Our Many Own-Goals

by Joshua Foust on 3/11/2011 · 2 comments

Back in 2008, when it emerged that the U.S. special forces has been tricked into attacking their own chief of security by a community rival feeding them bad information, I kind of thought they’d tighten their handling of information—especially unreliable human intelligence—a little bit more. The latest story out of Karz makes me scratch my head:

Mohammad Karzai said Thursday that Yar Mohammad Karzai had repeatedly told him, after the 2009 murder of his younger son, that he feared that Hashmat Karzai would somehow try to use his connections to arrange for the United States military to attack him, perhaps by planting bad information with the Americans.

“Yar Mohammad told me several times that he believed that the next time Hashmat was going to send the U.S. military to kill him,” Mohammad Karzai said.

Anyway, so Yar Mohammad or his son could conceivably have ties to the Taliban—it wouldn’t be the first time a government official has sent children to play both sides of the war. But the U.S. still doesn’t seem to even realize it was going after the President’s family, at least based on their public statements. That indicates to me a rather shocking negligence on the background and homework front.

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– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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Ed March 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

There is no accountability in Afghanistan…no one can touch the private security army as they are immune(Sicking in the name of democracy) and no one can point/protest at the murders committed by our soldiers. I think we as Americans(Gov’t never had credibility in regards to Afghanistan) have sold our moral obligation in the name of supporting our troops, true Americans stand for justice that is patriotism. Lets face it our soldiers killed the man and thousands other, we can try to use others as scapegoat but eventually run out of excuses (i.e Petraus’ comments on Afghans children being burned no longer work to demonize and make afghan seem barbaric). Wars is built on hate, we have a history of hating others, Afghans are just the new victims to justify our troops using them as target practice. Thus, lets call a spade a spade, we should not run from accountability or we will remain hyocrites and without value as Americans

marc March 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm

It seems sometimes that elements of the Taliban as well as Afghan warlords and criminal gangs can call in American air strikes and special forces raids against their enemies and rivals almost as easily as Gen Petraeus.

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