Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Losing the Good War - New York Times

Losing the Good War - New York Times: "Afghanistan was supposed to be the good war — and the war America was winning. But because of the Bush administration’s inattention and mismanagement, even the good war is going wrong.

The latest grim news is that after years of effort — and more than $1 billion spent — Afghanistan’s American-trained police force is unable to perform even routine law enforcement work. According to an article in yesterday’s Times, investigators for the Pentagon and the State Department found that the training program’s managers did not even know how many police officers were serving, while thousands of trucks and other American-purchased police equipment have simply disappeared.

The failure to provide local security — or even a semblance of impartial justice — helps explain why so many Afghans have lost confidence in the pro-Western government of President Hamid Karzai, and why a growing number are again turning to the Taliban for protection. The failure to stand up an effective police force also helps explain why opium cultivation rose by nearly 60 percent this year."


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