- 103 (at least) killed in coordinated attacks across Baghdad today. This is the revival in AQ related operations that I wrote of before. The SoA are signalling their displeasure with their "abandonment" by the US by allowing this. Measure for measure is the way they see it. The Middle East is a tough place. Turn the money back on and this will end. It doesn't have to be our money.
– According to Walter Pincus in the WP today, Hillary Clinton spoke up at the Congress to say that the administration of American government money in Afghanistan is so loose and so much contractor run that the situation is unhealthy. The level of corruption must be high, very high. At the same time she mentioned that the length of our overland supply lines from Karachi to delivery points in Afghanistan is such that inevitable some of this runs through terrirtory subject to interdiction by the "Taliban." To overcome this the Afghan transportation contractors are paying off hostiles to get their convoys through. This is just stupid. It is one thing to use various kinds of suasion (including, but not exclusively, money) to split off neutrals or wavering enemies from the mass, but to allow the Afghans to pay off active enemies in this way is just self destructive.
– Finally, CJCS Admiral Mullen was on the Newshour last night. Jim Lehrer served him up a lot of soft balls. It is interesting to contrast this with the grilling that Mullen got on al-Jazeera a few days ago. pl