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Tag: Taliban

troops in Afghanistan
AP / David Guttenfelder

Obama’s Meaningless War

True, he doesn’t seem a bit like Lyndon Johnson, but the way he’s headed on Afghanistan, Barack Obama is threatened with a quagmire that could bog down his presidency. LBJ also had a progressive agenda in mind, but it was soon overwhelmed by the cost and divisiveness engendered by a meaningless, and seemingly endless, war in Vietnam.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Square, Category Page

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

Victory at the Cost of Sanity in Obama’s Forever War

Instead of reading ecology and novels on his vacation, the president should read Charles de Gaulle, who ended the dreadful insurrection in Algeria. Obama and his advisers have a dramatic and ahistorical view of Afghanistan—that “There is no alternative to victory.”

Posted on Aug 27, 2009 READ MORE

map of Afghanistan

Yet Another Blast Shakes Kandahar

On Wednesday, another large explosion was reported in Kandahar, Afghanistan—just a day after a spate of bombings killed more than 40 people in that city—as the outcome of last week’s election still hung in the balance.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 READ MORE

Afghan election
AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Afghan Election Dogged by Fraud Claims

Corruption rumors and threats of violence preceded last week’s Afghan presidential election, so it’s not surprising that similar concerns are cropping up after the fact.

Posted on Aug 22, 2009 READ MORE

Afghan women
AP / Kevin Frayer

Polls Close in Afghanistan

Threats of violence kept large numbers of voters away from the polls in various parts of Afghanistan, and by closing time it was hard to say whether some officials’ declarations about the day’s success were warranted. But, thankfully, earlier warnings from the Taliban didn’t seem to materialize in the form of any major tragedies on Thursday.

Posted on Aug 20, 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

Maulvi Omar

Key Pakistani Taliban Official Captured

Tribesmen in western Pakistan captured Pakistani Taliban spokesman Maulvi Said Muhammad, aka Maulvi Omar, and turned him over to authorities Tuesday, according to The New York Times.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE

Afghan election
AP / Rahmat Gul

Report: Pre-Election Corruption Crops Up in Afghanistan

This week’s presidential election in Afghanistan may not be the cleanest polling event, if the BBC’s findings about corruption and voting fraud are indicative of larger trends. The British news outlet reported Tuesday that bribery and bids to buy voting cards, combined with threats of violence from militant groups, could muck up the works come Thursday.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE

Afghan candidate poster
AP / Saurabh Das

Taliban Issues Threat Before Afghan Election

With just a few days remaining before the presidential election in Afghanistan, Taliban operatives are trying to thwart voting by threatening to cut off the ink-stained fingers of those who go to the polls, according to Al Jazeera English. In Afghanistan, a finger marked with ink is a sign that one has voted.

Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE

USMC / Staff Sgt. William Greeson

There’s a Solution in Afghanistan—but Not the Way We’re Headed

It would be a great service to the American nation if Barack Obama would tell us what he himself thinks the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are about.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Navy / MC1 Molly Burgess

Top General Denies Saying Taliban Is Winning

The Wall Street Journal claims the top American commander in Afghanistan stated that the Taliban has “gained the upper hand,” forcing a change in U.S. strategy. However, Gen. Stanley McChrystal says the paper mischaracterized his comments and he never meant to suggest that the Taliban is “winning.”

Posted on Aug 10, 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


A New Type of Surge

U.S. government officials are conducting a new kind of “surge.” The DEA has started dispatching agents to Afghanistan to target opium trafficking networks that are believed to be funding the Taliban insurgency, a change from the Bush-era policy of poppy crop destruction.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Army / Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin R. Bond

Extreme Makeover: Bagram Prison Edition

The New York Times reports that a U.S. military review calls for “overhauling the troubled American-run prison [at Bagram Air Base] as well as the entire Afghan jail and judicial systems, a reaction to worries that abuses and militant recruiting within the prisons are helping to strengthen the Taliban.”

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE

Taliban Releases Video of U.S. Captive

The Pentagon is condemning the Taliban for releasing a video of a U.S. soldier captured in Afghanistan, identified as 23-year-old Bowe Bergdahl.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

Kabul blast
AP photo

Explosives-Laden Truck Detonates, Kills 25 in Afghanistan

An overturned truck filled with timber and, it turned out, explosives blew up early Thursday morning in Logar province, Afghanistan, killing 25 people. Thirteen of the victims were children on their way to school, according to the Associated Press.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE

British Defense Minister

Real Talk on Afghanistan

At a time when many think of the current war in Afghanistan as something that can be fixed by a surge in troop levels, Britain’s new defense secretary drops some incredibly real talk to explain to the U.K. public that “more lives will be lost” and “the situation ... is not yet decided.”

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Rahim Faiez, Charles Krupa

2 Kidnapped Reporters Escape the Taliban

After being held captive by the Taliban for more than seven months, Tahir Ludin, an Afghan journalist, and David Rohde, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from The New York Times, escaped their kidnappers. The two reporters spoke to journalists on Sunday about their ordeal.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Ben Curtis

America’s Foreign Policy Phobias Are Overblown

Recent developments in the Middle East and Central Asia, from Iran’s raucous election to Pakistan’s tribal revolt against the Taliban, cast doubt once again on Washington’s basic assumptions and anxieties.

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE

Paris mosque

War-Addicted U.S. Afflicted With Imperialist Hangover

There is an important current in conservative U.S. opinion that believes Western Europe to be under something like a siege, or a potential siege, by its large Muslim immigrant population. I should actually say that it’s not just American conservatives, although they write alarmed books about the impending Muslim domination of Europe, and the collapse of European Christianity and identity. They fear the Decline of the West.

Posted on May 19, 2009 READ MORE

Pakistani Official: No New Nukes

Responding to a recent assertion by Adm. Mike Mullen, current chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, that Pakistan is actively adding to its array of nuclear weapons, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira insisted on Monday that Mullen was in error.

Posted on May 18, 2009 READ MORE


Cambodia Déjà Vu: the Invasion of Pakistan

Last September, during the American presidential campaign, I wrote a column declaring that the United States had again invaded Cambodia, only this time “Cambodia” was Pakistan. President George W. Bush had ordered U.S. ground attacks on the Taliban inside Pakistan’s Tribal Territories, without Pakistan’s authorization.

Posted on May 13, 2009 READ MORE

Pakistan Conflict Map

Taliban Gain Ground, Color on Map

A new map produced by the BBC succinctly demonstrates the weakness of the Pakistan state in combating Taliban militants in the country’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The map shows only 38% of Pakistan’s NWFP to be under government control, while the balance of the region experiences either Taliban presence or control.

Posted on May 13, 2009 READ MORE

Gates and soldiers
AP photo / Jason Reed, pool

Becoming What We Seek to Destroy

The bodies of dozens, perhaps well over a hundred, women, children and men, their corpses blown into bits of human flesh by iron fragmentation bombs dropped by U.S. warplanes in a village in the western province of Farah, illustrates the futility of the Afghan war.

Posted on May 10, 2009 READ MORE


Pakistan’s Nukes Are Safe ... or Are They?

With Taliban insurgents only 70 miles away from the capital city of Islamabad, Jon Stewart asks: What’s happening in Pakistan? How can we avert nuclear disaster? And why are you still here, President Zardari?

Posted on May 7, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

American soldiers

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

U.S. Military Investigating Afghan Casualty Claims

Up to 70 civilians were reportedly killed in the Farah province of Afghanistan in a battle between Taliban insurgents and coalition forces on Tuesday, adding friction to already tense relations between the U.S. and Afghan governments.

Posted on May 5, 2009 READ MORE

Pakistan missile
AP photo / B.K. Bangash

How Safe Are Pakistan’s Nukes?

President Barack Obama and his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, will have a lot to talk about when Zardari visits the White House on Wednesday, what with al-Qaida and the Taliban stirring up trouble of late and sparking concerns over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

Posted on May 4, 2009 READ MORE

Afghan Women Protest Against—and for—‘Rape’ Law

A group of determined Afghan women took to the streets of Kabul on Wednesday, suffering chants of “Dogs!” from a much larger crowd in order to challenge a law that essentially legalizes marital rape. The AP reports on a scene that underscores the complexities of that country—there were more women among the angry counterprotesters than in the women’s rights group.

Posted on Apr 15, 2009 READ MORE

Taliban, the Sequel

Ever since the Afghan war began, we assured ourselves that whatever else, we had one moral victory. We’d freed the women from Taliban rule. Now we know something very different to be true.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE

Obama: The Extremists’ Nightmare

In the struggle against the extremists and terrorists, the new president understands how to divide the enemy and neutralize their base—and is uniquely suited to accomplish the mission. He got elected in the United States of America, after all.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE

It’s Now a ‘Soft War’ in Afghanistan, but It’s Still a Disaster

President Obama appears to have fallen for the oldest false dichotomy in the Pentagon repertoire, and the easiest one to sell to the American public. It goes like this: The world is divided between the Evil Folks and the Good. The Good Folks, being what they are, are naturally pro-American, once they get to know us.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE

Lahore protest

Flogging of 17-Year-Old Pakistani Girl Raises Outrage

The public lashing of a 17-year-old girl named Chand in Pakistan’s Swat Valley became the catalyst for countrywide protests on Saturday after a video of the flogging made its way around the Internet. A spokesman for the local Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed the video was fake and that the actual incident happened outside of Swat but defended the punishment as just.

Posted on Apr 4, 2009 READ MORE

America’s ‘Long War’ Will Be as Bloody and Pointless as Europe’s

The Thirty Years’ War occupies little space in the school texts of the English-speaking world, but its futility comes to mind when Richard Holbrooke speaks of the war he is supposed to manage, now the Af-Pak war.

Posted on Apr 2, 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


Obama Zeroes In on Afghanistan

On Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” President Obama did his best to convince CBS’ Bob Schieffer, and by extension the American people, that he knows what he’s doing in escalating U.S. military operations in Afghanistan—and that this won’t be his Vietnam.

Posted on Mar 30, 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

Saudi Woman, 75, Faces Lashing for Letting In Delivery Men

For the crime of receiving two unrelated men in her home, a 75-year-old Saudi woman has been sentenced to 40 lashes and four months behind bars. Once again, a nation that is both one of America’s closest allies and brutally oppressive of women finds itself in an awkward light.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 READ MORE

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

U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Adam Mancini

Obama’s Troop Shuffle Leaves Us Dizzy

The president will withdraw 12,000 troops from Iraq over the next six months, but where will he send them? Back to America? Ski trip to Aspen? Or perhaps he’ll just airlift the veterans to Afghanistan, where a similar number of reinforcements has been promised over a similar period.

Posted on Mar 8, 2009 READ MORE

Obama’s Coalition of the Unwilling

President Barack Obama met recently with the prime ministers of Canada and Britain, two NATO allies looking for a way out of Afghanistan even as the U.S. is talking escalation.

Posted on Mar 3, 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

AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A Choice Between Peace and Peril

Bibi Netanyahu’s assumption of power in Israel sets the stage for a huge campaign by the Israeli government, and its well-oiled lobby groups in Washington, to push us into a war with Iran, but a stable relationship with Iran would do more to protect Israel and our interests in the Middle East.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE

Good News for the Taliban

We seem to have spent our way—to the tune of $864 billion—into allowing our friends the Pakistanis to enter into a peace treaty, or something that looks like it, with the Taliban.

Posted on Feb 18, 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

Obama’s Afghan Trap

Have we learned nothing from the Iraq war? The Obama regime is gunning for more fighting in Afghanistan at a time when the U.S. should be seeking more talk.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE

America’s ‘Strong Commitment to Error’

John Kenneth Galbraith once warned that U.S. foreign policy suffers from institutional rigidity with a “strong commitment to error.” What better proof than the planned surge in Afghanistan?

Posted on Feb 3, 2009 READ MORE

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