Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Help from India

India is the fourth largest financial contributor to Afghanistan's efforts at reconstruction. India is about to send $750 million in agricultural assistance for Afghanistan's sensitive (and poppy-rich) southern provinces. All I can say is, if you find yourself receiving aid from India, you must be really poor. Afghanistan News. net

The Germans Sure Aren't What They Used To Be!

In response to a NATO request, Germany is sending 6 Tornado jets to Afghanistan for reconnaisance operations. A leading German opposition party promptly petitioned the courts to try to stop the deployment. 57% of the German population wants all of Germany's troops redeployed home. The article says that soldiers morale in Afghanistan is low. I don't know why. The Germans won't leave their camps FOR ANY REASON! They certainly aren't conducting any combat operations, and, their's is one of the only camps that has beer. Whatever happened to gleefully marching into countries singing patriotic songs about the Fatherland, and promptly destroying all armed opposition?.....Guess the German Army has been emasculated....Earthtimes.org

Fighting in Waziristan

Tribal leaders in Waziristan are fighting against Al-Quaeda linked foreigners. Pakistan says this is vindication for it's policy of limiting it's military involvement in the area. The government says this is proof that many of the tribesmen in the region have been won over to the government's side. Most of the foreigners are Uzbeks, and the Waziristan tribal leader is named Nazir. Examiner.com

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Afghanistan's Civil War

This is a report given by James Dobbins of the Rand Corporation to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on March 8. In the report, he explains why Afghanistan is experiencing civil war. To me, Afghanistan's internal conflict does not approach the threshold of civil war. Certainly there are elements that are fighting against the national government forces, but, again, I do not believe that is on the level of a civil war. He cites Iranian, Russian, and American aid to the Northern Alliance as the key factor that allowed the Alliance to eject the Taliban regime in 2001. However, immediately after the Taliban ouster, economic aid was slow and meager in arriving in Afghanistan. American aid is approximately $50 per year per capita for the average Afghan. Since the national government is unable to provide security or economic prosperity, Taliban recruitment efforts have been successful, especially in the eastern provinces where the population is heavily Pashtun. The Taliban were primarily of Pashtun ethnicity. The Rand Corporation

Suicide Bombings more Common

A suicide bomber in a truck filled with explosives detonated himself near an Afghan police convoy in Khost province, an area near the border of Pakistan, killing 5 and wounding 38. Historically, Afghans have been hesitant to use suicide bombings as a weapon. That's not to say they are not fierce fighters, they are. Perhaps the surge in suicide bombings indicates an increased number of foreign fighters in the country. As a result of the increased bombings, there have been an increased number of civilians shot and killed when they get too near military and police convoys. USA Today

Happy Birthday Osama!

Osama bin Laden turned 50 years old on March 10th. He is believed to be located in the north-western Waziristan region of Pakistan and is thought to be creating more terrorist training camps there. Critics of the Bush administration blame him for losing focus on capturing bin Laden by becoming involved in Iraq. Pakistani president Musharraf continues a balancing act of appeasing American demands for increased security and tribesmen of the region who have strong tribal ties to the Pashtun Taliban, and, by association, with bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Council on Foreign Relations

The Brits May be Jumping Ship, but not the Aussies

Australia is considering sending more troops to Afghanistan where they already have about 550. The Australian Prime Minister John Howard said in the same news conference that there were no plans to decrease the number of Australian troops in Iraq. Agence France Presse (AFP)