U.S. military investigation concludes that 33 civilians were killed and 27 wounded in a joint U.S. and Afghan operation near Kunduz in November, but that the troops killed the civilians in “self defense” and no disciplinary action will be taken. [You'll have to figure out what that means, I can't tell you. -- C] Two U.S. soldiers were killed in the incident.
Bombing in Kandahar on Tuesday kills 12 people and injures the provincial governor and ambassador from the United Arab Emirates. The deputy governor was among the dead, as were 5 UAE diplomats. The police chief blames the Haqqani network and Pakistani intelligence.
A bombing in Kabul the same day kills 36 employees of the parliament along with 4 police.
Underlying the country’s many challenges were two main factors: the “questionable capabilities” of the country’s security forces and “pervasive corruption.”The government forces, Sopko said, are plagued by poor leadership, which leads some officers to bolster their ranks with “ghost soldiers” whose salaries they pocket; others sell equipment and fuel to the Taliban.In speaking to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Sopko quoted former Afghanistan NATO chief Gen. John Allen as saying that “corruption — not the Taliban — (is) the existential threat to Afghanistan.” Sopko noted that Transparency International had ranked Afghanistan the third-most corrupt nation in the world.
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