I remember early on in Afghanistan that someone from Overstock.com flew into the country to start purchasing jewelry and other local goods for sale on the world market. She went in with a briefcase and checkbook and started arranging for contract production work, which put hard currency into the local markets. Immediately after the majority of the initial conflict she was told that the largest single employer in the country was Overstock.com! That is the power of the global market and a dedicated company willing to find personnel that will risk their lives to benefit local producers.
While the rifles are not in my league, I am reminded that many post-war German pistols bore Nazi markings and yet were finally constructed and sold in 1946-48. Just because the Queen is dead doesn't mean the contracts died with her. Contract out for some piece-work or put in that markings must be to certain specifications, and you can get oddities showing up. Only an expert, on the spot, can know for sure, but Afghanistan looks to be a antique dealer dream and nightmare, due to the ability to copy antiques so well. Even so, a 100 year old copy is still an antique and of value in its own right.
I do wish that the Administration had the Dept. of Ag. team up with the DEA and DoD to start a new 'low tech, new technique' technology influx to change farming over to dryland techniques and to offer a bit of price support for crops while pointing out that poppy fields make great ordnance testing ranges. Use DEA to do multi-spectral analysis, Dept. of Ag. to ground-truth and push for better crops and techniques, and DoD to make a point with impromptu test ranges. GIH has had much of the opium market secured via contacts for decades, and his contacts with the Red Mafia are more than slight speculation. Add gem smuggling and semi-precious stone smuggling and you get to understand how he can run an organization going through the 'stans all the way to London. The ISI should never have supported him in the '70s.
Keep safe, Mr. Yon... and a picture book of your works is something I would purchase!
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