Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bomb plot foiled Businesses Plan Their Own Exits before American departure

Bomb plot foiled: Cache of suicide vests found in Afghan defense ministry: "The fact that these arrests took place within the walls of the defense ministry illustrates the level of insurgent penetration within the Afghanistan establishment and just tells you -- gives a signal of -- what is likely to happen when NATO leaves," The arrests came on the same day that at least three NATO service members were shot dead by Afghan security forces in two separate attacks. A gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform killed two NATO troops in southern Afghanistan, while another was shot in eastern Afghanistan by an alleged member of the Afghan Local Police.

The attacks brought to 16 the number of NATO-led forces killed so far this year in what appeared to be attacks by members of Afghan forces. Meanwhile, support for the war in Afghanistan has dropped sharply among both Republicans and Democrats, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll published Tuesday.

Afghan arrests after authorities foil 'suicide attack': The Afghan authorities have arrested 18 people in Kabul after foiling plans for an apparent mass suicide attack, intelligence officials say. They told the BBC that 11 suicide jackets had been seized inside the ministry of defense. The officials say the attacks would have caused significant loss of life. Some of those arrested are reported to Afghan National Army soldiers. The Afghan Ministry of Defense dismissed the report as "rumours". Dawlat Wazeri, the ministry's deputy spokesman, told the BBC that no would-be bombers had been detained or suicide vests seized inside the ministry.

US orders more security for troops in Afghanistan: U.S. troops in Afghanistan are being guarded more closely and are taking other steps to protect themselves from attacks by Afghan troops, the top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, said Wednesday. Allen ordered the measures in recent weeks after a spate of 16 attacks in which U.S. and other coalition forces were killed by Afghan soldiers.

Some of the killings were believed triggered by the accidental burning of Quran's and other religious materials. New measures include the use of so-called "guardian angels" — troops who guard others as they sleep. Americans can now carry weapons in some ministries and have moved their desks so they can keep an eye on the door. Two officers were killed at their desks in the Interior Ministry in Kabul.‎

Until this week, the U.S. military considered a small American-trained Afghan militia in eastern Afghanistan to be a success story in an expanding project that relies on loosely regulated local gunmen to challenge Taliban control in remote areas. On Friday, the security project received a blow when a member of a four-month-old unit of the Afghan Local Police, as the militias are known, apparently drugged his comrades and killed nine of them before escaping.

After the killings, the Taliban said the attacker was a member of the insurgency who had infiltrated the force in recent days to carry out the attack. It marked the second time in March that the Taliban claimed responsibility for targeting the Afghan Local Police. Earlier in the month, a member of another local police unit in southern Afghanistan allowed a Taliban fighter to enter a base and kill nine members of his unit, according to Afghan officials.

Afghanistan presses for answers on long-term : In negotiations for a Strategic Partnership Deal on long-term cooperation, one of the stumbling blocks is the U.S. plan for a limited military presence to ensure members of al Qaeda and other militant groups do not find a sanctuary again.

Countries such as Russia, China and Pakistan are wary of an indefinite U.S. military presence in the region. Neighboring Iran strongly opposes the plan. "Ultimately, it is we who are responsible for our security. We are moving towards taking full control. If there will be foreign military, then it has to be put clearly in a future security document," another senior Afghan official said.
I want us out altogether too, those people better stand up and take care of themselves and now!

In Afghanistan, Businesses Plan Their Own Exits: America may be struggling to come up with a viable exit plan for Afghanistan, but Abdul Wasay Manani is sure of his. This month, Mr. Manani, 38, flew to India for 14 days to scout out a new business, and a new home, ready to leave Afghanistan and everything he worked to build here, just in case things fall apart when most Americans and other foreign troops leave in 2014. “If the Taliban come like last time, ordering people around with whips, I can’t stay here,” he said. “I have to leave this country to keep my family safe.”

Many Afghans share his concern. In this environment, troubling indicators are not hard to find. More than 30,400 Afghans applied for asylum in industrialized nations in 2011, the highest level in 10 years and four times the number seeking asylum in 2005. The only Western bank operating here said on Wednesday that it would be leaving. Piles of cash equaling about a quarter of Afghanistan’s annual economic output were physically carried out of Afghanistan last year.

I just do not get it. If those people know how bad their life is going to be under the Taliban then why do they not fight to defeat them?

*Vietnam all over again regardless of what they say

James Joiner
Gardner, Ma

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