Paul Vallely writes at the Independent: There has been something artificially over-heated about the international reaction to the video of four American soldiers urinating on the bodies of their dead Taliban enemies…

Military maneuvering in the 21st century means the Pentagon and Islamicist rebels responding to one another’s tweets, apparently. If this is a hoax, it has fooled the Guardian, among others: When the…

Tarok KolacheSpencer Ackerman writes on the intriguing WIRED’s Danger Room:

An American-led military unit pulverized an Afghan village in Kandahar’s Arghandab River Valley in October, after it became overrun with Taliban insurgents. It’s hard to understand how turning an entire village into dust fits into America’s counterinsurgency strategy — which supposedly prizes the local people’s loyalty above all else.

But it’s the latest indication that Gen. David Petraeus, the counterinsurgency icon, is prosecuting a frustrating war with surprising levels of violence. Some observers already fear a backlash brewing in the area.

Paula Broadwell, a West Point graduate and Petraeus biographer, described the destruction of Tarok Kolache in a guest post for Tom Ricks’ Foreign Policy blog. Or, at least, she described its aftermath: Nothing remains of Tarok Kolache after Lt. Col. David Flynn, commander of Combined Joint Task Force 1-320th, made a fateful decision in October.

The New York Post reports on rumors that the Taliban is arming monkeys with AK-47s at the Pakistani border and training them to shoot American soldiers, using bananas as a reward. Below is a helpful CGI recreation of the Taliban’s banana-fueled monkey army, released by the Taiwanese news organization NMA.

Monkey see monkey do? or Human do, then train monkey so less humans have to do? Chinese news source, Peoples Daily Online (人民 网) reads: Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents are training monkeys to…

Nick McMaster writes on Newser:
Hamid Karzai

Hamid Karzai has told Afghan lawmakers he will join the Taliban if his western backers kept pushing him to reform. The legislators said the Afghan president’s comments shouldn’t be taken at face value — he was pandering to pro-Taliban members of parliament, and he seems unconcerned about losing western support. The remarks are characteristic of his increasingly erratic behavior as he struggles to maintain his grip on power.

The Obama administration voiced disappointment with Karzai’s outburst. “On behalf of the American people, we’re frustrated with the remarks,” Robert Gibbs said. Karzai told Afghan lawmakers that he explained his comments to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this weekend, the AP reports.