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Index » Regional/Local » Africa/Middle East » Afghanistan Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, ... 22, 23, 24  Next
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haresfur Avatar

Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male

Posted: Nov 15, 2018 - 1:33pm

 R_P wrote: 
R_P wrote:  
Funny that.

Red_Dragon Avatar

Posted: Nov 15, 2018 - 1:16pm

 R_P wrote: 


R_P Avatar

Posted: Nov 15, 2018 - 12:45pm

The U.S. Never Dropped As Many Bombs On Afghanistan As It Did In 2018


R_P Avatar

Posted: Nov 14, 2018 - 3:36pm

After 17 years, many Afghans blame US for unending war

R_P Avatar

Posted: Sep 12, 2018 - 11:15am

The U.S. Goes to War Against the ICC to Cover Up Alleged War Crimes in Afghanistan
The United States has never been a friend of the International Criminal Court. While relations between the U.S. and the ICC have fluctuated over the course of different administrations, the American government has steadfastly refused to take the step that 124 other states have of ratifying the Rome Statute and thus becoming a member of the international legal body. The ICC’s mandate to investigate war crimes has thus been hampered by the unwillingness of the world’s sole superpower to commit to the organization.

Recent statements from the Trump administration suggest that the United States is now preparing to go to war against the ICC itself, motivated largely by an effort to silence investigations into alleged American war crimes committed in Afghanistan, as well as alleged crimes committed by Israel during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip. In a speech at a D.C. event held by the Federalist Society on Monday, Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton denounced the ICC as “illegitimate” and expressed his intentions toward the institution in no uncertain terms. “We will not cooperate with the ICC,” Bolton said. “We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.”

In addition to this death wish against the court, Bolton said that the United States would retaliate against any ICC investigations into U.S. activities by sanctioning the travel and finances of ICC officials, even threatening to prosecute them in American courts.

Because it involves U.S. officials themselves, at the center of the campaign against the ICC is a 2016 report by ICC prosecutors that deals in part with the war in Afghanistan. That report alleges the commission of widespread crimes by the Taliban and Afghan government forces. But the report also makes allegations of serious crimes committed by U.S. military forces and the CIA, including “torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape.”


R_P Avatar

Posted: May 24, 2018 - 10:28am

Afghanistan stabilization effort failing after 17 years of U.S. work, watchdog report says
The U.S. government’s 17-year effort to stabilize parts of war-torn Afghanistan has mostly failed, according to a report released Thursday by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

The damning report finds that much of the $4.7 billion spent on programs to stabilize areas cleared of insurgents has been largely wasted — some of it siphoned off by corrupt officials, some of it paying for projects that did more harm than good. All told, the U.S. government has appropriated about $126 billion to rebuild the country, most of it to train and equip security forces.

“The large sums of stabilization dollars the United States devoted to Afghanistan in search of quick gains often exacerbated conflicts, enabled corruption, and bolstered support for insurgents,” the report states.

After toppling the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, U.S., allied and Afghan forces there have sought to establish a stable country that could prevent insurgents from harboring al-Qaeda terrorists. The report released Thursday follows another issued this week by the Pentagon’s inspector general that found little progress in providing security for the Afghan people. (...)


R_P Avatar

Posted: Mar 22, 2018 - 10:18am

Mobbed Up
How America boosts the Afghan opium trade

Lance Bunch has had an impressive year. In July 2017, he gained a coveted star, having been promoted to brigadier general while serving as the principal military assistant to James Mattis, the secretary of defense. His job put him at the epicenter of all US national security issues — and among the most pressing for Mattis at that moment was Afghanistan.

The prepresidential Donald Trump had repeatedly questioned the need for US forces to stay in the country. The military leadership felt otherwise, and once Trump was elected, they argued that he should send more troops and hang on for the long haul. This meant beating back efforts by Steve Bannon to hold Trump to his earlier isolationist instincts. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, reportedly even showed the president a Seventies-era photo of miniskirted women in Kabul as indication that the Afghans were not beyond redemption. Ultimately, the generals carried all before them. Late in August, Trump announced, implausibly, that he had “studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle” and concluded that the top brass should have the open-ended commitment they demanded. (...)


Red_Dragon Avatar

Posted: Aug 4, 2016 - 10:11am

...apparently still has a tourism industry

R_P Avatar

Posted: Jun 11, 2016 - 1:24pm

Deeper and Deeper into War: Obama Authorizes More Military Force in Afghanistan

Despite a vow to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by 2017, President Barack Obama this week veered the opposite direction, widening the U.S. military's role in the entrenched, 15-years-long conflict.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday evening that the Obama administration's new measures "authorize U.S. troops, stationed in Afghanistan on a dual training and counterterrorism mission, to begin accompanying conventional local forces on the battlefield in a way that now occurs only with elite Afghan forces."

On Friday, AP noted that the new authorization will also "expand the military's authority to conduct airstrikes against the Taliban."

This week's expansion of the war in Afghanistan follows Obama's decision in September to send Special Forces back into combat in the war-torn nation to fight the re-emergence of the Taliban—less than a year after the president declared the war in Afghanistan over. (The United States also continues to unleash civilian-killing drone strikes on the beleaguered Afghan population.)

An anonymous senior Defense official attempted to defend the decision from critics in an interview with the Post, saying that Obama's authorizations will "maximize the use and effectiveness of our troops supporting the Afghan forces in those select instances in which their engagement can enable strategic effects on the battlefield."

"How widely commanders apply the 'strategic effect' measure will determine the extent to which the authorities thrust the United States back into operations like those it conducted before Obama ended formal combat operations at the close of 2014," the newspaper noted.

Moreover, "it's not clear what effect a small force in Afghanistan, even with new operational authorities, can have in the country’s vast and complex battlefield," the Post wrote. "So far, 2016 has provided no sustained break, with heavy fighting in Helmand and a series of terrorist attacks in Kabul. Even after the United States conducted a strike that officials believe killed former Taliban leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansour in Pakistan, officials expect a punishing fighting season this summer."

Peace-minded progressives decried President Obama's decision and the never-ending war on Twitter: (...)


R_P Avatar

Posted: Feb 18, 2016 - 6:57pm

US airstrikes in Afghanistan killing civilians at greatest rate for seven years, new figures show
The Mystery of Khost
Did a US drone kill 14 innocent Afghans as they prepared a funeral?

R_P Avatar

Posted: Apr 6, 2015 - 11:33pm

The Real Afghan War
How an American Fantasy Conflict Created Disaster in Afghanistan
By Anand Gopal

This essay is taken from chapter five of Anand Gopal’s No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes and appears at TomDispatch.com with the kind permission of Metropolitan Books. (...)


R_P Avatar

Posted: Jan 29, 2015 - 1:23pm

The United States has spent about $65 billion to build Afghanistan’s army and police forces, and until this month the American-led coalition regularly shared details on how the money was being put to use and on the Afghan forces’ progress.

But as of this month, ask a question as seemingly straightforward as the number of Afghan soldiers and police officers in uniform, and the military coalition offers a singularly unrevealing answer: The information is now considered classified.

The American outlay for weapons and gear for Afghan forces? Classified. The cost of teaching Afghan soldiers to read and write? Even that is now a secret.

The military command’s explanation for making the change is that such information could endanger American and Afghan lives, even though the data had been released every quarter over the past six years, and Afghan officials do not consider the information secret.

But as the Obama administration is seeking to declare the long war in Afghanistan officially over, at least from an American standpoint, the move to classify data about the Afghan forces removes one of the most crucial measures for assessing the accomplishments of the international coalition there. And it raises stark questions about the state of the fight against the Taliban, coming after a year in which the Afghan forces took record-high casualties as they battled heavy militant offensives.

The reality is that the United States is still deeply invested in Afghanistan and that it plans to spend billions of dollars to keep the Afghans armed, fed and fighting. At the same time, roughly 9,500 American service members and thousands of contractors remain in the country to help the Afghan forces with the crucial art of military logistics and to build an air force. (...)

“With few exceptions, the public’s business ought to be public,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, whose staff was briefed on the inspector general’s report this week. “Suddenly classifying information that was public for years raises questions.”

Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, was more pointed: “I’m offended that this previously unclassified information is now being classified.

“Public access to this information is one of the most powerful tools we’ve got to ensure we’re holding our government accountable, and these reports remain as vital as ever to oversight of taxpayer-financed Afghan infrastructure,” she said.

For years, the inspector general’s quarterly reports were among the few easily accessible sources for information about the state of Afghan forces, in addition to other major areas of American spending in Afghanistan.

In the latest report, that information has been reduced to a few top-line spending figures, such as how much has been spent on the transportation for the army ($11.5 billion) or the total spent on police training and operations ($3.5 billion).

Where the inspector general once offered breakdowns of what that money had bought, its report now includes boilerplate saying that details “can be found in Appendix E of this report” — that is, the classified section of the report, which even many of the people who work in Congress cannot view, and is completely off limits to the general public.


R_P Avatar

Posted: Dec 29, 2014 - 8:41pm

Combat operations in Afghanistan may be coming to an end, but a look at secret NATO documents reveals that the US and the UK were far less scrupulous in choosing targets for killing than previously believed. Drug dealers were also on the lists.

The Worst Narco-State in History? After 13-Year War, Afghanistan’s Opium Trade Floods the Globe | Democracy Now!


sirdroseph Avatar

Location: Yes
Gender: Male

Posted: Jun 2, 2014 - 5:04am


R_P Avatar

Posted: May 3, 2014 - 12:44pm

Rescuers have abandoned the search for survivors on Saturday after a landslide buried an Afghan village, with officials also revising down the death toll.

Afghan officials said they thought that a maximum of about 500 people had died in the landslide that engulfed the village of Hobo Bank in Hindu Kush under tonnes of rubble.

Earlier the officials said they feared that up to 2,100 people from 300 families were feared dead.

"The first figure that we announced was obtained from local people, not from our technical team," Gul Mohammad Bedar, the deputy provincial governor of  Badakhshan, told AFP. "We think the dead toll will not rise beyond 500."

UN authorities in Afghanistan could not verify the Afghan officials' death toll, saying 350 were confirmed dead and many more were missing. The UN said its focus was now on more than 4,000 people displaced by the disaster.

Mark Bowden, a UN co-ordinator, told Al Jazeera that chances of finding survivors were slim due to the catastrophic nature of the landslide.

There is a risk of further landslides in the area, officials say.

Al Jazeera's Abdullah Shahood, reporting from Kabul, said at least 250 homes were buried under 60 metres of rubble and rescue teams were unable to reach them. He said: "The landslide brought the entire village under rubble." (...)


R_P Avatar

Posted: May 1, 2014 - 8:27pm

 Red_Dragon wrote:
war on.... whatever

we must have an enemy to focus on. this prevents us from paying attention to the real problem: corporate oligarchy.
A majority of the American people aren't that charmed of this "enemy business". But then again, who cares (or better: who doesn't care) about the majority?

haresfur Avatar

Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male

Posted: May 1, 2014 - 8:26pm

 RichardPrins wrote:

I wasn't aware it was all part of The War on Drugs™... {#Wink}

If it was part of the war on drugs they would have left the Taliban in power.  The resurgence came with the insurgence.

Red_Dragon Avatar

Posted: May 1, 2014 - 8:15pm

 RichardPrins wrote:

I wasn't aware it was all part of The War on Drugs™... {#Wink}

war on.... whatever

we must have an enemy to focus on. this prevents us from paying attention to the real problem: corporate oligarchy.

R_P Avatar

Posted: May 1, 2014 - 8:11pm

 haresfur wrote:
My feeling was that, as soon as the the Taliban were sent running, the US should have sent advisers into selected villages to have a cup of tea with the leaders.  They could have explained that any fields of poppies identified would be sprayed with roundup.  If the poppies came back the next year, then they would be sprayed with soil sterilant and nothing would grow there for over a year.  Then follow through.  Hey, it's more humane than what the Taliban did to control opium production.
I wasn't aware it was all part of The War on Drugs™... {#Wink}

haresfur Avatar

Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male

Posted: May 1, 2014 - 8:04pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
Afghan opium production explodes despite billions spent, says US report
Report by DC's Afghanistan war watchdog found opium cultivation unaffected by $7.5bn US spent to combat it

My feeling was that, as soon as the the Taliban were sent running, the US should have sent advisers into selected villages to have a cup of tea with the leaders.  They could have explained that any fields of poppies identified would be sprayed with roundup.  If the poppies came back the next year, then they would be sprayed with soil sterilant and nothing would grow there for over a year.  Then follow through.  Hey, it's more humane than what the Taliban did to control opium production.
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