Mar 31 2008

NATO’s Failing Strategy in Afghanistan

Feature Stories | Published 31 Mar 2008, 8:41 am | Comments Off on NATO’s Failing Strategy in Afghanistan -

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AfghanistanGUEST: Kathy Gannon, the Associated Press correspondent in Pakistan and Afghanistan from 1986-2005, author of “I is for Infidel: From Holy War to Holy Terror – 18 Years Inside Afghanistan”

Yesterday two British marines, part of NATO’s force, were killed in an explosion in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. President Bush is in Europe this week to persuade his allies in NATO to pledge more troops to Afghanistan. France plans to send 1000 more troops, while Britain has pledged 800. CIA Director General Michael Hayden recently announced that Al Qaeda has established a “safe haven” in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghanistan border over the past 18 months, training new recruits that “look Western.” While the battle in Basra and Baghdad rage on, the US war in Afghanistan has slipped off the radar. Yet, according to the Washington Post, “Nothing on the agenda is more important to Bush’s legacy than turning Afghanistan around.” While on-going suicide bombings garner some attention, the country’s deep poverty underlies most of it’s problems. A new report by a coalition of private aid agencies in Afghanistan concludes that about 40% of all the international aid that has been delivered to Afghanistan returned to the donor countries in the form of foreign consultants, private security contractors and over overhead expenses.

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