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 March 19, 2012 7:00 am|
|By: David Dayen Tuesday June 28, 2011 6:19 pm|
Walter Pincus was the guy at the Washington Post known for writing skeptical stories about the Iraq debacle that wound up on page A17. He still gets that level of respect today, even when he’s got better information than anyone else. In this case, Pincus advances the story of permanent bases in Afghanistan (I’m calling them permanent bases, even if they end up being “joint bases” in the end), by taking a look at the construction contracts.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday June 22, 2011 7:18 pm|
In other words, the goal in Afghanistan is to attack safe havens in Pakistan. And that’s backed up by Spencer Ackerman’s reporting. There will be no movement of troops east, where the Taliban is dug in. Instead, the strategy will be “drones, drones, training Afghans, commando raids, and drones,” to quote Spencer. The mission has shifted to counter-terrorism, only with far more troops that you need for that mission (Sen. Coons didn’t see such a shift, but the refusal to go into the east is the tell). And the special ops forces, the JSOC guys, are being used to selectively take out Taliban to keep them at the negotiating table.
This is why the permanent bases are so important.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday June 22, 2011 4:04 pm|
Since Scott Wilson and Karen DeYoung broke the suspense, I guess I’m free to say now that the President will announce tonight the removal of all 33,000 second surge troops from Afghanistan within 14 months, by September 2012. This would include a reduction of 10,000 troops by the end of the year, with the other 23,000 to be removed next year.
|By: David Dayen Monday June 13, 2011 3:00 pm|
The internal debate within the Administration over when and how to draw down in Afghanistan, and with how many troops, has begun. As I understand it, General David Petraeus will offer a range of options, and the national security team will assess them, with Obama having the final decision.
|By: David Dayen Thursday June 9, 2011 3:50 pm|
The White House may not want to admit that all their nation-building projects in Afghanistan are destined to crumble, but common sense dictates that as the expected outcome. It’s another reason why, after 10 years of war, and the sinking of thousands of lives and billions of dollars into the region, most Americans just want to get the hell out.
|By: Josh Mull Thursday November 18, 2010 6:40 pm|
Obama said it wouldn’t be easy, and it wasn’t – a lot of American and Afghan blood was spilled in order to “break the momentum” and get a seat at the table. And it certainly wasn’t quick, these talks have been in the works for well over a year now. So, how did it go?
Mullah Omar, leader of the Taliban, isn’t having any of it…Damn, what’s the problem?