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Afghanistan War Weekly, May 16, 2011

In this week’s news roundup, the effects of the killing of Osama bin Laden are still unfolding. The strain the raid put on US-Pakistan relations is apparent. Whatever the effects of the raid that killed bin Laden on Afghanistan, violence is on the increase there, with the Taliban’s previously announced spring offensive against Afghan and US/NATO forces. With retaliatory attacks already occurring in Pakistan, it remains to be seen how revenge for the killing of bin Laden will play out in the future and in other regions.

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--Sharon Miller

Afghanistan Developments

Al Qaeda "cadres" still help Afghan Taliban: U.S.
Although there are fewer than 100 al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan today, they continue to provide aid to the Afghan Taliban, namely technical battlefield skills and resources. The impact of bin Laden’s death on this situation remains to be seen.

Pentagon expects IED hits to rise
The US military is preparing for an increase in attacks from improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan, which are the leading cause of fatalities and injuries to US troops.

Ethnic Conflict Erupts in Peaceful Corner of Afghanistan
Clashes over grazing rights have broken out in the Behsud district of Afghanistan’s Maidan-Wardak province. The clashes between Kuchi nomads and Afghan police have killed 2 policemen and injured another.

For Second Time in 3 Days, NATO Raid Kills Afghan Child
An Afghan boy was killed in a night raid conducted by NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan. His death sparked demonstrations where police opened fire on protesters in the village of Narra.

Afghan reconciliation plan needs more clarity: Kerry
Sen. John Kerry has said that the plan to reconcile the Afghan government with Taliban fighters needs to be clarified before the US will agree with the plan.

Taliban on Twitter for Afghan Internet age
The Taliban is now on Twitter; they sent out their first tweet on May 12, 2011. Previously the Taliban had banned almost all electronic products in Afghanistan.

Tackling mental health problems in Afghanistan,0,34194...
An article on mental health conditions and treatment in Kabul, Afghanistan, especially as they relate to the war.

Moderate 5.9 quake strikes Afghanistan
A 5.9 earthquake hit Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush region near the border with Pakistan. No casualties or damage have been reported.

Four NATO Service Members Killed in Afghanistan
4 NATO service members were killed in southern Afghanistan in an explosion. There was no confirmation of the nationalities of those killed.

Pakistan Developments

80 killed, 140 injured in Pakistan suicide bombings
80 people were killed and 140 were injured in two suicide bombings in Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban is believed to be behind the attacks, which are considered the first retaliatory attacks in response to the killing of bin Laden.

Pakistan, US try to smooth bin Laden row
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Pakistan in an effort to ease tensions between the US and Pakistan following the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Kerry Brings 'Reset Button' to Pakistan
Senator John Kerry visited Pakistan to address concerns about the raid that killed bin Laden, and to attempt to repair US-Pakistan relations.

Pakistani Officials: U.S. Missiles Kill Seven Militants Near Afghan Border
7 militants were killed in Pakistan by missiles launched from US drones.

Osama bin Laden Aftermath

US general: Too early to gauge bin Laden killing
Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, the second-ranking U.S. general in Afghanistan, has said that it is too early to tell what kind of impact the death of Osama bin Laden has had on the war in Afghanistan, because it is not yet clear how his death will impact al-Qaeda’s operations, as well as the Taliban’s previously announced spring offensive in Afghanistan.

Osama photos kept private to avoid anti-US anger: Gates
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that the Obama administration’s decision not to release photos of bin Laden’s body was partially due to a desire to avoid anti-American backlash.

Disney wants to trademark bin Laden killers
The Walt Disney Company is trying to trademark “Seal Team 6”, the name of the unit responsible for killing bin Laden, through the US Patent and Trade Mark Office.


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