Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Summary: The possibility that power brokers and warlords in Afghanistan might be what keeps the country from unraveling has had analysts concerned, but the recent assassination of Ahmad Wali Karzai, one of the most powerful strongmen in Afghanistan, and the ensuing struggle in Kandahar for power, has brought the issue into sharp relief as the U.S. begins to draw down forces. Though much of the international effort in Afghanistan has focused on strengthening democratic institutions, foreign forces have often had to lean on strongmen. As a result, a new generation of warlords has risen to power, fueled by U.S. money. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on August 8, 2010, Aubrey Immelman reported that Taliban insurgents gunned down ten members of a Christian medical team — six Americans, two Afghans, one German, and a Briton — in Badakhshan province, Afghanistan.

Jul 5th, 2010

Summary: More than 100 foreign troops in Afghanistan died in June 2010, making it the deadliest month to date in the nine-year war. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on July 5, 2009 Aubrey Immelman reported that Iraqis were skeptical that much would change for the better after the June 30, 2009 withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from urban areas; that June 2009 was the deadliest month of the year to date in Iraq; that two U.S. troops were killed in an attack on a U.S. base in Afghanistan; that a U.S. soldier was reported missing, believed captured, in Afghanistan; and that four U.S. troops were killed in a roadside bombing in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan.