The unpredictable Afghan leader Hamid Karzai has issued new demands for the U.S. to meet if it wants to keep a smaller military force in Afghanistan after 2014, creating a possible route for the U.S. to finally end its longest war, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Frustrated over negotiations for a stay-behind force of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, President Obama is now weighing the possibility of a faster withdrawal and a “zero option” on troops going forward. That may signal the belated recognition of twin American defeats in the Afghan and Iraq wars, says Beverly Bandler.
Like the Iraq War, the long U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is grinding toward an American loss, with little left behind in either country beyond resentment toward military excesses. Afghan anger is the best interpretation of President Karzai’s bizarre remarks, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel traveled to Afghanistan seeking to reduce tensions between the Afghan government and U.S. Special Forces who face allegations of supporting armed men accused of abusing civilians, as Gareth Porter writes at Inter Press Service.
The Obama administration’s hopes for a negotiated end to the Afghan War are hung up on a dispute with the Karzai government over the future use of night raids by U.S. Special Forces, a tactic very unpopular with Afghans, as Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.
American officials are expressing hurt feelings over complaints from Afghan leaders about the deaths of civilians resulting from the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. Some Afghans have gone so far as to accuse NATO of “occupying” their country these past 10 years, an observation that historian William Blum assesses in this guest essay.