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Afghanistan Update: July 23

Posted by The Agonist on July 23rd, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

July 23

NATO hands control of Mazar-i-Sharif to Afghans

NATO troops on Saturday handed control of Afghanistan’s northern capital Mazar-i-Sharif to local forces amid rising security fears just days after it was hit by a deadly bombing.

Mazar-i-Sharif is the sixth of seven areas to transition to Afghan control, but critics say the timetable is politically motivated and scepticism is running high over Afghan abilities to ward off a trenchant Taliban insurgency.

U.S. looks to European allies for defense help

The Pentagon is looking to save some money, so it wants European allies to pick up a greater share of the defense burden, according to a story of National Public Radio. The question, NPR says, is which way to look.

U.S. Aid Money Funding Afghan Insurgents

It’s bad enough when foreign aid dollars headed for a war zone are siphoned off by government insiders and their wealthy friends before reaching the impoverished people it is meant for. But it’s doubly frustrating when it ends up in the hands of the enemy.

A scathing report issued this week by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction indicated much of the U.S. assistance has been misspent, embezzled or indirectly given to militants, due to weak oversight on the part of the U.S. and corruption at the hands of Afghan officials.

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