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Narco-State
July 27, 2008 9:25 AM   Subscribe

Is Afghanistan a Narco-State? "Drug-related corruption pervades the government in Afghanistan, a former U.S. counternarcotics official says."
posted by homunculus (54 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sending more troops to Afghanistan could backfire, experts say
posted by homunculus at 9:33 AM on July 27, 2008


And this is a surprise why? You've got a poor country with only one cash crop. We come in there and try to eradicate it. Not a good way to make friends and not something that is going to work out well. Why we don't buy it and either burn it or re-sell it for legitimate pain medicine (which is needed in the 3rd world as I wrote here, I do not know.

It actually would cost the same as what we are doing now and be much more effective.
posted by Maias at 9:40 AM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


And then you start sending low-level criminals or just poor kids with gang connections over there to fight the wars and guess what comes back in their luggage?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:43 AM on July 27, 2008


Is Afghanistan a Narco-State? "Drug-related corruption pervades the government in Afghanistan, a former U.S. counternarcotics official says."

Okay, so... yes?
posted by dammitjim at 9:48 AM on July 27, 2008


And then you start sending low-level criminals or just poor kids with gang connections over there to fight the wars and guess what comes back in their luggage?

What better way to fight a war against drugs than sending some of America's finest street gangs to take control of the trade?
posted by three blind mice at 9:49 AM on July 27, 2008


The D.E.A. had excellent agents in Afghanistan, but there were not enough of them, and they had seemingly unending difficulties getting Mi-17 helicopters and other equipment that the Pentagon promised for the training of the counternarcotics police of Afghanistan. In addition, the Pentagon had reneged on a deal to allow the D.E.A. the use of precious ramp space at the Kabul airport. Consequently, the effort to interdict drug shipments and arrest traffickers had stalled. Less than 1 percent of the opium produced in Afghanistan was being seized there. The effort became even more complicated later in 2006, when Benjamin Freakley, the two-star U.S. general who ran the eastern front, shut down all operations by the D.E.A. and Afghan counternarcotics police in Nangarhar — a key heroin-trafficking province. The general said that antidrug operations were an unnecessary obstacle to his military operations.

Anyone else here think that the "see-no-evil" policy of failing to clamp down on Afghanistan's poppy cultivation and drug trafficking was intentional and systematic? It sure seems that way: perhaps some people within the CIA-Pentagon-Karzai axis have been skimming off the top.

Billions of dollars in drug money floating around a country as poor as Afghanistan requires a kind of organized corruption: someone needs to get paid off to look the other way every time a few tons of heroin are smuggled out of the country, for example.

Maybe this helps explain Cheney's cavalier attitude towards the drug war in Afghanistan, as relayed in the article's description of the WH briefing:

The vice president made only one comment: “You got a tough job.”
posted by ornate insect at 9:53 AM on July 27, 2008


Maias writes "It actually would cost the same as what we are doing now and be much more effective."

True, but that would reduce the profits of the ams companies and teh pharmacutical companies. Follow the money.
posted by orthogonality at 9:54 AM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


The question has to be rhetorical. Saying that Afghanistan is a narco-state is similar to saying that the sun is hot, or that vacuum is not suitable for breathing.

That the corporate media is pretending to be surprised simply illustrates how deeply invested they are/were in selling Bush's wars and absolving him of any responsibility for the consequences of those wars.

Look at the abject failure of Bush's wars vs. the success of WWII. Afghanistan is an "Islamic Republic", where Sharia is supreme law, there are no guarantees of rights, and Theocracy is the rule of the day, the Taliban remain major political and military players, and to call the nation a US ally is an obscene joke.

Compare and contrast to the successful reinvention of Japan following WWII: Japan is no longer a nation ruled by Shinto and ruled by an Emperor and has become our close ally.

That Afghans are still growing opium to feed the demand in the US is the natural and obvious consequence of Bush's decision to completely ignore the place once the bombs stopped falling. Like a child with ADD, Bush is interested only in fun explosions, and once they stop he turns to the next place to bomb. Remember that the first budget Bush submitted following his invasion of Afghanistan contained exactly zero dollars for rebuilding the country, by then he was distracted by the pretty lights going off in Iraq.

At this point the failure is so deep that I doubt it can ever be rectified. Warlords and other powerful interests are now financially tied to the opium trade and will resist to their utmost any attempt to put Afghanistan into any other sort of economy, and most especially will resist any efforts to improve the lives of ordinary Afghans. Essentially the US, or someone, will have to fight another war in Afghanistan in order to end the fact that its entire economy depends on the narcotic trade.
posted by sotonohito at 9:59 AM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


It actually would cost the same as what we are doing now and be much more effective.

I agree completely, but sadly I doubt it will happen. Maybe Obama will change the policy if he wins the election, but I'm not holding my breath.

Poppy for Medicine
posted by homunculus at 10:03 AM on July 27, 2008


"Why we don't buy it and either burn it or re-sell it for legitimate pain medicine (which is needed in the 3rd world as I wrote here, I do not know."

Primarily, the reason is that we don't have the networks of guys riding in motorcycles to the farm gates to buy it. The area is controlled by tribal leaders (mostly) entrenched in the production, and they would make life impossible for anyone attempting to set up such a network. The security simply doesn't exist. Also, it would be counterproductive and would simply increase production along with the demand - you'd find farmers in areas who aren't growing opium to start growing themselves. And as for the "legitimate trade" option, it overlooks two facts: first that Afghan farmers cannot compete in term of cost with the professional farmers in France, Australia and Turkey in the production of the opium; and second, that while the need may be greater that the current production, none of those who need it can pay for it.
posted by YouRebelScum at 10:05 AM on July 27, 2008


Russia accuses the U.S. military of involvement in drug trafficking out of Afghanistan.
posted by adamvasco at 10:14 AM on July 27, 2008


Barnett Rubin's critique.
posted by daksya at 10:14 AM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Taliban had outlawed the growing of Opium, for at least two years before our entry into Afghanistan.

Originally our war there was to broker the oil pipeline down to India to bail out Enron, but we were a little late for that. That oil pipeline wasn't even going to be opened in Afghanistan, for any benefit of the people of that nation.

As soon as we entered Afghanistan, Opium production reached an all time high. The Heroin business is one of the reasons we are there. We are guarding the growers, and producers of heroin, and someone in our camp, makes great money on it.

There was a herd of mules left over from the Spanish American War, that ended up at the Toole Army Depot, some time back. They were shipped to Afghanistan for some reason, years ago. I would imagine it was part of the startup in our participation in the Narcotization of Afghanistan. It is likely the mules went to "freedom fighters" that would later help us remove Russia from the management team. Those freedom fighters and our transport stock, are still the backbone of the Opium business of Afghanistan.

The deliberate obscuration of the facts in this matter, and the media posing this whole thing as a question, is so passive aggressive in my mind. They want to ask the question, that they know the answer to, and have us answer, securing their jobs, I guess, and putting the burden of proof on freelancers.

When the world was on foot, donkey, and camel, Afghanistan was the crossroads of Asia. Every sort of good passed through the mountains there, bound for China, India, and west into the Middle East. They are traders by nature, and the trans continental nature of their location makes them a rough society, a society of survivors.

The long relationship with the drug trade has created a brutality of mind, that exists in those traders, wrapped around a fatalistic version of Islam, that makes them exceptionally nihilistic and fierce.

Is Afghanistan a Narco State, well yes just like the other lawless Narco states with whom we share close alliance. The most brutal Narco States on the Earth are like buttons down the sleeves of our Sunday suits.
posted by Oyéah at 10:15 AM on July 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


Compare and contrast to the successful reinvention of Japan following WWII: Japan is no longer a nation ruled by Shinto

One of the differences between the Axis & our present nation-building projects is that Germany, Japan, and Italy were first-rank members of the world comunitat; Japan was to be the host of the 1940 summer olympics.

Also, the fascists of the Axis countries had only recently hijacked their respective nations and while popular support was certainly deep in some -- let's call them conservative -- quarters it was not quite as wide as the PR.

Also the German and Japanese (Western) Allied occupations were relatively reasonable, and by the time the occupation army had arrived the fascist elements had largely discredited themselves and their cause to the majority of their countrymen.

To quibble, the occupations didn't have to "reinvent" much in setting up the postwar establishments in Germany and Japan. It was more of a reestablishment of the status quo ante, minus the militarists who had led their nations into utter catastrophe.

I am not qualified to comment on the ongoing strength of the Taliban and AQ forces in the M.E., nor do I wish to be.
posted by yort at 10:19 AM on July 27, 2008


Pharmocracy
posted by MNDZ at 10:20 AM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Originally our war there was to broker the oil pipeline down to India to bail out Enron

your understanding of the history surrounding the natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan is seriously off-kilter.
posted by yort at 10:22 AM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


As was pointed out in a comment above: the Taliban closed down the trade and we paid them to do it...now, with the Taliban need of money to fight us, they allow it to grow and profit from it.

I spoke to a returning soldier from Afghanistan and he claimed that the CIA was getting some of that money. I can not attest to the truth of this but we do know they had been involved in money-making dope biz in S. America some years ago.
posted by Postroad at 10:23 AM on July 27, 2008


Ever since the opium wars, imperial powers have leveraged the drug trade in times of war: in Vietnam, CIA complicity in drug smuggling has been well documented, as has the Iran-Contra drug smuggling connection. Afghanistan is no different.
posted by ornate insect at 10:23 AM on July 27, 2008


"natural and obvious consequence of Bush's decision to completely ignore the place once the bombs stopped falling"

Afghanistan wasn't ignored. This, remarkably, isn't about the Americans or Bush or a lack of attention. It isn't about how much money was spent, but about how much the institutions in place, both foreign and Afghan, could spend. Neither Afghanistan's government nor it's aid structures can usefully absorb money. All the attention in the world is irrelevant if you have no legitimacy and no humility in your approach, and that was the case of the aid intervention. The sooner people realise that the problem in Afghanistan isn't about what Bush did or has done, but about the limitations of what we in the West can do more generally even given the purest motives in the world, the better things will be in places like Afghanistan.

As soon as we entered Afghanistan, Opium production reached an all time high. The Heroin business is one of the reasons we are there. We are guarding the growers, and producers of heroin, and someone in our camp, makes great money on it.

Perhaps, but only because we stopped a nasty, nasty civil war, which was making any productive agriculture at all very difficult (the Taliban's ban was probably self interested rather than ideological). Also, it's absurd to say that the Western governments are complicit. Afghans closely linked to Karzai are making a cut, and have been put in positions of power, including a worrying number of Hizb-i Islami (a significant anti-Western Pashtun mujahideen party). This doesn't mean the US or any of the other Western actors are getting a cut. It means no more than that they can't stop it. The warlords and tribal leaders have been linked to the opium since Afghanistan changed from a rentier state during the Cold War to an unregulated borderland. The problem is systematic.
posted by YouRebelScum at 10:25 AM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


in case anyone would like some background ; - War Report.
posted by adamvasco at 10:30 AM on July 27, 2008


adamvasco and daksya, those are those very interesting articles. Thank you both.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:35 AM on July 27, 2008


For in-depth analysis of the production side of the industry, there's a few articles here.
posted by YouRebelScum at 10:37 AM on July 27, 2008


your understanding of the history surrounding the natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan is seriously off-kilter.

It is just my memory playing tricks on me. The pipeline was the reason, along with the Heroin. Things haven't improved much in Afghanistan, even with all our good work there. They still don't have a dental plan, oh, and neither do we, come to think about it.
posted by Oyéah at 11:11 AM on July 27, 2008


nor do the Canadians.
posted by yort at 11:13 AM on July 27, 2008


"Well, speak of the dead and not-quite-buried. It turns out that, in April, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (acronymically TAPI) signed a Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement to build a U.S.-backed $7.6 billion pipeline. It would, of course, bypass Iran and new energy giant Russia, carrying Turkmeni natural gas and oil to Pakistan and India. Construction would, theoretically, begin in 2010. Put the emphasis on “theoretically,” because the pipeline is, once again, to run straight through Kandahar and so directly into the heartland of the Taliban insurgency."

Gas and Oil pipeline. So I am not quite as out of it as projected.
posted by Oyéah at 11:16 AM on July 27, 2008


Anyone else here think that the "see-no-evil" policy of failing to clamp down on Afghanistan's poppy cultivation and drug trafficking was intentional and systematic? It sure seems that way: perhaps some people within the CIA-Pentagon-Karzai axis have been skimming off the top.

If I were running counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, I'd do everything thing I could to stop the DEA's operations. Nothing could be worse for fighting the Taliban/Al-Quada then preventing farmers from making money. Trying to fight terrorism while at the same time criminalizing most of the economy is a recipe for failure.
posted by delmoi at 11:35 AM on July 27, 2008


Originally our war there was to broker the oil pipeline down to India to bail out Enron

Huh? No number of pipelines was ever going to "bail out Enron." Principally because everything they were buying was bought on borrowed money secured against fraudulently values assets. They would still have gone bankrupt and had their property siezed.
posted by public at 11:37 AM on July 27, 2008


If I am not mis-remembering the "-stan" suffix means something along the lines of "hills where people hide."
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:21 PM on July 27, 2008


I have a relative who just returned from a stint working in the US embassy there, dealing with this very problem. He said the NYT article was right on, though a little harsh on Karzai. FWIW.
posted by emelenjr at 12:44 PM on July 27, 2008


No More 'Collateral Damage' in Afghan Attacks?
posted by homunculus at 1:05 PM on July 27, 2008


The Taliban, Unocal and a Pipeline
posted by ryoshu at 1:52 PM on July 27, 2008


What shocked me was this:

Another ally for a more aggressive approach to the problem was David Kilcullen, a blunt counterterrorism expert. He became increasingly concerned about the drug money flowing to the Taliban. He noted that, while Afghans often shift alliances, what remains constant is their respect for strength and consistency. He recommended mobile courts that had the authority to execute drug kingpins in their own provinces. (You could have heard a pin drop when he first made that suggestion at a large meeting of diplomats.)

Um, mobile execution courts? This is OK how? This is where the drug war leads-- complete insanity.
posted by Maias at 2:31 PM on July 27, 2008


We're just looking at symptoms here. There's not a single doctor in the metaphorical hospital who knows what we're dealing with and how to cure it. There's a lot of speculation, and meanwhile humanity is on the gurney being wheeled into Prep and everyone's running around doing things Stat and no one knows jack shit. It's really fucking hilarious when one looks at it from a safe distance. Like say, Pluto.

Bill Maher nailed it when he explained once that megacorporations are what's fueling the drug war. This isn't about protecting Joe Q Public. "Ridilin does not want to compete fairly with marijuana in the marketplace because it will LOSE!"

This Muslim extremist bullshit versus Christian extremist bullshit is a smokescreen. Muhammed and Jesus were both fighting for the same side, they just came at the problems of humanity from notably different angles.

It's about oil. It's about drugs. It's really about control and power and influence, using things that manipulate people. Admittedly, that takes a lot of money to do, and is practically impossible to track - how do you climb up the puppet strings to find the real puppeteers? Deep Throat was right: "Follow the money." The cashflow is the circulatory system of the behemoth.

I'll tell you this much: the people actually shooting at each other? Or the people shouting at each other and threatening one another? They're not your problem. They're the smoke screen. They're the puppets. They're the ones being manipulated.

Drugs are one of the strings.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:21 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thomas Scweich, I don't believe one damn word of your article. Not even "the". Not even "a".
posted by telstar at 5:32 PM on July 27, 2008


Recommended: Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market - While not strictly related to the Afghan situation, it offers lots of thought provoking perspective on the evolution of the arguments behind the modern U.S war on drugs, and the business opportunities 'counter-narcotics' legislation has spawned.
posted by acro at 9:27 PM on July 27, 2008


The Taliban virtually stamped out opium production in Afghanistan in return for 1 - or was it ten? not more than ten - million dollars from the USA. If you consider the billions we spend fighting cocaine in the Americas, that was the most well spent 10 million bucks ever. Just imagine what a little more constructive engagement could have led to back then. Instead, we invade, prop up the besieged federation of drug lords clinging to power in 5% of the country, and reignite a civil war that had just about finally been settled. Bravo.
posted by BinGregory at 11:50 PM on July 27, 2008


Ok, upon fact check, 43 million. Pennies on the dollar, really, compared to what opium control (or lack of it) is costing us now.
posted by BinGregory at 12:06 AM on July 28, 2008


You can get a stick of gummy, fragrant hash the size of your pinky finger for $20 in Kabul. Everything else about the place sucks, especially the massive explosions.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:59 AM on July 28, 2008


prop up the besieged federation of drug lords clinging to power in 5% of the country and reignite a civil war that had just about finally been settled

Do you have any idea what you are talking about? Massoud, Dostum et al. - who I presume are the very nasty 5% - were at the very most only peripherally involved in the drug trade. The vast majority of opium is grown in the Pashtun belt, or in the mountains of Badakhshan. Talking comfortably about the civil war being 'settled' is all well and good from an armchair in the West, but you talk to the Hazaras, Tajiks or Uzbeks under the Taliban rule and ask them how happy they were about it.

Also, it's generally accepted [heavyish documents] that the Taliban implemented a ban so that they could sell their stocks off when the price was high (it rose tenfold that year), and maybe to curry a little favour with the US. They had no interest in or capacity for maintaining a ban longterm - indeed, poppy took off in Afghanistan when they were in control of the Pashtun areas in the late nineties (before the nineties, poppy was an incidental crop).
posted by YouRebelScum at 2:44 AM on July 28, 2008


yort I'm not sure that the Taliban were particularly more or less liked by the average Afghan than the Imperial government was by the average Japanese. You could be correct, of course, but the fact is that a) the average Afghan saw his standard of living decrease dramatically during the Taliban's rule, and b) even at the end of the war the average Japanese expressed [1] a large degree of sympathy for the Emperor, and a great deal of devotion to the idea of Empire. It was only after the US occupation that Joe Japanese started seriously questioning whether or not their sacrifices had been worthwhile.

Obviously Afghanistan is not Japan and the war there was different from WWII. OTOH thanks to Bush's policy of "sure, stay a theocratic shithole" we'll never know if a better approach would have worked or not.

[1] Whether this was honestly felt or no is an interesting question.
posted by sotonohito at 3:41 AM on July 28, 2008


average Afghan saw his standard of living decrease dramatically during the Taliban's rule

There is no such thing as the "average Afghan". There are too many linguo-ethnic groups and tribes to make any claim of that nature. The Taliban reacted differently to each of them. For the Pashtun your claim may be right. For the Kabulis, possibly also (at least the rockets stopped - but then, Massoud was getting close to achieving that himself, for better or worse). But I worked for a year in Massoud's heartland, and I can tell you that the Taliban rule was no bed of roses for them.
posted by YouRebelScum at 4:18 AM on July 28, 2008


Afghans swap poppies for wheat as food costs soar
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:10 AM on July 28, 2008


For the record, I'm sitting crosslegged on a mat in the East, but yeah you're probably right, in my mind, I'm still on my comfy sofa in Detroit. I didn't mean to imply that the Northern Alliance were more or less involved in the drug trade than anyone else. My point was first, that the Taliban were sufficiently in control that they could institute a policy like the banning of poppy-growing countrywide. That to me indicated that they had what we do not have now: a state. For a country that was utter anarchy for so long, the emergence of a state, brutal and repressive though it may have been, was a step forward. Second, they were willing to play ball if it suited their economic interests. The paltry sum of 43 million was enough to induce them to take that step. That seems to me indication, not that they were saints, but that they were rational decision makers: people you could do business with. Yes, minority groups were brutalized, but you describe to me the scenario whereby Afghanistan does not end up with a Pashtun dominated government prioritizing Pashtun interests. The US is willing to recognize and constructively engage awful regimes from China to Equatorial Guinea, but sadly for the people of Afghanistan, we stuck them with our principles: An ultimatum, collective guilt, collective punishment, and now an interminable number of years playing fairy diplomat while the Taliban slowly transform from inward-looking nationalists to bitter partisans in the GWOT. You've been there - do you see an outcome that does not involve the Taliban forming the new government, sooner or later?
posted by BinGregory at 10:42 PM on July 28, 2008


Yeah, your points are well taken. It's difficult to know what would happen if the Western troops pulled out right now - the chances are a fullscale civil war would break out (actually, that's our main benefit at the moment in my opinion - stopping a fullscale conventionally fought civil war. But I can say that because I'm not some unfortunate squaddie in Helmand). I think what would happen, at best, is a Pashtun dominated-government drawn from the tribal aristocracy who do not try to extend physical power beyond their own territorial power bases and the main market towns - like the old Shahs. More likely, a civil war as you suggest. I don't think however that Pashtun hegemony is guaranteed - since the other ethnicities are tooled up and coordinated, and the Pashtun fairly fragmented. Neither are the Taliban the same force as they were in the nineties (although they do a great job of advertising their power), and they certainly aren't co-extensive with the Pashtuns - in fact, even during the late nineties they were something of a parallel structure, and did not try to interfere too much with the Pashtun tribal structures (unless they needed troops quickly, like after their Mazar debacle). The main reason for the Taliban's success was the funding and training and arms from the ISI, which is a variable beyond my ability to predict. They also had widespread and pretty deep legitimacy in 1994 after the appalling behaviour of the mujahideen. I'm not sure they could rely on either now, at least not to the same extent. Also, the Taliban would have to bring on board some of the other Pashtun leaders, and to do that they'd have to win and win well from the beginning - it's one of these situations where a leader could snowball support, but falter just a little and they'd struggle. I guess what I'm saying is that there's no obvious winner, and any civil war would be long and very nasty. Much would depend on who would get funding from regional/international players.
posted by YouRebelScum at 7:31 AM on July 29, 2008


Rubin: Bush Administration in Drugs in Afghanistan -- So Wrong, So Long
posted by homunculus at 1:39 PM on July 29, 2008


Killing Friends, Making Enemies: The Impact and Avoidance of Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan
posted by homunculus at 10:58 PM on July 29, 2008


Let's Speak the Truth About Afghanistan
posted by homunculus at 10:11 AM on July 30, 2008


homunculus, bringing the heat as usual! That last one is particularly good. I'm no policy wonk, but Margolis pretty much outlines the narrative as I understand it:
The U.S. only turned against Taliban when, at Osama bin Laden's advice, it gave a major pipeline deal to an Argentine consortium rather than an American one.
...
The Taliban leadership had nothing to do with 9/11, a plot that, according to European prosecutors, was hatched in Germany and Spain, not Afghanistan. Nor did it have anything to do with subsequent attacks ascribed to al-Qaeda.
...
Osama bin Laden was a national hero of the anti-Soviet struggle, wounded six times in battle. Taliban's collective leadership, in keeping with the Pashtun code of hospitality and honor, refused U.S. demands to hand over bin Laden until Washington issued a proper extradition request with evidence of bin Laden's guilt and promised him a fair trial. Washington refused to go through legal channels and, instead, invaded Afghanistan.
...
[T]he real objective of the ongoing U.S. occupation of Afghanistan became recently evident. The U.S.-installed Karzai regime in Kabul finally singed a long-discussed pipeline deal that will bring energy south from the new gas and oil Klondike of the Caspian Basin through Afghanistan to Pakistan's coast and India.
I wonder what evidence there is that the Unocal pipeline was spurned on Ol' Dirty Bastard's advice. More generally, I wonder what evidence there is that OBL was actively advising the Taliban on state matters at all, pre-invasion? It seems just as likely to me that they simply allowed him to stay and do as he likes as an honored guest, full stop. Bosnia had a heck of a time evicting foreign jihadists who had come to help with the fight and married in, what more Afghanistan.


More linkage: The New Taliban , Oct 07
posted by BinGregory at 7:54 PM on July 30, 2008


Rogue Pakistan spies aid Taliban in Afghanistan: Bush warns of ‘serious action’ after evidence of agents masterminding deadly embassy bombing
posted by homunculus at 11:56 PM on August 2, 2008


As the Fighting Swells in Afghanistan, So Does a Refugee Camp in Its Capital
posted by homunculus at 9:41 AM on August 3, 2008


Afghan Bombs on the Rise
posted by homunculus at 4:12 PM on August 6, 2008


"Make no mistake, NATO is not winning in Afghanistan." - NYT
posted by BinGregory at 8:07 PM on August 6, 2008


Pentagon Plans to Send More Than 12,000 Additional Troops to Afghanistan
posted by homunculus at 3:32 PM on August 19, 2008


Afghanistan in Crisis
posted by homunculus at 3:31 PM on August 20, 2008


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