Editor’s Note: Abbas Daiyar began his blog, Kabul Perspective, last year to look at issues in Kabul and around the world. He has worked with newspapers in Pakistan and reported for news agencies in the past and is now a member of the editorial board of the independent Daily Outlook Afghanistan newspaper in Kabul. The opinions expressed in this guest blog are solely those of Abbas Daiyar.
Once again the talks about talks with Taliban are gaining momentum. It got hyped when President Hamid Karzai announced a Peace Council to talk with the insurgents. This is apparently the most serious attempt, but the process is a complex one, as shown by the contradicting media reports.
It was a U-turn when the U.S. military commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus said NATO has let at least one Taliban commander come to Kabul. Some reports even suggested Taliban commanders were flown to Kabul in a NATO aircraft. It’s more of a political statement rather than a policy, or a green signal for the insurgents, showing a change in the U.S. reluctance over talks with Taliban. But it’s just propaganda when military commanders in Afghanistan say Taliban are under pressure, therefore more are forced to talks. The fact is that 2010 has been the deadliest year for U.S. forces since the start of war. FULL POST
In the wake of the deadly attack at one of its bases in Afghanistan, there is disagreement among CIA veterans about what went wrong.
Intelligence officials, both current and former, all agree that mistakes were made. But what that says about the broader problems in the CIA is a matter of debate. Ask some and it is a matter of communication. Others, a problem of a lack of experience.
In a report finalized this week, CIA Director Leon Panetta concluded it was a systemic failure within the agency and not the actions of one person or group that enabled a Jordanian informant to blow himself up along with nine other people at the remote CIA post. FULL POST
Five American soldiers have been charged with killing Afghan civilians for sport and staging the slayings to look like legitimate war casualties. The youngest of those five - a now 20-year-old private from Idaho - came home a changed man, his mother says.
And, said Dana Holmes, the Army not only should have known something had gone dreadfully wrong, but commanding officers should be held responsible.
"The man that came home was not my son," said Holmes. "He was very thin. He'd lost about 50 pounds. He said the Army told him he had a parasite. I made him his favorite sandwich, and it took him two days to eat the whole sandwich. Just couldn't eat, he didn't sleep."