Afghanistan Weekly Reader: Controversy over Karzai Airstrike Ban

Although 34,000 U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan over the next year, the war is far from over. NATO and Afghan forces continue large-scale operations, with a recent strike killing 25 insurgents. Earlier in the week Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s order preventing local security forces from requesting international airstrikes was met with criticism. While military officials say the ban will not affect U.S. and allied operations, some argue that the ban may limit Afghan forces’ effectiveness.

From ASG
Asking the Right Questions on Afghanistan

Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski

We need a better strategy for winding down the war and continued engagement in Afghanistan, because if the current strategy continues, we could end up spending billions of dollars ineffectively.

Critics worry airstrike ban will hobble Afghan forces ahead of withdrawal of foreign troops

Associated Press

Critics expressed worries Monday that a presidential order barring Afghan security forces from requesting international airstrikes during operations in residential areas could hobble government troops even as they prepare to take over full responsibility for security in the country from international forces.

As Afghan army gets cash to buy its own supplies, some worry about corruption

McClatchy by Jay Price

The Afghan army is one of the least corrupt parts of a society where more than two-thirds of the citizens think it’s fine for bureaucrats to take bribes. Now that reputation is getting its biggest test: access to more money. Billions of dollars more.

Kabul vendors of stolen U.S. goods fret about future

Washington Post by Richard Leiby

If a case of soap is pilfered from a U.S. military base here or pinched from a NATO shipping container, it will probably, sooner or later, end up for sale in the Bush Market, a sort of thieves’ outlet mall in central Kabul.

Main Hurdle in Afghan Withdrawal: Getting the Gear Out

New York Times by Thom Shanker

As the military begins carrying out President Obama’s order to cut force levels in Afghanistan by half over the next year, getting 34,000 troops out is the easy part: just deliver them to an airfield, march them by the hundreds onto transport planes and fly them home.

Afghan War Cost: We’re Not Done Paying

Huffington Post by David Wood

President Obama insists that the big U.S. role in Afghanistan is coming to an end…What’s not coming to an end is the gusher of billions of dollars the United States is pouring into support of Afghanistan’s army and national police.

How Burr’s bill colors our Afghan decisions

Raleigh News & Observer by Matthew Leatherman

“Crackdown and negotiate” likely framed Obama’s recent conversations about the plan for our long-term military commitment as well as for achieving our political goals. Burr’s bill pushed the White House to shift that balance.

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