Posts Tagged ‘US military’

80,000 Afghans forcibly displaced

February 9, 2010
Morning Star Online,  February 8, 2010
US occupation forces in Afghanistan

US occupation forces in Afghanistan

Thousands of Afghan civilians have began fleeing their homes before a threatened US military offensive against Taliban fighters.

International Red Crescent aid workers in the southern Afghanistan city of Marjah, Helmand province, reported that US warplanes had dropped leaflets on the area warning people to leave or be killed.

The Taliban has inflicted a huge number of casualties on the US-led occupation forces in Marjah.

Commander of more than 55,000 foreign fighters in Afghanistan US General Stanley McChrystal claimed that the leaflets were directed at Taliban militants.

Hee added that the offensive against the city, which has a population of 80,000, was intended to “re-establish security.”

Red Crescent spokesman Bijan Farnoudi warned that the Afghanistan government did not seem prepared to deal with an exodus of refugees and revealed that medical posts in the province were already recording an increase in the number of patients with bullet or shrapnel wounds.

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When Scholars Join the Slaughter

February 7, 2010

Dahr Jamail, author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, reports on how the U.S. military has used anthropologists and other social scientists to further the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dahr Jamail, t r u t h o u t | Report

(Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: The U.S. Army, Hayley Austin)

A core tenet of the Obama administration’s plans for “victory” in Iraq and Afghanistan is an increased reliance on counterinsurgency.

As previously reported on this web site, the US military has sent shock troops – anthropologists, sociologists and social psychologists – with their own troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, who also donned helmets and flak jackets. By the end of 2007, American scholars in these fields were embedding with the military in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of a Pentagon program called Human Terrain System (HTS), which evolved shortly thereafter into a $40 million program that embedded four or five person groups of scholars in the aforementioned fields in all 26 US combat brigades that were busily occupying Iraq and Afghanistan. The program is currently comprised of approximately 400 employees, and is actively seeking new recruits.

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Christian fundamentalism seeps through US military

January 21, 2010

Middle East Online, January 21, 2010

Some US soldiers fear Christian bullies in uniform who outrank them

Biblical references on US military equipment in Iraq stir new ‘Crusader war’ controversy.

WASHINGTON – Controversy was aroused Wednesday after it emerged that the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan were using rifle sights inscribed with coded Biblical references.

The company producing the sights, which are also used to train Afghan and Iraqi soldiers under contracts with the US Army and the Marine Corps, said it has inscribed references to the New Testament on the metal casings for over two decades.

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Frustration mounts over Haiti aid

January 18, 2010
Al Jazeera, January 18, 2010
Desperately needed aid is still not reaching large swathes of the population [Reuters]

Tensions are rising on the streets of Haiti as the bulk of earthquake survivors continue to go without food, medicine or proper shelter.

Aid organisations continued to struggle to reach them with supplies on Sunday, six nights after the devastating earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

A bottleneck at the capital’s small airport – the main entry point for the massive assistance pledged by world leaders following the disaster – means little help has reached the many people waiting for help in makeshift camps on streets strewn with debris and decomposing bodies.

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Torture continues at US prisons in Afghanistan

December 1, 2009

By Tom Eley,, Dec 1, 2009

Recent media reports reveal that the US military continues to carry on torture and illegal detention in Afghanistan at a dungeon known to inmates as “the black prison.”

The jail, located on the Bagram Air Base next to the notorious Bagram prison north of Kabul, operates under the executive order of President Obama. After entering office, Obama ordered the closure of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) prison “black sites”—which were in fact no longer active—but exempted those prisons run by the military’s Special Operations, which was headed from 2003 until 2008 by General Stanley McChrystal, now US commander of the Af-Pak theater.

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Report: IDF, U.S. military to simulate Iran missile strike on Israel

September 21, 2009

By Haaretz Service, Haaretz/Israel, Sep 20, 2009

The Israel Defense Forces and the U.S. military will soon hold a training exercise in which they will simulate missile attacks on Israel from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Sunday.

The exercise will be carried out as part of the ongoing maneuvers between Israel and the United States, the London-based paper said, which will reportedly be the broadest-ever this year.

According to the paper, the drill is also part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s new missile defense plan, under which the Pentagon will initially deploy ships with missile interceptors instead of stationing missile defense systems in Eastern Europe.

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The Contours of Recent American Foreign Policy

August 3, 2009

Searching For Enemies

By Gabriel Kolko, Counterpunch, July 31 – August 2, 2009

War, from preparation for it through to its aftermath, has defined both the essential nature of the major capitalist nations and their relative power since at least 1914. War became the major catalyst of change for revolutionary movements in Russia, China, and Vietnam. While wars also created reactionary and fascistic parties, particularly in the case of Italy and Germany, in the longer run they brought about domestic social changes of far-reaching magnitude. The Bolshevik Revolution was the preeminent example of this ironic symbiosis of war and revolution.

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Obama’s empire

July 31, 2009

An Unprecedented Network of Military Bases That is Still Expanding

Catherine Lutz, New Statesman, July 30, 2009

The 44th president of the United States was elected amid hopes that he would roll back his country’s global dominance. Today, he is commander-in-chief of an unprecedented network of military bases that is still expanding.

In December 2008, shortly before being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama pledged his belief that, “to ensure prosperity here at home and peace abroad”, it was vital to maintain “the strongest military on the planet”. Unveiling his national security team, including George Bush’s defence secretary, Robert Gates, he said: “We also agree the strength of our military has to be combined with the wisdom and force of diplomacy, and that we are going to be committed to rebuilding and restrengthening
alliances around the world to advance American interests and American security.”

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How Meaningful Is the Pullback? Iraqis Are Skeptical

July 6, 2009
Maliki Subsidized Parties Seen as Political Ploy

The celebrations in the streets of Iraq last week, held largely on the government’s dime, tell the story of a nation which sees the US pullback from Iraq’s cities as a huge step toward the return of the nation’s sovereignty in the wake of the 2003 invasion.

But is that story real, or imagined? On the streets, many Iraqis are skeptical that the pullback means anything, particularly given that the soldiers are all still there, just along the outskirts of the city limits. The parties too are regarded with suspicion, as many see Maliki’s role in organizing and funding them as a transparent attempt to curry favor with the voters.

Since leaving the cities, US troops have adopted a strategy to “encircle” them. In practice, this means most of the troops remain within a few miles of the city limits, and can re-enter at a moment’s notice with the permission of the Iraqi military.

The US isn’t planning on having troops leave in signfiicant numbers for the rest of the year, and there is growing concern that the rising violence of recent weeks may lead the Obama Administration to once again revise his pullout strategy, already significantly slowed from what he promised in the campaign.

Iraq’s “National Sovereignty Day” is U.S.-Style Hallmark Hype

July 1, 2009

Despite the big show, the U.S. occupation continues. It is very doubtful that—decades from now—Iraqis will tell their grandchildren about where they were on “National Sovereignty Day.”

By Jeremy Scahill, Rebel Reports, July 1, 2009

The puppet government in Iraq has named June 30 as “National Sovereignty Day,” and—without mentioning the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis maimed, killed, tortured or made refugees by the U.S. invasion and occupation—thanked the occupiers for placing them in power. “President” Jalal Talabani termed today “a glorious day,” saying, “While we celebrate this day, we express our thanks and gratitude to our friends in the coalition forces who faced risks and responsibilities and sustained casualties and damage while helping Iraq to get rid from the ugliest dictatorship and during the joint effort to impose security and stability.”

Meanwhile the Iraqi “Prime Minister” Nouri al Maliki—clearly living in his Green Zone bubble—stated: “The national united government succeeded in putting down the sectarian war that was threatening the unity and the sovereignty of Iraq,” adding, “Those who think that Iraqis are unable to defend their country are committing a fatal mistake.”  Perhaps Maliki has been hanging out too much by the swimming pools and cabanas in the Green Zone and missed these events:

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