AFGHANISTAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

AFGHANISTAN

Mar 31 09:32

Trump’s Stance On The Golan Will Allow Israel To Operate With Impunity Elsewhere

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Referring to a large piece of territory Israel seized from Syria in 1967, Trump wrote: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability.”

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(*that's why I politely declined the FREE! 2020 MAGA Cap offer , so when this business of pushing an agenda thats good for another nation starts , I can full on animal~ly ask "Whats in it for US , Mister MAGA?" )

Mar 29 09:02

10 million people in Afghanistan face severe acute food insecurity after floods and drought

10 million people in Afghanistan (population 35 million) are facing severe acute food insecurity following 3 years of drought and recent floods.

Three years of drought have contributed to massive crop failure, economic hardship, hunger and loss of life, forcing 266 000 people from their homes, Afghan Red Crescent Society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said March 28.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Pay close attention to what is happening in Afghanistan because it is about to happen here, thanks to the neglect of our flood control systems.

Mar 25 11:12

US airstrikes kill a dozen Afghan civilians, as battle with Taliban heats up – report

American airstrikes have killed around a dozen Afghan civilians in the northern province of Kunduz, local officials have said. The strikes came as US-backed Afghan forces and Taliban militants vie for control of the area.

One provincial councillor put the death toll at twelve, while another estimated that 13 civilians died, including children, in Saturday’s strikes. NATO spokeswoman Sergeant. Debra Richardson told Reuters that the alliance’s Resolute Support mission is aware of the casualty reports, and that it investigates all such credible allegations.

“We take every measure to prevent civilian casualties, in contrast to the Taliban who intentionally hide behind women and children,” Richardson said in a statement.

Mar 21 13:57

Operation Cyclone never ended: The history of the West’s support for Islamist extremists

Iain Davis argues that contrary to official narratives, the Western military-industrial-intelligence complex has been working with, arming, equipping, training and deploying Islamist extremist terrorist organisations for at least half a century.>>

Mar 21 09:51

Afghan troops accused of abusing contractors and confiscating equipment, US watchdog says

Afghan security forces have been harassing contractors and confiscating their equipment at military bases across the country, costing the U.S. hundreds of thousands of dollars, a government watchdog said.

The confiscated property and equipment, belonging to two international companies that were awarded maintenance and operations contracts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is worth more than $780,000, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said in a report published Monday.

There were times when the Afghan employees of the contractor Exelis, Inc. — previously known as ITT Systems Corp. — tried to remove their equipment from work sites, but were “held against their will at gunpoint and locked in containers for extended hours” by Afghan forces, company officials told SIGAR.

Mar 20 07:17

The Death of Peace

How appropriate, don’t you think? America’s longest war, the Afghan one, now heading into its 18th year, may set another kind of record – for the longest withdrawal ever. The Pentagon recently revealed news of its daring “plan” to end that war. It will take up to five years to get 14,000 U.S. troops (and unknown numbers of private contractors), military equipment, and the like out of that country successfully, ensuring a war of perhaps 23 years (without, of course, a victory in sight).

Mar 19 15:43

Top US General Denies Plans to Leave 1,000 Troops in Syria

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford issued a statement Monday denying weekend media reports that the US plans to leave around 1,000 troops in Syria, saying the reports are “factually incorrect.”

Dunford presented the current planned “residual force” as 200, saying that this hadn’t changed since February. The US announced 200 would stay on February 21, but on February 22 officially increased that number to 400.

It’s not clear from Dunford’s statement where the “incorrect” aspect of the new report, which came out of a Wall Street Journal, exists. That report suggested that the 1,000 figure was not yet finalized, but was being discussed. Dunford’s comments didn’t include any details on what is actually being discussed, but just that nothing was finalized.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think the multiple troop numbers being given, are simply a way of creating confusion about how many US troops the US does have in Syria.

Mar 19 10:25

US, China Clash Over 'Belt And Road' In Afghan Resolution

The United States and China unleashed a war of words Friday (Mar 15) over Beijing’s $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) after the United Nation Security Council adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the council's political mission in Afghanistan for another six months, reported The Washington Post.

The 2018 resolution extended the council's mission for a year aimed at strengthening regional economic cooperation involving Afghanistan, including the BRI to connect China to Europe, and Africa. The 2016 and 2017 resolutions had similar BRI language.

Council diplomats said China wanted to embed BRI language into the 2019 resolution, but the U.S. strongly objected.

Mar 17 09:07

US bars entry to ICC members probing 'war crimes' in Afghanistan

The United States will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel seeking to investigate possible war crimes by US forces or allies in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.

"The ICC is attacking America's rule of law," Pompeo told reporters in Washington on Friday.

"I'm announcing a policy of US visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of US personnel.

"We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation."

Mar 15 11:49

US AIRSTRIKE WIPES OUT ALLIED AFGHAN BASE IN 'FRIENDLY FIRE' INCIDENT

In the latest bizarre story to come out of the US "endless war" in Afghanistan, American warplanes obliterated an allied Afghan military post in an act of "self defense" on Wednesday.

The incident took place in the tribal Uruzgan province of south-central Afghanistan and reportedly began when a joint convoy of US troops and Afghan Special Forces came under fire by another unit of Afghan ground troops in what appears a major instance of accidental friendly fire resulting in a devastating two dozen total casualties on the Afghan side.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am having a "Jean Luc Picard "facepalm", at warp speed, upon reading this; why, in the name of heaven, has our military, on both the intelligence and operations levels, devolved to "the gang that can't shoot straight"?!?!

This is absoflippinglutely unbelievable!!

Mar 15 09:56

Kabul Accuses U.S. Peace Envoy of ‘Delegitimizing’ Afghan Govt, ‘Elevating’ Taliban

The National Security Adviser of Afghanistan on Thursday accused U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoy in charge of peace negotiations with the Taliban of “delegitimizing” and “weakening” the Kabul government during the talks to serve his ambitions of one day running the war-ravaged country.

An official from the U.S. Department of State (DOS) — which oversees the office of U.S. reconciliation envoy Zalmay Khalilzad — denied the assertions by Hamdullah Mohib, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s national security adviser who served as ambassador to Washington.

“Mr. Mohib’s comments are inaccurate and unhelpful, and we will be responding to them privately,” a State Department official told the Daily Beast on condition of anonymity.

Mar 15 08:37

US Airstrike Wipes Out Allied Afghan Base In 'Friendly Fire' Incident

In the latest bizarre story to come out of the US "endless war" in Afghanistan, American warplanes obliterated an allied Afghan military post in an act of "self defense" on Wednesday.

The incident took place in the tribal Uruzgan province of south-central Afghanistan and reportedly began when a joint convoy of US troops and Afghan Special Forces came under fire by another unit of Afghan ground troops in what appears a major instance of accidental friendly fire resulting in a devastating two dozen total casualties on the Afghan side.

The incident is under investigation, but US mission spokesman Bob Purtiman appeared to excuse US actions in a statement on Thursday: "We are operating in a complex environment where enemy fighters do not wear uniforms and use stolen military vehicles to attack government forces," he said.

Mar 14 10:25

ERIK PRINCE STILL WANTS BLACKWATER TO REPLACE U.S. TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN

When the idea of replacing U.S. troops in Aghanistan with mercenaries was first proposed Defense Secretary James Mattis said, rather generously, that “it was not a wise idea.”

Mar 13 08:35

Why Lithium Can’t Save Afghanistan

Following the news Monday that geologists have found a mother lode of minerals in Afghanistan — reports argued deposits of iron, copper, gold and other goodies could collectively be worth close to $1 trillion — it’s worth asking a few extra questions.

In particular, there’s been an unusually strong focus on the lithium portion of the find. A key ingredient in high-tech batteries for laptops, smart phones, electric cars and the like, its been heralded as the future cornerstone of the world’s energy infrastructure.

But is lithium really going to save Afghanistan, as many media outlets seem to think? Nope, not even close.

In the words of Brian Jaskula, a lithium commodity expert with the United States Geological Survey, “We’ll be extracting lithium from the ocean before we’ll be extracting it from Afghanistan.” (Jaskula was not involved with the Afghanistan work.)

Mar 12 13:35

US ‘agreed in draft’ with Taliban on Afghanistan troop withdrawal – envoy

A “marathon” round of talks with the Taliban in Qatar has produced an “agreement in draft” on counter-terrorism assurances and American troop withdrawal, said US envoy for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad.
“The conditions for peace have improved,” Khalilzad tweeted after the talks. “Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real strides.”

It’s clear all sides want to end the war.

Troop withdrawal and counter-terrorism assurances are the first two issues that Khalilzad and the Taliban reached an “agreement on principle” during the talks in January.

When the final deal is reached on those two issues, the Taliban will start negotiations on “a political settlement and comprehensive ceasefire,” with the government in Kabul and other factions in Afghanistan, Khalilzad said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Fingers crossed here on Oahu, that this is truly happening.

Mar 11 12:21

US Airstrikes Kill 13 Civilians, Including Children, in Afghanistan

On Saturday, US airstrikes against the village of Naser Khil in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province destroyed two houses. The houses belonged to the village’s only doctor, and his brother, and killed both of them along with their families.

That was 13 civilians in all: two men, their wives, and nine children. The provincial government had claimed a Taliban commander was also slain, but there appears to be no confirmation that this is actually the case.

NATO confirmed that the airstrikes took place, but did not comment on the civilian deaths that were already confirmed, saying only that they were looking into the matter, and emphasizing the attacks were “self-defense.”

How blowing up a doctor’s house counts as self defense isn’t entirely clear, though a NATO spokesman claimed that the attack meant to target a Taliban operations center. Clearly, it did not.

Mar 11 06:50

Ending war with another war? Erik Prince wants to send 1,000s of mercenaries to fix Afghan quagmire

Founder of the notorious Blackwater firm Erik Prince wants to end the 18-year Afghan stalemate with… another war which could see 6,000 mercenaries replace US troops on the ground once they leave the country.

Prince, a private war mogul who made a fortune during the post-9/11 conflicts, believes he has a recipe for bringing the Afghanistan stalemate to an end. “I do want to end the war by giving the Afghan forces the means to survive and to be much more [offensive],” he proclaimed on Al Jazeera last week.

Some 2,000 Special Forces and around 6,000 Blackwater mercenaries would be enough to help the Afghan national army pacify the enemy, he explained. One question remains wide open, however: What would be the cost of a new private war for local civilians?

Mar 08 06:10

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Effect

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Thus, what was supposed to be a morale-boosting quickie regime-change operation to cheer up the rank and file on the road to Tehran – the overthrow of Nicolas Maduro’s sanctions-starved socialist state in Venezuela, the oil-rich fly in the ointment of “our own backyard” – has become just another entry on a long list of ignominious failures. Even the truest of true believers can no longer pretend that the US is in the business of spreading democracy – not when all the evidence and information available points the other way. The only remedy left for the “sole superpower” is to cut off the flow of information entirely and build an informational Iron Dome, an epistemological missile shield capable of withstanding all truth.

Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

Lazy propaganda is largely to blame for the lapse in narrative superiority. The same tawdry psy-ops are recycled again and again, as we see now in Venezuela, where Iran-Contra felon and smirking genocide enthusiast Elliott Abrams has been wheeled out of cold storage to work his death-squad magic>>>

Mar 07 05:24

Is peace finally possible in Afghanistan?

The Afghan Taliban's cofounder is in talks with the United States in an attempt to bring an end to more than 17 years of war.

It's the US's longest war and last year a record number of people died in Afghanistan. Almost 4,000 civilians were killed and 7,000 wounded.

The UN is blaming the Taliban and The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) for deliberately targeting civilians in suicide attacks. But Afghan and US forces have also stepped up their assaults on armed groups.

Now attempts to end the bloodshed are gathering pace.

The Taliban and the US are in talks in Qatar.

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Explosions target political gathering in Kabul

Mar 07 04:55

The Taliban Views Washington Unreliable

Faheem Dashti: Taliban Views Washington Unreliable, Welshing on Agreements
Faheem Dashti, Afghan Political Analyst, says Washington is pursuing its own policy of serving its national interests in the region, rather than being concerned with Afghanistan’s security.

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Below is the full text of the interview.>>>

Mar 06 09:04

Senators Introduce Bill to Get US Out of Afghanistan

A bipartisan resolution has been introduced in the Senate on Monday calling for the US to withdraw military forces from Afghanistan. The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Tom Udall (D-NM).

The resolution, called the 2019 Afghan Forces Going Home After Noble Service Act (AFGHAN Service Act), would declare victory. This is on the grounds that Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011 and al-Qaeda is all but eliminated within Afghanistan.

The bill goes further than just Afghanistan, too, as with the completion of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, it would repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). Though the AUMF was initially passed to invade Afghanistan, it has been broadly expanded by presidents since as a legal justification for wars across the world.

Mar 06 06:05

US U-Turn: Afghans' Suffering Now Has No End

There is no end in sight for the suffering of people in Afghanistan because the Pentagon regime plans to keep its occupying troops in the war-torn country for five more years.

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Mar 03 09:00

Senior Commander: US Transferring ISIL to Afghanistan with Arabs' Petro-Dollars

"The enemy is today attempting to continue the same ISIL plot implemented in Iraq and Syria in Afghanistan and this will harm China, Russia and all the regional states," General Shadmani said in an interview with the Persian-language Tasnim news agency on Saturday.

He noted that certain Arab rulers are supporting the US financially and logistically to transfer the ISIL to Afghanistan, saying that they are making their last-ditch efforts to attain their goals but they will not because the ISIL's body has collapsed.

In relevant remarks late in January, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei expressed deep regret over the massacre of the Afghan people in terrorist attacks, blaming the US for the tragedies by transferring the ISIL terrorists to Afghanistan to guarantee its presence in the region.

Mar 02 07:54

Welcome to ‘Zombieland’: A former US Army base rots in the hands of overwhelmed Afghans

Limping as he climbed the stairs of a watchtower, the general turned his gaze south toward a once-sprawling base the Americans handed over to Afghan forces here in late 2014. Today much of it lies in ruins.

“Everything went to pieces,” Brig. Gen. Abdul Raziq Safi said of the base, which the Americans dubbed Forward Operating Base Shank. “Everything fell apart.”

After more than 17 years and $80 billion to build them up, Afghan security forces still struggle to secure their country, while corruption and other challenges strain their ability to maintain equipment and facilities provided by foreign forces, largely the United States.

Mar 01 11:29

Who are the “Brutal Dictators”?

Elected Presidents Assad and Maduro are not the brutal dictators. We are.

We are the ones imposing economic warfare, and regime change wars on non-belligerent countries. We are the ones supporting terrorists who impose the death penalty on hundreds of thousands with our weapons, our command and control, our mercenaries, our air support and our terror bombings.

We are dictating our will by destroying these and other countries, by changing “regimes”, by setting up non-democracies throughout the world.[1]

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What really irks me, from Iraq to Afghanistan to Yemen, is the US government's willingness to be involved with war crimes, in order to get what they want accomplished, no matter the bloodshed, no matter the pain.

I remember, as a kid, swallowing whole the notion of how the US was always "the good guy" in international politics; but growing up, with the hideousness of the Vietnam War, and other endless military interventions after that, in Chile; Central America; Afghanistan; Iraq; Yemen; and Somalia, how in the name of all that is decent, can one talk about the US government as "the good guy internationally, with a straight face?!?

I sure as heck can't.

The pattern is painfully obvious; regime change; pacify the citizens of the regime changed government (most generally at the point of a gun or knife); have US-centric countries expropriating the resources of the conquered country; and only selling those resources in US dollars.

Wring, wash, repeat.....

But I predict that there will ultimately a point.... where the US will find itself in a position where they can no longer mow across whole continents with its military machines with which to do this.

Unfortunately, the only two ways of stopping this are... a complete economic collapse of this country, or a world war in which the US government loses its shirt. And by the way, I hope that neither of these two outcomes come to pass; but unless the US government changes its behaviour, those in the Bowels of Power in DC, had better get their bunkers in order; this could be one terrible mess!!

Mar 01 10:20

US to Withdraw All Troops from Afghanistan in Five Years – Report

The newly proposed peace plan suggests cutting the US contingent in half immediately and withdrawing the remaining forces in three to five years.

The US would withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan in three to five years, under a new peace plan proposed during the talks between US officials and the Taliban.

Under the peace plan, the US will reduce its military presence by half from 14,000 to 7,000 in the coming months, a report by The New York Times says. The remaining 7,000 troops will withdraw together with the remaining 8,600 European and international troops within three to five years.

Mar 01 09:56

Chinese Defense Ministry denies reports of ‘military presence’ in Afghanistan

China’s Defense Ministry defended military cooperation with Tajikistan on Thursday following a report of a sizeable Chinese troop presence at a base in the Central Asian state. Cooperation between the two is “in line with” international law and related resolutions passed by the UN Security Council, said ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang. However, Ren said there was no Chinese presence in the adjacent Wakhan Corridor belonging to Afghanistan.

Feb 25 11:56

‘Deeply Disturbing’: Civilian Deaths in Washington’s Afghan War at 9-Year High

More civilians were killed in 2018 than in any of the previous nine years of the 18-year US war in Afghanistan, according to new data.

Feb 25 06:49

UN report slams US-led airstrikes & record civilian casualties in Afghanistan

At least 3,804 civilians died last year in Afghanistan, while another 7,189 were wounded, UNAMA said in its annual report, stressing that 2018 became the deadliest on record ever since the organization began tallying figures, in 2009. While stressing that 63 percent of all civilian casualties were caused by Islamist militants, the annual review also noted a steady increase in civilian casualties, caused by the “relaxation of the rules of engagement for airstrikes” by the US-led forces in 2017.

Feb 24 12:31

US troops looted personal possessions and military artefacts from Afghan site of 19th-century British massacre while on deployment in 2009

A historic 19th century battlefield was looted by US troops on deployment in Afghanistan in 2009.

Military artefacts and and personal possessions buried alongside victims were stolen from the site of the Battle of Maiwand, where British soldiers fought.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) says troops may have 'broken international law' after many of the items from the massacre were sold to collectors and turned up online.

Feb 24 08:55

US Military's Anti-Drug Campaign In Afghanistan Ends In Failure

Hundreds of airstrikes failed to curb opium trade...

Webmaster's Commentary: 
Feb 22 10:43

Opium, Oil, Proxy Wars: Ex-Reagan Adm. Official on US' Long Afghanistan Saga

US policy-makers are continuing to oppose Donald Trump's decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan. Speaking to Sputnik, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, economist, author and former US official, shared his views on the US' decades-long Afghanistan saga, surprising rise in opium crops under the American occupation and apparent use of Islamists by the US.

Donald Trump's decision to withdraw 1,000 or more US troops from Afghanistan has prompted concerns among American lawmakers and Washington's European allies. On 16 February the bipartisan group of US congressmen met with Afghan President Ashaf Ghani on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference to discuss the painful dilemma.

Feb 21 08:00

Opium, Oil, Proxy Wars: Ex-Reagan Adm. Official on US' Long Afghanistan Saga

US policy-makers are continuing to oppose Donald Trump's decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan. Speaking to Sputnik, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, economist, author and former US official, shared his views on the US' decades-long Afghanistan saga, surprising rise in opium crops under the American occupation and apparent use of Islamists by the US.

Donald Trump's decision to withdraw 1,000 or more US troops from Afghanistan has prompted concerns among American lawmakers and Washington's European allies. On 16 February the bipartisan group of US congressmen met with Afghan President Ashaf Ghani on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference to discuss the painful dilemma.

The US' Afghanistan war, which will mark its 18th anniversary this October, started in 2001 following the 9/11 terror attack under then-US President George W. Bush.

Feb 20 12:00

Gen. Votel Contradicts Trump on Foreign Policy, Now Hypes Afghanistan ‘Threat’

Central Command chief Gen. Joseph Votel is increasingly willing to publicly contradict President Trump on foreign policy stances, historically not something active US military leadership has done.

Votel went out of his way to oppose President Trump’s Syria policy during recent testimony to Congress, and is now laying the groundwork for a similar disagreement with comments to reporters on the ‘dangerous threat’ of ISIS in Afghanistan.

President Trump hasn’t announced a withdrawal from Afghanistan yet, but peace talks with the Taliban are heading in that direction, with negotiators hoping to have a deal done in a matter of months. The Taliban wants US troops out, and has offered to keep al-Qaeda and ISIS out of Afghanistan.

Votel presented ISIS in Afghanistan as a “very sophisticated and dangerous threat,” while another, unnamed official was quoted saying they are “closest to having the capacity to attack the homeland from Afghanistan.”

Feb 17 08:00

How UK and US Betrayed the Afghan People: Archives

London and Washington worked against a genuine peace settlement in Afghanistan after the Soviet pullout 30 years ago, UK government papers released by the National Archives in London reveal.

Thirty years ago today the last Soviet soldier crossed the river Oxus from Afghanistan back into the Soviet Union. The almost 10-year war against Islamist extremism on the USSR's borders was over. But not the suffering of the Afghan people whose chances for a peaceful life were ruined by the duplicitous policies of the West.

Feb 16 10:31

GRU vet honored for capturing proof of US missile smuggling to Afghan militants in 1987

A retired soviet commando, who captured evidence of US deliveries of anti-aircraft missiles to the mujahideen during the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan, has belatedly received Russia's highest national order.

Vladimir Kovtun is a decorated retired colonel with quite an eventful career behind him. While in service he was a commando officer of the elite special operation unit of the Military Intelligence Directorate, better known as the GRU. On Friday, he added a new merit to his collection – the golden star of the Hero of Russia, the country's highest military decoration.

Feb 13 09:56

US Airstrikes in Afghanistan Highest in a Decade Amid Peace Talks

Current US interest in a peace process in Afghanistan come amid a massive escalation. The US air war is continuing to pick up pace, with the number of US strikes already at their highest level in a decade.

In 2018, US officials report that 7,362 weapons were dropped on Afghanistan in various air campaigns. This is the highest number of strikes since the Pentagon started releasing figures, in 2009.

The escalation of the air war was facilitated in particular by the decline of ISIS territory in Iraq and Syria, as this freed up a lot of warplanes that were relocated further east to Afghanistan, where more targets were available.

As a practical matter though, the airstrikes have done little to help matters on the ground, as the Pentagon has consistently confirmed that Afghan forces have been losing ground. It is this growing loss that has the US looking to settle the war.

Feb 12 07:56

ISRAEL SPYING ON IRAN FROM AFGHANISTAN - REPORTS

Israel has sent troops to Afghanistan to collect intelligence on Iranian military movement, Iranian media has reported.

According to Iran’s Tasnim news agency, Israeli troops are operating out of a United States Air Force base in Shindand in the western Afghanistan province of Herat some 75 kilometers from the Iranian border and were collecting intelligence on Iranian movement around the Persian Gulf region.

Feb 11 09:44

Acting Pentagon head Patrick Shanahan arrives in Afghanistan on surprise visit

Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan arrived in Afghanistan on a surprise visit Monday as the United States seeks to support the Kabul government while negotiating peace with the Taliban.

Shanahan will meet President Ashraf Ghani, whose government was not part of major talks between US and Taliban officials last month that negotiators hope could bring a breakthrough in the grinding 17-year conflict.

Feb 11 07:39

Capitol Hill Cowards: Why Congress Is Trying to Undermine Trump’s Troop Withdrawal Plan

Afghanistan is America’s longest war, at seventeen years and counting. It has run longer than the Mexican-American War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and Korean War combined. Yet Congress has conducted minimal oversight and done nothing as the executive branch’s aim devolved into pushing failure onto the next administration.

In Syria Washington chose to enter a civil war of minimal security concern to America. Syria was allied with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Washington’s previous forays in similarly imploding Middle Eastern nations—Lebanon and Libya—turned out badly. The executive branch concocted ever more outlandish duties for American military personnel: extirpate ISIS, exclude Iran, confront Russia, pacify Turkey, protect Kurds, and pressure Damascus. Yet Congress never voted on the continual usurpation of legislative power.

Feb 11 03:01

Afghanistan’s Guantanamo

What happened to prisoners at Bagram, 'Afghanistan’s Guantanamo'?
Some were deported, others feel safer in Afghan jail than home and little is known about a US-accused Egyptian prisoner.

Before there was Guantanamo, there was Bagram, a US detention site near its giant airbase in Afghanistan, which came to be synonymous with torture and prisoner abuse.

But when the US relinquished control of the prison, now called Parwan Detention Facility, to Afghan security forces in December 2014, Washington renounced responsibility for the men once held there.

The handful of prisoners left behind became the Afghans' problem>>>
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I worry that nearly two decades after 9/11, the US military continues to compromise its obligations under the Geneva Conventions to treat detainees humanely for the sake of expediency - and perhaps because they think no one is paying attention to these forgotten men.

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Feb 10 08:43

Negotiator: US Wants Afghan Peace Deal Before July Election

US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad commented on the Afghanistan negotiations on Friday, saying he believes “the sooner the better” on such a deal, and that it is his hope that a deal could be reached before the July presidential election in Afghanistan.

Khalilzad confirmed a framework deal is already in place, though he downplayed this, saying major hurdles remain, and also downplayed the chances of US troops actually leaving the country in the near term.

Instead of withdrawing upon reaching a peace deal, the condition the Taliban are seeking, Khalilzad indicated that the US would only leave if “there is no threat to our national security from Afghanistan.”

He also suggested that he didn’t believe anything that the Taliban has said, insisting that the US “do not trust the words of any of the protagonists” in Afghanistan. He reiterated that nothing is agreed to until the US agrees to everything.

Feb 09 18:02

Ultra-rare colour images of Afghanistan in 1928 reveal a land of manicured gardens, elegant palaces and serene tree-lined avenues

Looking idyllic with manicured gardens, grand historical buildings and stunning mountain ranges, this is Afghanistan in the late 1920s.

This series of ultra-rare colour photographs shows a country that stands in stark contrast to the war-blighted nation that we're more familiar with today.

Feb 09 11:57

Pussy John Bolton and His Codpiece Mustache: Examining the Freak Show

American government has become a collection of sordid and dangerous clowns. It was not always thus. Until Bush II, those governing were never lunatics. Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Obama, Clinton had their defects, were sometimes corrupt, and could be disagreed with on many grounds. They weren’t crazy. Today’s administration would seem unwholesome in a New York bus station at three in the morning. They are not normal American politicians.

In particular they seem to be pushing for war with Iran, China, Russia, and Venezuela. And–this is important–their behavior is not a matter of liberals catfighting with conservatives. All former presidents carefully avoided war with the Soviet Union, which carefully avoided war with America.

Feb 08 14:13

‘Like It or Not, We Have Lost’: Retired US General Concedes Afghan Defeat

“The Taliban are the victors,” says retired US Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, who saw 69 of his soldiers killed in Afghanistan. “We just haven’t figured that out yet.”

Absorbing the fact that the US has lost militarily in Afghanistan will be a "bitter pill" for the soldiers he fought with, Bolduc told Yahoo News Friday.

"They did what they were asked, they did the right thing, and they watched their teammates get maimed, get killed, and because of the failure of our policymakers and our senior military leaders, they're going to have to swallow this pill," he said.

Feb 08 10:13

Audit: Pentagon at Risk of Botching $6 Billion Effort to Give Afghan Troops Black Hawk Helicopters

The Pentagon is at risk of mismanaging yet another multi-billion project in Afghanistan — a modernization program intended to equip the Afghan Air Forces (AAF) with 159 state-of-the-art Black Hawk helicopters as part of efforts to address capability gaps, a U.S. watchdog agency reported Tuesday.

In an audit of the program, the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) noted that the estimated cost of providing the helicopters between 2017 and 2023 varies from $5.75 billion to approximately $7 billion in American taxpayer funds — a figure that covers procuring and sustaining the aircraft as well as training pilots and crewmembers.

SIGAR warned that there will not be enough Afghan pilots or engineers trained to fly and maintain the aircraft by the time the war-ravaged country receives the helicopters.

Feb 07 11:26

Taliban says no agreement with US on troop withdrawal deadline

The Taliban says no timeframe has been agreed for the pullout of American troops from Afghanistan despite Washington’s earlier promise to draw down half of its forces from the war-torn country.

A Taliban official on Wednesday said that the United States had promised to withdraw half of its troops from Afghanistan by the end of April, but the US says it has not set a timeframe for that.

"The Americans told us (last month) that they would withdraw half of their troops from the beginning of February to the end of April," Taliban official Abdul Salam Hanafi was quoted as saying by RIA.

A US State Department spokeswoman said Washington had "not agreed to any timeline for a possible drawdown of troops.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Trump is no longer in control of the war machine.

Feb 06 09:55

Taliban & Afghan delegates seek end to 18yr war at Moscow peace talks boycotted by US-backed Kabul

Representatives of the Taliban met with other Afghan delegates in Moscow to discuss the prospects of peace and the removal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan. Among those present was the first US-backed president Hamid Karzai.

The Taliban were represented by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, a former mujahideen fighter who has led the movement’s office in Qatar since 2012.

Several members of the Afghan diaspora in Russia, as well as former government officials from Afghanistan, also attended. The government of President Ashraf Ghani is boycotting the talks, however, having rejected the Taliban’s key condition for peace: that all foreign troops have to leave Afghanistan.

Feb 06 08:26

Senate Warmongers Oppose Trump's Recall of Troops From Afghanistan & Syria

The warmongers in the US Senate will never have enough of Afghanistan and Syria and other wars in the Middle East. After President Donald Trump called for an end to "endless wars," the US Senate voted to keep troops in Syria and Afghanistan.

The US Senate voted 70-26 in favor of keeping US forces in both countries.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he still believes ISIS and al Qaeda are still significant threats and that “a precipitous withdrawal” may only bolster their efforts.

Feb 05 13:03

CIA Was Aiding Afghan Jihadists Before the Soviet Invasion

Originally, there were four parties involved in the Afghan conflict which are mainly responsible for the debacle in the Af-Pak region. Firstly, the former Soviet Union which invaded Afghanistan in December 1979. Secondly, Pakistan’s security agencies which nurtured the Afghan jihadists on the behest of Washington.

Thirdly, Saudi Arabia and the rest of oil-rich Gulf states which generously funded the jihadists to promote their Wahhabi-Salafi ideology. And last but not the least, the Western capitals which funded, provided weapons and internationally legitimized the erstwhile "freedom fighters" to use them against a competing ideology, global communism, which posed a threat to the Western corporate interests all over the world.

Regarding the objectives of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, the then American envoy to Kabul, Adolph "Spike" Dubs, was assassinated on Feb. 14, 1979, the same day that Iranian revolutionaries stormed the US embassy in Tehran.

Feb 05 13:02

Senate Breaks With Trump on Afghanistan, Syria Withdrawal

In a second vote on last week’s procedural vote, the Senate has once again endorsed the McConnell amendment, which expresses non-binding opposition to the US withdrawing from either Afghanistan or Syria, citing the idea that Iran or Russia might take advantage.

The vote was 70-26, with overwhelming Republican support. The only Republicans to vote no were Sens. Ted Cruz (TX), Rand Paul (KY), John Kennedy (LA), and Mike Lee (UT). Democrats were more split on the matter.

Conspicuously, however, the Democratic Party Senators who opposed the amendment include everyone who has set themselves up to run for president in 2020. They may believe this further splits them ideologically from the Republican Senate leadership.

Feb 05 10:24

Washington trying to take full control of Taliban talks – Lavrov

Washington is trying to take full control of talks with the Taliban movement and conduct them in secrecy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. “There is a need to search for a political solution apart from resolving security issues. Russia has been calling for intra-Afghan dialogue, which would involve the government and the Taliban movement,” Lavrov said.

Feb 05 10:06

TALIBAN LAUNCH DEADLY ATTACKS AS THEY ATTEND AFGHAN PEACE TALKS

The Taliban has killed at least 47 people in separate attacks in Afghanistan, despite the beginning of peace talks with Afghan officials in Moscow.

The armed group launched a pre-dawn attack on an army base in northern Kunduz on Tuesday, killing 26 members of the security forces, Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, head of the provincial council said.

There were at least 23 soldiers and three members of the local police force among those slain.

According to Ayubi, 12 troops were wounded in the Taliban onslaught, which lasted for over two hours until reinforcements arrived at the besieged base and the attackers were repelled.

"Day by day, the security situation is getting worse in and around Kunduz city," said Ayubi, adding there are fears the city could again fall into the hands of the Taliban as it did briefly on two occasions in recent years - in September 2015 and in October 2016.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder, logically: were these actually Taliban, if what they are looking for in Moscow is peace?!?

Or were they forces determined to attempt to insure that US and NATO troops stay?!?!

Peace talks and simultaneous attacks?!?

Forgive me, but this just doesn't make sense.

Feb 05 10:00

HEATED ???? Rand Paul goes NUCLEAR on Republicans who Rebuke President Trump Military Exit Strategy

Feb 04 09:24

The Pentagon Has a ‘Ghost Soldiers’ Problem

Since 2002, billions of U.S. tax dollars have been spent rebuilding Afghanistan after decades of war. A big chunk of that money pays Afghan soldiers and police.

But it turns out a lot of those troops may not, in fact, exist. On “Full Measure,” we investigate how your tax money is being wasted on “ghost soldiers.”

Here’s my interview with John Sopko, who is the inspector general watching over the U.S. taxpayer billions spent to rebuild Afghanistan.

Feb 04 09:06

Trump pushes withdrawal from 'endless' Afghanistan, Syria wars

US President Donald Trump reaffirmed, in an interview, his determination to pull US troops out of "endless wars" in Syria and Afghanistan, but said they should stay in Iraq to watch Iran.

Feb 04 08:37

Trump Backtracks on Syria, Afghan Withdrawals, Facing Growing Senate Pressure

Having drifted back and forth a few times on the US withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan, President Trump seemed solid on leaving last week, but facing growing opposition from the Senate now shows signs of backtracking once again.

Previously talking up how the wars in Afghanistan and Syria can’t last forever, Trump is now saying he wants a “smaller number” of troops to stay in Afghanistan, despite the Taliban already making it clear that was a non-starter for the peace deal.

In Syria, Trump is now focused on the idea that the pullout can only happen after assuring that “Israel is protected,” which is as close to a recipe for permanent warfare as one can get. Israeli officials have made clear they want the war to be about Iran, not ISIS.

And that seems to be he case in Iraq, as well, where President Trump is now saying US troops will remain, seemingly forever, to “watch Iran,” and make sure they don’t “do nuclear weapons or other things.”

Feb 02 10:55

‘The War Party': US Senate Blurs Partisan Lines in Unified Vote Against Trump

The US Senate Democrats and Republicans' vote against withdrawing troops from Syria and drawing down the American hold on Afghanistan is evidence that there's really only one political party, and that's the war party, anti-war activist and journalist Cindy Sheehan told Sputnik.

Feb 02 09:33

US Senate opposes troops’ withdrawal from Syria, Afghanistan

In a rebuke of President Donald Trump, the Republican-led US Senate advanced largely symbolic legislation on Thursday opposing plans for any abrupt withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

The Senate voted 68-23 in favor of a non-binding amendment, drafted by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying it was the sense of the Senate that militant groups in both countries continue to pose a “serious threat” to the United States.

The procedural vote to cut off debate meant that the amendment would be added to a broader Middle East security bill likely to come up for a final Senate vote next week.

The amendment acknowledges progress against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria and Afghanistan but warns that “a precipitous withdrawal” without effective efforts to secure gains could destabilize the region and create a vacuum that could be filled by Iran or Russia.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Heeeeere's your rifles.....

Feb 02 06:54

Trump's Withdrawals From Afghanistan & Syria Are Hardly "A Gift To Putin"

Manichaean Cold War myopia and ludicrous Russiagate allegations have produced one of the worst periods of American “geopolitical” thinking in recent decades. Consider President Trump’s recently announced withdrawals of US forces from Syria and Afghanistan. Instead of applauding these long-overdue steps, the bipartisan US political-media establishment has denounced them as “Trump’s gifts to Putin.”

But why would Russian President Putin want to be without the United States as an ally in the fight against terrorists in these two countries, which Moscow has long regarded as its geopolitical backyard?

In Syria, where, as Putin has repeatedly warned, thousands of jihadists with Russian passports have appeared and vowed, if they take Damascus, to return to Russia and wage the same war there?

Feb 01 13:01

Rand Paul: 'Ludicrous' to call a withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria 'precipitous'

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Thursday it was "ludicrous" for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to call taking troops out of Syria and Afghanistan “precipitous.”

“To call it a precipitous withdrawal after 17 years is ludicrous,” Paul said on Fox News. “We’ve been there 17 years.”

The libertarian-leaning lawmaker said the U.S. had secured a victory in Afghanistan because it “got bin Laden” and “disrupted the people who attacked us.”

He argued that the money spent on the war could be better spent domestically, including on a border wall.

The U.S. has been leading an international coalition against ISIS in Syria since 2014, while the war in Afghanistan began in late 2001.

Feb 01 10:56

Senate Vote Opposes Ending US Wars in Syria, Afghanistan: Non-binding vote declares withdrawing troops a serious risk

In a surprising vote Thursday, the Senate voted 68-23 to pass a resolution from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressing opposition to President Trump’s plan to withdraw US troops from Syria, and expressing opposition to any theoretical pullout from Afghanistan that might result from a negotiated deal to end that war.

The non-binding resolution was passed with overwhelming support from the Republican majority, setting them squarely against parts of President Trump’s foreign policy. A number of Democrats who voted against it expressed concern that it was tantamount to a vote advocating a state of permanent war.

Which it realistically is. The 2001 authorization for the Afghan War was built around 9/11 and the defeat of al-Qaeda. Neither are hugely relevant issues in 2019 Afghanistan, and a peace treaty being negotiated centers heavily around the Taliban promising to keep al-Qaeda and ISIS out of the country in the future.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As I have stipulated many times before on this blog, just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government and military can do, is no bet they won't do it.

Staying on in Syria, and continuing the occupation of Afghanistan, are both exceptionally bad choices

Staying in Syria means more than a measure of concern about the US and Russia getting into a military engagement here, as the US presence was neither asked for nor recognised by the Syrian government.

The Iranians are here, but in very small numbers, and have been working with the government to get rid of the US/Western-backed, trained, and funded jihadists.

So at the end of the day, Syrians should be able to make their own self-determination about who stays in power as Syria's government, or who does not.

Feb 01 10:31

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S LOVE OF FOREIGN DICTATORSHIPS

Lest anyone be tempted to believe that President Trump and other U.S. interventionists are intervening in Venezuela because of some purported concern for the Venezuelan people, let’s examine just a few examples that will bring a dose of reality to the situation. This latest intervention is nothing more than another interventionist power play, one intended to replace one dictatorial regime with another.

Egypt comes to mind. It is ruled by one of the most brutal and tyrannical military dictatorships in the world. The U.S. government loves it, supports it, and partners with it. There is no concern for the Egyptian citizenry, who have to suffer under this brutal tyranny and oppression.

Saudi Arabia also comes to mind. It too is a brutal and tyrannical dictatorship, also a murderous one. The U.S. government loves it too, supports it, and partners with it. There is no concern for Saudi citizens who have to suffer under this brutal tyranny and oppression.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is never the people of a country the US regime changes who matter; it is always about the money and the resources.

Do you think for one moment, that the US is concerned about the people of Venezuela, rather than its proven oil reserves?!?

Of course, not!!

Jan 30 12:36

America's Shameful War

The United States, champion of freedom and self-determination, is now in its 18th year of colonial war in Afghanistan. This miserable, stalemated conflict is America’s longest and most shameful war. So far it has cost over $1 trillion and killed no one knows how many Afghans.

This conflict began in 2001 on a lie: namely that Afghanistan was somehow responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the US. These attacks were planned in Europe and the US, not Afghanistan, and apparently conducted (official version) by anti-American Saudi extremists. This writer remains unconvinced by the official versions.

We still don’t know if Osama bin Laden instigated the attacks. He was murdered rather than brought to trial. Dead men tell no tales. However, Mullah Omar, leader of Afghanistan’s Taliban movement, told my late friend journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave that bin Laden was not involved in 9/11. Who benefited? Certainly not the Afghans. They have been at war for the past 40 years.

Jan 30 12:30

US Caught Helping ISIS Commanders Escape from Taliban Prison in Afghanistan

A large number of prisoners, all of them senior members of Daesh (also ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group, broke out of a Taliban prison in northwest Afghanistan after US troops helped them escape through a covert operation.

According to Tasnim dispatches, American forces operating in Afghanistan carried out a secret military operation in the northwestern province of Badghis two weeks ago and helped the Daesh inmates escape the prison.

The report added that 40 Daesh ringleaders, all of them foreigners, were transferred by helicopters after American troops raided the prison and killed all its security guards.

Jan 30 11:22

US, Taliban ‘finalise draft deal’ to end 17-year-long Afghan conflict

Taliban officials said US negotiators on Saturday agreed a draft peace deal stipulating the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan within 18 months of the agreement being signed.

The details were provided to Reuters by Taliban sources at the end of six days of talks with US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar aimed at ending the United States’ longest war.

They have yet to be confirmed by US officials nor has either side released an official statement. Officials at the US embassy in Kabul were not immediately available for comment.

Khalilzad is heading to the Afghan capital Kabul to brief President Ashraf Ghani after the longer-than expected talks, the sources and a diplomat said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF true, color me just slightly hopeful here.

Jan 28 15:54

US Caught Helping ISIS Commanders Escape from Taliban Prison in Afghanistan

A large number of prisoners, all of them senior members of Daesh (also ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group, broke out of a Taliban prison in northwest Afghanistan after US troops helped them escape through a covert operation.

Jan 28 13:46

Now It's Serious: Afghan Peace Talks Could Actually Bear Fruit

Dramatic news is filtering in from Qatar where the United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and his delegation were huddled together with the representatives of the Taliban for four consecutive days since Monday. The duration of the talks unmistakably signifies that complex negotiations have taken place. Things are moving almost entirely in the direction I had indicated in my earlier blog US officials converge on Pakistan seeking peace.

Jan 27 15:27

US and Taliban finalize details of draft peace deal – reports

Both sides in the US-Taliban peace talks have made concessions to move closer to a draft agreement to end the 17-year Afghan war, Reuters says, reporting on the meeting in Qatar citing sources. According to the draft, foreign forces are expected to leave the country 18 months from the future signing of the deal. The Taliban offered assurances that Afghanistan would not be used by Al-Qaeda and Islamic State to attack the US and its allies. The group would also engage in talks with the Afghan government when the ceasefire is announced. There has been no official comment from the US. The fate of the current Afghan government, which the Taliban doesn’t recognize, is unclear if the US withdraws, a former Pentagon official told RT.

Jan 27 09:10

CIA Was Aiding Jihadists Before Soviets Invaded Afghanistan – OpEd

Originally, there were four parties involved in the Afghan conflict which are mainly responsible for the debacle in the Af-Pak region. Firstly, the former Soviet Union which invaded Afghanistan in December 1979. Secondly, Pakistan’s security agencies which nurtured the Afghan so-called “mujahideen” (freedom fighters) on the behest of Washington.

Thirdly, Saudi Arabia and the rest of oil-rich Gulf states which generously funded the jihadists to promote their Wahhabi-Salafi ideology. And last but not the least, the Western capitals which funded, provided weapons and internationally legitimized the erstwhile ‘freedom fighters’ to use them against a competing ideology, global communism, which posed a threat to the Western corporate interests all over the world.

Jan 26 13:02

CIA WAS AIDING JIHADISTS BEFORE SOVIETS INVADED AFGHANISTAN

Originally, there were four parties involved in the Afghan conflict which are mainly responsible for the debacle in the Af-Pak region. Firstly, the former Soviet Union which invaded Afghanistan in December 1979. Secondly, Pakistan’s security agencies which nurtured the Afghan so-called “mujahideen” (freedom fighters) on the behest of Washington.

Jan 26 10:36

Mr President. End This Shameful War Now!

An ancient Hindu prayer says, ‘Lord Shiva, save us from the claw of the tiger, the fang of the cobra, and the vengeance of the Afghan.’

The United States, champion of freedom and self-determination, is now in its 18th year of colonial war in Afghanistan. This miserable, stalemated conflict is America’s longest and most shameful war. So far it has cost over $1 trillion and killed no one knows how many Afghans.

Jan 23 08:50

US CONFIRMS ITS ENVOY HELD TALKS WITH TALIBAN IN QATAR

The United States has confirmed that its envoy met the Taliban in Qatar as Washington seeks to negotiate an end to the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan.

Zalmay Khalilzad, US special representative on Afghan reconciliation, on Tuesday met Taliban representatives in the Qatari capital Doha, the US State Department said.

"We can confirm that Special Representative Khalilzad and an inter-agency team are in Doha today talking with representatives of the Taliban," a State Department spokeswoman said, adding that the talks were taking place over two days.

The Taliban and the US envoys have officially met four times since July, in an attempt to find a negotiated settlement to the war in the embattled country.

However, Wednesdays comments mark the first time the US State Department has confirmed his meetings directly.

The meeting came even though the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on Tuesday against an Afghan intelligence base in central Wardak province.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am not entirely certain as to where this process will lead, but I certainly hope that it ultimately leads to a complete withdrawal of US and NATO troops.

17 years on , there is still utterly no metric by which this horriific occupation can be judged "a victory".

Jan 22 11:27

Disunity Of U.S. Commmand Lets Afghan Rebels Win The War

The U.S. war on Afghanistan continues to fail. Disunity of command and lack of political foresight guarantee that the U.S. will be losing it.

Throughout the last months the 'moderate rebels' in Afghanistan made great strides against the U.S. sponsored government forces.

Jan 22 04:57

Over 100 security killed in Taliban attack on Afghan military training center – reports

Taliban militants killed over 100 members of the Afghan security forces in an attack on a military compound in the central province of Maidan Wardak, Reuters reported citing a source in the military.
“We have information that 126 people have been killed in the explosion inside the military training center,” an official told Reuters. The government said earlier that 12 people had been killed, but declined to comment further.

A Taliban suicide bomber drove a car bomb into the base following a firefight between the militants and security forces, Afghanistan’s Pajhwok News reported. The attack took place shortly after 8am local time on Monday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How many more good men and women in our military will have to die, before Trump finally gets that this is an insane war, a war where there are no military matrics possible to define as "having won this one"?!?!?

I have long stated that the US and NATO need to leave this country as quickly as safely possible, then negotiate with whatever is left of the government in Kabul for the oil pipeline leases; the rare earth minerals, and rights to the production of opium poppies.

And BTW, the following images of US troops protecting opium poppy crops in Afghanistan, are not photoshopped.

Images: US forces protecting poppy fields.

Jan 19 11:04

Pakistan Trying to Arrange New US-Taliban Talks

Pakistani officials are reportedly intensifying their efforts to get together US and Taliban negotiators for a new round of peace talks in Afghanistan. They express confidence that they can get the two sides together, but say that any success or failure will depend on the negotiators themselves.

Talks between the two sides were going very well, with talk recently that there would be a deal to establish a new government in Afghanistan which would include Taliban representation. This was part of the reason the US wanted the existing Afghan government to delay their elections.

But in the last couple of weeks, things appear to have soured, as the US has apparently backed away from talk of a pullout, and are now trying to get the Taliban to grant them having “long-term bases” which has the Taliban threatening to withdraw from the talks entirely.

Jan 16 12:44

Americans OK With Leaving Syria and Afghanistan

The long life of the Afghan war makes it hard to remember how popular it was when it began. As the fighting began, 80 percent of America supported it. Nobody in Congress except Rep. Barbara Lee (D–Calif.) was prescient enough to vote against the Authorization for Use of Military Force and its open-ended-enough-to-attack-a-dozen-more-countries wording. Not until 2014 did a majority of Americans begin to regret that the war ever started.

Now some polls suggest it's nearly as unpopular as the wildly unpopular ill-fated war in Iraq.

Jan 16 12:14

US invaded Afghanistan largely to restore heroin industry: Scholar

The United States invaded Afghanistan largely to restore the heroin industry and it is now making about $1.5 trillion every year from this business, according to Dr. Kevin Barrett, an American academic and political analyst.

US Army General John Nicholson, the commander of Resolute Support forces and US forces in Afghanistan, on Monday announced that American jets targeted drug producing facilities in Afghanistan for the first time under a new strategy aimed at cutting off Taliban funding.

He said that the air strikes were carried out on Sunday in the southern Helmand province, adding that Taliban militants generate about $200 million per year from poppy cultivation and opium production.

The general said that the US military carried out the raids under a new war strategy for Afghanistan announced by President Donald Trump in August.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In Afghan fields
the poppies grow
between the crosses
row on row.

Jan 13 12:53

Kabul won’t let US use American bases against Iran: Diplomat

Afghanistan will not allow the United States to use its bases in the country to conduct any act of aggression against Iran, says a top Afghan diplomat.

“Relations with neighbors are of special significance to the Afghan government in Kabul. Therefore, we will never allow the US to use its military bases against our neighbors such as Iran and Pakistan,” said Abdul Rahim Sayed Jan, Afghan ambassador to Turkey.

“The presence of US bases in Afghanistan has always been a source of concern for our neighbors, although, in line with the Afghan government’s agreement with the US, Washington can never use these bases against our neighbors,” added the envoy in his address to a conference on Afghanistan in Turkish capital Ankara, Turkish daily Yeni Akit reported on Saturday.

Jan 13 11:55

Israel An Ill Gotten Gain [excellent video]

Israel is a colonial settler state, sitting on land that was stolen from the Arab population, which they had been living on for thousands of years. The vast majority of Jews that settled the land in the early 1900's falsely laid claim to Palestine.

Since that injustice (the creation of Israel) the Zionists have continued to try to justify what they have done. The creation of Israel and now its maintenance has been the underling cause of both world wars, events like 9/11, the war of terror, the creation of ISIS, and the current destabilization of the region.

Jan 11 08:53

The Bankruptcy of Conventional Wisdom at the Pentagon

Perhaps the most blatant example of the bankruptcy of conventional wisdom at the Pentagon came from retired General David Petraeus in an interview with PBS reporter Judy Woodruff in June of 2017. Petraeus spoke of a “sustainable, sustained commitment” to Afghanistan and the need for a “generational struggle” with Islamic terrorists who are located there. Comparing Afghanistan to the U.S. commitment to South Korea, he hinted US troops might be there for 60 or more years (though he backtracked on the 60-year figure when challenged by Woodruff).

Jan 09 11:38

US Has No Choice Except Changing Its Afghan Strategy: Iran

Despite its 17-year military presence in Afghanistan, the US has failed to achieve its objectives in the country, said secretary of Iran's security council.

Jan 08 11:51

TALIBAN CALL OFF PEACE TALKS WITH U.S. OFFICIALS

The Taliban said on Tuesday they had canceled planned peace talks with U.S. officials in Qatar this week over an agenda disagreement.

"Both sides have agreed to not meet in Qatar," senior Taliban members based in Afghanistan told Reuters.

Talks had been planned for two days starting Wednesday in Qatar, senior Taliban members earlier told Reuters. The Taliban had rejected requests from regional powers to allow Afghan officials to take part in the discussion.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The only solution here, ultimately, will have to be a negotiated solution, period, end of discussion.

Jan 08 09:02

Hypocrisy Without Bounds: The Tragedy of ‘Liberal’ Foreign Policy

If anyone else were president, the "liberals" would be celebrating. After all, pulling American soldiers out of a couple of failing, endless wars seems like a "win" for progressives. Heck, if Obama did it there might be a ticker-tape parade down Broadway. And there should be. The intervention in Syria is increasingly aimless, dangerous and lacks an end state. Afghanistan is an unwinnable war – America’s longest – and about to end in outright military defeat. Getting out now and salvaging so much national blood and treasure ought to be a progressive dream. There’s only one problem: Donald Trump. Specifically, that it was Trump who gave the order to begin the troop withdrawals.

Jan 07 12:12

Taliban threaten oil fields in northern Afghanistan

Taliban fighters are threatening major oil wells near the northern Afghan city of Sar-e Pul following days of fighting in which dozens of members of the security forces have been killed and wounded, officials and residents said on Friday.

Jan 07 09:32

Why Trump's Advisors Keep Quashing His Realist Whims

The multitude of policy zigs and zags seems to constitute a case of a president suffering from foreign policy bipolar disorder. Yet a pattern may exist amidst all of the turmoil. Trump’s foreign policy instincts often appear to be a sound and refreshing contrast to the stale conventional wisdom that has led the United States to careen from one interventionist debacle to another over the past quarter-century. (His early hostile stance toward North Korea and his policy toward Iran at all times are the major exceptions to sound instincts.) But time and again Trump has allowed his advisers to talk him out of his initial (usually correct) positions. That’s not surprising. The president is not an avid reader about foreign policy (or apparently anything else), and his knowledge base is alarmingly shallow. That deficiency gives policy advisers an exceptional degree of influence.

Jan 07 08:10

TALIBAN WANTS US TALKS MOVED FROM SAUDI ARABIA TO QATAR

Taliban officials said yesterday that the movement will not attend planned peace talks with the United States in Saudi Arabia this month and wants them moved to Qatar.

The next round of talks between the Taliban and the US are the fourth in a series aimed at ending the 17-year war in Afghanistan. The talks will address the withdrawal of foreign troops and a possible ceasefire in 2019.

The movement’s leaders have rejected an offer from the Afghan government for direct talks despite mounting international pressure to involve the Western-backed government in the discussions.

“We are supposed to meet US officials in Riyadh next week and resume the unfinished peace process held in Abu Dhabi last month,” a senior Taliban member told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

“The problem is that Saudi Arabia and the UAE wanted us to meet with the Afghan government delegation, which we cannot do for the time being, and therefore we canceled the meeting in Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, finally, there may be a way for the stalemate in Afghanistan to end, and US/NATO troops can go home?!?

I wouldn't want to bet on it right now.

Jan 06 14:05

The new Great Game on the Roof of the World

On top of the graceful Baltit Fort, overlooking the Hunza Valley’s Shangri-La-style splendor, it’s impossible not to feel dizzy at the view: an overwhelming collision of millennia of geology and centuries of history.

We are at the heart of Gilgit-Baltistan, in Pakistan’s Northern Areas, or – as legend rules, the Roof of the World. This is an area about 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) crammed with spectacular mountain ranges and amidst them, secluded pristine valleys and the largest glaciers outside of the Polar region.

The location feels like vertigo. To the north, beyond the Batura Glacier, is the tiny northeast arm of Afghanistan, the legendary Wakhan corridor. A crest of the Hindu Kush separates Wakhan from the regional capital Gilgit. Xinjiang starts on Wakhan’s uppermost tip. Via the upgraded Karakoram highway, it’s only 240 km from Gilgit to the Khunjerab Pass, 4,934 meters high on the official China-Pakistan border.

Jan 05 11:12

Trump Instructs Pentagon to Curb Watchdogs’ Access to Secret Military Reports

Transparency groups decry move as hindering the work of inspectors general.

President Trump, in a nationally televised Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, instructed acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to withhold classified battlefield reports from inspectors general, a move that brought objections from transparency advocates.

“I can tell you [a] story when I got here about our military that I don’t even want to talk about,” Trump said. “We do these reports on our military. Some IG goes over there, and he goes over there and they do a report on every single thing. We’re fighting wars and they’re doing [a] report and releasing it to the public. The public means the enemy. Those reports should be private reports.”

The president continued: “Let them do a report, but they should be private reports and be locked up … [Giving the reports] out to the enemy is insane. And I don’t want it to happen anymore, Mr. Secretary. You understand that?”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder; if these reports were absolutely glowing, in terms the accomplishments of US troops, fighting on the ground in Afghanistan and elsewhere, would President Trump be as agitated as he appeared to be, Wednesday, on this issue?!?

I would suspect... probably not.

Jan 04 10:24

Trump Walks Back Syria Pullout As Noose Tightens

If anyone still thinks that Donald Trump has some master plan to kill off his Deep State adversaries they should check themselves into therapy. I know withdrawal is hard, but admitting you have a problem is the first step to curing it.

He doesn’t have a plan. He may fight them but it won’t be with any kind of master plan to trap them in some beautiful bit of political judo.

Frankly, Vladimir Putin he is not.

No, Trump is winging things at this point. While he still has the office he’s trying to do some of the things he promised. Doing that may keep him in power for a few more months.

But with his walking back the timetable for pulling troops out of Syria after a visit from Lindsay Graham (R-MIC/AIPAC) should tell you all you need to know about Trump’s willingness to stand up to the pressure he’s under.

Jan 04 09:26

The Truth About Trump’s Withdrawal Of U.S. Forces From Afghanistan And Syria

Trump is not pulling troops out of Afghanistan and Syria; he is pulling the wool over the eyes of millions of Christians and conservatives.

Jan 03 11:11

WAR IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS AND ORGANIZED CRIME: AFGHANISTAN’S MULTIBILLION DOLLAR OPIUM TRADE. RISING HEROIN ADDICTION IN THE US

Today a rough estimate based on US retail prices suggests that the global heroin market is above the 500 billion dollars mark. This multibillion dollar hike is the result of a significant increase in the volume of heroin transacted Worldwide coupled with a moderate increase in retail prices.

Based on the most recent (UNODC) data (2017) opium production in Afghanistan is of the order of 9000 metric tons, which after processing and transformation is equivalent to approximately 900,000 kg. of pure heroin.

With the surge in heroin addiction since 2001, the retail price of heroin has increased. According to DEA intelligence, one gram of pure heroin was selling in December 2016 in the domestic US market for $902 per gram.

The Heroin trade is colossal: one gram of pure heroin selling at $902 is equivalent to almost a million US dollars a kilo ($902,000) (see table below)

Jan 03 09:19

Trump: Afghan Invasion Bankrupted the Soviet Union

In comments Wednesday, President Trump caused a substantial stir in noting the Soviet Union’s collapse in the wake of their disastrous war in Afghanistan. This caused a flurry of backlash in the media questioning the historical accuracy of the statement.

Trump said that the Soviet Union was bankrupted by the Afghan War, leading an official at the American Enterprise Institute claiming the cost of the war was “an insignificant portion of the Soviet GDP.”

Of course, the Soviets didn’t literally declare bankruptcy at all, but their decisive defeat in Afghanistan was the beginning of the end of their attempts to heavily project power abroad. The not-inconsequential inherent problems in Communism were also a clear factor, but Afghanistan was an eye-opener, and sped up the inevitable collapse.

Jan 03 09:18

Afghan forces open fire on NATO advisors at base in Herat

Two Afghan border guards opened fire on NATO Resolute Support mission advisors at the military base in Herat province in western Afghanistan, according to reports.

An Afghan service member was killed and another wounded, Noorullah Qaderi, Commander of the 207 Zafar Military Corps told Pajwok.

The Resolute Support members were visiting the Fifth Border Security Forces battalion in Islam Qala, a town at the Afghanistan-Iran border.

None of the foreign troops, who were traveling in a vehicle at the base, were injured. One of the attackers was killed and another taken into custody, Tolo News reported Qaderi as saying.

Jan 03 09:12

Trump's Right About ‘Ridiculous’ Misuse of U.S. Troops

Donald Trump has been complaining for years about the promiscuous use of American military personnel. Two weeks ago, he did something about it, announcing the withdrawal of 2,000 troops from Syria and 7,000 from Afghanistan.

Republicans joined Democrats in condemning Trump for acting impulsively, sowing "chaos," and precipitating a "national security crisis." But it's the president's overwrought critics who are making choices without thinking, driven by the momentum of military mistakes to support open-ended commitments that make no sense.

The U.S. intervention in Syria's civil war was never authorized by Congress, and its aims were nebulous. A few months ago, Trump's national security adviser was saying American forces would stay in Syria as long as Iran or its proxies are operating there—in other words, indefinitely.

Jan 02 11:10

CIA-MANAGED FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN ARE REPORTEDLY CONDUCTING 'TORTURE AND KILLINGS WITH NEAR IMPUNITY'

Afghan strike forces overseen by the CIA are operating with little care for preventing civilian casualties, a lengthy New York Times report details Monday, and their brutality has fostered local populations' sympathy for the Taliban.

The CIA-managed teams work "unconstrained by battlefield rules designed to protect civilians, conducting night raids, torture and killings with near impunity," the Times reports, citing Afghan and American officials. "Those abuses are actively pushing people toward the Taliban, the officials say," and as the U.S. military footprint in the country has declined from its 2011 peak of about 100,000, these "strike forces are increasingly the way that a large number of rural Afghans experience the American presence." Unconfirmed reports suggest some raids may even include American operatives.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to read this with absolute disgust, contempt, and a really nasty feeling in one's gut, that were war crimes were a competitive sport, the US would be close to winning "the gold", as the country which has committed so many war crimes that it has lost count..if count was ever kept.

And I have to speculate; is this behaviour on the part of the CIA-backed troops actually intended and engineered to make this 18 year old war run longer, so that the various "Alphabet Soup" agencies, which make millions running the poppy trade, creating very strong, cheap, heroin, for "off-shelf operations", won't lose their source of income?!?

Were I a betting woman, I would not bet against it. And no, the photos below haven't been photoshopped:

Images: US military guarding opium poppy fields in Afghanistan

Jan 02 10:44

27 security officials killed in Afghanistan

At least 27 security officers have been killed by the Taliban during a series of coordinated attacks in the north of Afghanistan.

The deadliest attack took place in Sari-i-Pul province where 21 were killed.

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