Monday was the twelfth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
Here is some coverage of the occasion:
October 7, 2001. The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan began as did the Global War on Terror. The day should not go by unmarked.
12 years ago today, temptxan, Daily Kos
“There is a bloody war happening, and no one is talking about it,” said Ahmad Majidyar, an Afghanistan expert at the American Enterprise Institute and a frequent adviser to the U.S. Army.
With little fanfare, Afghanistan War drags into 13th year, Heath Druzin, Stars and Stripes
It's been 12 years since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, but anniversaries make little sense when wars are boundless
Anniversary of an endless war, Natasha Lennard, Salon
Will the US still be meddling in Afghanistan 30 years from now? If history is any guide, the answer is yes.
The Forgotten war: 12 years in Afghanistan down the memory hole, Ann Jones, Al-Jazeera
Candidate registration for president of Afghanistan has closed. This involved a late night frenzy of last minute registering:
The IEC, as a result, had to keep its offices open until midnight to accommodate the last minute interest; at closing time there was apparently still a queue of at least eight nominees, with their entourages, waiting to be registered.Candidates bringing along an entourage, to the registering, is now a thing:
The Last Minute Frenzy of Afghanistan’s Candidate Registration, Martine van Bijlert, Afghanistan Analysts Network
The registration process this time around was much more of a spectacle than it had ever been in the past, when candidates just came to the IEC with their VPs. It started with the registrations of Abdullah and Sayyaf, both of them turning up at the IEC compound with as many cars and high-level supporters as they could find, prompting all major candidates after them to attempt to do the same.Qayum Karzai was not allowed his entourage, though, for being the very last candidate to register:
In chaotic scenes outside the Independent Election Commission in Kabul, Qayum Karzai, the older brother of incumbent Hamid Karzai, submitted his papers with only moments to spare with police barring his supporters due to overcrowding.Abdurab Rasul Sayyaf and Ismail Khan are running together. Media language to describe the combined candidacy of Sayyaf and Ismail Khan varies
Afghan presidential candidates decided, al-Jazeera
Two former Afghan warlords announced Thursday that they will share a ticket — one for president, the other for vice president — in next year's elections[.]
2 Afghan ex-warlords join forces for April vote, Patrick Quinn, Associated Press
Two former Afghan warlords have announced that they will share a ballot - one running for president, the other for vice president - in next year's elections.all the way from "former" to "ex".
Former Afghan Warlords Announce Joint Ticket for 2014 Election, Voice of America
Ismail Khan, himself, former Emir of Herat, ex-Minister of Power, discusses the language issue:
Ihr seid keine Emire mehr, keine Kommandeure, ihr seid Warlords, ihr müsst eure Waffen abliefern. Wir hatten gute Waffen, auch Flugzeuge und Artillerie. Aber sie haben unsere Panzer und Geschütze eingesammelt und auf die Schrottplätze gebracht.The Emir is no longer an Emir, the commander no longer a commander. A warlord he is, Google translate says.
Afghanistans Warlord Ismail Khan, Christian Neef, Der Spiegel
Though, what, with the Panzers and the Waffens and all, the quote probably sounds best in the original German.
The Nation has a special report on Afghanistan, focusing on civilian deaths in the war:
But even among staunchly antiwar politicians and pundits, few bother to mention the cost to Afghans. “It’s just not part of American discourse,” says John Tirman, author of The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars. “You don’t have politicians standing up for civilians.”Seven articles, available here.
It is to correct this unconscionable oversight that The Nation has prepared this report. In this special issue, we focus primarily on those who have died at the hands of the United States and its allies. That’s because Americans, collectively, should be accountable for the violence committed in their name. We should demand that our military act humanely and with a determination to avoid civilian casualties.
America’s Afghan Victims, Bob Dreyfuss and Nick Turse, The Nation
Bilateral security negotiations allowing "residual" U.S. forces past 2014 are not going well.
Before the elections for Mr Karzai's successor the United States is keen to finalise a bilateral security agreement which will also formalise US-Afghan relations following the 2014 Nato troop withdrawal.
The US wants this signed by Mr Karzai, to avoid it becoming an election issue. However, the Afghan leader told Newsnight he was in no hurry to sign a pact:
"If the agreement doesn't suit us then of course they can leave. The agreement has to suit Afghanistan's interests and purposes. If it doesn't suit us and if it doesn't suit them then naturally we will go separate ways."
The US is becoming more and more pessimistic about the issue and has said it will consider a zero troops option.
Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai says Nato caused 'great suffering', Yalda Hakim, BBC
“The big corruption, the hundreds of millions of dollars of corruption, it was not Afghan. Now everybody knows that. It was foreign,” Mr. Karzai said.
“The contracts, the subcontracts, the blind contracts given to people, money thrown around to buy loyalties, money thrown around to buy submissiveness of Afghan government officials, to policies and designs that the Afghans would not agree to. That was the major part of corruption,” Mr. Karzai said, apparently referring to the C.I.A.’s financing a slush fund for his office with monthly deliveries of cash.
Karzai Lashes Out at the U.S. for Its Role and Focus in Afghanistan, Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times
General Abdul Rashid Dostum, current candidate for First Vice President of Afghanistan, has apologized for his former activities.
For the first time, a senior Afghan has made a public apology to those of his compatriots who suffered during the war. General Abdul Rashid Dostum, leader of the largely Uzbek Jombesh party / ex military faction, made the statement a day after registering as running mate to Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in the presidential elections. It looks like the admission was a condition for joining the ticket
A Leader Apologises: General Dostum, elections and war crimes, Kate Clark, Afghanistan Analysts Network
But twelve years after the original invasion, and the U.S. is ready for no such thing:
Soon after taking office, President Obama pledged to open a new inquiry into the deaths of perhaps thousands of Taliban prisoners of war at the hands of U.S.-allied Afghan fighters in late 2001.
Last month, the White House told ProPublica it was still “looking into” the apparent massacre.
Now it says it has concluded its investigation – but won’t make it public.
White House Closes Inquiry Into Afghan Massacre – and Will Release No Details, Cora Currier, ProPublica (July 2013)
Whether or not we continue forgetting about Afghanistan (and the lessons it could teach us) after the majority of American troops are withdrawn may ultimately determine the war's final tainted legacy.
The War in Afghanistan Is 12 Years Old, Connor Simpson, Atlantic Wire