# Meanwhile - another day in Afghanistan

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Staff Emeritus
and Yes - we're still involved

US-Afghan Raid Rescues Abducted Son of Former Pakistan PM Yusuf Raza Gilani
http://abcnews.go.com/International...afghan-raid-rescues-son-pakistani-pm-39001568

"U.S. and Afghan forces conducting a raid Tuesday against Islamic militants unexpectedly found and rescued the son of a former Pakistani prime minister who had been abducted three years ago, officials said." The raid took place in the Gayan district of Paktika province, Zafar Hashemi, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, told The Associated Press.

The raid was conducted under the authority of the U.S. anti-terrorist mission in Afghanistan, Operation Freedom's Sentinel, according to the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

So the mission has a name.

It's probably fighting season again, which potentially means renewed offensives by Taliban, possibly al Qaida and/or Daesh affiliates.

jedishrfu
Mentor
Probably if they didn't find the son then you'd never know the name of the fighting mission.

mheslep
Gold Member
This source has 27 coalition fatalities in 2015, and 5 this year (so far, most of them US troops). This source is in rough agreement for 2015.

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Staff Emeritus
New York Post reports that the US has essentially wasted $113 billion in Afghanistan. Bear in mind that it's the NY Post, something of a tabloid, but it seems pretty accurate with respect to money spent (or wasted) and the problems of wasted and corruption. http://nypost.com/2016/05/15/we-wasted-113b-in-afghanistan-no-wonder-america-first-resonates/ In a report to Congress, the Defense Department reveals that Washington so far has spent an eye-popping$113.2 billion to rebuild Afghanistan

After 15 years, “The reconstruction effort in Afghanistan is in a perilous state,” Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko concludes in his 236-page report.

I think this is the report - https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2016-04-30qr.pdf

(NY Post)
A large chunk of the country remains unprotected and unstable. Almost a third of provincial districts are effectively under Taliban control, and the insurgency is intensifying.

In the space of just a few days in late March, for example, the Taliban assassinated an Afghan army general in Kandahar and a judge in Ghazni, while bombarding the new Afghan parliament building in Kabul with rockets.

The security situation is so bad that American personnel are generally confined to the US Embassy fortress, and have to take a helicopter to get to the airport because the roads are so unsafe. Bombings, raids, ambushes and hit-and-run assaults are common along major highways, even at police checkpoints.

Staff Emeritus
A 'global terrorist' comes in from the cold: Afghan warlord was ally of CIA, then Osama bin Laden
http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-afghanistan-insurgent-20160515-snap-story.html
Hekmatyar, the leader of the Hezb-i-Islami militant organization, is reportedly close to a truce that would end nearly two decades in exile for one of the most enduring and controversial figures in the long Afghan conflict.

Now in his 60s, Hekmatyar has been exiled since the Taliban came to power in 1996 and drove him out of the country. Hezb-i-Islami is often described as the second largest insurgent group in Afghanistan, but his fighters have little presence on the battlefield and many of Hekmatyar’s former loyalists have defected to the much larger Taliban.

He was financed by the US (CIA) through Pakistan (ISI), even though his jihadist organization was anti-US, anti-western. Hekmatyar was opposed to Ahmad Shah Massoud - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_Shah_Massoud - who was trying to form a more representative government of Afghanistan. Pakistan's Zia ul Haq wanted to establish an Islamic state in Afghanistan, but one under the control of Pakistan.

Staff Emeritus
This year, Afghanistan is expected to produce more opium than the world consumes. Although billions of dollars have been spent trying to eradicate the crop, in some places the trade seems more institutionalised than ever, with local police openly supporting farmers.

Mazar-e-Sharif is one of the safest and best-run cities in the Afghanistan - a model of good governance - yet just half an hour out of town in a small village of mud-walled houses it is obvious what the main cash crop is.
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36378228

So much for peace, democracy and stability.

Staff Emeritus
Some of the most important gains made in Afghanistan are slipping away

Some of the most important gains made by the Afghan government and its partners appear to be slipping away, according to the most recent quarterly report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

SIGAR's October 2016 report, its 33rd report issued to the US Congress, noted that there had been increases in poverty, unemployment and underemployment, violence, outmigration, internal displacement, and the education-gender gap, and that services and private investment had fallen.

Significantly, SIGAR noted that the Afghan government's territorial control had decreased as well.
Afghanistan is in serious need of attention.

mheslep
Gold Member
...

Surprise! The media doesn't really cover it. No wonder it's still news to some.
What exactly is "it"?