Posts Tagged ‘NATO’

Why Are We in Afghanistan – Still?

December 7, 2010

by Tom Gallagher, CommonDreams.org, Dec 7, 2010

You have to wonder what it might take to get the man in the White House to acknowledge just how absurd the current U.S. military effort in Afghanistan has become. Would the president of Afghanistan himself telling us to start getting our troops out do it? Nah. How about the leader of the last country to send its army there telling us “Victory is impossible in Afghanistan”? Nope. Finding out that some of the guards who protect NATO bases were Taliban — but the top Taliban guy we’d been negotiating with actually wasn’t? Neither. A Hollywood agent might push this story as farce. But it’s real life and that qualifies it as tragedy.

Given that candidate Obama was so widely seen as a man of “new thinking,” one to deliver the country from tired old debates and morasses, one hoped President Obama would listen hard to what Mikhail Gorbachev had to say about the damage that a fruitless nine-years-plus war in Afghanistan can do to a country. But if so, no evidence yet.

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US Helicopters Attack Pakistan, Killing More Than 50

September 27, 2010

NATO Confirms Apache Helicopters Launched Attacks Against Pakistani Territory

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com,  September 26, 2010

NATO spokesmen are confirming tonight that a pair of US Apache helicopters crossed the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan, launching an attack against tribesmen in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) which killed over 50.

NATO says that the tribesmen they attacked were believed to be the same ones responsible for an attack against a NATO base in the Khost Province of Afghanistan. The Khost Province borders FATA’s North Waziristan Agency, a regular target for US drone strikes.

Though it is not the first time US forces have crossed the border and launched attacks into Pakistan, such attacks have been exceedingly rare (and followed by angry reactions from Pakistan’s military and civilian government). NATO has also repeatedly tried to distance itself from previous attacks, insisting there is no basis for crossing the border.

NATO depends on Pakistani territory as a supply route for its troops in land-locked Afghanistan, and following a pair of 2008 raids by US troops into Pakistan the nation’s government briefly blocked the supplies. With many, many more NATO troops in Afghanistan now than in 2008 the supply route is all the more vital, though simultaneously all the more fragile.

Five Questions For The Afghan Surge

February 25, 2010

By Juan Cole, ZNet, Feb 24, 2010

Source: Juancole.com

Juan Cole’s ZSpace Page

Gen. David Petraeus, a straight shooter, admitted on Meet the Press Sunday that the Afghanistan War will take years and incur high casualties. His implicit defense of President Obama from Dick Cheney on the issues of torture and closing Guantanamo will make bigger headlines, but sooner or later the American public will notice the admission. The country is now evenly divided between those who think the US can and should restore a modicum of stability before getting out, and those who want a quick withdrawal. The Marjah Campaign, the centerpiece of the new counter-insurgency strategy, is over a week old, and some assessment of this new, visible push by the US military in violent Helmand Province is in order.

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UN Report: 346 Afghan Children Killed in 2009, Mostly by NATO

February 25, 2010
Largest Portion of Killings Came in Air Strikes

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com,  February 24, 2010

When the record 2009 civilian death toll began to emerge, NATO was quick to brag that they had actually killed fewer civilians than the Taliban. This appears to be the case still, though UN reports suggested the difference wasn’t nearly as dramatic as NATO initially claimed. There is one thing the Taliban can’t compete with NATO on, however, and that’s the killing of children.

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NATO’s Role in the Afghanistan Escalation

January 29, 2010

Tom Haydon, The Nation, January27, 2010

NATO countries are poised to add 7,000 soldiers to the 30,000-troop US escalation in Afghanistan, providing a cover of multilateralism for the Obama administration and the NATO commander, US General Stanley McChrystal. The NATO decision is expected to be ratified January 28 at a conference called by the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Karzai administration and the United Nations Afghan Mission (UNAM).

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Answering Obama’s Afghanistan deceptions

December 11, 2009

Eric Ruder, Socialist Worker, December 8, 2009

Barack Obama’s December 1 nationally televised address to announce a further escalation of 30,000 troops to Afghanistan cemented his role as a war president who bears responsibility for the U.S. war on that country. It also marked Obama’s assumption of the task of providing the justifications, alibis and obfuscations needed to cloak U.S. military aims in an aura of legitimacy.

Eric Ruder goes through Obama’s speech and counters seven of Barack Obama’s worst half-truths and lies about Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama speaks on Afghanistan at West Point (Pete Souza | White House)President Barack Obama speaks on Afghanistan at West Point (Pete Souza | White House)

DECEPTION NO. 1: “We did not ask for this fight…[T]he United Nations Security Council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks…and only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden, we sent our troops into Afghanistan.”

HERE, BARACK Obama is repeating a lie that has been told and retold so often that it goes completely unexamined in the mainstream press. Countless Western newspapers reported on the Taliban’s offers to hand over Osama bin Laden, so long as the Bush administration provided Afghan government officials with evidence of bin Laden’s involvement in the September 11 attacks–something that any sovereign nation, like the U.S., would require before agreeing to an extradition.

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NATO presses for more Afghan troops

November 24, 2009
Morning Star Online, Monday 23 November 2009
US troops occupy an Afghan village as local children look on

US troops occupy an Afghan village as local children look on

NATO has called on allied nations to send more troops to Afghanistan in the run-up to President Barack Obama’s decision on whether to boost the US occupying forces.

NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen is in the midst of intense talks on getting more troops, equipment and funding for the newly established NATO training mission, spokesman James Appathurai said.

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Obama’s Promises and Policies

November 4, 2009

George Barnsby, The Barnsby Blog No. 966, Nov 4, 2009

Once again I have turned to the Website of the only man who can save the world, Barack Obama who forty days ago amazed and delighted the world with his statement that he would abolish all nuclear weapons, but who since has reneged on that promise and today keeps the most warlike company of those who want to conquer Iraq and Afghanistan  and other places for their oil, and precious metals while puppet governments in Asia and elsewhere are quite willing to give their assets to the Western Neo-Coms, but find it necessary to deceive their own people and the rest of the world by fulsome false promises that they are not serving their own material interests but are patriots serving the interests of their countries.

In the meantime Obama has his own problems with his ‘allies’ notably NATO and the European Union and the basic trio of Nuclear Maniacs – Bush, Blair and Brown are now desperately trying to defy the Human Rights authorities who are chasing them for Crimes against Humanity and they will eventually suffer the same fate as did the Nazi genocidists at Nuremburg in 1946.

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U.S., NATO Poised For Most Massive War In Afghanistan’s History

September 26, 2009
by Rick Rozoff
Global Research, September 24, 2009

Over the past week U.S. newspapers and television networks have been abuzz with reports that Washington and its NATO allies are planning an unprecedented increase of troops for the war in Afghanistan, even in addition to the 17,000 new American and several thousand NATO forces that have been committed to the war so far this year.

The number, based on as yet unsubstantiated reports of what U.S. and NATO commander Stanley McChrystal and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen have demanded of the White House, range from 10,000 to 45,000.

Fox News has cited figures as high as 45,000 more American soldiers and ABC News as many as 40,000. On September 15 the Christian Science Monitor wrote of “perhaps as many as 45,000.”

The similarity of the estimates indicate that a number has been agreed upon and America’s obedient media is preparing domestic audiences for the possibility of the largest escalation of foreign armed forces in Afghanistan’s history. Only seven years ago the United States had 5,000 troops in the country, but was scheduled to have 68,000 by December even before the reports of new deployments surfaced.

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Escalation is futile in a war in which complexity defies might

September 25, 2009

GABRIEL KOLKO, National Times, Sep 23, 2009

The US scarcely knew what a complex disaster it was confronting when it went to war in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. It will eventually – perhaps years from now – suffer the same fate as Alexander the Great, the British and the Soviet Union: defeat.

What is called ”Afghanistan” is really a collection of tribes and ethnic groups – Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks and more. There are seven major ethnic groups, each with its own language. There are 30 minor languages. Pashtuns are 42 per cent of the population and the Taliban come from them. Its borders are contested and highly porous, and al-Qaeda is most powerful in the Pashtun regions of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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