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Iraq and Afghanistan Update – May 26
Posted by The Agonist on May 26th, 2010

From our partners at The Agonist

McChrystal shifts to raids – and Wali Karzai

General Stanley McChrystal’s team once talked openly about the need to remove from power Ahmed Wali Karzai, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother and the most powerful man in Kandahar.

Last October, as reports of Wali Karzai’s role in the opium trade were circulating, McChrystal’s intelligence chief General Michael T Flynn said, “If we are going to conduct a population-centric strategy in Afghanistan, and we are perceived as backing thugs, then we are just undermining ourselves.”

“The only way to clean up Chicago,” Flynn declared, “is to get rid of [Al] Capone.” The parallel between the legendary crime boss and Wali Karzai could hardly have been clearer.

But by the end of March, Dexter Filkins was reporting in the New York Times that US officials had decided that Wali Karzai “will be allowed to stay in place”. ~ Gareth Porter

** Obama and Petraeus Running Secret Wars ~ Newshoggers
** McChrystal calls Marjah a ‘bleeding ulcer’ in Afghan campaign
** US soldier beaten after reporting crimes: officials
** Car bomb hits outside NATO base in Kandahar city
** Main US Rifle Not Effective Enough In Afghanistan
** Rethink Afganistan!
** The absence of debate over war ~ Glenn Greenwald

Troops in Afghanistan Now Outnumber Those in Iraq

For more than a year it has been called “Obama’s War,’’ but on Tuesday the numbers made it official: For the first time since the United States led the invasion of Baghdad during the Bush administration in 2003, there were more American troops deployed to Afghanistan than Iraq — 94,000 compared with 92,000.

** US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,400

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