This week, the top military contractor companies announced their first-quarter profits for 2012. Their profits continue to grow while they push Washington, D.C. to protect their budgets at the expense of the rest of us, and while they break the law for financial gain. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and FDR wouldn’t tolerate this kind of outrage. They knew that patriots don’t behave this way, but profiteers do.
NATO under-reporting green-on-blue violence
By Jennifer Rowland
Editor’s note: The editors of the AfPak Channel are proud to announce the release TODAY of a new book by Peter Bergen, Manhunt: The 10-Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad, which reveals new details of the decade-long hunt and the final decision to pursue the al-Qaeda leader deep in Pakistani territory (TIME, Post, CNN).
Keeping secrets: The Associated Press reported Tuesday that NATO is not revealing every incident of “green-on-blue” violence, by remaining silent on instances in which coalition troops are only wounded or the attacker misses his target (AP). Last week, for example, Afghan policemen opened fire on U.S. soldiers, wounding two, but reporters only learned about the incident from Afghan officials and U.S. officials in Washington.
Three Afghan children were killed and another three were wounded in Taliban-U.S. cross-fire on Monday when Taliban militants attacked a contingent of American soldiers in the Shajoe district of Zabul Province (NYT, CNN, AFP). NATO reports that a Taliban leader and another insurgent were killed in a joint NATO-Afghan night raid on Monday in the eastern province of Laghman, though a local villager called the two deceased “innocent people” (AP).
European Union Ambassador to Afghanistan Vygaudas Usackas said this week that a clear commitment to good governance and transparency from Afghan officials remains one of the most significant challenges to securing the country (Reuters). A semi-annual report released by the Pentagon on Monday states that Afghanistan continues to face “long-term and acute challenges” from insurgents, as well as “widespread corruption” within the Afghan government, contradicting frequent claims by NATO officials that the coalition is seeing significant progress in the country (Bloomberg). Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasool traveled to New Delhi Tuesday for the first session of talks with senior officials there under the strategic partnership agreement signed by the two countries last October (AP).
In a country that is extremely wary of references to wars past, German soldiers returning from Afghanistan are reportedly feeling shunned and under-recognized by their government and communities (Post). Germany does not have an equivalent to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, has no official support system for veterans struggling to reintegrate into society, and officials even fear using the phrase “fallen soldiers” because of any reference it might have to World War II.
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