This is nothing unusual. It has helped us a lot, it has solved lots of our problems. We appreciate it. …This is cash. It is the choice of the U.S. government. If tomorrow the State Department decides to give us such cash, I’d welcome that, too.Afghan President Hamid Karzai • Responding to criticisms of cash payments (reportedly literal bags of cash), sent from the CIA directly to Karzai’s presidential palace in Kabul. Karzai suggested that the money was used for such diverse purposes as paying off warlords, funding scholarships and tending to wounded members of the presidential guard, though this explanation leaves unattended the main criticisms that have been waged at both his administration and the CIA over this — corruption, opacity, and accountability. Both present and former Afghan sources indicated in reports last week that the cash amount delivered in this manner, over the last decade or so, totaled tens of millions of dollars, while Karzai himself said they were “not allowed to disclose” the official figure. source
Anne and those with her were attacked by the Taliban terrorists who woke up that day not with a mission to educate or to help, but with a mission to destroy. A brave American was determined to brighten the light of learning through books, written in the native tongue of the students she had never met, whom she felt it incumbent to help.Secretary of State John Kerry • Discussing the death of Anne Smedinghoff, a 25-year-old U.S. Foreign Service Officer who was killed when delivering books to a school in Afghanistan. (Her group was ambushed by the Taliban, and she was one of six Americans killed Saturday.) Kerry, who had met the Illinois native just two weeks ago while on a trip to the country, said that she was ”a selfless, idealistic woman who woke up yesterday morning and set out to bring textbooks to school children, to bring them knowledge.” Her parents offered up a similar statement on the tragedy. Smedinghoff’s death is the first of a U.S. diplomat since last year’s Benghazi’s attack.
By the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.President Obama, delivering a line that drew hearty applause. The Afghanistan War, as demonstrated during the 2012 presidential campaign, is actually an issue on which botht he Democrats and GOP have had some second thoughts in recent years. If and when it ends next year will not elude one dubious distinction, though – it’s already the longest war in U.S. history.
I would expect it will be significant, which means thousands, not hundreds, but I would not expect it to be the majority.British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond • Discussing the planned troop withdrawals out of Afghanistan next year. Roughly 500 troops will get removed by the end of 2012, leaving about 9,000 still in the country — so based on Hammond’s statement, as many as 4,500 troops will get withdrawn in 2013.
I’ve been throughout that whole country… the fact is we went there for one reason, to get those people who killed Americans. Al-qaeda. We have decimated al-qaeda central, we have killed Osama bin Laden.Joe Biden, finally name dropping Osama bin Laden in the debate’s Afghanistan segment. Biden and Ryan clashed earlier over looming defense cuts forced by last year’s sequestration deal – Biden advocated for a “leaner” military with more special forces, while Ryan denounced the deal’s mandatory cuts, despite having voted for them in congress.