In case you haven’t seen it yet, Foreign Policy has introduced a new website titled ‘The Af-Pak Channel‘. They’ve only been around for a couple of days but I highly recommend signing up for their (very) active twitter feed or sign up for their daily update.
Kimberly Kagan’s article ‘Why the Taliban are Winning‘ is very interesting and points out her opinions as to why we haven’t been able to make any meaningful gains in Afghanistan.
Graeme Wood is back to blogging in Afghanistan and you should check him out as well. His description of the Afghan police brought back a lot of memories:
Few jobs are more forlorn and pitiful than that of an Afghan police officer… [Their compound] is small, dirty, neglected, and strewn everywhere with trash — mostly food wrappers from American rations, since the ANP have neither the ability to leave their compound safely nor the money to buy food if they did.
Sounds a lot like this outpost I visited:
I wrote about the story behind this visit here but among many of the Afghan police and militia I met the stories were frequently the same. They were poorly equiped, trained and led. Pay was infrequent to non-existant leading many to engage in extortion of passing motorists. We quickly got into the habit of packing extra boxes of MREs and cases of bottled water because they rarely had enough food or drink for their men.