Tagged: Afghanistan

Karzai aide linked to CIA

August 26th, 2010 in International Relations 0 comments

CIA logoThe New York Times reports that a key aid to Afghan President Hamid Karzai is on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency payroll and has been for years.  The aide, Mohammed Zia Salehi, is the chief of administration for the Afghanistan National Security Council and is at the center of a politically sensitive corruption investigation.  International relations Professor Arthur Hulnick, a 35-year veteran of the intelligence profession, mostly with the CIA, says relationships the agency develops overseas inevitably include some people of questionable character.

“But that’s how the agency finds out what’s happening.  Too bad that people who understand intelligence — and the New York Times reporters certainly do – -still spin the story to make it appear that the CIA is somehow ‘evil.’  They know better, even while the public is misled.”

Contact Arthur Hulnick, 617-353-8978, ahulnick@bu.edu

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Afghanistan's mineral future

June 24th, 2010 in International Relations 0 comments

mining equipmentWord that war-torn Afghanistan has at least $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits already has that country’s officials scrambling to start the process of opening up the nation’s reserves to international investors.  Anthropology Professor Thomas Barfield, who also is president of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies, says cashing in on the potential will take significant infrastructure building which will require security and likely involve investment from China.  Barfield discusses the prospects and pit fields of Afghanistan’s mining future in a BU Today interview.

“The work needed to put in the infrastructure and the side effects — better transportation systems, electricity, jobs for people — that’s going to have an enormous impact well before we get to the question of payment of royalties.”

Contact Thomas Barfield, 617-353-2195, barfield@bu.edu

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General summoned to White House

June 22nd, 2010 in Military 0 comments

Gen. Stanley McChrystalThe commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal (r.), has been summoned to the White House to explain in person some controversial public remarks he made which were critical of the Obama administration.  Political science Professor Graham Wilson, author of “Only in America? American Politics in Comparative Perspective,” says presidential power is cumulative and so is its loss – so looking feeble in one policy area makes a president lose authority in completely unrelated areas, too.

“More generally, this turmoil at the top of the Allied effort in Afghanistan further destroys public confidence in that war.  Divided leadership plus continuing casualties equals loss of public support.”

Contact Graham Wilson, 617-353-2540, gkwilson@bu.edu

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Afghan President Karzai riles U.S.

April 6th, 2010 in International Relations 0 comments

Karzai 2Recent anti-western rhetoric from Afghan President Hamid Karzai is stressing American officials and the Obama administration is concerned that it may hamper efforts to wind down U.S. military operations in Afghanistan.  International Relations Professor William Keylor, author of “A World of Nations: The International Order Since 1945,” says Karzai is playing with fire.

“With Al-Qaeda virtually gone from Afghanistan, the question ‘what are we fighting for?’ may surface in American public discourse for the first time since the Taliban regime was overthrown.”

Contact William Keylor, 617-358-0197, wrkeylor@bu.edu

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U.S. talked of replacing Karzai

December 17th, 2009 in International Relations 0 comments

KarzaiA top U.S. diplomat reportedly discussed enlisting the White House in replacing Afghan President Karzai after Karzai’s flawed re-election victory this fall.  But it went no where and the diplomat was fired.  Journalism Professor Nick Mills, author of “Karzai: The Failing American Intervention and the Struggle for Afghanistan,” thinks the diplomat, Peter Galbraith, had the right idea.

“That the UN and the U.S. were so eager to declare Karzai the winner of the election despite his massive vote fraud and Karzai’s tolerance of systemic government corruption mocks the whole notion of what we’re supposed to be fighting for there.”

Conact Nick Mills, 617-353-3492, nmills@bu.edu

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Obama's new Afghan policy

November 30th, 2009 in International Relations 0 comments

Afghan mapPresident Obama will tell the nation Tuesday about his new policy in Afghanistan.  Journalism Professor Nick Mills, author of “Karzai: The failing American Intervention and the Struggle for Afghanistan,” says he is disappointed at reports that Obama will increase U.S. troop strength there.

“I don’t expect that an additional 30,000 troops will make much of a difference; it will bring our forces to about the highest level of Red Army forces that were in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, and the Soviets understood that even that number was insufficient. The insurgency will grow to meet any new levels of force.”

Contact Nick Mills, 617-353-3492, nmills@bu.edu

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William Keylor on the Afghan war

November 13th, 2009 in International Relations, Military 0 comments

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Karzai a "wild card" for U.S. policy

November 3rd, 2009 in International Relations 0 comments

KarzaiAfghan President Karzai’s re-election by default leaves the U.S. in the pre-election dilemma of having to deal with an Afghan government that the people there don’t trust.  Journalism Professor Nick Mills, author of “Karzai: The Failing American Intervention and the Struggle for Afghanistan,” says Karzai has consistently failed to make the tough decisions that would have moved that nation forward.

“I don’t think the American public will support a large escalation of military forces and spending to defend a government that refuses to do its share of the heavy lifting.”

Contact Nick Mills, 617-353-3492, nmills@bu.edu

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Karzai's brother on CIA payroll

October 28th, 2009 in International Relations 0 comments

karzaiIn an diplomatic bombshell, the New York Times reports that Afghan President Karzai’s brother – long a suspect in that nation’s opium trade – is on the CIA’s payroll and has been for years.  Journalism Professor Nick Mills, who came to know the future president in the ’80s when Mills ran BU’s Afghan Media Project, says this explains why there was no “hard evidence” for Karzai to remove his brother from power.

“The hard evidence is all in the CIA’s possession — and obviously Karzai knew it, which further erodes his legitimacy as president.”

Contact Nick Mills, 617-353-3492, nmills@bu.edu

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Prof. William Keylor comments on "Bloodshed in Afghanistan"

September 2nd, 2009 in International Relations, Military 0 comments

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