|by Rick Rozoff source: Global Research June 12, 2010
This week news about the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization armed conflict in Afghanistan, the largest and longest-running war in the world, has begun to penetrate the wall of triumphalism and complacency erected by Washington during the past year’s unparalleled military escalation in the South Asian nation.
Between the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States on January 20, 2009 and now, the number of American troops in the war zone has almost tripled, from 32,000 to 94,000, with the total to reach 100,000 in upcoming weeks. Late last month U.S. combat forces in Afghanistan for the first time outnumbered those in Iraq, 94,000 compared to 92,000. There will soon also be an aggregate of 50,000 armed forces provided by Washington’s NATO allies and NATO partnership nations.
The 150,000 U.S. and allied troops in place by this summer will exceed by tens of thousands the largest amount of foreign forces ever before stationed in Afghanistan: An estimated 118,000 Soviet troops that constituted the high water mark of the USSR’s deployment between late 1979 and early 1989. 
May 23, 2010
An ABC report is describing a “new approach” to the poppy production in Afghanistan.
“If WE SECURE them getting a good harvest, now they’re going to get paid for their hard work. Then we can deal with trafficking afterwords” – U.S. Soldier in new ABC report.
Securing a good harvest and making sure these poppy farmers get paid is why troops are in these fields? What exactly is going on there?
April 22, 2010
In the past, Barack has said this:
My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.
Government should be transparent…..
Government should be participatory…
April 16, 2010
The Raw Story had this to report today:
The US commander in Afghanistan said Friday that the military is wasting money by employing too many private contractors to do jobs better done by soldiers or local Afghans.
“We have created in ourselves a dependency on contractors that is greater than it ought to be,” General Stanley McChrystal told an audience of French officers and military experts at France’s defence university in Paris.
“I think we’ve gone too far. I think that the use of contractors was done with good intentions so that we could limit the number of military. I think in some cases we thought it would save money. I think it doesn’t save money.”
2 Weeks ago Rory O’Conner reported this at Alternet:
“We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat,” says Afghan commander McChrystal.
American military personnel are continuing to take their own lives in unprecedented numbers, as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wars drag on. By late November, at least 334 members of the armed forces had committed suicide in 2009, more than the 319 who were killed in Afghanistan or the 150 who died in Iraq. While a final figure is not available, the toll of military suicides last year was the worst since records began to be kept in 1980.
The Army, National Guard and Army Reserve lost at least 211 personnel to suicide. More than half of those who took their lives had served in either Iraq or Afghanistan. The Army suicide rate of 20.2 per 100,000 personnel is higher than that registered among males aged 19 to 29, the gender age bracket with the highest rate among the general population. Before 2001, the Army rarely suffered 10 suicides per 100,000 soldiers.
The Navy lost at least 47 active duty personnel in 2009, the Air Force 34 and the Marine Corp, which has been flung into some of the bloodiest fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, 42. The Marine suicide rate has soared since 2001 from 12 to at least 19.5 per 100,000.
This is a step in the right direction, but being that Iraq is still occupied by the U.S. Military, Blackwater, NATO, etc., the people of Iraq have a long road ahead of them..
Iraq will help victims of the 2007 shooting of civilians in Baghdad to file a U.S. lawsuit against employees of security firm Blackwater, an incident that turned a spotlight on the United States’ use of private contractors in war zones.
Last week, a U.S. judge threw out charges against five guards accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad traffic circle, saying the defendants’ constitutional rights had been violated.
Iraq called that decision “unacceptable and unjust” and, as well as supporting a lawsuit brought by Iraqis wounded in the shooting and families of those killed, it will ask the U.S. Justice Department to review the criminal case, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Sunday.
“The government will facilitate a lawsuit from Iraqi citizens to sue the guards and the company in a U.S. court,” he said.
by Rick Rozoff, source: Global Research Jan 2, 2010
January 1 will usher in the last year of the first decade of a new millennium and ten consecutive years of the United States conducting war in the Greater Middle East.
The Afghan war, the U.S.’s first air and ground conflict in Asia since the disastrous wars in Vietnam and Cambodia in the 1960s and early 1970s and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s first land war and Asian campaign, began during the end of the 2001 war in Macedonia launched from NATO-occupied Kosovo, one in which the role of U.S. military personnel is still to be properly exposed  and addressed and which led to the displacement of almost 10 percent of the nation’s population.
by Eric Walberg, source: Global Research
2000 – Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak resigns, marking the end of the Oslo peace process; 2nd Intifada sparked by Ariel Sharon visiting Temple Mount with armed escort; Mohammed Al-Dura killed by Israeli sniper; Bashir Al-Assad inherits the Syrian presidency on the death of his father Hafiz.
2001 – Taliban control 95 per cent of Afghanistan. Their offer to give Osama Bin Laden up to a third country for trial after 9/11 is brushed aside and Bush invades and installs Hamid Karzai;
by Brian, source: Nor Cal Truth
Many recent announcements have been made signaling a long and drawn out occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as escalating conflicts and wars in Pakistan, Palestine, and soon enough Iran.
Obama has announced an escalation of 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan, bringing the number to 100,000 US children fighting in Afghanistan alone. This number does not reflect the gross number of private contractors in Afghanistan either, which totals over 150,000 now. Over 250,000 U.S. personnel will be occupying Afghan land before too long.
The British have announced recently that they will be making adjustments to their camouflage uniforms. In fact it will be the first change the British Army has made to its uniforms since 1968. The fact that it has taken 8 years of war in Afghanistan to make a radical change like that, unlike a withdrawal, signals a readiness to stay in Afghanistan longer.
A major U.S. Military spending bill was sent to Obama on Saturday, the bill includes $636 billion to continue the war, and escalate it. $80 billion of that package is going to acquire new unmanned drones to continue the shadow war in Pakistan.
Quick Look Analysis of 2010 Defense Department Appropriations Conference Report: Porkers Engaging in Usual TricksDecember 19, 2009
by Winslow T. Wheeler , source: CDI
Thanks to a head’s up from Taxpayers for Common Sense, I have taken a quick look at the just now available 2010 DOD Appropriations Conference Report. Remember: this is the bill with the final say on the money; it overrides any money amounts in the DOD Authorization bill, now law, from the armed services committees.
Unlike the HASC and SASC (House and Senate armed services committees), the appropriations porkers have not changed their squiggly little tails; they have continued to raid the Military Personnel and O&M accounts to pay for their pork.
What I see is the following:
- $1.9 billion in gross reductions to the Military Personnel (pay) account based on the arbitrary justification that there was need for an “undistributed adjustment,” or in some cases “reimbursables.”
- $2.1 billion in net reductions from the O&M account in the base bill; $1.4 billion of that reduction was based on phony justifications (indirectly based on some flimsy GAO analysis never made public), such as “historic underexecution.” (If you want to review my analysis of this flimsy GAO analysis , see it at http://www.cdi.org/friendlyversion/printversion.cfm?documentID=4535.)
- The House and Senate Appropriations Committees also raided the direct war fighting O&M account in Title IX of the bill by $1.5 billion.
- Total O&M raids, thus, amount to $3.6 billion.
source: Guardian UK
Palestinian security agents who have been detaining and allegedly torturing supporters of the Islamist organisation Hamas in the West Bank have been working closely with the CIA, the Guardian has learned.
Less than a year after Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibited torture and provided for the lawful interrogation of detainees in US custody, evidence is emerging the CIA is co-operating with security agents whose continuing use of torture has been widely documented by human rights groups.
“March Forward! calls on all service members to refuse orders to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq,” reads a press release from the group from December 3. “We offer our unconditional support and solidarity. Join us in the fight to ensure that no more soldiers or civilians lose their lives in these criminal wars.”
Michael Prysner, a former corporal in the Army who served from 2001-2005 and a veteran of the occupation of Iraq, co-founded the group with another Iraq war veteran, James Circello.
source: Washingtons Blog
You’ve heard that – according to the U.S. Senate – Bin Laden was “within the grasp” of the U.S. military in Afghanistan in December 2001, but that then-secretary of defense Rumsfeld refused to provide the soldiers necessary to capture him.
This is not news: it was disclosed in 2005 by the CIA field commander for the area in Afghanistan where Bin Laden was holed up.
In addition, French soldiers allegedly say that they easily could have captured or killed Bin Laden in Afghanistan, but that the American commanders stopped them.
And the oldest – and second-largest – French newspaper claims that CIA agents met with Bin Laden two months before 9/11, when he was already wanted for the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. Read the rest of this entry »
The number of suicides in the Army so far this year
have topped the number from 2008
By Mike Mount
November 17, 2009
Washington (CNN) — Suicides among soldiers this year have topped last year’s record-breaking numbers, but Army officials maintain a recent trend downward could mean the service is making headway on its programs designed to reduce the problem, Army officials said Tuesday. Read the rest of this entry »