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Afghanistan Cannabis Survey 2009


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#16 Hughie Green

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 11:49 PM

"The Western policies against the opium crop have been a failure. They did not result in any damage to the Taleban."

Perhaps because the Taleban have never been involved in Opium production or profited from it as the Opium monopoly is run by members of the Afghan government and their
relatives in the Northern alliance or are we to believe one or two provinces supplies 90% of the worlds Opium?.

#17 namkha

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 07:50 AM

Hi Hughie

the evidence suggest that both sides, the Taleban and the Afghan Government, have been heavily involved in opium and charas production in the north and south... the Northern Alliance (United Front) was broken up in about 2004 or so

the Taleban have been heavily involved in production of opium in the south and the east

I don't think Afghanistan supplies 90% of the world's opium - there is still a lot of production in Mexico, South and Central American, India and areas of Southeast Asia... production in India is massive
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"Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue...that we couldn't resist it." - John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

"[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks" Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to."

#18 namkha

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:24 AM

*bump*
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"Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue...that we couldn't resist it." - John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

"[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks" Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to."

#19 namkha

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 01:35 PM

Afghanistan Cannabis Survey 2010

ht tp://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/publications-by-date.html
illustrated 56 page report
28th June 2011

Edited by namkha, 23 November 2012 - 04:50 PM.

www.therealseedcompany.com

"Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue...that we couldn't resist it." - John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

"[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks" Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to."

#20 namkha

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:39 AM

Afghanistan the New Mexico?: Assassinations and the Drug Trade
http://newamericamed...-drug-trade.php

In the last few months, the Afghan drug trade has entered a new phase of power struggles that could lead to the sort of violence that plagues Mexicans on a daily basis. The trigger has been four key assassinations of government officials who were alleged drug barons. Their deaths have already opened the door to significant consequences for Afghanistan’s narco-economy.

More than anything, the assassinations have resulted in a power grab among the stakeholders in the multi-billion dollar Afghan drug trade – Afghanistan produces 95 percent of the world’s opium and heroin. There is now a real threat of death squads, more violence and a breakdown of the community and tribal links that have thus far prevented Afghanistan from becoming another Mexico.


Four Assassinations

The four men who were killed are the former governor of Uruzgan Province (and close friend of Afghan President Hamid Karzai) Jan Mohammad Khan, who was killed on July 18 in Kabul; the President's half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, who was killed on July 12 at the hands of a close ally in Kandahar; the head of police for the northern region, General Mohammad Daud Daud, who was killed on May 28 in Takhar; and the Provincial Police Chief of Kandahar, Khan Muhammad Mujahid, who died in a Taliban-facilitated suicide bombing on April 15.

All of these men maintained potent patron-client relationships that went back for decades. Their loss has produced a dangerous power vacuum in the hierarchy of drug trafficking.

Karzai’s brother was the most powerful of the four men. He was accused of drug trafficking at the same time that he was reported to be on the CIA payroll for aiding foreign troops with their fight against the insurgency. The allegations included providing protection for narcotics convoys to pass through Kandahar, killing those who crossed him, and direct trafficking of opium and heroin.

But Karzai was never arrested -- if the United States had removed the influential southern leader, the risk that smaller bandits of drug traffickers would seize power was high. For the United States and NATO, Karzai’s ability to keep Kandahar somewhat secure was more important than his forays in trafficking.

Jan Mohammad Khan, one of the most powerful tribal leaders of central Afghanistan, was also accused of links to the drug trade. Unlike Karzai, in 2006, Khan was fired from his position as governor following strong protests from NATO and U.S. officials who accused him of corruption, links to the drug trade, and human rights violations.
Under his tenure, nearly 80 percent of the province’s villages engaged in the drug trade.

And then there is Daud, a drug-dealer who served as Afghanistan’s anti-drug czar from 2004 until President Karzai transferred him from his post in 2010. Daud, who was once a bodyguard of slain Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, was a key figure in supporting the drug trade, receiving thousands of dollars in exchange for protecting other smugglers who transported narcotics.


Afghanistan, the New Mexico?

Afghanistan is the world’s number one producer of opium and heroin but it does not have the ominous cartels and paramilitary militias who terrorize Latin America. Mexico lost 34,000 people in its drug war between December 2006 until the end of 2010, according to official estimates by the Mexican government. Although violence soared since President Felipe Calderon declared war against the cartels in December 2006, the carnage worsened after the United States helped assassinate Beltran Leyva, the godfather of the Sinalao cartel, in late 2009.

In Afghanistan, the United States has arrested and extradited four other Afghan kingpins in the last five years: Haji Bashir Noorzai, Haji Juma Khan, Haji Bachgo, and Haji Baaz Mohammad. They are in American prisons, either convicted of drug smuggling or awaiting trial. But none of them had the charisma and ability to crush opposition like the men who were recently assassinated.

Deaths related to drugs in Afghanistan haven’t reached the tens of thousands as they have in Mexico. One reason could be the tribal links that powerbrokers like Karzai’s brother invoked to preserve a level of stability. With all four gone, that stability is threatened and it’s likely that insurgents, more malicious militia commanders and neighboring drug mafias from Pakistan and Uzbekistan will gain ground.


America’s Role in Afghanistan’s Drug Trade

Fighting drug dealers is a relatively new priority for the United States. Though the U.S. has appropriated more than $4.5 billion for counternarcotics programs in Afghanistan since 2002, measurable success in the war on drugs is elusive as security has been a top priority since the beginning of the war.

In 2009, the Obama administration began a new plan of attacking the narcotics-corruption-insurgency nexus. The policy shift came after the United States could no longer ignore exuberant profits that Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants reaped from the Afghan opium trade – moderate estimates put this in the tens of millions of U.S. dollars.

So the United States began selectively busting drug dealers both directly, by targeting high profile traffickers and traders, and indirectly with the help of foreign troops who fight drug dealing insurgents and also provide alternatives to poppy farming.


The Future of the Narco-Economy

Now that these four men are gone, the Taliban and rival criminal syndicates have a chance to consolidate the drug rings that operate in their turfs. But there’s also the problem of the government itself.

Hampered by corruption, Karzai’s government is a significant obstacle to long-term counter-narcotics policies. His protection of drug dealers in the government -- he pardoned five of them in April 2009 because one of the men was related to his campaign manager – has prolonged his tenure, but with the new power vacuum, he is losing ground in the drug war.

It remains unlikely that the Afghan government’s counter-narcotics efforts will be robust enough to create the conditions needed to wane rural farming communities off of the narco-economy. And inconsistencies in United States and Afghan resolve to seriously address the ongoing narcotics conundrum has also led to regional tensions with both the Russian Federation and Iran, both of whom suffer tremendously from Afghan-origin narcotics.

As a result, international and domestic efforts to stabilize the country will continue to be plagued, and strains in relations with bordering states could set the stage for what can become another Mexico.


Fariba Nawa is an Afghan-American freelance journalist and author of the upcoming book Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords and One Woman’s Journey Home to Afghanistan.

Matthew DuPée is a counter-narcotics and security specialist at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

www.therealseedcompany.com

"Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue...that we couldn't resist it." - John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

"[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks" Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to."

#21 namkha

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:11 AM

Massacres are the inevitable result of foreign occupation
http://www.guardian....eign-occupation
The latest slaughter in Afghanistan is part of a decade of savage civilian killing: until Nato leaves, it is certain to continue
Tuesday 13 March 2012 22.20 GMT

It was an "isolated incident", US officials insisted. The murder of 16 Afghan civilians as they slept, Hillary Clinton declared, was the "inexplicable act" of one soldier. And as Barack Obama and David Cameron prepared to put a public gloss on an earlier end to Nato's "lead combat" mission in Afghanistan, the US secretary of state pledged to continue "protecting the Afghan people".

After a decade of ever more degraded Nato occupation, who could conceivably wish for such protection? The slaughter of innocents in Panjwai, nine of them children, follows the eruption of killings and protests after US troops burned copies of the Qur'an last month. That came soon after the exposure of video of US marines urinating on dead Afghans.

The evidence surrounding the Panjwai massacre is so far contradictory. If it was the work of a single gunman, he was likely to have been unhinged or motivated by perverted religious or racist hatred. But however extreme, it was certainly not an isolated incident.

As in Iraq, the killing and abuse of civilians by occupation forces has been an integral part of this dirty war from its earliest days. As it drags on, ever more outrages emerge. Last year, members of a US unit were convicted of killing Afghan civilians for entertainment, cutting off body parts as trophies and leaving weapons with the corpses to make it seem as if they were killed in combat.

Nor is such depravity just a US habit, of course. Last year a hungover British guardsman stabbed a 10-year-old boy in the kidneys for no reason. British soldiers are currently on trial for filming their abuse of Afghan children, while US WikiLeaks files record 21 separate incidents of British troops shooting dead or bombing Afghan civilians.

The line between deliberate and accidental killings is in any case a blurred one. As the US General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of Nato troops in Afghanistan, commented: "We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat."

When six British soldiers were killed in Helmand last week, taking Britain's 10-year military toll over 400, their deaths were treated by politicians and media alike as a national tragedy. Meanwhile tens of thousands of Afghans have been killed in the war launched by the US and Britain in Afghanistan, but even the names of the 16 Panjwai victims are largely unreported.

Last year was a record for civilian deaths in the Afghan war: 3,021 were reported killed by the UN, which blamed Nato and its Afghan allies for 410 of them – though Afghan human rights organisations insist that such tallies heavily understate the numbers killed by foreign troops, whose casualties are said routinely to be blamed on the Taliban or not reported at all.

Many civilians are killed in night raids or air attacks, such as the one that incinerated eight shepherd boys aged 6 to 18 in northern Afghanistan last month. Across the border in Pakistan, CIA "targeted" drone attacks have killed 2,300, including hundreds of civilians and 175 children – a massacre of another kind — with the collusion of Britain's GCHQ electronic spying centre.

Of course, the Afghanistan occupation is far from unique in its record of civilian suffering. The Iraq war was punctuated by occupation massacres from the start: Haditha, where 24 men, women and children were murdered in cold blood by US marines in 2005, the killing of 17 by Blackwater military contractors in 2007, and another dozen by a US Apache crew in Baghdad the same year are among the more notorious. The only soldier convicted in the Haditha case walked free last month with a "general discharge under honourable conditions".

And in Vietnam, hundreds of villagers were notoriously murdered by US soldiers in My Lai in 1968, among other bloodbaths. The same was true of Britain's colonial war against Malaya's communist guerrillas, where 24 villagers were slaughtered by British soldiers in Batang Kali in 1948 – their relatives are still seeking some justice 64 years later.

Massacres are common in wars, but they flow from the very nature of foreign occupations. Brutalised soldiers, pumped up with racial and cultural superiority, sent on imperial missions to subdue people they don't understand, take revenge for resistance, real or imagined, with terror and savagery.

That has been the story of the Afghan campaign: a decade-long intervention supposedly launched to crush terrorism that has itself spawned and fuelled terror across the region and beyond. This is a war that has failed in every one of its ever-shifting kaleidoscope of aims: from destroying the Taliban and al-Qaida, to bringing democracy and women's rights, to eradicating opium production.

The warnings of its opponents from the start have been gruesomely borne out. The Taliban control swaths of the country, Afghanistan is the opium capital of the world, women's rights are heading backwards, and the robber-baron Karzai government is reviled by its people.

Where is the "good war" now? Foreign troops are a central cause of the conflict, not its solution – as is well understood in both the Nato countries and Afghanistan itself. In Britain, 55% want troops withdrawn immediately; in the US 60% believe the war hasn't been worth fighting; in Afghanistan 87% of men in the south say Nato operations are bad for Afghans, 76% in the north.

Yet Cameron insists this "very good work" must go on. Despite the growing pressure to bring an end to a disastrous occupation, US demands on the Afghan government for a long-term "enduring presence" to save Nato's face are intensifying. But it's not going to be saved. There is no serious prospect of a change in the balance of forces before the end of 2014, when Nato forces are scheduled to end combat operations. With the US and Nato now committed to negotiation with the Taliban, the case for speeding up withdrawal has become overwhelming.

The best chance of preventing a return to civil war is an inclusive, negotiated settlement backed by the main neighbouring states. Spinning out the occupation to 2014 or beyond will only mean years more of massacres, dead soldiers and civilians and destabilisation of the region.

Like Iraq, the Afghanistan war has been a disastrous miscalculation for the western powers, which are having to learn the lessons of empire again and again. In the 21st century, more than ever, foreign military occupation will be resisted, paid for in blood – and rebound on those who try to impose it.

Edited by namkha, 15 March 2012 - 05:12 AM.

www.therealseedcompany.com

"Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue...that we couldn't resist it." - John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

"[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks" Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to."

#22 _komodod_

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:02 AM

tbh from what ive read alot of people rely on selling hashish to be able to eat. my mate smoked some over there which was being grown, whe he was in the army he said it was shit. compeard to what you get here.

#23 namkha

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:20 PM

tbh from what ive read alot of people rely on selling hashish to be able to eat.


that's true

my mate smoked some over there which was being grown, whe he was in the army he said it was shit. compeard to what you get here.


I've seen crap Afghan hash in Pakistan that was cut with henna, and bad border hash that was just bad - made from bad water starved plants

I'm sure there's shite hash in Afghanistan - and low grade stuff made from what's lest after they've done the 1st and 2nd grade

the Afghan hash I've seen in the UK hash mostly been the stuff that never really gets you high

but - good Afghan hash is great - like good Mazar-i-Sharif

the highest grade of garda can be absolutely stellar --- no matter how good the best Moroccan is getting these days, I still don't believe it can match the best Mazar-i-Sharif garda...

this is a photo taken on a duff camera phone - the pieces on the bottom right are the first grade garda --- the balls are the same stuff rolled by hand, and then the flat piece is the same stuff pressed flat by hand

as garda it was dense, sticky, and had a real red colour like you can see - it smelled incredible - like hashy orangey juniper coffee - it was lovely stuff - and when you rolled it into charas as it got more black it got sweeter smelling

I do like a nice bit of high grade Moroccan hash, don't get me wrong, but I still reckon the best aromas and highs come from the Asian stuff - Afghan, Chitrali, Nepalese... I'd choose good Leb over good Moroccan most times I reckon too

edit: the other photo is of some other Mazar-i-Sharif type garda

it says Sheberghan on the photos, but basically they were all Mazar-i-Sharif type plants and charas

Attached Thumbnails

  • SheberghanGardaCharas2.jpg
  • SheberghanMriko2 (1).jpg

Edited by namkha, 28 June 2013 - 10:06 AM.

www.therealseedcompany.com

"Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue...that we couldn't resist it." - John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

"[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks" Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to."

#24 namkha

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:40 PM

More Afghan families turn to cannabis cultivation
http://www.guardian....ltivation-opium
High crop prices fuel increase in number of growers, adding to drug-control problems in world leader for opium production
Monday 8 October 2012

Posted Image

The number of Afghan families growing cannabis as a cash crop leapt by more than a third last year, the UN has said.

The increase adds to the drug-control problem in a country that is already the world's top producer of opium.

Prices for the best quality resin have nearly tripled since 2009, to $95 (£60) a kilogramme, adding to the lure of a crop that can earn farmers more than opium poppies. It is also is generally looked on more leniently by authorities targeting drug crops.

As a result, Afghanistan's importance as a source of cannabis resin for world markets may be growing, the report warns, as other producers, such as Morocco, are producing a smaller share.

Afghan farmers were expected to produce around 1,300 tonnes of cannabis in 2011, the Afghanistan cannabis survey estimated. That is a similar amount to the previous two years, but with many more farmers turning to the crop.

Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the head of the UNODC office in Afghanistan, said: "It is clear that while the domestic consumption is very high, it does not nearly cover the 1,300 tons produced during 2011. The export of cannabis is thus a significant economic life line."

Around 65,000 households grew cannabis in 2011, compared with 47,000 the year before, its said. The survey omits "kitchen garden" growers, who cultivate a handful of plants for themselves or to sell locally: these are believed to produce a tiny fraction of the national crop.

"The cannabis price rise has developed in parallel with the opium price hike caused by the opium crop failure in 2010, making its per-hectare income similar to that of opium and thus financially very attractive to farmers," the UN report said.

"But because cannabis cultivation is less labour intensive – less weeding is involved and the extraction of 'garda' (powdered cannabis resin) can be done at home in a matter of weeks with the help of family members instead of hired labour – it is actually more cost-effective than opium."

Unlike opium, which matures rapidly and needs little irrigation, cannabis is a water-intensive crop that needs a long time to grow, prohibiting the planting of another crop. Partly for this reason, farmers tend to grow the plant on a sporadic basis rather than every year.

But the two illicit crops often coexist, with the centre of cannabis cultivation shifting from the north to the opium poppy heartland in the south over the last five years, the report said.

"There is a clear geographical association between opium and cannabis cultivation at the provincial level," the report said. "That association exists at a household level, too, with almost two thirds of cannabis-growing households (58%) also reporting poppy cultivation in the preceding season."

Three-quarters of farmers said they grew the crop because of high sales prices; the 2011 crop was worth around $95m, the UN estimated, although this was less than the 2010 crop. That year, a larger crop was produced, but by fewer households.
www.therealseedcompany.com

"Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue...that we couldn't resist it." - John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

"[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks" Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to."

#25 namkha

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:50 PM

Afghanistan Cannabis Survey 2011
ht tp://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Afghanistan/2011_Afghanistan_Cannabis_Survey_Report_w_cover_small.pdf

Edited by namkha, 23 November 2012 - 04:50 PM.

www.therealseedcompany.com

"Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue...that we couldn't resist it." - John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

"[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks" Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to."

#26 Hughie Green

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:51 PM

Aye, had some lovely Afghan this year, had a minty smell to it as well as that lovely oily hash smell, smoked a treat, no harshness no
strange tinge in the smell that you get with the duff bits, dreamy stone, pure time loser very drifty :D :stoned:

#27 Yodel

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:03 PM

yeh, and imagine if it was legal and the farmers got a fair trade price

if they want to stop "Talebanisation" and the insurgency, then how about letting the farmers make an honest living from cannabis?

I rekcon it will work a lot better than bombing them, shooting them, and ripping up their fields every year


There is so much truth in this statement. Thanks for keeping up the good fight man. :skin_up:
"Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?" -Henry Ford

#28 namkha

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 10:11 AM

‘Americans Have the Watch, We Have the Time’
http://newsweekpakis...-have-the-time/
Afghan Taliban scramble for upper hand in peace talks as deadline for U.S. exit approaches.
27 Jun 2013 By AFP

Posted Image

The United States, the Afghan government, and Taliban insurgents are all scrambling for advantage as the clock ticks down in the search for an unlikely peace deal before foreign military intervention ends in Afghanistan.

U.S. troop numbers will halve to 34,000 within eight months. The British operate just 13 bases in the hotbed province of Helmand, down from a peak of 137. Other NATO allies have already withdrawn.

But the December 2014 deadline to leave increasingly looks like a hostage to fortune as the Taliban ramp up attacks in Kabul and pose as the government-in-exile at their new office in Qatar.

“The Americans need this negotiation, not the Taliban,” said Waheed Mujda, an analyst who worked as a foreign ministry official in the 1996-2001 Taliban government. “Without a peaceful settlement, the situation will worsen. The Taliban will intensify attacks, more rural areas will fall under their control, and the highways and main roads will become insecure. They think that this way they will have the upper hand in any peace talks. As they often say ‘the Americans have the watch, but we have the time.’”

U.S. President Barack Obama was accused earlier in his presidency of being slow to seek a political solution to end the 12-year conflict, but concerns are rising that a deal must now be bought at any cost.

When the Taliban opened their office in Qatar last week, raising their flag and using the name of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, a furious President Hamid Karzai broke off security talks with the Americans and threatened to boycott any peace process altogether.

Bruce Riedel, director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, says that the U.S. failure to orchestrate a smooth opening of the office reinforced suspicions about Obama’s bottom-line. “The perception in the region is that Washington is so desperate for a political process that it’s willing to sacrifice the interests of its Afghan partner,” he said. “That’s a very dangerous perception now sitting out there,” he added. “It’s got to become a process in which Afghans talk to Afghans. And Karzai has said he’s not going to talk. He wants negotiations with a Taliban that reinvents itself as a political party.”

Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively about Afghanistan and the Taliban, said Karzai’s intransigence partly reflected wider Afghan anger but accused him of being part of the problem. “He has always envisaged a kind of Taliban surrender to him or a Pashtun meeting of tribes in which the Taliban would acknowledge Mr. Karzai as their leader and tie the traditional turban around his head,” Rashid wrote this week in The Financial Times.

“Clearly, none of this is going to happen. Why would the Taliban surrender when they had beaten the U.S. military to a standstill or bow before the Afghan they most despise? Yet Mr. Karzai refused to accept anything less.”

Only hours after the Qatar office opened, a Taliban rocket attack killed four Americans on the largest military base in Afghanistan. Just days later, a suicide squad targeted the presidential palace and a CIA office, in the most audacious assault in Kabul in years.

“The insurgents’ primary mode of political expression in the near future will remain fighting, not party politics,” said a paper released on Wednesday by the International Crisis Group think tank.

Amrullah Aman, a former Afghan general turned popular TV pundit, said that as 2014 gets closer, the Taliban are convinced that “their success is directly proportional to American withdrawal.”

“Their political office in Qatar has emboldened them to do more operations to put pressure on the government to give in to their demands,” he said.

But others do not believe the Taliban hold all the aces, despite the fast-approaching U.S. exit and a weak Afghan government that faces a tricky presidential election in April.

“The Taliban overestimate their own capabilities and underestimate the Afghan government’s security forces,” said Kate Clark, senior analyst at the Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts Network. “They remember 1996, and how they took most of the country without much fighting. I don’t think it is going to be like that again. They underestimate how difficult it would be, whether or not the Americans are here after 2014.”

The Taliban themselves have remained largely silent since the unveiling of their Qatar office, except to claim responsibility for the presidential palace and U.S. base attacks.

In Qatar, they read out a statement demanding an end to the “occupation,” meaning no U.S. troops could stay, despite Afghan-U.S. talks designed to reach a deal on a residual force post 2014.

The rebels’ five-point agenda also said the office may be used to meet unspecified Afghans “in due appropriate time”—a hint perhaps that their refusal to talk with representatives of Karzai’s government could be negotiable, if not immediately.

“The Taliban are waiting,” according to a mid-level Taliban member in northwest Pakistan who declined to be named. “We should not expect an immediate solution from these talks, it will take time.”


Edited by namkha, 28 June 2013 - 10:12 AM.

www.therealseedcompany.com

"Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue...that we couldn't resist it." - John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

"[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks" Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to."

#29 namkha

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 10:31 AM

this is the first part of a five part essay by William Dalrymple for The Brookings Institute

'Forget Nato v the Taliban. The real Afghan fight is India v Pakistan' was the title in the edited version for The Guardian

'William Dalrymple on how Afghanistan's old ethnic conflict has become a proxy war for the bitter feud between the region's two nuclear powers.'

A DEADLY TRIANGLE: AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN, AND INDIA
http://www.brookings...akistan-india-d
William Dalrymple
06/25/2013


At six o’clock in the morning of February 26, 2010, Major Mitali Madhumita was awakened by the ringing of her mobile phone. Mitali, a 35-year-old Indian army officer from Orissa, had been in Kabul less than a year. Fluent in Dari, the most widely spoken language in Afghanistan, she was there to teach English to the first women officer cadets to be recruited to the Afghan National Army.

It was a sensitive posting, not so much because of gender issues as political ones: India’s regional rival, Pakistan, was extremely touchy about India providing military assistance to the government in Afghanistan and had made it very clear that it regarded the presence of any Indian troops or military trainers there as an unacceptable provocation. For this reason everyone on the small Indian army English Language Training Team, including Mitali, and all the Indian army doctors and nurses staffing the new Indira Gandhi Kabul Children’s Hospital, had been sent to Afghanistan unarmed, and in civilian dress. They were being put up not in an army barracks, or at the Indian Embassy, but in a series of small, discreet guest houses dotted around the city’s diplomatic quarter.

The phone call was from a girlfriend of Mitali’s who worked for Air India at Kabul airport. Breathless, she said she had just heard that two of the Indian guest houses, the Park and the Hamid, were under attack by militants. As the only woman on her team, Mitali had been staying in separate lodgings about two miles away from the rest of her colleagues, who were all in the Hamid. Within seconds, Mitali was pulling on her clothes, along with the hijab she was required to wear, and running, alone and unarmed, through the empty morning streets of Kabul toward the Hamid.

“I just thought they might need my help,” she told me recently in New Delhi.

As she dashed past the Indian Embassy, Mitali was recognized by one of the guards from diplomatic security who shouted to her to stop. The area around the guest houses was mayhem, he told her. She should not go on alone. She must return immediately to her lodgings and stay there.

“I don’t require your permission to rescue my colleagues,” Mitali shouted back, and kept on running. When she passed the presidential compound, she was stopped again, this time at gunpoint, by an Afghan army security check post. Five minutes later she had charmed one of the guards into giving her a lift in his jeep. Soon they could hear bursts of automatic weapons, single shots from rifles and loud grenade blasts.

“As we neared the area under attack I jumped out of the jeep and ran straight into the ruins of what had been the Hamid guesthouse. It was first light, but because of all the dust and smoke, visibility was very low and it was difficult to see anything. The front portion of the guesthouse was completely destroyed—there was just a huge crater. Everything had been reduced to rubble. A car bomb had rammed the front gate and leveled the front of the compound. Three militants then appeared and began firing at anyone still alive. I just said, ‘Oh my God,’ and ran inside.

“I found my way in the smoke to the area at the back where my colleagues had been staying. Here the walls were standing but it was open to the sky—the blast had completely removed the roof, which was lying in chunks all over the floor. There was cross-firing going on all around me, and the militants were throwing Chinese incendiary grenades. Afghan troops had taken up positions at the top of the Park Residence across the road and were firing back. I couldn’t see the militants, but they were hiding somewhere around me.

“As quietly as I could, I called for my colleagues and went to where their rooms had been, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. I searched through the debris and before long started pulling out bodies. A man loomed out of the gloom and I shouted to him to identify himself. But he wasn’t a terrorist—he was the information officer from our embassy and he began helping me. Together we managed to get several injured people out of the rubble and into safety.

“Then we heard a terrible blast. We later learned that Major Jyotin Singh had tackled a suicide bomber, and by holding him from behind had prevented him entering the Park Residence. The bomber was forced to blow himself up outside. Jyotin had saved the lives of all the medical team inside.

“But the only one of my colleagues who hadn’t been killed on the spot, Major Nitesh Roy, died of his 40% burns in hospital three days later. I was the only one of my team who came back alive.”
Guest House Bombing Kabul

In all 18 people were killed in the attack that morning, nine of them Indians, and 36 were wounded. Among the dead found beneath the debris was the assistant consul general from the new Indian consulate in Kandahar. This consulate was a particular bugbear of the Pakistanis, who accused it of being a base for RAW—the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency. The Pakistanis believed RAW was funding, arming and encouraging the insurgency in Baluchistan, the province that has been waging a separatist struggle ever since it was incorporated into the new nation of Pakistan in 1947.

It was not difficult to figure out the motive for the attack. The operation was soon traced by both Afghan and U.S. intelligence to a joint mission by the Pakistani-controlled Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated insurgent group under the leadership of Jalaluddin Haqqani, and the Pakistan-based anti-Indian militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (Army of the Righteous), which carried out the November 2008 assault on the Taj Hotel and other targets in Mumbai. Both the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba are believed to take orders from the ISI—Inter-Services Intelligence, which is closely linked to the military.

Pakistan made no public comment on the attack, other than to refuse permission for the planes carrying the dead bodies back to India to cross its airspace.


Edited by namkha, 28 June 2013 - 10:33 AM.

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#30 pier09

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 11:06 AM

Did you read Dalrymple's 'return of the king' about 1842 infamous Hon'rable Company fiasco in Afghanistan? Fascinating.
His take on the big mutiny is also a must read for anyone interested in India's history.


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