Dec 24 08:18

U.S. Military Eyes Alarming Spike in Attacks on Key Supply Convoys Into Afghanistan

As the Pentagon prepares to nearly double the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan next year, the urgent question now occupying planners is just how the U.S. military is going to get its soldiers the food and fuel they need in the face of increasingly devastating attacks on supply convoys.

Right now, roughly three quarters of supplies for U.S. troops run either through or over Pakistan, from the country's southern port of Karachi to the Khyber Pass. Some 150 truckloads of supplies travel the road from Pakistan to Afghanistan daily.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I'd like to know the names of the morons in the US military who thought that the consistent bombing of non-combatants in Afghanistan and Pakistan wouldn't ultimately have some degree of blowback!

Dec 23 08:36

US military buildup in Afghanistan taking form

The Pentagon is poised to announce the deployment of at least one more combat brigade to Afghanistan in the coming weeks, as the expected force buildup of U.S. soldiers and Marines begins to take form.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Obviously, word has gone out from Obama that he will NOT be winding down the wars any time soon, or the Pentagon would not bother making preparations to send more troops only to have them turn around and come home.

Dec 22 07:40

Video: Civilian casualties in Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Warning: these are horrifically graphic and profoundly disturbing images.

However, since these casualties have been purchased with your tax dollars, you have a right to know just what those tax dollars are buying in Afghanistan.

Imagine, for one moment, that the kid in the top image was your kid. You had done nothing wrong; he had done nothing wrong, other than being at absolutely the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Afghani people do not hate us "because we are free."

And notice what this aerial bombing has accomplished; intense collateral damage, resulting in further radicalization of the people against the very government the US is attempting to prop up by doing the bombing raids.

Dec 22 07:24

Afghanistan on brink of famine, aid agency warns

Last week, the Afghan Health Ministry said more than 1.6 million children under the age of five and hundreds of thousands of women could die as a result of food insecurity and a lack of medical care.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Welcome to more of Bush's true "legacy" in Afghanistan!

Dec 21 09:36

Ambush Raises Unsettling Questions in Afghanistan

The Afghan authorities quickly learned that the man suspected of having orchestrated the attack, Maulavi Ghulam Dastagir, had only weeks before been in police custody on charges of aiding the Taliban.

Mr. Dastagir had been personally released by President Hamid Karzai after assurances from a delegation of tribal elders that he would live a peaceful life, officials said this month.

The ambush, and the presidential pardon that allowed the insurgent to go free, have become the subject of a governmental inquest and the source of profound embarrassment for the Afghan government.

Dec 21 09:20

All roads lead out of Afghanistan

It is hard to tell exactly what is going on, but Russia and Iran seem to be bracing for a countermove in the event of the Obama administration pressing ahead with the present US policy to isolate them or cut them out from their "near abroad".

Dec 20 09:38

Khyber impasse as Afghan trail hit by militants

An armed gang carried out the first attack on a secondary southern supply route for foreign troops in Afghanistan, as thousands of truck drivers continue to boycott the main route through the Khyber Pass.

Police said yesterday that at least three gunmen attacked a fuel tanker bound for Afghanistan on Tuesday just east of the Pakistani city of Quetta, shooting and wounding the driver and spilling 60,000litres of fuel.

Dec 20 09:12

Taleban ‘threaten British values like the Nazis’

John Hutton, the Defence Secretary, has compared the Taleban and al-Qaeda to the Nazis, saying that British forces in Afghanistan are defending the country’s values as they did in the Second World War.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Actually, you need to take a closer look at the issue of who is invading who to see that there is in fact a really BIG difference between WWW2 and today!

Dec 20 09:10

Taleban blow up British Christmas turkeys

The Taleban have scored a festive blow against British troops in Afghanistan by blowing up a supply lorry packed with Christmas turkeys.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Better idea: Let's have the soldiers eat their turkey AT HOME!

Dec 20 09:08

'ISI killing US troops in Afghanistan'

“All of this suggests that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is no longer certain the coalition forces will prevail in Afghanistan and that it is using militants groups in an attempt to expand its own influence,” the report said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are some elements in the US and other (read: Israeli) governments which really want the next US target to be Pakistan.

Dec 20 08:15

Gates orders new aviation brigade to Afghanistan

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered the deployment of a combat aviation brigade with some 2,800 troops to Afghanistan next year, a US military official said Friday.

Gates signed the order on Thursday in response to a request for more forces by General David McKiernan, the US commander in Afghanistan, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What part of "you cannot win what is essentially a land war from the air" is it that Sec Def Gates And General McKiernan seem utterly unable to comprehend?!?

The expansion of aerial bombing guarantees two things, and two things only.

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

Second, it's going to leave those left standing even further radicalized against the very government we're attempting to prop up by doing these bombing raids.

Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it.

Apparently, the lessons of the Viet Nam War have not percolated through the military or civilian leadership in the US at all.

And so far, the only "winners" in the occupation of Afghanistan are the drug dealers and the no-bid military contractors.

Dec 19 10:55

Obama's War

The triumph was total in the "splendid little war" that had cost one U.S. casualty. Or so it seemed. Yet, last month, the war against the Taliban entered its eighth year, the second longest war in our history, and America and NATO have never been nearer to strategic defeat.

America, without debate, is about to invest blood and treasure, indefinitely, in a war to which no end seems remotely in sight, if the commanding general is talking about four years at least and the now-and-future war minister is talking about four decades.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, without a full complement of military troops, put at 500,000 soldiers by the US's own military protocol, we cannot win this war.

If the development of military tactics and strategy should have proven anything to those who study military history in the 20th and 21st century, it is that you cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air.

It is obvious that the lessons from the Viet Nam War have never been learned by either civilian or military leadership of this country.

And those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it, as we are seeing here in Afghanistan

The Afghani people, the US, and NATO are not the winners here; to date, in this 8 year protracted battle, the only real winners have been the drug dealers and the military contractors.

Dec 19 10:29

10,000 urge Pakistan to cut US-NATO supply line

Thousands of anti-government protesters demanded Thursday that Pakistan shut the route along which supplies are ferried to U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, adding to the growing pressure on Islamabad's beleaguered leadership.

The demonstration by more than 10,000 people in the northwestern city of Peshawar also focused on a recent series of U.S. missile strikes against suspected al-Qaida and Taliban targets in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas along the Afghan border and Pakistani military offensives against Islamic insurgents in the area.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looking at the collateral damage (read: the killing of children, the medically infirm, women,and the elderly) from NATO and US airstrikes in Pakistan, who in their right minds can blame these people for their anger?!?

Or, perhaps, are the strikes inside Pakistan less about "lethal pursuit" across the border, and more about destabilizing Pakistan to the point where another Western-leaning military junta deposes Zardari, and another "strong man" comes to power in Pakistan?

If not, the US-NATO command is absolutely being run by blithering idiots, who didn't have the horse-sense to understand that ultimately, strikes against civilian targets in Pakistan would have just this kind of blowback.

Dec 19 08:32

Rosy rewriting of the Iraq debacle will fuel worse disaster in Afghanistan

Now they want to bolt the stable door. With British troops at last due to leave Iraq next spring, everyone is for a public inquiry. That is fine. But what about an inquiry into where they are going, straight from the frying pan into the fire, from Iraq to Afghanistan? In Basra the British army had at least a tattered remnant of a war plan. In Helmand the only plan is to be target practice for the Taliban.

Dec 18 10:28

NATO says Afghan security will improve in 2009

Lieutenant General Jim Dutton, deputy commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said plans to boost the Afghan army and police force and increase the number of foreign troops would turn things around.

"There are some causes for optimism. Things should get better, not worse, in 2009," he told reporters in Kabul.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to Lt. General Dutton: As has been proven throughout the history of 2oth and 21st century warfare, that you cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air.

A little 20th century conflict, called the Viet Nam War, should have alerted those who allegedly "planned" the Afghanistan military campaign, but that was obviously not the case.

Even with the so-called impending "surge" of troops, the US and NATO will have just a little over 10% of the number of forces needed to successfully occupy Afghanistan, paccording to the US's own military protocol, and that number is 500,000.

The rest of troop-contributing NATO countries have had leadership which at least pretends to listen to the sentiments of those people they govern, and the sentiments are loudly and clearly against this military misadventure. They will not send more troops; it is the US, where the leadership has no regard for the people they govern (except for squeezing more and more taxes from them) which will be supplying more troops.

Our options here are very limited. We can continue to bomb non-combatants, and create a further radicalization of those left standing against the Karzai government, or, at the end of the day, facilitate some kind of rapprochement between the Karzai government and the Taliban.

Of course, that would be logical, which means it has no chance to be explored as an alternative to further carnage.

I am afraid that I have to characterize Dutton's statement that "There are some causes for optimism." as a very deep, and unrealistic, indulgence in magical thinking.

Dec 18 09:53

Rockets fired at Western force supplies in Pakistan

Western military officials have played down the attacks, saying they have not affected combat operations but NATO has been looking for alternatives to the main supply route through Pakistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Napoleon once made the observation the "an army travels on its belly", meaning that provisions and supplies must be able to get to solders in a timely manner in order for them to pursue a successful military campaign.

If the militants are successful in shutting down the Khyber Pass to NATO supplies, this will definitely put a huge crimp in the war in Afghanistan.

Dec 17 10:16

I was still holding my grandson's hand - the rest was gone'

"We were walking, I was holding my grandson's hand, then there was a loud noise and everything went white. When I opened my eyes, everybody was screaming. I was lying metres from where I had been, I was still holding my grandson's hand but the rest of him was gone. I looked around and saw pieces of bodies everywhere. I couldn't make out which part was which."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Afghanis do not hate us "...because we are free."

They hate us because we are murdering their children, their brothers, their sisters, mothers, and friends in the name of Western oil pipelines.

And this continued aerial bombardment guarantees two things, and two things only.

First, there will be one hell of a lot of "collateral damage", i.e., killing infants, kids, women, the elderly, and the medically fragile who just want to live their lives.

Secondly, it will radicalize those left standing even further against the installed puppet government which the US is desperately attempting to prop up through the use of these airstrikes.

Someone in the Pentagon, the white house, or congress really should have remembered, when (allegedly) "planning" the Afghanistan campaign, that no country, in spite of its fire power, has ever been able to win what is essentially a ground war from the air.

That is precisely the situation in which the US and NATO find themselves Afghanistan.

It should remind you of a military conflict from which the US and NATO should have taken note, but didn't. That conflict was the Viet Nam War.

Ignorance and stupidity, coupled with magical thinking, should be painful. It's a damned shame it isn't.

Dec 17 09:36

Pakistani Opposition Party to Start Blocking NATO Supplies to Afghanistan

Jamaat-e Islami (JI), a religious party that boycotted the most recent elections over then-President Musharraf’s State of Emergency, remains an influential opposition voice, particularly in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Flexing some of that authority, JI announced today that it intends to begin blocking NATO supplies on Thursday.

Given the contentiousness of the US air strikes, JI is likely to find plenty of civilian recruits for creating hurdles along the route.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder if Jl leader Ahmed is contemplating using civilian human chains (borrowing from Gandhi), barricades, or a combination of both.

Using unarmed civilians massively ups the ante in terms of creating martyrs, and if unarmed civilians die in this effort, that potentially indelibly etches the image of the US and NATO forces as truly evil in world opinion.

The PR disaster from the fallout here may well outflank the coming military disaster in Afghanistan.

But if Ahmed and his followers are successful in this effort, it will absolutely grind the war in Afghanistan to a screeching halt.

Dec 17 09:01

NATO plays down attacks on supplies

NATO played down on Tuesday a recent spate of attacks on depots and convoys on a key Pakistan route, saying supplies were still getting through to its force in strife-torn Afghanistan.

“The Pakistani route is still open, is still safe,” Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, the head of NATO’s military committee, told reporters.

His remarks came after haulage companies in Pakistan said they had stopped delivering to foreign troops in Afghanistan after a major deterioration in security along the supply route to the Khyber Pass.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola; sir, making this statement, after the destruction of so much NATO property in Pakistan, is like standing there with your hair on fire, and claiming you can't smell the smoke!

Dec 15 18:05

Pakistan hauliers refuse to take supplies to Afghanistan

Haulage companies in Pakistan have stopped delivering to foreign troops in Afghanistan after a major deterioration in security along the key supply route, an association official said Monday.

The decision follows a series of major raids by suspected Taliban militants on international military supply depots in northwest Pakistan in the past two weeks in which hundreds of NATO and US-led coalition vehicles were destroyed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Who can blame these guys, particularly when there appears to be ever-dwindling security on this route??

This is really going to mess up logistics for US and NATO troops who get the main portion of their supplies from this route.

Dec 15 06:14

Pakistan hauliers refuse to take supplies to Afghanistan

Haulage companies in Pakistan have stopped delivering to foreign troops in Afghanistan after a major deterioration in security along the key supply route, an association official said Monday.

Dec 14 09:33

US military prepares for Obama’s expansion of Afghan war

The reality is that curbing terrorism was never the motive for the invasion of Afghanistan. The September 11 attacks were seized upon as the pretext for an intervention into the very heart of Central Asia, a resource-rich region that was part of the former Soviet Union until 1991. Far from being "aimless", the purpose of the ongoing occupation is to establish a US client state and major military bases in a region that is vital for American economic interests.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How many times do we hear the word "terrorism" invoked against a country which is not sitting over strategic territory or resources which the US and the West believes belongs to them, by some kind of "divine right"?


Dec 14 09:02

Chaplain says senior officer aware of rapes by Afghans

The native of Saskatchewan is the latest soldier to come forward alleging in detail how young Afghan boys during his tour in Afghanistan in 2006 were regularly sodomized by Afghan interpreters and soldiers working alongside Canadian soldiers.

Dec 14 08:40

Sources say NATO eyeing Afghan route

The sources said the former Soviet central Asian states of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are in final negotiations with NATO officials regarding the new route.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This gambit also makes Pakistan an even more real target for more US and NATO raids into its western territories, if no supplies are moving through Pakistan.

Dec 13 13:59

UN confirms Afghan mass grave site disturbed

The U.N. confirmed Friday that a mass grave in northern Afghanistan has been disturbed, raising the possibility that evidence supporting allegations of a massacre seven years ago may have been removed.

Dec 12 17:36

The forgotten war

A week ago Kai Eide, the UN special representative, warned in undiplomatic language that gung-ho military operations by coalition forces were compromising the on-ground stabilisation effort in Afghanistan. Late this week, the Australian military decided to deploy some positive PR, throwing on a special briefing about our activities in Oruzgan Province.

Dec 11 19:20

Taleban tax: allied supply convoys pay their enemies for safe passage

The West is indirectly funding the insurgency in Afghanistan thanks to a system of payoffs to Taleban commanders who charge protection money to allow convoys of military supplies to reach Nato bases in the south of the country.

The controversial payments were confirmed by several fuel importers, trucking and security company owners. None wanted to be identified because of the risk to their business and their lives. “We estimate that approximately 25 per cent of the money we pay for security to get the fuel in goes into the pockets of the Taleban,” said one fuel importer.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

25% of the money for security....goes into the pockets of the Taliban?!?!?

I'm sitting here, reading, and re-reading this statement, trying desperately to get my head around it before, as Lewis Black would say, "it EXPLODES!!"

Would some adults in the room in Washington and at the NATO HQ in Brussels please stick a fork in the occupation of
Afghanistan? It's DONE!!

Dec 11 19:02

U.S. keeps silent as Afghan ally removes war crime evidence

Seven years ago, a convoy of container trucks rumbled across northern Afghanistan loaded with a human cargo of suspected Taliban and al Qaida members who'd surrendered to Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, an Afghan warlord and a key U.S. ally in ousting the Taliban regime.

When the trucks arrived at a prison in the town of Sheberghan, near Dostum's headquarters, they were filled with corpses. Most of the prisoners had suffocated, and others had been killed by bullets that Dostum's militiamen had fired into the metal containers.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It has often been said that people can be judged by the company they keep; the same is true for the company nations keep.

Yes, General Abdul Dostum was a thug: but he was our thug!

Dec 11 09:57

Struggle For Kabul: The Taliban Advance

As seven years of missed opportunity have rolled by, the Taliban has rooted itself across increasing swathes of Afghan territory. According to research undertaken by ICOS throughout 2008, the Taliban now has a permanent presence in 72% of the country. Moreover, it is now seen as the de facto governing power in a number of southern towns and villages. This figure is up from 54% in November 2007, as outlined in the ICOS report Stumbling into Chaos: Afghanistan on the Brink.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Our options are very limited at this point.

No matter what the adults in the room in DC do regarding this military misadventure once Obama is sworn into office, it's only going to be window dressing for an ignominious defeat and an ultimate withdrawal.

A "Saigon moment" is coming here; it's just a question of when.

The question is, how long will the "surge" prolong the agony for both the Afghanis and US and NATO troops?

The numbers just don't add up. US military protocol indicates that it would take 500,000 troops to occupy Afghanistan successfully. We have 30,000 now, with 8,100 Brits. Add another 20,000 for the surge and what do you have? Do the math; this just slightly over 10 percent of the actual numbers needed to do the job.

And because NATO leaders at least do an approximation of listening to their citizens (who are greatly uncomfortable with the carnage and destruction already visited on Afghanistan), they are unwilling to send any more troops to fill the void, period, end of discussion.

"Victory" in Afghanistan? The current situation on the ground certainly doesn't look like it.

Dec 11 08:48

How the Taliban Hopes to Choke U.S. Afghanistan Mission

Perhaps the Taliban are observing the old military axiom that amateurs study tactics, while professionals study logistics. In a pair of attacks over the weekend in northwest Pakistan, militants destroyed more than 150 Humvees and other vehicles bound for U.S. troops and allies fighting in Afghanistan - the third attack on NATO supply lines inside a month. Those attacks have highlighted an ongoing vulnerability along the overland routes through mountain passes along the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier that are used to transport more than 75% of the supplies sent by the U.S.

Dec 11 07:39

How the Taliban Hopes to Choke U.S. Afghanistan Mission

Perhaps the Taliban are observing the old military axiom that amateurs study tactics, while professionals study logistics. In a pair of attacks over the weekend in northwest Pakistan, militants destroyed more than 150 Humvees and other vehicles bound for U.S. troops and allies fighting in Afghanistan - the third attack on NATO supply lines inside a month. Those attacks have highlighted an ongoing vulnerability along the overland routes through mountain passes along the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier that are used to transport more than 75% of the supplies sent by the U.S.

Dec 10 19:04

Ex-minister slates UK policy on Afghanistan

The criticism came from Kim Howells, who was in charge of the Afghanistan brief for three-and-a-half years until he stepped down as a foreign affairs minister in the October government reshuffle. The remarks reflect his considered judgment on what has been described as the most difficult foreign policy challenge facing the UK government and its armed forces.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So ,this is what our kids are fighting and dying to protect; a bunch of consummate scoundrels who are there to make sure the oil will someday flow though pipelines in Afghanistan, and to assure that the opium crops get processed without a problem.

Dec 10 07:19

US Special Forces mistakenly kill 6 Afghan police

U.S. Special Forces killed six Afghan police and wounded 13 early Wednesday in a case of mistaken identity by both sides after the police fired on the Americans during an operation against an insurgent commander, officials said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Charlie Foxtrot!"

Dec 10 07:00

Taliban chief says US troop building will mean more dead, wounded Americans

The Taliban's fugitive leader said the planned increase in U.S. troops in Afghanistan will give his fighters incentive to kill and maim more Americans than ever.

Mullah Omar, who is believed to be sheltered by fiercely conservative tribesman on the Afghan-Pakistan border, said battles would "flare up" everywhere.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Even with the impending "surge" of US troops, we won't have any where near enough boots on the ground to securely occupy Afghanistan, by the US military's own protocol.

The "surge" is only window-dressing until the adults in the room in Washington hopefully figure out an exit strategy which doesn't look quite like the abject defeat it will very most probably be.

Why are many of the Afghanis furious with us? Well, let's see:

1. We invaded their country, and have killed hundreds of people's wives, children, brothers, and sisters.

2. We installed a puppet government, headed by Hamid Karzai (formerly a UNOCAL consultant), which is so collectively corrupt that people believe these government officials have to screw their socks on in the morning.

3. And if that were not enough, as reported in September of this year,
"A poor harvest, the harshest winter in memory and widespread drought could mean a severe winter food shortage for millions of Afghans, aid officials say."

'The grim forecasts generally cover small farmers in central and northern Afghanistan, affecting 9 million people, more than a quarter of the population, The New York Times reported Friday."

Trust me; the Afghanis do not hate us "because we are free"; they hate us because of what has been done to them in the name of oil and pipelines.

Dec 09 15:21

NATO’s Supply Line Through Peshawar Under Siege

The U.S. military and NATO received a rude awakening this weekend after Taliban military units raided three separate terminals in Peshawar. More than 200 Humvees and trucks carrying supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan were destroyed in the attacks, which took place over the course of two days.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No wonder the US and NATO are looking to sign up supply agreements with other countries in a hot hurry, to avoid having to come through Pakistan at all!

Dec 09 11:13

The Silent Winter of Escalation

Sunday morning, before dawn, I read in the New York Times that "the Pentagon is planning to add more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan" within the next 18 months – "raising American force levels to about 58,000" in that country. Then I scraped ice off a windshield and drove to the C-SPAN studios, where a picture window showed a serene daybreak over the Capitol dome.

While I was on C-SPAN's Washington Journal for a live interview, the program aired some rarely seen footage with the voices of two courageous politicians who challenged the warfare state.

Dec 08 19:25

Convoy attacks trigger race to open new Afghan supply lines

Nato is negotiating with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to allow supplies for Nato forces, including fuel, to cross borders into Afghanistan from the north. The deal, which officials said was close to being agreed, follows an agreement with Moscow this year allowing Nato supplies to be transported by rail or road through Russia.

The deal could allow more fuel for Nato forces to be transported from refineries in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. Most of the 75m gallons of fuel estimated to be used by Nato forces annually in Afghanistan comes from refineries in Pakistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When these deals conclude, we may be looking at more of a likelihood for further bombing in other areas of the Khyber pass (which connects Pakistan and Afghanistan) which haven't previously been hit, because of its critical importance as a supply route through Pakistan.

Dec 08 08:35

Report: Taliban now encircle Kabul

The Taliban now have a presence in nearly three-quarters of Afghanistan, and are beginning to encircle its capital, Kabul, according to a new thinktank report.

The Paris-based International Council on Security and Development, which has offices in Afghanistan, says that Taliban fighters have advanced from the south of the country and now carry out regular attacks in the west and northwest.

"The West is in genuine danger of losing Afghanistan."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This campaign has been run with a combination of magical thinking, a contempt for military history and troop strength protocol, and a complete ignorance of the history of this area.

Magical thinking; that any less than the US military's own protocol on numbers to successfully attack and occupy this country would work. According to the US's own protocol, we needed 500,000 troops on the ground to attack and hold this country. Right now, we've got 30,000, plus or minus 8,100 Brits on the ground. The "surge" will add another 20,000. Do the math. At the end of the day, we'll have around just over 10 % of the total number necessary to hold this occupied territory.

A contempt for military history; believing that what is essentially a ground war can be won from the air. One has to wonder how many of the military "tacticians" (if one can call them that) actually served in Viet Nam. Had they, the planning and execution of this occupation would have gone far differently. Aerial bombing will guarantee two things, and two things only; mass civilian casualties (women, kids, elderly, and the medically fragile), and that you will radicalize people even further against the tin-pot dictator we're trying to prop up. (The Afghani people have every reason to believe that their government leaders are so crooked they have to screw their socks on in the morning).

And in terms of history, the last guy to conquer and hold this country was Alexander the Great.

Chew on that for a moment.

The cold, hard fact that we are losing in Afghanistan is no surprise; and it is doubtful that anything President-Elect Obama can do anything to reverse this, even with the surge.

Dec 08 08:34

Report warns of Taliban 'noose' around Afghan capital

Taliban insurgents have established a permanent presence in almost three-quarters of the territory of Afghanistan and are "closing a noose" around the capital Kabul, according to a report published today.

The independent thinktank International Council on Security and Development was critical of the international community's "failure" to address the security situation, which it argued in its report had brought Afghanistan "to a precipice".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Actually, I think the US invasion did that.

Dec 07 08:30

The lamb busters... Nato investigates claim that US pilots 'massacred sheep'

NATO is investigating claims that scores of sheep were massacred by American Apache helicopters after being mistaken for Taliban fighters.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mighty be time to back off those wake-em-up pills they give the pilots.

Dec 05 19:21

Pentagon plans troop surge in Afghanistan

The Pentagon has begun a massive building operation to construct new barracks and facilities in Afghanistan for 20,000 extra US troops that will pour into the country early next year.

There are 8,100 British troops in Afghanistan, mostly deployed in the southern Helmand province, where the Taleban insurgency has been the most fierce and effective.

It is to house the 20,000 extra troops, who will be joining the 32,000 American forces already there. General Tucker refused to say where the new facility will be.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to the Obama Transition Team and Future Cabinet: these numbers don't add up at all.

By the US military's own protocol, we need about 500,000 soldiers to hold Afghanistan. Add the numbers represented here, and what do we have?

When the surge reaches its full troop strength what we'll have here (counting the British forces) will be - give or take - about 58,000 soldiers.

This is just a little over 10% of the troop strength necessary to get the job done.

So, what do we do? Continue the aerial bombings, declare victory, and go home?

Viet Nam should have taught the American military that you cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air. Not having learned that lesson is a sad commentary on the mindset at both the Pentagon, and the white house.

At the end of the day, the resolution of the instability in Afghanistan can only be accomplished by dialogue, and by the Afghanis being able to elect a government that isn't so crooked that government officials have to screw their socks on in the morning.

Dec 04 09:38

German General: Afghan Police Training a ‘Miserable Failure’

Germany’s military commitment to the NATO mission in Afghanistan is focused almost exclusively on training Afghanistan’s floundering police force, but is having very little success. So little success in fact that General Hans-Christoph Ammon has condemned the training scheme as “a miserable failure.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unflipping believable.

Dec 04 08:13

MAP OF THE PNAC PLAN (Large graphic; heavy download)

Dec 04 06:46

Afghanistan, Another Untold Story

Barack Obama is on record as advocating a military escalation in Afghanistan. Before sinking any deeper into that quagmire, we might do well to learn something about recent Afghan history and the role played by the United States.

Dec 03 08:40

Thousands of Afghans Held Without Trial in ‘Telephone Justice’ System

For the rich and well-connected, the Afghan criminal justice system is remarkably convenient, with a simple phone call to an influential police officer or judge usually sufficient to ensure release without any formal charges, even for those arrested under severe circumstances. But the UN warns that for poorer citizens, the situation is far more onerous.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Democracy" in Afghanistan: you've just gotta LOVE IT!!!

No wonder the average Afghani thinks its government is so collectively crooked that it has to screw its socks on in the morning.

When Karzai's government makes the Taliban look good to the Afghani people,
that's a really dicey commentary on US foreign policy to date.

Dec 01 08:31

German general breaks silence on Afghanistan

Breaking with a military tradition of keeping silent about policy, a top German general has branded his country's efforts in Afghanistan a failure, singling out its poor record in training the Afghan police and allocating development aid.

Dec 01 08:02

Iran-India-Pakistan cooperation would restore regional security: Rafsanjani

Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Sunday called for closer cooperation between Iran, India, and Pakistan in their efforts to bring back “tranquility” to the war-torn Afghanistan.

“Resolving the current crisis in Afghanistan requires extensive cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran, India and Pakistan. This cooperation can bring tranquility to the region,” Rafsanjani told visiting Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

He said the situation of foreign troops in Afghanistan is similar to that of the Soviet army in 1979-1989 war.

Nov 29 09:36

Afghans riot in Kabul after troops kill civilian

Dozens of angry Afghans threw stones at police after a convoy of foreign troops killed one civilian and wounded four more in the capital, Kabul, on Friday, the Kabul police chief and witnesses said.

Seething resentment against the presence of some 65,000 foreign troops is growing in Afghanistan after scores of Afghan civilians have been killed in a series of mistaken air strikes this year.

Nov 29 00:52

Press, "Psy Ops" to merge at NATO Afghan HQ

Press and "Psy Ops" to merge at NATO Afghan HQ: sources

By Jon Hemming Jon Hemming – 40 mins ago

KABUL (Reuters) – The U.S. general commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan has ordered a merger of the office that releases news with "Psy Ops," which deals with propaganda, a move that goes against the alliance's policy, three officials said.

The move has worried Washington's European NATO allies -- Germany has already threatened to pull out of media operations in Afghanistan -- and the officials said it could undermine the credibility of information released to the public.

Nov 28 10:36

UN Security Council Denies Afghanistan in Crisis

A delegation from the United Nations Security Council wrapped up a three day tour of Afghanistan today with a veiled swipe at recent complaints by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Touting a cabinet reshuffle as grounds for “cautious optimism,” delegation head Giulio Terzi declared that the situation in Afghanistan was “not a security crisis,” and warned against presenting it as one to avoid “disillusionment and frustration.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to UN delegation head Terzi: making this statement is akin to standing up, with your hair on fire, and claiming you can't smell the smoke.

The US's own military protocol indicates that we should never have gone into Afghanistan with any less than 500,000 troops to successfully handle the occupation of this country.

What we have, and will have, under a potential "Afghanistan surge", will only be a relatively small percentage of that number.

The Taliban have been resurgent, particularly in the south of the country, and have literally set up parallel government structures to those of the Karzai government.

Speaking of the Karzai government: it is perceived as so crooked that it has to collectively screw its socks on in the morning.

The commands of the US and NATO are managing to have complete collective amnesia on the bit from their strategy and history books about never, ever attempting to win a ground war from the air (Sir, have you never heard of a little altercation the US got into in Southeast Asia called the Viet Nam War?!? And you DO remember, just how well that ultimately went for the US.)

And aerial bombing assures two things, and two things only: you're going to kill a lot of non-combatants (women, babies, the medically infirm, and the elderly), and this will guarantee to radicalize the the population even further away from the government the US is attempting to prop up.

And last but not least, Delegation Head Terzi, the production of opium poppies has just soared under the Karzai's administration watch.

That you can possibly stand up with a straight face and say to the world that an Afghani cabinet re-shuffule could be construed as ".....grounds for 'cautious optimism can mean only one of two things: you're either lying through your teeth, or you have absolutely zero understanding of what is really happening in this country.

Nov 28 08:23

British soldiers attacked by furious mob in Kabul after American troops 'ram minibus off road killing one'

British troops were attacked by mob in Kabul today after American troops sparked a riot by ramming a packed minibus off the road, allegedly killing one civilian.

Eyewitnesses said an American armoured personnel carrier smashed into the back of the minibus, as they raced along a highway on the outskirts of the capital.

'The minibus lost control and and swerved off the road into a crowd of people,' an eyewitness said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Winning the hearts and minds.

Nov 27 07:33

Robert Fisk: 'Nobody supports the Taliban, but people hate the government'

The collapse of Afghanistan is closer than the world believes. Kandahar is in Taliban hands – all but a square mile at the centre of the city – and the first Taliban checkpoints are scarcely 15 miles from Kabul. Hamid Karzai's deeply corrupted government is almost as powerless as the Iraqi cabinet in Baghdad's "Green Zone"; lorry drivers in the country now carry business permits issued by the Taliban which operate their own courts in remote areas of the country.

Nov 26 10:35

Taliban, drug lords await $770m opium bonanza

OPIUM production in Afghanistan will contribute $US500 million ($770 million) to drug lords and the Taliban this year and has increased in the south - where Australia's troops are based - despite a drop across the rest of the country, a United Nations report says.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The people really making the money are the drug lords at the top, who sneak this product out of Afghanistan to be refined into heroin, and sell it in Europe.

Even Karzai's brother has been implicated in the drug trade here, and this indicates the true level of corruption which the Afghanis have had to deal with since the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

Nov 25 09:07

Afghanistan demands 'timeline' for end of military intervention

President Hamid Karzai demanded on Tuesday at a meeting with a UN Security Council team that the international community set a "timeline" for ending military intervention in Afghanistan, his office said.

Karzai told a delegation from the Council that his country needed to know how long the US-led "war on terror" was going to be fought in Afghanistan or it would be forced to seek a political solution to a Taliban-led insurgency.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Karzai is many things, but he is not an idiot. He fully understands that ultimately, the only solution here will have to be a political reconciliation with the Taliban.

And that collective, repetitive "thud" you keep hearing is the sound of heads in the state department and at the pentagon, banging against walls, coupled with the screams of "No, dammit, NO!!!!"

Nov 25 06:41

U.S. 'falling behind' bombings in Afghanistan, panel says

The increased deployment of IEDs has come amid a broad offensive by the Taliban and warnings from U.S. commanders that violence could worsen. The bombs have contributed to an increase in casualties among coalition forces: 129 U.S. servicemembers were killed in Afghanistan through October this year, compared with 83 combat deaths in all of 2007.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: The US is losing this one.

Nov 23 08:52

US: Financial woes no excuse in funding Afghan war

Even in a global financial crisis, the world cannot afford to skimp on its obligations to Afghanistan, which wants to double the size of its army but will never be able to pay for it, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says.

Gates said some characterizations of backsliding in the 7-year-old Afghan war are too dire, but he said violence is up.

The global financial crisis should not let donor nations off the hook, Gates said.

"They'll have to weigh the consequences of not doing it," Gates said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Bush's endless "wars without end" have fueled the international economic downward spiral. For Gates to make these ludicrous comments in public makes one wonder about his mental state.

And a small pop quiz for Sec Def Gates; who was the last military leader capable of invading - and holding - the territory now described as "Afghanistan"?!?

Alexander the Great.

Nov 23 05:09

Why Bush Can’t Allow Habeas Corpus – And Why we Need to Leave Afghanistan

The whole rationale for our war in Afghanistan probably would be exposed to the world as the farce that it is if the Bush administration allowed its “War on Terror” prisoners to use the writ of habeas corpus to challenge their detentions. That appears to be a major reason, if not the major reason, why the Bush administration has for several years fought tooth and nail to deny its prisoners the habeas corpus rights that are guaranteed under our Constitution.

Nov 22 09:19

Kabul 30 years ago, and Kabul today. Have we learned nothing?

Fast forward to 2001 – just seven years ago – and an American general told us of the imminent victory over the "terrorists" in the mountains, the all but conquered Taliban who were being supported by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The Russian was pontificating at the big Soviet airbase at Bagram. The American general was pontificating at the big US airbase at Bagram.

This is not déjà-vu. This is déjà double-vu. And it gets worse.

Nov 21 19:21

Kabul 30 years ago, and Kabul today. Have we learned nothing?

Like automated birds, the kites swoop over the rooftops. Yes, the kite-runners of Kabul, minus Hollywood. At night, the thump of American Sikorsky helicopters and the whisper of high-altitude F-18s invade my room. The United States of America is settling George Bush's scores with the "terrorists" trying to overthrow Hamid Karzai's corrupt government.

Nov 21 13:23

U.S. troops to surge in Afghanistan

U.S. troops to surge in Afghanistan
Canada holds on to 2011 deadline for Kandahar withdrawal
Richard Foot , Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, November 21, 2008

CORNWALLIS, N.S. - The United States will deploy five new army brigades - about 20,000 troops - to Afghanistan starting in January, in the hope making the country secure enough for presidential elections in the fall, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates said here Friday.

Nov 21 10:43

Plus ça change: "Progressive" Leaders Ride War Machine Deeper Into Darkness

Armed with the same invincible ignorance and arrogance that have for generations led their imperial forbears to bitter defeat in Afghanistan, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown have both pledged themselves to a substantial escalation of the Anglo-American adventure in Central Asia. Thus these two self-proclaimed "progressive" champions of benevolent change are guaranteeing more of the same bitter fruit already produced by this misbegotten enterprise: more death, more ruin, more suffering, more corruption – and more violent extremism.

Nov 21 08:18

Afghanistan drug production up 150% since 2001

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Nov 20 10:25

Taliban Regains Power, Influence in Afghanistan

The Taliban have regained control in these pockets despite seven years of American attacks and the presence of more than 50,000 U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization troops. There are thousands of U.S. and British troops in southern Afghanistan, but American commanders say they don't have enough forces to prevent the Taliban from controlling territory there.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Were there absolutely no adults in the room when the invasion of Afghanistan was "planned" (as if what has happened could possibly be considered the result of "planning"?!?)

By the US's own military protocol, we needed 500,000 troops to make the occupation of Afghanistan a success. Do the math.

Ignorance, combined with magical thinking and logistical stupidity, never leads to a successful military campaign.

The US and NATO were painfully ignorant of the history of this region. The last time someone attacked this area - and held it - was under the watch of Alexander the Great.

They also chose to have selective amnesia about the bit in battle strategy history of never, ever attempting to win what is essentially a ground war from the air.

Apparently, the lessons of the Viet Nam War have gone unlearned, all these many years later, for all the death, suffering, and misery that war caused.

Aerial bombardment guarantees two things, and two things only

1. You will kill a lot of non-combatants in the process(women, kids, infants, the elderly, and the infirm.)

2. You will radicalize those left standing further away from the government you're trying to prop up.

Karzai doesn't represent the Afghani people; he represents the will of the oil companies who still think that the area is a great place for pipelines if "the price is right".

That "price" appears to have been the destruction and ruin of the already devastated country of Afghanistan, along with the deaths and maiming of US and NATO troops.

Nov 19 09:12

NATO chief calls for more non-US troops in Afghanistan

NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer appealed Tuesday for more troops from outside the United States to be sent to Afghanistan to prevent it from again becoming a “safe haven” for terrorists.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One doesn't know whether to laugh, or cry at this statement.

Apparently, NATO Chief De Hoop Scheffer has managed to have selective amnesia about what was necessary to carry out a successful occupation of this country.

The US's own military protocol indicates that we needed about 500,000 soldiers on the ground to do this correctly. What we will have, even with the enhanced troop strength Obama is talking about, will be only a pitiful fraction of that.

Secondly, (and this is something De Hoop Scheffer might have read in his military history books, had he been paying attention), you cannot, absolutely cannot win what is essentially a ground war from the air.

What the massive air strikes guarantee are two things. First, you're going to kill women, kids, the elderly, and the medically fragile, along with the people you actually want to kill.

And this will simply radicalize those left standing against the Karzai government.

This is a had and stark lesson that both the US and NATO should have learned from the outcome of the Viet Nam War: it is obvious to any thinking person that they have not.

At the end of the day, there are basically two options left; carpet-bomb the place, declare victory, and go home, or negotiate with the Taliban, give them a seat at the table, declare victory, and go home.

But those are the only two options left at this point. The smarter thing would have never, ever to have gone into this country in the first place, to collectively punish people who had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, but simply had the most viable pipeline routes.

The cost for the West was just too high when the Taliban were in power, so during that summer when all we heard was "Gary Condit, all the time, on all the TV stations, the US was quietly telling its allies that it was going to invade Afghanistan, and take the pipeline routes by force. The stage had already been set for this action earlier that year. Take a look at the date from this Australian Broadcasting Corporation article

Broadcast: 02/10/2001

"The noose closes around the Taliban"

"NATO chief George Robertson has tonight announced that the US has provided proof of Osama bin Laden's involvement in last month's terrorist attacks. He says NATO members can now invoke Article Five -- the mutual defence clause, which says an attack from abroad on any ally, is an attack on them all."

"The move comes as the British PM gets ready to declare that military action in Afghanistan is now inevitable. In less than an hour Mr Blair will tell his Labour Party conference that the Taliban's time is up."

Nov 17 09:31

Afghanistan abyss awaits Obama

The struggle for influencing Barack Obama's foreign policy agenda has begun in right earnest. The maneuvering by influential establishment figures - including Congressional voices, Obama advisors and even military officials - who are projecting incumbent Robert Gates as secretary of defense in the incoming administration highlights the pressures working on the president-elect.

Nov 17 08:29

Breathless in Washington

On the day that Americans turned out in near record numbers to vote, another record was being set halfway around the world. In Afghanistan, a US Air Force strike wiped out about 40 people in a wedding party. This represented at least the sixth wedding party eradicated by American air power in Afghanistan and Iraq since December 2001.

American planes have, in fact, taken out two brides in the past seven months. And don't try to bury your dead or mark their deaths ceremonially either, because funerals have been hit as well.

Nov 16 10:36

Afghan civilians suffering in airstrikes

A Human Rights Watch reports says that rapid respond air strikes have caused high civilian casualties and is fueling a public backlash in Afghanistan.

“Rapid response air strikes have meant higher civilian casualties, while every bomb dropped in populated areas amplifies the chance of a mistake,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch in the 43-page report.

“Mistakes by the US and NATO have dramatically decreased public support for the Afghan government and the presence of international forces providing security to Afghans,” report added.

Nov 16 09:24

US supply line threatened by Pakistan truck halt

Pakistan temporarily barred oil tankers and container trucks from a key passageway to Afghanistan, threatening a critical supply route for U.S. and NATO troops on Sunday and raising more fears about security in the militant-plagued border region.

Nov 16 09:13

Truck halt on Pakistan pass may hurt U.S.

Pakistan temporarily suspended oil tankers and trucks with sealed containers from using a key passage into Afghanistan, an official said Sunday, a move that will likely impact supplies heading to U.S. and NATO troops.

The suspension came just days after a band of militants hijacked around a dozen trucks whose load included Humvees and other supplies headed to the foreign forces in Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder if the ambush is the "real reason" for the suspension of truck deliveries, or if Pakistan is sending a message to the US and NATO that they do have a way of making life more difficult for US and NATO troops in retaliation for the strikes inside their territories.

Nov 14 09:34

Bagram's Black Hole

More than 600 prisoners remain at Bagram without being charged; some have been in legal limbo for more than five years. Because the United States calls Afghanistan a battleground in the war on terror, it contends that prisoners held there have no right to challenge their detention. Whether for political or strategic reasons, or merely because of Guantánamo Bay burnout, no more than a handful of detainees held by the U.S. government at Bagram have any legal representation. Yet their plight reflects a problem that extends far beyond the U.S.

Nov 13 07:30

Barack Obama looks to Iran to help bring peace to Afghanistan

Aides said the incoming Democratic president wants to explore a more regional strategy in Afghanistan, including the possibility of negotiations with Tehran.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Watch Israel throw a tantrum!

Nov 12 09:56

Afghanistan: The Economic Argument against Escalation

President-elect Obama promises to “refocus our resources on Afghanistan,” a nation he refers to as “the central front in the war on terror.” But his alternative to the Bush Administration’s tunnel vision on Iraq - a “surge” into Afghanistan - will incur even more costs than the Iraq occupation.

Here’s the problem, via Thom Shanker at The New York Times:

“It is significantly more expensive to sustain each soldier in Afghanistan than in Iraq because of Afghanistan’s landlocked location and primitive road network.”

Nov 12 08:49

Taliban urges Obama to repudiate Bush's Afghan policy

Afghanistan's Taliban called on US president-elect Barack Obama to repudiate the "war-mongering" policies of President George W. Bush to repair the country's image abroad, a group that monitors Islamist websites said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ending the wars is a big reason Obama won the election.

Nov 10 08:21

U.S. review likely to say Afghanistan situation 'dire'

A classified review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan is likely to judge that the United States is losing ground there, according to a government official involved with preparing the review.

The review is likely to say the U.S. doesn't have forces for an Iraq-style "surge."

Nov 10 08:19

UK forces sent in to Helmand Province 'half-cocked' on 'con' mission, says officer

British forces were sent into Afghanistan's troubled Helmand Province on a "half-cocked" campaign to "con" world opinion about the country's military strength, a former senior officer who resigned from the army has claimed.

Nov 10 08:18

Canada firm on quitting Afghanistan by 2011

The Americans may have shown renewed interest in Afghanistan but Canada stays firm on its decision to end its mission in the war-torn country by 2011, says Canada’s new foreign minister Lawrence Cannon. The minister told a television channel Sunday that the tough stand by US president-elect Barack Obama on Afghanistan will have no impact on the Canadian decision to pull out of Afghanistan by 2011.

During the US presidential campaign, Obama promised to send two more US brigades to Afghanistan to go after the Al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden.

Nov 10 08:03

World leaders spell out demands to Obama

World leaders have already drawn up demands to put to US president-elect Barack Obama and quickly expressed a desire to see his promise of change applied to key conflicts and dragging the global economy out of crisis.

Nov 07 10:51

Now That Obama Has Won . . . There is No Excuse

Now that a Democrat has been elected president, the Democrats in Congress have no excuse. They can no longer pretend that they have to “hold back” to win the election.

They have no excuse to delay war crimes charges against Bush, Cheney and company for Iraq.

They have no excuse to delay war crimes charges for torture.

They have no excuse to delay criminal charges for spying on Americans.

They have no excuse to delay criminal charges for 9/11.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Obama's administration is the last chance to prove that the American system can still work. When the economy really tanks, the nation will be ripe for revolution and the only thing that might holds it off is to see the men and women the people know are responsible tarred, feathered, roped, and given a fair trial followed by a first-class hanging.

Nov 07 10:34

The War in Afghanistan Is Unwinnable

Veteran journalist Tariq Ali said this morning that the war in Afghanistan is lost.

Specifically, he said that British intelligence has concluded that - no matter how many troops are sent in - the war is already lost and is unwinnable in the future.

Nov 07 08:29

US: "It's Taliban's fault if we slaughter Afghan children"

In a telephone interview, Colonel Julian accused Taliban forces of "immersing themselves" among civilians on Monday to deter American forces from using airstrikes.

"Our close air support has been so devastating with the Taliban that they are trying to stop us using it" by provoking situations in which civilians are caught up in fighting and killed, he said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One is reminded of the statement of the Papal legate at the siege of Montesgur against the Cathars, when told that there were children and infants among the group.

His response was, "kill them all: God will find his own."

The people of Afghanistan do not "hate us because we are free": they hate us because we are indiscriminately bombing the crap out of, and killing and maiming, the people they love and about whom they care deeply.

Nov 07 08:07

At Least Seven Civilians Among 20 Killed in Latest US Strike in Afghanistan

Just a day after reports emerged that a US air strike against a wedding party in Kandahar earlier in the week killed at least 40 civilians, another US strike in Badghis Province killed at least another 20 people, with at least seven of them reportedly civilians.

If this is all some insidious Taliban plot to prevent the US from using air strikes, they appear to have sorely overestimated the US military’s reluctance to kill large numbers of innocent civilians.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, what does the massive bombing of civilians guarantee, in a land war which cannot be won from the air??

It guarantees that you radicalize those left standing even further against the existing US-supported government. If this is the outcome the US and NATO have wanted, by gosh, they're right on target!!

Nov 06 07:39

40 Afghan civilians killed as U.S.-led air strike hits wedding party

At least 40 Afghan civilians have been killed and 28 more injured as an airstrike of the U.S.-led Coalition forces hit a wedding gathering in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province, officials and local villagers said Wednesday.

Nov 03 11:08

What to expect from the Obama administration on the foreign policy front

Obama has long stressed he would immediately begin escalating the Afghan campaign, and perhaps open up a new front in Pakistan. Certainly the Bush administration has laid the groundwork for this eastward shift of U.S. military resources – and so the stage is set.

Nov 02 09:26

Gates: Afghan conflict must not be seen as 'America's war'

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Afghanistan's military must be expanded and that the conflict needs to be recognized as "an Afghan war, not an American war and not a NATO war."

Promoting the expansion of Kabul's military force, Gates said: "We would be making a terrible mistake if this ends up being called America's war. This is the Afghans' war for their own country, and we need to make sure they know we are not there to run it, we are there to help."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Forgive me, but has this gentleman gone completely mad?

One has to wonder what koolaid US Secretary of Defense Gates has imbibed to make such an completely absurd statement. Does he believe, for one second, that thinking Americans do not remember the history of US oil interests in this region?

As reported on 2 May, 2001 in

"An article appearing in the prestigious German daily Frankfurter Rundschau, in early October 1996, reported that UNOCAL “has been given the go-ahead from the new holders of power in Kabul to build a pipeline from Turkmenstein via Afghanistan to Pakistan. It would lead from Krasnovodsk on the Caspian Sea to Karachi on the Indian Ocean coast.” The same article noted that UN diplomats in Geneva believe that the war in Afghanistan is the result of a struggle between Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and the United States, “to secure access to the rich oil and natural gas of the Caspian Sea.”[50] Other than UNOCAL, companies that are jubilantly interested in exploiting Caspian oil, apparently at any human expense, include AMOCO, BP, Chevron, EXXON, and Mobile."

"It therefore comes as no surprise to see the Wall Street Journal reporting that the main interests of American and other Western elites lie in making Afghanistan “a prime transhipment route for the export of Central Asia’s vast oil, gas and other natural resources”. "

So, there you have it.

One can say, with some degree of certainty, that it is not the sons or daughters of people like Secretary Gates, or other governmental or corporate officials who are fighting, and getting maimed, and dying, in this war for pipelines and oil transportation.

This occupation of Afghanistan was never about furthering the interests of peace or economic growth for this beleaguered country; it was, and continues to be, about the brutal fight for its location as a trans-ship point for oil.

Nov 02 08:54

British commander in Afghanistan quits - source

A commander of Britain's elite special forces in Afghanistan has resigned, a defence source said on Saturday, declining to give further details.

Major Sebastian Morley, a reservist commander with the Special Air Service (SAS), blamed a chronic lack of investment in equipment for the deaths of some of his soldiers, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No thinking military person wants to see themselves or forces under their command mired in a complete exercise in futility, where people who make the decisions from long distances away about personnel and equipment have not a clue as to what that commander and their troops are really facing on a daily basis.

Nov 02 08:27

Minister's brother seized in Pakistan

Nov 01 09:05

Millions of Afghans Face Starvation

With a combination of a summer drought, poor irrigation and rising global food prices, a famine is unveiling in Afghanistan with third of Afghans are suffering chronic food insecurity, a British think-tank warned on Friday, October 31.

"While the eyes of the world have focused on violence which is increasingly terrorist in character, an estimated 8.4 million Afghans, perhaps a third of the nation, are now suffering from 'chronic and transitory food insecurity'," Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) analyst Paul Smyth said in a press briefing on its website.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Welcome to yet more of the real "Bush Legacy" in Afghanistan: one third of its population may face famine conditions this year.

And anyone who believes that the US and NATO will allow airdrops of food to the worst-hit areas hasn't taken a good, hard look at the outcomes of their occupation of this country.

Oct 31 23:11

SAS chief quits over 'negligence' that killed troops in Afghanistan

The commander of SAS special forces in Afghanistan has resigned amid fresh controversy over the equipment available to British troops fighting the Taliban, it was reported last night.

It is believed that Major Sebastian Morley decided to quit over the deaths of four of his soldiers who were killed when their lightly armoured Snatch Land Rover hit a landmine in Helmand province earlier this year.

Oct 31 08:28

'We're not going to win this war'

As the US public is dimly aware, things are not going very well in Afghanistan.

Recall that it took years, US$5-6 billion in CIA funding matched dollar for dollar by the Saudis, and a concerted national effort by the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan assisting a variety of domestic and foreign fighters to expel the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. It also took officially sanctioned safe havens in Pakistan that the Russians wouldn't violate, and a supply of Stinger missiles to negate the vital Soviet advantage in helicopter-based mobility and firepower.

Oct 30 09:51

Deafness is the new scourge of British troops in Afghanistan

Hundreds of soldiers are returning from Afghanistan suffering from severe and permanent damage to their hearing because of the overwhelming noise of intense combat.

Nearly one in ten soldiers serving with one regiment have hearing defects that could bar them from further frontline service and affect their civilian job prospects, The Times has learnt.

The number of hearing injuries is one of the untold stories of Britain’s military campaigns, evoking comparisons with the thunder of battle in the two world wars and the Korean War.

Oct 30 07:24

Officials: 20,000 Afghan troops needed

Webmaster's Commentary: 

... or, we could end the war and bring our kids home!

Oct 29 09:23

Pakistani, Afghan Delegates Agree to Talks With Taliban

Pakistani and Afghan political and tribal leaders meeting in Islamabad Tuesday have agreed to seek talks with Taliban insurgents in a bid to limit violence along their shared border. The announcement came after a two-day meeting described as a mini-jirga in the Pakistani capital. VOA's Barry Newhouse reports from Islamabad.

The two-day "mini-jirga" in Islamabad ended with pledges to create new committees in both countries that will try to establish contact with Taliban groups.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In military history, there a dire, and clear, warning in the books about being unable to win what is essentially a ground war from the air.

Viet Nam should have taught American military something about this. And unfortunately those who do not understand history (particularly military history, are doomed to repeat it.

So now, the US is in a situation where what this meeting's leaders have accomplished (an agreement to work on common goals with the Taliban) could be the beginning of the end of this 7 year conflict.

Unfortunately, if past performance is any judge, the US will succeed in snatching defeat from the jaws of potential victory here by continuing to bomb the heck out of Pakistan and Afghanistan, thus radicalizing those left standing even further away from their respective governments, and more deeply into the Taliban fold.

Oct 28 09:45

US considering talks with Taliban: report

The United States is considering taking part in talks with elements of the Taliban in a sharp change in tactics in Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday citing unnamed officials.

The report said the new approach was contained in a draft recommendation in a classified White House assessment of US strategy in Afghanistan. Talks would be led by the Afghan government, “but with the active participation of the US,” it said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So finally, after 7 years of blood and money spent on the badly mangled occupation of Afghanistan, someone gets something of a clue as to what really needs to happen here?

One has to wonder if there were any true adults in the room when the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was (allegedly) planned.

And how horrendously wrong this has gone can be ascribed to three factors: magical thinking, a complete ignorance of the history and culture of the region, and a complete repudiation of the US's own military protocol, indicating that it would take 400,000 soldiers to manage this occupation successfully.

Oct 25 07:56

Afghanistan the Un-Winnable

The US presidential candidates are warbling about what strategies will best suit Afghanistan in a post-Bush world. Both Barack Obama and John McCain promise that the interminable conflict will be of “top priority” come 2009. Neither has provided clear guidelines, largely because such guidelines are essentially useless. The Coalition forces in Afghanistan continue to lose the ground to Taliban. Planners are scratching their heads in desperation.

Oct 25 07:53

French Anti-Tank Missiles Abandoned in Taliban Clash

A French unit was surrounded last weekend in Kapisa Province Afghanistan and had to withdraw from the field, leaving behind two anti-tank Milan missiles and a launcher. Journalists say no French soldiers were hurt in the clash, but “all 14 Taliban insurgents were killed.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sorry, but if the Taliban are suffering such losses and the French were unhurt, why are the French running so fast they have to leave major weapons behind?

Oct 23 10:34

E-mail From Afghanistan

"It was hard preparing to risk your life for something you don’t believe. It eats away your soul." An ex-Army officer contemplates contemplates the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan, and his recently completed third combat tour.

Oct 23 08:18

Disillusioned Afghans Seen Turning on Karzai

Beset by a rising civilian death toll and widespread corruption charges Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who once boasted an enormous approval rating, is seen as an increasingly ineffective and unacceptable leader by the Afghan population. With the country earlier this month beginning its registration of voters for next year’s presidential election, Karzai’s hopes for a second term seem to be fading fast.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Who can blame the Afghani people for wanting Karzai out?

He and his corrupt cronyocracy are all viewed as so crooked they have to screw their socks on in the morning!

Oct 23 07:20

Afghan soldiers killed in Nato air strike

Nine Afghan soldiers have been killed by mistake in a Nato-led air strike in southeast Afghanistan.

The US-led coalition said its troops "may have mistakenly killed and injured" Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers after coming under attack while returning from an operation.

"As a coalition convoy was returning from a previous operation, they were involved in multiple engagements. As a result of the engagements, ANA soldiers were killed and injured," the military said in a statement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"They made us do it!"

Oct 23 07:00

Ordinary Afghans Long For Peaceful Taliban Days .

Crushed under the vicious cycle of violence, many Afghans see peace as a distant dream and yearn for the peaceful days of the Taliban regime more than five years after its ouster.

Oct 23 06:40

Kid Killers are Barbarians

There is yet more news from Afghanistan about the killing of civilians by foreign forces’ air attacks. The BBC reported that “Angry villagers took 18 bodies - including badly mangled bodies of women and children - to the governor's house in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, Haji Adnan Khan, a tribal leader in the city who had seen the bodies, was reported as saying. He said there might be more bodies trapped under the rubble. A BBC reporter in Lashkar Gah said he saw the bodies - three women and the rest children ranging in age from six months to 15.

Oct 22 08:05

Coalition airstrike kills 9 Afghans, officials say

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"... and we are pretty sure that at least one of them might have actually seen a terrorist once!"

Oct 22 07:32

Foreign troops kill nine Afghan soldiers-ministry

Foreign troops killed nine Afghan soldiers in a mistaken air strike in the southeast of the country overnight, the Afghan Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wow, NATO is doing such a brilliant job of winning the hearts and minds of the Afghanis!

And a memo to those allegedly in charge of the US/NATO military campaign in Afghanistan; somewhere, in those dusty, unopened military history books you chose not to bother looking at before this campaign was designed, there is that little bit about not ever, ever being able to win what is essentially a ground war from the air.

The example used would have been that of the Viet Nam War.

And of course, those who do not understand history (particularly military history) are, unfortunately, doomed to repeat it.

Oct 21 10:58

David Davis: We are losing Taliban battle

Oct 20 07:12

David Davis: We are losing Taliban battle

It is time to face facts in Afghanistan: the situation is spiralling downwards, and if we do not change our approach, we face disaster. Violence is up in two-thirds of the country, narcotics are the main contributor to the economy, criminality is out of control and the government is weak, corrupt and incompetent. The international coalition is seen as a squabbling bunch of foreigners who have not delivered on their promises. Although the Taliban have nowhere near majority support, their standing is growing rapidly among some ordinary Afghans.

Oct 19 18:39

Taliban Kill Dozens in Bus Ambush, Officials Say

Taliban insurgents pulled some 50 passengers off a bus in southern Afghanistan and beheaded as many as 30 of them after accusing them of being soldiers traveling in civilian clothes, Afghan officials in the region announced on Sunday.

Oct 19 10:21

Seven killed as Taliban ‘shoot down’ US chopper

Afghan Taliban claimed to have shot down a US military helicopter in Birmal area of Afghanistan’s Paktika province early on Saturday morning, killing seven soldiers.

Oct 19 09:02

Pakistan and Taliban battle for key tunnel

The Pakistani army is locked in a fierce battle to stop fuel and arms supply routes to British and American forces in Afghanistan falling under Taliban control.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You cut an armed force off at the knees when you cut off its supply routes.

If the Pakistanis lose this battle, that will make it very difficult, if not impossible, for US and NATO forces to hold their positions.

Unfortunately, the US and NATO have never had, according to the US's own military protocol anywhere near enough soldiers to successfully handle this occupation.

As reported on 2 June, 2008 in

"The outgoing US commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan says it would require 400,000 troops to secure that country."

"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."

And why have we not had enough soldiers to do this successfully?

A lethal combination of magical thinking, and military history amnesia.

The last time the US attempted to win what was absolutely a ground war from the air was during the Viet Nam War.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Oct 18 18:07


Recently the Taliban have sought to instigate talks that may lead to a settlement in Afghanistan which the US and their allies now concede is unwinable. Part of the concessions the Taliban are willing to make are to disassociate themselves from ‘al Qaeda’. A reader has asked me to comment on this. Here is my response.

The attitude of the Taliban with regard to ‘al Qaeda’ is indicative of the extent of influence ‘al Qaeda’ as an organisation really has in Central Asia – about zilch.

Oct 18 07:48

Civilian dead are a trade-off in Nato's war of barbarity

This is the conflict western politicians and media continue to urge their reluctant populations to support as a war for civilisation. In reality, it is a war of barbarity, whose contempt for the value of Afghan life has fuelled the very resistance that western military and political leaders are now unable to contain.

Oct 18 07:44

The US agrees: only a 'surge' can beat Taliban

American officials have backed the view of General Sir David Richards, the new head of the British Army, that a "surge" is needed in Afghanistan to beat the Taliban.

The Independent revealed yesterday that General Richards would replace General Sir Richard Dannatt as the head of the Army – he will take over next summer – and disclosed that the new commander believed 30,000 more troops would be needed to fight the Taliban. He is seeking 5,000 extra British troops.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Another 65,000 troop increase over a 5 year period?

Let that sink in for a second.

We've been in Afghanistan for 7 years at this point, and the thinking is that this catastrophe of occupation and aerial bombardment is going to go on for another 5 years?!?.

The US's own military protocol indicates that we will need at least 400,000 soldiers to successfully manage this occupation. Even with the 134,000 troop strength they are talking about here, we will still be 267,000 soldiers short of the number necessary to actually do the job.

And the troops will not get to Afghanistan anywhere nearly soon enough to be effective against the Taliban.

Oct 17 09:15

How Deeply is the U.S. involved in the Afghan Drug Trade?

The 64,000 rupee question that arises from Admiral Mullen's new anti-drug policy is: Why was it not done seven years ago when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan? Why did Washington turn a blind eye to the Afghan drug trade and is only now taking some action?

Oct 17 08:38

'We need 30,000 more soldiers to beat Taliban,' says general

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You cannot beat the "enemy" in a war of occupation. You can only kill them.

Oct 16 12:30

Afghan strike 'kills civilians'

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unflipping believable.

Oct 16 09:04

Defections hit Afghan forces

After fighting the Taliban for the past seven years, many working for the Afghan security forces are now switching sides.

Sulieman Ameri and his 16 men were until a month ago serving the Afghan government as police patrolling the border with Iran.

Now they answer to the Taliban and their goal is to drive all foreign troops out of Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Terrific; in the 7 years of western occupation, with all the blood and money spent, what we've accomplished is driving Afghanis back into the fold of the Taliban!

The unfolding foreign policy "accomplishments" of this administration never cease to amaze me.

Oct 15 14:52

Defections hit Afghan forces

After fighting the Taliban for the past seven years, many working for the Afghan security forces are now switching sides.

Sulieman Ameri and his 16 men were until a month ago serving the Afghan government as police patrolling the border with Iran.

Now they answer to the Taliban and their goal is to drive all foreign troops out of Afghanistan.

Oct 15 08:39

Kabul Is Now Surrounded By The Taliban

The Taliban are isolating Afghanistan's capital city from the rest of the country, choking off important supply routes and imposing their rules on the provinces near Kabul. Interviews suggest that the Taliban have gained control along three of the four major highways into the city, and some believe it's a matter of time before they regulate all traffic around the capital.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

We never, ever had enough boots on the ground, per the US military's own protocol, to make the occupation successful. That would have been around 400,000 soldiers.

What we have done (precisely what we did in Viet Nam, from which apparently neither the country's civilian nor military leadership learned anything)has been to attack from the air, with massive bombings.

This guarantees two things, and two things only: one hell of a lot of collateral damage (as in infants, women, the elderly and medically fragile getting blown to smithereens) , and radicalizing those left standing against the puppet government we've installed.

History will remember this administration very clearly for what crimes it has committed, both at home and abroad.

The judgment of history will be very severe, both of this country's leadership, and a cowed public too frightened to stop it before the real carnage began.

Oct 15 08:11

As Taliban Influence Grows, ‘Shadow Government’ Seems an Increasingly Viable Option to Afghans

While coalition forces continue to kill militants in the provinces south of Kabul, the resilient Taliban forces continue to expand their influence in the area. Their presence is so overwhelming in some areas that they’re set up their own ’shadow government’ with its own court system. In the areas they control most completely, these government systems are considerably more powerful than their coalition-supported counterparts, and according to some reports, better accepted.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wow, terrific!

The US has installed a puppet government in Kabul considered so collectively crooked by the Afghanis that they are reputed to have to screw their socks on in the morning.

And what has our invasion and occupation of Afghanistan accomplished 7 years on, complete with aerial bombings which have killed hundreds of non-combatants?

Making the Taliban look like the "good guys" to ordinary Afghanis: that's precisely what we have accomplished.

Oct 11 07:50

US report says Afghanistan conflict rapidly worsening

The situation in Afghanistan is liable to get worse in 2009, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff has warned, amid reports of a bleak draft US intelligence assessment that details a slide into corruption, drugs and insurgent violence.

"The trends across the board are not going in the right direction," Admiral Michael Mullen told reporters at a breakfast in Washington.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: We are getting our butts kicked in Afghanistan.

The last military commander to conquer and hold Afghanistan was Alexander the Great, and he only held onto it for three years before he died.

Oct 09 11:46

The mystery of the missing opium

It's a mystery that has got British law enforcement officials and others across the planet scratching their heads. Put bluntly, enough heroin to supply the world's demand for years has simply disappeared.

Oct 09 09:45

French army chief rules out military victory in Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Oct 09 07:55

Petraeus sees value in talking to Taliban

U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus said on Wednesday that negotiations with some members of the Taliban could provide a way to reduce violence in sections of Afghanistan gripped by an intensifying insurgency.

Oct 09 07:53

U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan

A draft report by American intelligence agencies concludes that Afghanistan is in a “downward spiral” and casts serious doubt on the ability of the Afghan government to stem the rise in the Taliban’s influence there, according to American officials familiar with the document.

The classified report finds that the breakdown in central authority in Afghanistan has been accelerated by rampant corruption within the government of President Hamid Karzai and by an increase in violence by militants who have launched increasingly sophisticated attacks from havens in Pakistan.

Oct 08 08:17


For those who savor historical irony, the Soviet Empire collapsed in the years 1989-1991 because of an implosion of its economy brought on by a ruinous arms race with the United States and the heavy costs of occupying Afghanistan.

Seventeen years later came the turn of the world’s other great imperial power, the United States. Lethally bloated by runaway debt, and burdened by 50% of the world’s military spending, the house of cards known as the US economy finally collapsed.

Oct 07 09:21

With four months to go, Bush tries to save Afghanistan

Sometime soon, seven years after it invaded Afghanistan, the Bush administration is expected to settle on a new policy to stabilize that still-fragile country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 


Oct 06 18:15

Report: Taliban Ready to End War, Break with Qaeda

Is the Taliban breaking with Al Qaeda -- and negotiating to end its insurgency? "Former Afghanistan presidential advisor Muhammad Sadeq Tashqari says that several senior Taliban officials have participated in drawing up a Saudi-U.K initiative to end the war in Afghanistan," according to London's Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. "He said that Taliban representatives had set several conditions for ending the war, including ministerial appointments for Taliban members and a withdrawal of foreign forces from the country."

Oct 05 10:48

We can't win Afghanistan war - Commander

Oct 05 10:02

French troops: We won't go to Afghanistan

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Viva le France!

Oct 05 09:38

Reports Link Karzai’s Brother to Afghan Heroin Trade

The White House says it believes that Ahmed Wali Karzai is involved in drug trafficking, and American officials have repeatedly warned President Karzai that his brother is a political liability, two senior Bush administration officials said in interviews last week.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

After all the blood and money spent in Afghanistan, it's always comforting for American taxpayers to know that through their tax dollars supporting the Karzai government here, we are also very likely supporting the drug trade in Afghanistan and beyond.

Oct 05 09:38

General Petraeus "Insurgents in Afghanistan Are Gaining"

“Obviously the trends in Afghanistan have been in the wrong direction, and I think everyone is rightly concerned about them,” said General Petraeus, who as the commander of forces in Iraq oversaw the troop “surge” that has been credited with helping to reduce the violence there.

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.