11:22 AM, Dec 13, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It is taken as a given that the Obama administration has lost interest in Afghanistan and cannot get out of that country soon enough. And that the Karzai regime is doing its part by dragging its feet on a status-of-forces agreement. But to have things come to this:
President Obama’s brain trust on Afghanistan does not know much the U.S. spends on the war each year or the American cost in lost lives on the battlefield.
This is not a story about another testy White House briefing by Jay Carney. As Rowan Scarborough's reports in the Washington Times, the clueless officials testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee were:
James F. Dobbins, State’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan; Donald Sampler, assistant to the administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, which provides civilian foreign aid; and Michael Dumont, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia.
3:54 PM, Dec 2, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Back when he had not been in the White House very long, President Obama called the fight in Afghanistan as “a war of necessity.” That, to distinguish it from his predecessor’s “war of choice,” in Iraq and to justify the decisions he would make and the actions he would take to make sure that the conflict in Afghanistan went our way. Among these decisions was a troop “surge,” modeled after the one that had been successful in Iraq.
10:08 AM, Nov 13, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
In a November 8 letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) warned that a contractor that had been identified with the insurgency had been granted access to a Coalition facility last November, and that the threat of further access by such contractors remains. SIGAR uncovered the information while conducting an investigation of the structural defects at the Parwan Justice Center, a new courthouse being jointly constructed by the State and Defense Departments.
12:11 PM, Oct 23, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
A recent report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) recalls the 1980s stories of $640 toilet seats and $500 hammers.
2:02 PM, Oct 13, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Secretary of State Kerry and Afghanistan's Karzai say they are this close to an agreement that will keep some U.S. forces in the country after the big, 2014 pullout. As Indira A.R. Lakshmanan & Eltaf Asefy Najafizada of Bloomberg report:
10:47 AM, Oct 9, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The fighting goes on in Afghanistan. As does the dying. United States troops have been in the country for 13 years and more than 2,000 of them have been killed there, four of them last Sunday. As Adam Ashton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports, the dead included:
3:24 PM, Aug 6, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The U.S. State Department announced today that it has designated a terrorist who has fought for the Taliban since the late 1990s and continues to support al Qaeda. Bahawal Khan is the leader of the Commander Nazir Group (CNG), which is “behind numerous attacks against international forces in Afghanistan,” as well as attacks inside Pakistan.
11:23 AM, Aug 5, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
In the midst of a fair amount of depressing news from Afghanistan (e.g., al-Qaeda backers get U.S. military contracts, U.S. cites “due process rights” as reason not to cancel), here's a report from the front that offers some grounds for hope.
1:35 PM, Jul 27, 2013 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Are we watching the demise of al Qaeda or its rebirth?
A bracing new piece in the Daily Beast makes a persuasive case that it’s the latter -- that recent developments in Iraq, across the greater Middle East and South Asia point to a resurgence of al Qaeda and a strengthening of its affiliates.
6:10 AM, Jul 24, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a war veteran, gave an optimistic speech about Afghanistan yesterday on the floor of the House of Representatives:
10:51 AM, Jun 25, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It is not enough for the Taliban that the U.S. is getting out of Afghanistan and abandoning vast amounts of equipment as it goes. The departure must be made deadly and humiliating. So as Rahim Faiez of AP reports: