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Afghanistan War Weekly, July 5, 2011
This week, the violence continued in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, with targets ranging from security checkpoints to a minibus carrying a family of refugees. Several stories mentioned the use of unmanned drones in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is expected to increase as a substitute for troops being withdrawn from the region as part of the drawdown. Despite Obama’s assertions to the contrary, many in the US and elsewhere see the war in Afghanistan as unsuccessful. This is evident in many of this week’s opinion pieces, as well as articles detailing people’s reactions to the war.
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Violence in Afghanistan
Roadside bomb kills 11 Afghan family members
13 Afghan refugees, 11 of whom were believed to be in the same family, were killed when a roadside bomb struck a minibus in Zabul province. The family was en route from Pakistan to Ghazni province. 4 more civilians were killed in a separate incident in Kandahar, where two landmines exploded one right after the other.
Afghan, NATO Forces Capture Militant Dressed as Woman
Afghan and coalition forces in Kunduz detained a male militant wearing a burqa. The militant was suspected of planning attacks against Afghan security forces. Male militants in Afghanistan often disguise themselves as women in order to evade security checks.
US military deaths in Afghanistan at 1,542
The AP counted 1,542 US military deaths in Afghanistan as of July 5, 2011.
Afghan district governor accuses Pakistan of stoking war on border
Afghan district governor Wali Shah has claimed that the Taliban are operating from Pakistan with relative impunity, and that Pakistan is “pretending” to crack down on them. Pakistani officials responded by citing incidents in which Afghan fighters have crossed into Pakistan to carry out attacks on security checkpoints.
Afghan mine development seen costly, risky and slow
Although Afghanistan has plans for projects to develop its mining industry, experts believe the projects are too expensive and likely to be targets of violence, both of which discourage companies from investing.
Pakistan Moves to Cut Off Taliban Haven
Pakistani forces launched an attack on Taliban fighters in the Kurram region bordering both Waziristan and Afghanistan.
Improvised explosive attacks soar in Pakistan
Attacks using improvised explosives are on the rise in Pakistan. There were 3 IED attacks on Tuesday alone, which killed 7 Pakistani troops and wounded 24 in North Waziristan.
Pakistan’s Shamsi base : a mystery wrapped in a riddle
Even though Pakistan’s Defence Minister Mukhtar Ahmad said that Pakistan has stopped US drones from taking off from Shamsi air base in southwest Baluchistan province, US officials say they will remain at the base. This is because Shamsi air base was leased to the United Arab Emirates in 1992. After the start of the “war on terror” the UAE handed control of the base to the US. The situation raises questions about the sovereignty of Pakistan’s military bases.
Other Related News
Obama: Success achievable in Afghan war
President Obama said the US has been successful in achieving its mission of weakening al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Mural Exhibit Depicts Costs to Civilians in Afghanistan
A traveling exhibit features murals depicting the effects of the war on Afghan civilians, especially women and children. Instead of being painted on walls, the murals are painted on panels so they can travel more easily.
U.S. and Allies Cut Plans for Funding Afghanistan's Forces
The US has agreed to fund 46,000 Afghan security forces for 2012, which is 26,000 fewer than previously expected.
One Year Ago: WikiLeaks, the 'Afghan War Logs'—and the Debate That Did Not Follow
A retrospective look at the fallout from WikiLeaks’ release of the Afghan War Logs, one year later.
Senator wants crackdown on Afghanistan projects
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO, is calling for more oversight of US funding for civilian projects in Afghanistan.
Poll: Four in 5 approve of Obama's plan for Afghanistan drawdown
A CBS/New York Times poll found that 4 in 5 Americans approve of Obama’s troop drawdown, and over half would like to see an even bigger withdrawal.
Iraq And Afghanistan War Debt Includes Steep Price Tag For Air Conditioning
The US is reported to be spending $20.2 billion annually on air conditioning in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Obama Afghanistan War Policy to Shift to Covert, Drone Tactics
Obama’s troop drawdown coincides with an increase in the use of unmanned drone strikes and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan.
Let’s Not Linger in Afghanistan
Senators Merkley, Paul, and Udall urge President Obama to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, instead of 2014.
Eric Margolis: ‘The US has already lost the Afghanistan war’
Why the US has failed in its political objective in the Afghanistan war. Commentary by Eric Margolis.
A slow pace for women in Afghanistan
Progress for Afghan women will have to take place on the terms of Afghans themselves. Column by H.D.S. Greenway.
Can Afghan women count on Hillary Clinton?
Hillary Clinton promised to involve Afghan women in the peace process last year, but this year women’s rights in Afghanistan seem to be lower on the US government’s list of priorities. Commentary by Meredith Tax.