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Doug Sarro
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Blog Entries by Doug Sarro

U.S. Official: Pakistan Taliban Plan To Attack Flood Aid Workers

Posted August 26, 2010 | 08/26/10 07:18 PM ET

Today's AfPak round-up:

U.S. official: Pakistan Taliban plan to attack flood aid workers. There have been no such attacks so far, but the World Health Organization says it has already scaled back due to security concerns. Retired Pakistani general Talat Masood says the terror group has a strong incentive to...

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U.S. General: 2011 Afghanistan Deadline 'Giving Our Enemy Sustenance'

Posted August 25, 2010 | 08/25/10 03:06 PM ET

Today's AfPak round-up:

Marine Commandant: 2011 deadline "giving our enemy sustenance." Gen. James T. Conway believes Taliban commanders are convincing insurgents exhausted by U.S. forces' summer troop surge to keep fighting by telling them that President Obama's July 2011 deadline will mark the end of NATO's war effort in Afghanistan,...

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Russia Strives To Boost Influence In Afghanistan

Posted August 24, 2010 | 08/24/10 03:29 PM ET

Generals don't know when Afghans will be ready to take over for NATO forces. Lt. Gen. Bill Caldwell, head of NATO's training mission in Afghanistan, says the Afghan army and police force will not be fully staffed until October, 2011, and that he cannot estimate how long it will take...

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Pakistan Flood Victims Deserve Better

Posted August 20, 2010 | 08/20/10 12:37 PM ET

The floods that have swept northwest Pakistan have caused more damage than both this year's earthquake in Haiti and the South Asian tsunami of 2005. Yet aid for Pakistan, both from individuals and from foreign governments, has amounted to only a fraction of that pledged for these two earlier disasters.

...
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Will Assassinations Work In Afghanistan?

Posted August 19, 2010 | 08/19/10 06:29 PM ET

Today's Af-Pak round-up:

Will assassinations work in Afghanistan? The CIA has "turned itself into a paramilitary operation at the service of the military," assassinating key Taliban leaders—and this may not be a good thing, writes former CIA field officer Robert Baer. While "no one has convincingly disputed the fact that...

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Burger King May Return To Kandahar, Says Petraeus

Posted August 17, 2010 | 08/17/10 04:18 PM ET

Today's AfPak Round-up:

Taliban inquiry into civilian deaths gains interest from UN, NATO. International officials say the Taliban's proposal for a joint investigation into civilian deaths could improve their contacts with the Taliban and perhaps lead to a reduction in violence. But they are also worried such a move would...

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Thomas Ricks: I'm More Optimistic About Afghanistan Than Iraq

Posted August 12, 2010 | 08/12/10 04:43 PM ET

Today's AfPak round-up:

Joe Klein: "Of course" Petraeus wants more time. With President Obama's December policy review of the Afghan war looming, it comes as no surprise that Gen. David Petraeus is campaigning for a drawn-out withdrawal. But Petraeus, he says, will have a tough time fighting "the growing notion...

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The Guardian: Taliban's Civilian Casualties Are Petraeus's Problem

Posted August 11, 2010 | 08/11/10 06:08 PM ET

"The killing fields of Afghanistan." NATO will surely be blamed by Afghans for rising civilian casualties, even if those casualties were largely the Taliban's doing, the Guardian's editorial board writes. These casualties, which the UN says have risen by over 30% in the past year, are, the Guardian argues, proof...

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U.S. Urges Allies To Investigate WikiLeaks

Posted August 10, 2010 | 08/10/10 04:00 PM ET

Today's AfPak round-up:

WikiLeaks clashes with rights groups. Five leading human rights groups, including Amnesty International and George Soros's Open Society Institute, urged WikiLeaks to redact from its Afghan war logs the names of thousands Afghan informants who could be targeted by the Taliban. The request provoked an angry response...

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Washington Names Al Qaeda In Pakistan Top Terror Threat

Posted August 7, 2010 | 08/07/10 09:00 AM ET

Today's AfPak round-up:

Washington names Al Qaeda in Pakistan top terror threat. The U.S. government's annual terror report also calls Al Qaeda affiliates in Africa leading threats to American security, while singling out Iran as the most world's active "state sponsor of terror." The report says that, while terrorist attacks...

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IEDs Kill 75% More Afghan Civilians Than In 2009

Posted August 5, 2010 | 08/05/10 06:51 PM ET

Today's Af-Pak round-up:

IEDs kill 75% more Afghan civilians than in 2009. Improvised explosive devices deployed by the Taliban have killed 1,859 Afghans this year, compared to 1,057 killed in the same period last year, according to media reports compiled by USA TODAY. In southern Afghanistan, where coalition troops have...

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U.S. Trying The Lessons Of Baghdad In Kandahar

Posted August 3, 2010 | 08/03/10 04:39 PM ET

Today's AfPak round-up:

Pakistan foreign minister summons UK envoy over British PM's comments. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called the meeting to protest British Prime Minister David Cameron's suggestion in a recent speech that Pakistan exports terrorism. This comes as anti-UK protests swept Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, and on...

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Leslie Gelb: How To Get Out Of Afghanistan

Posted August 2, 2010 | 08/02/10 02:21 PM ET

Today's AfPak round-up:

Gelb: How to Get Out of Afghanistan. President Obama should withdraw the bulk of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by mid-2013, then "drown" the costs of that withdrawal with a flurry of diplomacy, writes Leslie Gelb of the Daily Beast. Richard Nixon, Gelb writes, used his opening to...

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The Guardian Takes A Look At The Afghanistan Endgame: 'It's Taken A Year To Move 20km'

Posted July 30, 2010 | 07/30/10 06:49 PM ET

Today's AfPak round-up:

Endgame in Afghanistan: "It's taken a year to move 20km." Filmmaker Sean Smith presents an unvarnished picture of Afghanistan's grinding stalemate: Marines patrolling in 130 degree weather in full combat gear, a battlefield littered with IEDs that prevent troops from rescuing fallen comrades, and few objective signs...

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Afghanistan: We're Here Because We're Here Because...

Posted July 26, 2010 | 07/26/10 07:14 PM ET

The release of over 90,000 classified documents by Wikileaks yesterday confirms what a growing chorus of foreign policy experts, journalists, and legislators has been saying for years—that from the outset, NATO governments have presented to the world a severely distorted picture of what is happening in Afghanistan.

Civilian...

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Why My Friend Got Arrested During the G20 Summit

Posted July 1, 2010 | 07/01/10 11:15 PM ET

For 17 hours this past weekend, Toronto police deemed Mark Donald, a 5' 6" bespectacled law student spending his summer working for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, to be a threat to public order.

All because he happened to be standing in front of the Novotel Hotel on Saturday afternoon,...

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Goodbye, G8

Posted June 28, 2010 | 06/28/10 03:20 PM ET

This past weekend, Canada played host to a pair of international summits: G8 leaders met in Huntsville on Friday and part of Saturday, then congregated in Toronto for a G20 summit that wrapped up Sunday.

Toronto bore the brunt of the protests that go hand-in-hand with summits like these. Several...

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Five Reasons to Withdraw From Afghanistan Sooner Rather Than Later

Posted June 23, 2010 | 06/23/10 01:15 PM ET

Gen. Stanley McChrystal's talent for broadcasting his innermost feelings to the world at large is the least of President Obama's problems in Afghanistan. In the face of rapidly rising violence throughout the country, Obama needs to decide how quickly to withdraw U.S. troops from the country.

Here are...

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Turkey and the West: Everybody Take a Valium

Posted June 14, 2010 | 06/14/10 01:56 PM ET

Over the past week, there's been a lot of talk over how the West has "lost" Turkey. Even Defense Secretary Robert Gates seems to be buying into this line of thinking.

Yes, Ankara condemned Israel's raid on an aid flotilla bound for...

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Rescuing the International Criminal Court

Posted June 1, 2010 | 06/01/10 04:23 PM ET

Diplomats are meeting in Uganda this week to review the International Criminal Court (ICC). This summit hasn't received a lot of attention in the world press, even though it offers an important opportunity to reflect on the Court's track record and address its many shortcomings.

The founding of...

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