“Fraud and mismanagement at Afghanistan’s largest bank have resulted in potential losses of as much as $900 million — three times previous estimates — heightening concerns that the bank could collapse and trigger a broad financial panic in Afghanistan, according to American, European and Afghan officials.”
The missing $900 million and the zero-balance payroll for Afghan security forces, just might be the “Tunisian” type spark to engulf Karzai and Kabul.
And ... Continue Reading →
President Karzai’s isolation was preventable, and now enters a period of increased tension and uncertainty as to his ability to lead and work with “power brokers.” The list includes: losing parliamentary candidates who he has “deserted”; new Parliament members who were delayed more than 5 months from “governing”; and most importantly, further alienated “western backers” who have lost faith in his abilities.
While US/NATO continues heavy-handed military operations, efforts at good governance ... Continue Reading →
Afghanistan’s fragile government still stands after President Karzai’s decision this past weekend to inaugurate the newly elected Afghan government this Wednesday, January 26, 2011. Karzai stepped back from the precipice he created after “intense pressure from legislators and the international community.” During the crisis, not much happy talked leaked out of US/NATO in Kabul, and it took a UN inspired rally of Western allies to “break the silence on the crisis.”
Now ... Continue Reading →
You only need to read the headline to know that this situation is only to get worse. If you can’t settle your scores via the ballot box, then what are your options? And again, not a peep or any happy talk coming from US/NATO in Kabul. So everyone continues to hold their collective breath to see what happens next, but sadly we know which direction ... Continue Reading →
In regards to the highly touted release of the administrations review of Afghanistan, one-step up and two-steps back.
One-step up, “strategy is showing progress”; two-steps back, no new information on how soon Afghan Security Forces will be able to assume responsibility for security and when the “rat-lines” coming out of Pakistan can be severed.
One-step up, “we are on track to achieve our goals”; two-steps back, gains are still “fragile and reversible” and ... Continue Reading →
Gates declares Afghan war strategy is working
Now it’s all good in Afghanistan. The strategy is working. The goal to hand over the keys to the Afghans in 2014 can be met. The security climate is improving while Regional Command-East, South, and South-west remain in a constant kinetic posture. And you can eat chicken in Marja!
Good data provided by the Danger Room on IED’s. Sadly, a new record was set this ... Continue Reading →
Two points of interest in this interview with Major General John Campbell, Commander of the 101st Airborne Division and Regional Command East – Afghanistan:
[The interview is timed at 7 minutes, 48 seconds; the points of interest are at 5:38 and 6:15 respectively]
5:35 of 7:48 “Cricket?” “Roger that Sir…and we suck sir…” (A young captain’s remark to General Campbell on his units attempt to bridge the cultural Afghan gap and play cricket with ... Continue Reading →
The New York Times reports that Afghan President Karzai is still against NATO night raids. In President Karzai’s first press conference since returning from Lisbon and the NATO conference had the following to say:
“The position and stance of the Afghan government was very clear and is very clear, those night raids which cause civilian houses to be destroyed, cause civilian causalities or they are entering people’s houses without coordinating with the Afghan forces … we are against them. ... Continue Reading →
NATO official: Afghan leader affirms NATO mission
Not sure how much arm-twisting went on to get Afghan President Karzai to change his mind, but yesterday NATO reported that he was actually on board with NATO’s military campaign and “reluctantly” in support of nighttime SOF raids. President Karzai nor his staff could be reached for comment, but if the old adage of “the first report is a false report” holds true, we can expect some additional clarifying statements over the next ... Continue Reading →
In the starkest terms to date, President Karzai said that the visibility and intensity of US/NATO operations must be reduced and that US SOF night raids end. “It’s not desirable for the Afghan people either to have 100,000 or more foreign troops going around the country endlessly,” he said. These were not off the cuff remarks, but instead provided to reporters in an hour-long sit-down interview (an exasperated General Petreaus ... Continue Reading →