalition troops trying to take down the Taliban, they are more frequently turning to strongmen like Ghani who sometimes are the only ones who can provide help.
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