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Search Tags: Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, the price tag for the war is six and a half billion dollars. Double what it was year before last. The Pentagon says it's going to need more money. Estimates about how much are reaching toward 35 billion dollars. Reuters is reporting the White House budget office estimates that it will cost about $1 million for each additional soldier sent to Afghanistan. If we're looking at 35,000 more troops going to Afghanistan --you do the math.
A senior al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan is blaming the Xe security company, formerly known as Blackwater, for being behind a string of deadly attacks in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. In an audio message from Mustafa Abu Yazid said Muslims could not have been behind the attacks, because they are fighting to protect the honor and lives of other Muslims. Peshawar has been under heavy attack in recent weeks. Pakistani and U.S. intelligence officials says the Taliban are behind the attacks.
Is Iran providing weapons to the Taliban? The U.S. military thinks so. The Pentagon has recovered evidence in western Afghanistan, near the border with Iran, of weapons and explosives bearing markings indicating they were made in Iran. These are the same types of weapons that flowed into Iraq during the height of the war. Experts think the weapons actually come from Iran's Revolutionary Guards and their Quds force. The question under examination now is the extent to which the Iranian government is involved.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen says NATO is critically important Afghanistan. He says "what sometimes gets lost is there are 42 countries who are working in Afghanistan to try to get this right". Mullen adds a lot of international leaders are focused on that war "and where NATO is providing capability, NATO's got thousands of troops there as well."
President Barack Obama said he got the commitments he wanted yesterday from the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan. What he got were promises from them to take the fight to the Taliban and al-Qaida. The terrorist organizations are growing in stature and are becoming more brazen. At the same time the U.S. military is dealing with reports that U.S. forces accidentally killed dozens of civilians in Afghanistan. In the middle of the chaos, there are reports the Taliban killed civilians and paraded them around claiming U.S. forces did it.
Deciding what to do in Afghanistan will take awhile longer. Reuters is reporting the White House has put off consideration of sending more troops to Afghanistan while it assesses whether its war strategy can still work after a flawed election that cast doubt on the Kabul government's legitimacy, officials said on Tuesday. The Pentagon had initially expected the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Army General Stanley McChrystal, to make a request for more soldiers soon after delivering his confidential assessment on the war.
J.J. Green blogs from Afghanistan -- where he's no longer stuck.
An inside-look from half-a-world away