It’s all very neat, how an attack on one of Afghanistan’s safest cities coupled with Karzai’s insistence for big payments–called taxes–on the contractors that keep humanitarian agencies safe would contribute to aide agencies withdrawing from Afghanistan.
|By: emptywheel Wednesday April 6, 2011 4:21 pm|
|By: Jim White Monday March 7, 2011 7:55 am|
|By: Jim White Tuesday February 22, 2011 8:34 am|
In a meeting Sunday at the presidential palace in Kabul to investigate reports of multiple civilian deaths in a US operation in Konar province, General David Petraeus deeply offended those present when he suggested that Afghan civilians had deliberately burned their children in an effort to blame US attacks for their injuries. Rear Admiral Gregory J. Smith, the top military spokesperson in Kabul, then provided a statement to the Washington Post suggesting that the burns were inflicted on the children as punishment. This development is remarkably similar to events last March, when Smith initially stated after Special Forces killed two pregnant women in a night raid that the women had been slashed to death by knives before the raid took place, only for a later investigation to reveal that the Special Forces soldiers had used knives to remove the bullets that they had fired into the women.
|By: emptywheel Monday January 31, 2011 3:30 pm|
The New York Times has one of the most stunning headlines of the day: Losses at Afghan Bank Could Be $900 Million. The story tells a story of Afghanistan’s own “Too Big to Fail” problem that offers opaque descriptions of precisely what caused the problem, but waits until the 17th and 18th paragraph to explain the real problem with the bank. The fact that our government is discovering, but not revealing, the degree to which we have been backing “a vertically integrated criminal enterprise” is the real story.
|By: Jim White Sunday January 30, 2011 7:39 am|
As the United States struggles to respond to rapidly changing conditions in Egypt, it is informative to look at the arc of US foreign policy over the past half century or so. Foggy Bottom is stuck in a fog precisely because the approach to foreign policy has not evolved sufficiently since the demise of the Cold War. US foreign policy today is just as dependent on supporting individual despotic leaders today as it was in the 1950′s and 1960′s.
|By: emptywheel Saturday January 22, 2011 4:00 pm|
|By: Spencer Ackerman Monday December 20, 2010 9:00 am|
More Taliban attacks in northern Afghanistan. The south gets the attention and the resources, the north and west deteriorate, and the east — the area most centrally important to the stated al-Qaeda-centric objectives of the war — is in a state of drift, as best I can tell.
|By: David Dayen Monday December 13, 2010 3:15 pm|
Here it is, to be laid out by the latest National Intelligence Estimates: no real partner in the corrupt central government, lagging development and security training, no buy-in from Pakistan to root out safe havens, fading support from the public, and a country still under Taliban control, for the most part.
Other than that, great war we’re running.
|By: emptywheel Friday November 26, 2010 4:02 pm|
The next WikiLeaks dump is about to reveal to the world what the United States really thinks of the world leaders it pretends to like and the degree to which it overlooks corruption among friends (it sounds like the reports will include confirmation that Hamid Karzai is corrupt, among other things).
Knowing that it’s coming adds just a bit of irony to the publication of excerpts from a German document liberated to refute some claims Bush made in his memoir.
Among other things, the document describes the Germans warning the US–in February 2003–of just how badly the Iraq war would turn out.
|By: David Dayen Thursday November 18, 2010 1:15 pm|
At the same time that the US and NATO are explicitly setting the end date in Afghanistan later and later into the decade, a new poll from Quinnipiac shows that public support for the war has completely collapsed. A majority of Americans now opposed continued involvement in Afghanistan. The ideological lines on this issue are interesting. . . .