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Why is America Failing in Afghanistan?

- DR. Abdul-Qayum Mohmand

Analysis of “CIA World Factbook” (1981-2012): Dimensions of anti-Pashtun Conspirac

Afghan Fury at Planned Pakistan Pact
What Happens When the U.S. Leaves Afghanistan?
Trying to leave Afghanistan proves to be as troublesome as being there: A Closer Look
Afghanistan: “It’s Just Damage Limitation Now”
Zero Dark Thirty Review-Analysis; Eleven Instances of Disinformation
Why is America Failing in Afghanistan?
 
 
 
US forces in Afghanistan nearly destroyed vital airfield
We Are Those Two Afghan Children, Killed by NATO While Tending Their Cattle
Former Islamist Warlord Vies for Afghan Presidency
Pakistan releases top Afghan Taliban prisoner in effort to boost peace process
Losing the War in Afghanistan
Obama’s troop increase for Afghan war was misdirected
Afghan security vacuum feared along "gateway to Kabul"
Objections to U.S. Troops Intensify in Afghanistan
The Great Afghan corruption scam
War zone killing: Vets feel 'alone' in their guilt
Was Osama for Real? And Was He Killed in 2001?
Afghanistan withdrawal: The risks of retreat
The Real Reason the US Invaded Afghanistan
The Definition of a Quagmire
Huge Uncertainty' in Afghanistan
Controversial ID Cards Expose Ethnic Divisions In Afghanistan
Afghanistan: The Final Curtain Call for NATO?
Afghanistan After 9/11: A Mission Unaccomplished
Why Should Taliban and Other Insurgents Refrain from Negotiation With the US & NATO? By: Dr Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, Ph

Exclusive: Karzai family looks to extend boss rule in Afghanistan.

Intrigue in Karzai Family as an Afghan Era Closes
For Afghans, Two Outrages, Two Different Reactions
Double blow to west’s Afghan strategy
Does the Taliban need a diplomatic voice?
Afghanistan: Lessons in War and Peace-building for US
Afghan women opposed by former allies
Q+A - Haqqani: From White House guest to staunch U.S. enemy
Haqqanis: Growth of a militant network -BBC
Afghanistan shelves plans for ambassador accused of fraud
Afghan nominated as ambassador to Britain was accused in US of fraud
U.S. deal with Taliban breaks down
The Loneliness of the Afghan President: Karzai on His Own

NATO's Third Alternative in Afghanistan

On the Road: Interview with Commander Abdul Haq:- The Tragedy of Abdul Haq
When the Lion Roared: How Abdul Haq Almost Saved Afghanistan
AFGHAN WARRIOR: THE LIFE & DEATH OF ABDUL HAQ
Pakistan’s ISI: Undermining Afghan self-determination since 1948
Mineral Wealth of Afghanistan, Military Occupation, Corruption and the Rights of the Afghan People
M. Siddieq Noorzoy
Why Isn’t the UN Investigating and Prosecuting the U.S. and NATO for War Crimes Committed in Afghanistan?
Corruption and Warlordism:
Abdul Basir Stanikzai
In Afghanistan, U.S. contracts aren’t crystal balls, but they come close
The great Afghan carve-up
Anatomy of an Afghan war tragedy
Terry Jones Actually Burns a Qur’an and No One Notices
Q+A-Are Afghan forces ready to take over security?
Guantánamo Bay files rewrite the story of Osama bin Laden's Tora Bora escape
Winning Afghan hearts, minds with explosives
Afghanistan’s Mercenaries
KABUL’S HORIZONS
Who is winning Afghanistan war? U.S. officials increasingly disagree
Afghanistan: The Trouble With The Transition
From the Archives: In Quest of a ‘Greater Tajikistan’
The 1980s mujahideen, the Taliban and the shifting idea of jihad
Afghanistan's Karzai complains about interference
Karzai, US ambassador at odds over private security

Karzai Tells Washington Post U.S. Should Reduce Afghan Operation Intensity

Excerpts from Afghan President Hamid Karzai's interview with The Washington Post
What the Afghans Want
New US approach to Afghanistan insurgency: Vindication for Pakistan?
Putting Some Fight Into Our Friends
Afghans 'abused at secret prison
Why We Won’t Leave Afghanistan or Iraq
Indo-Pakistan proxy war heats up in Afghanistan
Canada’s elite commandos and the invasion of Afghanistan
U.S. retreat from Afghan valley marks recognition of blunder
Five myths about the war in Afghanistan
Marine who resigned over ‘conscience’ speaks at MU
The Afghan media may have grown since Taliban rule ended, but not so press freedoms
Mystery holes and angry ants: another Afghan day
Kabul Bank's Sherkhan Farnood feeds crony capitalism in Afghanistan
Marjah War
Operation Moshtarak: Which way the war in Afghanistan?
Q&A: Why Marjah, why now?
In Jalalabad, hope is fading
Seeking reconciliation, US units meet remote Afghanistan tribes
Once Again, Get the Hell Out! "Ending the War in Afghanistan"
Blackwater Kept a Prostitute on the Payroll in Afghanistan; Fraudulently Billed American Tax Payers
Wild West Motif Lightens US Mood at Afghan Bas
In southern Afghanistan, even the small gains get noticed
 Afghanistan war: US tries to undercut Taliban at tribal level
 Soviet lessons from Afghanistan
Are actions of 'super-tribe' an Afghan tipping point
Taliban: Terrorist or not? Not always easy to say
Q&A: Who else could help in Afghanistan?
Vietnam Replay on Afghan 'Defectors'
Washington's Refusal to Talk about Drone Strikes in Pakistan Meets Growing Opposition
Afghanistan summit: Why is the US backing talks with the Taliban?
Taliban's leadership council runs Afghan war from Pakistan
Why buy the Taliban?
2 Afghanistan conferences: No solutions
An Alternative to Endless War - Negotiating an Afghan Agreement?
Do the Taliban represent the Pashtuns?
Afghanistan asks ex-presidential contender to tackle corruption

Tehran Sets Conditions For Attending London Conference On Afghanista

Pakistan says reaches out to Afghan Taliban
Taking It to the Taliban
The Afghan Taliban's top leaders
How significant is Mullah Baradar's arrest?
Secret Joint Raid Captures Taliban’s Top Commander
What's the Quetta Shura Taliban and why does it matter?
What's behind latest Taliban attack on Kabul? See Images of the Attack By WSJ

Pakistan Version of Islam and Taliban ?????
Lahore fashion week takes on Talibanization in Pakistan

Loyalties of Those Killed in Afghan Raid Remain Unclear

After Attack, Afghans Question Motives or See Conspiracies
Gates: Taliban part of Afghan ‘political fabric’

IG: Afghan power-plant project ill-conceived, mismanaged

Taliban intensifies Afghan PR campaign

Taliban Overhaul Their Image in Bid to Win Allies
Karzai plans to woo Taliban with 'land, work and pensions'
Peace scheme mooted for Taliban
Bombs and baksheesh
But By All Means, Continue the Happy Talk on the Afghanistan War
Karzai Closing in on Taliban Reconciliation Plan
Last Exit Kabul
How To Get Out Without Forsaking Afghanistan's Stability
Afghan Recovery Report: Taleban Buying Guns From Former Warlords

'Jesus Guns': Two More Countries Rethink Using Weapons with Secret Bible References

Gun bible quotes 'inappropriate'
Text of Joint declaration of Afghanistan-Iran-Pakistan trilateral meeting
Garmsir Protest Shows Taleban Reach
Rugged North Waziristan harbors US enemies
The Arrogance of Empire, Detailed ( The Untold Story of Afghanistan )
Appointment of Afghan counter narcotics chief dismays British officials
In Afghanistan attack, CIA fell victim to series of miscalculations about informant
Rebuilding Afghanistan: Will government take hold in this post-Taliban town?
Rare bird discovered in Afghan mountains
Blackwater, now called Xe, in running for work in Afghanistan despite legal woes
How Soviet troops stormed Kabul palace
Afghan children 'die in fighting'
Afghanistan war: Russian vets look back on their experience
U.N. Officials Say American Offered Plan to Replace Karzai 
Learning From the Soviets
U.S. faults Afghan corruption body's independence
Intensify fight against corruption, says Afghan meeting
Afghan ministers cleared of charges
Drone aircraft in a stepped-up war in Afghanistan and Pakistan
U.S. Air Force Confirms 'Beast of Kandahar' Secret Stealth Drone Plane
Kissinger's fantasy is Obama's realit
Taliban shadow officials offer concrete alternative
Talking with the Taliban
20. Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart
'Yes, there was torture and people were certainly beaten': Afghan warden
Why we should leave Afghanistan
US pours millions into anti-Taliban militias in Afghanistan
Pakistan to US: Don't surge in Afghanistan, talk to Taliban
A Plan C for Afghanistan
Finding decent cabinet is Karzai's big challenge
A way to get around Karzai in Afghanistan
Corruption fight boosted by 'Afghan FBI'
US demands Afghan 'bribery court'
Afghanistan plans court for corrupt ministers
The man leading Afghanistan's anti-corruption fight
Win hearts and minds in Afghanistan to win the war
Gates blocks abuse photos release
New U.S. Afghan prison unveiled, rights groups wary
War in Afghanistan: Not in our name
How the US Funds the Taliban
Afghan gov't says UN representative out of line
Cabinet of Warlords
Afghanistan and the lessons of history
Clinton says Karzai ‘must do better’
Recognizing the Limits of American Power in Afghanistan
After Afghanistan election, governors seek distance from 'illegal' Karzai
Karzai was hellbent on victory. Afghans will pay the price
Matthew Hoh: Please refute what I'm saying, we are stuck in the Afghan civil war
As US looks for exit in Afghanistan, China digs in
America's Top Diplomat Tells 'Nightline': 'Not Every Taliban Is al Qaeda'
Obama Can’t Make Russian Mistake in Afghanistan
10 Steps to Victory in Afghanistan
Will Obama change Afghan strategy?
Does the U.S. still have a vital interest in Afghanistan?
Pashtuns and Pakistani
The Afghan '80s are back
Pashtun peace prophet goes global
Afghan Road Builder's Dream Thwarted by Violence
A white elephant in Kabul
The Afghan Runoff: Will It Be a No-Show Election?

Ashraf Ghani- Afghanistan's Disputed Election Complicates U.S. Strategy

On Assignment: Into the Maw at Marja

Patrick Witty & Tyler Hicks
The New York Times


Afghanistan Cross Road CNN


The last frontier


Bruce Richardson
 

Articles

CIA: Buying peace in Afghanistan?

With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan
CIA Ghost Money: Karzai Confirms U.S. Gives Funds To Afghan National Security Team
What the CIA’s cash has bought for Afghanistan

Khalilzad: A Satan Whispering in the Hearts of Men
The Afghan trust deficitt
Will We Learn Anything from Afghanistan? Part 1
Getting Out of Afghanistan: Part 2
William R. Polk
General’s Defense on Afghan Scandal Ducks Key Evidence
Afghans want Taliban peace talks
Bombing Weddings in Afghanistan: It Couldn't Happen Here, It Does Happen There
Hekmatyar's never-ending Afghan war
Covert American Aid to the Afghan Resistance; A Top-Secret U.S. Foreign Policy Plot to Induce and Effect Soviet Military Intervention
Afghan brain drain fears as Karzai urges education reforms

US considers launching joint US-Afghan raids in Pakistan to hunt down militant groups

Real security in Afghanistan depends on people's basic needs being met
Intractable Afghan Graft Hampering U.S. Strategy
Former Taliban Officials Say U.S. Talks Started
Taliban ready for talks with US, not Karzai government
Emboldened Taliban Try to Sell Softer Image
Leaked NATO Report Shows Pakistan Support For Taliban
Insight: Few options for Afghan, U.S. leaders after Kandahar massacre
Presenter: Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and Daoud Sultanzoy, Tolo Television
NATO’s measured exit plan in Afghanistan faces new obstacles
BFP Exclusive: Karzai Clan Attorney Threatens US Journalist, Uses Intimidation Tactics
Afghanistan Chronicles
Arduous path to Afghan 'end-game'
Fear in the classrooms: is the Taliban poisoning Afghanistan's schoolgirls?
A comment on the recent events of student poisoning in Afghanistan
Rape Case, in Public, Cites Abuse by Armed Groups in Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Peace Talks Hit Brick Wall
THE ANATOMY OF US’S DEFEAT IN AFGHANISTAN
VOICES OF EMPIRE: FROM CIA’s CULTURAL GREAT GAME TO GLOBAL GREAT GAME TODAY
WHITE PAPER FOR THE PERMANENT PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN
King Karzai
A Federal System of Government is Not Suitable for Afghanistan
CHINA AMO DARYA OIL DEAL
Analysis: Where Afghan humanitarianism ends and development begins
U.S. Envoy: Kabulbank Was 'Vast Looting Scheme'
Speaking with the enemy: how US commanders fight the Taliban during the day and dine with them at night
Afghanistan: Operation Enduring Musery
How to Win Peace in Afghanistan
For Karzai, Stumbles On Road To Election
Cruel human toll of fight to win Afghan peace
Criticism of Afghan War Is on the Rise in Britain
Troops 'fighting for UK's future'
Operation in Taliban hotbed a test for revamped U.S. strategy
Covering Crucial Afghanistan Operation
Afghans still skeptical about Obama
US Defence Department struggling with public release of report on bombing in Afghanistan
Afghanistan on the Edge
Q+A: Who are the Pakistani Taliban insurgents?
Afghanistan Past & Present
Bombs for Pashtoons and Dollars for Punjab
Help! I'm being outgunned on K Street!
ANGELS CHASING DEMONS: “Jesus Killed Mohammad”!
U.S. tested 2 Afghan scenarios in war game
America's Top Diplomat Tells 'Nightline': 'Not Every Taliban Is al Qaeda'
Obama hearing range of views on Afghanistan
What Do Afghans Want? Withdrawal - But Not Too Fast - and A Negotiated Peace
Will Obama change Afghan strategy?
What Do Afghans Want? Withdrawal - But Not Too Fast - and A Negotiated Peace
Afghans tricked into U.S. trip, detained
In the Afghan War, Aim for the Middle
Obama pulled two ways in Afghanistan
Obama Can’t Make Russian Mistake in Afghanistan
10 Steps to Victory in Afghanistan
Gates: Mistake to set time line for Afghan withdrawal
Afghans question what democracy has done for them
High stakes in Afghan vote recount
Two Perspectives On Resolving The Afghan Postelection Crisis
Does the U.S. still have a vital interest in Afghanistan?
Pashtuns and Pakistanis
The Afghan '80s are back
How to Lose in Afghanistan
US in Afghanistan proposes revamped strategy
US 'needs fresh Afghan strategy'
US looks to Vietnam for Afghan tips
Lessons from Vietnam on Afghanistan
Afghan Pres. Skips Country's 1st TV Debate
A proud moment for Afghanistan
Rival to Karzai Gains Strength in Afghan Presidential Election
Afghan presidential candidate withdraws in Karzai's favor
America and international law
Hamid Karzai pulls out of historic TV debate just hours before broadcast
Karzai says no to first Afghanpresidential debate
Afghan election: Can Karzai's rivals close the gap?
Karzai opponents hope to beat him in second round
Afghanistan's Election Challenges
For Karzai, Stumbles On Road To Election
Pentagon Seeks to Overhaul Prisons in Afghanistan
Cruel human toll of fight to win Afghan peace
Karzai’s gimmick
Well-known traffickers set free ahead of election
US president sets Afghan target
U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died
Why the Pentagon Axed Its Afghanistan Warlord
Earn our trust or go, Afghans tell GIs
The Irresistible Illusion
Running Out Of Options, Afghans Pay For an Exit
We've lost sight of our goal in Afghanistan
$2,000 for a dead Afghan Child, $100,000 for Any American Who Died Killing it
The strategy is sound – but success is not assured
Operation in Taliban hotbed a test for revamped U.S. strategy
Covering Crucial Afghanistan Operation
Pentagon Seeks to Overhaul Prisons in Afghanistan
Echoes of Vietnam
A Response To General Dostum
Obama orders probe of killings in Afghanistan
Obama admin: No grounds to probe Afghan war crimes
US president sets Afghan target
U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died
Afghanistan's Election Challenges
The Irresistible Illusion
Earn our trust or go, Afghans tell GIs
Running Out Of Options, Afghans Pay For an Exit

We've lost sight of our goal in Afghanistan

The strategy is sound – but success is not assured
Stakes High in Afghanistan Ahead of August Elections
$2,000 for a dead Afghan Child, $100,000 for Any American Who Died Killing it
Ex-detainees allege Bagram abuse
Petraeus Is a Failure -- Why Do We Pretend He's Been a Success?
Fierce Battles and High Casualties on the Frontlines of Afghanistan
End the Illegal, Immoral and Wasted War in Afghanistan, says BNP Defence Spokesman
Outside View: Four revolutions
Pakistan's Plans for New Fight Stir Concern
France: liberty, equality, and fraternity – but no burqas
 

 

 

 

 

Echoes of Vietnam

Even the Coalition commanders in Afghanistan wonder if they can win the war
Will history repeat itself in Afghanistan?

British military intervention in Afghanistan has a chequered history, making it easy to conclude that British forces will fail again


 


Insight: Few options for Afghan, U.S. leaders after Kandahar massacre  
Source: Reuters By: Michael Georgy and Missy Ryan  

KABUL/WASHINGTON - President Hamid Karzai exploded in anger when he learned last week that an American soldier had massacred 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children.

When Karzai discovered that an aide had kept the news from him until after he had addressed the nation on television, the anger turned to rage.

"I would have condemned this openly to my people," Karzai shouted at the aide in the Kabul television studio, officials told Reuters.

Turning to another official, Karzai made himself even more clear: After a decade of war against al Qaeda and the Taliban, it was time for U.S. forces to leave Afghanistan, he said.

Events may have got out of hand if the aide had indeed told Karzai before the live televised speech on women's rights.

By the time Karzai's office issued a statement about the killing near a U.S. base in the south, the reaction was muted and there was no call for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Karzai condemned the rampage as "intentional murders" and demanded an explanation from the United States, but nothing more.

He has slim room for maneuver in a war that has tested both his presidency and that of his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama. Installed by the United States as interim leader after U.S.-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taliban regime in 2001, he has to walk a line between growing public anger over the presence of Western troops and Washington's support of his government.

Karzai was later elected president but his very survival hinges on the 90,000 American troops who hold his Taliban enemies at bay, along with the massive influx of Western aid that pays Afghan bureaucrats and which keeps the country's fragile economy afloat.

The Afghan leader is still haunted by the fate of former Afghan president Mohammad Najibullah when the Taliban took power in 1996. After being tortured and castrated, Najibullah, a protege of the former Soviet Union, was strung up on a street lamp close to his palace.

Any return of the Taliban to power would could bring a similar fate to Afghan leaders and anyone else seen as siding with the Americans.

"Tens of thousands of people will be killed here if the Americans pack and get out," said independent parliamentarian Mirwais Yasini, who predicted the Taliban would seize power again in just a matter of weeks if U.S.-led NATO forces headed home now.

HALF A WORLD AWAY

Obama would not face the same dangers that Karzai could if the Taliban emerge victorious, but failure after one of America's longest wars would still be devastating for him in a year in which he faces re-election.

Half a world away on Sunday afternoon, Obama sat in his limo outside his daughter's basketball game in suburban Maryland as he picked up the phone to call Karzai after he was informed of the shootings.

When he first spoke publicly about the killings the next day, Obama vowed the United States would not be chased out of Afghanistan. But he said the shooting had only strengthened his determination to bring U.S. troops home.

"It's time. It's been a decade," he said.

The recent incidents underscore the hazards facing Karzai, who heads a weak, unpopular government under threat by insurgents, and Obama, intensifying what's likely to be a difficult election campaign while he seeks to end a costly war.

But the risks of a precipitous withdrawal are even less palatable for both leaders, leaving them only room to tweak their positions on the margins.

Obama's strategy for exiting Afghanistan, the product of bitter debates among his political and military advisers, appears locked in stone, with only the precise pace of the troop drawdown at issue. For now, most foreign combat troops are to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

While Obama's Republican opponents, such as Mitt Romney, have criticized Obama's withdrawal, saying that a predetermined timeline will only embolden U.S. enemies, the views of some of his rivals may be changing in light of recent events.

"There's not much appetite left in the White House to continue the war," a former U.S. government official said on condition of anonymity.

"The emphasis now is how do we withdraw as quickly as possible, with as little damage to our interests as possible."

Karzai appears to be trying to shape the nature of the remaining NATO presence in a way that will minimize civilian losses.

On Thursday, the Afghan leader called for NATO troops to leave Afghan villages and confine themselves to major bases, issuing what appear to be a surprise challenge to his Western backers just after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ended a visit to Kabul.

Pentagon officials however said they did not believe he was calling for an immediate withdrawal to bases. There was no change in U.S. plans for a gradual transition to Afghan security leadership, they said.

BLUNDERS

The massacre in Kandahar, Karzai's home province, is the latest of a series of Western blunders in Afghanistan that have infuriated ordinary Afghans. The others include a video that showed Marines urinating on the bodies of dead Afghans and the burning of copies of the Koran at a NATO military base.

The Koran burnings in particular struck a chord among Afghans and touched off a spate of bloody protests and attacks on U.S. soldiers that raised questions about the Western plan to put Afghan troops gradually in charge.

Recent events have only heightened the vulnerability of Karzai, who many Afghans see as a Western lackey who has been unable to provide effective governance, combat corruption or ease poverty despite billions of dollars in Western aid.

"This is a very dark moment for Karzai," said parliamentarian Habiba Danish. "People are extremely emotional and he has to find a way to calm emotions. We all do."

Outside Karzai's heavily fortified Kabul palace, Afghans complained Karzai was too weak to deal with what they called American atrocities.

"It's time for him to go. We need someone who can bring justice for Afghanistan," said Abdullah Yosuf, 20, a university student.

The initial response in Washington to the shooting, meanwhile, was one of shock, followed by dismay.

Obama was briefed on Sunday about the massacre by a small group of security officials including Tom Donilon, his national security adviser, and retired Lieutenant General Doug Lute, his "war czar".

His two top military advisers, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were on the West Coast when the news broke.

Both men reached out to Afghan leaders - Panetta calling Karzai and Dempsey calling Afghan army chief of staff General Sher Mohammad Karimi, seeking to personally reassure the officials that the soldier's actions were isolated.

Across Washington, the former official said, "all of us had this feeling like we'd been punched in the stomach".

Privately, many U.S. officials also expressed anger that one rogue soldier - who many people suspect may have been affected by multiple deployments in Iraq - could do so much to erode whatever goodwill they had been able to build with Afghans.

"It's disappointing; it's frustrating," one senior U.S. defense official said on condition of anonymity. "This is one guy in a village in Afghanistan, making a decision on a tactical level that has strategic impact."

Obama has signaled loudly that he does not want to reopen the Afghan war strategy as he did when he took office in 2009.

"I don't anticipate ... that we're going to be making any sudden additional changes to the plan that we currently have," he said on Wednesday.

Concerned with his re-election prospects, the economy, and domestic concerns like high gasoline prices, the president in public discussions of Afghanistan has focused on the U.S. raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last year.

It is a feat which the White House hopes will seal Obama's national security credentials no matter the situation in Afghanistan.

While Obama will withdraw all of the extra 33,000 troops he deployed in a "surge" of forces in 2009-10 by later this year, his advisers are in discussions about how quickly they can afford to remove the rest of the troops.

Pressure from Obama's fellow Democrats has intensified in recent weeks for a faster drawdown, while a recent poll showed that more than 60 percent of Americans favor an immediate withdrawal.

"Critics who say we should just leave don't have a real policy," said Bruce Riedel, a former White House and CIA official who chaired Obama's Afghan strategy review in 2009. "Building up the Afghan army and transitioning is still the only game in town."

THE TALIBAN QUESTION

The fixed military strategy only increased the importance of U.S. diplomacy in Afghanistan. After months of covert efforts, U.S. officials have hoped they were close to being able to broker unprecedented political negotiations between the Taliban and Karzai's government.

It's unclear whether that initiative will proceed; the Taliban said on Thursday they were suspending that process, blaming "shaky, erratic and vague" U.S. statements.

Karzai expressed concern to Afghan officials that the Taliban would try to capitalize on the Kandahar massacre to gain more recruits.

He was right.

Taliban fighters wasted no time in entering the village where the massacre took place and urging people to take up arms against the Americans and Karzai's government.

"They handed out weapons to people and told them to be brave and take on U.S. forces. Then they warned the cleric in a government mosque to tell people to rise up," an intelligence official told Reuters.

The message seemed to sink in.

"If the killer is not prosecuted in Kandahar we will go to the mountains and fight against the government," said Kandahar resident Khodai Nazar, 25.

Karzai, for his part, sent a delegation to the village, including two of his brothers, to investigate the shooting and try to retrieve some public support. Suspected Taliban insurgents opened fire on the officials.

One of the officials predicted people would rise up against the Americans and Karzai's government.

"The official told me if these people had a decent life, a decent clinic and schools, clean drinking water, some sign that life had improved in 10 years, they could calm down," an Afghan minister told Reuters.

"If there had been some change in their lives you could just tell them the American soldier was depressed and they could get over it. But where are the benefits for people?"

(Additional reporting by Hamid Shalizi and Miriam Arghandiwal in KABUL; Matt Spetalnick, Caren Bohan and Steve Holland in WASHINGTON; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Robert Birsel)

 

 

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