Global Post, 13 July 2010 ‘What Afghans need is a transformation that ends a long pattern of human rights violations’, writes Norah Niland, until recently the chief UN human rights officer in Afghanistan, in an opinion piece.
dpa, 13 July 2010 ‘After a prayer, the sergeant asks for a motto for the patrol. «Fuck the Taliban», one soldier proposes. «Fuck the Taliban», it echoes back from the platoon. A reportage by Can Merey from his embedded tour in Kunduz (in German).
AfPak Channel, 12 July 2010 Read an interesting interview with journalist Anand Gopal reporting from Kandahar who broadens our view at ‘local power brokers’ beyond Ahmad Wali Karzai and talks about the ‘success’ of NATO strikes against the Taleban in the area: that a younger, more radical generation of fighters takes over.
Washington Post, 28 June 2010 Another report on how political protection undermines rule of law and prevents embezzlement from being exposed in Afghanistan
Wall Street Journal, 25 June 2010 Another interesting contribution on Afghanistan’s political economy. Here: The boxes of money taken out of the country.
The Rolling Stone, 22 June 2010 THE Rolling Stone story that cost General Stanley McChrystal his Afghan job.
The Captain’s Journal, 21 June 2010 Hershel Smith’s interesting blog takes on the assumption that the Sons of Iraq option can be copied in Afghanistan (see our discussion of LDI) and looks at why Helmand ‘went wrong’ and on what he calls a ‘horrible deal’ with Mulla Salam in Musa Qala.
New York Times, 19 June 2010. The US and the UK supporting an effort to establish local councils in 100 districts. The revival of ASOP after all.
McClatchy, 18 June 2010 “On behalf of the city of Kabul and the Kabul police, if you have paid a bribe or ‘tip’ to someone in the past, I apologize,” the officer says in Dari to the disbelieving driver. “Please take 100 Afghanis.”
IWPR, 17 June 2010 Afghan analysts and MPs seem to agree that not only the Taleban but also ISAF forces use Afghan civilians as ‘human shields’. Says one analyst: “If the foreigners want to reduce this hatred, they should […] leave the cities, and stop moving through crowded civilian areas.”
Washington Post, 15 June 2010 Although we not necessarily agree with everything author Richard Cohen says, he says it very well (and funny). And we also have additionally confusing news for Gregor Samsa: Vietnam was called Iraq before Afghanistan. (Please read in combination with Robert D. Kaplan, ‘Man Versus Afghanistan’, see below)
Le Monde diplomatique (German edition), June 2010 An excellent account of Kandahar’s complex situation, full version apparently only available in German, with a shorter English version on the author’s website www.stephengrey.com.