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Afghanistan

June 18, 2010 Foreign Policy

Multi-Billion Dollar Mining Boom

From the archives: the economics of war and empire in Afghanistan

April 12, 2010 Foreign Policy

The Ethnography of an Air-Strike

Canada’s military academics in the Afghan war and at home

September 21, 2009 International News

Chief Executive Officer, Afghanistan

Internationally sponsored elections reflect warlords’ power over Afghanistan

September 11, 2009 Weblog:

Afghanistan's Troubled Election

The Afghan Election Complaints Commission (ECC), with Canadian UN appointee Grant Kippen at it's helm, has published the first results of it's investigation into fraud in the presidential election, held on August 20th. On Thursday the commission announced it would throw out the ballots from 83 Afghan polling stations, where there is definite evidence of fraud. 51 of the problem stations were in Kandahar, 27 in Ghazni, and five in Paktika, according to ECC press releases. Of the 2300 complaints the ECC has received, the largest group concern irregularities at the polls, including ballot box stuffing. Other common complaints include allegations of intimidation, and lack of access to the polls, particularly for women. The ECC investigation is ongoing and could result in a fresh election.

Currently, as vote tallying continues, the three front runners in the presidential election are the incumbent Hamed Karzai with 54.1%, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah with 28 %, and Ramazan Bashardost with 9.2 %. 91.6% of polling stations have been tallied, so the counting is almost done, but further investigations into fraud could change things significantly. According to electoral law, if Karzai doesn't receive at least 50% of the valid votes, there will have to be a run-off election this fall. If enough ballots are invalidated as a result of the ECC investigation, Karzai could lose his current winning position, and fall below the necessary 50%.

» continue reading "Afghanistan's Troubled Election"

August 21, 2009 Foreign Policy

Butcher and Bolt

Why "special forces" fail in Afghanistan, from Churchill to Obama

May 29, 2009 Weblog:

The ongoing outsourcing in Afghanistan

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The ongoing outsourcing in Afghanistan

Canada’s Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kandahar, Afghanistan will not be put in harms way, despite the oft-repeated political promise that all of Canada’s ground troops will be withdrawn by 2011. The responsibility of the security of these specialists-contractors themselves- will instead be provided by private companies, who will need to go through a selection process, according to Canada’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Ron Hoffmann who spoke to journalists via video-conference, earlier this week.

This is not the first time that the Canadian government has decided to hire private security companies in Afghanistan. The British based firm, Saladin Security , has been protecting the Canadian Embassy in Kabul for many years, while many Afghan contractors including warlords, have been hired to protects convoys of Canadian personnel or provide a "security cordon" for high risk situations, such as roadside bombs going off.

» continue reading "The ongoing outsourcing in Afghanistan"

March 11, 2009 Foreign Policy

Intellectual Author

Michael Ignatieff's potent mix of imperialism and human rights

January 28, 2009 Foreign Policy

Canadian Drones Patrol Afghan Airspace

Unmanned warplanes stretch the definition of "nation building"

July 17, 2008 Weblog:

Canadian Hypocrisy, CSIS, and Omar Khadr

The July 15 release of seven hours of footage of a CSIS agent interrogating Omar Khadr is the first footage released of an interrogation at Guantanamo, and the first time that footage of a CSIS interrogation has been made public.

Toronto-born Khadr has been imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay since 2002. He was 15 years old when he was accused of throwing a grenade that killed SFC Chris Speer in Afghanistan.

Romeo Dallaire is quoted in today's Guardian saying: "[Canada has] worked for years to assist other nations in eradicating the use of children in conflict. But our own country doesn't even want to recognise that our own citizen (is a child soldier). No matter what his politics are, it's totally irrelevant."

Chiming in on behalf of the small but powerful extreme right, hyper militarized Canuck class, the National Post editorial board had this to say today, in an editorial titled Keep Khadr Where he is: "...the question becomes, do we trust an American military tribunal to dispense justice? Frankly, we do."

This situation is so terrible, and so wrong in so many ways.

Click here for information on writing your MP & the PM demanding that Khadr be transferred from US to Canadian custody.

March 24, 2008 Foreign Policy

Mission Extended

Pro-US panel was key in extending Afghan mission

March 4, 2008 Weblog:

Malalai Joya on Canada's Afghan Mission

Rabble.ca's Derrick O'Keefe recently gathered a significant statement by Malalai Joya, one of the more courageous and heroic political figures in Afghanistan today. She makes the memorable statement below about the billions of dollars in military spending and aid money which has effectively been squandered in Afghanistan by the run-away corruption of the Karzai government.

The Congressional Budget Office says that the U.S. will spend $2.4 trillion over the next ten years on the "war on terror." If they instead spent this money properly and honestly, not only would Iraq and Afghanistan be made into heaven but, also, world poverty would be eliminated.

Definitely worth the read!

January 29, 2008 Opinion

Freedom of Expression in Afghanistan

Restrictive laws, self-censorship keep criticism to a minimum

October 23, 2007 Weblog:

About that Poll

The Canadian Peace Alliance has a few things to say about the recent poll (trumpeted by the Globe and La Presse) that ostensively shows Afghans supporting the occupation.

October 1, 2007 Month in Review

September in Review

GM on strike, uranium mining, 1.2 million dead in Iraq

September 27, 2007 Foreign Policy

From Occupied Afghanistan

Part I: An Interview with Mike Skinner and Hamayon Ragstar

September 27, 2007 Foreign Policy

From Occupied Afghanistan

Part II: An Interview with Mike Skinner and Hamayon Ragstar

September 20, 2007 Weblog:

Demonstrators Disrupt Bernier's First Speech in Quebec as Foreign Minister

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One by one, protesters stood up to interrupt recently appointed foreign minister Maxime Bernier during a speech urging support for the occupation of Afghanistan.

Press accounts in both French and English called it a "baptism of fire" for Bernier.

Radio-Canada has video.

Toronto Star correspondent Allan Woods couldn't make the drive from Ottawa, and ended up publishing quotes from the transcript that was sent to him. He probably got home early enough to watch it on TV.

May 13, 2007 Français

Les Talibans regagne la faveur des Afghans

À Kandahar, où l’insécurité règne, les américains perdent peu à peu le soutien de la population

May 6, 2007 Opinion

The US has Returned Fundamentalism to Afghanistan

Afghan MP speaks about the US-backed warlords currently in power

May 2, 2007 Weblog:

Stanley goes to Kandahar

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The Stanley Cup is in Afghanistan, visiting the troops. And helping fight off the hordes of the east, specifically Persia, no doubt.

» continue reading "Stanley goes to Kandahar"

April 30, 2007 Foreign Policy

Kandahar Faces Daily Misery

"You did not bring us freedom," say residents of Afghanistan's southern province

April 27, 2007 Weblog:

The Next Scandal

So. It's been determined that Canada was sending Afghani POWs to be tortured. If true, it means that Canadian officers are guilty of war crimes.

But its also the case that Canadian soldiers are directly engaged in combat operations, undoubtedly resulting in civilian deaths. Which there is no doubt information about, but it's not available. The press seems content to repeat claims that "40 Taliban were killed" in fighting, and so on.

» continue reading "The Next Scandal"

April 14, 2007 Weblog:

Ex Gratia?

A Freedom of Information Act request filed by the ACLU has resulted in a grim look at the killing done by US soldiers in Afghanistan, something which is rarely discussed.

Natually, Canadians are doing the same stuff, but that doesn't mean it will be discussed.

But someone could file an Access to Information Act request about Canada's "ex gratia" payments of no more than $2000 to the families of the people they kill.

March 28, 2007 Accounts

Growing Insurgencies, Irregular Warfare, part II

Development Aid as Counterinsurgency Tool

March 27, 2007 Canadian News

Growing Insurgencies, Irregular Warfare

Counterinsurgency Manual Shows Military's New Face

February 8, 2007 Accounts

The Taliban's Past and Future

An interview with Mullah Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil, former Taliban foreign minister

January 23, 2007 Accounts

Corruption, Impunity Pervade Afghan Government

Police part of insecurity problem: victims, human rights groups

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