Roundup: Taliban launch suicide attack outside NATO air base
Afghan demonstrators shout anti-U.S. slogans during a protest against Quran desecration in Kabul on February 24, 2012.
February 27th, 2012
10:19 AM ET

Roundup: Taliban launch suicide attack outside NATO air base

Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Two Taliban suicide attackers set off a car bomb (NYT) outside NATO's Jalalabad Air Base in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least nine Afghans. Four NATO personnel were wounded. The Taliban said the bombing was in retaliation for recent Quran burnings at the U.S.-run Bagram Air Base north of Kabul. That incident sparked nearly a week of ongoing violent protests across the country. Two U.S. military officers working in the Afghan Interior Ministry were shot dead on Saturday, while six U.S. troops were wounded by demonstrators at a base in northern Afghanistan on Sunday. Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged Afghans to be "calm and peaceful" (al-Jazeera).

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Analysis

"The burning of Korans by foreign troops on one side and the killing of foreign troops by Afghan soldiers on the other have pushed the level of alienation between the two sides to what could be an all-time high. The Saturday murders were only the latest of at least 22 similar killings that have occurred since last April," writes TIME's John Wendle.

"The latest incident runs counter to both objectives: Afghanistan's leaders will find it even harder to cooperate with Western forces, while the Taliban have been handed on a plate an incident that appears to justify their central claim–that America and her allies are waging war on Islam itself," writes the Daily Telegraph's David Blair.

"But on the flip side, just like a lot of other misguided honors that Muslims are trying to protect in our community, from wounds dating back to the days of colonialism and harkening into the modern day with protections over the national sovereignty of Pakistan during the Osama bin Laden raid, we, as Muslims, go too far protecting our perceived "honor" at the expense of common sense," writes Asra Q. Nomani at the Daily Beast.

PACIFIC RIM

Australian PM Wins Labor Leadership Vote

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard defeated Kevin Rudd in a Labor leadership challenge by seventy-one to thirty-one votes (Australian). Gillard ousted Rudd as prime minister in 2010.

SOUTH KOREA: The United States and South Korea launched joint military exercises (Yonhap) on the Korean peninsula. North Korea responded defiantly, saying it was "fully ready for both dialogue and war."

This CFR Crisis Guide provides an interactive multimedia overview of the dispute between North and South Korea.

SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA

Pakistani Troops Destroy Bin Laden Compound

Pakistani security forces demolished the Abbottabad compound (AFP) where U.S. Navy Seals found and killed al-Qaeda's Osama bin Laden last year. The site had attracted hundreds of daily visitors.

Pakistan's stability is of great consequence to regional and international security. Examine the roots of its challenges, what it means for the region and the world, and explore some plausible futures for the country with this CFR Crisis Guide.

MIDDLE EAST

Yemen's President Formally Hands Over Power

Outgoing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh formally handed over power to Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi (al-Jazeera), who was elected to succeed Saleh in an uncontested ballot last week. Saleh ruled Yemen for thirty-three years.

SYRIA: The government held a referendum on a new constitution (NYT) on Sunday, even as Syrian troops continued a deadly crackdown on civilians and opposition forces. Western leaders dismissed the referendum as a farce, while the EU tightened economic sanctions against the Syrian regime.

Establishing "no-kill zones," using drones to protect civilians, and encouraging defection could halt the killing in Syria, writes Princeton's Anne-Marie Slaughter in the New York Times.

AFRICA

Tight Presidential Race in Senegal

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is in a close race with former prime minister Macky Sall, signaling a potential presidential runoff (Reuters). The election comes on the heels of weeks of violent protests against Wade, who is running for a third term despite a two-term limit.

NIGERIA: A suicide bomber (BBC) drove his car into a church in the central city of Jos, killing at least three people and prompting a riot by Christian youths. The radical Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack.

Widening violence by Nigeria's Islamist group Boko Haram has caused concerns about its possible links to international terrorist groups, explains this CFR Backgrounder.

To receive daily updates in your inbox sign up for CFR.org's Daily News Brief.

EUROPE

G20 Defers Decision on Europe Aid

G20 finance ministers and central bankers, meeting in Mexico, deferred a decision over providing the International Monetary Fund with new resources for combating the eurozone sovereign debt crisis (WSJ). The officials called on the EU to expand its rescue fund in exchange for further IMF support.

GERMANY: As the German parliament prepared to vote on a second bailout for Greece (DerSpiegel) agreed upon by EU leaders last week, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich broke with Chancellor Angela Merkel and said Greece should be encouraged to leave the eurozone.

Greece appears to have averted imminent default, but its recovery prospects remain clouded by the severity of its planned austerity measures and the impact cutbacks have already had on its stricken economy, explains this CFR Analysis Brief.

AMERICAS

Colombia's FARC Says It Will End Kidnappings

Colombia's FARC rebel group said it will end its long-held practice of abductions for ransom (Guardian), and will free the ten remaining police officers and soldiers being held in the jungle. FARC chief Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri has called for peace talks with the government to end the country's forty-six year civil war.

HAITI: Prime Minister Garry Conille, who resigned suddenly on Friday (NYT), said he decided to step down after none of his ministers showed up to a cabinet meeting. Conille's decision follows months of mounting tension between himself and President Michel Martelly.

CAMPAIGN 2012

Romney Says Focus on Afghan Security

GOP candidate Mitt Romney said Sunday that the United States should focus on helping Afghanistan build up (TheHill) "its own military and security forces" so they can "maintain the sovereignty of their government from an attack from the Taliban." The remarks come as NATO continues to grapple with a wave of violence sparked by the accidental burning of Qurans in the country.

Newt Gingrich continued to make gas prices (SFChronicle) a major campaign issue. He said his energy plan, which reduces barriers for domestic production, including offshore drilling, would produce "about $16 trillion in royalties in the next generation, enough to completely pay off the national debt" as well as creating "at least 8 million new jobs."

Editor's Note: For more information on the presidential election and foreign policy check out CFR's campaign blog, The Candidates and the World.

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Topics: Afghanistan • Daily Roundup

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. jal

    I dont think that mistake will be made again. Can we move one now?

    February 27, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply
  2. j. von hettlingen

    The killing of the two U.S. military officers working in the Afghan Interior Ministry on Saturday was just one of the numerious turncoat incidents. It looks as if the insurgents are burning all the bridges so that the Western forces can't return to the former position.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
  3. MyPictureOfMuhammad

    8=>(_|_)

    February 27, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
  4. j. von hettlingen

    The locals in Abbotabad were glad to have the house of the late bin Laden demolished. Bulldozers were sent in without any warning. The area was cordoned off. Now the locals can have peace and quiet again.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
  5. j. von hettlingen

    Germany's interior minister *Hans-Peter Friedrich broke with Chancellor Angela Merkel and said Greece should be encouraged to leave the eurozone*. A debate in Athens showed that many Greeks want to stay. Yet they have a hard time with the austerity measures.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Hans-Peter Friedrich has the right idea here. Unless Greece does leave the Eurozone, that country will fall into the biggest depression it ever had. In fact, Germany itself should leave the Eurozone if it wants to rposper again. Here again, heads with small brains prevail and that's a shame!!!

      February 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  6. j. von hettlingen

    It looks as if Senegal's president doesn't want to step down after his two terms and runs for a third consecutive term. He should learn from Putin! Assad's latest hype is to limit the president to two seven-year terms.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  7. Hahahahahaha

    How about they launch about 10,000,000 suicide bomer missions? Hahahahahaha

    February 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  8. Yup

    100 Billion....what a waste of time and money

    February 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  9. t8kastand

    With all the tech. the us military has....... and nothing is being done.. come on people its past due time to send one of our mega ton bombs over there and be done with it..... for good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate seeing my brothers there with no help.. MAKES ME SICK. fight back already ......we look like wet dogs with out taiels between our legs....THE MILITARY NEEDs TO MAN UP.... ITS A WAR......... NOT A FIST FIGHT. send a drone or something!!! Do something. BUT PLEASE<PLEASE.. DONT apol. EVER AGIN..

    February 28, 2012 at 2:39 am | Reply
    • USMC Forever

      What makes me sick is mindless, warmongering people like you who put no value on the lives of others! In fact, we need to apologize to the Afghans just for being there!

      February 28, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
  10. t8kastand

    AT least tell the afghans they have ( this much time to put a stop to this ) and if after the time given they dont stop... THEN UNLEASH HELL ON THEM...............................WE HAVE GOT TO DO SOMETHING.

    Anything but surrender FIGHT BACK

    February 28, 2012 at 2:58 am | Reply
    • USMC Forever

      Your comments above are the most sickening ones here, t8kastand. People like you are living proof of what a sick society we're living in! No wonder we're the most hated country in the word today!!!

      February 28, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
  11. NIck

    When did this happen

    February 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  12. T. Lee

    Muslim prisoners WROTE MESSAGES TO EACH OTHER in the Qur'ans of the detention center's library – and THAT is why they were pulled from the shelves.

    All the violence, the murders, the yelling and screaming by Muslim fanatics – all because SOME OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE broke their own religious law by writing in the Qur'an !!!

    Obama – why did you apologize instead of making THIS the focal point of your call to Karzai?

    Karzai – why did you not make this know in your country to quell the murders and the riots by taking away the reason The Taliban and al Qaeda used to order the chaos??

    February 28, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  13. Blaiseu Verniee

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    July 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Reply

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