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Afghanistan War Weekly, July 18, 2011

There was a high level of violence in Afghanistan this week, including assassinations of Hamid Karzai’s half-brother and one of his top government advisers.  Afghanistan faces additional difficulties as well, from drought and famine to insurgent attacks. US-Pakistan relations continued to deteriorate this week with the US government withholding $800 million in military aid to Pakistan as punishment for Pakistan’s lack of cooperation with the US in the region.

Violence in Afghanistan

Afghanistan government under threat after second assassination in a week
There were two assassinations in Afghanistan this week: Hamid Karzai’s half-brother, and his adviser Jan Muhammad Khan. The assassinations threaten the stability of the Afghan government.

Contractor accused of negligence in soldier deaths
Interpreter Nasir Ahmad Ahmadi shot and killed 2 unarmed US troops and wounded another after being dismissed from his position. Ahmadi was shot and killed by an Army sergeant who ended the rampage. The soldiers’ families are filing a lawsuit against US military contractor Mission Essential Personnel, who hired Ahmadi to work as an interpreter for US troops in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan War Diary: Weapons cache found in Sangin
Over 400 pounds of explosives and other weapons were found in Sangin.

Plot to kill Afghan Interior Minister foiled: officials
A plot by three policemen to assassinate Afghanistan’s Interior Minister was foiled on Tuesday.

U.N. secretary general assails Taliban over civilian deaths
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon criticized the Taliban’s indiscriminate killing of Afghan civilians.

Afghanistan News and Opinion

Why the US won't leave Afghanistan
The US’ reluctance to leave Afghanistan is tied to its economic and energy interests in the region, not to its stated goal to wipe out al-Qaeda. Commentary by Pepe Escobar.

WFP: Three Million in Afghanistan Will Need Food Aid
Drought in Afghanistan is expected to result in up to 3 million people requiring food assistance this year, according to the World Food Program. In order to feed all of the drought victims, the WFP will need $200 million.

In high heels, head scarves, Afghan women protest harassment
Approximately 20 women in Kabul took to the streets to protest street harassment on Thursday, with a number of men marching in solidarity.

Pakistan News and Opinion

Why Obama's Military Aid Cut is Unlikely to Change Pakistan's Behavior
While the Pakistani public is generally opposed to Pakistani cooperation with the US, public opinion is less of a factor in the deterioration of US-Pakistan relations that resulted in Obama’s decision to cut $800 million in US military aid to Pakistan than Pakistan’s own national interests.

Al Qaida commander Ilyas Kashmiri is alive: Dawn
Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri, who was believed to have been killed in June, has been reported to be alive in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.


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