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post #41 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Its about the US getting pissy with a bunch of folk who:

(a) wiped out Afghanistan's opium crop .... up until the Taliban, Afghanistan was the world's largest producer. This hurt the bottom lines of some household names and financial institution who/which are not popularly linked with big-time drug dealing.

(b) refused to cooperate with major players in the oil industry (Unocal et al) which had been planning to build oil pipelines from the Caspian, via Afghanistan, to Indian Ocean oil terminals.

(c) after the 9/11 attacks, offered to arrest and capture Osama bin Laden, which would have caused all manner of problems for the Bush Administration, and

(d) represented the most easily vilifiable group of a religious faith that the hardliner neocons in DC had collectively targeted in 1999 as regards their plan to "redraw the map of the middle east".

True, but it's not like life in Afghanistan was all sunshine and lollipops under the Taliban.
You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
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You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
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post #42 of 85
Afghan civilian death toll jumps 31 per cent due to insurgent attacks UN

Quote:
10 August 2010 A rise in insurgent attacks has led to a 31 per cent increase in the number of civilians killed in Afghanistan in the first six months of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009, the United Nations said in a new report released today.
The total number of civilian casualties in the first six months of this year, according to the human rights section of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), is 3,268 including 1,271 deaths and 1,997 injuries.

The human cost of this conflict is unfortunately rising, Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative and head of UNAMA, said during a news conference in Kabul to present the 2010 Mid-Year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. fghan children and women are increasingly bearing the brunt of this conflict. They are being killed and injured in their homes and communities in greater numbers than ever before

Of the total number of casualties, 2,477 were attributed to anti-government elements (AGEs), representing 76 per cent of all casualties, up 53 per cent from 2009, while 386 were attributed to pro-government forces (PGF) activities, representing 12 per cent of all casualties, down from 30 per cent in 2009.

The devastating human impact of these events underscores that, nine years into the conflict, measures to protect Afghan civilians effectively and to minimize the impact of the conflict on basic human rights are more urgent than ever, said Georgette Gagnon, Director of Human Rights for UNAMA.

All those concerned must do more to protect civilians and comply with their legal obligations not to attack civilians, she stated.

The report makes a number of recommendations, including that the Taliban should withdraw all orders and statements calling for the killing of civilians, as well as end the use of IEDs and suicide attacks.

In addition, it called on international military forces to make their investigation and reporting on civilian casualties including on accountability more transparent, as well as maintain and strengthen directives restricting aerial attacks and the use of night raids.

UNAMA identified two major developments that increased harm to civilians in the first six months of 2010 compared to 2009.

First, anti-government elements used a greater number of larger and more sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) throughout the country. Secondly, the number of civilians assassinated and executed by AGEs rose by more than 95 per cent and included public executions of children.

This intensified pattern of assassinations and executions reinforced the widespread perception of Afghan civilians that they are becoming more and more the primary target in this period of conflict, said Mr. de Mistura.

The report stated that aerial attacks by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) remained the most harmful tactic used by pro-government forces, causing 69 of the 223 civilian deaths attributed to PGF in the first six months of 2010 (31 per cent) and injuring 45 Afghan civilians.

However, it added, civilian deaths caused by PGF aerial attacks decreased 64 per cent from the same period in 2009, reflecting growing implementation of ISAFs July 2009 Tactical Directive regulating the use of air strikes and other measures to reduce civilian casualties.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.as...&Cr=Afghan&Cr1
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #43 of 85
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #44 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post

True, but it's not like life in Afghanistan was all sunshine and lollipops under the Taliban.

Yes. you're so right there. Life was (and still is) hellish there, especially for women. But a dearth of human and civil rights in any particular country, or under any regime has *never* been the the motivation behind *ANY* war that the US has started... and there have been many dozens of those in the last century.

*

But here's a question: How many times has the US pulled together a huge military task force to invade a country 10,000 miles away, JUST TO CAPTURE AND DETAIN ONE MAN? How many times has this ever happened in world history? ......

......... Probably never.... yet the prior administration used this utterly preposterous reason to justify this asinine reaction in front of the US people and congress, and everyone swallowed the toxic neocon koolaid without even asking a question... we were all "shocked and awed", as a result of 9/11, and nobody dared come to their senses, except Rep. Barbara Lee, whose brave act was shot down by the herd of weasels and appeasers in DC and the media. Our alleged representatives were coerced into the absurd notion that asking questions was an "unpatriotic" act. (!). (This is still the case, according to some of the most prominent talking-heads in the corporate media).

I'll state it again: The war in Afghanistan (ie the greater plan to "redraw the map of the middle east) was first planned in the late 1990s, and then was one of the first items to be discussed by the 2001 Bush Administration in the first week after GWB's inauguration, and the first US military units were actually stationed in that theater of operations by late August of 2001.

Taking these facts into consideration, one has to ask:

(1) Was the war in Afghanistan a REACTION to 9/11, or

(2) Was the war in Afghanistan ENABLED by 9/11?
Or a bit of both?

*

Considering the following facts about Osama bin Laden, the reason for the 9 year US/coalition presence in Afghanistan about which we were "informed" :

(1) He's *NOT* Wanted by the FBI for 9/11. *QUOTE* ".... we have no hard evidence linking OBL to the crimes of 9/11 - FBI spokesman Rex Tomb, 2006.

(2) OBL has *NOT* been indicted by US Dept. Of Justice for any crime related to the 9/11 attacks. (Why not indeed?)

(3) OBL's "confession" videotape found in Jalalabad is most likely fake, debunked by experts all over the world. The Pentagon's translation that the entire US public was subjected to, over and over on the media, was completely fabricated.

(4) OBL was visited by CIA agents and station chief Larry Mitchell, Dubai, June 2001, while he was on the FBI's "Most Wanted" List for various bombings in Africa. He was neither arrested nor detained. (Le Figaro, 2001)

(5) 9/10/2001: CBS News: OBL stayed at a hospital the night before 9/11/2001 in a joint Pakistan/US military/intelligence facility in Rawalpindi, which submits daily briefs to Washington DC. OBL was escorted in and out under tight security. Again, he was neither arrested nor detained. This was the last reliable public sighting of OBL.

(6) OBL "escaped" the US military after being "surrounded" in Afghanistan no less than 4 times in 2001/2002. (!) !) (!) [sarcasm]Some enemy!!! [/sarcasm]

(7) OBL's subsequent video broadcasts have all been proven as fakes, or recorded at times long prior to their broadcast.

(8) According to Central Intelligence: There are no connections between OBL's personal finances, and 9/11 funding.

(9) OBL's relatives were allowed to exit the US, on a private flight immediately after 9/11 (while private flights were grounded by the FAA)... without been questioned by the FBI.

(10) For 10 years, there has been a $25 million reward on the head of OBL, dead or alive... and nobody in Afghanistan or Pakistan has come forward. Nobody wants our money? Really now!

(11) After NINE YEARS, the combined might of the US and coalition military, the intelligence community and Interpol have failed to locate OBL, let alone capture him. However in 1999, ABC reporter John Milller is able to waltz into bin Laden's hideout and conduct a series of interviews *on camera*. Miller was treated well. This interview occurred *after* the US Embassy bombings in Africa, while OBL was on the FBI's most wanted list in connection with those attacks.

*******

Re. the Afghan War... the BS meter is wrapped around the end stop, and glued there.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #45 of 85
Thread Starter 

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #46 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Yes. you're so right there. Life was (and still is) hellish there, especially for women. But a dearth of human and civil rights in any particular country, or under any regime has *never* been the the motivation behind *ANY* war that the US has started... and there have been many dozens of those in the last century.[/B]

I wasn't disagreeing with your take on the cause for the Iraq War, just expressing my opinion that your previous comments on the Taliban made them sound like the second coming, and we were big bad bullies for attacking the innocents.

The cause for invading Afghanistan was at least somewhat reasonable, but the conduct of the war has been sloppy at best and left the people over there arguably worse off in some ways than they were before.
You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
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You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
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post #47 of 85
Quote:
The cause for invading Afghanistan was at least somewhat reasonable

We have never been given a credible reason for the invasion of Afghanistan. We were told the invasion was to "catch the man who organized the 9/11 attacks".

I stated a bunch of reasons why this is not only one big pile of steaming horsesh¡t ...(the FBI and the DoJ know something that either the media are ignoring, or not broadcasting, or both) but that also the war(s) were planned long in advance of 9/11.

What, in that case, was the "reasonable" cause for invading Afghanistan? Nobody has come up with anything, apart from corporate welfare, or weasel words.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #48 of 85
This is a senseless and never ending war which we will never win. Lives being lost everyday and money being depleted from our economy which the US really needs to survive on.A country riddled with corruption and a leader who cannot be trusted.I agree SEND THE BOYS HOME NOW.ga
post #49 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerald apple View Post

This is a senseless and never ending war which we will never win. Lives being lost everyday and money being depleted from our economy which the US really needs to survive on.A country riddled with corruption and a leader who cannot be trusted.I agree SEND THE BOYS HOME NOW.ga

The leader was put there by the US. That's why he can't be trusted.

'The Boys' main aim is to keep him - or the next one - in situ to maintain the status quo so they won't be 'coming home' any time soon.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #50 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

We have never been given a credible reason for the invasion of Afghanistan. We were told the invasion was to "catch the man who organized the 9/11 attacks".

I stated a bunch of reasons why this is not only one big pile of steaming horsesh¡t ...(the FBI and the DoJ know something that either the media are ignoring, or not broadcasting, or both) but that also the war(s) were planned long in advance of 9/11.

What, in that case, was the "reasonable" cause for invading Afghanistan? Nobody has come up with anything, apart from corporate welfare, or weasel words.

The public reason, revenge for the Taliban supporting Bin Laden and indirectly 9/11, sounded reasonable and was supported by the UN and NATO. Whether that was the actual reason for invading is obviously up for debate, depending on one's view of the causes/backers of 9/11.

There was no reasonable cause for invading Iraq at any time, and was Bush's unilateral wet dream, that's the difference.
You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
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You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
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post #51 of 85


Quote:
A tiny London theater company has taken on an enormous project to tell the story of Western involvement in Afghanistan over the last 150 years in an all-day marathon of 12 one-act plays.

The plays touch on many parts of the country's history the three wars with England, the Soviet occupation and the rise of the Taliban, among them. Some aspects are only briefly touched on, like the drug trade or the period from the 1930s through the '70s, when Afghanistan was a fairly stable and secular state.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=129934723

Video clips from series:
http://www.tricycle.co.uk/about-the-...reatgamevideos
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #52 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post

The public reason, revenge for the Taliban supporting Bin Laden and indirectly 9/11, sounded reasonable and was supported by the UN and NATO. Whether that was the actual reason for invading is obviously up for debate, depending on one's view of the causes/backers of 9/11.

For sure. It would be seem reasonable to the public (regardless of nature of the "causes/backers of 9/11") to take revenge on the Taliban, especially considering the FACT that bin Laden and the Taliban were being touted as theundoubted, definite perpetrators on the US corporate media in front of hundreds of millions of horrified viewers even before the Twin Towers fell. The problem is, as I have mentioned repetitively, that the war against Afghanistan was planned before the events of 9/11, by at least two years, by a group of DC insiders who just happened, by pure coincidence of course, to end up in positions of power within the Bush Administration.... whose first item on the agenda in january 2001, was to set out plans for wars against not just Iraq and Afghanistan, but a bunch of other mid east nations as well.

Quote:
There was no reasonable cause for invading Iraq at any time, and was Bush's unilateral wet dream, that's the difference.

I doubt that Bush had much of a say. He was way out of his depth re. the job he ended up in; he was the unwitting front person for a preset program laid out by the neocon power base that determined the political direction of the administration.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #53 of 85
Quote:
Woodward's book portrays Obama and the White House as barraged by warnings about the threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and confronted with the difficulty in preventing them. During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."

But most of the book centers on the strategy review, and the dissension, distrust and infighting that consumed Obama's national security team as it was locked in a fierce and emotional struggle over the direction, goals, timetable, troop levels and the chances of success for a war that is almost certain to be one of the defining events of this presidency.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #54 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Is this the Change you Obamatons voted for? How much longer will you defend the Obama Administration's failures?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #55 of 85
The bits & pieces and excerpts are leaking out bit by bit in this new book.

All in all it looks like Obama wanting to get out (and fast) from Afghanistan but somehow capitulating to the generals for a more troops.

I admire his desire to get out (we must), while wondering about his wisdom, fortitude and backbone as the commander-in-chief.

When the entire book is out perhaps we'll have a clearer picture. But one has to wonder if we have a commander-in-chief who can't (or won't) stand up to the military. Maybe this nation is in more dire straights that previously thought.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #56 of 85
The failure is that of the status quo. Obama is having a difficult time fighting the status quo. If he fails fighting the status quo, then yes, he is a failure. If the Republicans embrace the status quo (which they do) then they are failures too. There is nowhere to go but failure until the obstruction of the real change stops.

And I can tell you that the Libertarians aren't going to make that change happen either.
post #57 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

The failure is that of the status quo. Obama is having a difficult time fighting the status quo. If he fails fighting the status quo, then yes, he is a failure. If the Republicans embrace the status quo (which they do) then they are failures too. There is nowhere to go but failure until the obstruction of the real change stops.

It's interesting how you appear to be trying to deflect any blame from Obama on this. I understand that this is his standard operating procedure, but outside of his circle I expect more honesty. How is Obama as commander-in-chief, not standing up to the military a "status quo" problem? That sounds like so much hand-waving? How is it a Republican problem? That sounds like so much buck-passing.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #58 of 85
Quote:
Many of Obama's senior advisers have already obtained and read the book, "Obama's Wars," and are satisfied with the image it conveys of the president, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

"The President comes across in the [Afghanistan] review and throughout the decisionmaking process as a Commander in Chief who is analytical, strategic, and decisive, with a broad view of history, national security, and his role," the official said in an e-mail.

But details of confidential meetings and classified documents, along with damning quotes from the principals, paint a picture of the president's team that is at odds with that perception. In Woodward's telling, Obama oversees a staff of bickering advisers and an administration that was rife with infighting during the Afghanistan policy review. If there were any remaining doubts that the "no drama, Obama" mantra left the building long ago, the Woodward book puts them to rest.

Quote:
"Obama's Wars" is also reverberating across the country and globally, especially in Afghanistan, where one of the book's main assertions - that Afghan President Hamid Karzai suffers from manic depression - has already been denied.

"This is a baseless, inflammatory comment that has its roots in a defaming propaganda campaign against President Karzai's personal integrity, leadership and his stances on matters of Afghan national interests," Afghan government spokesman Waheed Omar said. "The president is safe and sound. I can confirm that he takes no medication."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #59 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

The leader was put there by the US. That's why he can't be trusted.

'The Boys' main aim is to keep him - or the next one - in situ to maintain the status quo so they won't be 'coming home' any time soon.

The leader is Karzai this confusing liar which cannot be trusted by anyone.He would dell his soul to the devil for money if he could.
post #60 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerald apple View Post

The leader is Karzai this confusing liar which cannot be trusted by anyone.He would dell his soul to the devil for money if he could.

Yet another case where spell check has failed.

The last elections are questionable, allegations of fraud. As Ollie would say "That's another fine mess you've gotten me into."
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #61 of 85
Thread Starter 
What the numbers say about progress in Afghanistan

Quote:
Washington (CNN) – American support for the war in Afghanistan has never been lower, according to the latest CNN polling. The low numbers just the latest figure in the complex math being calculated to determine how the US should proceed in the ten year war.

The latest poll from CNN and Opinion Research Corporation found only 37% of all Americans favor the war, 52% say the war in Afghanistan has turned into a Vietnam.

Those numbers are going down as US commitment to the war is going up, significantly. 30,000 more troops added this year. At the time the troop increase was announced, military leaders were aware it would mean a rise in troop casualties and were vocal in trying to warn Americans that it would happen.
Still the daily headlines about troop deaths is staggering. 16 NATO troops have been killed in the last three days. The US has lost 386 troops so far this year.

Modern war is about metrics (and Powerpoint). The numbers right now suggest that the surge in troops has, not surprisingly, led to a surge in offensives. Last month there were 700 airstrikes, according to Air Force data obtained by National Security producer Jennifer Rizzo. A year ago only 257 strikes were logged.

More numbers: In the last 90 days NATO forces have killed 300 senior Taliban and insurgent leaders and commanders, as well as 800 fighters and detained 2,000 more, a senior military official in Afghanistan told Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.

It's that balance between perceived progress and deadly setback that the administration will begin considering first this December when the strategy is reviewed and then again next year ahead of the July 2011 deadline President Barack Obama set to begin withdrawing the increased troops.

That date – July 2011 – has many wondering if the ultimate calculus is about a number that is more important in the US than Afghanistan – the number 2012.

The new strategy for Afghanistan appears tailored with that date in mind. When the president announced more troops, he made sure to indicate that the government would begin to drawdown the troop surge by July 2011.

Critics said the July date was more to ensure being able to say the troops are coming home come election time, than a reasonable timeframe to expect progress.

But for all the investment of lives and money, the war is not registering with Americans. At least not while the numbers in everyone's bank accounts are a preoccupation. In a September poll by CNN and Opinion Research, only 9% of respondents thought the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were the most important problem facing the country, 49% thought the economy mattered most.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #62 of 85


As the war in Afghanistan begins its tenth year, the American public and even the Obama administration seems divided about America's purpose there.

Quote:
Yes: But only if it is fought properly

The war in Afghanistan is worth fighting if it is fought properly. Substantial US interests are at stake. For one, US withdrawal would encourage the jihadists. But its not worth it if we persist in fighting the wrong way.

For two elections, Democrats have said that Afghanistan is the good war, from which the bad war in Iraq was distracting us. Indeed, our focus on Iraq did render Afghanistan an economy of force theater. While the situation improved in Iraq after the 2007 surge, it deteriorated in Afghanistan which President Obama promised to rectify.

Last year, Mr. Obama announced that he would increase the number of troops in Afghanistan by 30,000, fewer than the generals wanted, but enough to credibly pursue a population-centric counterinsurgency strategy of the sort that had improved the situation in Iraq. But during the same speech in which he declared the Afghan surge, Obama announced that the United States would begin to withdraw after 18 months. In an instant, this statement undermined the surges whole purpose. As former commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Conway observed, intercepted Taliban communications indicated this decision was probably giving our enemy sustenance, suggesting to insurgents that they could simply wait out the Americans.

If Obama doesnt intend to fight the war properly by resourcing the strategy of Gen. David Petraeus he should say so, and cut our losses. But as Bob Woodwards new book, Obamas Wars, illustrates, he seems to have adopted the discredited approach of Robert McNamara during Vietnam: to fight the war in accordance with the political interests of the Democratic Party, rather than the US as a whole especially the troops he is sending to war.

Mackubin Thomas Owens, professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. and editor of Orbis, the journal of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia

No: It has no justification

The war in Afghanistan is worth fighting only if it can be justified in terms of some larger strategic purpose. The Obama administration has failed to articulate any such justification. This is not surprising: No such justification exists.

The problem to which the war in Afghanistan ostensibly provides a solution is the threat posed by violent anti-Western jihadism to employ the shorthand commonly used in Washington terrorism.

But nine years after President George W. Bush launched his global war on terrorism, there is no evidence to suggest that the use of armed force on a large scale over a protracted period of time will reduce that threat. If anything, the past decade shows that the occupation of Islamic countries by Western forces, in fact, serves to exacerbate antagonism toward the West.

By waging a war on terror, we actually play into the hands of our enemies. Expending scarce resources at a prodigious rate at least a trillion dollars so far we weaken ourselves. Meanwhile, American professions of benign intent in Afghanistan, along with our claims to know what they need freedom and democracy ring hollow.

The perpetuation of the war in Afghanistan serves one purpose only: to camouflage our strategic confusion.

Fighting on in Afghanistan (and expanding Western military operations in Pakistan) creates the pretense of purposeful activity where none exists. So the war on terror takes its place alongside the war on drugs and the war on poverty as one more monument to Washingtons folly and fecklessness. Simply trying harder next year wont produce a result any different from this year.

Andrew J. Bacevich, professor of history and international relations at Boston University, and author of Washington Rules: Americas Path to Permanent War

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Electio...worth-fighting
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #63 of 85
Thread Starter 

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #64 of 85
Thread Starter 

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #65 of 85
Quote:
LONDON (Reuters) Britain's foreign minister said Wednesday there was a long way to go before a political settlement could be reached to end the Afghan conflict, amid reports of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Official sources say that all main parties in the Afghan conflict are now considering ways to reach a deal. But the sources, including NATO, Afghan and non-American officials, have described the "talks about talks" as preliminary and fragile.

"We are not remotely at the stage of laying down the terms of a political settlement," Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament, in the first of a series of quarterly government reports on the progress of the war in Afghanistan.

"There is no political settlement currently being discussed around a table by the Afghan government and the leaders of the Taliban, that is not the stage that we are at."
The Taliban themselves dismiss talks as propaganda.

Hague also said levels of violence in Afghanistan were expected to remain high and even rise as Afghan and foreign forces tackled the Taliban.

The insurgency is gaining in strength and spreading to previously peaceful parts of Afghanistan, despite the presence of nearly 150,000 foreign troops, and this year has been the bloodiest since the ousting of the Taliban in 2001.

Hague also drew attention to a corruption scandal at Afghanistan's top private financial institution last month to call for more to be done to tackle graft, while other lawmakers pointed to Iran's payments to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Karzai said this week his office receives bags of cash from Iran, but said it is a transparent form of aid that helps cover expenses at the presidential palace, and that the United States makes similar payments.

"Progress on corruption, although some has been made, it is by no means good enough, and we want to see a lot more progress made in tackling corruption," Hague said.

"It is true that a number of countries provide funding to the Afghan government in certain forms.
"It's important that this is transparent, that it is used for legitimate government functions and that it is not the basis for interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan," he said, answering a question about Iran's payments.

Britain has some 9,500 troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led, U.S.-dominated, mission to quell the Taliban insurgency and strengthen the Afghan security forces. Britain aims to withdraw by 2015.

(Reporting by Mohammed Abbas: Editing by Myra MacDonald)

無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #66 of 85
Afghan president condemns US-Russia drugs operation
by Waheedullah Massoud


Quote:
KABUL (AFP) Afghan President Hamid Karzai reacted with fury Sunday to the first joint US-Russian anti-drugs operation in the war-torn country, saying it happened without permission and violated Afghan sovereignty.

Quote:
"No organisation or institution has the right to carry out such military operations inside the territory of our country without permission and agreement from the Islamic Government of Afghanistan," a statement from his office said.

"Afghanistan condemns this act by NATO and announces that such unilateral operations are a clear violation of Afghan sovereignty as well as international law, and any repetition will be met by the required reaction from our side."

The statement said Karzai had ordered the ministries of defence and interior to investigate the operation, which took place late Thursday in the eastern province of Nangahar, and to report back to him by Saturday night.

A Russian official however said Karzai was "misinformed" in saying the operation went ahead without permission from Afghan authorities.

Quote:
Afghanistan produces about 90 percent of the world's opium in an industry estimated to be worth almost three billion dollars a year, which helps fund the Taliban-led insurgency.

Afghanistan produced an estimated 3,600 tonnes of opium this year, almost 50 percent of the 2009 output, the UN said in a recent report, but added that the value of the opium rose by 38 percent at the farm gate.

A report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime put the value of opium output at five percent of Afghanistan's gross domestic product (GDP) this year, and said this was more than six times the value of the country's wheat crop.

The Taliban, who have been waging war for almost nine years, are believed to get much of their funding from Afghanistan's drug production.

Their presence in parts of the south -- particularly the central Helmand valley where much of Afghanistan's poppy is grown -- is directly linked to cultivation and distribution of opium and heroin.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #67 of 85
Less of the War on Terror, Foreign Nation Building or whatever it is being called these days is something that I have always liked about this guy. Its that tiny sweet spot where the Democratic and Libertarian party Venn diagram would intersect.
post #68 of 85
Liam Fox rejects Prince Andrew's call on armoured vehicle
By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent
Published: 3:07PM GMT 07 Nov 2010

Quote:
Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, has rejected calls from the Duke of York to order a British-built armoured vehicle for the war in Afghanistan.

Dr Fox spoke after Prince Andrew accused Ministry of Defence chiefs of sitting on their fat backsides and stalling on buying the new Ranger vehicle, whose makers claim offers better protection against roadside bombs.

The protection of British troops in Afghanistan has been one of the most contentious aspects of the conflict since so many lives have been lost to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted on roads and paths.

Labour ministers faced repeated accusations from commanders that they had failed to provide troops with enough properly-armoured vehicles, criticism that led to the purchase of the Mastiffs and Ridgebacks.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #69 of 85
Thread Starter 

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #70 of 85
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
post #71 of 85
To all you VETERANS---THANK YOU











FT---USAF '66-'70
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
post #72 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Ron Paul is so right about this.

The Cycle of Violence in Afghanistan

Notable quote:



I agree with Congressman Paul. It's time to come home.

I also agree with you enough is enough already let us end this asap. A hopeless and wasteful war with a corrupt dictator for president.Let us save more lives now! Bring home the troops now Obama.
post #73 of 85
Karzai wants the U.S. to cut military operations in Afghanistan

Quote:
President Hamid Karzai said the United States should reduce its military operations and stop night raids in Afghanistan, the Washington Post reported Sunday....

Quote:
"The time has come to reduce military operations," Karzai said. "The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan ... to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life."

The president added that Afghans have lost patience with the presence of American soldiers in their homes and on their roads, the newspaper reported. He specifically cited night raids as a major source of frustration.

Karzai called the raids a violation of the sanctity of Afghan homes and warned they push people into the arms of the insurgency.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #74 of 85
Clinton defends US Afghan policy after Karzai criticism

Quote:
Hillary Clinton has defended US Afghan operations against criticism from Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Afghan officials dismiss talk of rift with U.S. after Karzai criticism
By David Nakamura
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, November 15, 2010; 6:52 PM

Quote:
KABUL - Afghan government officials sought Monday to contain damaging fallout from President Hamid Karzai's criticism of the U.S. military's use of special operation raids, insisting that the critique does not signal a deepening rift between strategic partners.
The attempt to defuse the controversy came as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the raids, which are used to kill and capture Taliban commanders, a "key component" of the war.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
post #75 of 85
Nato to debate Afghanistan at crucial Lisbon summit

Quote:
Nato members are preparing to meet in Portugal for what is being billed as one of the most crucial summits in the alliance's 61-year history.

The 28 member states are hoping to reach a "New Strategic Concept" to shape the way Nato defends itself against threats over the next decade.....

Afghanistan will be top of the agenda, with plans to bring Nato's combat operations to an end by 2014.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is scheduled to address the summit on Saturday, has said he wants Nato to hand back control of the country by the end of 2014 - a deadline the US has described as realistic but not set in stone.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
post #76 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Ron Paul is so right about this.

The Cycle of Violence in Afghanistan

Notable quote:



I agree with Congressman Paul. It's time to come home.

I agree with you Obama let us bring our boys home asap. Screw Afghanistan and start to think about the USA
post #77 of 85
RIP, Target: The Afghan Hero Dog's Fairy Tale Ends In Tragedy


Target (right) and Rufus after reuniting with Sgt. Christopher Duke in July in Atlanta.

Quote:
You might remember the story from February: Three dogs growled and confronted a suicide bomber as he entered American military barracks in Afghanistan. The bomb exploded and killed one of the dogs. But their bravery saved American soldiers.

In July, Target and Rufus were flown from Afghanistan to the U.S., where they were lauded as heroes and even landed an appearance on Oprah.

Target, a yellow shepherd mix with a gentle face, went on to live with Sgt. Terry Young in Arizona, but a happy ending wasn't meant to be: Target escaped from the family's yard, was captured by animal control and was euthanized by accident......
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
post #78 of 85
Karzai and Nato agree Afghanistan exit strategy
Quote:
Leaders of Nato's 28 states have backed a strategy to transfer leadership for the fight against the Taliban to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
post #79 of 85
Watchdog disqualifies 19 over Afghanistan poll fraud
Quote:
Afghanistan's election watchdog has disqualified 19 candidates who stood in the September poll for alleged fraud.

Seven of them are current members of the 249-seat parliament.
The disqualifications were announced after the UN-backed Election Complaints Commission found most of their votes were fraudulent.

It is the latest setback to the vote, which has been surrounded by allegations of corruption and rigging. A final result has yet to be declared.

The parliamentary vote was seen as a key test for the country, a year after the re-election of Afghan President Hamid Karzai was overshadowed by fraud.

Turnout was around 40% in Afghanistan's second parliamentary election since the 2001 US-led invasion.....
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
Reply
post #80 of 85
Thread Starter 

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
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