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 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.
October 6, 2009
As President Obama weighs the military's request for up to 40,000 more U.S. troops in Afghanistan, election officials in the capital city of Kabul are combing through a sampling of more than 350 suspect ballot boxes for signs of fraud significant enough to have given President Hamid Karzai the majority he needed to win reelection without a runoff. The two issues cannot and should not be separated. No matter how many additional troops the United States and NATO send to Afghanistan, or which strategy Obama decides to employ against the Taliban and its Al Qaeda allies, it cannot succeed without an Afghan government that is seen as legitimate by the people.
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.
July 19, 2010 |
Prodded by the Obama administration, Pakistan and Afghanistan on Sunday announced a rare trade partnership aimed at lifting the regional economy and undermining insurgent forces trying to destabilize the two governments. The trade deal was described by American officials as the first such agreement between the two nations since the 1960s, and termed a means of strengthening ties and creating new jobs in trucking, banking and movement of freight. The deal, which still has to be ratified by both countries, was announced shortly after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, for a visit.
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.
June 23, 2010
It's out with the new and in with the old in Afghanistan. President Obama jettisoned Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan for disparaging the civilian leadership of the country and war effort, turning instead to Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia. In Petraeus, the president has a known quantity, a seasoned military leader who sharpened his counterinsurgency teeth in the Iraq war and has a proven record of working with Washington.
November 28, 2009 |
The governor of a violent southern province in Afghanistan escaped assassination Friday, even as President Hamid Karzai renewed his calls to insurgents to lay down their weapons. Kandahar Gov. Tooryalai Wesa was on his way to prayers on the first day of Eid al-Adha, the main Muslim holiday of the year, when a remote-controlled bomb exploded under his convoy. Wesa was uninjured, but a policeman helping guard him was hurt, the governor's office said. The province is home to Afghanistan's second-largest city, also called Kandahar, which is the country's southern hub and a key battleground.