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U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Marie Brown

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Perhaps inspired by reports that President Obama plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, Gordon Brown said Monday that Great Britain would deploy an additional 500 soldiers to the region. (continued)

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Spc. Tia P. Sokimson

The Country That Cries Wolf

European allies have tired of America’s cries of “wolf! wolf!” in Iraq (yesterday), Afghanistan (today), and (I fear) Pakistan or Somalia or Kashmir tomorrow.

Posted on Oct 22, 2009 READ MORE


Turkish Cooperation—and Coffee—in Short Supply for Israel

Other than the United States, Turkey has probably been the most important of Israel’s allies, but now it is getting the “freedom fries” treatment.

Posted on Oct 20, 2009 READ MORE


Pakistani soldiers
AP / K.M.Chaudary

Pakistan Getting Speedy Military Aid Delivery From Pentagon

After recent militant attacks in Pakistan that killed about 150, the Pentagon is pushing forward with plans to send about $200 million in military aid—in the form of equipment and “services,” according to Reuters.

Posted on Oct 16, 2009 READ MORE


soldiers
AP / Brennan Linsley

Afghan Taliban Say They Have No International Agenda

The U.S. has been fighting in Afghanistan for eight years. To mark the anniversary, the Afghan Taliban asserted themselves via an Internet statement Wednesday, claiming they had—and have—no intention of attacking other countries, but they will continue to fight against Western colonizers as long as they occupy the country.

Posted on Oct 7, 2009 READ MORE


5-0
milwoman.com

‘Spiraling Increases’ in Afghan Police Deaths

International efforts to expand Afghanistan’s security forces are being undermined by “spiraling increases” in violent deaths among the nation’s police officers as the eighth anniversary of the U.S. war approaches.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Rasmussen and Obama
AP / Gerald Herbert

Obama Meets With NATO Chief on Afghan Strategy

President Barack Obama is under major pressure to sort out the future U.S. commitment and plan of action in Afghanistan, and thus his work was cut out for him during his huddle Tuesday with NATO leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


troops in Afghanistan
Flickr / U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Marcus J. Quarterman

McChrystal to Send Troop Request by Week’s End

The Obama administration is reconsidering its Afghanistan strategy in light of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s startling “mission failure” warning. It’s unclear whether the White House will go along with McChrystal’s call for up to 40,000 more troops—but the general is apparently going to go ahead with his request over the next few days.

Posted on Sep 23, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Hasan Sarbakhshian

Secret Report Says Iran Could Build a Bomb

Let’s see how the cable news channels cover this one: A “secret report” by the International Atomic Energy Agency suggests that Iran has “sufficient information” to make a nuclear weapon and has “probably tested” a key component, but the agency admits it has no hard evidence of a warhead program in Iran.

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan election
AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Over 1M Afghan Election Votes May Be Fraudulent

A European Union election watchdog group has determined that as many as a third of the votes cast in the recent presidential election in Afghanistan might be fraudulent, which translates to as many as 1.1 million bogus votes—making Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s re-election seem suspect just as the tally tilted in his favor.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan Man
guardian.co.uk / Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

The Human Costs of War

Last Friday, a NATO airstrike on two hijacked fuel trucks killed at least 90 people in Afghanistan. The Guardian, determined not to let the story pass into the ether of forgotten wartime reporting, managed to interview the families of some of the strike’s victims in a moving exposé of the incredible pain of war.

Posted on Sep 12, 2009 READ MORE



guardian.co.uk

Afghanistan Strike Kills 90

The war in Afghanistan should weigh heavy on the public’s mind, given the recent increase in troop levels and grumblings from high military officials about the manner in which the war is being fought. Now there’s news that a NATO airstrike has killed 90 people, 40 of them believed to be civilians, in the northern part of the country.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and McChrystal
White House / Pete Souza

Top U.S. General Calls for Strategy Change in Afghanistan

General Stanley McChrystal, the top-ranking U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, on Monday issued his highly anticipated report about the status of the conflict on that troubled front, and his assessment of the situation doesn’t fully help President Obama’s cause in ramping up America’s Afghan war effort since he took office.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Zach Otto

Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough

After an initial bulk-up in the number of troops in Afghanistan earlier this year, the commander of NATO forces in that country is preparing to ask for 20,000 more international troops as part of the ongoing war against the perpetually resurgent Taliban.

Posted on Aug 30, 2009 READ MORE


Bomb in Kabul
AP / Kevin Frayer

Afghan News Outlets to Be Censored on Election Day

Tensions continue to build before Thursday’s presidential election in Afghanistan. After a spate of violence in the capital city of Kabul on Tuesday, including a suicide car bombing that killed at least eight people and wounded 53, the government banned local news outlets from reporting any similar incidents on election day.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Lance Cpl. James Purschwitz

Talking With the Taliban

After eight years of getting nowhere in Afghanistan, U.S. and British forces have decided to open negotiations with “second-tier” Taliban leaders. Those would be local bigwigs, as opposed to Mullah Omar and friends.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


The West’s Reckless Approach to Relations With Russia

The basic question is whether the United States wishes to treat Russia as a permanent enemy, even if it is not. The result of treating states as enemies is that sooner or later they become them.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


American soldiers
army.mil

Democracy at Gunpoint Guarantees U.S. Defeat

An account from the Taliban side of the Afghanistan war, which was published in The New York Times on May 5, provides devastating evidence of the failure that almost certainly will eventually overtake the United States and NATO.

Posted on May 5, 2009 READ MORE


Europe Needs No Part in Doomed Afghan War

If Obama had wanted to give the NATO allies prudent advice about how to avoid terrorist attacks, he should have told them to have nothing to do with the American war on terror, even if it is now under Obama management.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

ObamaTube: Passover/Easter Edition

President Barack Obama draws upon the traditions and meanings behind “two very different holidays”—Passover and Easter—as his jumping-off point for his weekly address about the state of the country and the world ... and about his time rubbing elbows with other world leaders during the past week.

Posted on Apr 11, 2009 READ MORE


Obama at NATO

Obama Pitches Afghanistan Plan at NATO Huddle

President Obama’s NATO allies may have responded favorably to his call to ramp up the war effort in Afghanistan, but anti-war demonstrators near the French-German border made their opinions known with protests following the photo ops in Strasbourg, France, on Saturday.

Posted on Apr 4, 2009 READ MORE


Silence Meets Despair of Afghan Women

Afghanistan’s women are no longer in vogue. President Karzai has just signed a law that forces them to obey their husbands’ sexual demands and in general again consigns them to lives of brutal repression.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE


What Is the Point of NATO?

NATO today, approaching its 60th birthday, faces the prospect of sending home all of its units not willing to fight in Afghanistan under the American flag. They will go home to “defend” Europe. From whom?

Posted on Mar 20, 2009 READ MORE


Russia Red Square Tank
foreignpolicy.com

Mutually Assured Defense Spending

A hawkish speech by President Dmitry Medvedev may signal a massive overhaul and escalation of the Russian military. Fears of a growing threat posed by NATO have pushed Russian officials to plan a modernization of the country’s conventional and nuclear forces by 2011.

Posted on Mar 18, 2009 READ MORE


Sarkozy’s Courtship of NATO Defies Rationality

France’s president has lived up to the stereotype that his people, fond as they are of home vacationing and generally convinced of their own superiority, not infrequently fail to know what they are talking about when dealing with foreign countries.

Posted on Mar 17, 2009 READ MORE



AP pool photo / Aleksey Nikolskyi

Barack Obama, Meet Team B

The president must be getting bad advice. Why else would he offer not to build a missile defense system he doesn’t want in exchange for Russia’s help with an Iranian nuclear weapons program that doesn’t exist?

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Virginia Mayo

Biden Talks Afghanistan in NATO Huddle

Vice President Joe Biden held forth at a NATO meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, reinforcing President Barack Obama’s message from last weekend about a slight shift in foreign policy with regard to Afghanistan and urging NATO to be vigilant about the threat of attacks from extremist groups harbored by Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 READ MORE



Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Michael J. Ayotte

It’s Obama’s War Now

Combat troops are to be pulled out of Iraq by August 2010, President Obama said, but some 50,000 occupation troops will remain behind. Someone should let the Iraqis know the distinction.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon

A War Fought in Ignorance

I have often asked for an explanation of why the United States should be at war with the Taliban. Of the several reasons given, none is satisfactory, and all fail to grasp the fundamental truth that peace is better than war.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


America’s Confused Cause in Central Asia

Exactly what do we think we are doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Are we there to liberalize their forms of religious observance, or conduct a war over theology, or establish permanent NATO bases there, or are we searching for Osama bin Laden? It seems that we are doing all of these things at the same time. But why?

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Putin
AP pool photo / Alexei Druzhinin

Avoiding Another Cold War

Relations with Russia haven’t been this frosty since there was an East Berlin. President Obama may be distracted by other priorities, but getting reacquainted with Vladimir Putin and his nuclear arsenal should be at the top of the list.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


NATO: Dead Man Walking

NATO has no coherent overall purpose and has not had one since the end of the Cold War. Any number of redefinitions and reorganizations have been proposed or tried and have proved unsatisfactory because no one can explain what it is that NATO really does or is for, other than to clean up behind the United States.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


UN school
AP photo / Khalil Hamra)

Israel Under Fire for Gaza Killings

As Israel’s Security Cabinet prepared to vote Saturday on a possible cease-fire in Gaza, the Israeli army drew criticism for the killing of two boys who were taking cover at a United Nations school in northern Gaza, according to The New York Times.

Posted on Jan 17, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Michael Bracken

America’s Afghan Thugs

An American living in Kandahar writes in The Washington Post that the “corrupt gunslingers” the U.S. put in charge of Afghanistan are as much to blame for the resurgence of the Taliban as anyone. “Why,” after all, “would anyone defend officials who pillage them?”

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


West’s Role in Afghanistan Needs Re-Examining

Why are the allies waging war against the largest of the native ethnic groups in Afghanistan? The NATO answer is that the allies didn’t set out to fight a war against the Pashtuns. It just happened that way.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Not a Team of Rivals at All

When the journalistic pack bites into a tasty cliché, they often refuse to let go, lazily chewing and regurgitating a phrase like “team of rivals” long after the flavor is gone.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


Chevron in the White House

President-elect Barack Obama introduced his principal national security Cabinet selections to the world Monday and left no doubt that he intends to start his administration on a war footing. It is revealing that his choice for national security adviser is a director of Boeing, a weapons manufacturer, and Chevron, an oil giant.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE


Was There Any Point to the Bloodshed in Mumbai?

What is the message of a terrorist attack that fails to deliver a message? Threats and warnings are being exchanged by India and Pakistan over the attack on Mumbai, carried out by presumed Muslim extremists. But acting to what purpose, and under whose instructions?

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Tech. Sgt. Jerry Morrison

Gates to Keep the Reins of War

Multiple news outlets, from ABC to Fox, now confirm that Robert Gates will retain his post as secretary of defense for at least the first year of the Obama administration. The president-elect will roll out Gates and his other hawks during a national security team unveiling next week.

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 READ MORE


How Many Villages Must We Bomb Before We Find bin Laden?

Barack Obama has said that he is not against war, only against stupid wars. One might then reasonably ask if the present war in Afghanistan is not a stupid war?

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


Mohamed Nechla
Wikimedia Commons

Six Held at Guantanamo After Plot Claim Is Dropped

In the dying days of the Bush administration, yet another presidential claim in the “war on terror” has been proved false by the withdrawal of the main charge against six Algerians held without trial for nearly seven years at Guantanamo prison camp.

Posted on Nov 1, 2008 READ MORE


The Unlearned Lessons of Vietnam Continue to Haunt The U.S.

Governments, like corporations and modern organizations of all kinds, make much of systematically teaching “lessons learned” to those newly arrived to responsibilities, yet they seem infrequently to succeed.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE


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


U.S. Loses Its Grip on Europe

Military and economic disasters have caused Europeans and European governments to view the United States in a new, unflattering light.

Posted on Oct 16, 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



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



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


Rice
topnews.in

Rice: Russia on the Wrong Track

Although she acknowledged that Georgia fired the first shots in August’s bloody conflict with Russia, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday laid most of the blame for that showdown on Russia. During a strident speech, she also gave several other examples of how she believed Russia’s leaders were taking their nation down a dangerous road.

Posted on Sep 18, 2008 READ MORE


With ‘Allies’ Like NATO, Georgia Better Not Annoy Russia

Thanks to Russia’s incursion into a belligerent Georgia in mid-August, a country in possession of Washington’s assurance that it soon would be given a “membership action plan” for joining NATO now hasn’t a hope of membership in the alliance.

Posted on Sep 16, 2008 READ MORE


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