Afghanistan Weekly Digest: Ahmed Wali Karzai. Veterans. NATO.
[Editors' note: As part of Sojourners' campaign to end the war in Afghanistan, we will run a weekly Afghanistan news digest to educate our readers about the latest news and developments related to the war, the U.S. military's strategy, and the people impacted by our decisions. Read more about our campaign at www.sojo.net/afghanistan.]
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- Afghan president's half brother killed by a bodyguard: "President Hamid Karzai's half brother, the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan and a lightning rod for criticism of corruption in the government, was assassinated Tuesday by a close associate."
- Veterans face high unemployment after military service: "Unemployment among recently returned veterans, already in double digits, is poised to get worse as more soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan. The jobless rate for veterans who served at any time since September 2001 -- called Gulf War-era II veterans -- was 13.3 percent in June, up from 12.1 percent the month before, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In June 2010 it was 11.5 percent."
- Petraeus confident as he leaves Afghanistan: "Just days away from the end of his tour as the supreme military commander in Afghanistan, and the end of a 37-year military career, Gen. David H. Petraeus said he was leaving in the belief that his plan to turn around the war and hand over security to the Afghans could be achieved."
- NATO says airstrike in Afghan province killed women and children: "NATO forces said Thursday that they had unwittingly killed several women and children a day earlier during an early morning air attack against militants in a remote corner of eastern Afghanistan. The American-led coalition also said it was investigating separate reports of civilian deaths in a nearby province."
- White House changes policy on condolence letters for military suicides: "For several administrations at least, the White House has declined to send letters of condolence to families of troops who committed suicide, even if those suicides occurred in combat zones. The policy was based on concerns within military circles that recognizing such deaths would encourage more suicides. But it infuriated many of those families, who felt they should have received the same kinds of letters sent to families of every service member killed in action."
Hannah Lythe is policy and outreach associate at Sojourners.