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Afghanistan: Two Funerals and a Policy Disaster?

A microcosom of failure unfolds in Kandahar.

Khaled Nasir


July 22, 2011 - 12:00 am
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Bitter recriminations between the two countries followed. The Obama administration announced that it was suspending $800 million of military aid to the country. Next came the murder of Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistani journalist whose work was revealing the intimate relationship between the Taliban and Pakistani military.

This crisis came at a very bad time for Pakistan, whose economy is spiraling downwards. Electricity shortages are shutting down industries; rising food and fuel prices are causing protests on the streets. Karachi, the country’s economic center, is often shut down by ethnic gang violence. In the current bout of bloodshed, killings claimed over 100 lives.

As the U.S. government pulls troops and claims success, the security situation is worsening — despite the almost decade-long NATO military presence. The Taliban is on the offensive, even as it is being engaged in negotiations by the U.S. government. One security disaster follows another as trusted Afghan soldiers kill CIA or other advisors and the April 26 mass prison break in Kandahar was among the many humiliations suffered by the regime.

Kandahar may be the place where the cracks form that swallow America’s Afghan mission.

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Khaled Nasir lives in Bangladesh.
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