April 22, 2013 |
BRUSSELS -- Secretary of State John F. Kerry is to host a meeting of top Afghan and Pakistani leaders here this week in hopes of breathing new life into flagging Afghan peace efforts. The meeting set for Wednesday is to bring together Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his defense minister, Bismullah Khan Mohammadi, with Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani. A State Department official described the encounter as part of a series of three-way meetings that occur regularly at a lower level.
April 8, 2010 |
In an apparent capitulation to international pressure, the government of President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday announced the removal of two top election officials who were implicated in widespread fraud in last summer's balloting for president. The legal framework for coming parliamentary elections has been a key point of contention between Karzai and Western governments. Karzai has resisted demands for what diplomats called "root-and-branch" reform of Afghanistan's electoral system before the vote, which is set for September.
December 12, 2009 |
The top United Nations official in Afghanistan, under criticism that he was not being tough enough with President Hamid Karzai over corruption, will not seek reappointment when his contract expires in March, the U.N. said Friday. Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide is following through on his previous intention to leave when his two-year contract is finished, U.N. spokesman Dan McNorton said. "This is not a question of resigning," he said. "Kai Eide is sticking to the timetable." McNorton said the decision was unrelated to the public clash between Eide and Peter Galbraith, his U.S. deputy.
April 26, 2012
Weary as Americans are of the war in Afghanistan, it has been obvious for some time that the United States would continue to play a role in that country after Afghan forces assume full control of security in 2014. So it isn't surprising that Washington and Kabul have reached a draft "strategic partnership" agreement under which the U.S. will continue providing military, economic and other aid to Afghanistan for another decade. In principle, a continuing relationship is perfectly defensible, but it needs to be circumscribed to prevent a re-escalation ofU.S.
February 7, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghans paid bribes totaling about $3.9 billion last year -- twice the country's domestic revenue -- and two-thirds of the population says it's acceptable for civil servants to take kickbacks for providing basic services, according to a U.N. survey released Thursday. The results indicate corruption is deeply rooted in Afghanistan despite President Hamid Karzai's pledges to clean up the problem and years of internationally backed efforts to curb the country's extensive networks of bribery and patronage.
March 17, 2011
Testifying before two congressional committees this week, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus offered a familiar assessment of the war in Afghanistan: Progress has been made in the effort to defeat the Taliban, but the gains are tentative and can be undone. Petraeus' comments also cast doubt on the size of the partial withdrawal promised for July, and suggested that U.S. forces will remain in Afghanistan at significant levels until the NATO-set deadline of 2014, and perhaps beyond. It's a disquieting prospect for those of us who question whether the war is winnable even with another three years of combat, assassinations and nation-building.
August 22, 2010 |
The young lovers didn't stand a chance. In a desolate field on the edge of their village in northern Afghanistan, hundreds of men, stones in hand, closed in to carry out the mullah's death sentence, handed down after the pair eloped against the wishes of their families. "It was an act of great cruelty," said Mutasem Khan, an uncle of Abdul Qayuum, the 28-year-old man who was stoned to death this month in Kunduz province along with the village woman he had wooed, identified only as 19-year-old Siddiqa.
October 27, 2009
Tons of explosives, suicide bombers in coordinated attacks and triple-digit death tolls. The wreckage at the Iraqi Justice Ministry and Baghdad's provincial council headquarters this week, like the devastation at the Foreign and Finance ministries in August, is a reminder that foreign powers cannot impose peace on a divided nation. Two years after a U.S. troop "surge" helped tamp down Iraq's sectarian war, the bloodletting illustrates why military advances must be accompanied by a steady march of political progress.
July 3, 2010
Gen. David H. Petraeus' arrival in Kabul this week, after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate as the head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, is a good time to revisit the goals and challenges confronting nearly 100,000 American troops there. The strategic goal as defined by the Obama administration is to prevent Afghanistan from being used as a base by Al Qaeda or other groups that seek to attack the United States and its allies, as it was during the Taliban's rule and 9/11 strikes.
January 25, 2010 |
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates -- Under strong international pressure to reform Afghanistan's electoral system before holding another nationwide vote, the government of President Hamid Karzai on Sunday put off balloting for a new parliament until September. Election officials and Karzai had said the voting would take place in May, but Western diplomats had made it clear that their governments would refuse to pick up the tab for any balloting held before "root-and-branch" electoral reforms.