Afghanistan Weekly Reader: $11 Billion for State Department War Operations in 2012

Secretary of Defense Panetta’s trip to Kabul yesterday made it clear that, while the NATO combat mission in Afghanistan is winding down, the war is far from over. Yesterday also marked the deadliest day this year for Afghan civilians, with a suicide attack in Kandahar City and a NATO airstrike in rural Logar Province causing at least 24 civilian deaths. Meanwhile, the number of U.S. fatalities in Afghanistan has reached 2,000. And despite the continuing violence, the U.S. war spending shows no sign of slowing down.

From ASG
Congress Silent on Ending the Afghanistan War

Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski

Unlike their constituents, who have spoken so strongly in favor of ending the war, many elected officials are silent.

No. 2 U.S. Commander In Afghanistan Would Like 68,000 Troops Into Next Year

NPR by Tom Bowman

The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan will drop by 23,000 by September. At that point, 68,000 U.S. troops will be serving in the country, fighting the Taliban and training Afghan soldiers and police. Any further reductions are now at the center of a debate. It’s all a game of numbers.

U.S. and NATO secure exit route from Afghanistan

CNN by Mike Mount

U.S. and NATO equipment will have a guaranteed route out of Afghanistan after an agreement with Central Asian countries allowing the alliance to completely cut out the shorter Pakistani access routes NATO has used for years.

U.S. Cozies Up to Pakistan’s Archrival for Afghan War
Wired by Spencer Ackerman

In a move that could rankle Pakistan, the U.S. military is encouraging Islamabad’s arch-rival, India, to deepen its involvement in the Afghanistan war.

And now, only one senior al Qaeda leader left
CNN by Peter Bergen

Few Americans harbor irrational fears about being killed by a lightning bolt. Abu Yahya al-Libi’s death on Monday should remind them that fear of al Qaeda in its present state is even more irrational.

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