Afghanistan News and Discussions

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by sob, Oct 22, 2009.

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  1. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    With the recently held elections in Afganistan pauged by charges of large scale rigging, allegedly done at the behest of the President Karzai, the legitemacy of the current Govt. in Afganistan is under question from the people of Afganistan and also the allies of the US.

    US is being looked upon negatively in Afganistan and other parts of the world for propping up the Karzai Govt.

    With this background the annoucemnet of a runoff elections will be welcomed by everyone. This will definitely bring some credibility to the Presidency of Afganistan.

    UN begins distributing Afghan runoff ballots

    The Associated Press: UN begins distributing Afghan runoff ballots
     
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  3. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Arm Twisting Karzai

    To give legitimacy to the Govt. in Afganistan US has had to pressurise Karzai to agree to the run off elections.

    How White House arm-twisted Karzai into run-off polls

    How White House arm-twisted Karzai into run-off polls - South Asia - World - The Times of India
     
  4. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Clashes in Kabul during Anti US protests

    In the backdrop of the political crisis in Afganistan, there have been protests in the streets of Kabul over the alleged burning of the Holy Quran by US troops.

    Riot police had to use water cannon to quell the demnstrators.

    Anti-West protest in Kabul turns bloody
     
  5. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Post Election Scenario

    Interesting analysis on the possible scenario post election runoff.

    SCENARIOS - Outcomes for the Afghan presidential run-off

    SCENARIOS - Outcomes for the Afghan presidential run-off | World | Reuters
     
  6. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Blow to the legitimacy of the Karzai Govt.

    Abdullah Abdullah the opponent to Presiddent Karzai in the run off elections has decided to pull out from the race, a move likely to further undermine the credibility of the country's government.

    Abdullah had laid down conditions for his participation in the second round of the elections but the deadline for Karzai's government to meet them passed today without an agreement being reached.He demanded the resignation of key election officials, cabinet ministers and provincial governors as a way to avoid a repeat of the massive fraud in the presidential vote in August this year.

    Abdullah to withdraw from Afghan run-off: report | Reuters
     
  7. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Abdullah Abdullah pulls out of Afghan run-off election

    Printed from

    Abdullah Abdullah pulls out of Afghan run-off election
    AP 1 November 2009, 03:33pm IST
    KABUL: Afghanistan's presidential challenger today announced he would not participate in next weekend's runoff election because his demands for measures to prevent fraud were rejected. He stopped short of calling on his supporters to boycott the balloting.

    "I will not participate in the November 7 election," Abdullah Abdullah told supporters, because a "transparent election is not possible."

    Abdullah made no mention of agreeing to take part in any future unity government with President Hamid Karzai, which the US and its international partners believe is the best hope for curbing the Taliban insurgency.

    Asked by reporters if he was calling for a boycott, Abdullah said: "I have not made that call."

    Abdullah's running mate Homayoun Assefy said it was up to the government's Independent Election Commission to decide whether to hold the runoff next Saturday as scheduled.

    Karzai campaign spokesman Waheed Omar said it was "very unfortunate" that Abdullah had withdrawn from the race but that the Saturday runoff should proceed without him.

    "We believe that the elections have to go on, the process has to complete itself, the people of Afghanistan have to be given the right to vote," Omar said.

    In an emotional speech, Abdullah said that he did not believe a free and fair election was possible without changes in the leadership of the electoral commission, which ran the fraud-marred first-round ballot August 20. Abdullah said the Afghan people should not accept results of a ballot run by the current group.

    He told supporters that Karzai's government had not been legitimate since its mandate expired last May. The Supreme Court, appointed by Karzai, extended his mandate after the election was put off from last spring until August.

    A runoff was ordered after UN auditors threw out nearly a third of Karzai's votes in the first round ballot, dropping him below the 50 per cent threshold for victory in the 36-candidate field.

    Abdullah denounced the Karzai-appointed election commission for fraud in the first round ballot and said his proposals for changes in the electoral body had all been rejected.

    "In one hour, all my conditions could have been implemented," he said. "Unfortunately until the last moment we were waiting, but we heard they rejected our appeals. And the transparency of the elections was not possible."

    He said the people of Afghanistan "have the right" to a free and fair election but the last ballot "was a failure."
     
  8. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    US on a weak wicket with Karzai

    With confirmation of large scale rigging and fraud in the elections the position and legitimacy of the Karzai Govt. is now at the lowest levels.

    With USA supporting the Karzai Govt. they will also face the fallout out of this issue. Now with Abbdullah Abdullah out of the race and Karzai set to be elected as President, the options for the US are very limited.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/02/world/asia/02assess.html
     
  9. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Afghanistan: election run-off cancelled - Telegraph

    The chief electoral officer confirmed the decision on Monday a day after Hamid Karzai's main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, said he would not take part.

    Earlier, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said the UN would respect and support any decision by the Afghan Independent Election Commission on whether to organise a second presidential ballot.

    Abdullah Abdullah pulls out of Afghan election "The United Nations and the international community will stand together and walk together with the next government and the people of Afghanistan," he said.

    Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister, pulled out of the contest on Sunday, citing fears of a repeat of the fraud which marred August's first round.

    Mr Ban reiterated that last week's deadly attack on a guesthouse for UN staff in Kabul, which was claimed by the Taliban insurgent militia, would not deter the world body from fulfilling its mission in Afghanistan.

    "Many Afghans seem to be worried about what lies ahead, if the international support will hold firm," said Ban.

    "There has been speculation that the United Nations will evacuate Afghanistan... We will not be deterred, cannot be deterred and must not be deterred and the work of the United Nations will continue."
     
  10. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    BBC NEWS | South Asia | Karzai declared elected president

    Hamid Karzai has been declared the elected president of Afghanistan by poll officials, after they scrapped the planned second round of the vote.

    The Independent Election Commission announcement comes a day after Mr Karzai's sole challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, pulled out of the race.

    Dr Abdullah, who had demanded key poll officials quit, said he did not think it would be a free and fair vote.

    The first round of the vote, in August, was marred by mass electoral fraud.

    "We declare Hamid Karzai, which [sic] got the majority of votes in the first round and [since] he is the only candidate for the second round... be declared as elected president of Afghanistan," said a spokesman for the Independent Election Commission in Monday's news conference.

    He said the second round on 7 November was being scrapped to save money, and to prevent further setbacks which could damage Afghanistan politically and economically.

    President Karzai had been the favourite to win the run-off after gaining more votes in the first round on 20 August.

    One of the reasons for holding a deciding vote had been to try to restore some legitimacy to the election after the discredited first round.

    Earlier on Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Kabul and said Afghanistan's troubled election had been among "the most difficult the United Nations has ever supported".

    The BBC's Lyse Doucet in Kabul says there has been intense discussion in recent days as to whether scrapping the second round would be constitutionally legal.

    Some observers are saying Mr Karzai's legitimacy is also in question and asking whether his government can be effective, adds our correspondent.
     
  11. RAM

    RAM The southern Man Senior Member

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    Afghanistan: Hamid Karzai declared president

    Afghanistan: Hamid Karzai declared president

    The chief electoral officer confirmed that a second vote would not take place, a day after Mr Karzai's main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, said he would not take part.

    Earlier, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said the UN would respect and support any decision by the Afghan Independent Election Commission on whether to organise a second presidential ballot.


    Q&A: What will happen next in Afghanistan? "The United Nations and the international community will stand together and walk together with the next government and the people of Afghanistan," he said.

    Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister, pulled out of the contest on Sunday, citing fears of a repeat of the fraud which marred August's first round.

    Mr Ban reiterated that last week's deadly attack on a guesthouse for UN staff in Kabul, which was claimed by the Taliban insurgent militia, would not deter the world body from fulfilling its mission in Afghanistan.

    "Many Afghans seem to be worried about what lies ahead, if the international support will hold firm," said Mr Ban.

    "There has been speculation that the United Nations will evacuate Afghanistan... We will not be deterred, cannot be deterred and must not be deterred and the work of the United Nations will continue."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...hanistan-Hamid-Karzai-declared-president.html

    BBC NEWS | South Asia | Karzai declared elected president
     
  12. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hamid may be the president, but this session will be completely different compared to last one, with ligitimacy of his "Government slightly being in question". USA never wanted a second term for Hamid, or at least they wanted to trim down his power/profile (they succeeded in this), as he was perceived more into enemy camp, and not sympathetic to USA'a interest in the region. There already is an speculation that USA is covertly supporting Taliban, they are trying to create a situation where they can control the nation through remote-control, even after all US troops depart from Afghanistan.
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Well he may have become prez again but with a low credibility factor. His term was filled with accusations of corruption. I don't think the US is going to be as vocal in his support as before.
     
  14. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Afghanistan war decision: how Robert Gates thinks

    Afghanistan war decision: how Robert Gates thinks


    Pentagon chief Robert Gates is the swing vote in Obama's decision on the Afghanistan war.

    On one of Bob Gates's first trips to the Iraq war theater after accepting the job as Defense secretary in 2006, he walked a dusty "boneyard" in Kuwait filled with row upon row of the remains of military trucks damaged by roadside bombs and seemed to hear the ghosts of the soldiers the trucks had failed to protect.

    The vehicles, recalls a senior adviser who accompanied Mr. Gates, "looked like they'd been mangled by the hand of a giant child." The shredded metal seemed to be a reminder of the billions the Pentagon was spending on the war while failing to adequately protect its own troops – and Gates was intensely moved. Mary Beth Long, the official accompanying him that day, jotted down just two words about her boss: "silent" and "determined."

    The episode reinforced for the secretary what had to be done. He went home resolved to put life-saving, bomb-resistant trucks in the hands of troops within months. And he did, in record time, by overhauling the Pentagon's byzantine acquisition process. Within five months, the Pentagon had sent nearly 1,200 of the new trucks to Iraq, thanks to an expedited acquisition program that shaved years off the process.

    That moment of silent determination reflects the essential Gates – a reserved former Eagle Scout who has established impressive management muscle working his way through the ranks of the United States security establishment. He has changed a Defense Department steeped in its own inefficiency one $400 Pentagon hammer at a time – even one general at a time, firing them when necessary. And that low-key but powerful style is now on display in the Washington debate over what strategy President Obama should take to win the war in Afghanistan.

    Indeed, Gates – a former intelligence analyst-turned-CIA director, a Sovietologist with an instinct for reading signs, a consummate Washington insider unstained by party ideology – is the man of the hour, considered the bridge between the Pentagon brass and the Democratic White House.

    The Defense secretary's role in shaping Mr. Obama's policy in Afghanistan is seen as a swing vote among the president's counselors on the question at hand: Whether to send a surge of tens of thousands more troops to support the current counterinsurgency against the Taliban or to overhaul the mission entirely.

    Gates has almost certainly made up his mind. But unlike his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, who telegraphed his decisionmaking process through bluster and ideology, Gates is true to his spycraft roots, discreetly looking for signals to find the right way to play his hand with a divided White House.

    FRIENDS AND FORMER EMPLOYEES make much of that contrast with Mr. Rumsfeld – whom Gates replaced during President Bush's first term. While Rumsfeld relied on a cadre of aides, Gates keeps more of his own counsel and has an enduring hunger for information. And that has helped stoke the suspense surrounding Obama's protracted decisionmaking.

    Gates is a good example of the oft-cited Washington truism: The ones who talk, don't know; the ones who don't talk, do know.

    But Gates, who declined a request for a Monitor interview, has talked some about Afghanistan. In the past, he has expressed concern about the size of the American "footprint" – worried that too many forces could look a lot like an occupation. Yet he has also said that the long-term needs of Afghanistan – good governance, economic opportunity, and a strong indigenous force – won't magically appear without the help of the US military stabilizing the country. In recent days, he's dodged questions about just what the noises in his head are saying. Asked by a reporter on a plane with him to Asia late last month "where he was" on the troop surge idea, Gates talked about the legitimacy of the Afghan government. Two days later, asked the same question after a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Gates wriggled: "I was in a listening mode."

    It's not that he's slippery, just self-disciplined, say those who know him.

    "He's been inside the Beltway his entire life and he knows how to play the cards and when to play them, and he will only telegraph to the decider," says one retired senior officer who served under Gates. "Rummy had his circle of good buddies who were easy to identify. Don't know that about Gates."

    The Defense chief is not given to snap decisions, recalls Rob McKee, who served with Gates on the corporate board of Parker Drilling Company before he was named Defense secretary. But he says Gates does act decisively after a genuine effort to get as many facts as possible. And, adds Mr. McKee, who served as an adviser to the Iraqi oil ministry between 2003 and 2004, Gates – a registered Republican – takes pains never to show his politics.

    "Who he is, his track record, his style, his intelligence, his bipartisanship, his experience and his proven low-key leadership style all would argue that he would be a much more credible broker than just about anyone," McKee wrote in an e-mail. "I bet he's doing his best to help come up with as right an answer as is possible."

    And when he shares that conclusion with the president, he'll have great sway, says Sen. Carl Levin (D) of Michigan, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and an admirer of Gates: "[He] is going to have a major say in this because ... he has the confidence of the president, he has the confidence of Congress, and he has an extraordinarily important position in this decision."

    LITTLE ABOUT GATES ON THE OUTSIDE betrays the astute student and dealmaker on the inside. By all appearances, he's as vanilla as they come: Stout and round-faced with precision-parted hair and a preference for white shirts, he has a nasal twang from his native Kansas. He goes in for jigsaw puzzles over sports, and has a strong taste for meat and potatoes sometimes even in the most exotic locales.

    His other ravenous appetite, say aides, is for information – and he sets aside time every day to read (right now, says Gates, he's into Douglas Brinkley's "The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America"). He has a weakness for low-end escapist movies – such as "Iron Man" and "Wolverine" – but also recently saw and liked the more realistic "The Hurt Locker," about a US Army bomb squad in Iraq.

    Gates himself jokes about the unassuming figure he cuts – once saying he was more like Austin Powers than James Bond when he flopped as a young spy and was funneled instead to the less glamorous toils of an intelligence analyst.

    So inoffensive is his personality that even his political enemies seem to find no purchase for personal attack.

    But it wasn't always that way. Earlier in his Washington career, Gates was thought to have played an active role in the Iran-contra affair, derailing his first confirmation as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. But an independent investigation cleared him, and President George H.W. Bush renominated him in 1991.

    Cracks in Gates's bland facade often reveal the emotional complexity that makes him tick. He's so intensely compassionate that he can easily become choked up or cry. He's not without ego, say those who work with him, and they notice that when he's loosened up – notably after his iron-clad rituals of predinner cocktail and postdinner "cigar walk" – he enjoys holding forth among groups of people, telling jokes or stories from his illustrious career, less interested in a conversational give-and-take than in his own thoughts. And his temper, while usually contained verbally, can come out in fierce glares.

    It's not that Gates never makes mistakes. As a member of the national security team in the late 1980s, he was in part responsible for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan that, it could be argued, led to it becoming a haven for Al Qaeda. But he'll admit to his mistakes, as in a speech last year when he acknowledged the US failing – and his role in it.

    "The voice of Bob Gates is not the voice of God – and Bob Gates is the first to acknowledge that," says one Hill staffer.

    His career arc also is full of that complexity. The Defense secretary now overseeing two war theaters not only served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War but also protested that war in a 1970 march against the Cambodia offensive.

    Gates has served under eight presidents and turned down President George W. Bush's offers to run the Department of Homeland Security and later to be director of National Intelligence. He cited a reluctance to return to public life, but probably was awaiting a more important call.

    He soon got it. After a bruising midterm election in 2006, Mr. Bush concluded that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld had to go, and Gates was wooed away from his post as president of Texas A&M University to replace Rumsfeld.

    He portrayed himself as a reluctant hero – wrenched from what he called the best job he'd ever had. He often referred to the stopwatch a deputy gave him that counted backward to the day when the Bush term would end and he'd be free to retire once again, to drive his SUV in the mountains and wooded groves of the Pacific Northwest, where he and his wife, Becky, own two homes and have two grown children living nearby.

    But herein lies a contradiction about Gates. As much as he says he loathes Beltway politics and society, it's what defines him. He often jokes that the first six months in Washington you wonder how you got there, the second six months you wonder how everyone else got there, and the next six months you spend trying to get out of there. Funny when he tells it in the right crowd, it sometimes falls flat with military audiences. Either way, it's pure Gates shtick: making a show of despising Washington, while quietly working the city as few can.

    At the same time, he shows genuine feeling for the troops. He personally handwrites letters to each family of those killed overseas. Like the episode in the Kuwait "boneyard," the secretary is frequently moved when speaking about the sacrifices of troops – whom he sometimes refers to as the "kids."

    Ms. Long, a former assistant secretary of Defense, says Gates's leadership is unique in her experience: "He was not only a master of anticipating what the bureaucracy will do in a given situation, but on several occasions when, on a personal level, others were suffering, he expressed real sympathy and empathy."

    There's much similar gushing across the capital about his abilities. Rumsfeld had so poisoned the well that Congress fell all over itself praising the new Defense secretary for his candor, integrity, and lack of combativeness. Though Gates may loathe Congress's lack of civility.

    The Obama campaign liked what it saw and, after the election last year, the president-elect summoned Gates to a secret meeting at a fire station near Ronald Reagan National Airport to "re-up" the secretary. Accepting, Gates became the first Defense secretary in US history to be asked to stay on by a new administration.

    Obama had promised during the campaign to draw down forces in Iraq and to fix Afghanistan. But if Bush turned to Gates as Iraq's "Mr. Fix-it," then Obama was turning to him to change the equation in Afghanistan.

    Put simply, there are two poles in Washington: the counterinsurgency experts, or COIN-istas, who believe Afghanistan's deteriorating security can only be reversed by adding tens of thousands of troops – perhaps as many as 80,000; and those who believe US interests in Afghanistan are few, and the best way to keep it on a low simmer is to employ a counterterrorism-like model – using drones, bombs, and special forces teams to keep Al Qaeda at bay. The debate has become protracted, with military commanders like Gen. Stanley McChrystal politely urging the commander in chief to make a decision soon.

    GATES'S SIGNAL TO THE DECIDER – Obama – will be decisive, say observers. His position will be informed by his own political instinct for timing, but also by his impeccably thorough listening process.

    Richard Haass, a former senior director on the National Security Council, remembers Gates's knack for running a meeting. In his book "War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars," Mr. Haass, now president of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote about Gates's leadership skills and noted that he would allow people to be heard – but not to filibuster.

    "Bob Gates ran a meeting as well as anyone I've ever worked with," says Haass, reading directly from a page in his book.

    But Gates is fussy about preparation, demanding that his staff cancel a briefing if he hasn't been provided the right reading materials beforehand, says one senior officer who worked closely with Gates. "It would make him crazy."

    It's not the highest compliment ever paid to an individual, but in the world of Washington bureaucracy, it's high praise. And for Bob Gates, it fits.

    One of his chief roles is to demand accountability in a building peopled by career bureaucrats who know instinctively that they will outlast any civilian overseer – unless he beats them to the punch.

    Gates has famously removed more than a half-dozen senior officers and civilian secretaries for underwhelming performance or just plain arrogance. Just ask Fran Harvey, the former Army secretary whom Gates fired over a Washington Post exposé of the squalid conditions of soldiers recovering from war wounds at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

    Harder for even some of Gates's most die-hard fans was the summary firing of Gen. David McKiernan. Gates handpicked him to be the top commander in Afghanistan. By all accounts a fabulous officer with skill, intellect, and integrity, McKiernan was an armor officer by trade, and Gates concluded that he lacked the knack for counterinsurgency and had to go. Few dispute that the mission needed a new kind of blood – but Pentagon brass watched in horror in their E-ring offices as Gates announced McKiernan's firing on live TV.

    More often, Gates's style of accountability is far more mundane. Last year, for example, he sent a memo to the Army secretary's office and when he hadn't heard anything back by the deadline he'd directed, Gates sent the memo again. This time it had a message handwritten across the top that couldn't have been plainer: "Pete," Gates scrawled in black ink, "Why hasn't this been answered yet?" A staffer who worked in the office recalled the startled reaction: "It was like a grenade went off inside the office."

    Gates wanted answers and he didn't expect to have to wait for them.

    That instinct has won him friends and enemies on Capitol Hill after he pushed through a $534 billion reform budget this year that cut many sacred cows (the presidential helicopter with a kitchen) and forced the services to add other programs that weren't seen as critical (dramatic expansion of the drone program).

    Gates has marketed his brand of reform with a message that resonates: Buy stuff to support the two wars in which the US is engaged – particularly for troops fighting in the field – and ease up on the massive spending the Pentagon has allowed for rainy-day wars, like one with China. His ending the production of the $140-million-a-copy F-22 Raptor stealth fighter was an oft-cited case in point. Arguing that the US didn't need more than 187 planes to fight a notional war when, with limited resources, the Pentagon should be spending money to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gates's version of common sense prevailed and he has – so far – successfully ended the program.

    Instead he has focused the Pentagon's budget on things that many believe it more apparently needs – like those bomb-resistant trucks he wanted that day in Kuwait.

    At a recent Washington conference, former Republican Congressman John McHugh, Obama's pick as secretary of the Army, cracked a joke to introduce Gates: "When Bob Gates changes a light bulb at the Pentagon, it's the building that rotates."

    Inside, Gates may have felt the joke rather apt. At the podium, he accepted the characterization without apology.


    Afghanistan war decision: how Robert Gates thinks | csmonitor.com
     
  15. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Afghan policeman kills five UK soldiers

    Afghan policeman kills five UK soldiers

    Afghan policeman kills five UK soldiers

    London: An Afghan policeman has shot dead five British soldiers at a checkpoint in southern Afghanistan, the defense ministry in London said on Wednesday.


    The men, three from the Grenadier Guards and two from the Royal Military Police, were killed at a police checkpoint at a military compound in Helmand province on Tuesday.

    "An Afghan national policeman from the checkpoint started firing without warning before anyone could really respond," a defense ministry spokesman said. "Every effort is being put into hunting him down."

    A British military spokesman in Kabul said the gunman may have been working with another man and the British Royal Military Police and the Afghan National Directorate of Security were investigating.

    Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the whole country would mourn the loss of the soldiers.

    "The death of five brave soldiers in a single incident is a terrible loss. My thoughts, condolences and sympathies go to their families, loved ones and colleagues," Brown said.

    "They fought to make Afghanistan more secure, but above all to make Britain safer from the terrorism and extremism which continues to threaten us from the border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan."

    Afghan election officials canceled a presidential run-off election on Monday after Afghan President Hamid Karzai's rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, withdrew citing serious concerns about the election.

    "It is my highest priority to ensure our heroic troops have the best possible support and equipment - and the right strategy, backed by our international partners, and by a new Afghan government ready to play its part in confronting the challenges Afghanistan faces," Brown added in his statement.
     
  16. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Action time for Karzai

    With Abdullah Abdullah opting out of the run off elections, US is left with no choice as it is stuck with President Karzai. Charges of corruption and the flourishing drug trade have left the President very unpopular in his own country and highly discrdited in the international fora.

    Following his confirmation President Karzai has made some half hearted steps towards removing corruption but he must do a lot to silence his critics.

    Afghan President declares fight against corruption in his govt after Obama calls him to say it's time to act

    After US frown, Karzai vows to clean house
     
  17. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    No alternative to Karzai at the moment

    KARZAI CORRUPT, BUT HE'S OUR GUY, SAYS FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER

     
  18. jakojako777

    jakojako777 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Afghanistan: News and Views

    NATO rocket strike allegedly kills 9 Afghan civilians - Including Children

    NATO says it targeted insurgents planting a bomb in Helmand province; residents say the victims were working in cornfields and included 3 children. Elsewhere, a U.S. service member is killed.
    Helmand Province

    Afghan men peer into a car carrying a dead Afghan man in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Abdul Khaleq / Associated Press / November 5, 2009)

    Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan - North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces said today they were investigating reports that nine civilians were killed in a rocket strike aimed at insurgents in the volatile southern Afghan province of Helmand.

    The incident came despite new efforts by international forces to avoid civilian casualties and make the Afghan population feel safe.

    Dozens of angry villagers carried the bodies today through the streets of the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, before they were dispersed by police firing guns in the air, witnesses said.

    In the east, a U.S. service member was killed when insurgents attacked a patrol Wednesday afternoon, military officials said. They provided no further details.

    According to a statement from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, a rocket was fired from the ground shortly before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at a group of individuals believed to be planting a bomb near Babaji village, outside the provincial capital.

    "ISAF forces were not aware of any civilians in the vicinity at the time of the strike," the statement said. "If any civilians were injured through our actions we deeply regret it."

    Residents, however, said the victims were civilians working in cornfields and included three children.

    "I saw the bodies. They were civilians," said Hafizullah, an elder of the community. Like many Afghans, he uses only one same.

    He said the villagers had wanted to bring the bodies to the provincial governor's office but were blocked by police.

    Such incidents have fueled rising anger against international forces.

    "I'm sure if the situation continues like this, one day everyone will declare holy war against the infidels," said Anwar Khan, who heads the Helmand provincial council, raising the specter of Afghans turning against the U.S.-led coalition.

    But Dawoud Ahmadi, a provincial government spokesman, said the victims were Taliban insurgents.


    NATO rocket strike allegedly kills 9 Afghan civilians -- latimes.com
     
  19. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Afghanistan: News and Views

    [mod]News and views of security, military, politics, elections and terrorism related to Afghanistan in this thread.[/mod]
     
  20. ab041937

    ab041937 New Member

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    With this recent run-off election fiasco whereby Americans clearly threw their weight behind incumbant Karzai, it seems to me that the Americans have finally decided to divide Afghanistan on ethnic lines and then make an exit. With the noices coming from NYTimes, Washington Post indicate that Americans are slowly and surely moving towards negotiation with Taliban which could mean that Afghan Pashtuns would be united with their bretherns from Pakistan. Now, In what shape does this union takes place remains to be seen. Either under the umbrella of Pakistan which I don't think so given that Pakistan had never been in control of FATA in 62 years or, in all likeliness in the shape of an independent Pakhtoonistan. Taliban in its current form is much different from the Taliban of 2001 under the leadership of Mullah Umar (well, atleast thats what the Americans say). To me, it seems like a CIA ploy to sell Taliban to the world. Taliban would more likely drop Sharia to get acceptance and allowed leadership. Pashtun society on its own would take time to reform itself and accept the ways of the world when the world opens to them and for that they need to be connected to the world.

    I never really believed that US would've in anyway wanted to invade Afghanistan after 9/11. Having worked closely with Afghan Mujahideens before, US would've known very well the that Afghans wouldn't exactly make it easy for any invading force. This is why they quickly left post the soviet withdrawl in '89. The roots here go far deeper than what it looks. In all Likeliness, US would've walked in with the sole purpose of either dividing Afghanistan on ethnic lines or (for conspiracy theories) to destabalize the whole region. For US, it makes far more easier for them to manage their ways through Warlords and warring fractions in a destabalized region. Infact in '93, US govt put severe pressure on Boris Yelstien and got him to withdraw support to Nazibullah govt in Afghanistan after which it collapsed in less than 2 years. I mean, in a nation marred with civil war, why remove even the last pillar of stability? The shadow wars of secret services is far more sinister than what appears. Only one thing is certain. Once US leaves Afghanistan.. this whole region would be changed forever.
     
  21. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Reply to ab041937

    Americans had been supporting Karzai because he was the legitemately elected leader in the 1st election. However based on his Govt.s performance on corruption and drug flows, had hardly endeared him to the Americans.

    Moreover till the last moment the US had been trying to push Abdullah Abdullah and Karzai to patch up and run the country jointly. With the two leaders together mst of the etnic tribes of the country would have been represented in the Govt. But Karzai's desire to cling to power by all means has put a damper on the US efforts and they have no option at this moment to support Karzai and to continously prod him to shapen up and perform.

    This is from an earlier post that I had posted.

    After US frown, Karzai vows to clean house

     
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