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Tag: Afghanistan

Russia’s Resentment of the West Began With a Broken Promise

It did not take the clash between Russia and Georgia to reveal that relations between Russia and the West have taken a bad turn. They have been deteriorating since the mid-1990s, when the decision was taken to expand NATO to include the former Warsaw Pact states.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 READ MORE


Colin Powell Endorses Obama

The former secretary of state and Joint Chiefs chairman revealed on Sunday whom he is voting for and why. Powell explained that it was not easy to disappoint his friend, John McCain, but that Barack Obama is the “transformational figure” America needs at this moment.

Posted on Oct 19, 2008 READ MORE



Simon Lewis on Traumatic Brain Injuries

A devastating and growing problem is explored in Michael Paul Mason’s riveting new book, “Head Cases.”

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Scott

Bush Doctrine Becomes DoD Dogma

The Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy statement says nothing directly about American national defense. It is a strategy for intervening in other countries, and preventing others from blocking or resisting American interventions.

Posted on Oct 14, 2008 READ MORE


Hitchens Calls Palin a ‘National Disgrace’

Christopher Hitchens has reached an endorsement by process of elimination. John McCain, he writes, isn’t up to the job, while “the only public events that have so far featured his absurd choice of running mate have shown her to be a deceiving and unscrupulous woman utterly unversed in any of the needful political discourses but easily trained to utter preposterous lies and to appeal to the basest element of her audience.”

Posted on Oct 13, 2008 READ MORE


Afghan woman mourning
AP photo / Fraidoon Pooyaa

‘Collateral Damage’ Not Much Different From Targeted Killing

When U.S. troops massacre Iraqi civilians in Haditha because their buddy has been murdered, what is the difference between their revenge and that of Saddam?

Posted on Oct 11, 2008 READ MORE


The ‘New Multilateralism’

The issues that have fueled Russian-American tensions in Europe in recent months, and European tensions with both Russia and the United States, have suggested a willingness on all sides to reignite tensions that on the face of it serve no one’s real interests. Recent developments could change all that.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jim Bourg, pool

Third-Party Blues

Ralph Nader is right: The two-party system is failing America. There isn’t time between now and Election Day to create a viable third-party candidate, and so the sad reality is one of two deeply flawed men, the byproduct of a deeply flawed political system, will serve as president for the next four or eight years.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and McCain debate
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Obama Wins in Nashville

As was the case in the first presidential debate, Barack Obama emerged from Tuesday night’s confrontation with John McCain in Nashville, Tenn., in command of the situation. The Democratic nominee looked calm, confident and presidential as he won their second contest.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


What McCain and Obama Just Don’t Get About Central Asia

There are only two real issues left in the foreign policy debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. Yet neither the Iraq nor the Afghanistan issue is within the power of any American president to resolve.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


Weapons of Mass Distraction

John McCain and Sarah Palin are going to try their best to make us talk about anything but the big issues facing our country, because most Americans think Barack Obama’s solutions are better.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / Michael L. Casteel

British Commander Calls Taliban Unbeatable

Victory in Afghanistan? That’s “neither feasible nor supportable,” according to the outgoing commander of British forces there, who tells The Times of London that the Taliban “seems relatively impervious to losses.” The Afghan government must instead reach some political settlement with more moderate insurgents, concluded Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith.

Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE


Will the Pentagon Be the Next U.S. Institution to Crash?

Less apparent to most people than the economic crisis, but just as real, are the signs of an impending crash of an American military system in which, since the end of the Cold War, Pentagon dysfunction has metastasized so uncontrollably as to scandalize the men who have overseen it.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Bush Favors Bankers Over Soldiers

By grotesque mischance, $700 billion—the cost of George Bush’s Wall Street rescue plan—is about the same figure the president has squandered on his preposterous war in Iraq, the war we have now apparently “won” thanks to the “surge.”

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 READ MORE


Petraeus Speaks
boston.com

Petraeus: Pakistan Facing ‘Existential Threat’

According to Gen. David Petraeus, Pakistan could be heading for a crisis that would shake the already volatile nation to its foundations if its leaders, including newly installed President Asif Ali Zardari, do not find a way to deal with the growing issue of militant violence.

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 READ MORE



army.mil

U.S. and Pakistani Troops Exchange Fire

There are at least three differing accounts of exactly what happened on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border Thursday, but most agree that American and Pakistani forces shot at each other. Cross-border raids by U.S. forces into Pakistan’s territory have inflamed relations between the two countries.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Does the Cold War Have Lessons for Today?

Carolyn Eisenberg takes a close look at Melvyn Leffler’s “For the Soul of Mankind” to ask whether our current troubles are rooted in a history that continues to haunt us.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 READ MORE


Robert Gates
usip.org

Gates Sorry, Continues Dropping Bombs

It seems that “personal regret” is deemed sufficient to exculpate the U.S military after the deaths of civilians in U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Gates offered his hollow apologies and promised more accurate targeting in future attacks.

Posted on Sep 17, 2008 READ MORE


AfghanPak Border
guardian.co.uk

Secret Bush Order OKs Strikes Inside Pakistan

A secret executive order signed by President Bush grants U.S. military forces “carte blanche” to launch counterterrorist operations inside Pakistan. An attack last week under the auspices of the unprecedented July order is raising concerns: Pakistani officials declared the operation illegal, and international analysts fear an escalating conflict could start a regionwide war.

Posted on Sep 12, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

9/11: Is the U.S. Safer Seven Years Later?

On the seventh anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, Link TV’s Mosaic Intelligence Report takes stock and asks some key questions: Has President Bush’s “war on terror” made any progress? Has al-Qaida diminished or grown in strength?

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


Quagmire, Phase 2: The Invasion of Pakistan

The United States has just invaded Cambodia. The name of Cambodia this time is Pakistan, but otherwise it’s the same story as in Indochina in 1970.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


Zardari President
AP photo / Anjum Naveed

Bhutto’s Widower Assumes Presidency in Pakistan

Asif Ali Zardari, widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, assumed the presidency of Pakistan on Tuesday, concluding a transfer of power that began with the resignation of former President Pervez Musharraf just two weeks ago. Zardari’s presidency is likely to be one of conflict, as an ongoing Taliban resurgence and a 26 percent approval rating already riddle his first days in office.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE


Is There a Doctor in the House or Senate?

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Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE    



AP photo / Alex Brandon

Obama: Bush ‘Kicking the Can Down the Road’ to Next President

Barack Obama on Tuesday stepped up his criticism of the outgoing president and the Republican who hopes to succeed him, slamming President Bush for focusing too heavily on Iraq and missing the “central front in the war on terror”—Pakistan and Afghanistan. John McCain, Obama said, would follow Bush’s lead, to America’s detriment.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 READ MORE


Azizabad mourners
AP photo / Fraidoon Pooyaa

Footage of Slain Afghan Civilians Revives Inquiry Into U.S. Raid

Cell-phone footage shot by a doctor in a makeshift morgue in Azizabad, Afghanistan, showing rows of dead Afghan civilians, including several children, has led to a renewed inquiry into an American-led airstrike that occurred on Aug. 22. American officials had previously insisted that only seven civilians had been killed in the attack, but they’re now having to face the possibility that the actual figure could be as high as 90.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


Ayman al-Zawahri
msnbc.msn.com

Al-Qaida’s No. 2 Blasts Iran

Just before the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, al-Qaida has released a lengthy videotape featuring the group’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, providing updates about how the holy war is faring around the globe and laying into Iran for “cooperating with the Americans” and with the American-approved governments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Jonathan Shapiro on the Hamdan Case

In Jonathan Mahler’s new book, George W. Bush emerges as the most lawless president in American history, the first to usurp the law as a matter of policy.

Posted on Aug 29, 2008 READ MORE


Cleaning Up After Bush

The Bush administration has lived by a strategy of tension, and will go out of office bequeathing the wars it has started and the ill will it has created to its successors, to compromise those who come after.

Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE


military service
AP photo / William B. Plowman

U.S. Military Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’?

Since I posted on April 28 the article “Is There an Army Cover Up of the Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers,” the deaths of two more U.S. Army women in Iraq and Afghanistan have been listed as suicides—the Sept. 28, 2007, death of 30-year-old Spc. Ciara Durkin and the Feb. 22, 2008, death of 25-year-old Spc. Keisha Morgan. Both “suicides” are disputed by the families of the women.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Fraidoon Pooyaa

U.N. Sides With Afghans in Airstrike Controversy

Iraq isn’t the only U.S.-occupied nation looking for some sovereignty. Afghan officials are calling for more regulation of foreign troops amid an uproar over U.S. airstrikes. One recent U.S.-led attack, according a U.N. investigation, probably killed 90 civilians—mostly children.

Posted on Aug 26, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Rafiq Maqbool

Pouring Gas on the Afghanistan Bonfire

Mounting bombing raids and widespread detentions of Afghans are rapidly turning Afghanistan into the mirror image of Iraq. But these very real events, which will have devastating consequences over the next few months and years, are largely ignored by us.

Posted on Aug 25, 2008 READ MORE


Toby Keith
music.aol.com

Toby Keith Comes Out as a Democrat

Is this the same Toby Keith who unleashed the cheese-slathered anthem, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” (complete with fluffy golden retriever puppies and rippling flags in the video version), on the general public in 2002? Mr. “We’ll-Put-A-Boot-Up-Your-Ass”?

Posted on Aug 19, 2008 READ MORE


India’s Role in the Afghan Drama

When large and powerful countries intervene in the affairs of smaller countries, they take for granted that they are, or should be—and certainly could be—in control. The reverse is often true.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


David McKiernan
arcent.army.mil

‘Surge’ Rhetoric Not Universal

Despite criticisms of the efficacy of the “surge” in Iraq, a U.S. commander in Afghanistan has dared to say that a planned “surge” in Afghanistan would in fact not help U.S. interests in the country. The commander did make sure not to completely deweaponize the Bush administration’s rhetoric, suggesting instead that a different type of surge is needed.

Posted on Aug 8, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Alex Brandon

Playing the Economic Card

After enduring the silly debate over who injected race into the presidential campaign, let’s look at some recent numbers that indicate how Barack Obama could win this close election.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


It’s the War, Stupid

There is nothing like the blast of a Baghdad bomb and the wail of sirens to drown out John McCain’s bitter campaign sound bites or the patter of Barack Obama’s “premature victory lap.”

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE


Gilani and Bush
AP photo / Evan Vucci

Bush Hosts Pakistani PM Right After U.S. Attack

President Bush had words of praise for Pakistan during his first meet-and-greet with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani at the White House on Monday, a meeting in which the subject of the U.S. missile attack on the Pakistani-Afghan border mere hours before was not brought up by either party.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and Sarkozy
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

Obama Addresses Tehran From Paris

During his quick jaunt to Paris on Friday, Barack Obama sent a direct message to Iran, cautioning it to stop enriching uranium or “the pressure ... is only going to build.” Obama had the chance to chat briefly with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who told him that the French would be “delighted” if he won in November’s election.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Nikki Keddie on Iran

In “Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies,” Barbara Slavin, a leading Middle East reporter for USA Today, offers a refreshingly nuanced and revelatory taxonomy of power within theocratic Iran that sheds light on its leaders and their ambitions.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


The Dream Campaign Goes to Berlin

While John McCain pouted in obscurity, Barack Obama capped off a whirlwind tour with a commanding performance on the world stage.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Ziv Koren, Pool

Obama on the Brink

Barack Obama is betraying his promise of change and is in danger of becoming just another political hack. Yes, just like former maverick John McCain, who has refashioned himself as a mindless rubber stamp for the most inane policies of the miserably failed Bush administration.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

No Easy Out for Obama

The adoring media coverage of Barack Obama’s international tour is masking the reality that, whether he wins or loses, we’re almost certain to be stuck in Iraq for a long time, thanks to the legacy of George Bush.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Wiki Commons

Blackwater Plans to Back Away From Security Biz

Stung by lawsuits, protests, government audits, criminal charges and negative media attention, executives from the mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide say providing security in Iraq and elsewhere has become a drain on the company’s future and will be gradually all but phased out. However, there are no immediate plans to end the contract with the State Department which became so controversial after the company’s agents went on a deadly shooting spree in Baghdad last year.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Audition

To win the presidency, Barack Obama needs only to battle John McCain to a tie on foreign policy and national security. That means Obama has no need for a great triumph during his trip this week to the Middle East and Europe. His goal is to look safe, sound and competent, and that’s how he’s playing things.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Semantic Withdrawal

It’s not a “timetable” for extricating U.S troops from Iraq that George W. Bush is suddenly talking about, and heaven help anyone who accuses him of proposing a “timeline.” No, the Decider says he is now amenable to a “time horizon,” which apparently is a whole different kind of time thing.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jae C. Hong

Obama Commits to Afghanistan Escalation

Before leaving Kabul for Baghdad, Barack Obama spoke to his intention to increase America’s troop commitment to Afghanistan by 10,000 soldiers. “We have to understand that the situation is precarious and urgent ... and I believe this has to be the central focus, the central front, in the battle against terrorism,” the candidate told CBS.

Posted on Jul 20, 2008 READ MORE


Obama in Afghanistan
AP photo

Obama Begins World Tour

Barack Obama embarked on his international diplomacy tour—a key step in raising his profile on the world stage and demonstrating his readiness to take over the American presidency—with an important first major stop. The Illinois senator landed in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday as part of congressional delegation surveying the current situation in that troubled nation.

Posted on Jul 19, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Disaster in the Making

Barack Obama is right to want to get out of Iraq, but his eagerness to do battle in the tribal hinterlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan will only lead to a quagmire of his own.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


U.S. Keeps Bombing Weddings

Apparently, the Bush administration is also against straight marriage—if you live in the desert under U.S. military occupation. Tom Engelhardt details seven years of wedding crashing in Afganistan and Iraq, and the notable lack of remorse on the part of the Pentagon.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


Omar Khadr

‘Help Me’: Gitmo Video Shows Tearful Teen

Canadian lawyers released a wrenching 2003 video—the first of its kind ever made public—of a tearful 16-year-old boy suffering what appears to be a mental breakdown during an interrogation by Canadian officials at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. Five years later, Omar Khadr has still not been charged with any crime.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


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