Category : War in Afghanistan

(CSM) How a 'deluge' of US military spending fed corruption in Afghanistan

The US government has inadvertently empowered warlords and nurtured corruption in Afghanistan, warns a strikingly candid new report from the Pentagon that offers a devastating window into worthy US intentions that ended in exorbitant waste.

The initial US focus on defeating the Taliban and Al Qaeda created mutually dependent relationships between the US government and Afghan warlords “that empowered these warlords” and “expanded their opportunities for financial gain,” according to the study, which was produced by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s “lessons learned” department.

This was caused in large part by a “deluge” of military spending that “overwhelmed” the Afghan government’s ability to absorb it and later encouraged spending habits and graft that impeded the US war effort, the report concludes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, The U.S. Government, Theology, War in Afghanistan

A legacy of pain and pride; more thn 1/2h fght in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with health issues

More than half of the 2.6 million Americans dispatched to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with physical or mental health problems stemming from their service, feel disconnected from civilian life and believe the government is failing to meet the needs of this generation’s veterans, according to a poll conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The long conflicts, which have required many troops to deploy multiple times and operate under an almost constant threat of attack, have exacted a far more widespread emotional toll than previously recognized by most government studies and independent assessments: One in two say they know a fellow service member who has attempted or committed suicide, and more than 1 million suffer from relationship problems and experience outbursts of anger ”” two key indicators of post-traumatic stress.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Defense, National Security, Military, Health & Medicine, Iraq War, Marriage & Family, Psychology, War in Afghanistan

George Petrolekas–Now that we’ve left Afghanistan, time for deeper questions about what happened

I have been called several times in the last few days, including by journalists, for opinions on our involvement in Afghanistan. The most often asked question is rather simplistic ”“ understandable when a story has to fit into the bookends of other news events, but revealing in that Canadians desire that 12 years should be summarized into a thumbs-up or thumbs-down question. It is also indicative of the collective national withdrawal symptom and its accompanying amnesia.

To that simple question ”“ “Was it worth it?” ”“ the answer is yes. Afghanistan is far better off than what it was in 2001 by almost every possible metric. Certainly, many have died and continue to do so through insurgent actions and improvised explosive devices. Undeniably governance is weak and corruption embedded, but there are no longer public amputations and executions, there is no longer ethnic repression on the scale there once was, health care has improved and there remains a sense of hope. Hope that women won’t just be chattel once again and girls can continue to be schooled, hope that governance will improve, and hope that the roots of democracy and of an improving economic condition can continue to grow.

The Canadian Forces, our police and our diplomats did what they were asked and aside from the broader legacy it can be said that Canada’s presence in Kandahar prevented a Taliban takeover and that Canada set the conditions for the subsequent U.S. surge.

Read it all from the Globe and Mail.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, Asia, Canada, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan

(Sightings) Martin Marty–Niebuhrian Irony and Drones

Niebuhr would ask, about drones: “given the resentments among local populations,…how many terrorists are we creating for every one we kill?” What sort of precedents are we creating with a program of “targeted assassinations?” “Will targeted assassinations ever eliminate or even reduce the causes of violent Islamic radicalism?”

So [Andrew] Bacevich thinks that Niebuhr would condemn the drone campaign as ill-conceivedand immoral.

Yes, after 9/11 “doing nothing may not be an option,” but is it the only option? Let the questioning and debate continue, with IRONY not only on our sweatshirts, but as a perspective on what has to be on the minds of the thoughtful. – See more at: http://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings/niebuhrian-irony-and-drones-%E2%80%94-martin-e-marty#sthash.P1sXnXFg.dpuf

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iraq War, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Terrorism, Theology, War in Afghanistan

(WSJ) Frustrated by Karzai, U.S. Shifts Afghanistan Exit Plans

The U.S. military has revised plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan to allow the White House to wait until President Hamid Karzai leaves office before completing a security pact and settling on a post-2014 U.S. troop presence, officials said.

The option for waiting reflects a growing belief in Washington that there is little chance of repairing relations with Mr. Karzai and getting him to sign the bilateral security agreement before elections scheduled for the spring.

“If he’s not going to be part of the solution, we have to have a way to get past him,” said a senior U.S. official. “It’s a pragmatic recognition that clearly Karzai may not sign the BSA and that he doesn’t represent the voice of the Afghan people.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Theology, War in Afghanistan

(W. Post) Afghan soldiers desperate for pact with U.S., criticize President Karzai for delay

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Theology, War in Afghanistan

(PewR) More than Half of Amercians Now See Failure rather than Success in Iraq, Afghanistan

After more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the public does not think the United States has achieved its goals in either country. About half of Americans (52%) say the U.S. has mostly failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan while 38% say it has mostly succeeded. Opinions about the U.S. war in Iraq are virtually the same: 52% say the United States has mostly failed in reaching its goals there, while 37% say it has mostly succeeded.

In both cases, evaluations of the wars have turned more negative in recent years. In November 2011, as the U.S. was completing its military withdrawal from Iraq, a majority (56%) thought the U.S. had achieved its goals there.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Iraq War, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, President George Bush, Theology, War in Afghanistan

Globe and Mail Editorial–Afghanistan: What will be after we’re gone

In much of the world this is a time of new beginnings. In Afghanistan, it is time to mark the beginning of an end: A dozen year commitment of foreign troops to fight the Taliban will wind down this year, meaning 51,000 American soldiers are poised to take their leave from a conflict that appears to be stumbling towards a stalemate, or worse.

The Afghanistan mission has been the longest military engagement in American history. For Canada, which saw 30,000 of its soldiers pass through the country over nine and a half years, it is the largest military operation since the Second World War. One hundred and fifty-eight Canadian soldiers and four civilians died, and by the end of 2010, a total of 1,859 military members had been wounded.

Those grim figures are just part of the reason why Afghanistan’s future should still matter ”“ to Canada and its allies.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Canada, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Theology, War in Afghanistan

Local Feel Good Story–Special Ops duty Offcr in Afghanistan is Home for Christmas in S.C.

Uniform by uniform, teary eye by teary eye, soldiers are turning up at the airports to hugs, home for Christmas from war-torn Afghanistan. Each reunion is a heartwringer.

Not every military member over there is a soldier, though, and not every job is fighting. Somebody, after all, has to pay for it.

So among the soldiers who landed in Charleston last week was Siamak “Mak” Araghi, a civilian Army Corps of Engineers finance officer, who volunteered for months of duty at an occasionally bombed headquarters near Kabul. His Summerville family waited at the gate, his 8-year-old daughter Salma as close as she could get.

Sam Araghi, Mak’s 13-year-old son, said his dad getting home before Christmas was the best gift he could get this year.

Read it all and you have to love the picture.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Children, Christmas, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Marriage & Family, War in Afghanistan

My Favorite Veteran's Story of the last Few Years–An ESPN piece on the Saratoga WarHorse Program

Warrior and Warhorse from The Seventh Movement on Vimeo.

Saratoga Springs, N.Y., famous for its historic racetrack, is among the most idyllic places in America. But on a recent fall weekend, not far from the track, horses were serving a different mission: retired thoroughbreds were recruited to help returning veterans at Song Hill Farm. A group from the US Army 2nd Battalion, 135th infantry, united in grief over the death of a fellow solider, gathered for the first time in five years to be part of Saratoga Warhorse, a three-day program that pairs veterans with horses. Tom Rinaldi reports the emotional story of the veterans, paired with their horses, undergoing a rebirth of trust and taking a first step toward healing.

Watch it all, and, yes, you will likely need kleenex–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Animals, Anthropology, Health & Medicine, Iraq War, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology, War in Afghanistan

A Profile of Rita Brock–A Minister Tending to Veterans’ Afflictions of the Soul

The personal and the pastoral…both inform Ms. [Rita] Brock’s work. She writes about her father in her recent book “Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War.” Her co-author, Gabriella Lettini, is a theologian whose extended family includes veterans emotionally damaged by wartime experience. In the Soul Repair Center, Ms. Brock collaborates with the Rev. Herman Keizer Jr., who was an Army chaplain for 40 years.

Over the past three years, Ms. Brock and Ms. Lettini have spoken about moral injury and soul repair at the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting and at denominational gatherings of Presbyterians and Unitarian Universalists.

Now, with a $650,000 two-year grant from the Lilly Endowment and the formal support of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Soul Repair Center is beginning to teach congregational leaders how to address moral injury in veterans. The first such training session will take place in early February.

Read it all, a story worth revisiting today from January.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Iraq War, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology, War in Afghanistan

(WSJ) Michael Phillips–Why U.S. Troops Want to Stay in Afghanistan

U.S. and Afghan politicians are in the middle of a heated debate over whether a small American and NATO force will remain in Afghanistan at the end of next year.

But what’s a political and strategic question at the negotiating table is an emotional question at bases around Afghanistan, where soldiers watch the discussions with one eye on their sacrifices over the past 12 years and the other on the American withdrawal from Vietnam four decades ago.

In short, they don’t want to go home without the win.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, History, Pakistan, Politics in General, Terrorism, The U.S. Government, Theology, War in Afghanistan

(LA Times) One man's defiance inspires a region to stand up to the Taliban

The uprising began in early February with a Taliban commander’s knock on the door of Hajji Abdul Wudood.

The militant leader demanded that Wudood, a stout, weathered man of 60, surrender one of his eight sons, who was accused of spying on the Taliban for the Afghan government.

What Wudood did next triggered a revolt against the Taliban that has spread to a dozen villages in a region that has been among the nation’s most formidable Taliban strongholds.

Fed up with beheadings and homemade bombs that killed 60 people in two villages the previous year, Wudood refused to hand over 25-year-old Abdul Hanan.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, Asia, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan

(NY Times) Baffling Rise in Suicides Plagues the U.S. Military

Of the crises facing American troops today, suicide ranks among the most emotionally wrenching ”” and baffling. Over the course of nearly 12 years and two wars, suicide among active-duty troops has risen steadily, hitting a record of 350 in 2012. That total was twice as many as a decade before and surpassed not only the number of American troops killed in Afghanistan but also the number who died in transportation accidents last year.

Even with the withdrawal from Iraq and the pullback in Afghanistan, the rate of suicide within the military has continued to rise significantly faster than within the general population, where it is also rising. In 2002, the military’s suicide rate was 10.3 per 100,000 troops, well below the comparable civilian rate. But today the rates are nearly the same, above 18 per 100,000 people.

And according to some experts, the military may be undercounting the problem because of the way it calculates its suicide rate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Health & Medicine, Iraq War, Psychology, Suicide, War in Afghanistan

U.S. Special Operations Step Up in Afghanistan

One day this month, a pair of Russian Mi-17 assault helicopters delivered two teams of Afghan commandos, their faces obscured by black masks, in a touch-and-go landing at this camp in a lush valley encircled by frosty peaks about 50 miles from Kabul.

A training squadron drawn from the most secretive counterterrorism units fielded by the United States and its NATO allies watched as the Afghan commandos stormed and cleared a three-story office building that was left conspicuously unfinished ”” the kind of structure favored by insurgents.

This is the combination of Afghan and allied troops that the Obama administration and the government in Kabul say will assume an increasing share of the combat burden in Afghanistan as the NATO alliance gradually hands over responsibility for security operations to Afghan troops.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan

(LA Times) Sarah Chayes–CIA buys trouble in Afghanistan

In a time when the whetted and arbitrary deficit-reduction knife is cutting bone out of critical U.S. government programs, the image of shopping bags stuffed with CIA cash handed off on a monthly basis to Afghan President Hamid Karzai ”” who reigns over one of the most corrupt governments on the planet ”” has outraged many Americans.

The New York Times, which revealed the years of payoffs this week, noted that “there is little evidence the payments bought the influence the CIA sought.”

In fact, regular cash handouts of this type may do the opposite. They may well have enabled Karzai’s frequent and theatrical outbursts against U.S. officials and policies, not to mention his collusion with some of his country’s most corrupt and abusive officials. Such payoffs signal to Karzai ”” or other leaders like him ”” that he enjoys the unwavering support of the CIA, no matter what he does or says, and embolden him to thumb his nose at the United States whenever he feels like it.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Economy, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, The U.S. Government, War in Afghanistan

Remarkable Pictures–We Are Not The Dead: soldiers' faces before, during and after Afghanistan

Photographer Lalage Snow photographed and interviewed members of 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland before they were sent to Afghanistan, after three months’ service, and days after they returned home. Their faces show the toll that fighting in Afghanistan takes on our troops.

Read it all and look at all thirteen images.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Military / Armed Forces, Parish Ministry, Violence, War in Afghanistan

Richard Sia–Audit casts doubt on number of Afghan troops U.S. has trained

….as the Obama administration prepares to pull 34,000 U.S. troops out of the country by next February and most of the remaining troops by the end of 2014, estimates of the size of the Afghan force trained to take over this lead security role suddenly have grown fuzzy and possibly unreliable.

A new report made public this week by the government’s top watchdog over U.S. spending in Afghanistan casts doubt on whether the U.S.-led coalition and the Afghan government met a goal set in 2011 of enlisting and training a total of 352,000 Afghan security personnel by October 2012. Pentagon officials have said that target was meant to strike a balance between what was needed and what America and its allies could deliver in concert with the Afghan government. Earlier this year, in conjunction with President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, the White House declared that the goal had been met.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, The U.S. Government, Theology, War in Afghanistan

(The Hill) Afghanistan hints at conditional immunity for US troops after 2014

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday suggested he might be ready to grant American troops conditional immunity after 2014, a key U.S. demand that proved a deal breaker in Iraq.

Karzai said U.S. troops could remain immune from local prosecution after Afghan forces take over their country’s security if they respect the “sovereignty, laws and lives of Afghan people” and help equip Afghan forces, the Agence France-Presse reports. President Obama is considering leaving a 10,000-troop force in the country after the end of the NATO mission.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, War in Afghanistan

(AP) Troops celebrate Thanksgiving in Afghanistan

It was Army Sgt. Keith Wells’ first Thanksgiving Day away from his family and despite a cornucopia of food provided for the troops, his taste buds were craving his wife’s macaroni and cheese back home.

“My wife’s a foodie ”” you know, the Food Network, cooking shows. Everything she makes is golden,” Wells of Charlotte, N.C., said Thursday at a large international military base in the Afghan capital.

The dining hall served up mac-and-cheese along with traditional Thanksgiving Day fixings. Wells was thankful for the good food, but he still missed his wife’s home-cooking.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Defense, National Security, Military, Marriage & Family, War in Afghanistan

(Video ITN report via NBC) British army dog awarded medal

Watch it all. Not a dry eye in the house here after this one–KSH.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Animals, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, War in Afghanistan

(NPR) Afghanistan Deadline Awaits Next U.S. President

How does a president bring the war in Afghanistan to an end? There are 68,000 American troops serving in the country as the war enters its 12th year.

The war hasn’t been a major issue in the presidential campaign, and polls show American voters are tiring of the war. But the next commander in chief will find the Afghan war among the most difficult of many foreign policy challenges.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Office of the President, Pakistan, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan

(Local paper) VA Reaches out to veterans behind bars

A decade after his military service, McLean faces 15 years to life in prison if he’s convicted of first-degree burglary. He makes no excuses for the addict he’s become.

Six months in jail awaiting a court date have provided him some quality detox time. Abusing alcohol and crack cocaine, McLean was homeless when he was arrested.

“I’ve never gotten into trouble except when drugs and alcohol were involved,” he says.

He admits he needs help.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Alcoholism, Defense, National Security, Military, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Iraq War, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Poverty, Prison/Prison Ministry, Psychology, Theology, War in Afghanistan

(WSJ Front Page) A Marine's Death Brings Together His Dad and His Battlefield Buddy

Two years ago, Matthew Proctor dropped to his knees in the Afghan dirt and watched his best friend bleed to death.

These days, when dreams get disturbing or guilt eats at his gut, there is one person the former Marine corporal is likely to call: Thomas Rivers Sr., his dead friend’s father.

When Mr. Rivers, 60 years old and a pharmaceutical executive, feels himself sinking into black depression or misses the pleasures of raising a son, it is the 24-year-old Cpl. Proctor he confides in or invites over for a boat ride. “He lost a best friend, and in a sense I lost a best friend as well as my son,” says Mr. Rivers. “That is a bond we share.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology, War in Afghanistan

Warren Peper–May we remember to Honor our hardworking heroes today

We celebrate our workers in this country today. Maybe we should also take a moment to remember those who work for us in uniform in other parts of the world.

Not too long ago, one of those people was Cliff Hartley. He joined the Air Force at the age of 19, and one year ago today, he spent Labor Day walking a dusty road in Afghanistan with his dog, Cir, looking for bombs. They were attached to a SEAL team and their primary duties were to sniff out trouble.

Cir retired from duty last October and now lives with Hartley, who has 10 years in the Air Force and plans to do 10 more. Right now, he’s stateside. His retired military working dog now sleeps at his feet in their North Charleston house, just like he once did in a tent in Afghanistan. There’s one big difference. They both sleep much better now.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Animals, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, War in Afghanistan

(VOA) US Special Forces Suspend Training of Afghans

The U.S. military in Afghanistan says it has temporarily halted the training of Afghan Local Police in order to redo the vetting of current members after a string of attacks by Afghan soldiers and police on their international allies.

Forty-five international troops have been killed in a wave of insider attacks in Afghanistan this year, throwing doubt on the ability of Afghan and coalition forces to live and work together during a key time in the transition to Afghan control of security. International forces are set to hand over responsibility for the country’s security to Afghans by the end of 2014.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan

In Toll of 2,000, New Portrait of Afghan War

Nearly nine years passed before American forces reached their first 1,000 dead in the war. The second 1,000 came just 27 months later, a testament to the intensity of fighting prompted by President Obama’s decision to send 33,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in 2010, a policy known as the surge.

In more ways than his family might have imagined, Lance Corporal Buckley, who had just turned 21 when he died, typified the troops in that second wave of 1,000. According to the Times analysis, three out of four were white, 9 out of 10 were enlisted service members, and one out of two died in either Kandahar Province or Helmand Province in Taliban-dominated southern Afghanistan. Their average age was 26.

The dead were also disproportionately Marines like Lance Corporal Buckley. Though the Army over all has suffered more dead in the war, the Marine Corps, with fewer troops, has had a higher casualty rate: At the height of fighting in late 2010, 2 out of every 1,000 Marines in Afghanistan were dying, twice the rate of the Army. Marine units accounted for three of the five units hardest hit during the surge.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, War in Afghanistan

(USA Today) Army suicide rate in July hits highest one-month tally

Soldiers killed themselves at a rate faster than one per day in July, the Army announced Thursday. There were 38 deaths either confirmed or suspected as suicides, the highest one-month tally in recent Army history, the service said.

The Army suicide pace this year is surpassing last year, particularly among active-duty soldiers where there is a 22% increase ”” 116 deaths so far this year vs. 95 during the same seven months last year, according to Army data.

The current Army suicide rate seven months into this year is 29 deaths-per-100,000, far surpassing last year’s rate of about 23 deaths-per-100,000, says Bruce Shahbaz, an Army analyst. Those rates compare with a 2009 civilian rate ”” the latest available data ”” of 18.5 for a demographically similar population.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Health & Medicine, Iraq War, Psychology, Suicide, War in Afghanistan

(LA Times) Afghan worker kills three U.S. troops on Helmand base

An Afghan worker on a military base in southern Afghanistan opened fire and killed three U.S. troops, military officials said Saturday, bringing the toll to six American military fatalities in 24 hours at the hands of allies.

The NATO force said the attack took place late Friday in Helmand province, the Taliban movement’s heartland, where a turncoat shooting hours earlier claimed the lives of three elite special-operations U.S. Marines.

Compounding the carnage, a rogue Afghan police officer in Nimruz province turned his weapon on fellow Afghan officers Saturday, killing 10 of them, Afghan officials said. The assailant was believed to be a Taliban infiltrator, provincial spokesman Fazel Omer Baloch said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Violence, War in Afghanistan

Afghans Fear U.S. Pullout Will Unplug Key Projects

Here in the cradle of the Taliban movement, Faizulhaq Mushkani sold his land for $600,000 last year to buy equipment to open a packaging factory in a booming industrial park.

The industrial park””powered by military-run electrical generators””is a pillar of the U.S. strategy against the Afghan insurgency. The arrival of reliable electricity in late 2010 revitalized Kandahar. More than 100 new factories have sprouted.

These days, however, Mr. Mushkani and fellow entrepreneurs are grappling with a fatal flaw in their business plans: They expected the Americans to stick around longer. But, now, with U.S. forces preparing to depart Kandahar next year, the American electricity will disappear, too.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan