Afghanistan Weekly Reader: Commander Calls for Sustained Military Presence
General John Allen, the outgoing commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, recommended maintaining a substantial military presence in Afghanistan through the summer, according to a Wall Street Journal interview. The White House has yet to announce a plan for the drawdown of the 68,000 troops still in Afghanistan. Also undecided is the number of troops that will remain after 2014 for training, advising, and counterterrorism operations.
Afghanistan War Takes A Toll On The U.S. Economy
Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski
Is it too late to address the effect the Afghanistan war will have on the U.S. economy? Maybe, there are certainly some steps we can take. The first one is ending the war and developing a new strategy for more effective (and less costly) engagement with Afghanistan.
General Seeks Sustained Afghan Role
Wall Street Journal by Maria Abi-Habib
The commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan said he has recommended that the White House maintain a substantial U.S. military presence through the summer fighting season, giving new details about commanders’ preferences as President Barack Obama weighs the pace of withdrawal.
US blacklists Afghan airline accused of smuggling opium
Afghanistan’s largest private airline, Kam Air, has been barred from receiving US military contracts amid allegations of drug smuggling, officials say.
No US peace dividend after Afghanistan
Financial Times by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes
Nearly 12 years after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan began, a war-weary America is getting ready to leave. But there will be little in the way of a peace dividend for the US economy once the fighting stops.
Money Pit: The Monstrous Failure of US Aid to Afghanistan
World Affairs Journal by Joel Brinkley
The total amount of nonmilitary funds Washington has appropriated since 2002 “is approximately $100 billion”—more than the US has ever spent to rebuild a country. That estimate came out in July. Since then, Congress has appropriated another $16.5 billion for “reconstruction.” And all of that has not bought the United States or the Afghans a single sustainable institution or program.
How We Fight: Fred Kaplan’s ‘Insurgents,’ on David Petraeus
New York Times by Thanassius Cambanis
The counterinsurgency cult was more than a fad, Kaplan establishes. But it was much less than a revolution.
Counting Down to 2014 in Afghanistan
Huffington Post by Ann Jones
Compromise, conflict, or collapse: ask an Afghan what to expect in 2014 and you’re likely to get a scenario that falls under one of those three headings.