President Obama's secret trip to Afghanistan, shrouded in secrecy for security reasons, culminated in a midnight meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the signing of a 'strategic partnership agreement', the full details of which have not been made available to either the American or Afghan public.
The Taliban clearly has broad support from Afghan people. Conscientious objection is a right and obligation in a failed war. Recent attacks in Kabul confirm the occupation is falling to pieces. Claims about "decisive years" and "turned corners" are little more than cant. Instead for all their lack of air power, drones and high-tech equipment, the Taliban are gaining ascendancy.
Nicole Colson reports on the quagmire of the U.S. occupation in Afghanistan--and why 10 years after the war began, the U.S. must get out. U.S. soldiers pass through a village on the outskirts of Kandahar City (Corporal Dan Pop)U.S. soldiers pass through a village on the outskirts of Kandahar City (Corporal Dan Pop) THE U.S. war and occupation of Afghanistan was supposed to bring stability and democracy. Instead, Afghanistan remains a country on the brink of disaster--one that has clearly been exacerbated by the U.S. presence.
Within 48 hours of the Pentagon’s confirming the identity of the US soldier arrested for the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, there are mounting questions about the official explanation of the bloody events of March 11. Nearly every fact asserted by US officials in Kabul and Washington has been challenged, either by the villagers where the massacre took place, by the Karzai government in Afghanistan, or by those acquainted with the arrested soldier, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 38.
President Karzai denounced the US military in connection with last Sunday’s massacre of 16 civilians, but Washington dismissed his demand that it speed up the transfer of security to Afghan forces.
"US soldiers were alleged to have sexually assaulted two female victims before they were killed in the Panjwai massacre in southern Kandahar last Sunday, a high-level Afghan probe team revealed.
Afghan officials and witnesses say a U.S. service member walked off his base and shot and killed at least 16 Afghan civilians in Kandahar province Sunday. Afghan President Hamid Karzai called Sunday's shooting unforgivable. He demanded an explanation from the United States for what he called "intentional killings."
Mass protests at US and NATO facilities throughout Afghanistan over the past week, after US troops burned Korans at Bagram Air Base, testify to the Afghan population’s deep hatred for the US-led occupation, now in its eleventh year.
The Obama administration has lifted a ban on military assistance to Uzbekistan in order to preserve a supply line for the war effort in Afghanistan. Uzbekistan has seen reduced U.S. military aid in recent years amid widespread human rights abuses, including torture earlier this month, allowing the United States to provide non-lethal military equipment. On Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the move will help Uzbekistan fight terrorism.
The U.S. troop withdrawal leaves behind a country embittered by an occupation that's cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars. And as U.S. soldiers return home for Christmas, the mood is far from joyful among veterans struggling to deal with the personal aftermath of the war. With soaring suicide rates, it's still too early to estimate the true cost of the invasion. Our correspondent Liz Wall reports.
Even though it has spent at least $60 billion to destroy them, the Pentagon is losing the battle to combat the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which have accounted for two out of every three U.S. casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the latest round of conflict between Obama and his top military commanders, the senior US general in Afghanistan is opposing the administration’s plans for the withdrawal of troops from the US-occupied country.
NATO recently literally shot itself in the foot, imperiling the resupply of International Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan by shooting up two Pakistani border posts in a “hot pursuit’ raid. Given that roughly 100 fuel tanker trucks along with 200 other trucks loaded with NATO supplies cross into Afghanistan each day from Pakistan, Pakistan’s closure of the border has ominous long-term consequences for the logistical resupply of ISAF forces, even as Pentagon officials downplay the issue and scramble for alternative resupply routes.
On November 25, the New York Times reported--on page 12--that six children were killed in one attack in southern Afghanistan on November 23. This news was, as best I can tell, not reported on ABC, CBS, NBC or the PBS NewsHour. There were, on the other hand, several pieces about U.S. soldiers eating Thanksgiving dinners.
KABUL: Supplies for NATO in Afghanistan have been hit by a blockade as 38 tankers out of total 145 have been sent back from Torkham border to Peshawar amid tight security. The blockade has been enforced after a cross-border strike killed 24 troops, but it remains unclear how seriously coalition forces will suffer. There are around 140,000 foreign troops in landlocked Afghanistan waging a 10-year battle against a Taliban-led insurgency who rely on fuel, food and equipment brought in from outside. Nearly half of all cargo bound for foreign troops routes through Pakistan, which closed the border to NATO traffic on Saturday. But the coalition force insists its fight against the Taliban will not be affected.
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