I'm just going to focus on one issue today, but it's an important one. Former Afghan secret service chief Amrullah Saleh tells Der Spiegel that the Taliban insurgency is sponsored by Pakistan. Straight up. Here's an excerpt:
The Taliban have a reputation for brutality and mercilessness to defend. Their new leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor wants to prove that he can maintain these capabilities. All the major attacks require enormous military and financial resources. They are planned and executed with the aid of ISI, Pakistan's secret service. The aim of the attacks is to establish Mansoor as the new strong man. The violence is intended to show that the Taliban brand still exists, and the message as the same as before -- that the Taliban is united and powerful. . . .Meanwhile, there's this:
The Taliban can only continue to fight in this way with help from the ISI [Pakistani equivalent of the CIA]. Mansoor will now be provided with the necessary resources in order to solidify his authority and keep opponents within his own ranks in check.
US President Barack Obama has proposed over $1 billion in civilian and military aid to "strategically important" Pakistan for fighting terror, economic development, safety of nuclear installations and improving ties with India among other objectives.
The budgetary proposals released by the state department after Obama sent them to the Congress show a more than six- fold increase in the foreign military financing (FMF) to Pakistan from $42.2 million in 2014 to $265 million in 2016.
I'll retire to bedlam.