UPDATE: Battle for Afghanistan’s Gambir Jungle: Parts Three, Four and Five
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
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.
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.
Tom Peter, Monitor correspondent in Kabul, Afghanistan. Comments made as possible fallout after the early morning assasination of , the half-brother of '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,, took office as president. Officially, he was head of the . In practice he was one of the most powerful people in the south and arguably in Afghanistan.