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Afghanistan to Resume Civil War? July 13, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News.
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A long sobering look at the strong possibility of a return to Civil War in Afghanistan, after we leave.

Nasir celebrated the American invasion in 2001, and, in the decade that followed, he prospered, and fathered six children. But now, with the United States planning its withdrawal by the end of 2014, Nasir blames the Americans for a string of catastrophic errors. “The Americans have failed to build a single sustainable institution here,” he said. “All they have done is make a small group of people very rich. And now they are getting ready to go.”

These days, Nasir said, the nineties are very much on his mind. The announced departure of American and NATO combat troops has convinced him and his friends that the civil war, suspended but never settled, is on the verge of resuming. “Everyone is preparing,” he said. “It will be bloodier and longer than before, street to street. This time, everyone has more guns, more to lose. It will be the same groups, the same commanders.” Hezb-e-Wahdat and Jamiat-e-Islami and Hezb-e-Islami and Junbish—all now political parties—are rearming. The Afghan Army is unlikely to be able to restore order as it did in the time of Najibullah. “It’s a joke,” Nasir said. “I’ve worked with the Afghan Army. They get tired making TV commercials!”

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/07/09/120709fa_fact_filkins#ixzz20VVwuHd5

What We Believe – Poll August 31, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Lifestyle, News and politics.
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The latest 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll, which surveyed 847 adults by telephone nationwide earlier this month, tracks Americans thoughts on a variety of topics from Afghanistan and illegal drugs to Mel Gibson and sexual harassment at work.

Some highlights:

— 33% of people think ghosts are likely to actually exist; while another 30% voted for the existence of U.F.O.’s. A smaller percentage of folks think vampires, the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot could exist. Sadly, King Kong and Godzilla did not make the list.

— Nearly 90% of Americans would not try LSD, ecstasy, heroin, crystal meth or crack one time — even if  there was no possibility of harmful physical consequences, criminal charges or addiction.

The October 2010 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll | The Magazine | Vanity Fair.

Afghanistan: Why The Russians Are Jealous December 25, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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Because it’s Winter, and very difficult for the Taliban to just hide out in the hills until the troops leave. The American heat sensors can more easily spot groups of men up in the hills, especially if they build a fire. Even hiding out in a cave won’t protect you. Traditionally, Afghan warriors take the Winter off, and devote their efforts to obtaining enough food and fuel to survive the cold and snow.

via Afghanistan: Why The Russians Are Jealous.

Afghanistan Becomes A Drug War July 27, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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Is Afghanistan a Narco-State? – NYTimes.com
Karzai was playing us like a fiddle: the U.S. would spend billions of dollars on infrastructure improvement; the U.S. and its allies would fight the Taliban; Karzai’s friends could get rich off the drug trade; he could blame the West for his problems; and in 2009 he would be elected to a new term.

This is not just speculation, even when you stick with unclassified materials. In September 2007, The Kabul Weekly, an independent newspaper, ran a blunt editorial laying out the issue: “It is obvious that the Afghan government is more than kind to poppy growers. . . . [It] opposes the American proposal for political reasons. The administration believes that it will lose popularity in the southern provinces where the majority of opium is cultivated. They’re afraid of losing votes. More than 95 percent of the residents of . . . the poppy growing provinces — voted for President Karzai.” The editorial recommended aerial eradication

Taliban wants cell phone networks shut down at night February 26, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in In The News.
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Taliban wants cell phone networks shut down at night
The towers and offices of mobile phone operators in Afghanistan are being pressured to shut down operations at night by the Taliban. The former rulers of Afghanistan and current insurgent group held “talks” with the four major mobile companies in Afghanistan today, and gave them three days to go dark for 14 hours per day—or else.

The reason for the threat is the Taliban’s belief that American soldiers and rebels within Afghanistan are using mobile phones to track down remaining Taliban members. “Since the occupying forces stationed in Afghanistan usually at night use mobile phones for espionage to track down the mujahideen, the Islamic Emirate gave a three-day ultimatum to all mobile phone firms to switch off their phones from five in the afternoon until seven in the morning,” Taliban spokesperson Qari Mohammad Yousuf told Reuters, ironically via mobile phone (and presumably during daylight).

World-View- From Singapore February 10, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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International Security – Emerging Threats – Analysis – UPI.com
Singapore is the model emulated by much of the developing world. People chose Prosperity and Security over Freedom and Rights. Read this insight, from the man, who was the brains behind their remarkable Economic rise. In an exclusive interview with United Press International, Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, long known as the Kissinger of the orient, took the Europeans to task for balking at casualties in Afghanistan. He blamed “short memories” that have forgotten that “America came to rescue them in two world wars,” which has rekindled the “appeasement” of the 1930s.

Now known as the “minister mentor” of Singapore, who turned a malarial island into a city of skyscrapers that thinks like a great power and is more important to the global economy than most big countries, Lee fears failure in Afghanistan will alter the world balance of power in favor of China and Russia. These two powers “would be faced with a much weakened West in the ongoing global contest.” (more…)

Why Al Queda Lost January 10, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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Can the Anbar Strategy Work in Pakistan? (SWJ Blog)

Fascinating little history lesson on the 3 reasons why Bin Laden failed in Somalia & Iraq

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