AFGHANISTAN: March 27, 2012
Afghanistan Terror Plot: 11 Suicide Vests Reportedly Found At Ministry Of Defense
The Afghan Defense Ministry was locked down for two hours Tuesday after an intelligence report warned that the highly secured compound in the heart of Kabul was under threat of attack. Afghan officials said later the report was false.
Afghanistan: Explosion Kills Eight In Kandhar
A bomb explosion in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar killed eight people on Saturday, including a U.S. soldier.
Billions in cash smuggled out of Afghanistan every year
In the busy street markets of Kabul, stacks of cash sit in piles as moneychangers shout the day’s exchange rate to shoppers bustling by. Currency is bought and sold in the open air.
Militant leader in Afghanistan reportedly killed in joint strike
The leader for an al-Qaeda linked foreign militant network in Afghanistan has been killed in a joint raid of Afghan and NATO forces, the coalition reported on Tuesday.
Italy: Suicide attack plot thwarted in Afghanistan
The Italian military says it has thwarted plans for suicide bombings against its forces and local authorities in Afghanistan.
Poll: Support for war in Afghanistan hits all-time low
Two weeks after an American soldier in Afghanistan allegedly went on a rampage killing 17 Afghan civilians, American confidence in the war is at an all-time low, a new CBS News/New York Times poll suggests.
Insiders: Military Justice System Capable of Fair Trial for Suspect of Afghan Shooting
Nearly all of National Journal’s National Security Insiders agree that the military justice system can conduct a fair trial for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is charged with murdering civilians in Afghanistan.
Afghan police officer kills NATO soldier
An Afghan police officer shot and killed a NATO soldier in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance said on Monday, the same day as two British troops were killed in the south of the country by a rogue Afghan soldier.
Afghanistan commander reviewing leadership of Bales’ unit after shooting
Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said Monday that he is looking at possible contributing factors within the military unit’s command structure that could have permitted a soldier to allegedly leave his base twice and slaughter 17 Afghan civilians.
Interview: Amb. Ryan Crocker warns against war fatigue in Afghanistan
Ryan Crocker, US ambassador to Afghanistan, sees progress amid an extended ‘rough’ patch in relations. He also cautions against quitting Afghanistan too soon, citing Al Qaeda. ‘If we decide we’re tired, … they’ll be back.’
Afghans: US paid $50K per shooting spree death
The U.S. paid $50,000 in compensation for each villager killed and $11,000 for each person wounded in a shooting rampage allegedly carried out by a rogue American soldier in southern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Sunday.
Military Scrambles To Limit Malaria Drug Just After Afghanistan Massacre
Nine days after a U.S. soldier allegedly massacred 17 civilians in Afghanistan, a top-level Pentagon health official ordered a widespread, emergency review of the military’s use of a notorious anti-malaria drug called mefloquine.
Afghans fear for future when NATO forces leave
With the end of the NATO mission looming in turn, analysts warn that without a sustainable peace deal, Afghanistan could disintegrate into yet another virulent civil war. Some Afghans are similarly pessimistic.
World must not abandon Afghanistan after combat mission ends, says UK ambassador
British and American troops fighting in Afghanistan “should get out now” if the world’s major powers are not prepared to continue backing the Afghan government after combat operations end in 2014, according to Britain’s ambassador in Kabul.
Syed Mohammed Akbar Agha, a senior commander and cousin of the Taliban’s main negotiator
“It has been quite clear for the Taliban, for the government and also for the foreigners, that Afghanistan’s problems cannot be solved without negotiations. The talks will definitely begin, but when it will begin, that depends on rebuilding trust and confidence.”
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R)
“What we don’t need is a bunch of politicians trying to create a military exit strategy. We’re withdrawing from Afghanistan, the question is how? Do we listen to General Allen or do we listen to politicians who are trying to get a sound bite.”
It’s time for us to end the war in Afghanistan
When a U.S. Army staff sergeant allegedly walked off his base in southern Afghanistan and murdered 17 civilians, his solitary act recast the debate over the war in Afghanistan. The shooting spree occurred just weeks after copies of the Quran were accidentally burned by American troops at a different base. These two unrelated incidents are a stark reminder that after years of combat, diplomacy and aid, American goodwill can be undone in a matter of minutes.
Afghanistan’s legal serial killers
So irony piles upon irony. Serial killer Ted Bundy’s lawyer, John Henry Browne, is to defend Sergeant Robert Bales, the US soldier accused of the massacre of civilians in Afghanistan (Robert Bales formally charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, 23 March).
In Afghanistan, Taliban seems divided at a key juncture
While the U.S. is scrambling to react to a series of damaging setbacks, the Taliban has not taken full advantage, apparently because it is divided over its strategy.
GOP field quick to criticize Obama on Afghanistan, but have few policy plans of their own
As Afghanistan seizes more of the political spotlight, the Republican presidential candidates are quick to criticize President Barack Obama’s handling of the war but struggle to explain how they would change the strategy they would inherit.
Is Afghanistan Going to Hurt President Obama in 2012?
He doubled down on a war that is wildly unpopular with Americans. On the other hand, Bin Laden is dead and Mitt Romney is waffling.
Could we leave Afghanistan early?
General John Allen, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, is no quitter.
Steinbeck’s Vietnam and today’s Afghanistan
Counter-insurgency wars like Vietnam and Afghanistan make soldiers lose their moral bearings. All wars require training in suspending basic human empathy so soldiers can dehumanize the “enemy” enough to kill them.
4,000 days of war in Afghanistan?
In this 11th year of the longest armed conflict in U.S. history, it is starting to feel as if we may be near the constraining edge of an American war’s natural life span. The massive and lethal U.S. military is theoretically capable of sustaining itself in war almost indefinitely, as long as it is given the resources and the orders to do so. But as we close in on the 4,000-day mark ahead of our own fall elections, the inertia of the war in Afghanistan seems to be giving way to concerns about the costs of sustaining it and the need to find the best way to end it. Why now?
Finding a Role for the UN in Afghanistan
Voting unanimously to renew the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) — the UN’s in-country political mission — the UN Security Council last week reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the Afghan government’s pursuit of security, stability, and democracy.
Discontent among U.S.troops in Afghanistan?
When a recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that 69% of Americans thought the U.S. military should no longer be fighting in Afghanistan, the reaction from Pentagon leadership was rather predictable. However, there may be a strong undercurrent of disenchantment among the ranks.
3 Issues Driving White House’s Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal Plans
The top American commander in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, is wrapping up a week in Washington during which he previewed the Obama administration’s coming deliberations about the decade-old war.
The west has lost in Afghanistan
Five years ago the Americans were refusing to speak to the Taliban. Now the Taliban are refusing to speak to the Americans. That is a measure of how the balance of power has shifted in Afghanistan. The western intervention there has failed. As Nato prepares to withdraw from the country in 2014, it is only the scale of the defeat that remains to be determined.
Blackwater’s Afghan HQ Is Really Called ‘Camp Integrity’
By September, the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan will be down to its pre-surge level of 68,000. For the next year after that, politicians and generals will debate how rapidly to bring additional troops home. And while all that happens, the world’s most infamous security company will retain its big compound in the capital city of Kabul.