Afghanistan Weekly Reader: Insurgent Attacks in Afghan Capital
Last week’s suicide bomb attack on Afghanistan’s intelligence agency was followed by an attack on the headquarters of the Kabul traffic department a few days later. The coordinated assaults have raised questions about Afghanistan’s security forces and intelligence capabilities, and whether the billions the U.S. has spent on security assistance has been effective.
Report: U.S. spent $6.8 million on nonexistent equipment
Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski
According to a new audit by the U.S. Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the U.S. spent $6.8 million on maintenance for vehicles that had not been seen in over a year, had never been seen, or had been destroyed.
Taliban Stage Attack on Kabul
Wall Street Journal by Maria Abi-Habib and Ziaulhaq Sultani
Insurgents Monday stormed the traffic-department headquarters in Kabul, using the compound to target nearby Afghan police headquarters and setting off a gun battle that continued for hours.
Sen. Claire McCaskill leaps hurdles to overhauling wartime contracting
McClatchy by Lindsay Wise
This month – after half a dozen years of hearings, reports, overseas fact-finding trips, painful compromises and some last-minute, round-the-clock negotiating – the first substantial overhaul of the federal government’s wartime contracting practices since World War II finally became law, with McCaskill as its chief architect.
Time to Pull the Plug On Afghanistan War
Wall Street Journal Letter to the Editor
We’ve already paid a huge price in lives, misery and money, including multiple deployments and suicides…Does anyone really believe that keeping large numbers of our military there will lead to a long-term, satisfactory outcome?
Afghanistan’s colossal intelligence failure
Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel by Candace Rondeaux
[Perhaps] NATO and U.S. officials will finally sit down to hash out what to do next with America’s top partner in the fight against terrorism in South and Central Asia. The White House in particular, might want to consider whether it can continue to tie America’s fortunes to intelligence outfits like NDS without first figuring out how (and whether it’s possible) to help governments like Karzai’s to clean these agencies up.
Foreign Policy by John Arquilla
After more than a decade of nation-building in Afghanistan, with at best mixed results, perhaps it is time to take an opposite tack…This would mean challenging the guiding notion of democratization that has, thus far, cost us and our allies several thousand casualties and about a trillion dollars — to little effect.