The New York Times has a fresh story on the training of Afghan security forces, and despite making claims of training progress in the headline, the story documents, yet again, that US efforts to shape a Western security force in Afghanistan are failing. At the same time, we learn from the ICRC that the offensive in the Kandahar area has doubled the rate of war injured treated at a local hospital.
|By: Jim White Wednesday October 13, 2010 6:32 am|
|By: daphneeviatarhumanrights1st Friday October 8, 2010 10:37 am|
On Wednesday, to the surprise of some spectators in the courtroom, a U.S. federal judge did the right thing: he followed the law.
|By: Jim White Thursday October 7, 2010 5:48 am|
As I reported on Wednesday, although the joint NATO-Pakistan investigation of the deaths of Pakistani soldiers at a border post concluded on Tuesday, no joint statement had yet been issued. Dawn had listed the areas of disagreement that were delaying release of a statement. Late Wednesday, both NATO and the US Embassy in Pakistan released statements on the investigation and the incident, presumably signaling that no joint statement will be forthcoming. A review of Dawn’s list of areas of disagreement in light of the released statements shows that all but one of Pakistan’s demands were met. Pakistan had insisted that NATO take responsibility for the attacks and deaths, but neither the NATO nor US Embassy statement does so. A Washington Post story this morning provides more details on the sequence of events in the attacks on the border post, lending support to Pakistan’s account of what happened.
|By: Jim White Saturday October 2, 2010 7:30 am|
Tense relations between the United States and Pakistan are leading to a mixed set of signals today. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the US is secretly diverting military drones from Afghanistan for CIA use in Pakistan, resulting in a record month for drone strikes in Pakistan. As if to prove this point, Reuters reports that on Saturday two drone strikes in Pakistan killed 18 people. Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani on Friday addressed the Pakistan National Assembly and spoke of unspecified “other options” should the US continue its helicopter raids over the border, but a telephoned apology from General David Petraeus to General Ashfaq Kayani (Chief of Staff of Pakistan’s army) seems to have calmed tensions to the point that the closure of the Torkham crossing now is described as temporary. Adding to the mix, Iran’s PressTV trots out Zaid Hamid (Googling him brings many references to him being a conspiracy theorist and Pakistan’s answer to Glenn Beck) to comment on the situation, ascribing US actions to panic over the prospect of losing the war in Afghanistan.
|By: Jim White Thursday September 30, 2010 5:10 am|
On Monday, I posed the question “How much more US abuse will Pakistan tolerate?” It turns out that the answer is “Not very much.” Pakistan has closed a key border crossing into Afghanistan used as a supply route by NATO after the latest reports of a NATO raid into Pakistan resulted in the death of three Pakistani troops.
|By: Jim White Monday September 27, 2010 7:52 am|
It’s hard to imagine how the United States could heap more abuse on Pakistan. We are approaching the one year anniversary since Jeremy Scahill disclosed the extensive JSOC-Blackwater secret war effort within Pakistan and yet there is no indication that either Barack Obama or David Petraeus sees a need to shut down the rogue operators there. Despite the occasional attempt to portray the US military as providing crucial relief efforts in the massive floods in Pakistan (such as in the accompanying photo), the reality is that US military relief to Pakistan has been derided as but a tiny fraction of the military relief provided in other recent world catastrophes. Last week’s sentencing of Aafia Siddiqui to eighty-six years in jail provoked massive protests across Pakistan. And now we are learning that NATO (which really means US) helicopters have killed over 50 people in air raids on the Pakistan side of the border with Afghanistan over the weekend.
|By: ekhornbeck Thursday September 23, 2010 8:10 am|
From The Stars Hollow Gazette. Things could hardly be worse. After 9 years of futility we lack progress, any prospect of progress, indeed even a definition of progress.
|By: Jim White Tuesday September 21, 2010 6:00 am|
With over three months left on the calendar, a helicopter crash today that killed nine NATO troops made 2010 the deadliest year for foreign troops in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion in 2001. The latest surge in violence in Afghanistan is viewed as an attempt by insurgents to disrupt the elections that took place over the weekend. Meanwhile, back in Washington, Senate debate on the annual National Defense Authorization Act consists solely in politicans polishing their credentials for the midterm elections by taking positions relative to the included DREAM Act and repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, rather than a debate on the merits of a war that has spiraled completely out of control.
|By: Peterr Monday September 20, 2010 7:04 am|
In a recent interview with Der Spiegel, General Petraeus reiterated his anti-corruption push, in which he tells his troops to be careful where they spend their money. With the latest stories from DC that show folks like Blackwater/Xe, KBR, and other US contractors getting off the hook, you have to wonder if the strategy of “Do As We Say, Not As We Do” will ever work. And if it won’t, then why do we continue to spend money and lives to keep pursuing it?
|By: SJGulitti Thursday September 9, 2010 7:09 pm|
It’s time for those who are trying to use the “Mosque Controversy” as a foil or counterargument to the public concern with Preacher Jones’ recklessness to realize the folly of their position and get on the right side of the issue once and for all.