Michael Hughes: A new U.S. watchdog dog report has undermined efforts to obfuscate the reality that the mission in Afghanistan has failed on every front. This is not an instance of fudging some numbers, for nearly every available yardstick for measuring security, aid, and governance in Afghanistan clearly indicates that Washington has, yet again, blatantly lied
Bloomberg: “The [Trump] administration has been more explicit about challenging Pakistan, and the decision to withhold [military] aid conditionally is a significant departure. Unfortunately, I don’t see the case that it’s going to be decisive in changing Pakistani conduct because the amount of aid, while significant as a top-line dollar figure, is not significant from
Al Jazeera: While Ghani has systematically forced non-Pashtun leaders out of the unity government, he has surrounded himself with Pashtun ethnonationalist leaders. Ghani has also appointed a handful of Pashtu-speaking advisors and has given them full access to government resources and decision-making authority within the Presidential Palace. Click here to read more (external link).
Michael Hughes: U.S. corporations are in secret talks with Afghan officials about exploiting the country’s coal industry in what appears like another ploy by the Trump administration to profit off the war while countering China’s dominance of the mining sector. Ironically, the discussions are occurring just as a watchdog report reveals yet again how the U.S.
Michael Hughes: In a famous memorandum dated October 16, 2003 then U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put forth challenging questions to Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers and other top-level Pentagon officials about the uncertainty around whether the United States was making progress in the struggle against terrorism worldwide. “Today, we lack metrics to know if we are
The Diplomat: According to research by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), the simple logic of “competitive elections” does not exist in Afghanistan’s electoral process. Therefore, “in their current manifestation, elections have the potential to destabilize” the country. Moreover, research from the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) on countries with upcoming elections shows that applying
Michael Hughes: President Ashraf Ghani is taking fire from every direction in Afghanistan for his inability to deliver on key promises including implementing election reforms, filling critical political positions, and making progress on infrastructure development. Up until now, his most consistent support has come from the U.S. and its military but, the question is, will this
Michael Hughes: Recent efforts to jumpstart a dialogue between the U.S. and Pakistan seem futile given the duo’s irreconcilable differences – especially in two key areas. The U.S. wants Pakistan to hand over the Haqqani Network and other Afghan Taliban while Islamabad would like Washington to dial down its love affair with India. However, it is
Michael Hughes: More than three quarters of Afghans say they are afraid of occupying forces, according to a new survey – a number likely to only increase as civilian casualties hit record levels. 92% of respondents said they are fearful of running into the Taliban, which is hardly anything to celebrate because the United States and
Michael Hughes: Military and political leaders in Kabul have unsuccessfully tried to cover up the entire horrific reality about the war in Afghanistan where the Taliban movement have been gaining strength by the week. Meanwhile, the Pentagon continues to believe the answer to the crisis is unleashing more drone strikes, bombs, and night raids as the