Foreign Policy Blogs

Afghanistan

Ambassador Marc Grossman Picked as New Af/Pak Envoy

Former Ambassador to Turkey, Marc Grossman, is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s pick to replace the late Richard Holbrooke. Grossman, the new special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan brings with him decades of foreign policy expertise and a real hand feel for the politics of Islam and Islamist moderation–a ...

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At Least 900 Taliban Defect to Government: Reintegration Policy a Qualified Success

On the heels of an Afghan Islamic Press piece that 40 Taliban soldiers have defected to the Kabul government, the Associated Press reports that at least 900 Taliban footsoldiers and leaders have defected from the Taliban. Lured, by a new integration program that promises jobs and educational training, insurgents ...

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Amidst Local Government Absence, Taliban Develops A Shadow Government

The New York Times published an excellent expose on how the resurgent Taliban has resurfaced and consolidated power in parts of Afghanistan from which the government had turned away.  In the absence of a local consensus goverment the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the proper banner name of teh ...

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40 Taliban Switch Allegiance to Local Government

The Frontier Post is reporting a bit of good news from an Afghan Islamic Press newswire piece.   At least 40 Taliban insurgents have switched allegiances in favor of their local government.  Here, from Herat: “As many as 40 Taliban including their three commanders joined the government in Pasaband ...

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Failing Kabul Bank Threatens Already Weak Economy

Politics turns on public finance; public finance turns on politics.  Afghanistan is no different than the United States, or the United Kingdom on those terms. So it comes as a dismaying shock that the government of Afghanistan might have to bail out its largest and most important private bank. Kabul Bank ...

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The State of the Union: President Obama on Afghanistan, Iraq, Etc.

For a majority of President Obama’s 2nd State of the Union address foreign affairs were only brought up in relation to domestic economic or social issues. For instance, the US was ‘falling behind’ South Korea in education and Europe in infrastructure… The focus on domestic issues ...

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President Karzai's Flip Flops Without Cost to Himself

Though he might well trot about in handmade footwear, President Karzai has been flip-flopping, first moving away from his backers and back into the fold when promises to coddle his administration recently fell to strong remonstrations and anger within the diplomatic circles in Kabul. First, citing charges of election fraud, he ...

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Afghanistan: 2010 Year in Review

Afghanistan: 2010 Year in Review

Overview Like most years, 2010 was a tumultuous one for the country of Afghanistan and for all the actors intertwined in its present and future. The Obama administration’s 30,000 troop surge became a reality while its designer and leader, Gen.  McChrystal was sent packing for his unprofessional remarks to a Rolling ...

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President Obama on Afghanistan: Cold Calculation or Measured Response?

Peter Feaver of Shadow Government has penned (keyboarded?) a provocative analysis of coming dilemma facing President Obama and his forthcoming Afghan war decision. Feaver first recalls the candidate Obama’s rhetoric on the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, reminding us all how hawkish the future president sounded on Afghanistan. ...

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Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Dies

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke has passed on. He served in the Obama Adminstration in the capacity of  United States Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.  He served in diplomatic leadership roles since the 1970’s and was most renowned for being the architect of the Dayton Peace Accords, the framework that ended the ...

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Afghans Have Their Say

A new poll covering all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces was released today by The Washington Post, ABC News, the British Broadcasting Corp. and ARD television. Let’s go over some of the polls main findings: Afghans are more pessimistic about the direction of their country, less ...

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Sick of Wiki: Wikileaks and Their Enablers

I’ve already said my peace on the shameful acts of the Wikileaks’ group and their enablers in the mainstream media and this latest State Department secret document dump only solidifies my feelings. While the leaders and leakers of Wikileaks are rightly being near universally condemned, major newspapers like the ...

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Afghanistan Vice-President Carries $52 Million in Cash to U.A.E

From today’s New York Times on the most recent Wikileaks document dump–this bit on the corruption endemic in Afghanistan politics: Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government: When Afghanistan’s vice president visited the United Arab Emirates last year, local authorities working with the

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Due to Political Demagoguery, U.S. NATO Leverage Weakens in Afghanistan

The mind implodingly bad news on Afghanistan has taken another downward tailspin.  So much so that even pop-culture savvy New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has gotten in on the blame game. And here’s why: Because there is now a somewhat more clear deadline on NATO withdrawal in Afghanistan ...

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Taliban Leader at Center of NATO Sponsored Talks with Kabul, an Impostor

This month has been chock full of news on Afghanistan and NATO’s enterprise there.  There’s been talk of war and peace, and long-run effort to develop sustainable stability within and between tribes and political factions in and outside Kabul.  It’s all interesting, rich stuff.  Nevertheless, no piece of all that ...

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