Afghan conflict serious, "deteriorating": Mullen
Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:25pm EDT
By Phil Stewart
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating along with U.S. public support for the war, Washington's top military officer said on Sunday as he left open the possibility of another increase in troops.
"I think it is serious and it is deteriorating, and I've said that over the past couple of years -- that the Taliban insurgency has gotten better, more sophisticated," said Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Asif Ali Zardari says the Taleban has the upper hand
The Pakistani Taleban have "the upper hand" and should be put on the list of banned organisations in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto's widower has said.
Asif Ali Zardari said, in a BBC interview, that the world and Pakistan were losing the war on terror.
Troops to be sent to Helmand, Afghanistan with just 6 weeks' training
By DEFENCE STAFF
Last updated at 1:21 AM on 23rd August 2009
Hundreds of soldiers from a leading infantry regiment are to be sent to the frontline in Afghanistan with just six weeks' specialised battlefield training - instead of the usual minimum of six months.
It is believed to be the first time the Army has allowed men to put their lives on the line with so little preparation for the tough fighting conditions against the Taliban.
The training cutback led to claims last night that soldiers' lives could be put at risk as a result.
Officers in charge of the 400 soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment, are being recalled from leave early next week to prepare and plan for their men to deploy to Helmand province at the end of October.
“Senator McCain is saying in an interview this morning it will deal with
resources, that he’ll come back with high, medium and, and low threat
assessments in terms of how many more troops you need, whether you
need 15,000, 25,000 or 45,000 additional troops.”
Rather than Obama/MIC coming out up front with their already planned
troop deployment, we are yet again being herded carefully towards the
“moderate” 25,000 troops figure around which the Obama Administration
This much used tactic (see: Iraq, war) is so old it has cobwebs.
So Obama looks set to lose another tranche of progressive support
to add to the loss of the ones sickened by his deal with Pharma.
Meanwhile, amid claims of vote-rigging in the Afghan election
comes this news of the turnout:
The results also suggest a disappointing
turnout of only around 5 million
votes in a country of some 30 million people and
an estimated 15 million eligible voters.
As an exercise in NED/IRI "democracy"
this election is now a complete disaster.
Winning this at a military level would actually require an army
of around 150,000 at minimum and 200,000 would be more
appropriate. It would take five years to bring down the numbers
to 75,000. The US would have to provide 85% of the troops.
Assuming they want to "win".
There are many onion layers to this story. _________________ Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.
August becomes Pentagon's deadliest month in Afghan war www.chinaview.cn 2009-08-29 06:39:26
WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- August has already become the deadliest month for the Pentagon in the Afghan war, according to U.S. wire and TV reports Friday.
As of Friday, a total of 46 American soldiers have died in Afghanistan so far this month, the highest number of U.S. military deaths in a single month in the nearly 8-year war.
A U.S. soldier was killed in Afghanistan Friday, making August the deadliest month for the Pentagon in the Afghan war.
July is the second deadliest month with 45 U.S. military deaths.
2009 is turning out to be the most tragic for Americans in the Afghan War, with U.S. military deaths surpassing the 155 casualties in all of 2008.
Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is expected soon to issue an assessment of the war, amid ebbing U.S. public support for the war.
The latest Washington Post/ABC poll found 60 percent of U.S. respondents disapprove of President Barack Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan.
Comment - Original BBC article below (which it said was leaked to them)has since been edited and the part of General McChrystals report referring to the US military as a bull charging at a matador [the Taliban] - slightly weakened with each "cut" it receives.
has been removed.
The general's report will not carry a direct call for extra troops
A report by the top US general in Afghanistan is expected to say that the current military strategy is not working, the BBC understands.
General Stanley McChrystal will liken the US military to a bull charging at a matador [the Taliban] - slightly weakened with each "cut" it receives.
His review is also expected to say that protecting the Afghan people against the Taliban must be the top priority.
But the report will not carry a direct call for increasing troop numbers.
Word of Gen McChrystal's report came as further results from last week's presidential election were expected to be released, at 1230 GMT. President Hamid Karzai is leading so far.
The independent Electoral Complaints Commission says that of more than 2,100 allegations of wrongdoing during voting and vote-counting, 618 have been deemed serious enough to affect the election's outcome, if proven.
Crisis of confidence
BBC North America editor Mark Mardell says General McChrystal's bullfighting metaphor is striking because it is not the usual way that US commanders talk about the country's armed forces.
Joined: 16 Jun 2006 Posts: 3185 Location: Capacious Creek
Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:28 pm Post subject:
Obama administration uses Blackwater in drone killings
By Tom Eley
22 August 2009
In the wake of Thursday’s revelations that the Bush administration hired Blackwater USA to carry out assassinations of alleged Al Qaeda operatives, more information has come to light regarding the intimate and ongoing relationship between the shadowy paramilitary security contractor and the American state.
In spite of Blackwater’s well-established record of indiscriminate killings of Iraqi civilians, the Obama administration has retained its services in Afghanistan, where a new report reveals that Blackwater has been contracted to work with the unmanned Predator drones that carry out assassinations and terrorize villages in eastern and southern Afghanistan and the border regions of Pakistan.
Under Obama, the close links between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Blackwater have continued. These relationships reveal not only the corruption and conflicts-of-interest that are ubiquitous in the multi-trillion dollar world of military contracting. It raises the question of where the US military—ostensibly controlled by the elected representatives of the American people—ends, and Blackwater, a for-profit entity accountable to no one, comprised largely of former US military special operations personnel, begins...
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