Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Afghan and NATO forces defeated and killed Taliban militant fighters following a sustained, twenty-hour attack (al-Jazeera) in the Afghan capital of Kabul. The Taliban launched rockets at the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters, raising serious concerns about Afghanistan's security situation as NATO continues a phased withdrawal.
At least eleven civilians and four police officers were killed during the most complex assault (BBC) on Kabul in the ten-year Afghanistan war. Six international security officers were injured at the NATO base, but there were no injuries at the U.S. embassy.
U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said he thought the Taliban-allied Haqqani network (Reuters)–the group credited with introducing suicide bombing into Afghanistan–was responsible for the attack. Crocker also blamed the Haqqani network for a truck bomb that exploded and injured seventy-seven U.S. troops on September 10.
This CFR Interactive Timeline examines the events that precipitated the U.S. war in Afghanistan as well as the history of the war.
With NATO flailing in Afghanistan, the attacks on Kabul only strengthen the Taliban's position before negotiations begin, writes Frank Ledwidge in the Guardian.
Don Rassler and Vahid Brown of West Point's Combating Terrorism Center report on the role of the local Haqqani network in the evolution of a global al-Qaeda, with roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1970s.
Americans often lump Afghanistan's insurgent groups into one group and label them the "Taliban," but in truth, Afghanistan is home to several insurgent actors, including the Haqqani network, the Quetta Shura Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, and various local networks, writes Andrew Exum in Foreign Policy.
U.S. Seeks to Avoid Palestinian Vote at UN
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to rally international support on Tuesday for renewed negotiations (NYT) between Israelis and Palestinians in an effort to stave off a vote at the UN General Assembly this month for Palestinian statehood.
This CFR Crisis Guide offers an in-depth, multimedia look at the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its geopolitical repercussions.
IRAQ: A bomb attached to an Iraqi military bus exploded (al-Jazeera) at a base west of Baghdad, killing fifteen soldiers and injuring twenty, while a car bomb exploded in a town south of the capital, killing thirteen.
China to Develop Domestic, Global Growth
China cannot grow in isolation and will look to increase its domestic demand (BBC), Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said at the World Economic Forum in Dalian. Wen also indicated that China was willing to invest in European debt, but wants the country recognized as a market economy.
SOUTH KOREA: The cost of insuring the country's sovereign debt (Yonhap) against default hit a sixteen-month high in response to growing concerns over eurozone sovereign debt contagion to the global economy.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
India Kills Top Kashmir Militant
Indian troops killed a leader of the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (NYT)–responsible for the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai–in Indian-administered Kashmir during a gun battle on Tuesday, authorities said.
AU Calls on World Powers to Defeat al-Shabaab
The African Union called on the international community to take advantage of a recent retreat by Islamist militant group al-Shabaab from the Somali capital of Mogadishu by supporting Somali government troops and imposing a no-fly zone (Reuters) and sea blockade.
KENYA: Police arrested a Kenyan suspected of assisting attackers who killed a British tourist and kidnapped his wife on the Kenyan island of Kiwayu (al-Jazeera) over the weekend. A Kenyan official said the suspect had ties to al-Shabaab.
This CFR Backgrounder offers a profile of al-Shabaab, based in southern Somalia.
U.S. Incomes Fall, Poverty Rate Rises
The income of the average U.S. family dropped for a third year in a row, falling 2.3 percent, while the percentage of Americans living in poverty rose to 15.1 percent (WSJ) of the population, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. It also found that 22 percent of children in the United States live below the poverty line.
In this CFR Interview, Brookings Economist Gary Burtless says the best policy formula for generating job growth involves investing in infrastructure and easing taxes for businesses.
ARGENTINA: A court acquitted former Argentinean president Carlos Menem of alleged gun trafficking (BuenosAiresHerald) in the 1990s to Ecuador and Croatia, both under arms embargoes at that time.
Moody's Cuts Ratings of French Banks
Credit rating agency Moody's downgraded two French banks–Crédit Agricole and Société Générale–and put a third on notice in response to concerns over the banks' exposure to Greek sovereign debt (FT). The French central bank insisted the banks could withstand a Greek default, even as calls grew louder for the government to recapitalize them.
GERMANY: A rift continued to widen in Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right coalition (DeutscheWelle) over the eurozone debt crisis, as leaders in the junior coalition party speculated publicly about a possible Greek default, defying calls by Merkel for restraint.
Investors and financial markets are growing convinced that Greece will default on its debt, heightening fears of a eurozone banking crisis that would have significant ramifications for an already fragile global economy, explains this CFR Analysis Brief.