Afghanistan Weekly Reader: Watchdog Questions Plan for Afghan Security

A new report by the U.S. government watchdog that oversees reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan has called into question the ability of the Afghan government to sustain U.S.-funded security forces and facilities after 2014. Afghanistan’s challenges, the report says, include a lack of skilled personnel and undeveloped processes. Since 2002 the U.S. has allocated over $50 billion in security aid for Afghanistan.

From ASG
How much will “victory” in Afghanistan cost?

Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski

Maybe the nation-building experiment in Afghanistan will succeed, but only at an unacceptable price. The U.S. cannot afford to spend another eleven years and another $570 billion.

Afghan Called Ill-Prepared to Maintain Bases on Their Own

Bloomberg by David Lerman

The Afghan government probably will prove incapable of operating and maintaining U.S.-funded army and police facilities when coalition combat troops leave in 2014, a U.S. government watchdog said.

Afghans will hold presidential election in spring
USA Today by Carmen Gentile

Analysts and others worry that a fair election will not be possible, especially in light of fraud and corruption complaints that marred the last presidential election in 2009.
Afghans will hold presidential election in spring

New Afghan War Phase, With No Decisive End Seen

Associated Press

A new chapter of the Afghanistan war is opening with a slimmed-down Western force doing more advising than fighting, a resilient Taliban showing little interest in peace talks, and Americans tempted to pull the plug on a conflict now in its 12th year.
A decisive end seems nowhere in sight.

Afghan Army Seeks Better Equipment, But Lacks Basic Skills

NPR by Sean Carberry

One of the most common complaints from Afghan forces and officials is that they don’t have the equipment they need to lead the fight in Afghanistan…But, U.S. troops more often than not say that the Afghans don’t need all the high-tech gear.

Let’s get out of Afghanistan

Philadelphia Daily News Editorial Board

Despite what the presidential candidates say or don’t say, it’s time for an orderly and safe withdrawal of our troops. And once we get out of Afghanistan, we need to take a hard look at the political system that allows our leaders to wage a war that most Americans don’t want.

NATO ‘on message’ on Afghanistan – but what does the message mean?
Left Foot Forward by Patrick Bury

Despite the best efforts of NATO, the West’s wider security and stability mission in Afghanistan is heading for strategic failure. This is due to both our own hubris and the pervasive corruption and incompetence of those we chose to ally ourselves with in Afghanistan.

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