AFGHANISTAN

Aug 17 09:53

US to take over Afghan mission

The United States is planning to take control of all military operations in Afghanistan next year with an Iraq-style troop surge after becoming frustrated at Nato’s failure to defeat the Taliban.

Plans are being drawn up to send as many as 15,000 extra troops to Afghanistan with a single US general always in command, as in Iraq, defence sources said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wow, a whole extra 15,000 troops!

(Ahem).

The outgoing US Commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, Commander McNeill, has stated very bluntly that it will take 400,000 troops to secure Afghanistan.

We currently have 47,000 US soldiers, together with another 18,000 provided by various other NATO countries.

Adding this new contingent of 15,000 troops, we have a total of 80,000 troops.

That means we're looking at a shortfall of 320,000 troops.

So what are the options?

We could go home, and declare victory.

We can continue to bomb the crud out of Afghanistan from the air, creating more civilian victims and radicalizing those Afghanis even further against the Karzai government.

Or, we could demand the Karzai government engage the Taliban politically, and develop a dialogue which would lead to a lasting stabilization of the country.

Of course, that would be logical.

And this administration has never had an on-going relationship with logic.

Aug 15 10:05

Adviser to Karzai says Taliban tactics are succeeding

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Karzai's adviser seems to have demonstrated a magnificent grasp of the obvious.

Outgoing ISAF commander McNeil made the statement this June that we would need 400,000 troops to secure Afghanistan.

Currently, we have about 47,000 troops here.

You do the math.

The US and NATO have a couple of choices, but only one logical one.

We can continue bombing the heck out of the country from the air, guaranteeing to kill more civilians and radicalize those left standing against the Karzai government.

OR...we could encourage real dialogue between the government and the Taliban so that there was a real inclusion of the Taliban into the political process.

Of course, that would be logical.

And this administration and logic have never had an on-going relationship.

Aug 14 09:02

Green Beret says leader shot, mutilated Afghan civilian

The leader of an Army special forces team grinned as he held the severed ear of an Afghan man he suspected of being an insurgent after he shot him and left his body in the desert, a Green Beret testified Tuesday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Don't it make ya proudernshit to be an American?

Aug 12 08:34

Stronger U.S. role likely in Afghanistan

The Pentagon will send a one-star general to Afghanistan this fall as part of a politically parlous but determined effort by the US to assume greater control in the country's troubled southern sector.

It's a small change to the complex command structure blamed for an ineffective counterinsurgency strategy that allowed the Taliban to stage a comeback.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These changes amount to, essentially, re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

We have around 47,000 troops on the ground, between the US and NATO.

In an a web article (http://www.atlargely.com/2008/06/400000-troops-n.html)published in June of this year, the following was reported:

"ISAF Commander McNeill has said himself that according to the current counterterrorism doctrine, it would take 400,000 troops to pacify Afghanistan in the long term. But the reality is that he has only 47,000 soldiers under his command, together with another 18,000 troops fighting at their sides as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, and possibly another 75,000 reasonably well-trained soldiers in the Afghan army by the end of the year. All told, there is still a shortfall of 260,000 men."

You do the math.

The fact that the intensity of the use of air attacks has increased greatly is an indication that US and NATO have very little control on the ground outside of Kabul, and our options are limited.

We can continue to bomb the heck out of the country, declare victory, and come home.

We can stop bombing the heck out of the country, declare victory, and go home.

Or we can involve the Taliban in the political process, declare victory, and go home.

Of course, that would be logical, and ....well, this administration's relationship with logic is conspicuous by its absence.

The continued air assaults by the US and NATO guarantee two things.

First, we're going to kill a lot more non-combatants; women, children, the elderly, and the medically infirm.

Second, those left standing, who think members of the Karzai government are so crooked they have to screw their socks on in the morning, will be even more radicalized against it.

Aug 08 09:49

US-led soldiers kill 5 Afghan civilians

Webmaster's Commentary: 

MORE winning the hearts and minds of the Afghanis!

Aug 08 06:29

U.S. plans surveillance buildup in Iraq, Afghanistan

Aug 06 09:56

Pentagon Spokesman Disputes Mullen’s View Of Afghanistan: Nothing ‘Urgent Or Precarious’ About It»

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(Ahem).

Mr. Morrell, the outgoing NATO US commander has stated, in very blunt English, that to do the job in Afghanistan, we'd need 400,000 troops on the ground.

How many does the US and NATO have on the ground in Afghanistan? Approximately 47,000.

You do the math, sir.

The fact that bombing raids have been escalating translates into the reality that the US and NATO forces are not in control at all on the ground here.

And bombing raids can do two things very nicely. They can kill a bunch of non-combatants (women, children, the medically fragile, and the elderly), and work to radicalize those Afghanis left standing even further away from the Karzai government.

If that outcome is what you define as "success" in Afghanistan, we've done one hell of a job!

Aug 06 09:38

A record July for planes over Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If there have been a record number of bombing raids on Afghanistan, this means that the US and NATO have absolutely no control of what is going on on the ground.

Airdrops can do two things very well; further radicalize those left standing against the American-backed Karzai government, and kill a bunch of women, children, elderly and infirm.

Our options for success here are very narrow. The outgoing US Nato Command leader stated unequivocally that we need at least 400,000 troops to do this job. How many do we have there right now? Around 47,000 troops, just a little over 10% of what it would take to do the job.

So, we can continue doing what we have been doing (i.e., bomb the hell out of the country because we don't have enough ground troops), declare "victory", and go home.

Or, we can work to include the Taliban in the political discussions, rather than continue a military confrontation against them.

Of course, that would be logical. And this administration and logic have absolutely no relationship at this point whatsoever.

Aug 05 10:00

As the Fighting Swells in Afghanistan, So Does a Refugee Camp in Its Capital

Webmaster's Commentary: 

On a piece of barren land on the western edge of this capital, a refugee camp is steadily swelling as families displaced by the heavy bombardment in southern Afghanistan arrive in batches.

The growing numbers reaching Kabul are a sign of the deepening of the conflict between NATO and American forces and the Taliban in the south and of the feeling among the population that there will be no end soon.

Jul 25 10:01

New York Times boosts Pentagon push for wider bombing in Afghanistan

In its content and tone, the article resembles nothing so much as the official disinformation published by the Times in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq, particularly the notorious articles by Judith Miller, the former Times journalist and conduit for top Bush administration officials like Lewis Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney and convicted perjurer.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The fact that almost the sole tactic the military has left in Afghanistan is airstrikes points up the obvious: we have never, ever had enough boots on the ground to do the job here. The outgoing commander of US NATO forces said quite bluntly that we would need 400,000 troops to handle this.

And how many do we have on the ground right now? About 47,000, just a little more than 10 % of what is actually needed.

So now what? Bomb every man, woman, and child in Afghanistan, and declare victory?

Because with the current level of corruption in the Afghani government, and our troop strength (which is unlikely to get larger), coupled with the US and NATO refusing to engage the Taliban politically, this is about the only option we have left.

Jul 25 09:48

Karzai 'protecting drug lords'

A former senior US anti-drug official has accused Afghanistan's president of playing the US "like a fiddle" and protecting drug lords in his country for political reasons.

Thomas Schweich, who until June serve as US state department co-ordinator for counter-narcotics and justice reform for Afghanistan, said Hamid Karzai was impeding the so-called war on drugs.

Drug production has skyrocketed since the US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So this is why our kids are fighting and dying in Afghanistan?

Jul 22 10:43

Thousands march over Afghan land dispute

Thousands of ethnic Hazaras marched Tuesday in the Afghan capital and the central town of Bamiyan in a protest over a land dispute with nomads in which several people are said to have been killed.

The Kabul police official tasked with maintaining public order, Ghulam Rasoul, said 3,000 to 4,000 people took to the streets, but an AFP reporter said the crowd was likely three times larger.Hazara leader and parliamentarian Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq is reported to be on hunger strike over the dispute which he has warned could re-ignite civil war.

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