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Posts tagged: Afghanistan

guardian:

New Afghanistan law to silence victims of violence against women
A new Afghan law will allow men to attack their wives, children and sisters without fear of judicial punishment, undoing years of slow progress in tackling violence in a country plagued by honour killings, forced marriage and vicious domestic abuse. Read more
Photograph: Paula Bronstein/Getty

guardian:

New Afghanistan law to silence victims of violence against women

A new Afghan law will allow men to attack their wives, children and sisters without fear of judicial punishment, undoing years of slow progress in tackling violence in a country plagued by honour killings, forced marriage and vicious domestic abuse. Read more

Photograph: Paula Bronstein/Getty

-teesa-:

I know your father is backstage, and he’s very proud of you. But would he be mad if I adopted you? Because you sure are swell.”
-Jon Stewart

10.8.13

Anne and those with her were attacked by the Taliban terrorists who woke up that day not with a mission to educate or to help, but with a mission to destroy. A brave American was determined to brighten the light of learning through books, written in the native tongue of the students she had never met, whom she felt it incumbent to help.
Secretary of State John Kerry • Discussing the death of Anne Smedinghoff, a 25-year-old U.S. Foreign Service Officer who was killed when delivering books to a school in Afghanistan. (Her group was ambushed by the Taliban, and she was one of six Americans killed Saturday.) Kerry, who had met the Illinois native just two weeks ago while on a trip to the country, said that she was ”a selfless, idealistic woman who woke up yesterday morning and set out to bring textbooks to school children, to bring them knowledge.” Her parents offered up a similar statement on the tragedy. Smedinghoff’s death is the first of a U.S. diplomat since last year’s Benghazi’s attack. (via shortformblog)
thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
March was the deadliest month in the Syrian war. 
Lauren Wolfe of Women Under Siege reports in great deal the massive rape crisis facing women in Syria.
A new report from King’s College says that the Syrian conflict has drawn in hundreds of Europeans to fight.
The Free Syrian Army’s female fighters.
The Syrian conflict has stirred up a “fuel war” of sorts in Lebanon. 
Matthieu Aikins reports that Aleppo’s Kurds appear to have switched sides to support the rebels.
Palestinians protest and inmates go on hunger strike after the death of inmate Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, whom they say received inadequate medical care. 
Two Palestinian teenagers were shot and killed by Israeli forces yesterday during clashes in the West Bank city of Tulkarm.
The “inner syntax of Palestinian stone-throwing.”
Popular Egyptian satirist and television personality Bassem Youssef is facing accusations of insulting Islam and President Morsy.
In a sign that Iran and Egypt are working to restore ties, the first commercial flight from Cairo to Tehran in 34 years took off on Saturday.
Adnan Pachachi, a veteran of the Iraqi political system, writes about “the road to failure in Iraq” for the New York Times At War Blog.
Eleven candidates have been killed so far in the lead-up to Iraqi provincial elections. 
Iran is slowing and limiting its nuclear activity ahead of its looming election.
A suicide attack in Farah province, Afghanistan, on Wednesday is the deadliest attack in the country for civilians in over a year, killing 44 and wounding 100.
Afghanistan filed a formal protest amidst growing worries about Pakistan’s “unilateral construction and physical reinforcement activities” on the border of Ningarhar province. 
Frontline reports on the recruitment activities of Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba. 
Seven people were killed when militants raided an electricity plant in Peshawar, Pakistan.
China released a Tibetan political prisoner after 17 years. 
North Korea will restart its nuclear reactor.
The US will deploy a missile defense system to Guam as a response to North Korean threats. 
In March, Ieng Sary, one of the last living leaders from the Khmer Rouge, died of a heart attack. He also died “not guilty,” despite being on trial twice for genocide. He died while the most recent trial was still underway.
This Easter season marked fifteen years since the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. Colum McCann writes beautifully about the miracle and process of peace for the New York Times. 
Militancy remains a cause for concern as Northern Ireland prepares to host the G8 summit.
More than 200 people were arrested over the union flag protests. 
Leaders from Serbia and Kosovo are returning home with no accord after meeting in Brussels for EU-mediated negotiations over how to address ethnic Serbs living in Northern Kosovo.
The hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay is expanding, now 39 of the 166 prisoners have met the minimum standards for definition of hunger striker. 
Attacks against the Argentinian press increased dramatically over the past year. 
The woman behind Blog Del Narco, the anonymous blog that graphically chronicles the drug war in Mexico, spoke for the first time to The Guardian and The Texas Observer. 
The UN passed the first international arms trade regulation treaty with an overwhelming majority. 
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called for a major structural shake-up in the Pentagon, ordering a top to bottom review, likening it to the last major reorganization in 1986.
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Photo: Hebron, West Bank. Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security. Ammar Awad/Reuters

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.

If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.

Photo: Hebron, West Bank. Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security. Ammar Awad/Reuters

timelightbox:

Nov. 7, 2012. Newly graduated Afghan police officers demonstrate their skills during a graduation ceremony at a National Police training center in Laghman province, east of Kabul. (photo: Rahmat Gul—AP) 
From President Obama’s reelection and Superstorm Sandy’s aftermath to a deadly earthquake in Guatemala and a train cemetery in Bolivia, TIME presents the best photographs of the week.
See more photos here. 

timelightbox:

Nov. 7, 2012. Newly graduated Afghan police officers demonstrate their skills during a graduation ceremony at a National Police training center in Laghman province, east of Kabul. (photo: Rahmat Gul—AP

From President Obama’s reelection and Superstorm Sandy’s aftermath to a deadly earthquake in Guatemala and a train cemetery in Bolivia, TIME presents the best photographs of the week.

See more photos here

thepoliticalnotebook:

A Decade of War, the Women of Afghanistan and the White Savior Industrial Complex. There are a lot of reasons for concern about the fate of women and their rights in Afghanistan, and there continue to be further instances of bad news for the current and future status of Afghan women. President Karzai recently backed restrictions issued by the Ulema Council on the conduct of women. Recent reports about invasive searches of female visitors in Pul E-Charki prison are stomach-turning. This week Human Rights Watch released a report on the Afghan women jailed for “moral crimes” like running away from abusive husbands. There ought to be concern and anger, of course. However…
Women’s rights are often held up as the trump card for why Afghanistan needed/needs us. I’m not challenging the fact that the Taliban’s position and the current government’s position on women are reprehensible and warped and need to be addressed, but please, please don’t hold up women’s rights as justification for an extended military presence in Afghanistan. Or for that matter, ever having been in Afghanistan to begin with. Not only is that false on so many levels, but it’s repulsive to use something so crucial, so much about people’s daily human rights, as a superficial excuse to sustain a military presence that, after ten years, has at best kept at bay some of the forces that harm women and erase their voices and their rights. 
In light of critiques of #Kony2012 and fauxmanitarian sentimentality, it’s worth pointing out the elements of that in the rhetoric about trying to troop presence Afghanistan into being more gender equal. Not only is this a stretch of logic, but it’s hardly an accurate representation of any actual commitment by the international community to supporting positive gender role-related change. One only has to look at the vague, unsubstantiated encouragements toward handed down by this past December’s Bonn Conference to see that actual commitment to preserving and increasing women’s agency both politically and socially is a secondary, or tertiary even, concern. Women’s rights are used as a rallying cry and then tossed aside.
Malalai Joya, one Afghanistan’s most outspoken critics of Karzai and the West, and a prominent women’s rights activists, challenges the narrative on helping Afghan women, saying “the real struggle is between progressive Afghan women and men, and a phalanx of regressive forces.” Assuming the false dilemma of a choice between our decade of occupation and the utter helplessness of Afghan women at the hands of the Taliban is wrong. I support the idea of everybody working on social and economic and political strategies that support Afghan women in the peace transition, but that’s hardly what the US and the broader international community has done or attempted to do. The peace transition is favoring warlords over women’s rights. Unsurprisingly, we did not use our decade of war over there to build a system designed to give women the voice and power for which they are fighting. No white savior trophies being handed out today.
I’m going to yield to quoting Teju Cole to end this blog post, because I don’t think anyone can say it better: “there is much more to doing good work than “making a difference.” There is the principle of first do no harm. There is the idea that those who are being helped ought to be consulted over the matters that concern them.”
Photo of Afghan women demonstrating in support of a female lawmaker in Kabul. Oct. 2012. Via HRW.

thepoliticalnotebook:

A Decade of War, the Women of Afghanistan and the White Savior Industrial Complex. There are a lot of reasons for concern about the fate of women and their rights in Afghanistan, and there continue to be further instances of bad news for the current and future status of Afghan women. President Karzai recently backed restrictions issued by the Ulema Council on the conduct of women. Recent reports about invasive searches of female visitors in Pul E-Charki prison are stomach-turning. This week Human Rights Watch released a report on the Afghan women jailed for “moral crimes” like running away from abusive husbands. There ought to be concern and anger, of course. However…

Women’s rights are often held up as the trump card for why Afghanistan needed/needs us. I’m not challenging the fact that the Taliban’s position and the current government’s position on women are reprehensible and warped and need to be addressed, but please, please don’t hold up women’s rights as justification for an extended military presence in Afghanistan. Or for that matter, ever having been in Afghanistan to begin with. Not only is that false on so many levels, but it’s repulsive to use something so crucial, so much about people’s daily human rights, as a superficial excuse to sustain a military presence that, after ten years, has at best kept at bay some of the forces that harm women and erase their voices and their rights. 

In light of critiques of #Kony2012 and fauxmanitarian sentimentality, it’s worth pointing out the elements of that in the rhetoric about trying to troop presence Afghanistan into being more gender equal. Not only is this a stretch of logic, but it’s hardly an accurate representation of any actual commitment by the international community to supporting positive gender role-related change. One only has to look at the vague, unsubstantiated encouragements toward handed down by this past December’s Bonn Conference to see that actual commitment to preserving and increasing women’s agency both politically and socially is a secondary, or tertiary even, concern. Women’s rights are used as a rallying cry and then tossed aside.

Malalai Joya, one Afghanistan’s most outspoken critics of Karzai and the West, and a prominent women’s rights activists, challenges the narrative on helping Afghan women, saying “the real struggle is between progressive Afghan women and men, and a phalanx of regressive forces.” Assuming the false dilemma of a choice between our decade of occupation and the utter helplessness of Afghan women at the hands of the Taliban is wrong. I support the idea of everybody working on social and economic and political strategies that support Afghan women in the peace transition, but that’s hardly what the US and the broader international community has done or attempted to do. The peace transition is favoring warlords over women’s rights. Unsurprisingly, we did not use our decade of war over there to build a system designed to give women the voice and power for which they are fighting. No white savior trophies being handed out today.

I’m going to yield to quoting Teju Cole to end this blog post, because I don’t think anyone can say it better: “there is much more to doing good work than “making a difference.” There is the principle of first do no harm. There is the idea that those who are being helped ought to be consulted over the matters that concern them.

Photo of Afghan women demonstrating in support of a female lawmaker in Kabul. Oct. 2012. Via HRW.

nirvikalpa:

“Afghanistan”, images de Roland Michaud. Collection “Rêves et réalités”, Hachette. 1970.

nirvikalpa:

“Afghanistan”, images de Roland Michaud. Collection “Rêves et réalités”, Hachette. 1970.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
News today: Maulana Muhammad Qasim, provincial leader of Pakistani political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan, was killed this morning in Quetta, Balochistan.
Micah Zenko curates some expert opinions on whether we’ll “win” in Afghanistan.
Anatol Lieven, one of the best names in Afghan expertise, writes about the Afghan war in the New York Review of Books: “This has always been an Afghan civil war…”
There’s growing concern over Iranian meddling in Afghanistan to exploit the situation and increase violence.
US drone attacks launched from Afghanistan will end after 2014, according to the Afghan foreign minister.
A story in the Washington Post about the exploitation of the young bacha bazi, or Afghan “dancing boys” taken as underage lovers for older men. Matthieu Aikins tweeted a few on point responses to that regarding increasing heteronormativity.
The US put a bounty on Lashkar e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed, who openly mocks the $10m being offered for information leading to his capture.
It has already been an incredibly deadly year in Karachi.
Rare interviews with Syrian soldiers shed light on ongoing horrors.
Detained Palestinian hunger striker Hana Shalabi, who spent more than 40 days on hunger strike, has been released.
Bahrain’s best friend in Congress is now the representative from American Samoa, Rep. Eni Faleomavaega, who has been heavily influenced by pro-government lobbying.
Iraqi universities face a number of political challenges.
Qatar is refusing to hand over fugitive Iraqi VP Tareq Hashemi.
The online forums for Al Qaeda went dark for the longest time since they began operation. They usually disappear and reappear, but this seems different. On Wednesday, one main site went live again, but others remain down. Terrorism scholars Aaron Zelin and Will McCants are interviewed about it here.
A look inside the mission to catch Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.
How the war on terror played its part in the Mali coup.
The second US drone in four months has crashed in the Seychelles.
Are nuclear drones going to be a thing?
FARC, Colombia’s main rebel group, has released captives that had been being held for twelve years.
A federal appeals court will hear the case of whether confidential IRA tapes made as part of an oral history project with Boston College should be released.
Viktor Bout (“The Merchant of Death”), former Soviet arms dealer, faces a minimum sentence of 25 years, possibly life, in his terrorism conviction.
The research arm of the Pentagon, DARPA, has a big interest in neuroscience, which yields all sorts of questions of bioethics. 
The first detachment of 200 Marines arrived in Darwin, Australia to be part of a permanent joint training hub as part of a US shift towards the Asia-Pacific region.
News organizations including McClatchy, the Washington Post and the NYT filed an objection to the Pentagon’s plans to close a terrorism hearing scheduled for next week.
Photo: Sayagaz, Arghandab, Afghanistan. A member of coalition Special Operations Forces gathers firewood during snowfall. March 11. US Navy/Mass Comm Specialist 2nd Class Jacob L. Dillon. 

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in WarA Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

Photo: Sayagaz, Arghandab, Afghanistan. A member of coalition Special Operations Forces gathers firewood during snowfall. March 11. US Navy/Mass Comm Specialist 2nd Class Jacob L. Dillon. 

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
News this Morning: Two days away from major international talks about Syria, violence continues to flare.
Women Under Siege is crowd-mapping sexual violence in Syria. An amazing project.
Foreign companies like KFC, Cinnabon and Four Seasons hotels continue to keep shop in Damascus.
The discussion continues about Sgt. Bales, what exactly happened that night and what will happen now. The Pentagon has confirmed that it payed family members $50,000 a piece. 
Yalda Hakim of the Australian SBS network has become the first Western journalist to enter the village where the massacre occurred. She interviewed survivors and Afghan guards on duty that night about what happened.
A US government audit shows that security costs for the US in Afghanistan are set to rise by as much as 46%.
Billions of dollars in cash are smuggled out of Afghanistan every year. This year $4.5bn was flown out of the country (compare that to USAID’s assistance to Afghanistan in 2011, which was around 2.5bn.
Human Rights Watch released a report on the hundreds of women jailed for “moral crimes” in Afghanistan.
The Arab League came to Baghdad. Check out my round-up on that from yesterday.
The US has cut off aid to Mali following the coup. Assistance to the Malian government totaled $140m a year.
Sudan and South Sudan are dangerously close to war. Senior envoys have met in Ethiopia to try and calm the situation.
The revolution in Yemen has been accompanied by a sharp increase in US attacks against militants inside Yemen.
Drones are always a popular topic of discussion and reporting, but there was a lot this week in particular. Peter Bergen and Jennifer Rowland of the New America Foundation report that drone strikes inside Pakistan in the first three months of this year are down sharply. PRI’s The World ran a piece on UAV proliferation. The Center for Democracy and Technology has an excellent timeline of the process and planning for implementation of domestic drones in the US.
The Smithsonian interviewed counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke about Stuxnet.
A cybersecurity bill has been introduced in the House by Republican sponsors. It parallels a similar Senate bill.
The Washington Post profiled the heavy smoking, “irascible” convert to Islam who heads the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center.
The war in Afghanistan has seen a steep drop in public support inside the US. An NYT/CBS poll shows that currently 69% of the population thinks we should not be at war in Afghanistan, up from 53% four months ago.
A touching and beautifully put-together NYT documentary by Micah Garon profiled USAF Lt. Col. John Darin Loftis who was recently killed in Afghanistan.
IAVA released its annual survey of members this Monday. Veterans listed as their top concerns in this order: employment, mental health, disability benefits, health care, education, suicide and families.
NBC has been doing a really nice job this week of focusing on employment for returning veterans.
And… if you haven’t read Mitch Prothero’s piece for Vice on playing paintball with Hezbollah, you have to.
Photo: Soldiers wait in a transport plane to depart from Afghanistan to a transit station in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP/Getty.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

Photo: Soldiers wait in a transport plane to depart from Afghanistan to a transit station in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP/Getty.