India, seizing on Afghanistan’s travails, has pumped in over a billion dollars toward improving Afghanistan’s economic and social infrastructure. On the face of it, this magnanimity should be considered a praiseworthy gesture. But Worldfocus blogger S. Azmat Hassan writes how the U.S. needs to help fix Indo-Pak relations.
War in Afghanistan
As the battle for Marjah goes on, NATO is making plans for an even larger campaign in Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city and a center of the Taliban insurgency. Daljit Dhaliwal interviews Marvin Weinbaum of the Middle East Institute about the strategy, and Deutsche Welle reports on the legacy of Russia's war in Afghanistan.
On Friday, a series of deadly attacks rocked Kabul, the Afghan capital. At least 16 people were killed and several dozen wounded in a four-hour assault that involved two suicide attacks and a car bomb. Martin Savidge interviews Rajan Menon of Lehigh University, and Hoda Abdel-Hamid of Al Jazeera English reports from Kabul.
The government of Afghanistan claimed control of the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in southern Helmand province today. For more insight into the ongoing war against the Taliban, Martin Savidge speaks to Rajan Menon, a professor of international relations at Lehigh University, and James Bays of Al Jazeera English reports from Marjah.
General Stanley McChrystal made the unusual move of directly apologizing to the Afghan people on local television. He sought to control the damage in the aftermath of Sunday's deadly U.S. airstrike. For more, Martin Savidge speaks with Rick Nelson, and James Bays of Al Jazeera English interviews a Taliban commander about the Marjah offensive.
In Afghanistan, officials said that 27 people were killed last night in Uruzgan province, when NATO aircraft fired on what was believed to be a convoy of insurgents. It turned out that the people were all civilians, including women and children. For more on the civilian toll in Afghanistan, Martin Savidge interviews Alex Thier, and James Bays reports for Al Jazeera English.
General David Petraeus, the commander who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said yesterday that the Marjah battle was the opening salvo in a broader campaign to turn back the Taliban, which could last 12 to 18 months. On NBC's "Meet the Press," he described the Taliban as both "formidable" and "a bit disjointed at this point."
There was a major blow to the Taliban with the arrests of three senior leaders in Pakistan, including the number-two Afghan Taliban official. While this was a victory for U.S. and Pakistani intelligence, it was also a reminder of how the Taliban have used Pakistan as a base. Joining Daljit Dhaliwal to talk about the Marjah offensive and more are Gideon Rose and Susan Chira.
This week, NATO launched a large operation to take the Taliban-controlled town of Marjah, as part of its new counter-insurgency strategy. NATO hopes to wipe out the Taliban presence in this part of Helmand province, clearing the way for the Afghan government to take control. Daljit Dhaliwal interviews Marvin Weinbaum, and James Bays of Al Jazeera English has more.
Mullah Baradar is the most senior member of the Taliban captured in the eight-year war against the movement. The joint raid conducted by U.S. and Pakistani forces suggests a change in tactics by Pakistan's ISI. For years the intelligence service was reluctant to target the Taliban. Daljit Dhaliwal interviews Hassan Abbas for more.