Andrew Lebovich
Foreign Policy
August 13, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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ISAF commander Gen. David Petraeus and other military officers are publicly and privately pushing to limit troop reductions starting in July 2011, in order to allow time for U.S. forces to fully pursue a broad counterinsurgency policy — from raids and targeted killings to improving governance and population protection (NYT, TIME). U.S. forces expect increased fighting this fall around Kandahar, where Special Forces are engaged in an active campaign to target Taliban commanders inside the city while other forces will eventually clear the city’s outlying districts (Reuters, AP). Rajiv Chandrasekaran has a must-read dispatch from Kandahar detailing a land dispute that demonstrates the stark divide between Kandahar’s government and its people (Wash Post).

Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s reaction to an investigation of Afghanistan’s largest money-transfer business, the New Ansari Exchange, continues to strain the relationship between Karzai and his American interlocutors and has limited the reach of anti-corruption bodies mentored by U.S. federal agencies (WSJ). And the worsening insurgency and security situation throughout Afghanistan is threatening to derail the upcoming scheduled parliamentary elections, seen as necessary to show that the central government can function independently of the United States (NYT).

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An ISAF operation in southeastern Afghanistan near Pakistan’s border has reportedly killed 20 fighters linked to the Haqqani Network (Dawn). In eastern Afghanistan a crowd of 300 protesters chanted anti-U.S. slogans in response to claims that NATO forces killed innocent civilians, a claim NATO denied (AP). Pentagon officials are worried about the impending disclosure of additional documents from WikiLeaks (Wash Post). And Gen. James Mattis was sworn in yesterday as the new commander of the U.S. Central Command, the post that oversees American military operations in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan (WSJ, AP, AFP).

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