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R_P

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Location: Yes
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Posted: Jun 2, 2014 - 5:04am


R_P

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
R_P

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Posted: May 1, 2014 - 7:02pm

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
Red_Dragon

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Posted: Feb 26, 2014 - 7:23am

 RichardPrins wrote:
Obama orders Pentagon to prepare for full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Barack Obama formally ordered the Pentagon on Tuesday to make plans for a full pullout of American troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, pointing to a way out of the conflict that is reminiscent of his end to the Iraq campaign.

While the Obama administration reiterated that it would prefer to maintain a residual military presence in Afghanistan, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, has refused to sign an accord that would pave the way for some US forces to remain. That has forced the administration to begin a contingency plan for a full departure after Nato formally ends hostilities in November.

A similar rebuke from the Iraqi government prompted all almost all US troops to leave there in 2011. (...)



 
hallelujah
R_P

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Posted: Feb 26, 2014 - 7:19am

Obama orders Pentagon to prepare for full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Barack Obama formally ordered the Pentagon on Tuesday to make plans for a full pullout of American troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, pointing to a way out of the conflict that is reminiscent of his end to the Iraq campaign.

While the Obama administration reiterated that it would prefer to maintain a residual military presence in Afghanistan, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, has refused to sign an accord that would pave the way for some US forces to remain. That has forced the administration to begin a contingency plan for a full departure after Nato formally ends hostilities in November.

A similar rebuke from the Iraqi government prompted all almost all US troops to leave there in 2011. (...)


R_P

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Posted: Nov 25, 2013 - 1:30pm

Afghanistan considers reintroduction of public stoning for adulterers
Proposal to bring back one of the most repugnant symbols of Taliban regime is in draft revision of country's penal code
 
 
Hamid Karzai refuses to sign US-Afghan security pact
President's call for delay stuns US and assembly he convened to approve deal critical to paying Afghan army and police salaries

Karzai's coffers may need a bit of extra filling...
ScottFromWyoming

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Location: Powell
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 21, 2013 - 9:29am

 oldviolin wrote:
Last chance. Learn the hard lesson. Get out now...without further delay.

alas, the will is nil...

 

Red_Dragon

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Posted: Nov 21, 2013 - 7:17am

 oldviolin wrote:
Last chance. Learn the hard lesson. Get out now...without further delay.

alas, the will is nil...

 
indeed.
oldviolin

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Location: esse quam videri
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 21, 2013 - 7:13am

Last chance. Learn the hard lesson. Get out now...without further delay.

alas, the will is nil...
R_P

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Posted: Oct 13, 2013 - 4:06pm

Kerry in Afghanistan to salvage US occupation treaty
US Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan Friday in a bid to salvage negotiations on a long-term US occupation of the country.

Talks between the Obama administration and the puppet regime of President Hamid Karzai have been stalemated over differences on a number of key questions related to the continued presence of US troops on Afghan soil.

The war in Afghanistan entered its 13th year at the beginning of this week, with little notice taken by the ruling US political establishment or the media. The carnage continues, with civilian casualties for the first half of this year reaching 1,319 deaths and 2,533 wounded, a 23 percent increase over the same period in 2012, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

US and other occupation forces also continue to be killed and wounded, despite the already significant drawdown from the peak in 2011 of 101,000 US troops, together with another 40,000 from NATO and other US-allied countries. A total of 2,286 US troops have been killed, along with approximately another 1,100 from other countries participating in the occupation.

With Afghan puppet forces taking over from US and NATO troops in many areas, their fatalities have soared, reaching 100 a week, according to Marine General Joseph Dunford, the senior US commander in Afghanistan.

A pair of incidents last weekend underscored the bloody grind that continues unabated. In the eastern Afghan province of Nangahar, five Afghan civilians, three of them children, were killed by a US-NATO air strike as they were hunting birds with air rifles. Meanwhile, in southern Kandahar province, four members of an Army Ranger unit, including a nurse, were killed and another 13 wounded by improvised explosive devices set off as they raided a house seeking to capture a Taliban commander. (...)


Red_Dragon

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Posted: Dec 12, 2012 - 3:49pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
“Nearly three years after U.S.-led forces launched the biggest operation of the war to clear insurgents, foster economic growth and set a model for the rest of Afghanistan, angry residents of Helmand province say they are too afraid to go out after dark because of marauding bands of thieves. And during the day, they say corrupt police and government officials bully them into paying bribes. After 11 years of war, many here long for a return of the Taliban. They say that under the Taliban, who routinely punished thieves by cutting off a hand, they were at least safe from crime and corruption.”


 
A friend of my son's is back from there. It's his opinion that we're creating enemies, not friends. I couldn't agree more. GTFO
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