AFGHANISTAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

AFGHANISTAN

Mar 26 08:03

Iran accepts US Afghan invitation

Iran has confirmed it will attend a US-backed international conference on the future of Afghanistan next week.

Mar 23 12:35

New Afghan Puppet to Be Appointed

The United States is poised to appoint a new leader in Afghanistan. It seems that Washington is disappointed with the work of current Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Karzai is the former Unocal executive who was appointed and then later "elected" President following the NATO invasion and defeat of the Taliban government of Afghanistan in 2001. Karzai's rule has been marked by two related and disturbing trends: a deteriorating security situation and an increase in opium production. Though these developments are nothing new, almost to the point where they could be considered traditional in the region, (read your history) the Americans seem to have had about enough of Karzai, thinking that they can find a better puppet.

Mar 23 12:32

US will appoint Afghan 'prime minister' to bypass Hamid Karzai

The US and its European allies are ­preparing to plant a high-profile figure in the heart of the Kabul government in a direct challenge to the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, the Guardian has learned.

The creation of a new chief executive or prime ministerial role is aimed at bypassing Karzai. In a further dilution of his power, it is proposed that money be diverted from the Kabul government to the provinces. Many US and European officials have become disillusioned with the extent of the corruption and incompetence in the Karzai government, but most now believe there are no credible alternatives, and predict the Afghan president will win re-election in August.

Mar 22 16:46

Scenes from the "March on the Pentagon" Rally

Mar 22 14:03

Afghanistan and Iraq: War Crimes Against Children ascribed to former President Bush

Mar 16 09:16

Militants torch NATO supplies in Pakistan; 20 trucks reduced to ashes - Exclusive images

Militants attacked a NATO supply terminal and set fire to about 20 trucks carrying supplies to Western forces in Afghanistan on Sunday.

Militants attacked the supply depot situated at Ring Road in the jurisdiction of Yakatoot Police Station, Peshawar-- capital of North West Frontier Province.

In a pre-dawn attack the militants used rockets, petrol bombs and also resorted to firing before setting the trucks ablaze.

Mar 15 09:51

Why We Shouldn't Be in Afghanistan

It seems that we're seeing more and more ramp ceremonies at Kandahar airfield. At least once a week we hear those somber bagpipes playing, marking a final salute to yet another dead Canadian soldier before his remains are flown back to Canada. In light of this, I want to repost my podcast about why Western countries should not be in Afghanistan, and why we will not be able to defeat the Taliban militarily.

Why We Shouldn't Be in Afghanistan Click to Listen

The clip is a 12 minute long MP3, the file size is 2.8M

Mar 15 08:11

Militants torch NATO trucks in Pakistan

Taliban militants in north-western Pakistan have torched eight trucks carrying supplies for NATO forces in neighbouring Afghanistan in a pre-dawn attack, police said.

Mar 15 07:55

Hawaii Soldier Charged With Stealing $400K In Afghanistan

A former dispersing officer for Schofield Barracks units in Afghanistan pleaded not guilty to stealing $400,000 from the government while on deployment in a finance battalion.

Gilliam apparently brought about $400,000 in cash home in his luggage. The IRS got suspicious after he converted $254,000 into a First Hawaiian Bank cashiers check.

Gilliam is not the only soldier accused of stealing American cash from the war zone. Just last week a captain from Beaverton, Ore., was accused of sending home $700,000 from Iraq.

Mar 14 18:01

NEOCON WARMONGERS ARE AT IT AGAIN – ‘YES WE CAN!!’ THEY SHOUT, ‘LET’S SURGE THE TALIBAN!!’

The neocon warmongers that believed the ‘surge’ in Iraq actually worked now think that, seven and a half years after invading Afghanistan, they are fighting a war they can win, despite all the evidence that suggests otherwise – if only, so they suggest, they could get say another couple of hundred thousand allied soldiers in to the place.

Mar 14 17:56

Afghan police say victims of U.S. raid not militants

Afghan police disputed whether five men killed in a raid by U.S. and Afghan troops on Saturday were militants.

Mar 12 12:36

US must prevent Taliban takeover in Afghan war

The United States must "at a minimum" prevent Taliban insurgents from returning to power in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview on Tuesday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Because they will END the drug trade, and we cannot allow that!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Mar 12 12:18

Iran accepts US invite for Afghan Talks

US military efforts have reportedly reached a stalemate in Afghanistan.
Tehran says it is open for negotiations on the Afghan crisis, following a US invitation to a high-level conference on Afghanistan.

Mar 10 18:09

Biden Urges NATO Allies to Help Tackle Problems in Afghanistan

US Vice President Joe Biden told NATO that the situation in Afghanistan was a threat to the West as a whole.

"The deteriorating situation in the region poses a security threat not just to the United States but to every single nation round this table," Biden told representatives of the 26-nation military alliance during a visit to Brussels on Tuesday, March 10.

"It was from the very same mountains that the attacks of 9/11 were planned," he said...

Well, that's what we're supposed to believe.

Mar 09 09:15

Obama says US is losing war in Afghanistan and hints at Taleban talks

President Obama conceded yesterday that America was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the way for negotiations with moderate elements of the Taleban, much as the US did with Sunni tribes in Iraq.

Mar 08 20:31

Afghanistan 101 - Why NATO Won't Beat the Taliban

Canadian based podcast giving a quick history of Afghanistan, and a summary of why it is impossible for NATO to win the war against the Taliban.

Click here to listen - MP3 File, 2.8M, 12 minutes

Mar 07 08:18

THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY - THE 9-11 FRAUD AND THE LINK TO PNAC

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Obviously, I do not agree with the comments regarding the plane at the Pentagon.

Mar 07 07:27

UK ex-commander says Afghanistan mission "worthless"

Ex-SAS commander Maj. Sebastian Morley, who resigned last year in protest at the handling of the conflict, said operations were being undermined by a lack of troops and resources.

"I don't think we have even scratched the surface as far as the conflict goes," he told the Daily Telegraph in an interview published on Saturday, his first since stepping down.

"I think the level of casualties and attrition is only set to rise. This is the equivalent to the start of the Vietnam conflict, there is much more to come," he said.

"We hold tiny areas of ground in Helmand and we are kidding ourselves if we think our influence goes beyond 500 metres of our security bases," Morley said.

Mar 03 10:19

Taliban rivals unite to fight US troop surge

Three rival Pakistani Taliban groups have agreed to form a united front against international forces in Afghanistan in a move likely to intensify the insurgency just as thousands of extra US soldiers begin pouring into the country as part of Barack Obama's surge plan.

The Guardian has learned that three of the most powerful warlords in the region have settled their differences and come together under a grouping calling itself Shura Ittihad-ul-Mujahideen, or Council of United Holy Warriors.

Mar 03 08:03

France calls for NATO Afghan pullout

There are currently more than 68,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan.
French Defense Minister Herve Morin has requested that NATO set a timetable for the withdrawal of alliance forces from Afghanistan.

Mar 01 15:01

NATO can't defeat Afghan insurgency, PM says

In an interview broadcast Sunday with CNN, the Conservative leader sought to lower expectations about prospects for the insurgency-riddled country. He said Canada has had modest success over the course of its eight-year effort, but that any gains were vulnerable if the security situation were to worsen.

Yet simply staying the course in Afghanistan is not going to result in an inevitable victory.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The last man to conquer and actually hang onto Afghanistan was Alexander the Great, and he only kept it for three years.

Feb 27 14:51

Wikileaks cracks NATO's Master Narrative for Afghanistan

Wikileaks has cracked the encryption to a key document relating to the war in Afghanistan. The document, titled "NATO in Afghanistan: Master Narrative", details the "story" NATO representatives are to give to, and to avoid giving to, journalists.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that the Pentagon has shut down the server mentioned in the story.

Feb 27 08:35

Patrick Cockburn: Warning to the US: beware treating Afghanistan like Iraq

I remember an Iraqi neurosurgeon, who had just successfully defended his hospital in Baghdad against looters with a Kalashnikov in 2003, saying to me: "The Americans should remember that even Saddam Hussein had difficulty ruling this country." Iraq was never like an east European autocracy. Even under Saddam every Iraqi owned a gun. Iraqis would not fight for Saddam's regime, but they would fight for their own ethnic or sectarian community or their country. An error made by the US was to imagine that just because Shia and Sunni Arabs hated each other that Iraqi nationalism was not a potent force.

Feb 26 08:23

Obama to spend $200b on war in 2009

According to the US defense officials, Obama needs USD 75.5 billion for 2009 to cover the cost of the additional troops deployed in to Afghanistan this year and an another USD 130 billion for the rest of fiscal 2009.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is just the cost of the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and does not include other Pentagon spending, which is far more costly (when they don't lose it outright).

Feb 25 09:33

War Reporting and Propaganda in Iraq and Afghanistan

Feb 24 21:41

Welcome To Obama’s War

To the anguish of America’s antiwar movement, his administration seems set on continuing many of the illegal, repressive policies of the disgraced Bush White House that it had vowed to end: torture, kidnapping, wiretapping, assassinations, Constitutional infringements, denial of due process.

Feb 22 14:28

Revealed: Number of British soldiers suffering 'life-changing' injuries in Afghanistan has doubled

The number of British soldiers suffering 'life-changing injuries' in Afghanistan doubled last year, a report suppressed by ministers has revealed.

Serious injuries, such as losing limbs or eyes, suffering serious burns or permanent brain damage, have soared since August 2007 as Taliban forces continue to step up their roadside bombing campaign.

Feb 22 12:51

Uncomfortable Others: Afghan Civilians Wounded by America

In our contemporary world where the visual message trumps the written word, photos of those killed or wounded by U.S/NATO actions rarely are published (those killed or wounded by the Taliban frequently appear in the western mainstream press). They generate too much discomfort.

In a rare example of independent photojournalism, Lynsey Addario published photos of some wounded victims of U.S/NATO actions in Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Your tax dollars at work, folks; while American vets sleep in our streets.

The knuckleheads who put together the "plan" for the Afghanistan campaign apparently had not one bit of understanding about the history of the people they were going to fight, and managed to have selective amnesia on that little bit in the military tactical books stating that a country cannot possibly win what is a land war from the air.(something I had hoped we would learn from Viet Nam, but apparently haven't.)

All this, coupled with what can only be kindly described as "magical thinking" has lead us to where we are, 7 years on. We have an insurgency which wants its country back, an Afghani president and government so crooked that the people believe that they have to screw their socks on in the morning, and - oh yes - the opium poppy business is booming!

Obama has vowed to placed 17,000 more troops there (which depends on when we can get many of them out of Iraq,), to add to the 30,000 US troops already there. So, we have around 47,000 troops.

Unfortunately, as reported in The Australian:
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24778094-5017961,00.html

"US military planners estimate 500,000 troops, including newly trained Afghan National Army soldiers, are needed to secure the country"

500,000...47,000. Less than 10%, even counting NATO-Contributing forces. So ultimately, we've come up with a manpower figure which most likely cannot, and will not, work to hold this country.d

It isn't for no reason that Afghanistan has been characterized as "The Graveyard of Empires".

Feb 22 12:00

Obama's Refusal To Reverse Bush Policy In Afghanistan Angers Human Rights Groups

Less than a month after signing an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, President Barack Obama has quietly agreed to keep denying the right to trial to hundreds more terror suspects held at a makeshift camp in Afghanistan that human rights lawyers have dubbed "Obama's Guantanamo".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sadly, Obama's claims for "change" were nothing more than smoke and mirrors, the misdirection of a magnificently articulate salesman.

Feb 21 14:05

U.S. Concedes Afghan Attack Mainly Killed Civilians

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Our bad. We're sorry. Won't happen again." -- Official White Horse Souse

Feb 20 21:02

'No rights' for Bagram inmates

President Barack Obama's justice department has sided with the former Bush administration, saying detainees held by the US in Afghanistan have no constitutional rights.

Feb 20 11:29

Afghanistan, the Next US Quagmire?

Feb 19 20:50

Operation Uptick: Obama Launches Afghan Surge

And so it begins: the great Obama "surge" in Afghanistan. Before withdrawing a single soldier from Iraq, Barack Obama is throwing 17,500 more troops into the boiling Afghan cauldron. The deployment is the first installment of what Obama aides affirm could be a much larger escalation down the road: as soon as the vaunted "strategic review" of Afghan policy – led by hawks like Joe Biden, Richard Holbrook and General David "Pre-President" Petraeus – is completed.

Most of the new troops are apparently going to be sent on a fool's errand to eradicate the only means of support of poor Afghans: the opium crop. Previous such efforts by American forces and their allies have produced nothing but more poverty, anger, extremism and support for the insurgency. And whatever the mission, increased troop levels and military action have led invariably to steep rises in civilian casualties – which, in turn, produce more poverty, anger, extremism and support for the insurgency.

Feb 19 09:26

Afghanistan: Slipping out of control

A grim picture of spiralling violence and a disintegrating society has emerged in Afghanistan in a confidential Nato report, just as Barack Obama vowed to send 17,000 extra American troops to the country in an attempt to stem a tide of insurgency.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The only society that is disintegrating is the imposed American-style one.

Feb 18 19:49

US Gear Ending up in Pakistan Markets

In the age of computerized high-tech warfare, it is not just American hardware available on the black market. Now there is also vital technology and information up for grabs and -- as military officials here and in the U.S. fear -- leaking into the wrong hands in this region where the Taliban and elements of Al Qaeda have a known presence.

I was recently able to purchase a U.S. military laptop for $650 from a small kiosk, which is known as the "Sitara Market," on the western edge of the sprawling open-air markets on the edge of Peshawar.

The laptop, which has clear U.S. military markings and serial numbers, contained restricted U.S. military information, as well as software for military platforms, the identities of numerous military personnel and information about weaknesses and flaws in American military vehicles being employed in the war in Afghanistan.

Feb 16 10:03

British troops may face Facebook ban

The MoD said that the rule is designed to prevent sensitive information being placed on the internet, but it is thought that it could have an impact on social communications as well.

One solider told The Sun: "The fun police have taken over. I can't talk to my wife and kids or even play Call of Duty 5. Do they really think we're going to give away secrets?" Another added: "I am going to ignore it. A lot of the lads are going to do the same."

Feb 15 14:43

The Massive Trap that Awaits the U.S. in Afghanistan

After two monumental failures that never should have even been initiated, you would think that we would have learned from history but, from all appearances, we have learned nothing. The U.S., teetering on the edge of national insolvency, is now on the verge of upping the ante in Afghanistan with increases in troop deployment. The intent is to wind down in Iraq and transfer military forces to fight in a nation where every invader in history has failed to achieve their objectives.

Feb 14 07:08

Military Laptops For Sale on Pakistan's Black Market

Peshawar, Pakistan, has always had a reputation as a smuggler's paradise, the perfect place to score a 3,000 rupee Kalashnikov knockoff, a rusty Lee-Enfield or a nice block of hash. And as GlobalPost correspondent Shahan Mufti discovered, it's also a place where you can buy some off-the-shelf U.S. military equipment.

Mufti recently paid a visit to the Sitara Market on the city's western edge, and was able to pick up a ruggedized U.S. military laptop for $650. The laptop, which looks like it is part of a vehicle diagnostics kit, came with clear U.S. military markings. According to the story, the laptop also stored "identities of numerous military personnel and information about weaknesses and flaws in American military vehicles being employed in the war in Afghanistan."

Feb 12 14:58

Thousands of US weapons astray in Afghanistan: auditors

Thousands of US weapons, including assault rifles and grenade launchers, may be in Taliban or Al-Qaeda hands in Afghanistan because of lax controls, congressional auditors warned on Thursday.

The Pentagon has failed to track an estimated 87,000 weapons given to Afghan security forces, one-third of the 242,000 shipped by the US government between December 2004 and June 2008, the Government Accountability Office said.

A 46-page report by the GAO, the non-partisan investigative arm of Congress, said there had been no monitoring of a further 135,000 weapons donated by NATO allies to the poorly paid and corruption-rife Afghan army and police.

Feb 12 14:33

UK military costs in Afghanistan and Iraq soar to £4.5bn

The cost of Britain's military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in the past year has soared to more than £4.5bn, an annual increase of more than 50%, figures released today reveal.

Operations in southern Afghanistan accounted for a little over half of the £4.5bn, nearly £2.6bn, compared with £1.5bn last year. Most of the money was spent on providing soldiers with tougher armoured vehicles to try to cope with the growing threat of roadside bombs.

More surprisingly, as the government prepares to withdraw from Basra, the cost of Britain's military presence in southern Iraq increased to nearly £2bn compared with less than £1.5bn last year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Defence.

Feb 12 09:29

Declassified DoD Documents Suggest Detainees Were Tortured to Death

Newly declassified Defense Department documents describe a pattern of “abusive” behavior by U.S. military interrogators that appears to have caused the deaths of several suspected terrorists imprisoned at a detention center in Afghanistan in December 2002, just two days after former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld authorized the use of "enhanced interrogation" techniques against prisoners in that country.

Feb 12 08:23

US 'lost track of Afghan weapons'

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Dagnabit; they were right here just a minute ago!!!"

And folks, you paid for all of that!

Feb 09 12:58

War News for Monday, February 09, 2009(the forgotten wars)

Four U.S. soldiers killed by suicide bomber in Mosul, along with an Iraqi interpreter

Baghdad:
#1: Seven people were wounded on Sunday night when a mortar round landed in a courtyard in the Kadhimiya district of northwestern Baghdad, police said.

Diwaniya:

Feb 09 10:12

Obama puts brake on Afghan surge

The Pentagon was set to announce the deployment of 17,000 extra soldiers and marines last week but Robert Gates, the defence secretary, postponed the decision after questions from Obama. The president was concerned by a lack of strategy at his first meeting with Gates and the US joint chiefs of staff last month in “the tank”, the secure conference room in the Pentagon. He asked: “What’s the endgame?” and did not receive a convincing answer.

Feb 09 01:00

Obama puts brake on Afghan surge

The Pentagon was set to announce the deployment of 17,000 extra soldiers and marines last week but Robert Gates, the defence secretary, postponed the decision after questions from Obama.The president was concerned by a lack of strategy at his first meeting with Gates and the US joint chiefs of staff last month in “the tank”, the secure conference room in the Pentagon. He asked: “What’s the endgame?” and did not receive a convincing answer.

Feb 08 09:23

US warns of battle worse than Iraq in Afghanistan

The United States warned its allies Sunday that fighting the insurgency in Afghanistan could prove tougher than in Iraq and appealed, along with Britain, for more troops and equipment.

Feb 05 20:59

Army official: Suicides in January 'terrifying'

One week after the U.S. Army announced record suicide rates among its soldiers last year, the service is worried about a spike in possible suicides in the new year.

The Army said 24 soldiers are believed to have committed suicide in January alone -- six times as many as killed themselves in January 2008, according to statistics released Thursday.

Feb 04 10:11

Militants step up attacks on convoys Supply lines to Afghanistan squeezed

Militants step up attacks on convoys Supply lines to Afghanistan squeezed.
KABUL – U.S. troops in Afghanistan saw their supply lines squeezed from the north and east Tuesday after militants blew up a bridge in Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan’s government said it would end American use of a key air base following Russia’s announcement of new aid.

Feb 04 05:24

Why Are We Still at War?

Early into the second year of the Afghanistan war, in November 2002, a retired US Army general, William Odom, appeared on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program and told viewers: "Terrorism is not an enemy. It cannot be defeated. It's a tactic. It's about as sensible to say we declare war on night attacks and expect we're going to win that war. We're not going to win the war on terrorism."

But the "war on terrorism" rubric - increasingly shortened to the even vaguer "war on terror" - kept holding enormous promise for a warfare state of mind. Early on, the writer Joan Didion saw the blotting of the horizon and said so: "We had seen, most importantly, the insistent use of Sept. 11 to justify the reconception of America's correct role in the world as one of initiating and waging virtually perpetual war."

Feb 04 04:26

Kyrgyzstan to shut key NATO base

The President of Kyrgyzstan has announced that the US military will have to leave the Manas Air Base near Bishkek. The facility is central to NATO operations in Afghanistan. The Kyrgyz government said the US wasn't prepared to pay an appropriate fee to use the base.

Feb 02 21:15

US Gen. Craddock ordered mass executions in Afghanistan

Michael Carmichael
Posted February 1, 2009 | 10:08 PM (EST)
Craddock Scandal Rocks NATO

In the wake of an international scandal mushrooming around the career of US General Bantz John Craddock, American credibility has collapsed inside the top echelons of NATO. General Craddock is the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (SACEUR) and simultaneously the Commander of the US European Command.

Feb 02 09:17

Iraq Today.Afghanistan: "The Forgotten War"

Baghdad:
#1: On Monday, though, a roadside bomb targeting an American convoy exploded, said an Iraqi police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information. Two people were killed and six others were wounded, the officer said. There were no reported American causalities.

Feb 01 10:27

Bombing Civilians and collateral damage from Bill Moyers Jounal

Snip below is a transcript from Bill Moyers Journal, (Jan 30, 2009). His guests on the show are historian Marilyn Young, author of BOMBING CIVILIANS: A TWENTIETH CENTURY HISTORY and former Pentagon official Pierre Sprey, who developed military planes and helped found the military reform movement.

BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the JOURNAL.

Very often in the White House, the most momentous decisions are, at the time, the least dramatic, the least discussed. And they don't make news, or history, until much later, when their consequences bubble to the surface downstream. There are observers who think that could prove to be the case with a decision made within hours of Barack Obama's swearing in last week.

Feb 01 08:03

Afghans threaten US troops over civilian deaths

Angry Afghans threaten US troops after Special Forces raids kill civilians

JASON STRAZIUSO
AP News

Jan 31, 2009 13:21 EST

An angry Afghan man with a thick black beard ranted wildly at the U.S. officials, shouting about how their overnight raid had killed 16 civilians in his village. An Afghan elder cried out in grief that his son and four grandsons were among the dead.

One after another, a long line of government officials, villagers and community leaders told American military officials at the Laghman governor's compound that Afghan soldiers must be allowed to take part in such raids. Several predicted increased violence against U.S. forces if more nighttime operations take place.

Jan 31 20:43

Casualties of War

The military does not need more troops. It has enough and too many are fighting and dying where they shouldn't be.

Jan 26 00:12

War news for Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kanusiyah, near Hajiwah, south of Kirkuk
U.S. troops raid the home of Dhiya Hussein, a former Colonel in the Iraqi army, kill him and his wife and wound his 8 year old daughter. From the Xinhua account:

A U.S. military statement said that the U.S. troops were conducting the operation in cooperation with Iraqi forces as required under an agreement signed late last year between the United States and Iraq. The statement said that Hussein is a suspected leader of al-Qaida assassination cell.

Jan 25 15:10

Chomsky: No change coming with Obama

Actually, the first message to the new Obama administration by President [Hamid] Karzai of Afghanistan was the same, that he wanted no more bombings. He also said that he wants a timetable for the withdrawal of the foreign troops, US and other troops, from Afghanistan. That was of course just ignored.

n/a
Jan 20 03:04

War News for Monday, January 19, 2009

Baghdad:
#1: A bomb blast near a security checkpoint in southern Baghdad on Monday killed a police officer and wounded seven people, including three soldiers, police said. "A police captain was killed and seven people among them three soldiers were wounded when the bomb exploded," a police official told foreign news agency,

Dalouiya:
#1: A U.S. vehicle on Sunday night was devastated in a roadside bomb attack in western al-Dalouiya district, according to police sources from Salah al-Din province. Another police source said that “a roadside bomb went off during a late hour on Sunday night targeting a U.S. patrol at al-Dalouiya Bridge (90 km north of Baghdad), causing severe damage to the vehicle.”

more,,,,

Jan 18 16:57

Iraq Afghanistan Soldiers, exposed to KBR's toxins

Iraq Afghanistan Soldiers Demand KBR Come Clean on Toxin
Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, January 12, 2009 12:59 PM EST

At least 48 Oregon National Guardsmen are reporting ill effects that may have come from an airborne carcinogen they contacted while working in southern Iraq, Stars and Stripes is reporting.

Jan 18 11:57

War News for Sunday, January 18, 2009

The British MoD is reporting the death of a British ISAF soldier from enemy fire close to the District Centre of Sangin, Helmand Province on Saturday, January 17th.

Xinhua is reporting the death of an American ISAF soldier from a helicopter crash in Kunar province, Afghanistan on Saturday, January 17th. No other details are available

MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier in a roadside bombing in an eastern neighborhood of Baghdad on Sunday, January 18th.

Baghdad:
#1: The deputy head of the U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrols programme was wounded when a bomb exploded near his house on Saturday in the al-Furat district of southwestern Baghdad, police said. Five of his neighbours were wounded in the blast.

Jan 17 20:36

The Afghan Scam The Untold Story of Why the U.S. Is Bound to Fail in Afghanistan

By Ann Jones

The first of 20,000 to 30,000 additional U.S. troops are scheduled to arrive in Afghanistan next month to re-win the war George W. Bush neglected to finish in his eagerness to start another one. However, "winning" the military campaign against the Taliban is the lesser half of the story.

Jan 15 10:45

Rewriting the First Draft of History

Seeing as how we currently find ourselves hurtling along this downhill run towards new history - the countdown to the day America has itself a president named Obama can be measured in hours instead of days or weeks now - it seems an appropriate moment to pause and reflect on a bit of older history we've already passed through. I'm not talking about any kind of ancient history, mind you. For the purposes of this reflection, we need only take a small leap backwards in time, just six short years ago.

We all passed through the little slice of history that began to take shape in the early months of 2003, and we all remember that time in our own way. Today, however, there is a great deal of effort being expended to make sure this bit of history is remembered differently than how it really happened. An even better result for those exerting this effort would be if this bit of history were not remembered at all. That may, in fact, be their ultimate goal.

Jan 12 08:29

War News for Monday, January 12, 2009

War News for Monday, January 12, 2009

Baghdad:
#1: The violence began when two vehicles parked about 50 yards (meters) apart exploded in quick succession just after 7 a.m. as a police patrol passed by a bakery in a mainly Shiite area. The road, which runs through a commercial district, is frequently used by police and army convoys in the eastern New Baghdad neighborhood, residents said. Police and hospital officials said four people, including a policeman who died at the hospital, were killed and nine others wounded. The U.S. military said the Iraqi police were hit when explosives planted on a truck detonated as they were responded to the initial car bomb. The U.S. military gave a lower casualty toll, saying one Iraqi policeman was killed and two civilians were wounded.

Jan 10 01:32

Iraq Today

War News for Friday, January 09, 2009

"This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq." Muntazer al-Zaidi 12-14-08

The NY Times is reporting the deaths of three U.S. ISAF soldiers from a roadside bombing in Zabul Province, near the border of neighboring Kandahar Province on Friday, January 9th. Here's the ISAF release.

The Tri-city Herald is reporting the death of a civilian contractor, Paula Loyd, at the Brooke Army Medical Center on Wednesday, January 7th, from wounds she received from being doused with fuel and set on fire in Maywand, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008.

Jan. 6 airpower summary:

U.S. says Iraqis may still be held without charge: (Here we go...it's only been ten days and we're rewriting the agreement.)

Wounded, but still battling:

Cheney slams irresponsible Iraq pullout: (Eleven days and counting)

Dec 27 07:07

Little Blue Pills Among the Ways CIA Wins Friends in Afghanistan

The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

"Take one of these. You'll love it," the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

Dec 09 11:13

The Silent Winter of Escalation

Sunday morning, before dawn, I read in the New York Times that "the Pentagon is planning to add more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan" within the next 18 months – "raising American force levels to about 58,000" in that country. Then I scraped ice off a windshield and drove to the C-SPAN studios, where a picture window showed a serene daybreak over the Capitol dome.

While I was on C-SPAN's Washington Journal for a live interview, the program aired some rarely seen footage with the voices of two courageous politicians who challenged the warfare state.

Nov 29 00:52

Press, "Psy Ops" to merge at NATO Afghan HQ

Press and "Psy Ops" to merge at NATO Afghan HQ: sources

By Jon Hemming Jon Hemming – 40 mins ago

KABUL (Reuters) – The U.S. general commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan has ordered a merger of the office that releases news with "Psy Ops," which deals with propaganda, a move that goes against the alliance's policy, three officials said.

The move has worried Washington's European NATO allies -- Germany has already threatened to pull out of media operations in Afghanistan -- and the officials said it could undermine the credibility of information released to the public.

Nov 23 05:09

Why Bush Can’t Allow Habeas Corpus – And Why we Need to Leave Afghanistan

The whole rationale for our war in Afghanistan probably would be exposed to the world as the farce that it is if the Bush administration allowed its “War on Terror” prisoners to use the writ of habeas corpus to challenge their detentions. That appears to be a major reason, if not the major reason, why the Bush administration has for several years fought tooth and nail to deny its prisoners the habeas corpus rights that are guaranteed under our Constitution.

Nov 21 13:23

U.S. troops to surge in Afghanistan

U.S. troops to surge in Afghanistan
Canada holds on to 2011 deadline for Kandahar withdrawal
Richard Foot , Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, November 21, 2008

CORNWALLIS, N.S. - The United States will deploy five new army brigades - about 20,000 troops - to Afghanistan starting in January, in the hope making the country secure enough for presidential elections in the fall, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates said here Friday.

Nov 16 10:36

Afghan civilians suffering in airstrikes

A Human Rights Watch reports says that rapid respond air strikes have caused high civilian casualties and is fueling a public backlash in Afghanistan.

“Rapid response air strikes have meant higher civilian casualties, while every bomb dropped in populated areas amplifies the chance of a mistake,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch in the 43-page report.

“Mistakes by the US and NATO have dramatically decreased public support for the Afghan government and the presence of international forces providing security to Afghans,” report added.

Nov 12 09:56

Afghanistan: The Economic Argument against Escalation

President-elect Obama promises to “refocus our resources on Afghanistan,” a nation he refers to as “the central front in the war on terror.” But his alternative to the Bush Administration’s tunnel vision on Iraq - a “surge” into Afghanistan - will incur even more costs than the Iraq occupation.

Here’s the problem, via Thom Shanker at The New York Times:

“It is significantly more expensive to sustain each soldier in Afghanistan than in Iraq because of Afghanistan’s landlocked location and primitive road network.”

Nov 10 08:21

U.S. review likely to say Afghanistan situation 'dire'

A classified review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan is likely to judge that the United States is losing ground there, according to a government official involved with preparing the review.

The review is likely to say the U.S. doesn't have forces for an Iraq-style "surge."

Nov 10 08:19

UK forces sent in to Helmand Province 'half-cocked' on 'con' mission, says officer

British forces were sent into Afghanistan's troubled Helmand Province on a "half-cocked" campaign to "con" world opinion about the country's military strength, a former senior officer who resigned from the army has claimed.

Nov 10 08:18

Canada firm on quitting Afghanistan by 2011

The Americans may have shown renewed interest in Afghanistan but Canada stays firm on its decision to end its mission in the war-torn country by 2011, says Canada’s new foreign minister Lawrence Cannon. The minister told a television channel Sunday that the tough stand by US president-elect Barack Obama on Afghanistan will have no impact on the Canadian decision to pull out of Afghanistan by 2011.

During the US presidential campaign, Obama promised to send two more US brigades to Afghanistan to go after the Al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden.

Nov 03 11:08

What to expect from the Obama administration on the foreign policy front

Obama has long stressed he would immediately begin escalating the Afghan campaign, and perhaps open up a new front in Pakistan. Certainly the Bush administration has laid the groundwork for this eastward shift of U.S. military resources – and so the stage is set.

Oct 31 23:11

SAS chief quits over 'negligence' that killed troops in Afghanistan

The commander of SAS special forces in Afghanistan has resigned amid fresh controversy over the equipment available to British troops fighting the Taliban, it was reported last night.

It is believed that Major Sebastian Morley decided to quit over the deaths of four of his soldiers who were killed when their lightly armoured Snatch Land Rover hit a landmine in Helmand province earlier this year.

Oct 30 09:51

Deafness is the new scourge of British troops in Afghanistan

Hundreds of soldiers are returning from Afghanistan suffering from severe and permanent damage to their hearing because of the overwhelming noise of intense combat.

Nearly one in ten soldiers serving with one regiment have hearing defects that could bar them from further frontline service and affect their civilian job prospects, The Times has learnt.

The number of hearing injuries is one of the untold stories of Britain’s military campaigns, evoking comparisons with the thunder of battle in the two world wars and the Korean War.

Oct 09 07:55

Petraeus sees value in talking to Taliban

U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus said on Wednesday that negotiations with some members of the Taliban could provide a way to reduce violence in sections of Afghanistan gripped by an intensifying insurgency.

Oct 09 07:53

U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan

A draft report by American intelligence agencies concludes that Afghanistan is in a “downward spiral” and casts serious doubt on the ability of the Afghan government to stem the rise in the Taliban’s influence there, according to American officials familiar with the document.

The classified report finds that the breakdown in central authority in Afghanistan has been accelerated by rampant corruption within the government of President Hamid Karzai and by an increase in violence by militants who have launched increasingly sophisticated attacks from havens in Pakistan.

Oct 06 18:15

Report: Taliban Ready to End War, Break with Qaeda

Is the Taliban breaking with Al Qaeda -- and negotiating to end its insurgency? "Former Afghanistan presidential advisor Muhammad Sadeq Tashqari says that several senior Taliban officials have participated in drawing up a Saudi-U.K initiative to end the war in Afghanistan," according to London's Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. "He said that Taliban representatives had set several conditions for ending the war, including ministerial appointments for Taliban members and a withdrawal of foreign forces from the country."

Oct 05 07:38

UK commander issues Afghan warning

A decisive military victory in Afghanistan is impossible and the Taliban may have to be part of a long-term solution for the country, a senior British commander in Afghanistan has said.

"We're not going to win this war," Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith was quoted as saying in a British newspaper, published on Sunday.

He also reportedly said a deal with the Taliban might be on the table.

Sep 25 08:53

Afghanistan Now 15X Deadlier than Iraq

This data is for the last 30 days:

U.S. hostile fire deaths in Iraq: 7
U.S. hostile fire deaths in Afghanistan: 22

Number of U.S. troops in Iraq: 146,000
Number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan: 33,000

Hostile fire death rate in Iraq--7 deaths per 146,000 troops (.005 percent)
Hostile fire death rate in Afghanistan--7 deaths per 10,000 troops (.07 percent)

Sep 21 07:49

MoD accused of covering up injuries to troops

Soldiers, MPs and lawyers representing injured servicemen and women claim the real cost to those fighting on the front line in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, is being hidden from the public for political reasons.

The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that every week dozens of soldiers are being injured, some severely, yet details of the nature and severity of the wounds are never made public.

Sep 17 05:02

Afghan civilian casualties soar

There has been a sharp increase in the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan this year, according to new figures released by the United Nations.

They show that August had the highest number of deaths since the overthrow of the Taleban almost seven years ago.

The UN says that from January to August 1,445 civilians were killed - a rise of 39% on the same period last year.

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