From AFPAK Channel:
After a particularly unconvincing March 8 intelligence briefing at NATO headquarters in Kabul that U.S. officers had hoped would persuade Karzai to remove his influential half-brother Ahmed Wali Karzai from power in Kandahar, Gen. McChrystal directed his subordinates to "stop saying bad stuff about AWK" and work with him instead (Wash Post). AWK, who reportedly reads all his press clippings, allegedly met now-captured Taliban no. 2 Mullah Baradar twice in January in the border town of Spin Boldak (NYT). The U.S. military's intelligence network, initially designed for tracking insurgents, is now focusing more on identifying Afghanistan's pervasive corruption (NYT).
Is it worth printing money for this?
And from the same issue, in follow-up re the revelation about mineral wealth in Afghanistan, the military is part of the deal:
Although there are "a lot of ifs," according to Gen. David Petraeus, "there is stunning potential here."
I thought the military was for war-fighting, not prospecting.
Now we know part of what German president Koeler was referring to before he recently resigned:
Koehler said May 22 upon his return from a trip to Afghanistan that "in emergencies, military intervention is necessary to uphold our interests, like for example free trade routes, for example to prevent regional instabilities which could have a negative impact on our chances in terms of trade, jobs and income."
The more the U. S./NATO effort in Pak-ghanistan appears to be an old-fashioned imperialist war for control of mineral and opium resources, the more the effort will breed opposition. It won't matter how many "militants" are killed by Predators.
Meanwhile the 100,000 American soldiers in Afghanistan could be doing useful things at home for the same expense and without all the death and disability they are suffering.
Killing "foreigners" (al-Qaeda) with drones is inexpensive and internationally defensible. The rest of this effort is looking dicier by the day.
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