Afghan government

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Donors Offer $16B in Afghan Aid

But this time, there's strings attached

(Newser) - International donors pledged a total of $16 billion in development aid through 2015 to Afghanistan at a conference in Tokyo yesterday. The funding is intended to help steady Afghanistan during the NATO pullout but major donors, including the US, Japan, and Germany, stressed that the aid would be tied to... More »

Women MPs Brawl During Karzai Impeachment Talks

Majority of MPs seeking to remove president

(Newser) - The relationship between Hamid Karzai and the Afghan parliament has reached breaking point, and so have the tempers of some lawmakers. Two female members of parliament came to blows yesterday as the chamber discussed kicking the president out of office, reports the New York Times . One woman threw a shoe,... More »

Karzai Refuses to Seat New Parliament

Lawmakers plan to convene anyway this weekend

(Newser) - Hamid Karzai has delayed the inauguration of Afghanistan’s newly elected parliament, at the behest of a court he appointed himself to hear complaints from losing candidates largely loyal to him. Those candidates complain that fraud and security concerns excluded many people from the vote. But Karzai’s international allies... More »

Afghanistan Is Even More Corrupt Than You Thought

WikiLeaks' cables paint hopeless picture

(Newser) - WikiLeaks’ State Department cable dump paints an almost comically bleak picture of Afghan corruption. How bad is it? So bad that in January, the American Embassy noted that the agriculture minister “appears to be the only minister … about whom no allegations of bribery exist,” according to the... More »

Afghan Police Officer Kills 6 US Soldiers

Taliban agent opens fire during training exercise

(Newser) - Six US troops were killed today in a deadly betrayal by an Afghan ally, according to NATO officials. The six were participating in a training exercise with members of the Afghan border police when a border police officer opened fire. The shooter was killed in the subsequent gunfight, but his... More »

British Brought in Taliban Impostor: Karzai Aide

UK intelligence paid fake senior insurgent

(Newser) - British officials are at fault for bringing a Taliban impostor to Afghanistan’s presidential palace to meet Hamid Karzai, the president’s chief of staff tells the Washington Post . An Afghan at the meeting knew the man wasn’t top Taliban figure Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour; foreigners shouldn’t be... More »

Chaos Surrounds Afghan's 'Final' Election Results

For starters, votes in one province can't be counted

(Newser) - The main electoral body in Afghanistan released today what it says are the final results of September's parliamentary election, but results for an entire province were withheld because rampant violence, intimidation, and voter fraud made a fair tally impossible. As the results were announced, angry supporters of disqualified candidates staged... More »

Taliban Abducts Candidates Ahead of Election

Intimidation campaign precedes tomorrow's vote

(Newser) - Taliban fighters have reportedly abducted more than 20 people in an intimidation campaign designed to derail tomorrow’s parliamentary elections, including at least two candidates. The Taliban also warned yesterday that anyone showing up to vote tomorrow “would get hurt.” NATO troops, meanwhile, have vowed to protect the... More »

Just in Time for Afghan Election: Fake Voter Cards

Voter fraud feared as elections near

(Newser) - Printers in a Pakistan city near the Afghan border say they have produced thousands of fake voter registration cards at the request of Afghan politicians for use in that country's parliamentary elections on Saturday. The cards, some shown to the AP, add to evidence that fraud could undermine the elections... More »

Corrupt Karzai Aide Is on CIA Payroll

Official at center of corruption probe has fingers in many pies

(Newser) - The aide who Hamid Karzai intervened to free after his arrest on corruption charges has been on the CIA payroll for years, according to Afghan and US officials. It's not clear what exactly Mohammed Zia Salehi does to earn CIA cash, or whether the Afghan president knew he was an... More »

Karzai Intervened in Aide's Corruption Probe

Bribery charge lifted after 'enormous pressure' from Afghan prez

(Newser) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai personally stepped in to secure the release of an aide arrested on corruption charges, officials say. The aide, Mohammad Zia Salehi, was arrested for soliciting a bribe. He was also being probed by two task forces for supplying cash and gifts like luxury Lexuses to presidential... More »

Troops Forced to Play Diplomat in Kandahar

Forces represent Afghan government where it fears to go

(Newser) - After the less-than-successful military offensive in Marjah, NATO forces are taking a different tack in the villages surrounding Kandahar: They’re acting as representatives of the distant, oft-distrusted government. In “Operation Hamkari” (“cooperation”), soldiers are attempting to drive out the Taliban simply by improving government services and... More »

White House Rolls Out Red Carpet for Karzai

Afghan leader comes to DC for (likely strained) talks

(Newser) - When Hamid Karzai arrives in Washington today, he'll be met with smiles (through gritted teeth, perhaps) from Barack Obama. The administration has had a rocky relationship with Karzai—the trip was almost canceled after he publicly contemplated joining the Taliban—but Obama has ordered his aides to roll out the... More »

Obama Leans on Karzai to Beef Up Cooperation

Surprise visit to Afghanistan spotlights emphasis on civilian cooperation

(Newser) - President Obama's surprise visit to Afghanistan today is in large part intended to impress upon the Afghan government the necessity of fighting crime and corruption in preparation to govern without American intervention. After meeting with Hamid Karzai, Obama said he was happy with the military accomplishments in the country, "... More »

Afghans, Allies Split Over Taliban Talks

Karzai's invitation creates confusion

(Newser) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has invited the Taliban to join peace talks this spring, but widespread confusion remains over who'll be doing the talking and what will be on the table. The British—and some senior American commanders—appear keener than the Obama administration to begin substantive talks, the Washington ... More »

Afghan Flag Raised in Marjah

Government aims to win residents' allegiance with jobs, projects

(Newser) - The Afghan flag was raised today in Marjah after a two-week offensive that left at least 10 coalition troops and 150 Taliban fighters dead and set the stage for the Afghan government’s hopeful return to an area it ceded two years ago. The governor of Helmand province was at... More »

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