- By Jennifer RowlandJennifer Rowland is a research associate in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation.
Next in line
The Senate Armed Services Committee confirmed Gen. Joseph Dunford as the United States’ new top commander in Afghanistan on Thursday, where Gen. Dunford declined to specify how many U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan after December 2014, but said that 1,000 would be insufficient (AP, CNN, Reuters, Post). Gen. Dunford also said he has not been involved in recent discussions about the future of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but said their main missions would likely be counterterrorism and advising Afghan security forces.
Pakistan on Thursday carried out its first execution in four years, with the hanging in Mianwali of former soldier Muhammad Hussain, who was sentenced to death in 2009 for fatally stabbing one of his superiors (Dawn, LAT, ET, BBC). International human rights groups decried the execution as a step backward since an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment was implemented in 2008, but Pakistani officials said that policy applied only to the civilian justice system, not military courts.
Pakistani authorities suspended cell phone service in Karachi and Quetta between 10 AM and 6 PM local time in an effort to prevent sectarian attacks against Shi’a Muslims at the start of their holy month of Muharram (Bloomberg, Dawn). Police in Karachi said that 500 people have been killed in the port city since September in mostly sectarian attacks.
Meanwhile, police in Lahore said they foiled a large-scale terrorist plot on Friday, arresting two active Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) members and seizing a massive amount of explosives (ET, Dawn). And a bomb blast in Balochistan killed two Frontier Corps personnel on Friday (ET).
Any publicity is good publicity
Representatives of Pakistan’s only beer-maker, Murree Brewery, have announced that their beer could be found on shelves in the United States and Dubai as early as next year, following an explosion in their popularity that began this summer (Reuters). It was in June that Bruce Willis’ and Demi Moore’s daughter was caught drinking underage in New York with a can of Murree’s beer.
– Jennifer Rowland
Graham to put hold on Hagel, Brennan noms; A mini drawdown from Afghanistan this spring; Dunford Afg. speech short and sweet; Russell Rumbaugh: time for a war tax; and a little more.Gordon Lubold
Gordon Lubold is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He is also the author of FP's Situation Report, an e-mailed newsletter that is blasted out to more than 70,000 national security and foreign affairs subscribers each morning that includes the top nat-sec news, breaking news, tidbits, nuggets and what he likes to call "candy." Before arriving at FP, he was a senior advisor at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, where he wrote on national security and foreign policy. Prior to his arrival at USIP, he was a defense reporter for Politico, where he launched the popular Morning Defense early morning blog and tip-sheet. Prior to that, he was the Pentagon and national security correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and before that he was the Pentagon correspondent for the Army Times chain of newspapers. He has covered conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in South Asia, and has reported on military matters in sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Latin America as well as at American military bases across the country. He has spoken frequently on the sometimes-contentious relationship between the military and the media as a guest on numerous panels. He also appears on radio and television, including on CNN, public radio's Diane Rehm and To the Point, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal. He lives in Alexandria with his wife and two children.| Situation Report |