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We address the issue of power-controlled shared channel access in wireless networks supporting packetized data traffic. We formulate this problem using the dynamic programming framework and present a new distributed fuzzy reinforcement learning algorithm (ACFRL-2) capable of adequately solving a class of problems to which the power control problem belongs. Our experimental results show that the algorithm converges almost deterministically to a neighborhood of optimal parameter values, as opposed to a very noisy stochastic convergence of earlier algorithms. The main tradeoff facing a transmitter is to balance its current power level with future backlog in the presence of stochastically changing interference. Simulation experiments demonstrate that the ACFRL-2 algorithm achieves significant performance gains over the standard power control approach used in CDMA2000. Such a large improvement is explained by the fact that ACFRL-2 allows transmitters to learn implicit coordination policies, which back off under stressful channel conditions as opposed to engaging in escalating "power wars".