March 30th, 2010
04:13 PM ET

Around the Web: Comparing Marjah and Kandahar

The next major battle in Afghanistan is expected to take place in Kandahar, and Yaroslav Trofimov of the Wall Street Journal reports that it might “look completely different from Marjah, where thousands of U.S. Marines fought their way into rural areas under total Taliban control.”  

Trofimov writes: “No combat is needed for coalition or Afghan troops to enter Kandahar city, the Taliban movement's birthplace. Unlike Marjah, this metropolis of one million people has remained under government authority, albeit an increasingly tenuous one, since the Taliban regime's downfall in 2001. U.S. and Canadian patrols rumble through the city every day; a huge coalition base sits in its outskirts.

The Afghan government here, however, has been so weak, predatory and corrupt that more and more Kandaharis have come to view the Taliban as a lesser evil. Changing this perception holds the key to victory in the city—and to the success of the surge, coalition officials say.”

A recently published United Nations report states that corruption in Afghanistan is leading to increased poverty, according to the BBC .

“[The U.N. report] says the majority of Afghans live in poverty despite the fact that some $35bn (£23bn) of aid was poured into the country between 2002 and 2009,” the BBC writes.

Some other news reports and perspectives:

- Michael Scherer (Time): “Obama and Karzai: A Relationship in Progress"

- Karen DeYoung (Washington Post): “Afghan corruption: How to follow the money?"

- Amy Davidson (New Yorker): “Obama in Kabul"

- Bruce Riedel (Brookings Institution): “Who’s winning this war?"

- Ron Moreau and Sami Yousafzai (Newsweek) “Gulbuddin Hekmatyar: America’s new best friend?"

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Dan Nesbitt

    When you brought down those 2 buildings Mr. Bin Ladn you never dreamed that you grabbed the Lion by the tail. Today 9 years later we follow the same philosophy as the Israelis....You cannot just sit back and keep taking it and do nothing...You must keep searching for them and jailing them and killing them . You cannot stop until they stop.....People who thing like Bin Ladn will have the full wrath of the United States and Russia and China and India until they are all dead ...This we pledge.

    April 4, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. linda in AR

    So, how are they going to solve a problem like Wadi Karzai?

    Or does he work cheaper than Xe?

    I assume that the Loya Jirga, especially one that includes Mullah Omar, is off the table.

    Cut out the middle man. Send lots and lots of goats and sheep not dollars. Use the dollars to buy the poppy crop. Give away other seeds and plants.

    March 31, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Iraq Paramedic

    Yes the situation all over this country is going to take a firm, intelligent, fair & noncorrupt 10+ year occupation by some 21st century force to bring these people up to par in education, human rights, medicine, aggriculture & the like. Yes they where surviving without all this but look at how they where living. Those who did have a little education but were of the low class evil mindset where pushing them to grow drugs, buy children to raise up to become suicide bombers, torture & abuse women & to keep the Afgan people ignorant so they could keep doing it. May GOD Bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!

    March 31, 2010 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. Onesmallvoice

    Some more sickening bravado for those right-wing thugs in Washington,another field day for the right-wing news media,when will it end???

    March 30, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |