Sunday, March 2, 2008
Afghanistan Government Controls Only 30% Of The Country
During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the 27th, Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell said that "[t]he Afghan government under President Hamid Karzai controls just 30 percent of the country," "the resurgent Taliban controls 10 percent to 11 percent of the country," and that "the majority of Afghanistan's population remains under local tribal control." Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. Michael Maples told the same committee that "Pakistani military operations in the [region] have not fundamentally damaged al-Qaeda's position" and tribal areas in Afghanistan "remain largely ungovernable and, as such, they will continue to provide vital sanctuary to al-Qaida, the Taliban and regional extremism more broadly. "The last 12 months have seen the worst violence in Afghanistan since 2001, when U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban from power.  More on the current state of Afghanistan here.