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Good morning Tumblr, here is your daily dose of Good Reads, thanks to The Guardian, Al Jazeera and The Washington Post.

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UPDATE: Battle for Afghanistan’s Gambir Jungle: Parts Three, Four and Five

We continue today with the final parts of our five-part series from reporter Anna Mulrine, who was embedded with US Army troops in Afghanistan in the Pech River Valley.

Part Three: 1st Platoon’s ‘last stand’

Part Four: A race against daybreak

Part Five: What was it all for?

Read the whole series here.

PHOTO: Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 32nd infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division take cover near Shigal village in Kunar Province in eastern Afghanistan on Dec. 7, 2009. (Newscom/File)

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Battle for Afghanistan’s Gambir Jungle: Part Two

Here’s part two of our five part Series Battle for Afghanistan’s Gambir Jungle from Monitor reporter Anna Mulrine, who was embedded with US Troops in Afghanistan. Today’s read: Into the Valley of Death.

US Army soldiers from Charlie Company, 2nd battalion, 35th infantry regiment, Task Forces Bronco climb down from the top of the hill which overlooks the river Darya ye Kunar in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province on Aug. 19, 2011. (REUTERS/Nikola Solic/File)

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Battle for Afghanistan’s Gambir Jungle: Five Part Series

Monitor reporter Anna Mulrine is embedded with Havoc Company in Afghanistan, and reporting on “Operation Hammer Down” - one of the repeated efforts by the US military to clear Al-Qaeda training camps from the Pech River Valley.

Part 1: Soldiers’ tale of an epic fight

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A resurgent Taliban took responsibility for the attack on the British Council in Kabul, which came on the anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence from Britain nearly a century ago.

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New Military Supply Chain = Less Money to Taliban?

The military’s new transport and supply contract in Afghanistan is meant to stop US funds from being diverted to warlords and the Taliban. But many Afghans fear the damage is already done.

Tom A. Peter writes:

The new contract, a deal between the military and 20 separate trucking and supply companies, is worth nearly $1 billion and is “specifically designed to minimize the risk of contract corruption by increasing the number of prime vendors and by providing better transparency at the sub contractor level,” says a US military official in Kabul familiar with the issue. Most importantly, the new contract aims to cut out middlemen and powerbrokers who have long created problems for Afghanistan.

Full story here.

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The few, the proud, the Afghanistan correspondents?

Interesting post from NiemanWatchdog.org, discussing the lack of regular coverage from American print media in Afghanistan. 

According to the post:

The American print press is almost totally absent from Afghanistan, leaving the reporting to a handful of news organizations. TV coverage averages 21 seconds per newscast for NBC and not much more for ABC and CBS.  

The Monitor counts among the handful of wire services, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, McClatchy Newspapers, AP, Reuters and few others still present in the area.

So, we wanted to put a face behind the name Tom A. Peter, our main correspondent in Afghanistan: 

Tom’s official 2010 mugshot.

Formerly a Monitor staffer and now a freelance journalist living in Kabul, Peter has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, the West Bank, Kuwait, Jordan, and throughout the United States. He’s a native Californian, who graduated from Northwestern University where he majored in Middle Eastern Studies and minored in creative writing. 

Of course, besides being impressed with his work on-the-ground in Afghanistan, we are proud to say we knew him when…


Tom, as part of the National News Desk in 2007, wearing his Halloween costume.

(Source: csmonitor.com)

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US Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan, officially relinquished command of international forces here to US Marine Gen. John Allen in a ceremony in Kabul on Monday. Unlike his departure from Iraq, General Petraeus leaves his successor a war that is far from over.

More on Tumblr from Political Notebook and Cheat Sheet.

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"The death is likely to shake the power bases of Kandahar and it may risk undoing the region’s recent security gains. It may force NATO to remain focused on the south, when it was planning to shift efforts toward the increasingly restive east Afghanistan."

Tom Peter, Monitor correspondent in Kabul, Afghanistan. Comments made as possible fallout after the early morning assasination of Ahmad Wali Karzai, the half-brother of Afghanistan's president and a political powerhouse in the south, was killed by a gunman on Tuesday morning, threatening to destabilize the south.

Karzai rose to power shortly after his half brother, Hamid Karzai, took office as president. Officially, he was head of the Kandahar Provincial Council. In practice he was one of the most powerful people in the south and arguably in Afghanistan.

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The assassination of Ahmad Wali Karzai, President Hamid Karzai’s half-brother, could threaten NATO security gains in southern Afghanistan.

The death is likely to shake the power bases of Kandahar and it may risk undoing the region’s recent security gains. It may force NATO to remain focused on the south, when it was planning to shift efforts toward the increasingly restive east Afghanistan. - Tom Peter, Monitor Correspondent in Kabul

Full story here.