Taliban vows a fresh Spring offensive; NATO to come out with a ‘Vision Statement’ during their Summit in Bucharest; Oxfam: $10 b of Afghan aid money not spent in past 6 years; Contractor fraud detected in supply of ammunition to Afghan forces
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  • Even as NATO countries were getting ready for their Summit on Romania this week, the Taliban, in a message posted on an Islamist website vowed to launch a spring offensive and inflict heavy casualties on the coalition forces1. NATO leaders on their part were seeking to come out with a ‘Vision Statement’ during the April 2-4 Bucharest Summit pledging more troops as well as cohesion in fighting the Taliban. Among the proposals included a five-year plan with benchmarks regarding training of Afghan Army and police forces2.

    The British charity Oxfam meanwhile published a report charging that close to $10 billion in aid money meant for Afghanistan during the last 6 years was not spent, thus hurting Afghan security and development in the long run3.

    In other developments, a report during the week indicated that a major supplier of ammunition to the Afghan forces was under investigation for having supplied sub-standard equipment. The report noted that the case was indicative of the inadequacies of the Bush administration policy of hiring private contractors as integral parts of US war-fighting strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq4.