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Michael "Mike" Huffman is a rising foreign affairs analyst who lives in Northern Virginia. He may be reached at uspolicyinabigworld@gmail.com.

Kabul Bank’s Golden Age

“…by June 2006 …the bank now had over 165,000 customers, 440 employees, and eight branches. It had established Internet and mobile banking, was a principal agent in Afghanistan for Western Union, completed its first Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transaction…”

Kabul Bank and Pamir Airways

*Foreword by Michael Semple from Harvard Kennedy School* …Sherkhan and Fruzi pressed on with the purchase of additional aircraft via the illegal loan route. They spent $34 million for three additional 737-400s and $12 million for five Russian-made Antonov planes…

How They Robbed Kabul Bank

…Johnson advised Sherkhan to split the large loans into smaller ones and to create shell companies –referred to as “fictitious” companies in the media- that would receive the loans. Shell companies are legal entities, since they exist on paper, but have no actual business operations, except perhaps to serve as a conduit for money transfers. The shell companies hid the borrower’s true identity.

How the U.S. Lost the Corruption Battle in Afghanistan

By late August 2010, Karzai crushed the MCTF and fired the AGO’s most outspoken anti-corruption critic, Deputy Attorney General Faqiryar. The Kabul Bank scandal hit at the end of August just as Karzai was breathing a sigh of relief for his victories over Afghanistan’s anti-corruption forces.

The Kabul Bank Scandal and the Crisis that Followed

This paper tells the story of the Kabul Bank scandal and the crisis that followed it. The Karzai administration’s response to the crisis is described, particularly its efforts to protect the main individuals behind the scandal, or the Kabul Bank shareholders, from criminal prosecution.

Karzai Broadsides U.S. with Call to Scale Back Operations

For the US to significantly scale back its military operations in the south and east of Afghanistan –during a fierce insurgency- would be to cede those troubled territories to the Taliban. Is this really what President Karzai wants –to give half of the country or more to the Taliban?

Musharraf’s Kashmir Admission Points to Taliban Sponsorship

After the recent interview of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, it will be difficult to doubt that the Pakistani government is sponsoring militants to achieve its national security goals in Afghanistan.

Obama’s Escalation of the Afghan War Comes Under Fire

There is more continuity between the Bush and Obama strategies in Afghanistan than most acknowledge. The biggest difference between the two is probably that Obama has adopted Afghanistan as his foreign policy centerpiece.

Five Policy Options for the U.S. in Afghanistan

Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, recently called for a US pullout from Afghanistan. While Haass’ analysis is incomplete, the US may be forced into tough decisions if Afghanistan does not turnaround.

ISI-Taliban Collusion

The recent Taliban arrests and subsequent releases by the Pakistani government point not to chance or incompetence but to a well thought out foreign policy strategy that navigates through a raging storm of competing foreign policy interests.