US Spent $7 Billion Trying to Destroy Opium Production in Afghanistan, Opium Production Soared

By: Friday July 4, 2014 1:45 pm

While publicly lamenting wasteful spending, Washington gets high blowing cash on the drug war. In the case of Afghanistan and the fight against heroin, the US government spent $7 billion to eradicate poppy cultivation with no discernible effect. In fact, according to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Opium Survey, opium production is hitting records in Afghanistan with “estimates that 209,000 hectares are under opium-poppy cultivation, an all-time high and a 36% increase from 2012.”

 

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes

By: Sunday June 22, 2014 1:59 pm

Anand Gopal’s No Good Men Among the Living is a deconstruction of the American “War on Terror” as it pertained to Afghanistan. It is an argument that the US military allowed itself to fall into chasing phantoms, put up to search and destroy missions by tribal allies mainly interested in using the Americans to settle feuds and deflect rivals. They got drawn into what anthropologists call the segmentary lineage political system of rural Afghanistan.

In short, as Gopal tells the story, there was no Taliban activity in Afghanistan to speak of by 2002, but the US military machine required an enemy.

Karzai Conflict Might Lead to Full US Pullout From Afghanistan

By: Tuesday February 25, 2014 1:15 pm

Of all the people who would demand a full US withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai would seemingly be one of the last. Karzai’s installation as president after his career at Unocal and subsequent protection was due to US military force. Without the US military Karzai would likely not have remained president, possibly even alive. And yet, his intransigence may lead to total pullout of forces at the end of this year.

Night Raid by US-Backed Forces Reportedly Leads to Death of Eight Afghan Civilians After Airstrike

By: Wednesday January 15, 2014 4:48 pm

There are only a few details currently, but what is known suggests that forces led by the United States in Afghanistan mounted a night raid to hunt down militants in a residential area. When they were fired upon by insurgents, the forces decided to call in an airstrike to attack a compound. That led to the deaths of up to eight civilians.

Reading Putin’s Tea Leaves

By: Tuesday December 17, 2013 5:42 pm

Recently a friend emailed me the link to an article by a distinguished American historian, Emanuel Wallerstein, about an interview given by Hamid Karzai to the French paper Le Monde that laid out very clearly Karzai’s position on relations with the U.S. going forward, but which the New York Times only mentioned in passing. Among other things, it revealed that if Karzai continues to refuse to sign the Status of Forces Agreement to regulate the continued presence of American military after the official pullout, President Obama is considering the possibility that it could just as well be signed by another Afghan official! Evidently, the slide away from legality affects not only drone strikes.

Just look at that minimal progress!

By: Friday November 29, 2013 1:30 am

Never let a continuing disaster not be worth more disasters.

MENA Mashup: AIPAC, Bibi, Karzai, and Syria

By: Wednesday November 27, 2013 7:05 pm

Never underestimate the sheer might of AIPAC, Bibi, and the Neocons…!

MENA Mashup: Bibi, Karzai, and, the P5+1

By: Friday November 22, 2013 3:58 pm

Mere hours after the ink dried on that Security Pact, in which Kerry assured… No combat role for US forces in Afghanistan, Karzai threw a hard fastball.

Obama Administration May Leave Afghanistan Sooner

By: Tuesday July 9, 2013 6:40 am

The bribes don’t seem to be working. The Obama Administration may be leaving Afghanistan earlier than planned thanks to the deteriorating relationship between President Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.

Karzai Says He Was Told by CIA Despite Exposure Cash Bribes Will Continue

By: Monday May 6, 2013 11:35 am

The CIA faced some embarrassment when it was revealed that the intelligence agency had been giving Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai bags of cash for favorable treatment. This revelation was embarrassing for a number of reasons. First, it confirmed reports that Hamid Karzai was running a corrupt government with facilitation by agents of the U.S. government. Second, it is pretty tragic for America to have to bribe the man it installed as president, whose life it protects on a daily basis. You might think this exposure of corrupt practices would lead to a cooling off of the previously secret nefarious activity – not so.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It
Chat with John Dean about his new book.

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