The Times of London reports that French commanders meeting with local Afghan leaders northeast of Kabul were targeted by insurgents with rockets, which killed 12 Afghan civilians and wounded about 38. No French personnel appear to have come to harm, though the French Gen. Marcel Druart was in some danger. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
Also on Monday, Taliban attacked a checkpoint in southern Qandahar province, killing 8 policemen.
The addition of 40,000 US troops in Afghanistan would not only be unwise but might well break the bank, according to the NYT.
Russia Today interviews journalist David Axe, just back from Afghanistan, on the spiraling estimates of the likely cost of the war. He says a counter-insurgency strategy to protect all Afghans would take hundreds of thousands of troops and cost billions. He advises instead an ‘ink spot’ strategy to concentrate on a few hot spots.
Failed Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah told the Financial Times’s German edition that if the international forces suddenly withdrew from his country, he feared that the Taliban would take over. For a prominent politician, he seems to have no faith whatsoever in the capacities of his own government.
Meanwhile, CBS recently did a report on corruption in the Afghan government and among warlords, which is called ‘a bigger problem than the Taliban’– a problem that extends to the brother of President Hamid Karzai.
Karzai maintains that he is setting up anti-corruption prosecution squads, with US and EU help.
But The Nation has just brought out a piece showing that the corruption is massive and that under these conditions, some US government money actually underwrites the Taliban.
The US special inspector-general for Afghanistan, Arnold Fields, talks with Eurasianet about the corruption and other issues in Afghanistan.
Alan Brody, a UN official who saw the rise of the Taliban with his own eyes in the 1990s, reflections on how we arrived at our current impasse.
End/ (Not Continued)