Targeted killings of Afghan leaders are up by 53 percent compared to last year. Such attacks are the efforts of a desperate Taliban, Afghan officials say, but they acknowledge that they hamper their ability to govern and provide services.
Women in Afghanistan are, in general, better off today than when the Taliban ruled. But activists say there has been backsliding on the gains of the past decade. And as the international community plans its drawdown, activists worry that the government won't do its part to protect women.
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan cites multiple reasons for the increase in attacks by men in Afghan uniforms. Taliban infiltrators, friction between NATO and Afghan troops, and even Ramadan are all seen as factors.
Most Afghans realize that the presence of U.S. and coalition forces has "literally reshaped their country after decades of war and conflict," says Ambassador James Cunningham. Also: A top general says stress of fasting during Ramadan may be factor in "green on blue" attacks.
Insider attacks by Afghan forces have killed 40 coalition troops so far in 2012, including ten Americans. That surpasses the number of so-called green-on-blue attacks in 2011, and raises serious questions about Afghan readiness as American forces prepare for a withdrawal that could begin in 2013.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.