Author Topic: * Afghanistan - Our Longest War  (Read 48173 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BlackVeil

  • Group Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
* Afghanistan - Our Longest War
« on: February 05, 2009, 02:10:11 AM »
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-fg-pakistan5-2009feb05,0,544041.story


Taliban burns 10 trucks on Afghanistan-Pakistan supply route

The attack follows the destruction of a crucial bridge, creating transport concerns for U.S. and NATO forces.

By Zulfiqar Ali and Laura King

February 5, 2009

Reporting from Istanbul, Turkey, and Peshawar, Pakistan -- A day after blowing up a crucial land bridge, Taliban militants torched 10 supply trucks returning from Afghanistan to Pakistan on Wednesday, underscoring the insurgents' dominance of the main route used to transport supplies to Afghan-based U.S. and NATO troops.

Months of disruptions on the route from the Pakistani port of Karachi through the historic Khyber Pass have forced NATO and American military authorities to look for other transit options. About three-quarters of the supplies for Western forces in Afghanistan -- mainly food and fuel -- are ferried through Pakistan by contractors, usually poorly paid, semiliterate truckers. Many now refuse to drive the route because of the danger.

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, said last month during a visit to the region that routes outside Pakistan had been found, but he provided no details and gave no timetable for their use. The supply question has taken on added urgency with the planned deployment of up to 30,000 more U.S. troops in the Afghan theater in the next 18 months.

The complications of moving supplies through Central Asia were also highlighted Tuesday when the government of Kyrgyzstan said it would close a U.S. air base important to the Afghan war effort. U.S. officials said talks were underway to keep the base open.

Kyrgyzstan's announcement could bode ill for American efforts to negotiate passage through countries bordering Afghanistan, such as Uzbekistan, particularly if it was clear that the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization were over a barrel.

In response to dozens of Taliban attacks, the Pakistani military launched an offensive late last year in the Khyber tribal agency, which borders Afghanistan, and subsequently declared the Khyber Pass secure. But, as has happened before when the Pakistani army carried out short-term operations in the tribal areas, militant attacks resumed almost immediately after the troops left.

Initially, the Taliban hijacked vulnerable, slow-moving lines of heavy trucks. After Pakistani authorities beefed up their military presence on the roads, the insurgents took to attacking the truck stops in Peshawar, where hundreds of vehicles are backed up at any given time, waiting to cross the Khyber Pass. More than 100 trucks were burned in an attack last year.

Tuesday's bombing of a 100-foot-long bridge over a dry riverbed about 15 miles west of Peshawar stranded hundreds of truckers.

Pakistani and U.S. officials said the bridge was expected to be repaired soon and that some trucks had been able to cross via a makeshift road.

NATO and U.S. officials in Afghanistan have said the disruption to the supply lines is militarily insignificant so far. Weaponry is transported to Afghanistan by air, although dozens of Humvees have been lost in militant attacks on the supply routes in Pakistan. NATO says it keeps a 60-to-90-day supply of fuel and other goods, but shortages of everyday items, varying from raisins to razor blades, are being felt on bases throughout Afghanistan.
...
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 11:27:22 PM by Rudi Weyrich »

Offline ThreeOfSeven

  • First Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 277
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Taliban burns 10 trucks on Afghanistan-Pakistan supply route
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 09:37:39 AM »
It seems the Taliban star is rising.  They're going to prove an obstacle to Obama's plans to beef up American forces in Afghanistan. 
"Make plans for 100 years, but you must be ready to die at any moment." - Roberto Cannessa

Offline BlackVeil

  • Group Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 852
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Taliban burns 10 trucks on Afghanistan-Pakistan supply route
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2009, 12:13:02 PM »
Very fatal to send in more troops if you can't supply them.

Shall you and I do Obama a favour and mail him a copy of one of the good recent histories of Stalingrad?

Offline FrankDialogue

  • Lieutenant General
  • ***
  • Posts: 5707
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Taliban burns 10 trucks on Afghanistan-Pakistan supply route
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2009, 07:39:11 PM »
Very fatal to send in more troops if you can't supply them.

Shall you and I do Obama a favour and mail him a copy of one of the good recent histories of Stalingrad?

The whole Afghan campaign makes absolutely no sense, unless of course the real purpose is to destabilize Pakistan and keep the opium flowing...But it still makes no sense because Pakistan is unstable in it's own right, and the dope would still flow without Western troops...Is the Taliban that strong and upright to completely cut off dope supplies?  ???

Offline laconas

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 13653
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Taliban burns 10 trucks on Afghanistan-Pakistan supply route
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2009, 07:49:37 PM »
Quote
Tuesday's bombing of a 100-foot-long bridge over a dry riverbed about 15 miles west of Peshawar stranded hundreds of truckers.

Pakistani and U.S. officials said the bridge was expected to be repaired soon and that some trucks had been able to cross via a makeshift road.

If I were a Paki, I would blow-up every bridge US trucks pass over. The US will pay to rebuild them thereby creating new jobs and in the process stimulate the Paki economy.

Any ideas on how we can stimulate the US economy? ;D
Nobody censors what they agree with

Offline GovernmentMule

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 1297
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Taliban burns 10 trucks on Afghanistan-Pakistan supply route
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2009, 03:55:50 PM »
The whole Afghan campaign makes absolutely no sense

It only ever made sense if the piplines from the Caspian Basin are taken into account. But this is called into dispute now from many corners.

Maybe the pipedream is over? Personally I reserve judgement. The US and just about every other major power wants control of the S.Asian oil supply. The US dont want China getting their little mitts on the tap!
The only thing that really changes is their names.

Offline laconas

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 13653
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Taliban burns 10 trucks on Afghanistan-Pakistan supply route
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2009, 04:07:40 PM »
Quote
It only ever made sense if the piplines from the Caspian Basin are taken into account. But this is called into dispute now from many corners.

Right on!

Quote
Maybe the pipedream is over? Personally I reserve judgement. The US and just about every other major power wants control of the S.Asian oil supply. The US dont want China getting their little mitts on the tap!

Their pipedream isn't over because the alternative would be to take a seat in the back bus of world control. The great war of 21st century hasn't even started yet.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 04:32:27 PM by laconas »
Nobody censors what they agree with

Offline GovernmentMule

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 1297
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Taliban burns 10 trucks on Afghanistan-Pakistan supply route
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2009, 04:23:13 PM »
Right on!

Their pipedream isn't over because the alternative would be take a seat in the back bus of world control. The great war of 21st century hasn't even started yet.

Their pipedream isn't over because the alternative would be take a seat in the back bus of world control. The great war of 21st century hasn't even started yet.

I tend to agree.

Contrary to popular opinion the millitary are not actually as stupid as they appear to be. Afghan is a historically proven nightmare. Iron fist never worked, ask Britain and Russia. So, unless the US unleashes full force and bombs them almost out of existance (theyre allready in the stone-age) there does not seem to be any likelihood of forward progress. They are treading carefully for now, maybe buying time and pretending it's a humanitarian mission.

I reckon right now theyre in a serious quagmire, and need a new wind, not much has gone right. But, the problem is not geographically one dimensional, there are other fronts and borders to consider. Iran? India and Pakistan? They all seems to be getting lined up for some 9-11 type encouragement. Maybe a nuke in a US city as Cheney hints at? But what about the Stans now? All aint looking so rosy as it was 4 years ago.
The only thing that really changes is their names.

Offline jacob gold

  • Troll
  • General of the Army
  • *
  • Posts: 9200
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Israeli Operatives Kill Seven US Soldiers In Afghanistan
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2010, 12:38:25 PM »
10 NATO troopers killed on deadly Afghan day    



KABUL, Afghanistan `“ Ten NATO service members, seven of them American, were killed in separate attacks Monday on the deadliest day of the year for foreign forces in Afghanistan. A U.S. civilian contractor who trains Afghan police also died in a suicide attack.

The bloodshed comes as insurgents step up bombings and other attacks ahead of a major NATO operation in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar that Washington hopes will turn the tide of the war.

Half the NATO deaths `” five Americans `” occurred in a single blast in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. spokesman Col. Wayne Shanks said without giving further details. It was a grim reminder that the insurgents can strike throughout the country `” not simply in the south, which has become the main focus of the U.S. campaign.

Two other U.S. service members were killed in separate attacks in the south `” one in a bombing and the other by small arms fire.
NATO said three other service members were killed in attacks in the east and south but gave no further details.

The American police trainer and a Nepalese security guard were killed when a team of three suicide bombers attacked the main gates of the police training center in the southern city of Kandahar, U.S. officials said.

Afghan officials said one bomber blew a hole in the outer wall, enabling the two others to rush inside, where they were killed in a gunbattle. Afghan officials said three police were wounded.

It was the deadliest day for NATO since Oct. 26, when 11 American troops were killed, including seven who died in a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan. The crash was not believed a result of hostile fire.

U.S. commanders have warned of more casualties as the alliance gears up for a major operation to secure Kandahar, the former headquarters of the Taliban and the biggest city in the south with a half million people.

Last December, President Barack Obama ordered 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan to try to stem the rise of the Taliban, who have bounced back since they were ousted from power in the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. Obama has shifted the focus of the U.S. campaign against Islamist terror to Afghanistan from Iraq, where the U.S. is expected to draw down to 50,000 troops by the fall.

As fighting escalates, the Afghan government is reaching out to the insurgents in hopes of ending the nearly nine-year war.

Last week, President Hamid Karzai won endorsement from a national conference, or peace jirga, for his plan to offer economic and other incentives to the militants to lay down their arms, and to seek talks with the Taliban leadership. The leadership has so far publicly shunned the offer, and the U.S. is skeptical whether peace can succeed until the Taliban are weakened on the battlefield.

The Taliban have branded Karzai a U.S. puppet and say there will be no talks while foreign troops are in Afghanistan.

Karzai's decision Sunday to replace two of the country's top security officials fueled speculation about divisions within the Afghan leadership over reaching out to the Taliban. The government said the two officials were replaced because of an armed attack on the peace jirga, which caused no casualties among the delegates but proved embarrassing to the Karzai administration.

Both officials had a long background of opposition to the Taliban.

Intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh was a senior figure in the Northern Alliance, which helped the U.S. oust the Taliban regime in 2001. Interior Minister Hanif Atmar served in Afghanistan's Communist-era intelligence agency and fought mujahedeen opposed to the Soviet occupation.

In the wake of the shake-up, members of the former alliance, made up mostly of northern ethnic minorities, speculated that the changes were political and would weaken the security services at a key moment in the war.

"I would say it's a hasty and irrational decision by a president of Afghanistan who has deprived his own government of professional capacity to combat the insurgency," said Abdullah Abdullah, a key Northern Alliance leader and former foreign minister.

"The only party that will benefit is the Taliban," Abdullah, who lost to Karzai in last year's fraud-marred presidential election, told The Associated Press.

Karzai's spokesman, Waheed Omar, insisted the security lapse was the only reason for the resignations.

"This could have been national chaos, a national crisis," Omar told reporters of the jirga attack. "Somebody had to take responsibility for this."

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaking to reporters on his way to London, said the security posts were for the Afghans to decide.

"I would just hope President Karzai will appoint in the place of those who have left people of equal caliber," Gates said.

U.S. officials had singled Saleh and Atmar by name as examples of competent leadership in a government riven by corruption and patronage. Both Saleh and Atmar accompanied Karzai on a trip to Washington last month to patch up strained ties with Obama's administration `” a point that reinforced the surprise of Sunday's announcement.

___

Associated Press Writers Amir Shah, Rahim Faiez, Heidi Vogt and Matthew Pennington in Kabul, Mirwais Khan in Kandahar, Robert Burns in Washington and Anne Gearan, traveling with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, contributed to this report.

Offline FrontierJustice

  • Major General
  • **
  • Posts: 4092
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Israeli Operatives Kill Seven US Soldiers In Afghanistan
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2010, 02:16:03 PM »

Firm Run by Israeli Intelligence Operatives Wants US Security Contracts in Jerusalem, Iraq, Afghanistan

[...]

the State Department says it will hire as many as six `qualified US firms` for `anticipated and unanticipated personal protective, static guard, and emergency response` functions. The contracts are slated to last one year with the potential for four, year-long options.

To qualify for the contracts, security companies must have a total annual value of at least $15 million in security contracts and must possess a valid `Final Secret Facility Security Clearance.` After the contracts are awarded, the State Department says that it will then sponsor the contractor for `Top Secret Facility Clearance.` In addition, bidding companies must have at least two years of experience operating in `austere and hostile environments overseas` such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq and experience in `operating long term personal protective security details for executive level dignitaries.` The solicitation indicates that the work will include `a static guard and emergency response team requirement in Baghdad, Iraq, a static guard and emergency response team requirement in Kabul, Afghanistan, and a personal protective security service requirement in Jerusalem.`

Among the companies listed as `interested vendors` to bid on the contracts are the predictable list of industry giants: L-3 Services, SAIC, USIS, Northrop Grumman, and DynCorp. Two lesser-known firms in particular that have expressed interest in the contracts jump out: Instinctive Shooting International and Evergreen International Aviation.

Hiring Instinctive Shooting International for any type of armed contract in a Muslim country, particularly to operate in Jerusalem with a stamp of US government legitimacy, should be cause for serious concern and Congressional inquiry. Instinctive Shooting International (ISI) was founded by Hanan Yadin, a former member of the Israel National Counter-Terrorism Agency and a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces. According to his bio [PDF], Hanan `received advanced training at the Israeli Anti-Terror Academy and served as an instructor at the Israeli Military Intelligence Academy. As part of a Special Ops unit he executed high-risk missions against terrorist`s cells. Hanan is an expert marksman and has completed advanced training in crisis response, Krav Maga (the Israeli unarmed fighting system), urban warfare and tactical operations.`

I encountered ISI operatives, all former Israeli soldiers, manning an armed check-point in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At the time, in 2005, its website described ISI`s personnel as `veterans of the Israeli special task forces from the following Israeli government bodies: Israel Defense Force (IDF), Israel National Police Counter Terrorism units, Instructors of Israel National Police Counter Terrorism units, General Security Service (GSS or `˜Shin Beit`), Other restricted intelligence agencies.`

Today the website has changed dramatically. Its main graphic is of US soldiers wearing ISI website American flag patches, wielding automatic weapons in what appears to be Iraq. `After 9/11, ISI was able to bring to bear all of its resources, expertise and experience to work with U.S. military and government agencies in gaining a deeper understanding of radical Islam and provide proven tactical techniques to improve counter-terror operations,` according to the website. This would hardly be ISI`s first US government contract. It has received many training and security contracts since its founding in 1993. According to the company, it is currently under a five-year contract with the US Army that began in November 2009.

http://rebelreports.com/post/538740461/firm-run-by-ex-israeli-special-forces-soldier-wants-us


'DOS hereby extends the solicitation response date to Monday, June 21, at 5:00 PM EST'
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=23ebfe7b75e652829f01749582467aac&tab=core&_cview=1
Quote
The Worldwide Protective Services (WPS) program provides comprehensive 'protective security services' to support U.S. Department of State operations around the world.

Offline Mel Gibstein

  • Brigadier
  • *
  • Posts: 3473
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Israeli Operatives Kill Seven US Soldiers In Afghanistan
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2010, 02:24:40 PM »
As Ive said from the beginning its going to take brute force to stop these demons and its going to be that way from now until the end of time.

Offline jacob gold

  • Troll
  • General of the Army
  • *
  • Posts: 9200
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Israeli Operatives Kill Seven US Soldiers In Afghanistan
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2010, 03:44:00 PM »
In 2008 a helicopter with 7 high ranking US army officers went down in Iraq. One has to wonder if having Israelis running around army bases is a good thing

Could it be possible that the Israelis did this to provoke anger at the Muslims??

Offline FrontierJustice

  • Major General
  • **
  • Posts: 4092
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Israeli Operatives Kill Seven US Soldiers In Afghanistan
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2010, 06:19:35 PM »
Could it be possible that the Israelis did this to provoke anger at the Muslims??

Jews/Israelis kill American soldiers to provoke Americans' anger towards Arabs -- and they kill Arabs to provoke Arabs' anger towards Americans.

Offline wag

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 10423
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Israeli Operatives Kill Seven US Soldiers In Afghanistan
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2010, 06:56:16 PM »
In 20__ a ____________ with __ high ranking officers went down in _______.

Could it be possible that the Israelis did this to provoke anger at the Muslims??


Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

Offline WaltDisney

  • Troll
  • General of the Army
  • *
  • Posts: 8819
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Afganistan-Small Arms Fire accounts for rise in Allied deaths
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2010, 09:24:32 AM »
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/sharp-rise-in-army-deaths-from-small-arms-fire-prompts-inquiry-into-taliban-snipers-2006092.html



Sharp rise in Army deaths from small arms fire prompts inquiry into Taliban snipers

By Terri Judd

Monday, 21 June 2010

    * Share

      The Independent Close
          o DiggDigg
          o del.icio.usdel.icio.us
          o FacebookFacebook
          o RedditReddit
          o GoogleGoogle
          o Stumble UponStumble Upon
          o FarkFark
          o NewsvineNewsvine
          o zYahooBuzz
          o BeboBebo
          o TwitterTwitter
          o Independent MindsIndependent Minds
    * Print
    * Email
    * Text Size
          o Normal
          o Large
          o Extra Large

More soldiers in Afghanistan have been killed by small arms fire in the past four months than in any previous year

GETTY IMAGES

More soldiers in Afghanistan have been killed by small arms fire in the past four months than in any previous year

    * Photos enlarge

sponsored links:
Ads by Google

The 9mm is No Defense
Self Defense Masters, Army Do NotWant You To See This Defense Video
www.CloseCombatTraining.com

Buy Gold Coins
Lowest Prices For Gold Coins!Free Gold Coins Investment Guide
GoldCoinsGain.com/Buy-Gold-Coins

Is Your Bank In Trouble?
Free list Of Banks Doomed To Fail.The Banks and Brokers X List. Free!
www.MoneyAndMarkets.com

Commanders in Afghanistan are examining whether a sharp rise in troops being killed by gunfire is a sign that a better trained or equipped Taliban is targeting soldiers with snipers.

More soldiers have been killed by small arms fire in the past four months than in the whole of any previous year. While deaths by bullet accounted for just 13 per cent of those killed in combat in 2009, that figure has risen to almost 40 per cent in recent months.

Most worrying is the indication that a proportion of these were accurate single shots from sharpshooters, or even trained snipers, rather than the traditionally haphazard "spray and pray" method used by the locally recruited Taliban.
Related articles

    * David Cameron: Britain should reflect on role in Afghanistan
    * Time for examination after 300th serviceman's death
    * Four troops die in Afghan copter crash
    * Leading article: Flags are not the answer
    * Search the news archive for more stories

While roadside bombs continue to be the greatest killer in Afghanistan, the latest deaths could prove a disturbing indication of a change in insurgent tactics. Since the early days of the fighting in Helmand, the Taliban has retreated from fierce battles, opting for IEDs (improvised explosive devices).

Over one nine-month period, not a single UK serviceman was killed by gunfire and the focus has been on tackling the lethal devices that carpet the southern Afghan province.

Yet the deaths of Corporal Taniela Tolevu Rogoiruwai and Kingsman Ponipate Tagitaginimoce, of the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, in Nad Ali, on Tuesday brought the total killed by small arms fire to 14 since February, out of 38 who have died in combat.

Most worryingly, five Britons were killed in a 10 day period in Sangin, raising fears of a sharpshooter who appeared to be targeting trained British snipers. On 6 March Rifleman Liam Maughan, a platoon sharpshooter with the 3rd Battalion The Rifles, was in an overwatch position in Sangin when he was killed.

British commanders are examining the increase in small arms deaths, but say it is too early to know whether this represents a significant change in enemy tactics.

American General James Conway, however, recently told the US House Armed Services Committee: "Right now, the biggest threat in Marjah is not necessarily the IEDs for our killed in action. It is the sniper that takes a long-range shot and can penetrate our protective equipment, particularly the helmet."

He said the Marine Corps was pressing the defence industry to come up with a helmet that can withstand a 7.62mm round from the AK-47 assault rifles favoured by insurgents.

Military experts suggest this latest rise in killings could be an indication of a change in both British and enemy tactics. The Taliban, aware of the focus on tackling bombs, is taking a more aggressive stance. Equally, UK forces, keen to interact with the local population, are conducting more foot patrols with the Afghan National Army and Police in outer lying areas.

Recently, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, commanding officer of 3 Rifles, wrote in The Independent that the war was being won by altering the focus from larger enclaves to smaller patrol bases among the population, from which frequent, smaller patrols could be sent.

Traditionally, troops moving into new areas will face more gunfire, but that turns to an increased level of roadside bombs once a footprint has been established and the Taliban is predominantly forced out of the area.

"The presence of troops patrolling on the ground, as opposed to vehicles, arguably makes them less vulnerable to IEDs but more vulnerable to small arms fire," explained Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan.

He continued: "It could be that they are getting more effective at countering gun fire with sniper fire. It is a cycle of tactics. They resorted to IEDs but as we counter that threat they respond to it. They are still in a situation where they are reluctant to take us on in firefights but they could be improving their sniping capability."

A senior British military spokesman, Major General Gordon Messenger, added: "It is right that there has been a slightly greater proportion of gunshot fatalities but it would be wrong to leap to conclusions that this represents a significantly changed threat at this stage. Commanders on the ground are constantly looking at the threat they face and adapting their techniques and procedures to counter that threat."

Professor Chris Bellamy, a defence expert from Cranfield University, said the deaths raised the question of whether the Taliban had succeeded in getting better weapons with telescopic or even night sights.

"The Afghans have a long history of exploiting long range, accurate small arms fire against the British in the 1890s and against the Russians in the 1980s. The late Professor John Erickson believed that the mujahideen were using Lee-Enfield rifles and that was the reason for scoring an inordinate number of kills against the Russians," said Professor Bellamy.

US Marines in Marjah and Nad Ali recently revealed that since Operation Moshtarak began, snipers or sharpshooters had hit several of their soldiers, as well as Afghans. One was killed after being hit in the neck by a bullet fired from a range of 500 to 700 yards. Meanwhile, a dead insurgent was found with an ancient but powerful Lee-Enfield rifle.

"The Taliban have got some quite experienced snipers, not many, but we know some have been trained in Iran. They have got people who are very skilled. They are not just sitting in a tree waiting for a patrol to pass. They are setting incidents, knowing the reaction will be that more troops turn up," explained Professor Michael Clarke, director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute.

After the "all out war" of 2006, the Taliban learned that IEDs could be more effective but are now altering their tactics again as coalition forces counter that weapon, he said.

"They are retaliating for Operation Moshtarak. They want to prove they have not been beaten. They are transferring into an effective force. There is enough talent within Taliban ranks to keep the ragtag guerrilla force active and dangerous and they are determined to try and hit back."
"I hardly exaggerate. Jewish life consists of two elements: Extracting money and protesting."
-Nahum Goldmann, Ex-President of the World Jewish Congress

Offline laconas

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 13653
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Afghanistan - Our Longest War
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2011, 11:57:32 PM »

It's almost over.


Americans achieved nothing in Afghanistan - Afghan MP 


Published: 10 March, 2011, 02:09


The US has announced the beginning of negotiations with the Taliban, a movement it fought for nine years. A former Mujahideen and now a deputy, Shohzoda Shahed spoke with RT about to what degree the Americans understand the reality in Afghanistan.

­US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explained that the US key condition is that the Taliban parts with Al Qaeda. Whether the USA has any chance to save its face – this is what Shohzoda Shahed, a former Mujahideen, a judge, a member of the armed opposition and now a deputy, will discuss.

The former Mujahideen and the follower of the implacable rebel commander Hekmatyar explains the key mistake the USA made in Afghanistan and why the Taliban are still strong in the country despite the occupation having entered its 10th year.

Islamic lawyer Shohzoda Shahed is a member of the National Reconciliation Council in Afghanistan. He is an unassociated deputy of Parliament, elected for the second time from the Afghan province of Kunar. He is considered the right-hand man of Hekmatyar, today's most influential rebel commander who denies the authority of Karzai. Hekmatyar literally has a 60-strong faction of his own in parliament.

Shahed studied at the university in Peshawar, Pakistan. He returned to Afghanistan in the early 1990s to work as a judge.

­RT: How do you assess today’s situation in Afghanistan?

Shohzoda Shahed: In the name of All-Mighty Allah, the Most Merciful and Beneficent, a war has been on in Afghanistan for 30 years. The situation is extremely complex. A lot of problems have been accumulated. We hoped that the world community would stabilize the situation, but nothing has come of it. They didn’t help us with anything.

RT: What do you think about the foreign presence in Afghanistan?

SS: I don’t want to deny the world community’s role. They are trying to do, at least, something. But their efforts are insufficient. Besides, they don’t understand how complicated the situation in Afghanistan really is. They’ve got involved in the situation and they should somehow settle it.

RT: My question is about the occupational military contingent.

SS: The war is not solving anything. They will be unable to solve anything by force. We know that talks are the only way to come to a solution. The presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan is certainly very hard for the Afghans.

RT: How would you describe the Taliban movement of today?

SS: I see two parts of the movement which calls itself the Taliban. There are those who have close links with al-Qaeda. They have a different stance. They are part of the international terrorist network. The other part are the internal Taliban fighters, who exist in the territory of Afghanistan and fight for independence. Al-Qaeda has big plans and huge resources, while our internal Taliban fighters are preoccupied exclusively with their own country.

RT: Both of them are fighting. How can we draw a difference between the two?

SS: The international forces should be able to draw a difference, but they are not doing it. I don’t know why. Our Taliban are fighting only for their country. Why cannot the international forces see this difference? So long as it’s so, they are unlikely to make any progress.

RT: Those who call themselves Taliban fighters attack the police and foreign troops. The police and the foreigners should respond, shouldn’t they?

SS: The Taliban will never come to terms with the current state of things. They will put up resistance to anybody: to foreigners or the internal troops. They are convinced that they will win, sooner or later, and that the victory will be on their side. They won’t accept defeat or occupation.

RT: What are the Taliban trying to achieve?

SS: The Taliban will never recognize the incumbent Afghan government. They fought against the Mujahideens, they were proud of their victories. They used to have their own government, the prime minister, the cabinet and a system of government. The US invasion eliminated all their structures. They were captured, bombed and destroyed. But they have recouped their strength; they have returned to life and want to establish their own government.

RT: Are negotiations between the incumbent government and the Taliban possible, in principle?

SS: Since I am a member of the High Council of the Reconciliation Commission, I think that we can find ways to reconciliation and how to achieve it. I believe that the coalition forces are making a great mistake by saying they are going to leave Afghanistan in 2014. We should be ready for that to happen and we should be ready to agree with the Taliban. But it’s important to understand that the Taliban have been fighting for nine years and are ready to fight to victory. There are many problems. Our neighbors are meddling in our affairs and destabilizing the situation. The Taliban have a feeling of superiority. They are sure that the international corps is going to leave and they will win without fail, irrespective of whether they’ll have to fight for two or six years.

RT: Have you met anybody from the Taliban Shura?

SS: They meet with me.

RT: Is the Taliban today a united movement or not?

SS: I don’t think that they are united. They have various groupings. But if the Amir, a person who will unite everybody, appears and if he enlists support, he will unite all the groups. So long as there’s no such person, the Taliban will remain scattered.

RT: But the Taliban say that Mullah Omar is such a person.

SS: Yes, he’s the first man. Those who’ve risen from the Taliban ranks, like Foreign Minister Vakil Mutavakil and others, are not taking part in military hostilities, they’ve withdrawn from the Jihad but still they consider Mullah Omar to be their leader.

RT: What are the positions of Hekmatyar and his party?

SS: Hekmatyar continues to insist that the coalition forces should leave Afghanistan immediately. After that, talks may become possible. He’s ready to meet and enter into talks after the coalition’s departure. He, personally, sticks to his opinion. The Hizb Islamia party is certainly not as strong as it once used to be, because many of its members have pulled out of active hostilities or have taken the side of the Afghan state.

RT: Hekmatyar and the Taliban used to have great differences. They even had clashes. Has Hekmatyar forbidden the Taliban?

SS: These great differences remain. Hizb Islamia has stated it clearly that all the Mujahideens, all parties and Islamist movements should rally together and jointly build a coalition government. The Taliban say that the only thing they recognize is the Imarat Islami Taliban. They are refusing to recognize anything else.

RT: Did you participate in the Jihad against the USSR?

SS: We certainly trained our Mujahideen units at that time. I was their ideologist. I stayed away from military hostilities, but I financed them. I also conducted organizational work.

RT: There are many former Communists in the Afghan parliament. You used to fight against them? Do you cooperate with them now?

SS: They were elected to parliament at elections. The tribes lawfully elected them to the nation’s parliament. We should observe the law. We don’t have any differences.

RT: So, you are sticking to the position of Ihavn-I Muslimin (Muslim Brotherhood) who favor broad political negotiations. Are you ready to enter into negotiations with the Wahabbites?

SS: There are no levers for that. The Wahabbites don’t have any political movements in Afghanistan. There are great divergences with the Taliban, but there are issues on which an agreement can be reached. Afghanistan has one problem: there are religious and tribal movements. They may not recognize each other; they may exist simultaneously and conflict with each other. Taking account of the religious and tribal component of society is vitally important for Afghanistan.

RT: What’s the Taliban attitude to the members of the Sufi order (tarica) which has great influence on society?

SS: The Taliban don’t have any problems with the Sufi order any longer. Their relations are absolutely normal.

RT: What’s the most important thing one should understand about the Afghan character?

SS: An Afghan values freedom and independence. He is a true Muslim. An Afghan doesn’t tolerate occupation. The Afghans never attack other countries.

RT: How do you see Russia’s participation in Afghanistan’s affairs?

SS: My opinion differs from the opinion of many politicians in Afghanistan. I think that Russia, if it wants to, can play a vital role in Afghanistan. The Americans have failed. They wanted to preserve their power over our country but when they came to know the character of the Afghan people, they understood that they were unlikely to succeed. The Americans and their allies are losing confidence. Naturally, they are going to reduce their presence here.  And then, when this vacuum finally appears, we would like our neighbors, including Russia, to fill it with their constructive participation in the country’s restoration. We recognize Russia as our neighbor in the first place.

­Nadezhda Kevorkova, RT
© Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti”, 2005 - 2011. All rights reserved.

http://rt.com/news/us-afghanistan-taliban-talks/
Nobody censors what they agree with

Offline Sue

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 19731
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Thumbs Up
    • View Profile
- Afghanistan - Our Longest War
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2011, 05:29:02 PM »
Dominant Social Theme: Mistakes happen. (Over and over.)



Tuesday, March 22, 2011 – by Staff Report ~ Source

Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered by the publication of "trophy" photographs of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of defenceless Afghan civilians they killed. Senior officials at Nato's International Security Assistance Force in Kabul have compared the pictures published by the German news weekly Der Spiegel to the images of US soldiers abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq which sparked waves of anti-US protests around the world. – UK Guardian

Free-Market Analysis: How long shall this agony continue? Bestial acts are being committed (see article excerpt above) but the US is not disengaging from Afghanistan anytime soon. The Pentagon brain-trust now projects 2014 as the year in which US forces (some of them) will depart Afghan in earnest, turning the job of nation-building over to a 400,000-strong military and civilian police force.

Additionally, there is always the possibility that the Afghan government will want the US to have a further presence. Thus it is very possible that US forces will construct bases to share with Afghan troops, guaranteeing some level of additional availability in Afghanistan. The US has withdrawn from Iraq, but still maintains a rump force of some 50,000 at various bases throughout that country.

The longer these wars continue, the worse it gets. Young men, taught to kill with industrial efficiency (itself an unnatural act) may eventually exhibit psychopathologies that come with the ongoing pressures of "winning hearts and minds." In truth, there is very little possibility of winning over the Pashtuns and their Taliban fighting forces at this late date. These are people who regularly blow themselves up as they attempt to fight back against what they consider to be an occupying force.

Perhaps the decade-long war would be more tolerable to participants and the American public alike if someone could verbalize exactly what the troops are fighting for. Initially, it was acknowledged that the Taliban were not a terrorist threat, even though – according to the official American story – the Taliban sheltered Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. But having driven the Taliban from power some nine years ago, the US did not withdraw.

The longer the war continues, unfortunately, the more opportunity there is for young soldiers to behave badly and even brutally. In Iraq there was the Abu Ghraib scandal, where US troops humiliated and even tortured incarcerated opponents of the US occupation. And now there is the Afghan "Kill Team" scandal in which rogue US troops apparently murdered civilians and then posed next to their carcasses, as if the dead were big game trophies.

To its credit, the US Army has acted. Twelve men are currently being tried for their roles in killing three civilians as part of these activities. But the problem is apparently bigger than this as Germany's Der Spiegal magazine has reportedly obtained more than FOUR THOUSAND Kill Team photos, many apparently showing Americans posing with dead Afghans. Der Spiegal, so far, plans on publishing no more than three photos; the popular news site Drudge.com has posted them as well, in today's "lede." Top US brass has been in full damage-control mode for over 100 days, according to media reports.

Five of the soldiers are on trial for pre-meditated murder, after they staged killings to make it look like they were defending themselves from Taliban attacks, the UK Guardian informs us. "Other charges include the mutilation of corpses, the possession of images of human casualties and drug abuse. All of the soldiers have denied the charges. They face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted. The case has already created shock around the world, particularly with the revelations that the men cut ‘trophies' from the bodies of the people they killed."

Such stories, along with photographs, have caused massive allied paranoia. In Kabul, foreign offices are on "lockdown," including the United Nations, which has restricted staff to its compound. There are worries about demonstrations and fears that the Taliban may exploit heightened tensions by launching attacks.

NATO and Pentagon officials are also worried about what the mercurial Afghan president Hamid Karzai might say about the emerging news regarding US Kill Teams. Karzai is supposed to make a speech about which parts of Afghanistan should be placed under home rule in upcoming months, and the fear is that he will bring up the latest incidents. Karzai wants US bombing sorties and nighttime raids to stop.

Tension in both Afghanistan and Pakistan is already heightened because of the shooting by a CIA contractor of two Pakistanis that were supposedly trying to rob him. The contractor has now been flown back to the US but there have been ongoing demonstrations over the affair that were further heightened last week by a drone attack that killed some 40 Pashtun elders.

The US and NATO approach such incidents serially, apologizing as necessary and explaining or denying when possible. But the larger picture is continually more questionable, and even discouraging. As we've pointed out many times (along with many other alternative news publications) both Iraq and Afghanistan have been poisoned with radioactive dust from depleted uranium weapons that have given rise to numerous babies with birth defects and also a considerable increase in cancer. Meanwhile, escalating US attacks are under General David Petraeus are causing numerous civilian casualties; most recently nine boys collecting firewood were blasted into pieces by US bomb-pilots who mistook them for Taliban fighters.

It is highly doubtful at this point that the US and NATO can win the hearts and minds of 40 million Pashtuns located in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The solution has been to build up non-Pashtun military and civilian forces that are supposed to number in excess of 400,000 before the final allied drawdown. Since there is considerable ethnic tension between the populations from which these forces are drawn and the Pashtuns themselves, what the US is actually creating in Afghanistan is a recipe for civil war.

Meanwhile, the poisoning of Afghanistan via depleted uranium weapons will continue, along with the drone attacks, mounting civilian deaths and on occasion the brutal eruptions evidenced by these Kill Team incidents.

We have long suggested that the real reason for the war is to subdue the tribal Pashtuns that have proven a problem for Anglo-American elites for over a century now. The British tried to subdue the Pashtuns 100 years ago and were forced to withdraw. The Russians tried to do the same thing 25 years ago and it cost them their empire. Now the Americans and NATO are taking their turns in this poor, bloody, riven land.

Afghanistan is a "graveyard of empires" for a reason. The Pashtuns have occupied the same land for perhaps 2,000 years; the Pakistan Punjabis may be an equally ancient tribe. The Pashtuns especially tend to defend their lands aggressively, maybe because they've been invaded so many times. The Anglosphere elites are just one more challenge, though certainly a persistent one. London's City in our view wants to crush these tribal presences once and for all to ensure that the upcoming, planned one-world order will not be upended by an independent Near Asia. It is impossible to have world government when a fairly large territory remains unpacified.

But given what is occurring and the length of time for which this war has already been prosecuted the likelihood that the Pashtuns shall give in seems less and less feasible. The longer the occupation continues, the more opportunity there is for atrocities to occur. These are not anomalous incidents but predictable ones. It would seem a fairly futile battle at this point. With the US facing a budgetary meltdown and a new war in Libya, one wonders how long it is realistically possible to pursue Afghan hostilities. Tensions with Pakistan are rising, not falling, and this means that Pakistan safe havens will continue to be available to Taliban fighters.

Conclusion: What is needed is a new approach. One hoped that when Barack Obama took office, hostilities would wind down; instead they have ratcheted up, but seemingly without any additional success, no matter what the Pentagon claims. Instead of resolutely continuing, NATO and American forces should call a halt and let the killing cease.
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline Sue

  • Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 19731
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Thumbs Up
    • View Profile
- Afghanistan - Our Longest War
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2011, 09:48:41 PM »
Quote
Conclusion: What is needed is a new approach. One hoped that when Barack Obama took office, hostilities would wind down; instead they have ratcheted up, but seemingly without any additional success, no matter what the Pentagon claims. Instead of resolutely continuing, NATO and American forces should call a halt and let the killing cease.

He promised CHANGE, and delivered misery instead.

America and the Allies should be absolutely ashamed of what their country has done over the past 150 years. I might start to think differently when the military and contracted military scour the entire areas of countries they have occupied and pick up every last radioactive dust particle of depleted uranium.
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline FrankDialogue

  • Lieutenant General
  • ***
  • Posts: 5707
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
- Afghanistan - Our Longest War
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2011, 10:02:49 AM »
He promised CHANGE, and delivered misery instead.

America and the Allies should be absolutely ashamed of what their country has done over the past 150 years. I might start to think differently when the military and contracted military scour the entire areas of countries they have occupied and pick up every last radioactive dust particle of depleted uranium.

And see: these are only the ones that got CAUGHT...

After Vietnam, you had thousands of vets come back with all kinds of mental problems because of all the murders and destruction they saw...These guys or kids doing THIS, they have come up in the video game age, where you kill on a computer screen using a joy stick, plus, many are from poor and dysfunctional families...I don't think they have the same conscience...I get nervous when I think about these vets coming back, and acting out, so to speak.

Offline thomaspain

  • Group Major
  • *
  • Posts: 1357
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
- Afghanistan - Our Longest War
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2011, 12:57:43 PM »
Quote
And now there is the Afghan "Kill Team" scandal in which rogue US troops apparently murdered civilians and then posed next to their carcasses, as if the dead were big game trophies.

   We know that they were innocent civilians since all the forces opposing us there are uniformed.

Quote
Top US brass has been in full damage-control mode for over 100 days, according to media reports.

   Heads will roll. Of course they will be those of low-ranking enlisted men. Those officers and gentlemen who were being paid to oversee them will be absent as they were when they were supposed to be earning their keep.

The morale is very low on these Israeli missions. It would be higher if the Israeli Defense Forces were there to lead and set example. We need cowboys to herd the cattle.
Support our troops
bring the
Israeli Foreign Legion
home!