Oct 29 2014

Underground Afghan Women’s Group Says US Leaves Afghanistan Worse Than Before

Feature Stories | Published 29 Oct 2014, 10:53 am | Comments Off on Underground Afghan Women’s Group Says US Leaves Afghanistan Worse Than Before -

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Thirteen years after the US launched a war in Afghanistan, Marines, along with British forces, left a key base in Helmand Province, turning it over to Afghanistan’s government. The base closure is part of a planned draw-down of forces that President Obama promised, and represents a transition role for the US which focuses on training and advising Afghan troops. While the troop reduction is supposed to signal the wrapping up of a war, the war in Afghanistan is anything but over. According to Reuters, “Casualties among both civilians and Afghan security forces are near all-time highs this year, with hundreds killed and wounded each month in the conflict.”

Afghans elected a new President who took office just weeks ago. In one of his first acts as President, Mr. Ashraf Ghani signed a long-awaited security agreement with the United States. Ghani took over from Hamid Karzai, a two-term President who became wracked with accusations of corruption. But Ghani’s election was marred by so much evidence of fraud that he was forced to share power with his closest rival, Abdullah Abdullah, who Ghani named Afghanistan’s first Chief Executive Officer, a newly created role akin to a Prime Minister.

Even more controversially, Ghani named as his First Vice President, Abdul Rashid Dostum, one of Afghanistan’s most notorious warlords who Ghani himself referred to as “a known killer” some years ago. Dostum has been strongly implicated in the mass killing of 2000 Taliban soldiers in 2001, among other war crimes.

GUEST: Reena, a member of RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, an underground women’s political organization that has worked since 1977 to organize Afghans against fundamentalism and foreign occupation.

Visit RAWA online at www.rawa.org.

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