AFGHANISTAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


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>>>
***

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.

>>>

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.

Jan 02 09:20

Regional players pressing for peace in Afghanistan: US commander

The commander of US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan has pronounced the prospects of peace with the Taliban while the Pentagon orders the deployment of fresh heavy-lift aviation forces to the region.

“Peace talks (are) out there, regional players pressing for peace, the Taliban talking about peace, the Afghan government is talking about peace,” General Scott Miller, who commands the US-led NATO Resolution Support (RS) mission in Afghanistan, said during a New Year celebration at the RS headquarters in Kabul on Tuesday.

General Miller was apparently referring to Iran whose officials have recently expressed their willingness to help establish peace in Afghanistan.

Jan 01 11:25

CIA’s Afghan Forces Terrorize the Public, Undermine Trust

17 years into the US war in Afghanistan, various administrations have tried myriad different strategies to try to win the war, many of them involving recruiting local groups. While the Pentagon’s various allies have had well-documented problems, they’re nothing compared to the CIA.

Clandestine and playing fast and loose with the rules, the CIA’s own Afghan forces, various bands of local gunmen with some nominal training, have missions to do, and very little in the way of rules of engagement.

Being told to “search for militants” is all but blanket permission to raid and loot random homes. One survivor of such a raid describes the fighters taking him away for questioning. After they took him, they killed his two brothers and sister-in-law, then burned the house to the ground, killing his 3-year-old daughter.

Jan 01 11:17

CIA’s Afghan Forces Terrorize the Public, Undermine Trust

7 years into the US war in Afghanistan, various administrations have tried myriad different strategies to try to win the war, many of them involving recruiting local groups. While the Pentagon’s various allies have had well-documented problems, they’re nothing compared to the CIA.

Clandestine and playing fast and loose with the rules, the CIA’s own Afghan forces, various bands of local gunmen with some nominal training, have missions to do, and very little in the way of rules of engagement.

Being told to “search for militants” is all but blanket permission to raid and loot random homes. One survivor of such a raid describes the fighters taking him away for questioning. After they took him, they killed his two brothers and sister-in-law, then burned the house to the ground, killing his 3-year-old daughter.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I really hate being a citizen of a country which perpetually commits war crimes; reading this story this morning, made me just ill.

And remember; this horrific, nearly 18 years-on war, is not being fought "to defend the American way of life", or honor, or glory; it is being perpetuated so that ultimately, a US-compliant Afghani government will make sure that the pipelines can be leased by the appropriate corporations; make sure that only US-centric corporations can extract Afghanistan's rare earth minerals; and that rights to harvest and distribute opium poppies are done only with US-friendly resources, and that the transactions for all this are conducted with US dollars only.

When Karl Marx made the observation that "All wars are economic" in nature, he was dead spot on; unfortunately, in US history classes, the financial components leading to wars, are seldom legitimately recognised.

Jan 01 10:31

C.I.A.’s Afghan Forces Leave a Trail of Abuse and Anger

Razo Khan woke up suddenly to the sight of assault rifles pointed at his face, and demands that he get out of bed and onto the floor.

Within minutes, the armed raiders had separated the men from the women and children. Then the shooting started.

As Mr. Khan was driven away for questioning, he watched his home go up in flames. Within were the bodies of two of his brothers and of his sister-in-law Khanzari, who was shot three times in the head. Villagers who rushed to the home found the burned body of her 3-year-old daughter, Marina, in a corner of a torched bedroom.

The men who raided the family’s home that March night, in the district of Nader Shah Kot, were members of an Afghan strike force trained and overseen by the Central Intelligence Agency in a parallel mission to the United States military’s, but with looser rules of engagement.

Dec 31 09:44

Training Jihad (Again): Pentagon Peace Deal Proposes "Job Opportunities" For Taliban

How much worse can America's eighteen year long "forever war" in Afghanistan get? This is not The Onion, but Pakistan's major English language daily, The Dawn citing Pentagon reports: "Eager to persuade Taliban to join the Afghan peace process, the United States is offering them a safety network that includes creating job opportunities for the insurgents."

Taliban in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, via AP.
This is part of a new Pentagon peace process plan to "rehabilitate the rebels" and directly engage the notorious jihadist group. In a statement which exposes the utter futility and hypocrisy of the whole "war on terror" post-9/11 narrative, the Pentagon proposal submitted to Congress this week attempts to defend the offer by noting the Taliban will only lay down its weapons “if they have an opportunity to earn enough money to provide for their families.”

According to the Pentagon draft plan cited in The Dawn:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You know, like growing opium poppies!

Dec 30 10:02

NATO Armed Forces in Europe, Afghanistan

NATO-Russian relations have been complicated over the past years as the alliance maintains its course for eastward expansion. The alliance has been also stepping up its military presence in Europe since 2014, using the alleged Russian involvement in the Ukraine crisis and what it describes as general destabilizing activities as a pretext. Moscow has refuted the allegations and warned that such a policy may undermine stability in the region.

Dec 30 08:59

Did the U.S. Military Just Admit Victory in Afghanistan Is Impossible?

In the week before President Donald Trump’s reported decision to abruptly withdraw 7,000 U.S. service members from Afghanistan, the top U.S. commander there all but admitted that the 17-year-old war there will not end with a military victory for the Pentagon.

“This fight will go until a political settlement,” Army Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and the Resolute Support mission there, told CNN when asked whether the Afghan campaign against the Taliban had reached a stalemate. “These are two sides that are fighting against one another, and neither one of them will achieve a military victory at this stage.”

In the same interview, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass concurred with Miller’s assessment, cautioning that U.S. and Afghan officials will face a complicated diplomatic situation given the Taliban’s aggressive rejection of the current administration in Kabul.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sure as heck sounded like that to me, in his interview!!

Color me two and a half shades of cautiously optimistic here.

Dec 29 09:44

U.S. Forces Withdraw From Afghanistan. Secret Negotiations with the Taliban. “Huge Political Change on the Horizon”

Since months, the US has been working to recast Afghan policy and the withdrawal of 7,000 troops from the total 14,000 is not a sudden decision, but part of a new agenda which is already noticeable in the recent US movements in Afghanistan.

President Trump’s apparently abrupt and insistent decision to remove boots from Syria and Afghanistan that met with reactions, pleas and even resignations from US lawmakers and Generals indicates that the chief decision-making panel is behind the doors to whom Trump only serve as a speaker because unlike common sense, Trump is a nonentity to decide all by himself. The Pentagon before and under James Mattis has defended military presence both in Syria and Afghanistan.

The US has its nine mega bases legalized across Afghanistan and it will keep a few thousand noncombatant soldiers there, as it has already halted or wound down the combat operations.

Dec 29 05:07

2019 Year of Failure of US Plots, Victory of Resistance Front

Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm newspaper, referred to the withdrawal of the US forces from Syria and the Arab states' decision to reopen their embassies in Damascus, stressing that 2019 will bring failure for Washington and victory for the resistance front.

"The year 2019 will be the year of victories (for the resistance) and failure for the US plots in the region and return of honor to the regional states," Atwan said in an interview on Friday.

"Syria won because it resisted and the Arab countries are happily reopening their embassies in Damascus>>>

US Fighter Jets, Helicopters Spotted over Manbij as Turkish Troops Cross Syria Border

Dec 28 12:28

US Commanders Dismiss Afghan Drawdown as ‘Rumors’

Persistent media reports that President Trump has ordered a drawdown from Afghanistan, with either 5,000 or 7,000 troops returning home, seemed more or less confirmed. Despite this, some of the highest ranking Pentagon officials claim to know nothing about it.

Visiting Camp Dahlke West, Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shrugged off the reports when talking to troops, saying “there’s all kinds of rumors swirling around,” but that the mission was unchanged.

This comes after the commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, said he’d received no orders on any drawdown yet. Miller has followed that up by saying the fighting will continue until there is a political settlement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Whoa, there; did I just hear the words "political settlement" come out of General Miller's mouth in that last statement, rather than stating that a military victory is imminent?!?

Color me ever so slightly, possibly, hopeful on Afghanistan for the first time in one long time.

Dec 28 09:17

Pentagon admits Iran’s key role in restoring calm to Afghanistan

The Pentagon has acknowledged Iran’s key role in restoring peace and stability to war-torn Afghanistan, backtracking on Washington’s earlier claims that Tehran supports the local Taliban militant group.

“Iran seeks a stable Afghan government that is responsive to Iranian goals, the elimination of ISIS-K, the removal of the US/NATO presence, and the protection of Iranian concerns, such as water rights and border security,” the US Department of Defense said in a report sent to Congress this week.

The Pentagon also admitted Iran’s influence in Afghanistan, saying that Tehran pursues “a multitrack strategy” of engaging with the Afghan government and seeks to boost bilateral economic ties with Kabul.

“Iranian involvement is most prominent in western, central, and northern Afghanistan, where local Afghans share common history, culture, religion, and language with Iran,” according to the report.

Dec 28 05:51

Trump cutting Afghanistan troop levels in half

Trump has ordered more than 7,000 US troops to leave Afghanistan, cutting troop levels in half

In what appears to be the first major step toward ending America's involvement in a war fought for nearly two decades, the president has decided to cut the US military presence in Afghanistan in half, The Wall Street Journal reported. There are currently roughly 14,000 American service members in the war-torn country.

>>>

(*Here's yet another example of fake news sugar coating for POTUS Trump . I didn't have to dig to deeply to get to the dark side of the matter )>>> Taliban Warns US: Leave Afghanistan or Face Soviet-Style Defeat

Dec 27 07:43

Iran Holds Talks With Afghan Taliban as US Prepares Partial Troop Withdrawal

The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, announced on a visit to the Afghan capital of Kabul that Iranian officials have met with the Afghan Taliban.

The announcement came just days after the Taliban attended peace talks in the United Arab Emirates with US officials. Representatives from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan were also present. However, Taliban leaders refused to meet with an official delegation from Afghanistan.

Shamkhani's remarks were printed by Tasnim, an outlet considered close to Iran's military. It isn't clear when or where the talks were held, but they were first reported after Shamkhani noted them in a meeting with government officials in Kabul on Wednesday.

Dec 26 09:10

The Key Unaddressed War Issue in the Mainstream

Redeploying US combat troops from column A to column B, from one nation to another, from one war theater to one or more others nearby, leaves Washington’s imperial agenda unchanged – its rage for world dominance, its naked aggression against one nation after another, the highest of high crimes.

That’s the key issue the hue and cry over Trump’s announced troop pullout from Syria and partial withdrawal from Afghanistan left unaddressed.

Republicans and undemocratic Dems are in lockstep over Washington’s aim to rule the world, wanting all nations co-opted as vassal states, allies and adversaries alike, their resources handed to corporate America for looting, their people exploited as serfs.

The beat goes on. Trump’s announcement changed nothing. First, it’s unclear what’s coming in Syria and Afghanistan in the new year – maybe continuation of the status quo or minor tactical changes.

Dec 26 08:34

RON PAUL: TROOPS OUT OF SYRIA AND AFGHANISTAN? THAT’S A GOOD START!

We all had a big shock this week when, seemingly out of the blue, President Trump announced that he was removing US troops from Syria and would draw down half of the remaining US troops in Afghanistan. The president told us the troops were in Syria to fight ISIS and with ISIS nearly gone the Syrians and their allies could finish the job.

All of a sudden the Trump haters who for two years had been telling us that the president was dangerous because he might get us in a war, were telling us that the president is dangerous because he was getting us out of a war! These are the same people who have been complaining about the president’s historic efforts to help move toward peace with North Korea.

Dec 26 08:32

Mattis is out, and Blackwater is back: ‘We are coming’

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is out.

Mattis' resignation comes amid news that President Donald Trump has directed the drawdown of 2,000 U.S. forces in Syria, and 7,000 U.S. forces from Afghanistan, a U.S. official confirmed to Military Times, a story first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

This month, in the January/February print issue of the gun and hunting magazine “Recoil," the former contractor security firm Blackwater USA published a full-page ad, in all black with a simple message: “We are coming.”

Is the war in Afghanistan — and possibly elsewhere ? about to be privatized?

Dec 23 10:44

Elites United in Panic Over Syria Pullout, Afghanistan Drawdown

Open-ended war continuation has so much momentum in the US that President Trump’s announced pullout from Syria shocked the nation. Followed up the same week with a drawdown from Afghanistan, the mainstream is now completely apoplectic.

On the left and right, comfort with the status quo was virtually uniform. The arguments behind condemning the drawdowns vary depending on the side of the aisle the commenter is on, but the message is uniform opposition to ending a war Congress never authorized in the first place.

Conservative hawks are playing the usual fear-mongering about threats that have been ongoing since 2001, with suggestions that either not being in Syria, or being in Afghanistan but at a lower troop number, will lead to “the next 9/11.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OF COURSE, they are panicked; imagine how much of their collective portfolios are heavily invested in the military industrial complex, and how these withdrawals will affect their collective portfolios!!

The monied LOVE perpetual war (as long as they, themselves are not threatened), because it fattens their collective bottom lines; this is an absolute no-brainer.

Dec 22 06:52

US Army Sets up Military Airport in Iraq's Kurdistan Region

The Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumah news website quoted a well-informed source as disclosing that the US army has built a military airport in Arbat region in Sulaymaniyah province in Iraq's Kurdistan Region.

It went on to say that the US spent almost $8mln to build the base that will solely work on monitoring movement and traffic of the US forces.

It further said that the airport has a very large runway which is suitable for the landing and take off of military and non-military planes, adding that the US army has claimed that the airport has been built for

.
(*wait for it!)

.

agricultural purposes.

>>>

Dec 22 06:36

MATTIS IS OUT, AND BLACKWATER IS BACK: ‘WE ARE COMING’

This month, in the January/February print issue of the gun and hunting magazine “Recoil," the former contractor security firm Blackwater USA published a full-page ad, in all black with a simple message: “We are coming.”

Is the war in Afghanistan — and possibly elsewhere ? about to be privatized?

If Blackwater returns, it would be the return of a private security contractor that was banned from Iraq, but re-branded and never really went away. By 2016 Blackwater had been re-branded several times and was known at the time as Constellis Group, when it was purchased by the Apollo Holdings Group. Reuters reported earlier this year that Apollo had put Constellis up for sale, but in June the sale was put on hold.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Please, Lord, no; I cannot begin to articulate how wrong this is on so many levels.

Afghanistan is not called "the graveyard of empires" for no good reason; the British found that out in their campaign, and so did the old Soviet Union. The only guy who was able to invade and hang on to it (for 3 years, with a series of dynastic marriages and alliances) was Alexander the Great.

And IF President Trump does decide to privatize this war, and Congress signs off on this?!?

What happens to any degree of moral accountability here?!? It will be well and truly flushed, if President Trump decides to do this, and the deaths of infants, children, women, and the medically infirm will soar even far above the levels we are seeing in Yemen today.

Dec 21 09:25

After Syria Trump Could Be Withdrawing From Afghanistan as Well

President Donald Trump is reportedly considering pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, hard on the heels of yesterday's announced draw-down in Syria. Washington was already in a tizzy about the abrupt manner of the Syria announcement, and seems to be greeting these early reports of Afghanistan in the same way. But ending these two drawn-out, expensive wars is the right thing to do. There's only so much good money, men, and materiel you can throw after bad.

Dec 21 08:33

Trump to pull half of US troops from Afghanistan

US President Donald Trump has decided to pull about 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, a US official said Friday, but the Afghan presidency brushed off concerns the drawdown would affect security.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the US official told AFP that "roughly half" of the 14,000 US forces in Afghanistan would leave "within the next several months."

The move stunned and dismayed diplomats and officials in Kabul who are intensifying a push to end the 17-year conflict with the Taliban, which already controls vast amounts of territory and is causing "unsustainable" Afghan troop casualties.

Dec 20 15:31

Trump Administration Is Considering Substantial Afghan Troop Drawdown

Trump Administration Is Considering Substantial Afghan Troop Drawdown

Dec 17 11:40

Netanyahu envisions 'three more Israels'?

In a somewhat cryptic remark in an interview hosted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu raised the imaginary possibility of the establishment of two or three more "Israels" throughout the Middle East and North Africa, which he said would be located in or near present-day Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen.

Dec 16 16:01

THE 911 GRAND JURY IS A GO!!! SEE THE EVIDENCE...

This is the full list of 57 Grand Jury Petition Exhibits, both PDF and Video types as presented to the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York on April 10, 2018. Click the exhibit number to see the exhibit on the website for the Lawyers' Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, whom filed the petition with several family members. Link above newer than than video below

Dec 16 09:49

US airstrike kills 20 civilians in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar: Officials

At least 20 women and children have been killed in an airstrike conducted by US warplanes in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar, local officials say.

The deadly aerial aggression occurred late on Friday and claimed the lives of eight women and 12 children, Abdul Latif Fazly, a member of the provincial council, said on Saturday, adding that the airstrike also wounded more than 15 other civilians.

Kunar governor Abdul Satar Mirzakwal said an operation by Afghan forces in Sheltan district killed 38 members of the Taliban militant group and a number of terrorists belonging to the Takfiri al-Qaeda terror group, including four foreign nationals, and wounded 12 more.

Dec 15 10:27

US airstrike kills 20 civilians in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar: Officials

At least 20 women and children have been killed in an airstrike conducted by US warplanes in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar, local officials say...

Dec 13 06:56

TEHRAN (FNA)- Police Seize 4.6 Haul of Narcotics from Armed Traffickers

Police confiscated a 4,648 kilogram haul of opium and several light and heavy firearms in the Southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan, registering a provincial 10 ton narcotics seizure record in the past 12 days.
***
Iran is in the forefront of the fight against drug trafficking and thousands of Iranian forces have been so far martyred to protect the world from the danger of drugs.

General Ghanbari had announced on Monday that 5,461 kilograms of different drugs were captured by police forces during past 10 days

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(*it had to have come from a s**thole city in a US Blue State !
whitehorse souce)

Dec 12 10:59

Red gold: Afghanistan’s booming & blooming saffron may become alternative to opium poppy trade

Afghan authorities want to provide farmers with an alternative means of income, other than growing opium, by turning to the world’s most expensive spice.

Saffron production has risen to record levels this year in the country, hitting 13 tons, the Ministry of Agriculture said. Official figures showed that saffron cultivation has increased to 6,200 hectares of land in 2018, up 22 percent on last year.

More than 6,600 saffron workers have been trained on production, processing and packaging of the spice this year, according to the government’s statement.

Dec 12 10:56

Afghan forces abandon western district after Taliban pressure

Afghan forces abandoned a remote district in the west of the country, leaving the area to Taliban insurgents. The government had failed to re-supply dozens of troops stationed there, provincial officials said on Wednesday. The Shebkoh district of Farah province, bordering Iran, has been under Taliban siege for months.

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