A look at violence numbers in Afghanistan in 2008

Associated Press December 31, 2008
The following are estimates of violent deaths in Afghanistan in 2008 compiled by The Associated Press based on figures from Western and Afghan officials. The count is not definitive and relies heavily on official statements.

Afghan officials are known to exaggerate Taliban deaths, for instance, and NATO’s International Security Assistance Force does not release …

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The Afghan reconstruction boondoggle

By Ann Jones

The first of 20,000 to 30,000 additional United States troops are scheduled to arrive in Afghanistan next month to re-win the war US President George W Bush neglected to finish in his eagerness to start another one. However, “winning” the military campaign against the Taliban is the lesser half of the story.

Going into Afghanistan, the Bush administration called for a political campaign to reconstruct the country and thereby establish the authority of a stable, democratic Afghan central government. It was understood that the two campaigns – military and political/economic – had to go forward together; the

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Karzai: Russia in defense deal with Afghanistan

By FISNIK ABRASHI, Associated Press Writer

KABUL, Afghanistan

“As a friendly government to Afghanistan, Russia is ready to offer its cooperation to an independent and a democratic Afghanistan,” the statement quoted Medvedev as saying.

The statement did not say how the two countries would cooperate.

A spokesman at the Kremlin in Russia said he did not immediately have any …

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Afghanistan held back by weak leadership: NATO

Sunday, January 18, 2009; 2:27 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – NATO’s top official took issue on Sunday with Afghanistan’s sluggish forward progress, placing blame more on the country’s weak leadership than on the Taliban-led insurgency.

“Afghan leadership is not some distant aspiration — it’s something that we need as soon as possible and on which we must insist,” NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer wrote in an opinion piece published in Sunday’s Washington Post.

Seven years ago the United States sent troops to Afghanistan in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks by al Qaeda, toppling the leading Taliban group …

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Afghanistan: Kabul Siege Underscores Warlord Threat To Rule Of Law

February 03, 2008


Abdul Rashid Dostum spent years running swaths of northern Afghanistan like a personal fiefdom (file photo) (AFP)

Afghan police have lifted a brief siege on the Kabul home of a longtime warlord and current presidential adviser, Abdul Rashid Dostum, after he and dozens of armed men allegedly beat up and kidnapped a former campaign aide, RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan reported. Dostum is a former union boss in the gas and oil sector who rose to command ethnic-Uzbek fighters backing communist forces after the Soviet occupation in 1979. But his three kaleidoscopic decades as a militia leader …

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Afghanistan: Warlordism ‘Is Winning’ Versus Democracy

April 13, 2008


A former government minister accused by some of war crimes, Abdul Rashid Dostum remains a leading power broker (AFP)

Ordinary Afghans are becoming increasingly concerned about their future as the power of warlords appears to be growing in Afghanistan. RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan broadcaster Jan Alekozai spent the past month in Kabul and eastern Afghanistan, where he was often approached by students, local officials, and Afghan tribesmen who expressed their concerns about corruption, security, and distrust in the government. He spoke to RFE/RL correspondent Ron Synovitz about those concerns.

RFE/RL: During the past month when you …

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War Crime Evidence Destroyed In Afghanistan, Commission Finds

Ethnic-Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum is a top suspect.

December 29, 2008


Evidence of war crimes on the site of a 2001 massacre believed to contain the remains of up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners has been destroyed, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has announced.

Provisional justice director for northern Afghanistan Farid Mutaqqi confirmed the evidence’s destruction at the controversial Dasht-i Lalli grave in an exclusive interview with RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan.

Mutaqqi blamed the cover-up on those responsible for the massacre. Afghan warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, who helped U.S. forces topple the Taliban in 2001, is the chief

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Bribes Corrode Afghans

KABUL, Afghanistan

Danfung Dennis for The New York Times

The mansions of Afghan officials in the Sherpur neighborhood of Kabul are a curiosity not only for their size, but also because government salaries are not very big.

Want to be a provincial police chief? It will cost you $100,000.

Want to drive a convoy of trucks loaded with fuel across the country? Be prepared to pay $6,000 per truck, so the police will not tip off the Taliban.

Need to settle a lawsuit over the ownership of your house? About $25,000, depending on the judge.

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