After their press conference was cancelled yesterday over “security concerns,” Afghan President Hamid Karzai finally met with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel today, albeit in private. Hagel put a brave face on the situation after the meeting, downplaying differences with Karzai, who has accused the US of “colluding” with the Taliban.
But even putting aside that rhetorical issue, Hagel’s visit has coincided with a series of incidents that suggest the US occupation, nearing its 12th full year, is flying apart at the seams, with insider attacks and popular opposition once again on the rise.
Yesterday, Afghan university student Abdul Qayum detailed his kidnapping and tortured at the hands of an apparent CIA strike force, while protesters in the Wardak Province today blasted US special forces for ignoring a deadline to withdraw from the province after being caught in a series of “disappearances” and murders of their own. Some villagers are threatening an outright revolt if the troops remain, while the US seems opposed to removing them.
The dirty war behind the Afghan occupation has always been smoldering just under the surface, but is becoming more and more obvious and ugly, with US commanders openly refusing to ever hand over detainees held without charges unless the Karzai government promises never to give them trials. Officials maintain the detainees are “dangerous,” but concede they don’t have the evidence to ensure them being convicted in an actual court of law.
Death tolls also seem on the rise today too, with a pair of US soldiers killed in an insider attack in Wardak, and then another five killed in a helicopter crash.
Each of the issues and many more have been brewing for a long time, but with so many coming to a head at once, it seems that official claims of “progress” in the war are getting more and more farcical, and the sustainability of the war in serious doubt.
A Roundup of today’s Afghan stories
- Afghan Villagers Threaten Uprising if US Special Forces Don’t Leave
- 2 US Troops, 3 Afghans Killed in Insider Attack
- US Troops Attack Truck, Kill Two Afghan Civilians
- Despite Pledges of ‘Handover,’ US Troops Still in Afghan Province
- SOF Troops Still in Wardak as Joint US-Afghan Probe Continues
- Afghan Commander Blames Air Strike Ban for High Troop Casualties
- Five Coalition Troops Killed in Afghanistan Helicopter Crash
- Afghanistan a Minefield for the Innocent