Afghanistan Weekly Reader: Policymakers Silent on $500 Billion War
The Afghanistan Parliament voted this weekend to dismiss the Ministers of Defense and the Interior. The implications of the political shakeup are still unclear. U.S. officials insist the transition to local security forces will proceed as planned, but the Afghan President is reportedly “scrambling to find a replacement” for the defense minister, who officially resigned Tuesday. The Afghanistan war is in the U.S. spotlight as many Americans are starting to question policymakers’ silence on a war that has cost over $500 billion.
Pentagon Lowers the Standard for Afghan Forces
Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski
After ten years and more than $50 billion in security aid the U.S. is no closer to success in combating corruption and developing stable local security forces. Worse, the Pentagon may be trying to cover up the failure.
Afghan defense minister quits, hands Karzai a security headache
Reuters by Mirwais Harooni and Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi
Karzai faced constraints in finding a replacement who could maintain ethnic harmony in his inner circle, while also needing to win over lawmakers whose backing he needs to deliver a corruption crackdown promised to Western donors.
UN: Afghan Civilian Deaths Down but Trend Eroding
Associated Press by Heidi Vogt
Afghan civilian deaths dropped 22 percent in the first six months of 2012 compared with a year ago, but the number of civilians killed in targeted assassinations surged, the United Nations said in a report released Wednesday.
Obama and Romney are ignoring the Afghanistan war
Washington Post by Jackson Diehl
Here’s some news that both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney would like you to ignore: Tens of thousands of American soldiers are at war this summer in Afghanistan.
War waste problems not yet resolved
On the to-do list for whoever wins the presidential election in November should be a concentrated effort with Congress to improve the accountability of U.S. government spending in Iraq and Afghanistan.