Archive for the ‘Ahmed Wali Karzai’ tag
President Obama has issued orders for the implementation of his Afghanistan strategy to military officials and cabinet members. The plans include sending 55,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan (when counting the 21,000 he dispatched last winter shortly after his inauguration) as part of Obama’s grand scheme to “finish the job.” After this new escalation, more than half of the 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will have been sent by Obama.
What does “finish” and “the job” mean? Perhaps the president will enlighten us tonight during his speech at West Point, but for now, one has to assume the declaration in part means to build up the Afghanistan government and the military. It’s time for those Afghans to start taking some personal responsibility! ABC News (11/30/09):
“While tomorrow night’s speech will have many audiences … a senior administration official tells ABC Newsone key message will resonate with all of them: ‘The era of the blank check for President Karzai is over. . . The president will talk about, this not being ‘an open ended commitment’…”
The settlement of a 15-year-old lawsuit has resulted in the U.S. agreeing to pay $3 million to a former government worker who accused officials with the CIA and State Department of spying on him with a “bugged coffee table.”
Richard Horn, a former special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, alleged that Franklin Huddle, Jr, the former State Department’s mission chief at the U.S. embassy in Burma, and Arthur Brown, who worked for the CIA at the time in Burma, planted listening devices in his home while he was stationed in Burma (now known as Myanmar).
Threat Level reporter, Kim Zetter, observes that a close reading of the case suggests that the Justice Department may have decided to pay off the plaintiff in order to “quash the series of damaging legal rulings issued by the influential judge, [U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth,] overseeing the case that would have forced them to disclose the classified information.”
Horn had been stationed in Burma in the early 1990s as the DEA country attaché to Burma, which ranks as one of the top opium poppy producing countries in the world. He was charged with overseeing the agency’s mission in that country of eradicating the opium poppy, which is used to produce heroin.
Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.
Karzai’s duties include helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the CIA’s direction (for now) in and around the southern city of Kandahar, and he is also the CIA’s landlord. Karzai rents the former home of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban’s founder, to the CIA and American Special Operations troops for paramilitary operations spearheaded by a group called the Kandahar Strike Force. On at least one occasion, the Times reports, the strike force has been accused of mounting an unauthorized operation against an official of the Afghan government.
This, to put it mildly, seems like a weird strategy considering Karzai is a player in the opium trade, a major source of revenue for the Taliban.
It appears as though the CIA is — yet again — employing the good ole’ “The Enemy of My Enemy is The Guy Who Screws Me In The End” foreign policy doctrine utilized by the United States and its allies when they supported the Afghan Mujahideen in their efforts to thwart the occupying Soviet power.
That worked out fine, right?