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That Didn't Take Long: US to Impose New Sanctions on Iran

Just one day after "Implementation Day" of the Iran nuclear agreement, where international sanctions were removed with the certification that Iran had met all of its obligations under the agreement, the US has slipped back into its old habits. Citing Iran's work on ballistic missile development, the US Treasury Department announced yesterday that the US was imposing a new round of sanctions on the country. Several firms that are helping Iran develop its missile capability are also falling under the Treasury hammer.

Announcing the new sanctions, President Obama said, "We will continue to enforce these sanctions vigorously. We are going to remain vigilant about it."

The sanctions are being imposed because the ballistic missiles tested by Iran in October are capable of carrying nuclear weapons. But, as Moon of Alabama blog points out, the UN certification on Saturday means that Iran does not have nor will it pursue a nuclear weapon. So the point is completely moot.
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Afghan Positions Being Overrun By Taliban Due To Nonexistent “Ghost Soldiers” Used To Funnel Money To Corrupt Afghan Officials

As the Taliban probes the strength of Afghan forces, they are finding it an easier task than anticipated with a sizable number of the Afghan force constituted of “ghost soldiers.” As much as half of the soldiers in frontline positions are missing. We previously discussed the same problem of “ghost soldiers” in Iraq who are paid soldiers but only exist on paper as part of the widespread corruption of that country.

Now Afghanistan’s ghost army is facing real insurgents. Senior policy and army officials who have been pocketing the money for these nonexistent soldiers have left their country. Estimates put the percentage of nonexistent soldiers at 40 percent of the Afghan army, a shocking level of corruption even for Afghanistan. Not surprisingly, a ghost army did not fare well and the Taliban has now seized some 65 percent of Helmand province — Afghanistan’s largest. The provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, could fall.
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