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AFGHANISTAN


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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #200 on: September 30, 2011, 10:29:02 am »



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« Reply #201 on: October 02, 2011, 01:25:20 pm »



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« Reply #202 on: October 02, 2011, 09:56:00 pm »

What do these cartoons mean KTJ? Is it;

a. You don't have a mind of your own; or
b. You don't have a mind of your own.
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« Reply #203 on: October 02, 2011, 10:16:30 pm »

What do these cartoons mean KTJ? Is it;

a. You don't have a mind of your own; or
b. You don't have a mind of your own.

he wont answer that question Crusader but i think the answer would have to be a & b ....

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« Reply #204 on: October 03, 2011, 10:45:55 am »


What those cartoons mean is that we're pouring money down the drain in Afghanistan when the Taliban are going to eventually win anyway when the crusaders tire of their expensive warmongering and go home.

The Afghans saw off the Soviet Union and they saw off the Poms before that.

Nobody has managed to subdue Afghanistan in more than two thousand years and it will be no different this time.

Eventually, the crusaders will go home with their tails between their legs and carrying their dead and the Taliban will win by default. And if it isn't the Taliban, then it will be some other despot group in Afghanistan.

And do you know what is hilariously funny? The Americans are frothing at the mouth accusing Pakistan of arming and supporting insurgents in Afghanistan. Yet the Americans were arming and supporting the insurgents when the last lot of crusaders (the Soviet Union) were occupying Afghanistan and attempting to subdue them. Talk about the Pot calling the Kettle black, eh? I guess it also shows that the saying “what goes around, comes around” is true! The 'mericans supported an insurgency in Afghanistan, now they are on the receiving end of an insurgency in Afghanistan supported by someone else.

Faaaaaark!! 
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« Reply #205 on: August 05, 2012, 10:06:53 am »


Two killed as New Zealand team attacked in Afghanistan

Fairfax NZ News | 9:42AM - Sunday, 05 August 2012

TWO NEW ZEALAND SOLDIERS have been killed and another six have been wounded in a battle in Afghanistan's Bamiyan province.

The soldiers, serving in the provincial reconstruction team, were attacked when they went to help local security forces who'd encountered suspected insurgents near a village south east of Do Abe, the Defence Force said in a statement today.

Two local security personnel were also killed, and a further 11 people, including one civilian, were wounded.

The firefight took place about 7pm last night New Zealand time.

The six wounded soldiers have been evacuated to a military hospital, but no further information was immediately available on their condition.

Do Abe is in the north east of Bamiyan.

The Defence Force is withholding the names of the dead soldiers for 24 hours saying it wants to give to give next of kin time to grieve.

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones said, "We are deeply saddened by this loss and, on behalf of the entire New Zealand Defence Force, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, colleagues and friends of the personnel involved."

The two dead soldiers were both male.

No further information on the age, rank or sex of the dead or wounded troops was being made available until Prime Minister John Key approved the release of this information, a  defence spokeswoman said.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7418191/Two-killed-as-New-Zealand-team-attacked-in-Afghanistan
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« Reply #206 on: August 05, 2012, 10:11:49 am »

Two New Zealand Defence Force personnel have been killed and six injured in Afghanistan.
 
The NZDF said in a statement the two were serving with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team.
 
They were killed during an incident in the northeast of Bamiyan Province.
 
A further six NZDF personnel were wounded during the incident and they were evacuated to a military hospital.
 
Two local security personnel were also killed, and a further 11 personnel, including one civilian, were wounded.
 
Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones said: "We are deeply saddened by this loss and, on behalf of the entire New Zealand Defence Force, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, colleagues and friends of the personnel involved."
 
The NZDF statement said the incident occurred about 7pm yesterday (NZ time), when the troops were assisting local authorities who encountered suspected insurgents near a village south of Do Abe.
 
Minister of Defence Jonathan Coleman has offered his condolences to the families of the soldiers.
 


"The thoughts of the Government and the people of New Zealand are with the NZDF today. Our thoughts are especially with the families of those who died, and the families of those who were wounded.
 
"The work the NZDF undertake in this region is dangerous and they have been well trained to respond to these incidents."
 
Dr Coleman said the soldiers were responding to local security forces coming under attack and it developed into a serious incident.
 
The deaths take the number of New Zealand forces killed in Afghanistan to seven.
 
TRAGIC ROLL CALL
 
August 2012: Two PRT soldiers killed in an attack in northeast Bamiyan Province.
 
April 2012: PRT Corporal Douglas Hughes dies in incident at Romero.
 
September 2011: SAS Lance Corporal Leon Smith killed during an operation in Wardak Province.
 
August 2011: SAS Corporal Doug Grant, 41, killed during a Taleban attack in Kabul.
 
February 2011: PRT Private Kirifi Mila killed in a Humvee accident in Bamiyan.
 
August 2010: PRT Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell killed in a firefight after an ambush in Bamiyan.
 
- APNZ

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10824740
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« Reply #207 on: August 05, 2012, 10:50:20 am »

Two Kiwis killed, six wounded in Bamyan


Two New Zealand soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan's Bamyan province have paid the highest price, Prime Minister John Key says.

Another six New Zealand Defence Force personnel, 10 local security personnel and one civilian were also wounded in the incident about 7pm NZT on Saturday.

"It's with enormous sadness that I acknowledge that these soldiers have paid the highest price.

"This brings the total number of New Zealand soldiers who have lost their lives in Afghanistan to seven," Mr Key says.

The Kiwis were part of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team and had gone to the aid of local security forces who encountered suspected insurgents near a village south of Do Abe, in the northeast of the province.

The six wounded were evacuated to a military hospital. Two local security personnel were also killed during the attack.

The Defence Force says it is in the process of informing and supporting next of kin and the names of the dead and wounded will not be made public for 24 hours to give the families time to grieve.

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones said: "We are deeply saddened by this loss and, on behalf of the entire New Zealand Defence Force, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, colleagues and friends of the personnel involved."

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has also offered his condolences to the families.

"Our thoughts are especially with the families of those who died, and the families of those who were wounded.

"The work the NZDF undertake in this region is dangerous and they have been well trained to respond to these incidents," he said.

Labour leader David Shearer said it was a real tragedy, particularly as the New Zealand operation in Afghanistan was winding down.

"These guys are doing their duty for the country. They have done a great job and our hearts are with the families," he told TVNZ.

Bamyan province was now one of the most settled and the New Zealand armed forces had played a big role in providing that stability.

http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/14463617/two-kiwis-killed-six-wounded-in-bamyan/
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« Reply #208 on: August 05, 2012, 11:31:42 am »

Team carried out frequent patrols

The two dead and six wounded New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan were part of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, established in 2002 to help maintain security and assist development in the Bamyan province.

The New Zealand Defence Force says as part of that job, they conduct frequent patrols throughout the province.

The team numbering about 140, comprises army, navy and air force personnel.

They also promote reconstruction and assess civil, political and military reform efforts.

The Defence Force says they have helped with the distribution of emergency humanitarian assistance, particularly during the harsh winter months.

The team is based outside the town of Bamian, about 200km northwest of the capital Kabul.

The NZDF team first took over command of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan (about 200km northwest of Kabul) in September 2003.

The Defence Force says previous contingents have provided a reassuring security presence, especially during the presidential elections in October 2004 and resulting in a particularly high voter turnout.

http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/14463959/team-carried-out-frequent-patrols/
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« Reply #209 on: August 05, 2012, 02:16:23 pm »

Governor-General expresses 'great sadness' at soldiers deaths


Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO
Governor-General of New Zealand

Statement on the death of two soldiers, and six injured, in Afghanistan

It was with great sadness that I learned of the tragic death of our two soldiers in the Bamiyan Province.

Serving in New Zealand's Defence Force and being deployed in war-torn countries, such as Afghanistan, carries significant risk. The soldiers, whose names are yet to be released, bring to seven the number of New Zealand Defence Force soldiers to be killed while on operations in Afghanistan.

Serving with the Provincial Reconstruction Team, those two soldiers, who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and the six injured, have been part of a team that has worked tirelessly and consistently to bring peace and stability to the Province.

Their presence in Afghanistan exemplified their dedication to New Zealand and the New Zealand Defence Force's mission in that country.

On behalf of all New Zealanders, Janine and I extend our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and mates-in-arms of the two deceased soldiers, as they come to terms with this tragic loss. Our thoughts are also with the families and friends of those who have been injured.

Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae

Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief

http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/14464175/governor-general-expresses-great-sadness-at-soldiers-deaths/
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« Reply #210 on: August 06, 2012, 08:29:47 pm »

Kiwis troops in Afghanistan to widen patrols


Kiwi troops in Afghanistan are planning changes to their operations after two attacks in less than two days, one of which resulted in the deaths of two soldiers.

Lance corporals Pralli Durrer and Rory Malone, who were part of New Zealand's Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamiyan, were killed after their armoured vehicles were attacked on Saturday night (NZ time). Six other New Zealand soldiers were injured.

The Taleban reportedly claimed responsibility for the deaths.

In an attack today, insurgents got within 50 to 100 metres of the New Zealand base, which is on the outskirts of the small mining town of Do Abe.

Prime Minister John Key this afternoon revealed Cabinet had agreed to a request from Defence Force chief Lieutenant-General Rhys Jones for some operational changes to the Kiwi mission in Bamiyan.

"I wouldn't describe them as dramatic changes … but they will include the likelihood that the patrolling area of the New Zealand Defence forces will be widened out slightly," Key said.

There was more insurgent activity and had been a heightened threat assessment in the area "for some years now," he said.

The changes would involve Kiwis in the PRT patrolling outside of the Bamiyan region they have covered for ten years.

Jones believed that was "likely to provide a greater level of protection to our soldiers," Key said.

"The [expanded] radius is all about our capacity to fully understand what's going on and to be in the best position to ensure that we are less likely to be subjected to insurgent activity."

New Zealand has announced a formal withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2013, as part of a wider plan for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to exit the war-torn nation.

Key denied the changes agreed by Cabinet were an expansion of the PRT role. Asked if it was a change, he said: "a slightly wider radius is the way I'd describe it".

"It's not outside of their capacity, in terms of their operational activity in Afghanistan, but it requires the Cabinet to agree to those things."

He confirmed troops in the neighbouring Hungarian-patrolled Baghlan Province did not typically patrol at night.

FAMILIES PROUD

 The families of the two Kiwi soldiers killed in Afghanistan at the weekend say they are proud of their sons' time in the army.

Durrer was from Christchurch and Malone from Auckland.

Both were on their first deployment to Afghanistan.

Malone was helping his company commander, one of the six injured, when he was killed instantly.

"We are all thankful for the 26 years we had with Pralli and are proud of all that he accomplished in his short time with us,'' said Durrer's family, in a statement.

''He has had a rewarding career as a soldier and we know he had a positive effect on all those he worked alongside throughout his time with [the] NZ Army.''

Durrer's family had gathered together to support one another through his "sudden" death.
 
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7420156/Kiwis-troops-in-Afghanistan-to-widen-patrols
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« Reply #211 on: August 08, 2012, 11:44:24 am »



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« Reply #212 on: August 08, 2012, 11:44:49 am »



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« Reply #213 on: August 20, 2012, 09:29:35 am »


Woman among three Kiwi soldiers killed

(Fairfax NZ News - Monday, 20 August 2012)



Hmmmmm.....the last military campaign in Afghanistan which actually completely subdued the Afghans was led by Ghengis Khan.

The Afghans saw off the Poms, they saw off the Soviet Union, and they will see off the current mob (which unfortunately includes ENZED).

Then the Taliban (or other despots) will become the government of that country again.
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« Reply #214 on: August 21, 2012, 09:13:46 am »


What those cartoons mean is that we're pouring money down the drain in Afghanistan when the Taliban are going to eventually win anyway when the crusaders tire of their expensive warmongering and go home.

The Afghans saw off the Soviet Union and they saw off the Poms before that.

Nobody has managed to subdue Afghanistan in more than two thousand years and it will be no different this time.

Eventually, the crusaders will go home with their tails between their legs and carrying their dead and the Taliban will win by default. And if it isn't the Taliban, then it will be some other despot group in Afghanistan.

And do you know what is hilariously funny? The Americans are frothing at the mouth accusing Pakistan of arming and supporting insurgents in Afghanistan. Yet the Americans were arming and supporting the insurgents when the last lot of crusaders (the Soviet Union) were occupying Afghanistan and attempting to subdue them. Talk about the Pot calling the Kettle black, eh? I guess it also shows that the saying “what goes around, comes around” is true! The 'mericans supported an insurgency in Afghanistan, now they are on the receiving end of an insurgency in Afghanistan supported by someone else.

Faaaaaark!! 


I think you really should use a different term instead of crusaders, the Ruskies of the early 80's for one can not be compared with the medieval knights who swarmed into the holy land.

Our are you just lamely trying to be a vocab trend setter?
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« Reply #215 on: August 21, 2012, 11:59:01 pm »



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« Reply #216 on: August 22, 2012, 12:01:46 am »



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« Reply #217 on: August 22, 2012, 12:18:57 am »

KTJ - on behalf of all those that are willing to risk their lives so you can have a better NZ - you're welcome
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« Reply #218 on: August 25, 2012, 05:25:34 pm »



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« Reply #219 on: August 27, 2012, 12:46:17 pm »


Tom Engelhardt: Losing It in Washington

posted at 7:15PM - Sunday, August 26, 2012 | TomDispatch.com

______________________________________

The Best Laid Plans

How Quickly Will the U.S. Leave Afghanistan?

By Tom Engelhardt

In the wake of several deaths among its contingent of troops in a previously peaceful province in Afghanistan, New Zealand (like France and South Korea) is now expediting the departure of its 140 soldiers. That’s not exactly headline-making news here in the U.S. If you’re an American, you probably didn’t even know that New Zealand was playing a small part in our Afghan War. In fact, you may hardly have known about the part Americans are playing in a war that, over the last decade-plus, has repeatedly been labeled “the forgotten war”.

Still, maybe it’s time to take notice. Maybe the flight of those Kiwis should be thought of as a small omen, even if they are departing as decorously, quietly, and flightlessly as possible. Because here’s the thing: once the November election is over, “expedited departure” could well become an American term and the U.S., as it slips ignominiously out of Afghanistan, could turn out to be the New Zealand of superpowers.

You undoubtedly know the phrase: the best laid plans of mice and men. It couldn’t be more apt when it comes to the American project in Afghanistan.  Washington’s plans have indeed been carefully drawn up. By the end of 2014, U.S. “combat troops” are to be withdrawn, but left behind on the giant bases the Pentagon has built will be thousands of U.S. trainers and advisers, as well as special operations forces to go after al-Qaeda remnants (and other “militants”), and undoubtedly the air power to back them all up.

Their job will officially be to continue to “stand up” the humongous security force that no Afghan government in that thoroughly impoverished country will ever be able to pay for. Thanks to a 10-year Strategic Partnership Agreement that President Obama flew to Kabul to seal with Afghan President Hamid Karzai as May began, there they are to remain until 2020 or beyond.

In other words, it being Afghanistan, we need a translator. The American “withdrawal” regularly mentioned in the media doesn’t really mean “withdrawal.” On paper at least, for years to come the U.S. will partially occupy a country that has a history of loathing foreigners who won’t leave (and making them pay for it).

Tea Boys and Old Men

Plans are one thing, reality another. After all, when invading U.S. troops triumphantly arrived in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in April 2003, the White House and the Pentagon were already planning to stay forever and a day — and they instantly began building permanent bases (though they preferred to speak of “permanent access” via “enduring camps”) as a token of their intent. Only a couple of years later, in a gesture that couldn’t have been more emphatic in planning terms, they constructed the largest (and possibly most expensive) embassy on the planet as a regional command center in Baghdad. Yet somehow, those perfectly laid plans went desperately awry and only a few years later, with American leaders still looking for ways to garrison the country into the distant future, Washington found itself out on its ear. But that’s reality for you, isn’t it?

Right now, evidence on the ground — in the form of dead American bodies piling up — indicates that even the Afghans closest to us don’t exactly second the Obama administration's plans for a 20-year occupation. In fact, news from the deep-sixed war in that forgotten land, often considered the longest conflict in American history, has suddenly burst onto the front pages of our newspapers and to the top of the TV news. And there’s just one reason for that: despite the copious plans of the planet’s last superpower, the poor, backward, illiterate, hapless, corrupt Afghans — whose security forces, despite unending American financial support and mentoring, have never effectively “stood up” — made it happen. They have been sending a stark message, written in blood, to Washington’s planners.

A 15-year-old “tea boy” at a U.S. base opened fire on Marine special forces trainers exercising at a gym, killing three of them and seriously wounding another; a 60- or 70-year-old farmer, who volunteered to become a member of a village security force, turned the first gun his American special forces trainers gave him at an “inauguration ceremony” back on them, killing two; a police officer who, his father claims, joined the force four years earlier, invited Marine Special Operations advisers to a meal and gunned down three of them, wounding a fourth, before fleeing, perhaps to the Taliban.

About other “allies” involved in similar incidents — recently, there were at least 9 "green-on-blue" attacks in an 11-day span in which 10 Americans died — we know almost nothing, except that they were Afghan policemen or soldiers their American trainers and mentors were trying to “stand up” to fight the Taliban. Some were promptly shot to death. At least one may have escaped.

These green-on-blue incidents, which the Pentagon recently relabeled “insider attacks,” have been escalating for months. Now, they seem to have reached a critical mass and so are finally causing a public stir in official circles in Washington. A “deeply concerned” President Obama commented to reporters on the phenomenon ("We've got to make sure that we're on top of this...”) and said he was planning to “reach out” to Afghan President Karzai on the matter. In the meantime, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta did so, pressing Karzai to take tougher steps in the vetting of recruits for the Afghan security forces. (Karzai and his aides promptly blamed the attacks on the Iranian and Pakistani intelligence agencies.)

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, flew to Afghanistan to consult with his counterparts on what to make of these incidents (and had his plane shelled on a runway at Bagram Air Field — “a lucky shot,” claimed a NATO spokesman — for his effort). U.S. Afghan War commander General John Allen convened a meeting of more than 40 generals to discuss how to stop the attacks, even as he insisted “the campaign remains on track.” There are now rumblings in Congress about hearings on the subject.

Struggling With the Message

Worry about such devastating attacks and their implications for the American mission, slow to rise, is now widespread. But much of this is reported in our media as if in a kind of code. Take for example the way Laura King put the threat in a front-page Los Angeles Times piece (and she was hardly alone). Reflecting Washington’s wisdom on the subject, she wrote that the attacks “could threaten a linchpin of the Western exit strategy: training Afghan security forces in preparation for handing over most fighting duties to them by 2014.” It almost sounds as if, thanks to these incidents, our combat troops might not be able to make it out of there on schedule.

No less striking is the reported general puzzlement over what lies behind these Afghan actions. In most cases, the motivation for them, writes King, “remains opaque.” There are, it seems, many theories within the U.S. military about why Afghans are turning their guns on Americans, including personal pique, individual grudges, cultural touchiness, “heat-of-the moment disputes in a society where arguments are often settled with a Kalashnikov,” and in a minority of cases — about a tenth of them, according to a recent military study, though one top commander suggested the number could range up to a quarter — actual infiltration or “coercion” by the Taliban. General Allen even suggested recently that some insider attacks might be traced to religious fasting for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, combined with unseasonable summer heat, leaving Afghans hungry, tetchy, and prone to impulsive acts, guns in hand. According to the Washington Post, however, “Allen acknowledged that U.S. and Afghan officials have struggled to determine what’s behind the rise in attacks.”

“American officials are still struggling,” wrote the New York Times in an editorial on the subject, “to understand the forces at work.” And in that the editorial writers like the general reflected the basic way these acts are registering here — as a remarkable Afghan mystery. In other words, in Washington’s version of the blame game, the quirky, unpredictable Afghans from Hamid Karzai on down are in the crosshairs. What is the matter with them?

In the midst of all this, few say the obvious. Undoubtedly, a chasm of potential misunderstanding lies between Afghan trainees and their American trainers; Afghans may indeed feel insulted by any number of culturally inapt, inept, or hostile acts by their mentors. They may have been on edge from fasting for Ramadan. They may be holding grudges. None of the various explanations being offered, that is, may in themselves be wrong. The problem is that none of them allow an observer to grasp what’s actually going on. On that, there really should be few “misunderstandings” and, though you won’t hear it in Washington, right now Americans are actually the ones in the crosshairs, and not just in the literal sense either.

While the motives of any individual Afghan turning his gun on an American may be beyond our knowing — just what made him plan it, just what made him snap — history should tell us something about the more general motives of Afghans (and perhaps the rest of us as well). After all, the United States was founded after colonial settlers grew tired of an occupying army and power in their midst. Whatever the individual insults Afghans feel, the deeper insult almost 11 years after the U.S. military, crony corporations, hire-a-gun outfits, contractors, advisers, and aid types arrived on the scene en masse with all their money, equipment, and promises is that things are going truly badly; that the westerners are still around; that the Americans are still trying to stand up those Afghan forces (when the Taliban has no problem standing its forces up and fighting effectively without foreign trainers); that the defeated Taliban, one of the less popular movements of modern history, is again on the rise; that the country is a sea of corruption; that more than 30 years after the first Afghan War against the Soviets began, the country is still a morass of violence, suffering, and death.

Plumb the mystery all you want, our Afghan allies couldn’t be clearer as a collective group. They are sick of foreign occupying armies, even when, in some cases, they may have no sympathy for the Taliban. This should be a situation in which no translators are needed. The “insult” to Afghan ways is, after all, large indeed and should be easy enough for Americans to grasp. Just try to reverse the situation with Chinese, Russian, or Iranian armies heavily garrisoning the U.S., supporting political candidates, and trying to stand us up for more than a decade and it may be easier to understand. Americans, after all, blow people away regularly over far less than that.

And keep in mind as well what history does tell us: that the Afghans have quite a record of getting disgusted with occupying armies and blowing them away.  After all, they managed to eject the militaries of two of the most powerful empires of their moments, the British in the 1840s and the Russians in the 1980s.  Why not a third great empire as well?

A Contagion of Killing

The message is certainly clear enough, however unprepared those in Washington and in the field are to hear it: forget our enemies; a rising number of those Afghans closest to us want us out in the worst way possible and their message on the subject has been horrifically blunt. As NBC correspondent Jim Miklaszewski put it recently, among Americans in Afghanistan there is now “a growing fear the armed Afghan soldier standing next to them may really be the enemy.”

It’s a situation that isn’t likely to be rectified by quick fixes, including the eerily named Guardian Angel program (which leaves an armed American with the sole job of watching out for trigger-happy Afghans in exchanges with his compatriots), or better “vetting” of Afghan recruits, or putting Afghan counterintelligence officers in ever more units to watch over their own troops.

The question is: Why can’t our leaders in Washington and in the U.S. military stop “struggling” and see this for what it obviously is? Why can't anyone in the mainstream media write about it as it obviously is?  After all, when almost 11 years after your arrival to “liberate” a country, orders are issued for every American soldier to carry a loaded weapon everywhere at all times, even on American bases, lest your allies blow you away, you should know that you’ve failed. When you can’t train your allies to defend their own country without an armed guardian angel watching at all times, you should know that it’s long past time to leave a distant country of no strategic value to the United States.

As is now regularly noted, the incidents of green-on-blue violence are rising rapidly. There have been 32 of them reported so far this year, with 40 American or coalition members killed, compared to 21 reported in all of 2011, killing 35. The numbers have a chilling quality, a sense of contagion, to them. They suggest that this may be an unraveling moment, and don’t think — though no one mentions this — that it couldn’t get far worse.

To date, such incidents are essentially the work of lone wolf attackers, in a few cases of two Afghans, and in a single case of three Afghans plotting together. But no matter how many counterintelligence agents are slipped into the ranks or guardian angels appointed, don’t think there’s something magical about the numbers one, two, and three. While there’s no way to foresee the future, there’s no reason not to believe that what one or two Afghans are already doing couldn’t in the end be done by four or five, by parts of squads, by small units. With a spirit of contagion, of copycat killings with a message, loose in the land, this could get far worse.

One thing seems ever more likely. If your plan is to stay and train a security force growing numbers of whom are focused on killing you, then you are, by definition, in an impossible situation and you should know that your days are numbered, that it’s not likely you’ll be there in 2020 or even maybe 2015. When training your allies to stand up means training them to do you in, it’s long past time to go, whatever your plans may have been. After all, the British had “plans” for Afghanistan, as did the Russians. Little good it did them.

Imagine for a moment that you were in Kabul or Washington at the end of December 2001, after the Taliban had been crushed, after Osama bin Laden fled to Pakistan, and as the U.S. was moving into “liberated” Afghanistan for the long haul. Imagine as well that someone claiming to be a seer made this prediction: almost 11 years from then, despite endless tens of billions of dollars spent on Afghan “reconstruction,” despite nearly $50 billion spent on “standing up” an Afghan security force that could defend the country, and with more than 700 bases built for U.S. troops and Afghan allies, local soldiers and police would be deserting in droves, the Taliban would be back in force, those being trained would be blowing their trainers away in record numbers, and by order of the Pentagon, an American soldier could not go to the bathroom unarmed on an American base for fear of being shot down by an Afghan “friend.”

You would, of course, have been considered a first-class idiot, if not a madman, and yet this is exactly the U.S. “hearts and minds” record in Afghanistan to date. Welcomed in 2001, we are being shown the door in the worst possible way in 2012. Washington is losing it. It’s too late to exit gracefully, but exit in time we must.


______________________________________

Note: To read previous TomDispatch posts on green-on-blue violence, check out Death-By-Ally and Blown Away.

• Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. His latest book is “The American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s” (Haymarket Books). You can catch a Timothy MacBain TomDispatch video interview with me on our "stimulus" spending abroad by clicking here or download it to your iPod, here.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175587/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_losing_it_in_washington
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« Reply #220 on: September 18, 2012, 12:12:45 am »


From the Los Angeles Times....

NATO disasters stack up in Afghanistan

More ‘insider’ slayings, as well as a NATO airstrike
that killed eight women, follow a Taliban attack that
destroyed more than $150 million worth of equipment.


By LAURA KING | 8:10PM - Sunday, September 16, 2012

Afghan protesters shout slogans during an anti-NATO protest in the city of Mehtar Lam in Laghman province after eight women were killed in a NATO airstrike. — Photo: Waseem Nikzad/AFP/Getty Images/September 16, 2012.
Afghan protesters shout slogans during an anti-NATO protest in the city of Mehtar Lam
in Laghman province after eight women were killed in a NATO airstrike.
 — Photo: Waseem Nikzad/AFP/Getty Images/September 16, 2012.


KABUL, Afghanistan — In a disastrous day for the NATO force in Afghanistan, four American troops were gunned down Sunday by Afghan police, a U.S. airstrike killed eight Afghan women foraging for fuel on a rural hillside, and military officials disclosed that a Taliban strike on a southern base had destroyed more than $150 million worth of planes and equipment — in money terms, by far the costliest single insurgent attack in 11 years of warfare.

The confluence of events underscored some of the conflict's most damaging trends: an unrelenting tide of "insider" attacks, in which Afghan forces turn their weapons on coalition allies; the daily loss of civilian lives to war's ravages; and the continuing ability of insurgent forces to inflict disproportionate havoc on the far more powerful Western military.

The lethal encounter between U.S. forces and Afghan police took place soon after midnight in Zabol province in the south, military and Afghan officials said. The provincial governor, Mohammad Ashraf Naseri, said the shooting occurred at a joint base in Zabol's Mezan district.

The NATO force confirmed the deaths without disclosing the nationality, but U.S. officials said the troops were American. The killings came less than 24 hours after two British soldiers were gunned down by an Afghan policeman and brought to 51 the number of Western service members killed this year by Afghan security forces.

Both Western and Afghan officials acknowledge insider shootings have become an extremely serious problem — about 15% of all coalition deaths come at the hands of Afghan forces — and they have taken urgent steps to stop the attacks. Forces on both sides are undergoing cultural training to try to avoid deadly misunderstandings. NATO troops have been ordered to keep rounds chambered in their weapons at all times, and armed Western troops called "guardian angels" have been posted to watch over others in mess halls, sleeping tents and gyms. Thousands of members of a locally recruited village militia were ordered rescreened for links with the insurgency.

How to reduce such attacks is the subject of considerable debate among U.S. and NATO officials. Moves that slow the training of Afghans to take over security in their own country could undercut the goal of a Western military withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. And steps seen as too heavy-handed could be taken by Afghans as an insult in a culture where perceived slights can swiftly lead to more violence.

The eight women killed in an airstrike in Laghman province, in eastern Afghanistan, were poor villagers who were gathering brush for cooking fires, provincial authorities said. In addition to those killed, seven people were reported injured. Villagers loaded the bodies into trucks and drove them to the provincial governor's office, parading them through the streets in protest.

The NATO force acknowledged that five to eight civilians were accidentally killed in a strike targeting a group of insurgents, and expressed regret.

A spokesman for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization coalition, Air Force Captain Dan Einert, said the bombardment followed a "significant engagement" Sunday morning in the remote Alingar district of Laghman province. He said a unit of NATO's International Security Assistance Force positively identified a group of about 45 insurgents with hostile intent and called in the airstrike, which killed a large number of them.

"Unfortunately, we are aware of civilian casualties as a result of this strike," he said.

In recent years, NATO and Afghan government forces have been responsible for a shrinking proportion of civilian deaths, with nearly all such deaths and injuries blamed on insurgents. But airstrikes remain the single largest cause of civilian casualties inflicted by international forces.

Meanwhile, Western officials disclosed early Sunday that an insurgent raid at Camp Bastion, in Helmand province, had been far more serious than initially reported. Military officials had already reported the deaths of two U.S. Marines in the strike that began Friday evening and continued into the early hours of Saturday. On Sunday, however, they reported that the insurgents had managed to destroy six sophisticated AV-8B Harrier jets, together with three refueling stations. Two other Harrier aircraft were "significantly damaged," as were six soft-skin aircraft hangars.

Bastion, where Britain's Prince Harry is deployed as part of an Apache helicopter crew, is considered one of the most heavily fortified bases in Afghanistan. That a relatively small squad of insurgents was able to breach the perimeter and inflict such a degree of damage surprised the U.S. and British command.

In London, a Defense Ministry spokesman, speaking under the customary request of anonymity, said Sunday that the prince's deployment would continue. "In light of this event, there aren't any plans for him to be withdrawn," he said.


LA Times staff writer Henry Chu in London contributed to this report.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghan-violence-20120917,0,3894338.story
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« Reply #221 on: September 19, 2012, 11:39:48 pm »


From the Los Angeles Times....

NATO halts routine joint patrols with Afghan forces

NATO troops in Afghanistan will cut back on joint patrols
and small operations with Afghan forces. Officials
cite ‘insider’ shootings and an anti-Islam film.


By LAURA KING | 6:49PM - Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Afghan and NATO troops patrol in a village in eastern Afghanistan's Khowst province last month. — Photo: Jose Cabezas/AFP/Getty Images.
Afghan and NATO troops patrol in a village in eastern Afghanistan's Khowst province last month.
 — Photo: Jose Cabezas/AFP/Getty Images.


KABUL, Afghanistan — Across Afghanistan, at combat outposts in the wind-scoured desert and the jagged mountains, it was daily routine: A small group of Afghan police or soldiers and Western ground troops would gather their gear and set out together on a foot patrol or a village visit.

Until now.

In its most sweeping response yet to "insider" shootings that have seen 51 Western troops killed this year by Afghans in uniform, the NATO force is halting, at least temporarily, joint patrols and other small-unit ground operations by Afghan and foreign troops unless specifically approved by a high-ranking regional commander, military officials said Tuesday.

The move calls into question what has been the centerpiece of the Western exit strategy: foreign forces training Afghan counterparts by working closely with them in the field, with the aim of readying the Afghan police and army to take the lead in fighting the Taliban by the end of 2014.

Western officials sought to portray the move as a relatively minor adjustment to the relationship with Afghan allies. NATO's International Security Assistance Force "remains absolutely committed to partnering with, training, advising and assisting our [Afghan] counterparts," it said in a statement.

But three junior NATO field officers in different parts of Afghanistan, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter, said the order would dramatically alter the tenor and tempo of activity. Before the directive, Western officials had touted the fact that up to 80% of missions were partnered operations involving Western and Afghan troops. Already, there is concern that without American and other Western troops to bolster them in ground operations, some Afghan units will balk at setting out alone.

Officials said the decision was prompted not only by insider shootings, which have accounted this year for about 15% of the NATO force's fatalities and seriously eroded trust between Afghans and Westerners, but also by the trailer of the crude anti-Islam film that has triggered furious anti-American protests across the Muslim world.

In Afghanistan, reaction has included a demonstration Monday in Kabul that left dozens of police officers injured, and a suicide attack Tuesday morning said to be in retaliation for the film.

Eight South Africans, a Kyrgyz national and three Afghans died in the attack when a female bomber rammed her car into a van carrying aviation workers to Kabul's international airport, Afghan officials said. The insurgent group Hezb-i-Islami, which has staged few attacks in the capital, claimed responsibility.

Western officials said the tempestuous atmosphere made it an appropriate time for American and allied troops to step back from public view.

"In this time of heightened tension, we are trying to reduce our profile somewhat," said U.S. Army Col. Thomas Collins, a spokesman for the NATO force, describing the directive as a "prudent and temporary step."

"Will it have an impact? Yes, and we understand that," he said.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization says the insurgency is responsible, directly or indirectly, for as much as 25% of insider shootings.

Some of the shooters have been planted by the Taliban, military officials believe, but sometimes Afghan soldiers and police come under pressure from the Taliban via threats to their families or are recruited to the rebellion's ranks while on leave. Other attacks stem from personal disputes, often fueled by cultural differences. Frequently, it's hard to determine the exact reason.

In one case in mid-August, a policeman who had joined a village militia just five days earlier opened fire as soon as he was handed his service weapon to begin his first weapons-training session. The attacker, Mohammad Ismail, killed two Americans and a member of the Afghan national police before being killed by return fire.

Days earlier, a police commander lured Marines to a meal during the holy month of Ramadan and then opened fire, killing three of them.

As a sign of how seriously the Pentagon takes the issue, the Defense Department released a statement Tuesday saying that Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had sought advice on how to deal with insider shootings from his counterpart in the Russian military, which battled a U.S.-backed insurgency in Afghanistan during the 1980s.

Under the new directive, Afghan and NATO troops will continue to share jointly run bases. However, without the explicit permission of higher-ups, encounters between the two sides will be limited to meetings of officers at the battalion level, often in the form of planning sessions, military officials said.

The order was given by U.S. Army Lt. Gen. James Terry, who heads the NATO force's Joint Command, on Sunday, the same day that four American troops were shot and killed by Afghan police. The NATO force did not publicize the directive other than to provide copies in response to specific queries from news organizations.

Exceptions to the directive would have to be approved by regional commanders, most of whom are two-star generals. Previously, junior officers, including captains and lieutenants, were authorized to give the go-ahead for patrols and other ground operations with Afghan forces.

Pentagon spokesman George Little said the directive meant that partnered operations below the battalion level would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

"In some cases, [Afghan] forces are fully capable of increased independent activity, and their advisors will simply be stepping back to advise at the next level," he said.

It was unclear whether the order would affect special operations raids against the Taliban, which are frequently conducted jointly with Afghan commandos.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said at a news conference in Beijing that the directive was in response to the insider attacks, but he also called those attacks a sign of weakness.

"I don't think these attacks indicate that the Taliban is stronger," Panetta said. "I think what it indicates is that they are resorting to efforts that are trying to strike at our forces, trying to create chaos, but do not in any way result in their regaining territory that has been lost."


LA Times staff writers David S. Cloud in Beijing and Tony Perry in San Diego contributed to this report.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-us-afghan-patrols-20120919,0,4169136.story
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« Reply #222 on: September 21, 2012, 12:51:33 pm »




          (click on the cartoon to read the news story)
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« Reply #223 on: September 28, 2012, 05:18:29 pm »



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« Reply #224 on: September 28, 2012, 10:41:57 pm »




          (click on the cartoon to read the news story)


Wow quite the hypocrite. In another thread you call for the government to be more open, yet here you post a cartoon that makes a mockery about the government being open.
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