Afghanistan Weekly Reader: Poll Respondents Say the War Has Not Made the U.S. Safer

Three Australian soldiers were killed by a gunman in an Afghan army uniform this Wednesday, bringing the total number of fatalities from insider attacks this year to over 40. Compared to a total of 35 in 2011, this shows a sharp increase in green-on-blue attacks. The political shake-up in Afghanistan continues, as President Karzai reportedly intends to nominate some controversial picks to lead the Defense, Interior, and intelligence agencies. Meanwhile, the latest public opinion poll from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs shows that 51% of Americans believe the war in Afghanistan, which has cost over $500 billion, has made “no difference” in reducing the threat of terrorism, with 18% saying the war has made the U.S. less safe.

From ASG
Don’t Forget Afghanistan
Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski

The Afghanistan war hasn’t played a major role in either of the presidential candidates’ campaigns. Whether the candidates believe voters aren’t interested, or whether they are simply avoiding a thorny foreign policy problem, here are the three big reasons why Afghanistan should not be forgotten.

Most Americans See Afghan War as Not Reducing Threat of Terrorism

A majority of Americans do not think the war in Afghanistan has reduced the threat of terrorism. However, this does not lead Americans to want to withdraw immediately, nor to persist indefinitely in the effort.

Karzai Is Said to Consider Divisive Figures for Top Cabinet Posts
The New York Times by Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Graham Bowley

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has broadened a top-level cabinet shake-up, firing the country’s spy chief on Wednesday and, according to Western officials, lining up replacements for that post and the vacant Defense and Interior Ministries, at least one of which seemed likely to heighten tensions between Parliament and the presidential palace.

The Best Laid Plans
The Nation by Tom Engelhardt

The message is certainly clear enough, however unprepared those in Washington and in the field are to hear it: forget our enemies; a rising number of those Afghans closest to us want us out in the worst way possible, and their message on the subject has been horrifically blunt.

Afghanistan: a ragged retreat threatens to turn into a slow-motion rout
The Guardian by Simon Tisdall

When they return from their holidays, western leaders urgently need to refocus attention on Afghanistan – before the situation spins fatally out of their control.

Wars? What Wars?
Time’s Battleland by Mark Thompson

It is amazing that after more than a decade of war, and 6,593 American dead (2,107 in Afghanistan and Operation Enduring Freedom; 4,487 in Iraq), the political party that spearheaded both wars is so silent on them now.

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