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Afghanistan War News Digest, August 29, 2011

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Mon, Aug 29, 2011

Afghanistan

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As violence continued across Afghanistan over the past 2 weeks, the news broke that the US is planning to keep troops in Afghanistan until 2024, and possibly beyond then as well. The leaked news of secret talks between the US and Taliban representatives led to the end of those talks, and a new bipartisan report showing $30 billion wasted on military contracts added to the argument in favor of reducing military spending.

Suicide Bombers Escalate Assaults on Afghanistan

7 civilians, including 4 children, were killed in several separate blasts in Kandahar and Helmand provinces on Saturday, in advance of Id al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of Ramadan next week. Dozens more were injured in the attacks, which appeared to have been targeting Afghan security forces. The attacks included a suicide attack on a bank in Lashkar Gah, and attacks on 2 police stations in Kandahar city. Additionally, a woman and her 4 children were killed in Logar province south of Kabul on Thursday, in a NATO airstrike targeting Taliban fighters who had taken over their home.

Afghan Villagers Stone a Taliban Commander to Death

After a 60-year-old man was killed by the Taliban for allegedly aiding the government, villagers stoned a Taliban commander to death in Helmand province.

Afghanistan: Bombing Kills 8
A motorcycle bomb killed 8 people at a market in Oruzgan province in southern Afghanistan and injured dozens more.

Police official says rocket that struck Afghan president’s compound caused no damage

A rocket was fired into Kabul and hit the presidential compound, but there were no reports of damage or of casualties.

US troops may stay in Afghanistan until 2024

Despite the drawdown and the announced 2014 deadline for handing over control of Afghanistan’s security to the Afghan government, US military trainers, special forces soldiers, and air power might remain in the region until 2024.

Afghans scuttle US-Taliban talks
The news that the US had secretly met with Taliban officials was intentionally leaked by the Afghan government. The leak led to the scuttling of the negotiations.

Commission to change outcome of 9 Afghan elections

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission announced that 9 members of Parliament would be restored to office following evidence of electoral irregularities.

U.S. Says Drone, Cargo Plane Collide Over Afghanistan

An unmanned drone and an Air Force cargo plane have collided over Afghanistan. The cargo plane made an emergency landing in eastern Afghanistan. The crew of the cargo plane was not harmed.

Afghan leader orders more security to try to revive key construction projects hit by attacks

Hamid Karzai has ordered increased security to protect people working on construction projects in Afghanistan which have been stalled by violence.

Afghanistan bus accident kills 35
35 people have been killed and 24 have been injured in a bus accident on the road between Kandahar and Kabul. The crash is being blamed on reckless driving.

The Unwinnable Afghan War: Get Out Now to Save America
Given the US’ fiscal crisis, it is important to reconsider US military/defense funding. Commentary by Patrick Smith.

Reducing waste in wartime contracts

Over $30 billion, or 1 in every 6 taxpayer dollars, has been wasted on military contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Opinion piece by Christopher Shays and Michael Thibault.

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