Foreign Policy Blogs

Afghanistan

Taliban Take District in Nuristan Province: Declare Tactical and Propaganda Victory

Four months before the scheduled July 2011 drawdown, well into a term where international forces are redeploying to urban areas, a few weeks into peak fighting season, the counterinsurgency in Afghanistan remains in flux, troublingly fluid, radically unsettled.  The Taliban have announced that they have taken over a district in ...

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Two More Civilians Bystanders Die as NATO Targets Haqqani Network

Even as the world is waking up to new images of more atrocities committed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan, even as Afghans are taking to the streets, outside their villages to protest what they perceive to be American aggression against Afghan soil, two more deaths of innocent civilians have been ...

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New Images Surface of U.S. Soldiers Posing with Innocent Victims

What is one to say about news of new incendiary images of American soldiers posing with the innocent civilians that they killed? How can one fortify oneself to stand for the idea that these images, published today by Der Spiegel- images, inhumane all; images, well outside the bounds ...

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Gates Criticizes NATO Countries For Moving to Pull Out of Afghanistan

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ pointed critique of NATO’s run toward the exits in Afghanistan was a much needed corrective to all the lead laden diplomatic talk in Brussels, Washington D.C. and Kabul. (You can find a complete transcript of his remarks here.) The war is a ...

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President Karzai's Cousin Killed During ISAF Night Raid

NATO and Afghan forces killed President Hamid Karzai’s cousin, one Yar Mohammed Karzai, 60 years old, during a night raid against suspected Taliban commanders.  NATO and Afghan forces searched the village of Karz, the ancestral home of the Karzai clan and detained Farid Karzai, Yar Mohammed’s son’ under suspicions that ...

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Charlie Rose Discusses Gen. Petraeus' Upcoming Congressional Testimony

Charlie Rose put together an excellent conversation panel on General David Petraeus’ upcoming testimony to Congress.  It features Retired General Jack Keane, columnist David Ignatius and James Shinn, a former policy maker, now academic at Princeton.  The talk is lively, important, and perhaps most importantly, well worth your time.  Please ...

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U.N. Report Shows Taliban Tactics Claim Most Afghan Lives

The United Nations annual summary of the state of civilian casualties was published earlier today, Wednesday March 9th. The data are appalling: 2777 civilians were killed in 2010-that’s a 15% increase in civilian casualties relative to the year previous. Most of the civilian deaths have come on the heels of ...

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Expect Large Losses After Spring Thaw in Afghanistan

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been in Afghanistan this week to assess how the expected July 2011 draw down will take place.  There aren’t many surprises in store; the number of boots withdrawn is likely to be small-a token gesture, to begin the process of handing Afghanistan’s security ...

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Karzai Rebuffs General Petraeus' Apology Over Deadly Misidentification of 9 Boys

President Hamid Karzai’ has rebuffed General Petraeus’ face to face personal apology for the misidentification of nine boys for wanted insurgents, and the subsequent slaughter that followed. President Karzai declared that “the people of Afghanistan are tired of these incidents and excuses, and condemnations cannot relieve their pain….I am asking ...

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9 Afghan Boys Killed by NATO Helicopter Fire

The news of nine boys killed by NATO helicopters has not travelled far or  fast.  The top story about that horrific turn in Afghanistan has been that General Petraeus has apologized to the Afghan people for the gruesome deaths.  It seems the death of nine boys is hardly newsworthy enough ...

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Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak Interviewed on Charlie Rose

Defense Minister of Afghanistan Abdul Rahim Wardak had an hour long conversation with noted interviewer Charlie Rose this past Friday evening. The conversation touched on everything that you might want to know about Afghanistan; how the Karzai administration intends to go work with President Obama impending draw down; what the ...

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Strategic Draw Down or Cutting U.S. Losses in Afghanistan?

Is the U.S. scaling back its military and political ambitions before the start of the July 2011 drawdown?  The New York Times reported that the U.S military is withdrawing from its outpost in the Pech Valley, a post that it had previously thought crucial in its strategy to ...

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International Crisis Group Condemns Afghan Parliamentary Election Crisis

Afghanistan’s democratic gamble seems to have paid off handsomely for Hamid Karzai and all those who play private politics with him.  For he must think politics in Afghanistan is a game; why else would he and his friends take the money and run? In the past year President Karzai has threatened ...

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Restrepo: Film Review

Restrepo: Film Review

Last weekend, I was left alone with my 8 month old daughter so did I pass the time? By watching, a loud, violent documentary of the Afghan war, that’s how! I enjoyed and my daughter tolerated ‘Restrepo’, the story of U.S. Army platoon of the 173rd ...

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While Banking Sector Drowns, IMF Has "Plans" For Kabul Bank

The International Monetary Fund is worried about Afghanistan‘s economy .  The under-reported, though devastating charges of fraud and malfeasance that surround the September 2010 run on Kabul Bank threaten to bring down the nascent Afghan banking sector.  However, the fiasco has also had wide-ranging political effects in ...

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