Jeremy Kuzmarov: For more than a decade the CIA has provided wads of dollars to the office of Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president largely as a means of buying political influence.
Bill Blum: Can it be imagined that American officials would bomb a house in Beverly Hills or the upper east side of Manhattan? Stay tuned.
Tom Hayden: The peace movement can and will have to merge with the populist movements opposing austerity budgets and Wall Street crimes.
Gareth Porter: The disparity between the reality of the agreement and the optics created by administration press briefings recalls Obama’s declarations in 2009 and 2010 on the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq.
Joseph Palermo: At about $10 billion a month, and an increasing number of American casualties in an environment more volatile than ever, the American people need to take long, close look at whether staying in Afghanistan until December 2014 is worth it.
Vijay Prashad: The United States will exit Afghanistan in the next few years. None of its promises of health and well-being, democracy and women’s rights will be realized.
Gareth Porter: This week’s Taliban attacks on multiple targets in Kabul, including the U.S. Embassy and U.S.-NATO headquarters, are the latest and most spectacular of a long series of operations that have given the insurgents the upper hand in establishing the narrative of the war as perceived by the Afghan population.
Gareth Porter: The Taliban leadership is ready to negotiate peace with the United States right now if Washington indicates its willingness to provide a timetable for complete withdrawal, according to a former Afghan prime minister
Gareth Porter: Senior Obama administration officials hope to use the talks to sow suspicion between the Taliban and their main ally, thus weakening the Taliban resolve to negotiate on a peace settlement only if the United States offers a timetable for troop withdrawal.
Gareth Porter: Barack Obama and top administration officials have taken advantage of the killing of Osama bin Laden to establish a new narrative suggesting the event will pave the way for negotiations with the Taliban for peace in Afghanistan.
Gareth Porter: When George W. Bush rejected a Taliban offer to have Osama bin Laden tried by a moderate group of Islamic states in mid- October 2001, he gave up the only opportunity the United States would have to end bin Laden’s terrorist career for the next nine years.
Tom Hayden: Any “new deal” will have to satisfy the power agenda of al-Sadr and his allies in Iran, or risk a renewal of fighting against the retention of the smallest contingent of U.S. troops in Iraq since 2003.