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February 4, 2014
16:06 // 8 months ago
September 10, 2013
14:43 // 1 year ago
June 25, 2013
19:47 // 1 year ago
May 4, 2013
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
15:19 // 1 year ago
May 13, 2012
Afghan peace council member killed: Arsala Rahmani, a former Taliban official who switched sides and became part of the country’s peace council to negotiate a peaceful end to the war, was shot and killed Sunday morning while he was on his way to work. The Taliban has denied responsibility. (photo by Reuters)

Afghan peace council member killed: Arsala Rahmani, a former Taliban official who switched sides and became part of the country’s peace council to negotiate a peaceful end to the war, was shot and killed Sunday morning while he was on his way to work. The Taliban has denied responsibility. (photo by Reuters)

9:49 // 2 years ago
May 1, 2012
Afghan War: What is the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement?
It’s a document with a pretty intimidating name, that’s for sure. Obama’s trip to Afghanistan early Wednesday local time seemed loaded with mystery — few knew he was there until he was actually there. He was there to sign a document that many watching the news had no idea existed until today. And the document itself is the definition of how a long-standing war will finally end, thirteen years after it started — at least as far as combat troops go. This document, just eight pages, was so important that the White House had to release a fact sheet to explain it to the average joe. What does it mean to you, anyway? Here are three things you should take from the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement:
one The U.S. government will continue to help the Afghan government train its security forces even after combat troops leave the country in 2014, with the goal of giving the entire region stability.
two The U.S. will continue to fund security and development efforts in the country, but not by default — the president has to ask Congress for a new round of funding each year.
three This effort goes both ways — Afghanistan is on the hook to improve the transparency and effectiveness of the government, while respecting the civil rights of its people. source
» So what’s the end date? The end of the document says this clearly: “It shall remain in force until the end of 2024.” (It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time this end date has been bandied about.) Which means, at that rate, the events around the Afghan War will be completely said and done 23 years after it started, though combat troops should be long gone. Hopefully.
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It’s a document with a pretty intimidating name, that’s for sure. Obama’s trip to Afghanistan early Wednesday local time seemed loaded with mystery — few knew he was there until he was actually there. He was there to sign a document that many watching the news had no idea existed until today. And the document itself is the definition of how a long-standing war will finally end, thirteen years after it started — at least as far as combat troops go. This document, just eight pages, was so important that the White House had to release a fact sheet to explain it to the average joe. What does it mean to you, anyway? Here are three things you should take from the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement:

  • one The U.S. government will continue to help the Afghan government train its security forces even after combat troops leave the country in 2014, with the goal of giving the entire region stability.
  • two The U.S. will continue to fund security and development efforts in the country, but not by default — the president has to ask Congress for a new round of funding each year.
  • three This effort goes both ways — Afghanistan is on the hook to improve the transparency and effectiveness of the government, while respecting the civil rights of its people. source

» So what’s the end date? The end of the document says this clearly: “It shall remain in force until the end of 2024.” (It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time this end date has been bandied about.) Which means, at that rate, the events around the Afghan War will be completely said and done 23 years after it started, though combat troops should be long gone. Hopefully.

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21:02 // 2 years ago
I recognize that many Americans are tired of war. I will not keep Americans in harm’s way a single day longer than is absolutely required for our national security. But we must finish the job we started in Afghanistan, and end this war responsibly.
President Barack Obama • Speaking in a televised speech in Afghanistan, hours after landing at a military base near Kabul in a surprise visit. While emphasizing the need to end the war — the last combat troops are expected to leave in 2014 — he spoke of the importance of seeing the mission through. “The goal that I set, to defeat Al Qaeda and deny it the chance to rebuild, is now within our reach,” he said. While in Afghanistan, the president signed a document with Afghan president Hamid Karzai “Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement,” meant to clarify the American role in the country after the war.
20:21 // 2 years ago
March 15, 2012
Afghan security forces have the ability to keep the security in rural areas and in villages on their own.
Afghan leader Hamid Karzai • Saying in a statement that he wants international troops out of Afghan villages for good, in the wake of a deadly shooting of Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier. In related news, peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and U.S. broke down Thursday.
8:19 // 2 years ago
March 11, 2012
This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai • Using tough words in discussing the mass killing of 16 Afghan civilians, allegedly at the hands of a U.S. soldier. Karzai says he’s asked the U.S. to stop killing Afghan civilians many times in the past, but the latest incident seems to have put him over the edge.
11:40 // 2 years ago

Mass shooting in Kandahar could further hurt U.S.-Afghan relations

  • 16 killed in Afghan shooting spree; one U.S. soldier is in custody source

» Another blow to U.S.-Afghan relations: With the killing of civilians allegedly at the hands of a U.S. soldier in Kandahar Province, tensions in the region are further rising, just weeks after a Koran-burning incident brought relations between the two countries to an all-time low. Afghan President Hamid Karzai says that 9 children and 3 women were among those killed. “This is a deeply regrettable incident and we extend our thoughts and concerns to the families involved,” the U.S. said in a statement, promising an investigation would follow. The U.S. Embassy also urged calm.

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10:30 // 2 years ago