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Afghanistan War Weekly, June 27, 2011

This week, Obama’s troop drawdown announcement continued to spark debate around the world. Even though many people see the drawdown as a sign that the war is starting to wind down, the threat of violence in Afghanistan and Pakistan remains, with violent attacks continuing in both countries. Meanwhile, public antiwar sentiment continued to grow in the US and elsewhere. The idea of an end to the war also coincided with some media stories about the effect of the war on US veterans. This week’s AWW also contains links to some interesting (and hopefully useful) interactive online maps and charts relating to the war in Afghanistan.

Thank you for reading.

Sharon Miller

Afghanistan/Pakistan News

Hospital blast unprecedented in Afghan war
60 people were killed and 120 wounded in a car bombing at a hospital in Logar Province, Afghanistan. The Taliban denied involvement in the attack.

Eight Afghan police killed in checkpoint attack
The Taliban attacked a police checkpoint in Ghazni, Afghanistan, killing 8 police officers.

Taliban: Militant and wife staged attack on Pakistani police
12 policemen were killed in a suicide bombing in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, which was carried out by a husband and wife team of attackers. The attack marks the first time the Pakistani Taliban has confirmed using a female suicide bomber.

Taliban behind most Afghan civilian casualties
An assessment by coalition forces estimates that 85% of civilian casualties are the result of Taliban attacks.

Afghanistan war fueling rampant corruption
Corruption in Afghanistan is rampant, especially near Kabul.

Many Afghan schools still lack the basics
Many schools in Afghanistan do not have chairs, desks, textbooks, trained teachers, or even classrooms. Teachers are not adequately paid, and schools have historically been the targets of violent attacks.

More Troop Drawdown Reactions

Obama’s Afghanistan Exit Plan Gets Mixed Reviews in Congress
Congress is divided in its reaction to Obama’s troop withdrawal plan.

Americans React to President's Plans for Afghanistan
A sampling of opinions from people around the US, in response to the troop drawdown announcement.

Afghanistan Withdrawal: Reflections of Soldiers on Front Lines
US troops in Afghanistan react to Obama’s drawdown announcement.

Obama Losing Dems on National Security at Critical Time
Obama’s foreign policy is unpopular with many in his own party, even those who have supported other policies of his.

Splitting the baby? Obama charts "centered" Afghanistan plan
Analyzing Obama’s decision-making process regarding the troop surge and drawdown.

US Veterans

Returning vets to face a tough job market
12% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are unemployed and having difficulty finding jobs in the civilian workforce.

Legacy of Mental Health Problems from Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Will Be Long-Lived
Over 26% of all returning US troops are estimated to be suffering from mental health conditions such as PTSD, depression, and traumatic brain injury. These problems might not be apparent until months after the soldiers return from war.

Related US & Other News

Afghanistan withdrawal reaction could decide Barack Obama's electoral fate
Americans are turning against the war in Afghanistan, and their reactions to the troop drawdown could decide Obama’s fate in the upcoming election. Without the campaign support of antiwar progressives, Obama could be a one-term president.

Petraeus calls CIA a ‘bargain’ at confirmation hearing
While the Afghanistan war costs approximately $10 billion per month, the CIA budget is estimated at approximately $6 billion annually, although the exact number is classified. Gen. David Petraeus is expected to take over the CIA in September.

As Politics of War Shift, Risks for Obama Ease
The deficit, Republican opposition to the war in Afghanistan, and the killing of Osama bin Laden have combined to make the prospect of ending the war less politically risky for Obama.

A chat with Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)
An interview with John Garamendi focusing on Congress and the war in Afghanistan.


Afghanistan: The Taliban, the US, feminism, power and the use of women to wage war
Despite assertions to the contrary, the war in Afghanistan did not advance women’s rights.

An open letter from Afghan refugees in Turkey to UNHCR
This open letter from Afghan refugees in Turkey describes the challenges they face, along with what they are demanding from the UN to improve their situation.

Shift Against War Spending a Sign of People Power
The recent increase in mainstream and congressional sentiment against war spending is the result of years of antiwar agitation from peace activists. Commentary by Robert Greenwald and Derrick Crowe.

‘Combat Hospital’ infected with boring clichés
A review of the TV show Combat Hospital, which is set in a military hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Interactive Media

War in Afghanistan: all the data you need to understand the conflict
A series of maps and charts detailing casualties and other fallout from the war in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan war: every death mapped
An interactive map displaying the casualties of the war in Afghanistan.

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