NATO formally announced a new timeline for the winding down of troops in Afghanistan, agreeing to transfer responsibility for security to the Afghans by the summer of 2013, with the withdrawal of most troops timed for the end of 2014. This is a similar timeline to the exit of troops from Iraq, with a transfer [...]
|By: David Dayen Monday March 19, 2012 7:00 am|
It appears that the US is negotiating with two heads of state. There’s the Hamid Karzai who publicly lambasted the Americans as “demons,” accuses them of “Satanic acts,” and equates the presence of US forces with the Taliban. Then there’s the Karzai who, behind the scenes, pliantly offers permanent bases to the Americans.
|By: David Dayen Monday June 27, 2011 7:15 pm|
Karzai has no support from even the political class in Kabul, and opposition lawmakers believe compellingly that they are being railroaded out of Parliament. Karzai’s remaining defenders claim that the opposition came into power through ballot-stuffing and other illegal means, which is quite something for backers of Hamid Karzai to say.
|By: Jim White Thursday June 23, 2011 8:00 pm|
Doesn’t the drug-selling President’s announcement mean the surge worked and all the soldiers can come home now?
|By: emptywheel Wednesday April 6, 2011 4:21 pm|
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: 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|