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Nov 23rd, 2010

Afghan Violence Soaring, Insurgency Expanding 

Image: U.S. soldier in Afghanistan
A U.S. soldier from 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion patrols
in the Zhari district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, on Monday,
Nov. 22, 2010. (Photo credit: Peter Andrews / Reuters)

By Missy Ryan

Nov. 23, 2010

WASHINGTON — Violence in Afghanistan hit an all-time high in recent months as Western troops battled an increasingly sophisticated insurgency expanding across the country, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.

Nine years after the arrival of foreign forces, the Pentagon said all types of violent incidents in Afghanistan had increased from April through the end of September, up 300 percent from 2007, except for the use of roadside bombs.

The White House will reveal in coming weeks its review of the war a year after President Barack Obama unveiled a new strategy for the flagging, unpopular campaign in Afghanistan

Even as the Pentagon’s latest congressionally mandated report painted a grim picture of the situation in Afghanistan, where corruption undermines the fight against the Taliban and only halting, uneven improvements to Afghans’ lives have been achieved, U.S. officials said there were signs of progress. …

Yet some onlookers are skeptical even a far-off goal of putting Afghan forces in the lead in 2014 can be reached, as foreign forces struggle to train and fortify local police and soldiers and bring about a modicum of self-governance and growth in one of the world’s poorest countries.

In its report, the Pentagon depicted a ‘resilient’ opponent in Afghanistan, where the Taliban enjoys a steady stream of funding at home and from other Islamic states. Insurgents have fanned out across the country. …

The military also said Iran continued to provide weapons and training to the Taliban and that their safe havens along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border remained an obstacle even as Pakistani military cooperation with NATO improved.


U.S. ground troops step up in Afghanistan (NBC Nightly News, Nov. 23, 2010) — The U.S. is shifting its war strategy in Afghanistan by escalating its ground tactics and deploying a company of Marine Corps M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks. NBC’s Lester Holt reports. (01:33)


Related report on this site

West’s Worn-Out Welcome in Afghanistan (Nov. 21, 2010)

Image: An effigy of President Obama is burned during a protest in Afghanistan
Protesters chant anti-American slogans and burn an effigy of President Barack Obama in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009. (Photo credit: Rahmat Gul / AP)


Related report

Taliban leader in secret talks was an impostor (By Dexter Filkins and Carlotta Gall, New York Times, Nov. 23, 2010) — For months, the secret talks unfolding between Taliban and Afghan leaders to end the war appeared to be showing promise, if only because of the appearance of a certain insurgent leader at one end of the table: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, one of the most senior commanders in the Taliban movement. But now, it turns out, Mr. Mansour was apparently not Mr. Mansour at all. … Afghan officials now say the Afghan man was an impostor, and high-level discussions conducted with the assistance of NATO appear to have achieved little. … Full story


Pentagon: ‘Don’t know veracity’ of Taliban impostor story (MSNBC “The Daily Rundown,” Nov. 23, 2010) — Geoff Morrell, Pentagon press secretary and deputy assistant secretary of defense, tells MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie he doesn’t know the “veracity” of the New York Times report that an impostor posed as a Taliban leader in talks. (05:11)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — November 23, 2009

Bachmann Suckers St. Cloud Times

St. Cloud Times Washington
correspondent Larry Bivins

One year ago today, I reported that the St. Cloud Times, after leading the charge in Minnesota earlier in the year to set a new standard for calling Rep. Michele Bachmann out for her radical extremism, backslid into the longstanding pattern of Minnesota media to gloss over or simply fail to report the full extent of Bachmann’s political paranoia and extremism. To compensate for this failure, I posted the full text of Times Washington correspondent Larry Bivins’ softball Bachmann interview, annotated and supplemented with critical content missing from the Bivens fluff-piece.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — November 23, 2008

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Sartell


Two years ago today, on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008, I filed no report.

2 Responses to “Spiral of Violence in Afghanistan”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Breathtaking Afghan Corruption Says:

    […] Spiral of Violence in Afghanistan (Nov. 23, 2010) […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Violence Ahead of Afghan Review Says:

    […] Spiral of Violence in Afghanistan (Nov. 23, 2010) […]

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