Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Afghanistan War News Updates -- March 31, 2010

U.S. Forces Set Sights On Taliban Bastion Of Kandahar -- Washington Post

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN -- U.S. forces have begun the initial phases of a political-military offensive in this Taliban bastion and hope to control the city and surrounding areas by late summer, according to senior U.S. military officials.

Officials have pressed local leaders and tribal elders over the past several weeks to begin holding shuras, or conferences, in Kandahar city and outlying districts, telling them that they must improve governance, address corruption and eject the Taliban. Otherwise, their areas will be the focus of expanding military operations scheduled to begin in June with the arrival of 10,000 new U.S. troops, the officials have said.

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More News On Afghanistan

Kandahar is NATO's next Afghanistan challenge -- Yahoo News/AFP
Date set for attack on Kandahar -- The Australian
Kandahar 'Shaping' Operations Under Way, Official Says -- US Department of Defense
Officials: June push in Kandahar -- CNN
Kandahar's sitting ducks -- Al Jazeera
Operation against Taliban in Kandahar to be led by Afghan forces: U.S. official -- China View
Taliban ejected from Kandahar villages ahead of latest NATO sweep. -- Canadian Press
Pentagon: Operations Underway Against Taliban in Kandahar -- Voice of America
Nato to launch surge against Taliban in Kandahar -- The Telegraph

Afghanistan: Taliban bomb attack targets anti-opium drive -- Christian Science Monitor
Afghan Bomb Aims at Anti-Opium Aid -- New York Times
Bicycle bomb kills 13 in southern Afghanistan -- Yahoo News/AP
Explosion Kills At Least 10 in Southern Afghanistan -- Voice of America

UN: Afghanistan is leading hashish producer -- Yahoo News/AP
Afghanistan also world's top hashish producer: UN -- Yahoo News/AFP
Afghanistan world's top cannabis source: U.N. -- Yahoo News/Reuters
The opium wars in Afghanistan -- Asia Times
Can Anyone Pacify An Opium State? -- CBS
U.N.: Afghanistan 'world's biggest producer of hashish' -- CNN

Canada tells Clinton troops are leaving in 2011 -- Washington Post
PM stresses security, but holds firm on Afghan withdrawal -- Toronto Star
Canada adamant about Afghanistan pullout; France sounds supportive note -- L.A. Times
Full Afghan withdrawal ‘wrong,’ top Tory says -- Toronto Star

Afghan president wraps up talks with insurgents -- Washington Post
Afghan militant Hekmatyar packs a surprise -- L.A. Times

SOLDIER MESSAGE - U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks with soldiers assigned to the 12th Infantry Division's 1st Battalion on Forward Operating Base Wilson, Afghanistan, March 29, 2010. DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

U.N. report on poverty in Afghanistan -- UPI
Corruption contributes to poverty in Afghanistan - UN -- BBC
Poverty kills more people than war in Afghanistan -- Rediff
UN report: Afghans plagued by poverty, corruption -- Washington Post/AP
Despite Doubt, Karzai Brother Retains Power -- New York Times
Afghanistan’s Corruption Cripples Economy, UN Says -- Businessweek/Bloomberg
Taliban IEDs `are harder to detect' -- The Australian
Around the Web: Comparing Marjah and Kandahar -- CNN

Destroying Morale in Afghanistan -- Washington Times editorial
This Time We Really Mean It -- Thomas Freidman, New York Times opinion

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