Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday the primary U.S. mission in Afghanistan is defeating al Qaeda, rather than making a long-term commitment to rebuild the country.
"We're not interested in staying in Afghanistan; we're not interested in any long-term presence there," Clinton told the NBC program "Meet the Press."
The Afghan government announced on Monday the formation of a unit devoted to fighting corruption, the most recent of such units.
The news comes a day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would be reluctant to provide more aid to Afghanistan’s civilian government unless it could prove it was going where it was intended.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the unit has already nabbed some high-ranking officials on corruption charges.
The Christian Science Monitor profiles Mohammad Yusin Osmani, an anticorruption czar for President Hamid Karzai’s government. After nearly a year on the job, his group “has only sent 15 cases to law enforcement agencies, resulting in just a handful of arrests,” the Monitor’s Ben Arnoldy reports.
Meanwhile, the New Yorker’s Steve Coll asks the question: “What if we fail in Afghanistan?”
Coll provides four possible repercussions: A civil war between the various Afghan factions, momentum for the Taliban’s ambitions in Pakistan, an increase in Islamist attacks against India and al Qaeda possibly regaining strength.
In other news and commentary:
- Germany’s Der Speigel interviewed Secretary Clinton on U.S. Afghan policy.
- Michael O’ Hanlon of the Brookings Institution says reform of the Afghan police force is a reason for optimism in a Washington Post piece.
- James Dobbins at Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel explores the disagreement between U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and Gen. Stanley MacChrystal on troop levels in Afghanistan.
Increased fighting in Afghanistan has caused a drop in morale among U.S. soldiers while the reduction in combat in Iraq has bolstered morale, according to a new U.S. Army report released Friday.
The report summarizes two surveys of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan taken earlier this year. New statistics from the Army also show suicides are up in the entire service.