The weekend deaths of seven U.S. soldiers and a member of the NATO-led coalition made the casualty toll one of the highest of the year in the war in Afghanistan.
That was in addition to President Hamid Karzai meeting Saturday with the CIA’s station chief, saying he had been assured the CIA would keep the cash flowing to him to help pay off warlords and power brokers in that country. The New York Times reports that the use of that money has sparked criticism over a presidential slush fund.
It undermines the U.S. war strategy of molding a credible and clean Afghan government. It also cheapens the ongoing sacrifice and death of U.S. soldiers in the fighting there especially as the Taliban continue their spring offensive.
The controversial cash and the mounting deaths add to the growing cries to end the war and bring U.S. troops home now instead of waiting until 2014.