Archive | Afghanistan

Obama Air Strike Killed Woman, Seven Kids in Central Afghanistan


Karzai Reiterates Demand to End Air Strikes Against Villages

by Jason Ditz

Another US air strike against an Afghan village has ended in tragedy last night, with reports that the attack destroyed a home, killing a woman and seven children, and injuring at least one other civilian.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed the incident, reiterating his long-standing demands to stop launching strikes in residential areas, and saying the incident further harmed US-Afghan relations.

The Obama Administration has yet to respond to the killings, while NATO said they are “aware” of the civilian deaths, though they also claimed the strike was aimed at “an enemy force.”

NATO went on to issue a statement expressing “regret for the civilian deaths, but touting the operation as having “disrupted” Taliban fighters in the area.

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US Marines Shoot and Kill Four-Year-Old Afghan Boy


President Karzai calls for ‘absolute end’ to US/NATO military operations on homes and villages

- Jon Queally

Blaming “poor visibility”—not more than twelve years of a war without cause or purpose—Afghan officials say that U.S. Marines stationed in Helmand Province  have shot and killed a four year old boy.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a news conference in Kabul December 8, 2012. (REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail)”As the weather was dusty, the marine forces based there thought he was an enemy and opened fire. As result of mistaken fire, he was killed,” Omar Zwak, spokesman for the governor of the southern province of Helmand, toldReuters.

In response, the Karzai government has called for an unilateral suspension of U.S./Nato military operations taking place in homes and villages.

“We have called … for an absolute end to ISAF/NATO military operations on homes and villages in order to avoid such killings where innocent children or civilians are the victims,” said presidential spokesman, Aimal Faizi, referring to the latest killing of an Afghan child.

Further details of the incident were not available, but a NATO official said the incident would be investigated. Most media outlets connected the death of the young child to the ongoing negotiations between Karzai and the U.S. over a still unsigned Bilateral Security Agreement that would allow U.S. troops to remain in the country long past the current end of 2014 deadline.

No word yet on how the parents, family or friends of the four year old boy killed feel about the possible extension of the U.S. presence.

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Doctors Blame US War as Afghan Child Hunger Crisis Worsens


NGO’s report larger numbers of severely malnutritioned kids under the age of 5

- Jon Queally

The pediatric intensive care unit at Bost Hospital in Lashkar Gah. Médecins Sans Frontières helped the hospital nearly double the number of beds in the pediatric wing, but there are still not enough. (Photo detail: Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times)Despite the promises of a better future for Afghans following the ouster of the Taliban and more than twelve years after the original invasion, humanitarian organizations operating in the country say that a crisis of childhood malnutrition and starvation has quietly continued and is now “worsening.”

United Nations figures show that malnutrition among Afghan children has increased more than 50 percent since 2012, with doctors blaming the instability and violence caused by the U.S.-led occupation as the key reason.

According to a new New York Times investigation, most doctors and aid workers in Afghanistan “agree that continuing war and refugee displacement” are key factors in the rising rate of reported malnutrition in children under five years.

Though definitive and comprehensive health statistics are hard to come by in the country, theTimes report says that experts are clear on one thing: “Despite years of Western involvement and billions of dollars in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, children’s health is not only still a problem, but [...] worsening.”

Among the doctors very “worried” about the situation, Dr. Mohammad Dawood, a pediatrician at Bost Hospital in Kabul, told the Times that there were seven or eight deaths a month there because of acute malnutrition from June through August, and five in September. Similar rates have been reported throughout the country.

And Dr. Dawood squarely painted the continued war as a chief culprit. “There are mines in their fields, and they can’t get to their crops,” said Dr. Dawood, speaking of those in Helmand Province, a place heavy violence during the course of the war. “And they can’t get to help at local clinics, so they’re coming in very late stage in very critical condition.”

As part of their reporting, the New York Times also produced a telling, yet heartbreaking, photo essay of crisis which can be viewed here. Warning, the images are graphic.

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Our Afghanistan Failure Was Led by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton


The Washington Post on 28 December 2013 headlined “Afghanistan Gains Will Be Lost Quickly After Drawdown, U.S. Intelligence Estimate Warns,” and reported that, “The grim outlook is fueling a policy debate inside the Obama administration.”

The three reporters there (Londono, DeYoung, and Miller) did not cite anyone for blame in this, other than CIA Director David Petraeus, for his having demanded his agency “to consult more closely with commanders on the ground,” so as not to produce intelligence estimates that would be discouragingly pessimistic. “The directive was seen by some [at CIA] as an affront” to their independence.

This former general did not want the generals in Afghanistan to face morale problems among their troops. It’s an understandable concern for a general, but not at all appropriate for a CIA Director. Petraeus, it seems, simply didn’t understand that depressed morale among the troops, if it exists, is something that should be simply reported in an NIE (National Intelligence Estimate), but should not be a concern that would guide the writing of it – what it reports.

Petraeus was an extremely poor pick to head the CIA, but he was the man that President Obama himself chose to do this job.

Of course, the CIA is no longer under Petraeus’s control, and the new National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan is not being challenged as to its independence: to the contrary, it is said to be “grim.”


However, the problem with Obama’s Afghanistan policy actually started early in this President’s Administration.

Obama had run for the White House promising to escalate the war against Afghanistan’s Taliban and Al Qaeda, and this is a promise that he kept, even though President Bush had already lost that war, by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in order to fight in Iraq, and then by abandoning the Afghan people to their corrupt aristocracy or “warlords.”

Obama was thus now embarking on a policy to take upon himself the blame for Bush’s failure, to try to salvage that failure; but, instead, he made it even worse.

The U.S. was now backing a corrupt government, which was able to win re-“election” only by massive ballot-box stuffing. For example, on 2 September 2009, Dexter Filkins in The New York Times headlined “Tribal Leaders Say Karzai’s Team Forged 23,900 Votes,” and reported that in one district, Shorobak: “The ballot boxes were taken to Shorobak’s district headquarters, where, Mr. Bariz [the district’s governor] and other tribal leaders said, local police officers stuffed them with thousands of ballots. At the end of the day, 23,900 ballots were shipped to Kabul, Mr. Bariz said, with every one marked for President Karzai. ‘Not a single person in Shorobak District cast a ballot — not a single person,’ Mr. Bariz said,” because Karzai’s brother “detained the governor of Shorobak [Mr. Bariz], and shut down all of the district’s 45 polling sites on election eve.”

Of course, George W. Bush wouldn’t have had any concern about theft of an election, except that it shouldn’t have been done as crudely as this – so obviously. But Obama? Obama simply continued on, with his escalation in Afghanistan, as if America’s troops’ constituting an alien invading “Christian” army in an impoverished Muslim country didn’t matter – not even if the only way to keep the puppet leader in power was at the butt of guns and tanks, such as here.

Even if Obama possessed tact in dealing with Americans, all that he seemed to offer the citizens of a place like Afghanistan was boundless faith in raw power. That’s how he acted, at any rate. The Taliban were a curse, but so were the occupiers – and the occupiers werealiens. In a tribal culture, this means a lot.

On 26 January 2010, Eric Schmitt headlined in The New York Times, “U.S. Envoy’s Cables Show Worries on Afghan Plans,” and he reported that, “The United States ambassador in Kabul [Karl Eikenberry] warned his superiors here [in Washington] in November that President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan ‘is not an adequate strategic partner’ and ‘continues to shun responsibility for any sovereign burden,’ according to a classified cable that offers a much bleaker accounting of the risks of sending additional American troops to Afghanistan than was previously known. … ‘Sending additional forces will delay the day when Afghans will take over, and make it difficult, if not impossible, to bring our people home on a reasonable timetable,’ he wrote Nov. 6. ‘An increased U.S. and foreign role in security and governance will increase Afghan dependence, at least in the short term.’” Eikenberry warned that Karzai “and much of his circle do not want the U.S. to leave and are only too happy to see us invest further.”

President Obama ignored his envoy’s warnings and advice.

Obama continued to pursue his war in Afghanistan, despite its having degenerated, from this moment forward, into a military occupation propping up a corrupt Afghan aristocracy. Of course, the United States is itself increasingly becoming also a corrupt aristocracy or kleptocracy, instead of the democracy that it originally (and long) had been; and perhaps Obama would never himself have become President if he were seen by America’s conservative aristocrats as being a real threat to them; so, Obama was already compromised, at least at home. He was treating the Afghan people as if they would accept domination by a regime imposed by a “Christian” nation thousands of miles away.

If Obama were smart, he wouldn’t have done this; he would have told Karzai that either Karzai would accept a re-do of the “election,” run this time by Afghans overseen by the U.N. or by some other neutral international body, or else the U.S. would withdraw from Afghanistan and fight Al Qaeda in the same way it was fighting them in Pakistan, via drones. Obama didn’t choose that path; perhaps he was thinking that corrupt aristocrats were running the U.S. acceptably well, and so Karzai could do the same.

Obama had been informed; he knew that propping up the despised crook Karzai was building hatred of America among the Afghan people; he couldn’t fail to have known that by staying unconditionally in Afghanistan the U.S. would become viewed by Afghans as a Christian occupier of millions of Muslims – as being an alien military occupier.

But, despite this fact’s being obvious, Obama’s U.S. remained unconditionally in Afghanistan, even after Karzai blatantly stole his “election.”

Here’s one reason Obama should have known better: Right after Obama’s own re-election, Jamie Reno headlined at The Daily Beast, on 15 November 2012, “The Real Scandal of David Petraeus Is Afghanistan,” and he noted that, Lt. Col. John L. Cook, a former Army intelligence officer and senior adviser to the Ministry of Interior in Afghanistan, who oversaw the Afghan National Police, said in his 2012 book Afghanistan: The Perfect Failure, that after Karzai stole the 2009 “election,” he should have been abandoned by the U.S., and that from that moment onward, U.S. troops in that country were putting their lives at risk for nothing. Cook blamed Petraeus, because that was Petraeus’s policy, but Obama approved of Petraeus’s approach, and backed him, notwithstanding opposition from Vice President Biden and others. Lt. Col. Cook blamed Petraeus, simply because, in the military, as in the aristocracy itself, credit goes only upwards, and blame goes only downwards; and Obama was the master here, and Petraeus was merely Obama’s chosen employee, so he could take the blame for the failure; but the real blame lay at the top, with President Obama himself.

This was his policy, and Obama strongly backed his Republican general, and even promoted him to run the CIA.

Cook described Afghanistan as being profoundly corrupt, and his superb book opened by saying: “Afghanistan is riddled with corruption, from top to bottom. … President Hamid Karzai has built a family-run, nationwide, interlocking criminal enterprise.”

Obama backed that operation; and, so, America was now spilling blood for it.

Whenever the U.S. troops would leave Afghanistan, the U.S. would be hated and despised; this would be no victory for anyone but the Taliban.


Throughout this period, President Obama’s U.S. Secretary of State was, of course, Hillary Clinton; and, whereas there was reported to be disagreement about Afghan policy from Vice President Joe Biden, there was none reported from the Secretary of State. To the contrary: She made America’s Afghan policy even worse:

On 26 July 2009, Marisa Taylor bannered at McClatchy Newspapers, “Why Are U.S.-Allied Refugees Still Branded as ‘Terrorists?’,” and she reported that “DHS [Department of Homeland Security] is working with other agencies, such as the State Department, to come up with a solution” to the routine refusal of the United States to grant U.S. visas to translators and other local employees of the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan who wanted to move to the U.S. and who had overwhelming reason to fear retaliation from anti-Americans in their home countries after we left. The State Department did nothing.

Then, Human Rights First headlined on 13 August 2009, “Senator Leahy on ‘Material Support’ Bars,” and reported that, “In a powerful statement submitted for the Congressional Record on August 5, 2009, Senator Leahy (D-VT) reaffirmed his commitment to ‘restore common sense’ to the bars to refugee and asylum status based on associations with what the Immigration and Nationality Act defines as terrorism,” which was “written so broadly” that it applied even to “children who were recruited against their will and forced to undergo military training, doctors (acting in accordance with the Hippocratic oath) … and those who fought against the armies of repressive governments in their home countries.”

The State Department failed to act. On 2 February 2013, the Washington Postbannered “Alleged Terrorism Ties Foil Some Afghan Interpreters’ U.S. Visa Hopes,” and Kevin Sieff in Kabul reported that, “As the American military draws down its forces in Afghanistan and more than 6,000 Afghan interpreters seek U.S. visas, the problem is threatening to obstruct the applications of Afghans who risked their lives to serve the U.S. government.” What kind of lesson is this teaching to interpreters and other local employees of the U.S. missions in unstable foreign countries? Helping the U.S. could be terminally dangerous.

Thus, both at the White House and at the State Department there were leaders who treated the people at the bottom — the Afghan public, and especially the few among them who accepted employment from U.S. corporations and even from the U.S. Government itself — as being not even worthy of note, much less of protection.

This is the way an aristocracy treats its serfs. Somehow, the United States has now gotten leaders like that. Those leaders have sown the wind, and we shall be left to reap the whirlwind, when the Taliban retakes Afghanistan, and our friends there get slaughtered. It’s not the type of “lesson” that a democracy would be teaching to a long-oppressed nation – and to all other such nations throughout the world, that might be considering whether to support our friends, or our foes.

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In the name of Allah Most Merciful Most Gracious



By Kadir Mohmand

It is time for the United States, NATO, and UNAMA to leave Afghanistan. With the widespread, systemic corruption of the Afghan government, drug trafficking, foreign occupation of Afghanistan and the foreign interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, the scheduled 2014 Afghan presidential election must be postponed and not held under these circumstances.

 The 2014 presidential election under occupation will be a fraud. It must be postponed. Because the Native Afghans in the Pashtun areas, who are the majority, and Afghan Muslims in the north of Afghanistan, who have lawfully opposed the war and occupation, have not been allowed to register to vote. Therefore, they will not be able to vote. Fraudulent Afghanistan elections will cause further bloodshed and further chaos. I have heard from an influential Afghan, who is actually working in the field that many of the provinces will not be able to participate in the election like Nuristan and Nangarhar Provinces.


He told me there would be no elections taking place in Nuristan provinces and many others. He mentioned that the Karzai government might move these provinces’ election polling places to Kabul, which just does not make sense. I was also told that in the open market, voter registration cards are selling like hot cakes. There already is so much fraud.

There are just too many problems with this process to hold a legitimate election. Our tax dollars will just be wasted. Right now so many areas in Afghanistan are being excluded from the election process it really will not be an election by the majority of Afghans. Karzai will sign a bilateral security agreement if he gets what he wants from the United States which is to choose the candidate that will become the next president so that his influence continues and his personal wealth continues to grow. The United States is negotiating with him. I believe this kind of dealing is shameful. It must stop.


The United States does not need to spend millions more on these fraudulent elections. Before any elections should be held,  the United Nations , France, China, Russia, England and the United States need to act and hold peace negotiations now with the Afghan Freedom Fighters  to reach an agreement that can lead to true peace and stability.

Even if Secretary Kerry, Ambassador James Dobbins, and U.S. Senator Carl Levin depict the war and occupation as positively impacting Afghanistan, in reality the war and occupation have had enormous negative effects on Afghanistan.



The United States’ war in Afghanistan is beyond the scope of self-defense allowed by Article 51. Self-defense can only legally take place when an armed attack takes place against a state. The Afghan government in 2001, the Taliban, did not attack the United States on 9/11. Nineteen individuals, 15 from Saudi Arabia, attacked the United States. Individual Afghans did not attack the United States.

That is a fact. No evidence has ever been produced by the United States to the contrary. Propaganda, speculation and expert opinions in the media do not constitute credible and relevant evidence. Furthermore, there was no imminent threat that Afghanistan would attack the US or another UN member country.

Self- defense can only be used to repel an attack. Immediately after the tragic events of 9/11, the attacks stopped. There was no imminent threat to attack the US by the Afghan government before or after 9/11. I believe the United States during the past thirteen years of war and occupation has collectively punished and scape goated the Afghan people. Many war crimes have been committed against the Afghan people which need to be lawfully prosecuted in international and/or national tribunals.


First, during the past thirteen years of war and occupation, hundreds of thousands of Afghans have been killed. I believe the United States and NATO are responsible. In addition, during these past thirteen years, Afghanistan has become one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The corruption in Afghanistan is systemic and not just in Kabul. It starts in Washington D.C. Aid monies and other funds knowingly have been given to Afghan war lords and communist war criminals, who have used those monies to grow their enormous personal wealth.

The U.S. has given truckloads of money to corrupt government officials, who do not govern. They do nothing for the ordinary Afghans. They only wait for their suitcases of money to arrive. Some U.S. officials and contractors are also unlawfully getting rich from this war and occupation. Unlike what ordinary Americans are led to believe, very little infrastructure has been constructed. Kabul still is without water and sewage systems.

The villages in the rural areas have faced destruction and contamination because of the war and occupation. Pashtun villagers have been killed, maimed, and forced to leave their villages. I think there has been genocide committed against certain groups such as the Pashtuns and other groups, who disagree with the war. Only a few luxury buildings with expensive stores and hotels have been built to serve the war profiteers.

Second, in 2001, before the war, there was very little drug trafficking if any, in Afghanistan. During these past thirteen years, Afghanistan has become a narco-state. It is now the main exporter of heroin. There is a hundred billion dollars in profit for the war profiteers from this war which is a great environment for the drug trafficking. Until the drug trafficking is stopped this war will not end. I have been told that the Karzai government and family, and some U.S. contractors and officials are involved in this drug trafficking. In addition, the United Nations has reported that 1.6 million Afghans are addicted to heroin. This increase in addiction has led to an increase in AIDS.

Third, due to the environmental contamination caused by uranium –tipped weaponry and western nuclear waste dumping, there has been an increase in cancer and birth defects. I visited many hospitals throughout Afghanistan and well respected medical doctors showed me the evidence. They were greatly concerned about the long term effects on the Afghan people.

When I went to Helmand Province, around the vast REE deposits  I found out that the U.S., NATO and other  countries were dumping nuclear waste and other chemical and contaminated waste nearby there. I was told by Afghans, who lived in that area, that  the U.S. and NATO already has been excavating REEs and other minerals from that area. I also was informed that   the west is bombarding and bulldozing the Pashtun villages on or near the perimeter of these areas.

The villagers are killed or forced to leave their villages. I have been told that special forces rape members of villagers’ families as a way to force them to leave also. In the Afghan culture, rape is very shameful and families leave their village out of shame. I think that there are war crimes being committed such as genocide and ethnic cleansing.  I believe before the   United States’ and NATO’s  withdrawal from Afghanistan, the U.S. and NATO  and other countries, who  contaminated the areas, they need to remove and remediate those areas.

Fourth, with all of this corruption, greed, war, and drug trafficking, child abuse and prostitution have become rampant.  When I was in Afghanistan many prominent and educated Afghans  informed me about this problem and showed me evidence  regarding the child prostitution trafficking. I was outraged to hear western officials and consultants say that this child sexual abuse and prostitution were part of the Afghan culture. Therefore, implying that it is no big deal. This sexual abuse is not part of the Afghan culture and never has been accepted by the Afghans. I know this fact because my father and many family members were in charge of police and security for Afghanistan before the Soviet war and occupation. Child molesters and pimps were prosecuted and faced severe punishment such as the death penalty.

Fifth, I believe the CIA and their agents and collaborators need to stop assassinating and intimidating through kidnappings and torturing the Pashtun leaders such as tribal leaders,  university faculty and students, religious scholars and other professionals, who have lawfully opposed war, occupation and the corrupt  Karzai government. I think these terrorist acts must stop immediately. Some of my educated Afghan colleagues are documenting these war crimes so that eventually these crimes can be lawfully prosecuted in tribunals. I believe Afghans deserve justice just like the Jewish, Bosnian, Rwandan war crimes victims deserved and received justice.

Sixth, I believe that one of the main problems is that the Afghan communists, many who are war criminals from the 1980s, are in high level and middle level positions in the Afghan government. I have been told that the Afghan translators and interpreters, who are Northern Alliance or communists hired by the United States, have been giving misinformation to the United States and NATO, which has resulted in many war crimes and ethnic cleansing of the Afghan/Pashtun.  In addition, , the United States has hired many of them to work for the U.S. government, in the CIA, State Department, Department of Defense, VOA Voice of America, Azadi radio, etc. Theses communists again are causing the division of Afghans and problems in Afghanistan. Instead of prosecuting these communist war criminals in international tribunals, the U.S. governments pays them enormous amounts of money such as to the communist war criminal and war lord, Rashid Dostum, who receives at least $100,000 per month from the U.S. government. These communists are like chameleons, who will change their colors and loyalties for a dollar. I believe the United States government is stupid to support their involvement in the Afghan government, to pay them, and to trust them.

Ambassador Dobbins and Secretary Kerry continually highlight that that 85 % of Afghan women have cell phones and 70 television stations and hundreds of radio stations are broadcasting in Afghanistan. These stations are mainly operated by communists and war profiteers. The war lord and war criminal,Rashid Dostum has his TV station and radio.

Media is important in an open society. However, those Afghans who oppose the war, occupation and corrupt Karzai administration are not allowed to have stations and programs, and to speak out.

I believe this war and occupation needs to end. I think that the United States government, NATO and the United Nations need to leave Afghanistan because they are causing the problems.

I believe Secretary John Kerry and the U.S. Government need to stop interfering in Afghanistan’s government and election. The U.S. government tells the Afghan Freedom Fighters and all others to abide by the Afghan Constitution and not interfere in the upcoming election. Yet, I believe based on Secretary Kerry’s prior actions as a Senator immediately after the last Afghan presidential election and his actions now reveal that the U.S. Government and Secretary Kerry are interfering with the Afghan election and not following the Afghan Constitution.

Last year when I was in Afghanistan and met with Abdullah Abdullah and Northern Alliance regarding ways to achieve peace, I was told that in 2009 then Senator John Kerry promised Abdullah Abdullah that if he did not run in a second round in the fraud -ridden 2009 presidential election, then the U.S. Government would let him be the president in the 2014 election.

Then Senator Kerry pressured Abdullah Abdullah to back off and just let Karzai continue as the puppet president.   Now already, Secretary Kerry is talking with the Punjab ISI, Russia and other neighboring governments to have Abdullah Abdullah, a minority Panshiri, as the next president.  It appears that Afghanistan is going to have another puppet president, Abdullah Abdullah, because the U.S., Pakistan and Russia do not want a Pashtun president with a strong Afghan Islamic government.

This type of interference is déjà vu for the Afghans.  In 1989, Pakistan, the U.S., and Russia negotiated to bring as Afghan president non-Pashtuns, such as Rabbani and Mojaddedi instead of Khalis Baba and other Pashtun mujahideen leaders.  Instead, many of the Pashtun leaders at that time were assassinated such as General Abdul Hakim Katawazi, Professor Said Bahauddin Majrooh, Azizulrahman Ulfat, and Wali Karokhail.

Again, I believe the same interference in Afghanistan’s government and elections is happening because the U.S. government, Pakistan, Russia and others do not want a strong Afghan Islamic government, which is led by a Pashtun. They are sidelining the Pashtuns.  These countries want a weak puppet that they can control. It is common knowledge that money to back candidates, such as Abdullah Abdullah, is given through CIA and other intelligence channels, U.S. AID and other ways. Just like in the United States’ elections now, money wins the elections and controls the process.

I think the United States should not be interfering in other countries’ internal affairs and elections like it has done in recent years in Honduras under Ambassador Hugo Llorens watch and it is presently doing in Afghanistan ( Ambassador Hugo Llorens is again on the scene as deputy of the mission.).

If ordinary Americans and Afghans truly knew what was happening behind the scenes, I think patriotic Americans and Afghans would not like such actions. Americans do not allow other countries to interfere in its country’s internal political affairs and elections, why should Afghans be subjected to such interference? The same puppets, warlords, war criminals are again the candidates for the Afghan fake election in 2014. It is shameful.

Seventh,  I believe to stop this blood shed and further chaos, the United Nations , France, China, Russia, England and the United States need to act and hold peace negotiations now with the Afghan Freedom Fighters  to reach an agreement that can lead to true peace and stability and a complete withdrawal of western troops. .

My father has always told me that if you identify a problem you must always provide a solution.  The solution is for the west to leave the Afghan people alone and let them determine their own future. Afghans have already suffered thirteen years of war, occupation and interference in their internal affairs. I believe enough is enough.  The Afghan natives have always considered from the Indus River to Amu River as Afghanistan.  They have always fought the foreigners to defend this area and keep it independent.

Afghanistan needs to follow God’s law, Shariah law, which is a model system of Islamic life is contained inShariah law. Shariat Law means the straight path, straight way, and the divine law and system for social, economic, political and all aspects of life.  Sharia  law comes from two sources the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. Shariat is best translated the “Right Way of Religion”. Surah 45, Verse 18 of the Holy Quran states, “Then We put thee on the (right) Way Of Religion: so follow Thou that (Way), And follow not the desires Of those who know not.”  Please see the attached peace plan.

It is time that U.S., global and Afghan scholars meet to discuss and analyze the current war approach, which has only escalated war and created more instability. They need to evaluate ways to end the war and bring peace. To date, I believe that  the only advice that the U.S. government has been relying upon  when forming its foreign policy and war strategy for Afghanistan has been from  military think tanks, scholars with former national security , DOD and intelligence backgrounds and careers; basically all war mongers and war profiteers.

For example, the United States has relied upon  advice  from the Kagans, the  RAND corporation, and Afghan Americans like Zalmay Khalizhad, Ehsan Bayat, and former Afghan communists, who are now working for the U.S. Department of State,  Voice of America, CIA and Department of Defense.  I believe these war profiteers will do anything for a dollar, which is the main reason the United States is in such a mess and Afghanistan is a narco-state and so corrupt. 

Any forced-signing of the bilateral security agreement would only escalate the war in Afghanistan and the surrounding region.  I think the war strategy diplomacy needs to change to a peace negotiation strategy with the Afghan Resistance, which is supported by the majority of Afghans.  The current U.S. war approach with its proposed bilateral security agreement is just a formula that perpetuates the continuation of occupation, division, corruption and war. I believe  the bilateral security agreement, which allows permanent  U.S. military bases and troops in Afghanistan,  will not lead to true peace and stability, as the presence of such foreign troops on Afghanistan’s soil only causes more war as evidenced by the past thirteen years.

Again, I believe it is time for the United States, NATO and UNAMA to leave Afghanistan, they are causing the problems.


Kadir A. Mohmand

Former Representative of the Afghan Freedom Fighters for North America during the 1980s

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War in Afghanistan Most Unpopular in US History?


CNN/ORC International survey finds US public vastly opposes war and wants it to end. Now.

- Sarah Lazare

A U.S. Marine and his translator pictured in Kirta, in remote southwest Afghanistan, March 23, 2009. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)American support for the war in Afghanistan has plummeted below that for the wars in Iraq and Vietnam, making this 12-year (and counting) occupation likely the least popular in U.S. history.

So finds a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday, showing that just 17 percent of those surveyed support the war—a significant fall from 52 percent in December 2008. Meanwhile, 82 percent say they oppose the war—a jump from 46 percent in 2008.

“Those numbers show the war in Afghanistan with far less support than other conflicts,”   Polling Director Keating Holland. “Opposition to the Iraq war never got higher than 69% in CNN polling while U.S. troops were in that country, and while the Vietnam War was in progress, no more than six in 10 ever told Gallup’s interviewers that war was a mistake.”

The poll, with a reported margin of error of plus or minus three percent, finds a little over half want U.S. troops withdrawn before President Obama’s publicly stated December 2014 deadline. Only 25 percent say that boots should remain on the ground in Afghanistan past that date.

Despite tanking public support, the Obama administration is pushing for Afghan ratification of the so-called Bilateral Security Agreement, which would extend U.S. military presence far beyond the promised 2014 withdrawal deadline. The pact, which would also grant U.S. troops and contractors immunity under Afghan law and allow continued violent raids of Afghan homes, is currently stalled over Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign it.

Monday’s poll comes on the heels of an AP/GFK poll, previously reported by Common Dreams, which finds that a majority of the U.S. public thinks the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan was the “wrong thing” to do and that the withdrawal is moving too slowly.

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U.S. Aid to Afghanistan: In the Name of Democracy



“Aid agency figures were caught with their hands too blatantly in the  till, their main aid activity being to supply Georgian and Chinese prostitutes with a constant stream of income.“

by  Henry Kamens,   with  New Eastern Outlook, Moscow

[ Editors Note: We have another great investigative journalism piece for you today from Henry and NEO. Brother Kamens ran across the US aid corruption story while working on the epidemic corruption of the former US supported Georgian regime.

Below you will have a front row seat to view top US 'development' agencies using huge amounts of taxpayer money to hire criminals to do their dirty work for them.

We just wanted you to know that the contractor corruption scandals of the past have not even slowed down the stealing.  With the US on the way out in 2014 many of those involved want to get one last looting under their belts before going home to a hero's welcome... Jim W. Dean ].

-  Published  December  12,  2013  by  NEO,  Moscow  -


Expensive to more goods in and out

Expensive to move goods in and out

Over the past 12 years the United States has expended huge financial resources and diplomatic endeavours to establish supply routes to landlocked Afghanistan.

This undertaking had two main effects: it ensured that the ever-increasing number of foreign and local troops in Afghanistan was adequately supplied and it tied scores of Eurasian countries, into broader US foreign policy objectives which often went beyond Afghanistan.

Moreover, securing lines of communication and supply within Afghanistan itself involved entering into a labyrinth of often “murky” contracting arrangements with locals, which has engendered an increasing insecurity and fueled terrorism.

The dependencies among host nations and beneficiaries that have come with maintaining these routes and the overall flow of aid have created long lasting security challenges for the US, which may slow or even stall the anticipated withdraw of troops by the end of 2014.

Basically, the US has had to promise so much to get these supply lines working, including financial and development assistance and political kickbacks, that it cannot just walk away from Afghanistan without leaving a legacy of broken promises and manipulation which will induce further instability in the surrounding region – further threatening US interests and making the retention of a US military presence to defend them inevitable.

Presidents come and go but their problems remain. It is highly likely that the word “Afghanistan” will have the same resonance for future generations as “Vietnam” did for those who remember the 60s and 70s, the very people generally in power today.

Of course, the US is not allowed to be seen making criminal deals openly, even when the only people it can deal with are criminals, whether in government or the private sector. Therefore it is obliged to call its interventions “development support”, designed to enhance democratization, state-building, rule of law, gender equality, etc.

This is the sort of development which introduced gang violence and disease to Jamaica and Haiti, and others countries once remarkably free of gun crime, by sending guns in UN consignments of food aid. It is often forgotten that in development literature (Chambers, et, al.) development means “Good Change”, thus in the eye of the beholder.

Bad Change

Andrew Wilder - Tufts Univ.

Andrew Wilder – Tufts Univ.

Some years ago Andrew Wilder, a development expert and professor at Tufts University, gave a talk on the radio about how foreign aid can contribute to endemic corruption.

Almost casually, he stated that the military in Afghanistan now thinks of development aid as a “weapons system”–a soft one to be sure, but a very real one for it to be so obviously stated as such.

He added that such “aid”, by its nature, creates winners and losers in the local community, depending on who gets it, and how subcontracting and sub-sub-contracting merely adds to the corruption.

Wilder’s 18-month research study, “Winning Hearts and Minds? Examining the Relationship between Aid and Security in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Horn of Africa”, which was funded by the governments of Australia, Norway and Sweden, focuses on the effectiveness of humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in promoting security in insecure areas.

It addressed the widespread assumption that aid projects can help promote stability and security by helping to win hearts and minds, a doctrine often touted in support of actions the US would never be allowed to undertake at home, and concludes that, “given how influential this assumption is in influencing where aid money is spent, how much is spent, and who spends it, there is currently remarkably little empirical evidence that either proves or disproves the assumption.”

In fact there are too many instances where such aid has had just the opposite effect, and actually undermined the US and its allies and any efforts to bring about stability and viable democracies – by installing the real controllers of the supply routes in effective power, then leaving vulnerable to armed revenge from various groups, with different agendas, when Uncle Sam chooses to no longer cover their backs at the expense of the local community.

Big Picture

Guarding supply lines can use up a lot of troops

Guarding supply lines can use up a lot of troops

There are several supply routes to Afghanistan, and one of their features is how closely they follow the best established international trade routes in the region – the ones used for smuggling drugs are also used for providing weapons and supplies to NATO forces.

The Northern Supply Route, which passes through  Georgia and Central Asia, has now become an important hub for extending US policy in the region. Of course these routes are not always officially controlled by governments, but if the criminals and warlords can be bought off they are more secure than those which are fully in civilian hands.

So governments have to be helped in controlling the criminals, and therefore the supply routes, by brokering deals between criminals and governments; this satisfies all parties, including the U.S.

To enforce these, actors outside national boundaries who can threaten both parties are needed – thus creating a tangled web of “foreign policy” connections between a vast array of countries and extrajudicial forces which cannot be broken overnight, as too much is at stake for too many.

The reality on the ground in Afghanistan drives US policy in a number of countries of the former Soviet Union, such as the Baltic States, Georgia, Azerbaijan and various Central Asian countries, which lie along the supply routes and serve as hubs for the transit of US troops, or satellite/proxy forces, often referred to as NATO allies, weather members or not.

This has created dependencies which now operate independently of any coherent US or NATO policy.It’s like being forced by a bully to go to a pub with him – you just can’t quit.

So what exactly is the “development aid” being provided to buy off the supply route bosses? Take this case from Afghanistan.

In September 2006, USAID/Afghanistan awarded a three-year, $80 million grant to the Academy for Educational Development (AED) to implement the Agriculture, Rural Investment and Enterprise Strengthening (ARIES) programme.

Its intended aim was to provide microfinance and SME lending in certain areas where USAID is trying to get people to shift away from opium cultivation, including a Northern Alliance-held area near the Tajik border, an area east of Kabul centred on Jalala.

Feeding Frenzy

AED, the prime contractor which oversees all the subcontractors, had no institutional expertise in rural credit. The money was divided up as follows:

AED headquarters in Washington, D.C.

AED headquarters in Washington, D.C.

An agency called FINCA received $10 million for micro financing work. One called WOCCU, run by ex-Green Beret Randall Spears, received $15 million to create 20 credit unions.

One called ACDI/VOCA, run by another ex-senior military ops guy with no welfare provision background who happens to have fallen into development.

Rusty Shultz, received a $12 million grant to set up credit cooperatives, about $30 million went to an apex organization called MISFA to make SME loans through banks and microfinance loans, ShoreBank managing this operation as the official advisor to MISFA, and the remainder went to administration.

The Director of AED was Leon Waskins, who has longstanding links with the importation and funding of the terrorists introduced into Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge from Afghanistan in cooperation with the Northern Alliance back in the late 1990s.

Due to this, and institutional knowledge, it was actually run by Rusty Shultz and his close buddy Gerry Anderson of USAID, who entered Afghanistan having previously filled a significantly more senior role in USAID Georgia.

They did this until several aid agency figures there, including Rusty Shultz, were caught with their hands too blatantly in the till, their main aid activity being to supply Georgian and Chinese prostitutes with a constant stream of income.

Alcoholics and worse

"Which is Which?"

“Which is Which?”

One of the projects they funded was a juice factory, which ARFC, the Afghan Rural Finance Centre, provided a loan to and Chemonics, a US-based development contractor, provided technical assistance for.

This was ostensibly given a loan for about $4 million for a project which many people involved in the project believed could have been delivered for about $900,000 from accounts, a common “leakage” which has occurred in many USAID projects.

USAID’s former Technical Cognizant Officer, in charge at the time, was Dorvin Stockdale, who didn’t last long – most probably removed, along with three others, for corruption or covering up corruption in the name of the US.

He oversaw dozens of projects and contracts, and in at least one of these a contract went missing from files, only to be found on Stockdale’s desk, no longer in its original form. He also oversaw the appointment of key personnel to the funded projects.

One of the reasons that allegations were made against him was that most of these individuals were known to professional aid workers as people who had been kicked out of projects in other countries for being alcoholics and worse.

People whose own pasts can be used against them, therefore, if they decide that they have seen enough and want to put a halt to the gravy train.

To deal with criminals, you have to either prosecute them or become criminal yourself. The criminals have always maintained the drug routes the US relies on to get troop supplies back and forth. Aid provides a neat way of buying off the criminals in the name of democracy.

But to do that you have to employ them, buy them off under the counter; misuse what is, after all, taxpayers’ money. All of this does not win any hearts and minds other than those of criminals and the governments which are themselves reliant upon them. This creates regimes with no popular support and undermines any attempt to support democracy or human rights.

Threat to broader US interests

"Who always pays in the end?"

“Who always pays in the end?”

If the US ups and leaves, too many people who won in one deal but lost out in others will want to claim the whole pot for themselves.

That threatens broader US interests, and the only way to defend these will be by leaving troops and “advisers” there to create a new generation of criminal leaders no better than the old.A study of any of the countries along the route from Afghanistan to Europe shows how well the US has done this over the years.

The ineffectiveness of what has transpired in Afghanistan comes with many unintended consequences. By design or incompetence, the US and its allies have found themselves in a quagmire, and to depart without leaving in place a functioning government is to give the keys to the inmates, The US troop withdrawal isn’t going to happen.

What now? There are two options, declare victory – and then the redeployment of the troops to a new trouble spot, even justifying their continued presence by starting a new war in the region, beyond the drone war.

It makes any normal person question why we went in there in the first place. Ever wonder where the weapons used in the Arab Spring, and its more enduring offspring, came from? Or why so many people in Afghanistan now prefer the much hated Taliban to US and NATO occupation?

Posted in Afghanistan, USA0 Comments

Majority of Americans: Invading Afghanistan Was ‘Wrong Thing to Do’

Poll also finds majority thinks US troops should now withdraw more quickly
- Sarah Lazare

Members of Afghans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and allies lead a thousands-strong march against a NATO summit in Chicago in May 2012. (Photo: Iraq Veterans Against the War)More than twelve years after the initial invasion, U.S. public opinion of the so-called “Good War” in Afghanistan appears to be souring.

A clear majority of people in the U.S. say the 2001 decision to attack Afghanistan as a response to the events of September 11th was a mistake and that the current withdrawal of U.S. troops is not moving fast enough, according to an Associated Press-Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung poll (pdf) released Wednesday.

“I’m glad to know the majority of Americans now acknowledge what we’ve been saying all along,” said Suraia Sahar of Afghans United for Justice in an interview with Common Dreams. “This war continues to have disastrous consequences. I can only hope this time a lesson has been learned.”

Based on results from 1,367 adults with a reported margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, the poll finds that 57 percent say the United States did the “wrong thing” by “going to war in Afghanistan.” By contrast, 40 percent said the U.S. did the “right thing.”

Fifty-three percent said the withdrawal of troops is moving too slowly, 34 percent said the pace is good, and 10 percent said it is too fast.

A slim 16 percent of respondents said they expect the situation in Afghanistan to improve over the next year, with 32 percent saying they expect it to worsen—numbers that reflect a decline in hope since the same question was asked in 2009.

Six out of 10 respondents in the U.S. also said they approve of an interim deal struck with Iran in late November.

The poll comes as the Obama administration pushes for ratification of a so-called Bilateral Security Agreement with Afghanistan, which would extend U.S. military presence far beyond Obama’s 2014 withdrawal deadline, grant U.S. troops and contractors immunity from Afghan law, and allow U.S. troops to continue raiding Afghan homes.

The deal is currently stalled over Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign it, citing demands for the U.S. to repatriate Afghan Guantanamo Bay prisoners, launch peace talks with the Taliban, and stop raiding Afghan homes.

“Invading Afghanistan is a national mistake that must be addressed now and into the future,” said Maggie Martin of Iraq Veterans Against the War in an interview with Common Dreams. “We cannot ignore the possibility of 10 more years of occupation, the legacy of war that continues to impact the people of Afghanistan, and the lack of care and transitional support for hundreds of thousands of veterans who have served there.”

“American history tells us it was wrong. Afghan history tells us it was wrong,” said Sahar. “The war was doomed to fail before it began, and I fear we’ve still learned nothing.”

Posted in Afghanistan0 Comments

When NATO Leaves Afghanistan

by Giuliano Battiston

Local Afghan elder standing near US traffic checkpoint in Afghanistan. (via The Atlantic)JALALABAD, Afghanistan - Afghanistan’s 30 million people are deeply divided over whether President Hamid Karzai should sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with Washington that will allow U.S. military operations to continue in the conflict-ravaged country after NATO forces leave in 2014.

Some believe the BSA is important for stability in Afghanistan, others say it could invite further trouble from insurgents. Yet others believe signing the pact would antagonise countries like Pakistan and Iran.

“We are a weak country, militarily, economically and politically. That’s why we need the agreement. We have to make a very pragmatic choice: accept the Americans here or face a very uncertain future with no country willing to help us,” Hedayatullah Amam, a businessman in his 50s, told IPS.

“Karzai is just playing a political game to present himself as a man protecting national sovereignty, but that will be over soon.”

The U.S. wants to sign the pact soon as possible, but President Karzai wants to wait it out till the next presidential elections in April 2014. However, many in Afghanistan see it as mere posturing on his part.

“Karzai will sign the agreement for sure,” said Amam who was travelling in a shared taxi from capital Kabul to Jalalabad, 120 km away.

“He is just playing a political game to present himself as a man protecting national sovereignty, but that will be over soon. I predict he will approve the agreement within one month, maximum two.”

After the Taliban was dislodged from Kabul in 2001, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was mandated by the U.N, Security Council to assist the Afghan government, fight insurgency and support the growth of Afghan security forces.

The BSA – endorsed by the Loya Jirga, a consultative assembly of elders and representatives from 34 provinces – provided for the possibility of U.S. troops staying on after the ISAF mission was completed by end 2014 and using at least nine military bases, including the strategic Bagram air base outside Kabul.

“The U.S. is the strongest country in the world,” said Asadullah Larawi, regional officer at the Civil Society Development Centre. “A partnership with America would prevent our neighbours from interfering. Our government has to make them understand that the bases are not a danger to them,” he told IPS.

According to NATO, there are 84,000 international soldiers present in Afghanistan today, 60,000 of them from the U.S. If the BSA comes into place, 8,000 to 15,000 foreign soldiers could stay on after 2014.

Afghanistan’s own security forces are relatively new. Created in 2002, its army now has 200,000 personnel and its air force has around 6,800 personnel. The Afghan National Police has 50,500 personnel and the districts are manned by 24,200 local policemen.

President Karzai is facing increasing pressure after he unexpectedly decided to postpone the approval of the BSA.

On Dec. 3, at the start of a two-day NATO foreign ministerial meeting in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen made it clear that NATO commitment would disappear without the approval of the BSA.

After National Security Advisor Susan Rice visited Kabul Nov. 25, the White House too released a statement saying, “The lack of a signed BSA would jeopardise NATO and other nations’ pledges of assistance made at the Chicago and Tokyo conferences in 2012.”

Kate Clark, researcher at the Afghanistan Analysts Network of Kabul, believes the U.S. message was unequivocal.

Clark wrote: “Sign soon or risk the ‘zero option’, which, according to the statement, would include no U.S. troops, no NATO troops, no ‘enabling’ of Afghan security forces and the disappearance of billions of dollars of aid – not just the salaries of the police and army but also the civilian assistance that had been pledged at Tokyo.” In July 2012, international donors pledged in Tokyo to give Afghanistan 16 billion dollars in civilian aid over four years.

But many Afghans think the BSA will corrode Afghanistan’s already fragile sovereignty.

Naqibullah ‘Saqib’, head of the political science faculty at Nangarhar University, said, “Once the agreement is approved, countries like Iran and Pakistan can easily create bigger problems than the current ones. Russia could also do so.”

The fears are not unfounded. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently said his country opposes the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan.

Baz Mohammad Abid, a well-known journalist here who works for Radio Mashaal, the local branch of Radio Free Europe, says that continuing to have U.S. bases in the country will have an adverse impact.

“Whether we like it or not, the Americans will keep some bases. Despite the reluctance of President Karzai to sign, the Afghan government has already basically agreed to it.

“But the agreement will be detrimental for us because our neighbours will be extremely vexed and will try to expel the Americans from the region by arming insurgents. I believe they should not stay,” Abid told IPS.

Some point out that the presence of international troops has not stopped neighbours from interfering in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.

Wahidullah Danish of the Civil Society Development Centre said, “Who is to say that the American military bases will deter the neighbours? There are many foreign armies in Afghanistan today, but there is still a lot of interference,” he said.

“American military bases are unacceptable to our neighbours and to insurgents who could even launch another jihad against foreigners,” he said. “Instead of hosting American bases, we should strengthen our own army with more weapons and training.”

Posted in Afghanistan0 Comments

No More US Boots at Afghan Doorsteps?

By Dr. Ismail Salami
Global Research

In his refusal to sign the Afghan-US security pact which would enable some US troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014, Afghan President Hamid Karzai is signaling a clear message to the United States: Afghanistan does not need US troops on its ground any more.

Unlike the US claim that the presence of its troops is meant to safeguard security and safety in the country, Karzai is manifestly no longer capable of bringing himself to envisage a safe country with American boots at its doorsteps. On the contrary, in the presence of US troops lingers an overriding sense of insecurity which has cast its phantasmagorical dark shadows over the entire region.

The NATO now has some 84,000 troops in Afghanistan, the majority American. In a tone which clearly sought to underestimate the authority of the Afghan President, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that Afghanistan’s defense minister or government could instead sign the pact.

The controversial Bilateral Security Pact will determine how many US troops can stay in Afghanistan after the planned withdrawal of foreign forces at the end of 2014. Further to that, it will give legal immunity to American soldiers who remain in Afghanistan, an issue which has become a sticking point.

On November 19, Afghan President Hamid Karzai rejected a key provision of the pact which allowed the US forces to enter homes and said it was an act of aggression.

Besides, US troops in Afghanistan are disrupting order in the country as they interfere in the affairs of the Afghan police and military forces.

On Sunday, Karzai issued a statement claiming that US-NATO forces were withholding fuel and other material support from their Afghan counterparts in an effort to force him to sign the security agreement.

“This deed is contrary to the prior commitment of America,” Karzai’s statement said. “Afghan forces are facing interruption in conducting of their activities as a result of the cessation of fuel and supportive services.”

“From this moment on, America’s searching of houses, blocking of roads and streets, military operations are over, and our people are free in their country,” he said.

“If Americans raid a house again, then this agreement will not be signed,” he said, with the American ambassador, James B. Cunningham, in the audience.
Karzai has come under severe attacks by many in the US and in the West.

A senior US official has even warned that Afghanistan will eventually lose global support if Karzai keeps contributing to this recalcitrant attitude.

Tom Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser until earlier this year, has said Karzai was “reckless” for risking a situation in which no US or allied troops would remain in his country after next year.

“I think it’s reckless in terms of Afghanistan, and I think it also adversely impacts our ability to plan coherently and comprehensively for post-2014,” Mr. Donilon told ABC News.

In another diatribe on Karzai, Dianne Feinstein, a senior Democratic senator, described the Afghan president as “a cipher”. She said Karzai is “the victim of what thought occurs to him right at the moment based on some anger that he feels about something that may not even be related.”

An ill-founded observation in this regard also comes from Omar Samad, former Afghanistan ambassador to France (2009-2011) and to Canada (2004-2009) and spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry (2002-2004). In his article titled: Be patient, the Afghans are fed up with Karzai which he has penned for CNN, he argues, “What lies at the heart of his aggressive posturing is the future of his family’s political and financial interests after his second term ends in 2014. That strategy has also been markedly shaped by 12 long and strenuous years of Machiavellian exploits, insecurity and frustration with his Western backers.”

Certainly Samad has been exposed to frequent political rote learning by the Westerners. And he wishes to hammer home an idea which hardly fits into any logical argumentation.

In other words, the only reason he sees behind Karzai’s opposition to the security pact is purely personal rather than anything beyond.

Karzai who was even awarded an honorary knighthood by the British Queen at Windsor Castle is no longer an asset, a friend as he now stands in the way of the very pivotal forces which used to prop him up.

The deferment in signing the pact on the part of Afghan President has naturally frayed Washington’s nerves and exhausted their patience. No doubt, the pact is of utmost significance to the US as it guarantees the success of any future military or intelligence operations in the region. That is why Iran has responded negatively to the pact. On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Ministry said Iran does not believe the security deal will prove beneficial to the Afghan government and nation.

The pact, if signed, will allow the US to maintain their nine permanent military bases in Afghanistan, which borders on China, Pakistan, Iran and the former Soviet republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

As the situation stands, pressure is piling up on the weakened Afghan government and the Americans apparently seek something more than a sheer presence in the war-weary country. Viewed as an American blank check, the agreement can well serve long-term military and intelligence purposes in the region.

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