Oct 05 09:10

Commander expects no clear Afghan victory: report

The top military commander in Afghanistan said in an interview Sunday the public should not expect "decisive military victory" there, only the reduction of the insurgency to manageable levels.

Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith, commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, which has just completed its second tour in Afghanistan, told the Sunday Times that people should "lower their expectations" about how the conflict will end.

He also said Britons should prepare for a possible deal with the Taliban.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Between the complete historical ignorance about this region, coupled with tactical "magical thinking" through which this occupation was conceived and has been waged, there has never been a way to win this militarily.

The US military's own protocol indicated that it would take at least 400,000 soldiers to make this happen. So how many total do we have now, between the US and NATO? Give or take, around 50,000 troops, just slightly more than 10% of the true figure needed to have made this work.

One would also imagine that military high command would learn from the mistakes of history, and change their strategy when something doesn't work. The US military should have learned from Viet Nam that you cannot win what is essentially a land war from the air.

Apparently, this is a lesson that has gone unlearned.

So what are we doing? Massive aerial bombing, which guarantees two things: the death of a whole lot more non-combatants, and the radicalization of everyone else left standing against the current Afghani government.

So now, after 7 years of blood and money poured into this conflict, what are we (the folks in both the US and the UK whose taxes supported this war) sternly lectured that we must do by Brigadier Carlton-Smith? Lower our expectations and re-define "victory" as "...the reduction of insurgency to manageable levels."

Oh, and as an afterthought?

Cut a deal with the Taliban.

Too bad the brilliant idiots in Washington and Whitehall couldn't have managed to do that before so many of our kids (and innocent Afghanis) got maimed for life and killed.

Oct 05 07:38

UK commander issues Afghan warning

A decisive military victory in Afghanistan is impossible and the Taliban may have to be part of a long-term solution for the country, a senior British commander in Afghanistan has said.

"We're not going to win this war," Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith was quoted as saying in a British newspaper, published on Sunday.

He also reportedly said a deal with the Taliban might be on the table.

Oct 03 10:19

Taliban Rejects Karzai Call for Talks

Afghan President Hamid Karzai gave an interview on Pakistani television in which he implored Taliban leader Mullah Omar to return to the country and compete in the next presidential election. Karzai promised to be “wholly solely responsible for his safety.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mullah Omar has no reason to sit down and negotiate with Karzai. Right now, the Taliban are winning this.

It appears that the military leadership of both the US and NATO suffered from selective amnesia when planning their "strategy", if one can actually call it strategy.

Somewhere, in military play books, it is writ large that you absolutely cannot win what is essentially a land war from the air, as the US debacle in Viet Nam should have proven to any military person with a semblance of a brain.

So, what has been the US and NATO "strategy" in Afghanistan?>

Increased aerial bombings, which guarantees two things will happen.

First, you're going to kill one hell of a lot of non-combatants (women, kids, the elderly, the medically fragile, etc.).

Secondly, you're going to radicalize those left standing even further away from the Karzai government.

Apparently, we're two for two with this "strategy"; we've killed a lot of civilians, and made the Taliban look like a reasonable alternative to the existing government.

The US's own military protocol indicated that we'd need 400,000 pairs of boots on the ground to handle this occupation successfully.

And what have we got there now (not counting the Afghan Army) is around 48,000 troops, just a little more than 10% of the number actually needed to pull this off. And although fresh troops have been promised to Karzai by Washington, their deployment is completely dependent upon the speed with which those troops can leave Iraq.

The US and NATO leadership couldn't have bungled this any worse than if they had done it deliberately.

Oct 01 20:30

British envoy says mission in Afghanistan is doomed, according to leaked memo

Britain’s Ambassador to Afghanistan has stoked opposition to the allied operation there by reportedly saying that the campaign against the Taleban insurgents would fail and that the best hope was to install an acceptable dictator in Kabul.

Oct 01 11:38

Insurgents in Afghanistan Are Gaining, Petraeus Says

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The last military commander to conquer and hang onto Afghanistan was Alexander the Great!

Oct 01 08:19

Afghan President invites Taliban leader to join peace talks, ministry

Afghan President Hamid Karzai made a fresh appeal to Taliban supremo Mullah Mohammed Omar to join peace negotiations, guaranteeing immunity from foreign forces.

Karzai, who often insisted that negotiating with the militants would not include Mullah Omar, changed his stance during a press conference held in his presidential palace Tuesday.

He even went to the extent of inviting the Taliban leader, who is one of the most wanted persons on Washington's terrorist list, to join his ministry.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This would have been a logical thing to do right after Karzai was "elected"; but it may have come too little and too late at this point.

Mullah Omar has nothing to lose by continuing his strikes against US and NATO forces, where the troop strength, according to the US military's own protocol, was always far too low to successfully occupy Afghanistan.

Oct 01 08:06

British envoy says mission in Afghanistan is doomed, according to leaked memo

"The current situation is bad. The security situation is getting worse. So is corruption and the Government has lost all trust. Our public statements should not delude us over the fact that the insurrection, while incapable of winning a military victory, nevertheless has the capacity to make life increasingly difficult, including in the capital.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just how soon the "Saigon Moment" will come for the US and NATO in Afghanistan.

Sep 29 08:31

US general: Taliban can't launch winter campaign

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, and the Vietnamese would never attack us over the Tet holiday, too!

Sep 28 09:02

Why the West thinks it is time to talk to the Taliban

For the past few months an incongruous figure has passed through the airports of the Middle East and Europe: a senior Afghan cleric who defected from the Taliban. Bearded and in traditional dress, he has unsurprisingly needed the help of the Saudi Arabian and British intelligence services - among others - to pass unhindered between capitals.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Negotiation, ultimately, is the only way to stabilize Afghanistan.

What the US and NATO have accomplished with aerial bombing, has been the killing of innocent civilians, and radicalization of those left standing further away from Karzai's government.

Sep 26 09:09

Kabul expects new Taliban onslaught before winter: minister

"I believe we have experienced the worst of this year's fighting" but "we should expect one more enemy effort before winter," Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak said during a visit to the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington.

Saying a more sophisticated enemy requires "a global strategic response," Wardak repeated his call for a joint Afghani-Pakistani and NATO-led coalition force that would target insurgent safe havens on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Winter will be coming to Afghanistan toward the end of October.

As reported in "US News & World Report" on-line on 19 August, 2008:


The new US deployment won't arrive in Afghanistan until (best case scenario) the very end of this year (read: December),or sometime at the beginning of 2009, if the troop draw-downs go as planned from Iraq.

In other words, if there is a new, major offensive within the next month, the desperately needed additional US troops won't be in Afghanistan in time to deal with it.

Sep 26 04:54

US Targets Peacemakers While Pakistan Battles American-Taliban

Is it really necessary that we let Bush and Cheney destroy another innocent country before they pretend to leave the stage after Nov. 4? Does this Nation, which fancies itself as a great defender of freedom and democracy, intend to allow them do to our ally Pakistan what they have done to Iraq and Afghanistan? If we do not feel extreme shame for what is being done in our names there then perhaps it is true that we are something less than human, merely thinking cattle.

Sep 25 08:53

Afghanistan Now 15X Deadlier than Iraq

This data is for the last 30 days:

U.S. hostile fire deaths in Iraq: 7
U.S. hostile fire deaths in Afghanistan: 22

Number of U.S. troops in Iraq: 146,000
Number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan: 33,000

Hostile fire death rate in Iraq--7 deaths per 146,000 troops (.005 percent)
Hostile fire death rate in Afghanistan--7 deaths per 10,000 troops (.07 percent)

Sep 25 08:17

US Navy reinforces presence in Afghanistan

ON BOARD OF THE USS RONALD REAGAN, GULF OF OMAN // The US military has begun reinforcing its presence in Afghanistan weeks ahead of an expected troop build-up amid reassurances that efforts to avoid civilian casualties will be redoubled.

This month, George W Bush, the US president, said he would be sending an additional 4,500 soldiers to Afghanistan while pulling 8,000 US troops from Iraq as a result of the security gains there.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Take a good look at a map.


Whatever these naval planes are doing, we're talking about a millions of dollars' worth of jet fuel to fly whatever missions are being flown into Afghanistan.

Note, also, how close the Gulf of Oman is to Iran.

One has to wonder, with the US economy in such a mess, just how desperate this US administration is to start a war - any war - in order to deflect from the worsening economy.

Sep 24 21:40

Bailouts and Forgotten History

The British Empire – at its height – could not control Afghanistan.

Now, the USA has involved the E.U and even the U.N. in its Imperial Vendetta – and we watch the Globalised “Free Market” Capitalist System falter.

Sep 24 16:17

NATO accused of sheltering Afghan heroin trade

Since NATO forces invaded Afghanistan, the production of heroin in the country increased by 2.5 times and Afghanistan has become the world leader in heroin production. Eighteen tonnes of heroin from Afghanistan ends up in Russia each year.

Sep 23 12:41

Bush to keep secret 'grim' war report quiet until after election

A secret US intelligence report which says the political and military situation in Afghanistan is "grim" will be withheld from the public until after the election, a new report says.

Intelligence officials are finishing up the National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan, according to ABC's Brian Ross, "but there are 'no plans to declassify' any of it before the election," an official said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: things are apparently going so colossally badly in Afghanistan that the Administration is terrified of releasing this before the election.

This is all the more reason that We the People should have "the right to know what's going on before we cast our votes in November.

It is with our money and our troops with which this occupation has, for the most part, been conducted.

We deserve to know just what our tax dollars have actually done for us in this 7-year occupation.

Sep 23 08:29

Ashes of Empire

If it is being argued that an enhanced U.S. presence in Afghanistan will suddenly turn things around and make the world a better and safer place, it is the right of the American public, which is sending its sons and daughters into the meat grinder, to demand an explanation of why that is so. I do not believe that such a case has been or can be made. It is time to consider leaving Afghanistan.

Sep 21 09:05

Why does the US think it can win in Afghanistan?

We, of course, have been peddling this crackpot nonsense for years in south-west Asia. First of all, back in 2001, we won the war in Afghanistan by overthrowing the Taliban. Then we marched off to win the war in Iraq. Now – with at least one suicide bombing a day and the nation carved up into mutually antagonistic sectarian enclaves – we have won the war in Iraq and are heading back to re-win the war in Afghanistan where the Taliban, so thoroughly trounced by our chaps seven years ago, have proved their moral and political bankruptcy by recapturing half the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The reason some folks in Washington really believe that the US can win in Afghanistan can be summed up like this: extreme magical thinking, combined with a catastrophic ignorance of the history, or culture, of the region.

By the time we have deployed the next round of troops to Afghanistan, we will still be hundreds of thousands of soldiers short of the 400,000 troops the US's own military protocol indicates we needed to ever handle this occupation successfully.

Add in the factors that the US-installed Karzai puppet government is so collectively crooked they have to screw their socks on in the morning, coupled with the continuing air raids which guarantee the killing of many civilians, radicalizing those left standing even further away from the government, and what to you have?

A recipe for the absolute failure of this military campaign.

The only "winners" here are the military contractors, period, end of discussion.

Sep 21 07:49

MoD accused of covering up injuries to troops

Soldiers, MPs and lawyers representing injured servicemen and women claim the real cost to those fighting on the front line in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, is being hidden from the public for political reasons.

The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that every week dozens of soldiers are being injured, some severely, yet details of the nature and severity of the wounds are never made public.

Sep 19 10:30

Australian Troops Kill Afghan Governor, Two Guards in Botched Raid

Just days after General David McKiernan announced his “revised tactical order” designed to reduce the number of civilians killed in NATO raids, Australian special forces surrounded a house in the Afghan province of Oruzgan and opened fire, killing district governor Razi Khan and two of his bodyguards, and injuring two others.

Sep 18 09:06

Bush Administration Seeks Sole Control Over NATO War in Afghanistan

The war has long been under NATO oversight, and is one of the largest operations ever attempted by the alliance. But as the war drags on, some US commanders have complained that the international coordination of the operation has made fighting a large scale nearly decade-long war against insurgents in mountainous terrain quite inconvenient.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

NATO should be grateful, and bow out entirely, militarily.

This has never been a winnable war from the beginning, and the absolute pittance of troops here, compared with the 400,000 troops the US military's own protocol indicates is necessary to actually accomplish this occupation successfully, has guaranteed that this war cannot be won.

Sep 17 08:41

Afghan civilian casualties soar

The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva - where the UN report was released - says that the issue of civilian casualties at the hands of foreign forces has caused widespread anger across the country.

Sep 17 07:47

Gates Expresses Regret For Recent Civilian Deaths In Afghanistan

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday expressed "personal regret" for recent U.S. airstrikes that killed Afghan civilians, and pledged more accurate targeting in future.

After meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other senior government officials, Gates said at a news conference, "As I told them, I offer all Afghans my sincere condolences and personal regret for the recent loss of innocent life as a result of coalition airstrikes."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"......pledged more accurate targeting in future"??????

With WHAT???

If we had more accurate targeting devices, would the US military not have used them by now?!?

This is all posturing for the American-propped government, which the Afghani people believe to be so crooked that each individual member of it has to screw their socks on in the morning.

As the US and NATO do not have enough troops on the ground to do the job (and never will, because even with the new US troops going there next year, we're miserably short of the 400,000 troops US military protocol says we need to handle the occupation), the only military answer they have left is aerial bombing.

And aerial bombing guarantees two things: you're going to continue to kill a number of non-combatants, and radicalize those left standing even further against the Karzai government.

At the end of the day, the only answers are inclusion of the Taliban into the political and social process, and a government which which can really deliver some kind of economic progress for its people.

Of course, efforts in these directions would be logical. And Americans have come to acutely understand that logic has absolutely no place the thinking of this administration.

Sep 17 05:02

Afghan civilian casualties soar

There has been a sharp increase in the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan this year, according to new figures released by the United Nations.

They show that August had the highest number of deaths since the overthrow of the Taleban almost seven years ago.

The UN says that from January to August 1,445 civilians were killed - a rise of 39% on the same period last year.

Sep 14 10:02

Defense Contracts Foretell Military Buildup in Afghanistan

Bush announced on Tuesday that over the new few months, he will send nearly 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, which he characterized as an increasingly important front in the battle against extremism. Recent Pentagon contracts provide a picture of what the expanded U.S. presence may be called upon to accomplish in that country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No matter how many millions or billions the US is going to pour into Afghanistan via private contracts, this problem remains: we have no where near enough boots on the ground to really handle the occupation properly.

The outgoing head of the US NATO command in Afghanistan said that, according to the US military's own protocol, we need at least 400,000 soldiers to hold Afghanistan. Even with the additional 5,000 troops Bush plans to send into this campaign, as reported here:

"ISAF Commander McNeill has said himself that according to the current counterterrorism doctrine, it would take 400,000 troops to pacify Afghanistan in the long term. But the reality is that he has only 47,000 soldiers under his command, together with another 18,000 troops fighting at their sides as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, and possibly another 75,000 reasonably well-trained soldiers in the Afghan army by the end of the year. All told, there is still a shortfall of 260,000 men."

The added 5,000 US troops will result in a shortfall of two hundred fifty-five thousand soldiers.

Sep 11 09:47

Let Them Eat Cake

In a sheer quantitative sense, the United States has long since avenged 9-11, racking up hundreds of thousands of dead, wounded, and scarred innocents. It has long since avenged 9-11 in sheer destruction, laying waste to cities, villages, homes and hearths, industry, government and religious observance. The destruction and murder is now habitual, profligate and self-indulgent. To the world, the President of the United States – present and future – is an uncouth and supersized version of Marie Antoinette.

Sep 11 09:17

Pentagon Admits Afghan Strategy Not Working

The U.S. military conceded it was not winning the battle against an increasingly deadly insurgency in Afghanistan and said on Wednesday it would revise its strategy for the region to include militant safe havens in neighboring Pakistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The last military commander to capture and hang onto Afghanistan was Alexander the Great.

Sep 11 08:43

Top US advisor 'not convinced we're winning' in Afghanistan

Gates and Mullen said insecurity and violence will persist in Afghanistan until the insurgency is deprived of safe havens in Pakistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So now what happens?

Do we declare war against Pakistan also??

Sep 10 11:21

Disaster in Afghanistan

The most important current issue in Afghanistan is the drought, the crop failure, and the prospect of famine. This story has received no coverage in the North American media. Over the last winter Afghanistan received well-below normal rainfall and mountain snow pack. The spring runoff was light, and crop yields from irrigated agriculture have been significantly reduced. There are conditions of drought throughout the country. In many areas there are no crops and livestock has perished from lack of pasture.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If death resulting from famine is how the US and NATO characterize "success" in Afghanistan, it's obvious that they've been magnificently successful.

Sep 09 09:59

Fox News & Oliver North Involved with U.S. Afghanistan Massacre Cover-up

Perhaps the most amazing political news surrounding the Nawabad massacre is that the Pentagon says it relied for its account, in part, on corroborative evidence by the embedded journalist on the scene: Fox News "reporter" Oliver North! The Times portrays North as coming "to prominence in the 1980s Iran-Contra affair."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When this government wants to cover up, sweeten, up, and lie about what really happened, who do they count on?!?

Ollie North, that's who!!

Good old Ollie: all the morals of a trout, and a human being who never met a wicked, illegal, covert agenda he couldn't love.

Sep 09 08:18

Fox News & Oliver North Involved with U.S. Afghanistan Massacre Cover-up

Now, NATO command is backing off the official story, noting that there is a "discrepancy" in death toll figures, and expressing the usual "heartfelt sorrow." But , as the Times reports, a new report by Human Rights Watch says that under reporting of civilian deaths in Afghanistan is out of control.

Sep 09 08:12

Bush to Shift Troops To Afghanistan From Iraq

President George W. Bush will announce Tuesday a gradual redeployment of U.S. military personnel from Iraq to increasingly violent Afghanistan, with as many as 4,500 new troops slated to deploy to Afghanistan by January.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! O.J.! -- ABCNNBBCBS

Sep 09 08:06

Videos spur new review into Afghan deaths

The bodies of at least 10 children and many more adults covered in blankets and white shrouds appear in videos obtained by The Associated Press on Monday, lending weight to Afghan and U.N. allegations that a U.S.-led raid last month killed more civilians than the U.S. reported.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

They are using the "they made us do it" excuse, blaming rival clans for misleading US soldiers.

Sep 09 07:56

Afghan clan rivals 'led US forces to wrong target' in Nawabad attack

American forces who are blamed for killing up to 92 civilians in a bungled operation in Western Afghanistan were misled by misinformation from a tribal rival of those who died, according to Spain's intelligence service and Afghan government sources.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Americans have picked up sloppy habits from long years of killing whoever Israel tells them to.

Sep 08 12:57

Harrowing video film backs Afghan villagers' claims of carnage caused by US troops

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This video link works better.

Sep 08 09:10

Journalists warned to get out of Afghanistan

AUSTRALIAN journalists in Afghanistan have been targeted by terrorists and were warned yesterday by the Federal Government to consider leaving the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just what, precisely, Karzai's government doesn't want foreign journalists (including Australian)to actually see?

Perhaps the wholesale slaughter of civilians, courtesy of a US aerial drone hit?!?

Sep 08 06:47

Harrowing video film backs Afghan villagers' claims of carnage caused by US troops

These are the images that have forced the Pentagon into a rare U-turn. Until yesterday the US military had insisted that only seven civilians were killed in Nawabad on the night of August 21.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Except that for some reason, the embedded video won't play!

Sep 07 10:02

US losing the moral high ground

The question Afghans are asking is “Why do they do these things?” and, increasingly, there appears to be no obvious answer. Even Hamid Karzai, the country’s president, struggles to explain the reasons his allies make so many mistakes that cost innocent lives.

Sep 07 09:00

Hamid Karzai blames Britain for Taliban resurgence

Karzai claims Brown has threatened to withdraw British troops from Helmand province, where 31 of them have died this year, if the president reinstates two provincial governors sacked for alleged dealings in the heroin trade.

One of them is Sher Mohammed Akhundzada, the former governor of Helmand, who was forced out under British pressure two years ago after nine tons of opium and heroin were discovered in his basement. Karzai’s plan to reinstate the governors has alarmed western diplomats in Kabul and dismayed British officials.

Sep 06 16:38

Afghans Fed Up With Government, US

Mohammed makes it clear that the tribal chiefs have lost all faith in both their own government and the foreign soldiers in their country. Such disillusionment is widespread in Afghanistan, feeding an insurgency that has killed 195 foreign soldiers so far this year, 105 of them Americans.

Sep 06 14:14

Pak stops overland oil supplies to US-led troops in Afghan

To mark its protest against the continuing cross-border raids by the US-led forces from Afghan soil, Pakistan on Saturday said it was suspending overland oil supplies to the coalition troops in the war-ravaged country.

Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar said the decision to stop the supplies had been made because the attacks by the US-led forces from Afghanistan had continued despite protests by Pakistan.

Sep 03 09:44

US troops are committing war crimes

"According to our investigations, 98% of civilian casualties caused by the coalition forces in Afghanistan are intentional," the head of the AHRO, Lal Gul, said.

Aug 31 08:46

Taliban move on Khyber Pass

TALIBAN raiders are trying to strangle NATO's mission in Afghanistan by stepping up attacks on convoys in the Khyber Pass, the perilous mountain trail that carries most supplies into the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Since NATO's mission in Afghanistan is to steal it, I can see why the Taliban might do that.

Aug 30 15:31

Afghan President pardons men convicted of bayonet gang rape

The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, has pardoned three men who had been found guilty of gang raping a woman in the northern province of Samangan.

The woman, Sara, and her family found out about the pardon only when they saw the rapists back in their village.

Aug 30 08:43

Afghan official 'saw bodies of 50 children' killed in US strike

An Afghan politician told AFP Friday how he had helped dig out the bodies of women and children after US-led air strikes a week ago, reiterating with another official that around 90 civilians were killed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Winning the hearts and minds ...

Aug 27 13:23

US Massacres Afghan Kids

Aug 26 15:57

US air strike massacres civilians in western Afghanistan

In one of the worst atrocities of the US-led occupation of Afghanistan, as many as 90 civilians were massacred by an American air strike last Friday in the western province of Herat. At least 60 of those killed were children under the age of 15, according to Afghan government and military sources.

Aug 26 09:56

US offers Afghans $29m reward for bin Laden

The US is erecting billboards in Afghanistan offering hefty rewards for Osama bin Laden, Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar and American al-Qa'ida member Adam Gadahn, the embassy said yesterday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Bin Laden is dead: the US knows it, and the rest of the world, except for those deluded souls who believe the corporate media, knows it.

So what is going to happen is that some poor Afghani schmuck- look-alike is going to get arrested and murdered by US/Coalition forces to wave around like a bloody shirt before the end of this administration, so they can scream, "See??? We caught the bastard!"

Aug 26 08:50

U.N. says has evidence air strikes killed 90 Afghans

The United Nations said on Tuesday it had found convincing evidence that 90 Afghan civilians, most of them children, were killed in air strikes by U.S.-led coalition forces in western Afghanistan last week.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Winning their hearts and minds!

Aug 26 07:45

Afghan Govt demands new rules of engagement

Afghanistan is demanding a renegotiation of the rules for international troops in the country after 90 people were killed in US-led attacks on Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Those @#$%ing ingrates!!!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Aug 25 09:41

The Afghan fire looks set to spread, but there is a way out

The only way to end the war is the withdrawal of foreign troops as part of a political settlement negotiated with all the significant players in the country, including the Taliban, and guaranteed by the regional powers and neighbouring states. A large majority of Afghans say they back negotiations with the Taliban, even in western-conducted opinion polls. The Taliban themselves insist they will only talk once foreign troops have withdrawn. If that were the only obstacle, it could surely be choreographed as a parallel process.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What this man is saying makes absolute sense, given the current situation on the ground.

Of course, logic and this administration have never had an on-going relationship.

It will be interesting to see what the next president will do with Afghanistan, considering that neither the US nor NATO appear to be ready to pony up the additional 350,000 soldiers necessary for a military win.

Aug 25 09:03

Rockets, guile and the lessons of history: the Taleban besiege Kabul

The lorry drivers who bring the Pepsi and petrol for Nato troops in Kabul have their own way of calculating the Taleban's progress towards the Afghan capital: they simply count the lorries destroyed on the main roads.

By that measure, and many others, this looks increasingly like a city under siege as the Taleban start to disrupt supply routes, mimicking tactics used against the British in 1841 and the Soviets two decades ago.

Aug 24 10:40

Taliban win over locals at the gates of Kabul

While clashes in remote Helmand dominate the headlines, another battle is being waged by the insurgents on Kabul's doorstep. There, the Taliban are winning support by building a parallel administration, which is more effective, more popular and more brutal than the government's.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The last army to secure and hold this area was that of Alexander the Great.

Apparently, that's a lesson of history that the US and NATO chose to forget when cobbling together their "plans" for invasion and occupation.

Aug 24 10:35

Anti-US demonstrations in Afghanistan

Angry protests have broken out in Afghanistan following the deaths of scores of civilians in an air attack by US-led coalition forces on Friday. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned the air strike.

The father of some victims said the coalition forces should come and see that all those killed were children and not Taliban.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Continued air strikes (because the US and NATO have never, ever had anywhere near the boots on the ground to make this occupation successful) guarantee two things, and two things only.

They guarantee that more non-combatant civilians will get killed, and those left standing will become even more radicalized against Karzai's government.

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly, yet expecting a different outcome.

It appears that the US and NATO commands are stuck in what can best be described as an "insanity loop" in Afghanistan, because they refuse to consider implementing the only thing that will work: dialogue and political inclusion.

Aug 24 08:14

The Daily Show live from the White House

The Bush Regime imbeciles don’t know when to stop. With the world still rolling in laughter from John McCain’s claim that “in the 21st century nations don’t invade other nations,” the moronic US secretary of state declared: “This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, where Russia can threaten a neighbor, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it. Things have changed.”

This from Condi Rice who is “proud” of the Bush Regime’s invasion of Iraq.

Aug 23 16:42

Pressure grows on Nicolas Sarkozy for Afghanistan pullout

The findings of Le Parisien poll came amid growing debate over France's role in the Nato force in Afghanistan, with Mr Sarkozy being accused of entrenching his country in an unwinnable conflict.

Aug 22 17:07

Rockets, guile and the lessons of history: the Taleban besiege Kabul

The lorry drivers who bring the Pepsi and petrol for Nato troops in Kabul have their own way of calculating the Taleban's progress towards the Afghan capital: they simply count the lorries destroyed on the main roads.

By that measure, and many others, this looks increasingly like a city under siege as the Taleban start to disrupt supply routes, mimicking tactics used against the British in 1841 and the Soviets two decades ago.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Neither the US nor NATO can "....stop this" because they don't have any where near enough boots on the ground to make this happen.

As reported in at-Largely (

"ISAF Commander McNeill has said himself that according to the current counterterrorism doctrine, it would take 400,000 troops to pacify Afghanistan in the long term. But the reality is that he has only 47,000 soldiers under his command, together with another 18,000 troops fighting at their sides as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, and possibly another 75,000 reasonably well-trained soldiers in the Afghan army by the end of the year. All told, there is still a shortfall of 260,000 men."

The US doesn't have the person-power without a draft.

And trust me, you won't hear much about a draft right before this election.

But no matter who winds up getting elected, watch for a "National Service Act" (which has been floating in Congressional Committee for a long time) to suddenly lurch to the head of the agenda after congress returns from their winter holiday.

Aug 22 10:29

US-led coalition airstrike kills 76 Afghans

The Afghan Interior Ministry said on Friday that 76 civilians, including women but mostly children, were killed in a coalition airstrike in western Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Warning: very graphic photo of a dead or dying Afghani child at the top of this article.

But imagine, for one moment, that this was your kid.

Imagine, for one moment, what you would think of a government which allowed this to happen.

Imagine what you would be thinking about that government right now.

The US/NATO airstrikes are accomplishing two things right now, and two things only: they are killing scores of innocent non-combatants, and radicalizing those Afghanis left standing further against Karzai's regime in Kabul.

What they are not accomplishing is creating any degree of dialogue and inclusion of the Taliban into the political process.

Of course, that would be logical, and the only real hope of resolving the insurgency.

Aug 21 10:01

Pentagon Plans to Send More Than 12,000 Additional Troops to Afghanistan

The Pentagon will be sending 12,000 to 15,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, possibly as soon as the end of this year, with planning underway for a further force buildup in 2009.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Does anyone even remember why we are in Afghanistan?

Aug 21 08:26

French troops 'killed by Nato jets'

Reports that 10 French soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan after being mistakenly attacked by Nato aircraft are to be "looked into," officials for the military alliance have said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Remember when they tried to blame this on the Taliban?

Aug 21 08:26

Afghan civilians said killed in U.S.-led air raid

More than a dozen civilians have been killed in an air strike by U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan's eastern province of Laghman, two provincial officials said on Thursday.

Aug 20 11:20

Attacks rise as Taliban close in on Kabul

THE Taliban ambush that killed 10 French soldiers is the latest in a series of deadly attacks near Kabul that show the rebels are gaining on the Afghan capital, say analysts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We currently have 47,000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan. The US has pledged another 15,000 (when, and from where these troops are coming is not yet announced.

That gives us a total of 62,000 troops on the ground.

The outgoing US NATO commander stated bluntly this year that the US and NATO need 400,000 troops to really do the job, according to US military protocols.

When the new contingent of US troops arrives for their tour of duty, the US and NATO will still be 338,000 troops short of the strength needed to do this job.

What's wrong with this picture? Everything.

How we can possibly manage a positive outcome without the troop strength is a mystery.

But the continued air attacks guarantee two things will happen in Afghanistan.

First, we're going to kill scores more civilians.

Secondly, we will radicalize those Afghanis left standing even further against Karzai's government.

Aug 17 09:53

US to take over Afghan mission

The United States is planning to take control of all military operations in Afghanistan next year with an Iraq-style troop surge after becoming frustrated at Nato’s failure to defeat the Taliban.

Plans are being drawn up to send as many as 15,000 extra troops to Afghanistan with a single US general always in command, as in Iraq, defence sources said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wow, a whole extra 15,000 troops!


The outgoing US Commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, Commander McNeill, has stated very bluntly that it will take 400,000 troops to secure Afghanistan.

We currently have 47,000 US soldiers, together with another 18,000 provided by various other NATO countries.

Adding this new contingent of 15,000 troops, we have a total of 80,000 troops.

That means we're looking at a shortfall of 320,000 troops.

So what are the options?

We could go home, and declare victory.

We can continue to bomb the crud out of Afghanistan from the air, creating more civilian victims and radicalizing those Afghanis even further against the Karzai government.

Or, we could demand the Karzai government engage the Taliban politically, and develop a dialogue which would lead to a lasting stabilization of the country.

Of course, that would be logical.

And this administration has never had an on-going relationship with logic.

Aug 15 10:05

Adviser to Karzai says Taliban tactics are succeeding

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Karzai's adviser seems to have demonstrated a magnificent grasp of the obvious.

Outgoing ISAF commander McNeil made the statement this June that we would need 400,000 troops to secure Afghanistan.

Currently, we have about 47,000 troops here.

You do the math.

The US and NATO have a couple of choices, but only one logical one.

We can continue bombing the heck out of the country from the air, guaranteeing to kill more civilians and radicalize those left standing against the Karzai government.

OR...we could encourage real dialogue between the government and the Taliban so that there was a real inclusion of the Taliban into the political process.

Of course, that would be logical.

And this administration and logic have never had an on-going relationship.

Aug 14 09:02

Green Beret says leader shot, mutilated Afghan civilian

The leader of an Army special forces team grinned as he held the severed ear of an Afghan man he suspected of being an insurgent after he shot him and left his body in the desert, a Green Beret testified Tuesday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Don't it make ya proudernshit to be an American?

Aug 12 08:34

Stronger U.S. role likely in Afghanistan

The Pentagon will send a one-star general to Afghanistan this fall as part of a politically parlous but determined effort by the US to assume greater control in the country's troubled southern sector.

It's a small change to the complex command structure blamed for an ineffective counterinsurgency strategy that allowed the Taliban to stage a comeback.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These changes amount to, essentially, re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

We have around 47,000 troops on the ground, between the US and NATO.

In an a web article ( in June of this year, the following was reported:

"ISAF Commander McNeill has said himself that according to the current counterterrorism doctrine, it would take 400,000 troops to pacify Afghanistan in the long term. But the reality is that he has only 47,000 soldiers under his command, together with another 18,000 troops fighting at their sides as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, and possibly another 75,000 reasonably well-trained soldiers in the Afghan army by the end of the year. All told, there is still a shortfall of 260,000 men."

You do the math.

The fact that the intensity of the use of air attacks has increased greatly is an indication that US and NATO have very little control on the ground outside of Kabul, and our options are limited.

We can continue to bomb the heck out of the country, declare victory, and come home.

We can stop bombing the heck out of the country, declare victory, and go home.

Or we can involve the Taliban in the political process, declare victory, and go home.

Of course, that would be logical, and ....well, this administration's relationship with logic is conspicuous by its absence.

The continued air assaults by the US and NATO guarantee two things.

First, we're going to kill a lot more non-combatants; women, children, the elderly, and the medically infirm.

Second, those left standing, who think members of the Karzai government are so crooked they have to screw their socks on in the morning, will be even more radicalized against it.

Aug 08 09:49

US-led soldiers kill 5 Afghan civilians

Webmaster's Commentary: 

MORE winning the hearts and minds of the Afghanis!

Aug 08 06:29

U.S. plans surveillance buildup in Iraq, Afghanistan

Aug 06 09:56

Pentagon Spokesman Disputes Mullen’s View Of Afghanistan: Nothing ‘Urgent Or Precarious’ About It»

Webmaster's Commentary: 


Mr. Morrell, the outgoing NATO US commander has stated, in very blunt English, that to do the job in Afghanistan, we'd need 400,000 troops on the ground.

How many does the US and NATO have on the ground in Afghanistan? Approximately 47,000.

You do the math, sir.

The fact that bombing raids have been escalating translates into the reality that the US and NATO forces are not in control at all on the ground here.

And bombing raids can do two things very nicely. They can kill a bunch of non-combatants (women, children, the medically fragile, and the elderly), and work to radicalize those Afghanis left standing even further away from the Karzai government.

If that outcome is what you define as "success" in Afghanistan, we've done one hell of a job!

Aug 06 09:38

A record July for planes over Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If there have been a record number of bombing raids on Afghanistan, this means that the US and NATO have absolutely no control of what is going on on the ground.

Airdrops can do two things very well; further radicalize those left standing against the American-backed Karzai government, and kill a bunch of women, children, elderly and infirm.

Our options for success here are very narrow. The outgoing US Nato Command leader stated unequivocally that we need at least 400,000 troops to do this job. How many do we have there right now? Around 47,000 troops, just a little over 10% of what it would take to do the job.

So, we can continue doing what we have been doing (i.e., bomb the hell out of the country because we don't have enough ground troops), declare "victory", and go home.

Or, we can work to include the Taliban in the political discussions, rather than continue a military confrontation against them.

Of course, that would be logical. And this administration and logic have absolutely no relationship at this point whatsoever.

Aug 05 10:00

As the Fighting Swells in Afghanistan, So Does a Refugee Camp in Its Capital

Webmaster's Commentary: 

On a piece of barren land on the western edge of this capital, a refugee camp is steadily swelling as families displaced by the heavy bombardment in southern Afghanistan arrive in batches.

The growing numbers reaching Kabul are a sign of the deepening of the conflict between NATO and American forces and the Taliban in the south and of the feeling among the population that there will be no end soon.

Jul 25 10:01

New York Times boosts Pentagon push for wider bombing in Afghanistan

In its content and tone, the article resembles nothing so much as the official disinformation published by the Times in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq, particularly the notorious articles by Judith Miller, the former Times journalist and conduit for top Bush administration officials like Lewis Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney and convicted perjurer.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The fact that almost the sole tactic the military has left in Afghanistan is airstrikes points up the obvious: we have never, ever had enough boots on the ground to do the job here. The outgoing commander of US NATO forces said quite bluntly that we would need 400,000 troops to handle this.

And how many do we have on the ground right now? About 47,000, just a little more than 10 % of what is actually needed.

So now what? Bomb every man, woman, and child in Afghanistan, and declare victory?

Because with the current level of corruption in the Afghani government, and our troop strength (which is unlikely to get larger), coupled with the US and NATO refusing to engage the Taliban politically, this is about the only option we have left.

Jul 25 09:48

Karzai 'protecting drug lords'

A former senior US anti-drug official has accused Afghanistan's president of playing the US "like a fiddle" and protecting drug lords in his country for political reasons.

Thomas Schweich, who until June serve as US state department co-ordinator for counter-narcotics and justice reform for Afghanistan, said Hamid Karzai was impeding the so-called war on drugs.

Drug production has skyrocketed since the US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So this is why our kids are fighting and dying in Afghanistan?

Jul 22 10:43

Thousands march over Afghan land dispute

Thousands of ethnic Hazaras marched Tuesday in the Afghan capital and the central town of Bamiyan in a protest over a land dispute with nomads in which several people are said to have been killed.

The Kabul police official tasked with maintaining public order, Ghulam Rasoul, said 3,000 to 4,000 people took to the streets, but an AFP reporter said the crowd was likely three times larger.Hazara leader and parliamentarian Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq is reported to be on hunger strike over the dispute which he has warned could re-ignite civil war.