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AFGHANISTAN: Daily stuff here please....

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« Reply #80 on: September 17, 2010, 06:18:12 am »

South Asia
Sep 18, 2010 
Diplomatic flurry over peace talks

By Syed Saleem Shahzad

ISLAMABAD - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has a love-and-hate relationship with Pakistan's military establishment. In the late 1990s, he stood up against the Pakistan army-supported Taliban regime in Afghanistan and as a consequence he lost his father and was forced to take refuge in an upscale neighborhood of the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi.

Everything changed with the United States-led invasion of Afghanistan that toppled the Taliban in late 2001, thrusting Karzai back into the spotlight. Under American pressure, Pakistan did not have any choice but to support him. In 2004, Islamabad rallied support for Karzai's election campaign in Pakistan's Afghan refugee camps. Similar support came in 2009.

With the Afghan war at a critical stage and US President Barack Obama due to give an official review of Afghan strategy in December, Washington and the allied Pakistan military cannot afford to change horses in mid-stream. Washington will therefore be hoping for a sizeable pro-Karzai constituency in the parliament that is due to be elected on Saturday.

As in the past, the Pakistan army will use its connections with the Taliban to press for as little election violence as possible - if not a ceasefire - in the Pashtun-dominated south to smooth the way for pro-Karzai candidates.

Diplomats keeping busy
The Afghanistan Study Group, a gathering of 46 foreign-policy experts including critics of the war and some who until recently supported US policy, is due to meet in the US on Friday. It has invited some mediators from the Afghan resistance. Karzai, along with the US's top man in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, recently met Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani to work out measures to prevent poll violence.

Immediately after the elections, all key international players will meet in Pakistan to help the US make a decision ahead of December on whether it will begin a withdrawal from Afghanistan as planned for next year or continue fighting.

Earlier, as a part of the diplomatic flurry, United States special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke visited Pakistan, followed by Karzai and Petraeus. One of the main topics was to reinforce Karzai's position in Kabul so that he will be in a position to deal with whatever emerges, be it peace with the Taliban or war with them. Kiani and the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence, Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, were also involved.

The next key person to visit Pakistan will be Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief who is also a special envoy of King Saud assigned to deal with the Taliban. Aziz is expected within the next few days.

Contacts familiar with the process have told Asia Times Online that "high-profile" meetings have been lined up for Aziz in safe houses during which he will try his level best to make a breakthrough in the nascent peace process between the Taliban and the US. Asia Times Online has exclusively reported that preliminary talks between the Taliban and the US have begun, with the Pakistan military and Saudi Arabia acting as go-betweens. (See Taliban and US get down to talks September 10, 2010.)

On September 25, former United Arab Emirates ambassador to Pakistan Ali Mohammad al-Shamsi, who enjoyed personal relations with the Taliban leadership and who is now the UAE's envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, will arrive in Pakistan. He will spend two days in the country to deliver his feedback on the most recent talks with the Taliban. He will also have some "high-profile" meetings with his erstwhile Taliban friends.

Shamsi will then travel to Afghanistan to give his input to Petraeus and Karzai. This interaction will be reflected in a new report by the Afghanistan Study Group, which in turn will play a part in the US's December strategy review.

With time running out, Washington is gradually agreeing to major concessions with the Taliban. A previous distinction between "reconcilable Taliban" (non-ideological or less ideologically motivated) and "irreconcilable Taliban" (the ideologically motivated **** led by Mullah Omar) has been simplified into "Taliban" and "al-Qaeda-linked Taliban".

Despite these peace moves, Taliban attacks in Afghanistan continue unabated. A visibly nervous Washington is aware that the next steps will become increasingly tougher, and that in Mullah Omar they have a stubborn and possibly capricious adversary who could easily take the whole process back to square one.

Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at

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« Reply #81 on: September 17, 2010, 06:20:37 am »

South Asia
Sep 18, 2010 
Afghan vote a foregone conclusion

By Aunohita Mojumdar

KABUL - As Afghans go to the polls to elect a new parliament, the result is already a foregone conclusion. Far from handing power to one political party, voters will return 249 individuals who must act as a de facto and fragmented opposition with little hope of setting out viable alternatives to the government's agenda.

In the country's party-less system, political allegiances are ever shifting - changing from policy to policy - and groups of MPs have often used their spoiler ability to extract concessions rather than shape administrative agendas. Realizing that the only leverage is their ability to block the government, MPs have come together to oppose sections of the budget, appointments to high office, including the cabinet, and critical legislation that the government wants to pass.

The legislative body has been a thorn in Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's side. He will be looking for the September 18 polls to help consolidate his power after reports that prominent opposition leaders have been co-opted by the government in recent months, analysts say.

''While pre-election politicking […] has generated a prominent (and very public chasm) between the Wolesi Jirga [lower house of parliament] and the Karzai administration, under the surface exist connections between MPs and the executive that threaten to strip the parliament of any monitoring or oversight capacity that it currently has,'' Anna Larson wrote in a report by the Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU).

Major government initiatives - such as the move towards negotiations with the Taliban or the cross-border peace jirga - have completely bypassed parliament for a "wider" consultation with the people, inherently implying its non-representative nature.

Former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, a key member of the Northern Alliance, which includes Karzai challenger Abdullah Abdullah, have made peace with Karzai. Though Abdullah was sharply critical of the peace jirga held in June, Rabbani agreed to chair it, taking the steam out of opposition to the event. In the week preceding the election, another Northern Alliance member, the current speaker of the lower house of parliament, Younus Qanooni, was forced to deny he had struck a deal with Karzai in return for continuing in the post. Qanooni is a sharp political operator whose skills have honed parliament’s oppositional tactics.

Several key players may be considering their political options since no one is quite sure what the elections will throw up. Insecurity, fraud, and doubts over Afghan voters' eagerness and ability to exercise their right to vote, all present a range of unpredictables.

The country's Independent Election Commission, which has distributed 17.5 million voter registration cards for Saturday's ballot, puts the voting population at about 12.5 million, while the UN says the eligible voters number 10.5 million, based on past voting. Added to that uncertainty is that 15% of voters have been potentially disenfranchised by the pre-polling decision not to open more than 1,000 polling stations which cannot be secured due to the ongoing conflict.

The difficulty of arriving at anything more than a guesstimate of the voting population is not merely statistical trivia but at the heart of the challenge of mounting elections in a complex situation. There is no method of cross-checking a voter registration card against a voter roll to eliminate fraud. This makes it impossible to gauge the real voter turnout, so there is no available measure of participation in the democratic exercise.

Unlike most elections, where the candidate tries to meet as much of the electorate as possible, for many of Afghanistan's prospective parliamentarians, campaigning has meant their going into hiding or leaving their constituencies to safeguard themselves from kidnapping and attacks by anti-election elements. Yet enthusiasm for the election is high, with more than 2,500 candidates seeking seats including tailors, newscasters, singers and businessmen.

A new crop of influential militia commanders has also entered the fray, according to Noah Coburn, writing for the AREU. Having chosen not to run in 2005, they have now seen the ''clear financial benefits of securing a seat and feeling reassured by a continued culture of impunity,'' Coburn said.

According to reports, some candidates have sought support from insurgents or even asked them to target their opponents. Direct violence between one candidate against a rival has also been reported.

Equally problematic is the issue of how free and fair the contest will be, a year after the 2009 presidential elections that were characterized by widespread fraud. Last year, ballot boxes in many areas were stuffed, while areas of high insecurity saw "ghost" polling stations that did not open or see any voters yet returned full ballot boxes.

Electoral fraud was not limited to ballot-box stuffing. The counting stage provided many steps that could be compromised. These included tamper-proof bags to transport votes that were tampered, tally sheets that did not tally, and triggers to alert to suspicious voting patterns that failed to be triggered during counting, according to Martine van Bijlert of the Afghan Analysts Network, who has dissected incidents of fraud in a recent report.

There is a high likelihood of fraud repeating itself due to a lack of any punitive measures put in place following last year's elections. The maximum penalty imposed was the blacklisting of some election officials, so the cost of attempted fraud in the current ballot is extremely low.

The crowning absurdity of the Afghan elections however is the voting system. Neither the preferential list system, nor the single-non transferable vote, it combines the worst of both, preventing political consolidation. The result is a fragmented and weak polity. Supporters of the system say Afghanistan first needs stability, while critics say the fragmented polity is one of the causes of continuing instability as it prevents the growth of a healthy democracy.

Either way, the final result is not political groups, agendas, manifestos or visions for Afghanistan's future within the parliament, but a collection of 249 individuals unbound by allegiance to any group.

Aunohita Mojumdar is an Indian freelance journalist based in Kabul. She has reported on the South Asian region for the past 19 years.

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« Reply #82 on: September 17, 2010, 06:34:39 am »

Afghan resistance statement

Why Defection is so High Among the Police and Army?

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Shawwal 06, 1431 A.H, Thursday, September 16, 2010

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

American generals who train Afghan police and soldiers admit, they have problems in recruiting and training policemen and soldiers. Security circles of the stooge Kabul Administration also confirm these reports. One of the problems is the growing trend of defection among the ranks of the Afghan security forces, which is now reaching at more than 20%. American General William Kalduwil, who heads police and soldiers training program, says, the accelerating rate of defections among the recruits has had a negative impact on endeavors to meet training and recruitment goals.

Spokesmen of the Kabul Administration Defense Ministry admits the trend, but says the number is insignificant. On the other hand, those policemen and soldiers who have deserted police and army, speak of high rate of defections. They confirm that many policemen and soldiers want to join the forces of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. They say, their deployment at the frontlines of battles and low salaries are main reasons for their defections.

Zabiullah Bukhari and Kamal, former soldiers of the so-called National Army, who have now deserted, say: fear of Taliban, low salary, armed clashes with Taliban and security problems during commuting to the site of duty, were reasons that compelled them to quit the duty. Americans are trying to distort facts surrounding the events of defections among the stooge security forces, but the Afghan Mujahid and Muslim people know and the military experts of the West and the world are now of the opinion that America and her allies are facing defeat in the war of Afghanistan. They have two options: either to defect or face death. There is no third option left for the stooge forces.

It is also a matter of pondering that how can the soldiers and policemen trained by the Americans who are themselves facing defeats at the hands of the Mujahideen, be expected to excel in combat than their trainers, the Americans. Furthermore, there are some committed and faithful soldiers among the ranks of the enemy that time and again turn barrels of their guns towards the invading Americans and other aggressors. Through killing or injuring the invaders, they themselves either lay down their lives during the bout or escape the scene scotch free.

The Mujahideen are no match with the invading Americans in terms of weapons and logistics but still the most sophisticated army of the world retreat in battle fields versus the empty- handed Mujahideen. The invaders see no capability in themselves to outface the lions of the path of Truth, nor their surrogate soldiers and police men are in a position to turn the tide. This means only material power is not enough for victory. Rather, belief, determination, legitimate cause and stand contribute to victory over a powerful foe even if the devoted combatants are weak from the point of material facilities.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

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« Reply #83 on: September 17, 2010, 06:45:59 am »

Taliban Could Defeat NATO in 30 Days

Logistics is the Achilles heel of Western forces

by Matthew Nasuti

Kabul Press, September 16, 2010

Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s announcement on September 8, 2010, that the Taliban was close to victory against NATO should not be dismissed. The Taliban have the military capacity to shut down the NATO supply links to Pakistan and other adjoining countries. NATO and American forces have such exorbitant daily supply needs that the Taliban could force some or potentially most Western forces to retreat from Afghanistan within 30 days.

Western military supplies (other than ammunition, weapons, communications gear and some spare parts, which apparently are all air-lifted) filter into Afghanistan through a small number of mountain passes and then are internally redistributed through a poorly constructed and insecure "ring road" system. On June 20, 2009, Major-General Michael Tucker, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations of ISAF in Kabul, told Philip Smucker of the Asia Times (for his story Afghanistan’s Road to Somewhere), that: "Security in Afghanistan is ultimately defined by our ability to build and defend the ring road."

He was correct and the Taliban know it. As seen in the daily military incident reports, the Taliban have spent years practicing and perfecting their road interdiction tactics. NATO and American forces do not possess the manpower to patrol 3,000+ kilometers of primary roads. In contrast, the Taliban possess the capacity to cut, block and disrupt this road system. The bridges, overpasses, tunnels and passes are especially vulnerable to sabotage during the winter months.

In 1761, the "father" of Afghanistan, the great Pashtun leader Ahmed Khan Abdali/Ahmed Shah Durrani defeated the Maratha army at Panipat, in Haryana State, about 120 kilometers north of New Delhi. He succeeded for two reasons. First, he was able to bring together a number of disaffected groups (Pashtuns, Balochi, Sindhi, Jats and Rajputs), which is exactly what the Taliban is doing. Second, he understood that he could not launch a conventional attack on fortified Maratha positions. The Maratha army was armed with French heavy rifled artillery and all the other components and equipment of a modern 18th century army. It was a heavy, road-bound force. The Pashtun forces, on the other hand, were mainly light cavalry. Ahmed Shah Durrani decided on a siege strategy and was successful in cutting the Maratha supply lines for two months. In January 1761, the Maratha had had enough and left their fortified bases only to suffer defeat at the hands of the Pashtun and their allies. This battle, and its tactics and strategy are well known to Taliban leaders. It may be the model for their future efforts.

The paradox for NATO and the Americans is that in September, 2010, they will have deployed the largest number of troops they ever had in Afghanistan, and yet that is when they are the most vulnerable, as the supply needs for this huge force are potentially crippling.

Western armies have logistics systems which are excessively and unnecessarily complex. American forces alone reportedly require a million gallons of fuel per day and all of it has to be trucked into Afghanistan. Consider this comparison:

1942: A German Panzer Division needed from 30-70 tons of supplies per day.

1968: A North Vietnamese Army Division needed less than 10 tons of supplies per day.

2010: An American Army Division needs in excess of 3,000 tons of supplies per day.

Western bases have all the comforts of home, including gyms and restaurants, and an army of contractors to serve all the needs of the troops. The Western way of war is expensive, wasteful and inefficient.

General David Patraeus needs to act immediately and decisively to reduce his vulnerabilities. He needs to take revolutionary steps to reduce the logistics needs of NATO and American forces. This includes eliminating all private contractors, and removing equipment and troops that are duplicative and unnecessary. The military needs to be relatively self-sufficient. He needs to have contingency plans which will permit Western forces to operate for up to 90 days based on only air resupply.

Finally, General Patraeus needs to consider a new deployment strategy for his surged forces by reducing his footprint in Afghanistan during the winter months. 30,000+ troops should be withdrawn by November and returned to Afghanistan in late spring to deal with any new Taliban offensive. There is no reason to winter-over all of these forces.

Sadly the Pentagon and NATO will do none of these things. If and when the Taliban elect to strike, Western politicians and military officials will claim that they could not have anticipated such a military tactic as cutting off supply routes, even though the Viet Minh used this tactic very effectively at Dien Bien Phu. There will be excuses and finger-pointing and inevitably a scapegoat chosen. The West has adopted a "prayer strategy" for Afghanistan; officials are praying that their supply lines will not be cut. That is a recipe for disaster.

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« Reply #84 on: September 21, 2010, 07:12:24 am »

Afghan resistance statement

Statement of the Islamic Emirate of Regarding the American Process of the Misleading Elections

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

September 20, 2010

Viewing that the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan foiled the so-called elections process of the parliament on September 18, as they have already foiled other conspiracies with the help of Allah (SwT) and the help of the Mujahid people of Afghanistan, Therefore, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan congratulates the Mujahid nation particularly the heroic Mujahideen on this victory and the resulting disgrace to the enemy. Hence, it declares as follows:

1. The wake and brave nation of Afghanistan positively responded to the call of the Islamic Emirate not to participate in the misleading elections under the American process. Avoiding participation in this process, the majority people of Afghanistan unquestionably rejected the elections. Therefore, the results of the elections are not acceptable to them.

2. Polling stations remained closed in 162 districts out of almost 400 districts. 1260 polling stations closed before 11 o’clock of the day. Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate, entirely attacked 480 polling centers. Only in capital Kabul and provincial cities of Mazar-e-sharif, Herat and other few provincial cities, some government employees went to the polling stations to cast votes. So these elections were only limited to the administrative employees of the Kabul stooge administration and which, ironically, the pro-government media still calls as elections. Therefore, the outcome of the so-called elections has no legal credibility.

3. The freedom-loving people of Afghanistan practically showed that they are against the foreigners and their flunkeys by not participating in the so-called elections process conducted by the invaders and their surrogates. So the invading forces should take a lesson from this fiasco and should put an end to the occupation of Afghanistan and their hostage-taking our people.

4. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan reaffirms to the public of the world that neither the invading forces nor their stooge administration has hold over vast areas of the country, nor they are able to conduct fraud-free elections. Only, they want to pave the way for the most unscrupulous and corruption-ridden elements to grab power time and again.

Therefore, all the public of the world should reject all anti-Afghan intrigues of the invaders, particularly, their foiled and misleading elections process and should not recognize the would- be selected surrogates as the genuine representatives of our nation.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

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« Reply #85 on: September 23, 2010, 05:49:27 am »

South Asia
Sep 24, 2010 
Afghan militia policing role under fire

By Mustafa Sarwar and Ron Synovitz

Amir Mohammad is among a handful of tribal leaders to remain in Kandahar province's Arghandab district since the Taliban sent threatening letters to elders this summer.

The letters - hand-delivered in late July and carrying the seal of the Taliban - warned specific tribal elders to leave Afghanistan within five days or be killed. Mohammad says most of the targeted elders fled the central district after receiving the notices.

"Our elders have gone to the city [of Kandahar], leaving the district empty," Mohammad says. "So when the villages are left empty the security gets worse. If you stay in the villages then


security will come on its own accord, but if [elders] are outside of the district and villages, security deteriorates."

Now, under a new decree from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, local militia fighters in the Arghandab district are being given police uniforms, salaries, guns and ammunition to fight against the Taliban.

Arghandab is one of eight districts across southern and western Afghanistan where the first phase of Karzai's so-called Local Police Initiative is being implemented. Other districts are in the provinces of Herat, Paktika, Paktia and Oruzgan. Authorities in Kabul say the plan eventually will be expanded to include parts of eastern and northern Afghanistan.

But Michael Hanna, an expert on Afghanistan at The Century Foundation in New York, warns that the plan could have negative consequences if it isn't implemented with an understanding of local tribes and their historic rivalries.

"You could think of specific areas - perhaps in Paktia province or others - where village defense forces would be a positive initiative, but other areas where you could imagine this would fuel conflict and rapacious activity on the part of warlords," he says.

Hanna also says empowering militias from one Afghan tribe could plant the seeds of future conflict with rival Afghan clans.

"It's a very controversial proposition simply because of the country's history with the militias," Hanna says. "People are concerned that you have people under arms [who are] outside of the control of any governmental authority. That obviously creates serious concern among many."

Potential risks
For years, experts have warned that arming and paying Pashtun militia fighters in southern Afghanistan would lead powerful ethnic Tajik commanders in northern Afghanistan to take similar steps and empower their own loyal militia fighters.

Since Karzai signed his Local Police Initiative decree, some militia fighters have been deputized by provincial authorities as "village defense forces" in several volatile districts of Balkh province. Those forces are, in fact, independent militia groups led by their former mujahideen commanders.

Balkh province governor Atta Mohammad Noor, an ethnic-Tajik former Northern Alliance commander who has a shaky relationship with Karzai, says he mustered those militia fighters in August to add security ahead of September's parliamentary elections.

In a recent Time magazine interview, the Balkh governor admitted he acted independently of Karzai when he empowered militia fighters as "village defense forces". He also insisted that the local commanders were loyal to both Kabul and "the people who have selected them."

Former Afghan deputy interior minister Abdul Hadi Khalid says he thinks empowering militia fighters as police could lead to future conflicts between rival militia. Khalid says the Local Police Initiative also could empower groups that support the interests of foreign countries rather than the central government in Kabul.

"If you arm one side, then the other side will get the opportunity to be armed too," Khalid says. "If [United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization] forces decrease their presence in the country, there will be tribal clashes and confrontation."

He continues: "Look at the region. There are Iranian, Pakistani and Central Asian regimes. The Russians, India and China all have interests in Afghanistan. There also are certain parties and groups that support the interests of foreign countries. Therefore, in my view, [empowering Afghan militia fighters as local police] will have negative implications that cannot be controlled."

Ensuring accountability
But Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashari says steps have been taken to ensure that those who receive salaries and weapons under the Local Police Initiative are not Taliban sympathizers or militia fighters whose allegiances lie more with a local warlord than the central government.

"We have taken a number of initiatives in order to prevent the infiltration of saboteurs and enemies in this force," Bashari says. "The young men who will be recruited will be guaranteed by the local elders, and influential and local councils. Also, they will be registered. The intelligence department of the Interior Ministry, along with the National Intelligence Directorate, are part of a special commission that will regularly cooperate with [local] police during both the recruitment process and later, when it will enable them to carry out their tasks in first instance and prevent the infiltration of bad people or those with a past criminal record in the force."

Hanna says the Afghan government made an effort to ensure there are some mechanism of accountability and some level of control to ensure that the Local Police Initiative doesn't create police forces that essentially are independent militia.

"We will see how it works in practice - whether there is, in effect, real accountability and real monitoring, and what sort of responses there will be for abuses," Hanna says.

International human rights groups that have documented abuses by warlords and Afghan militia factions in the past - like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International - are closely watching how Afghanistan's Local Police Initiative is implemented.

Those non-governmental organizations say they will document cases of rights abuses by militia fighters who are given police uniforms, weapons, and salaries by Afghanistan's central government.

(RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan contributed to this report from Kandahar and Kabul.)

Copyright (c) 2010, RFE/RL Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC 20036

(To view the original, please click here.)

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« Reply #86 on: September 24, 2010, 06:26:27 am »

South Asia
Sep 25, 2010 

It's Obama vs infinite war

By Pepe Escobar

One may be tempted to evaluate American foreign policy as concocted by some deviant disciple of cinema exploitation genius Russ Meyer - of Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill! fame - minus the profusion of breasts, of course.

And so as that self-appointed court stenographer Bob Woodward reveals in his latest court opus Obama's Wars - conveniently leaked to the Washington Post and the New York Times - the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is shelling out the moolah for its own, 3,000-assassin-plus Murder Inc to roam in AfPak. These paramilitary - brigade-size - outfits, "elite and well trained", have been branded Counter-terrorist Pursuit Teams (CPT).

Much is being made in US corporate media that this shady CPT posse is able to "cross-over" to the tribal areas in Pakistani territory and, like in that famous Heineken ad campaign, reach the parts US intelligence are not able to reach. Aware Latin Americans - with a shrug - will see this as Bad Joke redux: the "Salvador option" is back. As much as these Afghan assassins have been flown to the US for training, the infamous School of the Americas in the 1970s and 1980s trained death squads of natives to kill their compatriots from Chile to El Salvador. The CIA not exactly excels on thinking outside the box.

Old Afghan hands will also be thrilled; this is a small-scale remix of the Afghan mujahideen fighting the anti-Soviet 1980s jihad. Everyone knows what happened afterwards to those bad asses Ronald Reagan called "freedom fighters"; they turned against the US. Maybe some enterprising CIA analysts should share a kebab with their old pal on a payroll, former Afghan prime minister Gulbuddin "bomb, bomb Kabul" Hekmatyar, an eternal mujahid today on Washington's most wanted list.

Calling Jack Bauer

Every grain of sand in the Hindu Kush has known since 2001 that the Americans, be they Pentagon, CIA - some Pakistanis say even the Federal Bureau of Investigation - employ a "secret army" in AfPak. The Pentagon's Murder Inc was unveiled by Wikileaks only three months ago. Now it's Woodward unveiling the CIA's. What next? A Jack Bauer unit, serialized on cable?

Civilian "collateral damage" by the Pentagon's Murder Inc has been splashed on the news virtually every week. As for the CIA's, still there are no numbers. The Hindu Kush grains of sand are also aware that the concept of Pakistani "sovereignty" is a myth. Everyone should expect from now on another rainfall of denials from Islamabad - notwithstanding the fact of Pentagon and CIA killer drones raising hell over large swathes of Pakistani territory (more than 70 strikes in 2010 alone).

If this is a war against al-Qaeda, as the George W Bush/Barack Obama continuum insists, Langley, we got a problem; there's fewer than 50 Arab al-Qaeda jihadis in Afghanistan, as every US intelligence agency proclaims. And there are fewer than 100 jihadis in the Waziristans. If Washington really wants to know where the leadership is, the easiest way is to bribe mid-level Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence operatives in Rawalpindi/Islamabad. The ISI-al Qaeda-Taliban connection is and will remain unbreakable - part of Islamabad's obsession with "strategic depth". This is the connection that killed Northern Alliance commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Lion of the Panjshir, on September 9, 2001, two days before 9/11 - thus precluding a true Afghan nationalist from reaching power instead of that Zalmay "Bush's Afghan' Khalilzad asset, Hamid Karzai.

Across what is in effect Pashtunistan, the "border" does not exist - after all the Durand Line was a British invention to split the Pashtuns; everyone has interwoven webs of Pashtun "cousins", everyone is "family". Some family members may rat on others for financial gain, but nothing extremely substantive will come out of it.

I was in Tora Bora in late 2001 when US Special Forces were bribing and advising local commanders on how to attack al-Qaeda. The commanders gleefully took US money, made a pose of throwing a few shells with their outdated Soviet tanks, and helped al-Qaeda - Osama bin Laden included - to escape the other way, to Parachinar, towards the Pakistani tribal areas. They even "advised" the American B52s to bomb the wrong mountains…

Washington is now deploying its full metal jacket - from the Pentagon and CIA secret armies to killer drones to special forces commando raids to Blackwater-conducted "snatch and grab" commandos. All these special effects for what? To kill a few tribal Pakistani Taliban commanders - replaced the same week by a blood relative - and a few jihadis, replaced the same week by a steady stream from the Gulf.

Neither Woodward nor the CIA are volunteering where the Afghan warriors for this Murder Inc are coming from. If they are Tajiks or Uzbeks or Hazaras they cannot crossover to Pakistan's tribal areas without being detected. So they must be Pashtuns from rival tribes. And they're only in it for the money. It's also interesting to consider that the CIA pays for yet another Pashtun militia in Kandahar led by none other then drug business warlord Ahmed Wali Karzai, President Hamid's brother.

Never lose sight of the spectrum

This whole scheme is essentially what passes for General David "I'm always positioning myself to 2012" Petraeus' grandiose COIN strategy; co-opted locals ranged in death squads and paid with Samsonites full of cash (plus a drone war as "back up"). It worked for Petraeus in Iraq - leading him to boast to a gullible corporate media he had "won" the war. Petraeus believes he can pull a remix in AfPak. The Pentagon seems to be at least a bit wary of warlords - as warlord-hostage Hamid Karzai cannot rule even over his throne in Kabul. But the CIA doesn't care about warlords - it goes for broke.

Nothing will change on the ground in terms of the ISI-Taliban nexus. But the game gets much more interesting when one factors what enlightened Pakistani public opinion - in the major urban centers - already fed up with Islamabad's subservience to Washington, will make of Woodward's disclosure.

The key - one may say tragic - point of Woodward's book is that Obama not only cannot end the Afghan war; he cannot even downscale it to target only the fewer than 100 jihadis and the Pakistani Taliban sheltered in the tribal areas without incurring blowback. Woodward says that Obama is seriously betting on his exit strategy - he wants by all means a progressive withdrawal from Afghanistan starting next summer. But "his" general, Petraeus - the Pentagon in fact - wants infinite war.

What Woodward's book - and the corporate media orchestrated narrative - will never tell is "why" infinite war. Because of the New Great Game in Eurasia. Because of the need of military bases to spy on strategic competitors Russia and China. Because of the US's obsession with Pipelineistan in Central Asia bypassing both Russia and Iran. Because of the Pentagon's full spectrum dominance doctrine - which justifies infinitely ballooning military budgets.

If Obama has really admitted, "I can't lose the whole Democratic Party", he knows he is really in a jam; Obama thought he had 2011 and 2012 to wrap-up some kind of AfPak "victory" before US public opinion turned against him. Well, public opinion is already against him (Bill Clinton is encouraging the president to "embrace people's anger" ...) As for wily Petraeus, he has now unleashed a media blitz revolving around one single theme - he won't be rushed, and the war could go on until 2020. In the book, Obama is quoted as saying, "I'm not doing 10 years ... I'm not doing long-term nation-building. I am not spending a trillion dollars".

So what should Obama do? He could call his backers in Hollywood - which after all won the Vietnam war on film. Hollywood also won the Iraq War - via The Hurt Locker. The president could even win an Oscar - much cooler than a Nobel.

Now seriously. In real life, history eschews Hollywood. AfPak may swallow this president, the next president, the CIA and row after row of full spectrum dominance-decorated generals faster than one can say "Faster CIA! Kill! Kill!" Goodbye Kabul? More like Good morning, Vietnam.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at
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« Reply #87 on: September 28, 2010, 10:32:22 am »

Afghan resistance statement

The Afghans’ Moments of Victory Around the Corner

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

September 27, 2010

President Obama, in an interview with BBC Persian Service, on Friday last, reneged on his promise to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan in July 2011. According to him, The American invading forces will remain in Afghanistan until they achieve their colonialist and regional objectives.

Following the end of the war-mongering and anti-human policy of former president Bush, the public of the world were expecting Obama that he would put an end to this vicious trend; would end occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and close down all notorious and brutal prisons which had , openly and secretly, been set up in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba and other parts of the world by the malicious Bush to expand the war and torture the noble sons of the Islamic Ummah. Gaining the helms of affairs, Obama repeated his promise to quit Bushe’s policy and posed himself as flag-bearer of peace and stability. He reiterated frequently that he would close down the notorious prisons; will withdraw troops from Iraq within a year and would draw down forces in Afghanistan in July 2011. But when the time approached, he brazenly retracted on his promise. Neither he closed down the prisons; nor completely withdrew troops from Iraq, nor worked for reconstruction and stability of Iraq. Now even he has backed up from his words to pull American forces out of Afghanistan in July next year. Contrarily, he said in his interview that the American troops would remain in Afghanistan until the fulfillment of their so-called job.

It is crystal clear like the broad day light that in the past nine years, the invading Americans and their coalition allies shed the blood of more than 100,000 innocent Afghans; put thousands of them behind the bar, and committed desecration of the holy Quran on this sacred land and soiled mosques with the blood of worshippers. They did other abhorrent acts which their devilish desires and whims stirred them to do. But still this arrogant and only super power of the world has never been able to have a hundred percent control over any district or area of Afghanistan or that the residents of a given area support the Americans or the Kabul stooge Administration all in a body. The practical proof of this is the recent parliamentary elections which were limited only to a few cities. Less than 10% voters showed up at the polling stations all over the country. Even that 10% turn-out was the result of extensive bribery and paying-offs on the part of the invaders, trying to show that the fake process was going with flying colors.

We ask Obama, his strategist and executors of the failed strategies that even two million out of the thirty million Afghans all over the country were not willing to show up on the polling day despite the passage of nine years of the occupation; presence of 300,000 foreign and local forces and outlay of $200 million, then how can it be possible that the Americans will achieve their objectives in Afghanistan or in the word of Obama, reach a rationale victory.

Obama and his team should understand that the victory is the fate of the Afghans. Your war machine and sophisticated technology has failed in the face of the strong determination of the Afghans. The deserts, mountains, rocks and plants of Afghanistan are ringing with the voice of onslaught to strike. Now it is up to you to see whether you have the capacity to confront the country-wide upheaval of the Afghans or attempt to secure your future destiny from crumbling.

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« Reply #88 on: September 29, 2010, 01:06:29 pm »

Afghan resistance statement

Reaction of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to the Remarks of General Petraeus

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

September 29, 2010

The Commander-in-chief of the foreign invading forces in Afghanistan , General Petraeus, has claimed that some high-ranking officials of Taliban (Islamic Emirate) have contacted the Karzai Administration. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, while rejecting the claim of General Petraeus, believes, that such baseless claims by the enemy portray their jittery and fiasco in face of the Mujahideen.

How can it be possible for the officials of the Islamic Emirate to initiate clandestine contacts with the powerless and stooge government while they have already turned down the misleading demands and proposals of the weak Kabul Administration for commencement of negotiation? In fact, the Americans and their coalition have no gains versus the Mujahideen and have nothing on hand to show to the public of the world. They implemented all conspiracies which they had conceived to weaken Mujahideen or eliminate them but they all went awry. Similarly, the enemy resorted to convening the so-called national consultative Jirga; the holding of the Kabul conference which was aimed at handing over responsibility to the weak Kabul Administration; instituted the peace high council and launched the recent process of parliamentary election for the purpose of attaining the said goals. However, all these endeavors faced debacle thanks to the initiatives of Mujahideen and the help of the Almighty Allah. Thus gained nothing from their attempts. The public of the world are witness to the fact that the current year was the most fatal for the enemy according to their own admission and acknowledgement despite the conspiracies which they frequently hatched and the efforts which they got under way.

These gains of the Mujahideen have had negative impacts on the morale of the invading enemy. Their forces suffer from fear and jittery as a result. Some allies of America have withdrawn their forces from Afghanistan and some are seeking means and ways to leave the country. So in this critical situation, contrary to the claims by the morale-sagging General Petraeus, Mujahideen want to further organize and speed up their programs rather than kicking off contacts with the crumbling Kabul Administration.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes that the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan is the main cause of the current tragedy and it has been struggling to force the invaders to pull out of the country. The Islamic Emirate reaffirms once again that the solution of the Afghan issue lies in the withdrawal of foreign invaders from Afghanistan , not in initiating secret contacts with the powerless stooges of the invaders. The unfounded propaganda launched by General Petraeus or any other circle about existence of secret contacts is, in fact, a part of the defeated enemy's war of words. It is not the demand and decision of the leadership of the triumphing Mujahideen.

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« Reply #89 on: October 06, 2010, 05:43:28 am »

Published on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 by Agence France-Presse

Amid Soaring Deaths, Obama Affirms Afghan Strategy

by Agence France-Presse

No 'Adjustments' Needed on War Fronts: Obama

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama has told lawmakers that no current changes are needed to his Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy, as US forces escalate operations against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

This year's foreign troop death toll is the highest on record since the war began in late 2001. (AFP)

Obama delivered the verdict, which had previously been voiced by senior members of his national security staff, as he handed over his administration's latest classified report on the conduct of the war mandated by Congress.

"We are continuing to implement the policy as described in December and do not believe further adjustments are required at this time," Obama wrote in the assessment, delivered Monday.

"As the Congress continues its deliberations on the way ahead in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I want to continue to underscore our nation's interests in the successful implementation of this policy."

At the end of an exhaustive policy review in December, Obama announced plans to surge 30,000 troops into Afghanistan to seize the momentum in the long-running war but warned some soldiers would begin to withdraw by July 2011.

The president is expected to mount a fresh review of strategy on Afghanistan by the end of the year, but again, no major adjustments are expected.

The NATO-led strategy is designed to push Taliban insurgents out of major towns in the south and east while building up Afghan government security forces so that American troops can start withdrawing by July 2011.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and top commanders say there are tentative signs of progress in Afghanistan, where nearly 150,000 US and allied troops are trying to turn the tide against a resilient Islamist insurgency.

The White House said late Monday that Obama held a 30-minute videoconference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, discussing "a number of topics, including the strategic vision for long term U.S.-Afghan relations, the recent Afghan parliamentary elections, and regional relations."

"The two leaders agreed that they should continue routine engagements to refine a common vision and to align our efforts to support President Karzai's goal of completing transition to Afghan lead security responsibility by 2014," the White House said.

Obama released his report Monday amid fresh evidence of an escalation of US activity in the lawless region between Pakistan and Afghanistan

A US drone strike on Monday killed eight militants, including German nationals in Pakistan near the Afghan border, local security officials said.

The attack came hours after Japan and Sweden joined Washington and London in issuing an alert warning of a "possible terrorist attack" by Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups against their citizens travelling in Europe.

Fresh bombings, shootings and violence meanwhile underscored the heavy toll on US and allied forces, as five NATO soldiers died Monday.

The new deaths took to 561 the number of foreign troops killed in the Afghan war so far in 2010, according to a tally by independent website [1], as the toll from the nine-year Taliban-led insurgency worsens.

This year's toll is the highest on record since the war began in late 2001 with a US-led invasion toppling the Taliban regime after it refused to hand over Al-Qaeda leaders following the September 11 attacks.

© 2010 Agence France-Presse

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« Reply #90 on: October 06, 2010, 06:57:06 am »

Killing Each Taliban Soldier Costs $50 Million

Killing 20 Taliban costs $1 Billion / Killing all the Taliban would cost $1.7 Trillion

By Matthew Nasuti

October 05, 2010 "Kabul Press" - --  The Pentagon will not tell the public what it costs to locate, target and kill a single Taliban soldier because the price-tag is so scandalously high that it makes the Taliban appear to be Super-Soldiers. As set out in this article, the estimated cost to kill each Taliban is as high as $100 million, with a conservative estimate being $50 million. A public discussion should be taking place in the United States regarding whether the Taliban have become too expensive an enemy to defeat.
Each month the Pentagon generates a ream of dubious statistics designed to create the illusion of progress in Afghanistan. In response this author decided to compile his own statistics. As the goal of any war is to kill the enemy, the idea was to calculate what it actually costs to kill just one of the enemy. The obstacles encountered in generating such a statistic are formidable. The problem is that the Pentagon continues to illegally classify all negative war news and embarrassing information. Regardless, some information has been collected from independent sources. Here is what we know in summary and round numbers:

1. Taliban Field Strength: 35,000 troops

2. Taliban Killed Per Year by Coalition forces: 2,000 (best available information)

3. Pentagon Direct Costs for Afghan War for 2010: $100 billion

4. Pentagon Indirect Costs for Afghan War for 2010: $100 billion

Using the fact that 2,000 Taliban are being killed each year and that the Pentagon spends $200 billion per year on the war in Afghanistan, one simply has to divide one number into the other. That calculation reveals that $100 million is being spent to kill each Taliban soldier. In order to be conservative, the author decided to double the number of Taliban being killed each year by U.S. and NATO forces (although the likelihood of such being true is unlikely). This reduces the cost to kill each Taliban to $50 million, which is the title of this article. The final number is outrageously high regardless of how one calculates it.

To put this information another way, using the conservative estimate of $50 million to kill each Taliban:

It costs the American taxpayers $1 billion to kill 20 Taliban

As the U.S. military estimates there to be 35,000 hard-core Taliban and assuming that no reinforcements and replacements will arrive from Pakistan and Iran:

Just killing the existing Taliban would cost $1.75 Trillion

The reason for these exorbitant costs is that United States has the world’s most mechanized, computerized, weaponized and synchronized military, not to mention the most pampered (at least at Forward Operating Bases). An estimated 150,000 civilian contractors support, protect, feed and cater to the American personnel in Afghanistan, which is an astonishing number. The Americans enjoy such perks and distinctions in part because no other country is willing to pay (waste) so much money on their military.

The ponderous American war machine is a logistics nightmare and a maintenance train wreck. It is also part-myth. This author served at a senior level within the U.S. Air Force. Air Force “smart” bombs are no way near as consistently accurate as the Pentagon boasts; Army mortars remain inaccurate; even standard American field rifles are frequently outmatched by Taliban weapons, which have a longer range. The American public would pale if it actually learned the full story about the poor quality of the weapons and equipment that are being purchased with its tax dollars. The Taliban’s best ally within the United States may be the Pentagon, whose contempt for fiscal responsibility and accountability may force a premature U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as the Americans cannot continue to fund these Pentagon excesses.

If President Obama refuses to drastically reform the Pentagon’s inefficient way of making war, he may conclude that the Taliban is simply too expensive an enemy to fight. He would then have little choice but to abandon the Afghan people to the Taliban’s “Super-Soldiers.” That would be an intolerable disgrace.

The problem is not simply within the Pentagon.
The hapless U.S. State Department is equally to blame. It:

1. Continues to sit on the sidelines of this war;

2. Refused for nine years to deploy an adequate number of civilian experts;

3. Continues to hire abusive and disreputable security contractors;

4. Failed to fight for the needs of Afghan civilians; and

5. Has made little effort to win their hearts and minds.

A crucial statistic that demonstrates this is to compare military and security expenditures by the United States in Afghanistan with expenditures for civilian aid, such as reconstruction. That statistic is as follows:

Money spent on Military/Security: $365 billion Money spent on Afghan civilians: $8.5 billion

This latter number spells out “FAILURE.” U.S. diplomats and USAID officials have failed to improve the lives of ordinary Afghans and as a result they have accomplished the impossible. Their lack of resolve and interest has made an increasing number of disillusioned Afghans view Taliban rule as potentially an improvement.

Appendix (Supporting Information)
Taliban Field Strength:

The figure of 35,000 is based on an interview given by General Stanley McChrystal earlier this year.

Taliban Soldiers Killed:

The Pentagon refuses to disclose the total number of Taliban killed each month in Afghanistan by coalition forces, special operations personnel and the CIA. One reason became obvious during Operation Moshtarak in Marjah earlier this year. The Pentagon and NATO refused to specify the actual number of Taliban casualties in Marjah because the number was embarrassing low. American, NATO and Afghan forces reportedly suffered more casualties (killed and wounded) than they inflicted on the Taliban, making Marjah a military defeat for the West (if casualties determine victory or defeat).

To fill the gap created by Pentagon silence on this issue, media groups have published their own Taliban casualty count based on official and press reports. That count is inflated as the U.S. military labels everyone it kills a “Taliban militant,” even if they are criminals, drug traders, war lords or civilians defending their homes. As a result of the Pentagon’s lack of credibility on this issue, this author assumes that only 50% of those labeled as Taliban actually are.

The Associated Press has reported that 3,800 militants were killed in 2008, and 4,500 in 2009. Pro-NATO blogs, such as the web site “Terrorist Death Watch,” have calculated that 3,667 terrorists have been killed in Afghanistan since January 1, 2006, (about 700 per year). The author assumes that an average of 2,000 hard-core Taliban are killed each year

U.S. Military Costs:

Total military expenditures in Afghanistan are not clear as the Pentagon does not release all of its direct and indirect cost for the war. While most direct costs are known, billions of dollars in CIA and special operations costs are improperly classified and remain hidden. In addition, the indirect costs for the war (i.e., military regular pay, equipment depreciation, wear & tear, long term health costs, Pentagon support costs within the U.S., USTRANSCOM transportation costs, transport hub costs such as Manas air base, costs for borrowing funds etc.) are not precisely known. Independent studies conducted of the Iraq war are available and they calculate that the indirect costs equal or exceed the direct costs.

What we know about Pentagon direct costs is as follows:
- From 2001, to April 2009, the Pentagon directly spent $171.7 billion in Afghanistan.
 From May 2009, to the present, the Pentagon directly spent an additional $166.3 billion. This is an incredible increase over the past 17 months.

Monthly expenditures have also seen a staggering increase.
 October 2009, the Pentagon was directly spending $3.6 billion a month.
 February 2010, the Pentagon was directly spending $6.7 billion a month.
 October 2010, with the addition of 35,000 more combat and support troops into Afghanistan, the number must be close to $8 billion a month.

Some estimates place direct Pentagon Afghan war costs for all of 2010, at $105 billion.
U.S. State Department Costs:

Officially the State Department and USAID have expended about $35 billion in Afghanistan since 2001. According to most audits, about 75% or $27.5 billion has been spent on training, housing and equipping the Afghan security services, and road construction with the balance ($8.5 billion) being spent on civilian projects. Much of this $8.5 billion has been wasted on dilapidated schools and minor “trophy” projects in Kabul.


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« Reply #91 on: October 08, 2010, 06:01:45 am »

Afghan resistance statement on the Ninth Anniversary of American Invasion of Afghanistan

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Statement of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on the Ninth Anniversary of American Invasion of Afghanistan

Shawwal 27, 1431 A.H, Thursday, October 7, 2010

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Nine years ago, the brutal Americans attacked Afghanistan in contradiction of all human and moral norms, under the leadership of the most disgustful president G. W. Bush in the name of furthering the Crusade. At the outset, no one believed that the Afghans, who had already passed through hardships because of long wars, would ever be able to confront the attack launched by the most arrogant and highly-trained forces of the 21st century.

Based on these predictions, former US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield, who was wallowing in his wishful delusions due to his arrogance, announced the end of the American military operations after six months of the invasion, thinking that the Afghans’ capability to face the invaders have come to and end.

But today, 9 years after that announcement, the strongholds of Jihad and resistance against the invading Americans and their allies are as strong as ever. Every day, tens of foreign invaders lose their lives. Throughout the past nine years, neither they have been able to implement their empty slogans nor could they stop the Jihadic activities of the Muslim Afghans. During that period, the invading Americans spent hundreds of billions of dollars in order to continue this illegitimate war; lost thousands of soldiers, with tens of thousands of them being injured, and faced heavy losses in terms of military hardware, but now after all that, they have only reached the conclusion to admit to the American public and to the public of the world that the current year 2010 was the most fatal year for the foreign forces. Nothing new they offered.

The invading Americans and their coalition allies have put to use all their military and economic capability to maintain their brutal occupation over Afghanistan and bring it to a successful end. Even they implemented different strategies; appointed the most sophisticated and veteran generals and launched various conspiracies with the help of their surrogates to stymie the popular resistance but, all that notwithstanding, we can make a cursory comparison regarding the achievements of both sides of the wars on this occasion of the ninth anniversary of the Americans invasion of Afghanistan as under:

1. All American rulers including Obama are disappointed of the results of the war in Afghanistan.

2. Internal differences have arisen among the rulers of the White House regarding the poor results of the failed Afghanistan war.

3. A number of coalition countries have pulled out of the military mission in Afghanistan because of the prolongation of the failed nine-year long war and the emergence of the atmosphere of lack of confidence.

4. All Americans and NATO military strategies have failed in face of the resistance of the Mujahideen.

Last but not least, the American arrogance and reputation plummeted at world level in view of the fact that the highly-trained American and NATO forces failed to wipe out the resistance of the empty-handed Afghan Mujahideen. Similarly, the American economy faced unprecedented melt-down.

Now the Achievement of the Mujahideen:

1. Mujahideen have control over 75% of land in Afghanistan according to the admission made by the Americans.

2. Mujahideen are able to target all American military bases, ranging from the gates of the presidential place to the Bagram military Base, to Kandahar and Nangarhar airports etc.

3. The public of the world, particularly the people of Afghanistan, have enhanced their support to the current Islamic resistance against the invaders.

4. Mujahideen now control all high ways of the country.

5. Mujahideen have obtained (new) military experiences and capability in killing and wiping out the American invaders.

On the basis of the above comparative statement, now every one can predict the Americans and their allies chance of success in Afghanistan. Only the confused rulers of the White House, due to their arrogance and stubbornness, are bent on continuing the occupation of Afghanistan and adding to the sufferings of the miserable Afghans.

Considering defense of the territorial integrity of the Islamic country and Jihad against the invading Americans as an Islamic obligation, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan advises the confused American rulers: come to yourselves and have mercy on your people by immediately pulling out of Afghanistan. The Mujahid Afghans consider every sacrifice including martyrdom at the strongholds of Jihad and defense as a pride, even now after nine years of continuous Jihad and resistance. However, the American people will not have the patience to see corpses of their dead soldiers who have lost their lives for the protection of the personal interests of the American capitalists.

"Those who have done wrong, will soon know how ( bad) come-back they will have (at the doomsday)" Al-Quran.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

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« Reply #92 on: October 08, 2010, 06:21:25 am »

Published on Thursday, October 7, 2010 by

The Long War: Year Ten

Lost in the Desert with the GPS on the Fritz

by Andrew J. Bacevich

In January 1863, President Abraham Lincoln’s charge to a newly-appointed commanding general was simplicity itself: “give us victories.”  President Barack Obama’s tacit charge to his generals amounts to this: give us conditions permitting a dignified withdrawal.  A pithy quote in Bob Woodward’s new book captures the essence of an emerging Obama Doctrine: “hand it off and get out.”

Getting into a war is generally a piece of cake.  Getting out tends to be another matter altogether -- especially when the commander-in-chief and his commanders in the field disagree on the advisability of doing so.

Happy Anniversary, America.  Nine years ago today -- on October 7, 2001 -- a series of U.S. air strikes against targets across Afghanistan launched the opening campaign of what has since become the nation’s longest war.  Three thousand two hundred and eighty five days later the fight to determine Afghanistan’s future continues.  At least in part, “Operation Enduring Freedom” has lived up to its name:  it has certainly proven to be enduring.

As the conflict formerly known as the Global War on Terror enters its tenth year, Americans are entitled to pose this question: When, where, and how will the war end?  Bluntly, are we almost there yet?

Of course, with the passage of time, where “there” is has become increasingly difficult to discern.  Baghdad turned out not to be Berlin and Kandahar is surely not Tokyo.  Don’t look for CNN to be televising a surrender ceremony anytime soon.

This much we know: an enterprise that began in Afghanistan but soon after focused on Iraq has now shifted back -- again -- to Afghanistan.  Whether the swings of this pendulum signify progress toward some final objective is anyone’s guess.

To measure progress during wartime, Americans once employed pins and maps.  Plotting the conflict triggered by 9/11 will no doubt improve your knowledge of world geography, but it won’t tell you anything about where this war is headed.

Where, then, have nine years of fighting left us?  Chastened, but not necessarily enlightened.

 [1]Just over a decade ago, the now-forgotten Kosovo campaign seemingly offered a template for a new American way of war.  It was a decision gained without suffering a single American fatality.  Kosovo turned out, however, to be a one-off event.  No doubt the United States military was then (and remains today) unbeatable in traditional terms.  Yet, after 9/11, Washington committed that military to an endeavor that it manifestly cannot win.

Rather than probing the implications of this fact -- relying on the force of arms to eliminate terrorism is a fool’s errand -- two administrations have doggedly prolonged the war even as they quietly ratcheted down expectations of what it might accomplish.

In officially ending the U.S. combat role in Iraq earlier this year -- a happy day if there ever was one -- President Obama refrained from proclaiming “mission accomplished.”  As well he might: as U.S. troops depart Iraq, insurgents remain active and in the field.  Instead of declaring victory, the president simply urged Americans to turn the page.  With remarkable alacrity, most of us seem to have complied.

Perhaps more surprisingly, today’s military leaders have themselves abandoned the notion that winning battles wins wars, once the very foundation of their profession.  Warriors of an earlier day insisted: “There is no substitute for victory.”  Warriors in the Age of David Petraeus embrace an altogether different motto: “There is no military solution.”

Here is Brigadier General H. R. McMaster, one of the Army’s rising stars, summarizing the latest in advanced military thinking:  “Simply fighting and winning a series of interconnected battles in a well developed campaign does not automatically deliver the achievement of war aims.”  Winning as such is out.  Persevering is in. 

So an officer corps once intent above all on avoiding protracted wars now specializes in quagmires.  Campaigns don’t really end.  At best, they peter out.

Formerly trained to kill people and break things, American soldiers now attend to winning hearts and minds, while moonlighting in assassination.  The politically correct term for this is "counterinsurgency."

Now, assigning combat soldiers the task of nation-building in, say, Mesopotamia is akin to hiring a crew of lumberjacks to build a house in suburbia.  What astonishes is not that the result falls short of perfection, but that any part of the job gets done at all.

Yet by simultaneously adopting the practice of “targeted killing,” the home builders do double-duty as home wreckers.  For American assassins, the weapon of choice is not the sniper rifle or the shiv, but missile-carrying pilotless aircraft controlled from bases in Nevada and elsewhere thousands of miles from the battlefield -- the ultimate expression of an American desire to wage war without getting our hands dirty.   

In practice, however, killing the guilty from afar not infrequently entails killing innocents as well.  So actions undertaken to deplete the ranks of jihadists as far afield as Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia unwittingly ensure the recruitment of replacements, guaranteeing a never-ending supply of hardened hearts to soften.

No wonder the campaigns launched since 9/11 drag on and on.  General Petraeus himself has spelled out the implications: “This is the kind of fight we're in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids' lives.”  Obama may want to “get out.”  His generals are inclined to stay the course.

Taking longer to achieve less than we initially intended is also costing far more than anyone ever imagined.  Back in 2003, White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey suggested that invading Iraq might run up a tab of as much as $200 billion -- a seemingly astronomical sum.  Although Lindsey soon found himself out of a job as a result, he turned out to be a piker.  The bill for our post-9/11 wars already exceeds a trillion dollars, all of it piled atop our mushrooming national debt.  Helped in no small measure by Obama's war policies, the meter is still running.

So are we almost there yet?  Not even.  The truth is we’re lost in the desert, careening down an unmarked road, odometer busted, GPS on the fritz, and fuel gauge hovering just above E.  Washington can only hope that the American people, napping in the backseat, won’t notice.

Copyright 2010 Andrew J. Bacevich
Andrew J. Bacevich is professor of history and international relations at Boston University.  His bestselling new book is Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War [1].  To catch Bacevich discussing how the U.S. military became specialists in quagmires in a Timothy MacBain TomCast audio interview click here [2] or, to download it to your iPod, here [3].


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« Reply #93 on: October 13, 2010, 12:10:29 pm »

In Afghanistan, the Handwriting Is on the Wall

by John Prados
Senior Fellow, National Security Archive
Posted: October 11, 2010 07:05 PM

Thank God the Pakistanis have reopened the Khyber Pass to the trucks that carry United States and NATO supplies from Indian Ocean ports to Afghanistan. The Pakistani border closure, which took place in response to an American air strike in the border area that killed a couple of Pakistani soldiers, was lifted after eleven days, following a series of private but official U.S. apologies. For the short term, General David Petraeus gets his supply flow restored. But this incident was no momentary inconvenience. Rather, it is an ominous warning: evidence, if any were needed, of the very thin base of support among the nations vital to sustain the American effort in Afghanistan. When the true volatility of this situation is revealed, the U.S. and NATO war effort will be plunged into a crisis of unprecedented proportion.

The difficulties of war -- any war -- in Afghanistan are immutable and rooted in physical reality. These problems dogged Soviet armies in the 20th Century and British ones in the 19th. They are more deeply embedded in the fabric of the situation than the headaches of Afghan politics, the divergent goals of the Karzai government, rampant corruption, military ineffectiveness, Taliban determination, or the features of a harsh land. Intractable as those things may be, and any one of them could lead to stalemate or defeat in the Afghan war, geography is an equal or larger problem because it limits every facet of American and allied activity -- not only the geography of Afghanistan, but the simple fact that the country has no access to the sea. Afghans live in a landlocked nation nestled in the remote fastness of South Asia.

Every bullet, every artillery shell, all the combat vehicles and helicopters, every MRE, must be brought into the country. The combat zone is not merely thousands of miles away from the United States, it can be accessed only by crossing other countries: Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, or Tajikistan. (China also shares a short length of border with Afghanistan but there are no transportation routes there, and Iran, hostile to the U.S., can be excluded.) More to the point, there are but a few road entries into Afghanistan. Similarly, the number of airports in the country that can handle large, long-haul transport aircraft can be counted on the fingers of one hand -- and those too are accessed only by flying over other nations' airspace.

At the other end of the equation, modern armies and sophisticated equipment consume huge quantities of everything from peanut butter to electric batteries. All that body armor and those computer consoles, not to mention shells and rockets, adds up to great weight and volume. Many posts can be reached only by helicopter. Aviation fuel is at a premium, gasoline an equally daunting necessity -- not just for vehicles but for the electric generators that power American bases. Requirements in fact rule out certain kinds of equipment -- few Abrams tanks are in the theater, for example -- vehicles that measure gas consumption in gallons per mile. Concerned about the price of gas for your car? It costs $400 to put one gallon of gas on the ground in certain places in Afghanistan. In 2009, according to Pentagon estimates, allied forces were consuming over half a million gallons of gasoline per day, a figure that nearly doubled before the new "surge" troops began reaching the country. During the Vietnam war the Pentagon calculated that every soldier in-country represented $7,000 in the war budget. For Afghanistan that figure is $1,000,000.

For years, American logistics experts have been wrestling with this conundrum. They have developed a northern route that accounts for slightly less than a third of deliveries to Afghanistan. There are road connections from Turkmenistan, road and rail through Uzbekistan, and air links that depend on Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Of course, goods have to reach the front line countries before they can be transshipped. Those nations have their own economies and needs -- restricting spare capacity -- and the inadequacy of the links into Afghanistan poses another constraint. For example, the sole rail line into the combat zone tops out at 4,000 tons per month of capacity, less than 5 percent of the U.S./NATO requirements before they began to increase in early 2009. At that time, approximately 16,000 tons per month were being delivered by air. Contracts have been let for new rail tracks and more airbases in Afghanistan but the earliest these can be finished is late in 2011. The Pakistani road network accounts for half of logistics throughput. Capacity there cannot be much expanded because the roads enter Afghanistan through difficult mountain passes. Given physical upper limits on transport, tonnage requirements constrain the size of any force that can be sustained in Afghanistan. The troop surge will nearly double NATO tonnage requirements. Thus its net effect will be to put GIs in Afghanistan at the very edge of a red zone of supply failure.

Diplomats naturally had to negotiate deals with the front line countries to permit transit of supplies. Most of those averaged a year in preparation. The arrangements with the "stans" largely restrict transit to non-lethal items. That is also true for air overflight rights, and transport of U.S. supplies across intervening nations like Russia, Georgia, Kazakstan, and Azerbaijan. Pakistan then assumes even greater importance because it has countenanced all manner of deliveries. But the truth is that the United States and its allies are at the mercy of a host of uninvolved nations with their own interests--and a major involved one (Pakistan) that has certain purposes which conflict with the American. Already Kyrgyzstan has terminated an American contract for a key airbase on the supply line, relenting only at the price of new aid offers. Others can play at that game too. And the Pakistani road closure demonstrates just how fragile is this support network.

And then there is the opposition. The Taliban have taken to raising a portion of their war budget by charging "safe passage" fees to the truckers who carry American loads through Pakistan. Or the truckers can hire warlord armies--"private contractors"--(some of whom are Taliban or fellow travelers) to guard their convoys. No pay, no play. Taliban attacks regularly destroy a portion of the trucks on the routes north from Karachi. In a major strike on the logistics net, at the end of 2009 the Taliban wrecked 160 of these trucks--only a few more than were destroyed during the period of road closure just ended. The scope for corruption is virtually unlimited, but imagine the ignominy of the United States paying the Taliban to secure the delivery of supplies, money that fuels the fight against GIs who use those supplies to attack the Taliban.

Decades ago, during the transition to John F. Kennedy's presidency, the United States stood at the brink of military intervention in Laos, a landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Outgoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower took Kennedy aside and told him quite directly that Laos was the biggest conflict on his plate. President Kennedy, who could not see any way to conduct war in Laos, instead encouraged negotiations and became a proponent of agreements reached at Geneva in 1962 that neutralized Laos.

An even more disturbing parallel is that of the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842), which bears many similarities to present circumstances. A British army entered Afghanistan from India and installed a friendly ruler in Kabul, only to be sucked into the political and security commitments required to prop up their puppet. When Afghans rose up against the imposed ruler, the British decided to withdraw from the country. At that point, the inability to supply their forces and the harsh land worked against the British-Indian army, which was almost entirely massacred before they could escape.

In the American military, the saw is that captains and majors study tactics, colonels do strategy, and generals plan logistics. But in Afghanistan, American generals have created a logistics nightmare incapable of solution, and then compounded the dilemma by demanding a surge that pushes the deployed force to the very edge of the abyss. Every indication is that the generals are already laying the groundwork to demand that deteriorating security necessitates that the Afghan withdrawal set for 2011 be cancelled or postponed. The Bush administration was happy to start the Afghan war, then sat complacently as the commitment soured. President Obama trapped himself on this dangerous path. To the recklessness of starting the Afghan war, we are in danger of adding the stupidity of not ending it. This conflict has reached the point where the failure modes are many and obvious, and the path to success obscure, under conditions where Americans are at risk. The handwriting is on the wall. To proceed further under these circumstances is to march into folly.

John Prados is a senior fellow of the National Security Archive in Washington, DC, who assists on its Afghanistan Documentation Project. His current book is Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945-1975 (University Press of Kansas).

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« Reply #94 on: October 14, 2010, 07:17:50 am »

Afghan resistance statement Regarding the Baseless claims and futile Propaganda

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Statement of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Regarding the Baseless claims and futile Propaganda

Zul Qadah 04, 1431 A.H, Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

A few days ago, Washington Post made a claim on the basis of unauthenticated and unfounded report that some high-ranking officials of the Islamic Emirate, consisting of 15 persons, held secret talks with the Kabul regime on the instruction of the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Following that, some Afghan and world media outlets reported that talks between the delegation of the Islamic Emirate and the officials of the Kabul regime were in progress in Serena Hotel in the capital Kabul.

Last Monday, the Head of the Kabul puppet regime, Hamid Karzai, in an interview with the American TV network, CNN, repeated the said futile rumors, saying he had held talks with the delegations of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan for the past few months and that the process was still continuing.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as in the past, refutes these futile claims and baseless propaganda and believes that it is a part and parcel of a regular psychological warfare of the enemy. The Islamic Emirate wants to make it clear once again that such propaganda is usually projected and circulated by media outlets. Practically, the enemy has never contacted the leaders of the Islamic Emirate, let a lone holding any kind of talks with them. Nor any effort has been made by the enemy directly or indirectly to initiate contacts with the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan assures the Muslim and Mujahid people of Afghanistan and all the Ummah that the Islamic Emirate will not accept any kind of negotiation or ceasefire with the invading enemy until and unless the invaders have not pulled out of Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate has always explained its unwavering stance regarding the negotiation and versus the futile and hackneyed propaganda of the Americans and their surrogates.

If the talks have really taken place, then you should produce evidence to prove the participation of the delegates of the Islamic Emirate in the negotiation. But if you think that a minuscule numbers of former officials of the Islamic Emirate who have already surrendered to you, are the representatives of the Islamic Emirate or those who were at first detained by you and now are living in Kabul under surveillance are representatives of the Islamic Emirate and you usually present them for such purpose in public gatherings, then you should know that they are not the representatives of the Islamic Emirate nor the Islamic Emirate has given them permission to participate in these meetings or are authorized to represent the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

We urge the Mujahid people of Afghanistan and the Mujahideen, the vanguards of the strongholds of Truth, that you should have trust in your leadership and assure you that your leadership will not allow any one to trade on your blood and sacrifices by reaching any clandestine deal (with the enemy).

Similarly, the Islamic Emirate once again announces its posturing regarding the peace council constituted by the enemy. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes it is a contemplated endeavor by the enemy to distract attentions from the Afghan issue and mislead the opinions of the public because the Afghans and the public of the world have already shown their negative reactions and mistrust against the said maneuvering of the enemy.

We would like to make it clear that the stance of the Islamic Emirate is unequivocal and final regarding the negotiation—that is, holding negotiation with the enemy in conditions of their military presence in Afghanistan, is a waste of time. It is not only harmful for achievement of the goal of independence of Afghanistan and establishment of a true Islamic government but gives legitimacy to the current (military) occupation of Afghanistan, thus it is a historical disloyalty with the Mujahid people of Afghanistan and the beloved country.

If the foreign invaders and their local surrogates really want to come out of this losing war; if they want to save their reputation and sleigh off the heavy economic burden from their shoulder, to put an end to the sufferings of the Afghans and end the war, then they should consider withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. If the enemy, on the one hand, practically insists on continuation of the war in the battle fields but, on the other hand, merely disseminates propaganda and contradictory claims, about high level talks, then it will only contribute first and foremost to the enemy’s already losing credibility and authenticity in the eyes of the Afghans and the people of the world. Nothing more than this, they will achieve.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

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« Reply #95 on: October 16, 2010, 09:38:34 am »

Afghan resistance statement

Reaction of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Regarding the
Security Council’s Decision to Extend the foreign invasion

Zul Qadah 05, 1431 A.H, Thursday, October 14, 2010

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

The UN Security Council has once again issued a resolution, extending the unjustified foreign invasion in the country for one more year as it allowed aggression against the miserable Afghanistan nine years ago, by interpreting and explaining anew, article 7 of the Charter of the United Nations.

Similarly, the UNSC has raised the issue of civilian casualties in Afghanistan in its recent statements and has put the blame on the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate in an effort to please Washington. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes, the resolutions and decisions of the Security Council are the main cause behind the current nine-years long tragedy and the flames of war in Afghanistan, therefore, the Islamic Emirate, as usual, condemns the recent decision of the Security Council.

The I.E. is of the opinion that the one-sided stand of UNSC is a great and unforgettable betrayal with the miserable people of Afghanistan. It is pity that the UNSC, as a universal body, adds fuel to the flames of war and gives legitimacy to the extension of the mission while it should have worked for world security and human prosperity.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan believes the UNSC's judgment about civilian casualties in Afghanistan is partial and biased.

The Islamic Emirate on its part and for elucidation of the matter, has called on all human rights organizations and entities to constitute a joint comprehensive team to carry out impartial survey in the whole country and declare the realties but unfortunately, the world’s organizations, particularly, the UNSC, instead of conducting investigation into the matter, passes decision that do not stand on facts. It seems the UNSC wants to distract the attention of the public of the world from the ground realities in Afghanistan by its resorting to blind judgments and accusations.

In our view, the UNSC, on the basis of its principles, should not contribute to the prolongation of war in Afghanistan by passing such decisions but should work for ending the war and occupation in the country by using its caliber. This will restore its lost credibility and meanwhile, save the Afghans from the fire of the unjustified and imposed war.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

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« Reply #96 on: October 18, 2010, 06:56:42 am »

Dirty War in Afghanistan

by Douglas Valentine

Parents and villagers with the bodies of eight boys between 12 and 17 years old killed in a night raid on the village of Ghazi Khan by US and Afghan government forces

October 17, 2010

On the morning of Dec. 30, 2009, I listened in disbelief as an NPR "terrorism" expert disingenuously explained how the suicide bombing that killed seven CIA employees in Afghanistan was especially hideous, because the CIA victims were spreading economic development and democracy through a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).

CIA Director Lou Panetta issued a statement saying, "Those who fell yesterday were far from home and close to the enemy, doing the hard work that must be done to protect our country from terrorism." President Obama likewise glorified the CIA officers, calling them "part of a long line of patriots who have made great sacrifices for their fellow citizens, and for our way of life."

On New Year’s Day, Washington Post staff writers Joby Warrick and Pamela Constable began to fill in some of the blanks that the initial propaganda had ignored. Warrick and Constable reported that the seven CIA officers were "at the heart of a covert program overseeing strikes by the agency's remote-controlled aircraft along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border."

In the past year, those strikes have killed more than 300 people (perhaps as many as 700) who are invariably described by the U.S. news media as suspected insurgents, or militants, or terrorists, or jihadists – or as collateral damage, people killed by accident. There is never any distinction made between Afghan nationalists fighting the U.S. occupation of their country and real terrorists who have inflicted intentional violence against civilians to achieve a political objective (the classic definition of terrorism).

Likewise, the U.S. news media describes the Dec. 30 attack on the CIA officers as "terrorism," although it doesn’t fit the definition since the CIA officers were engaged in military operations and thus represented a legitimate target under the law of war, certainly as much so as Taliban commanders far from the front lines.

One such commander, Jalaluddin Haggani, was said to have ordered the suicide attack from his base in North Waziristan in retaliation for drone strikes on his forces. Haggani, a former CIA ally during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, also has close ties to Pakistani intelligence. Curiously, the bomb used in the suicide attack has been linked to the Pakistani intelligence service. It is unclear, however, if Haggani arranged for the bomb to be delivered to suicide bomber Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, the Jordanian agent whom the CIA summoned in the belief that he had information as to the whereabouts of a top Al Qaeda official.

What is clear is that Al-Balawi sacrificed his life to help to drive Americans from Islamic nations like Afghanistan, where they cause so much death and misery. The mainstream media describes people like Al-Balawi as irrational "jihadists" with no appreciation for the fact that Americans are merely "defending" their "interests" in the region.

In the broadest sense, Al-Balawi’s suicide attack was retaliation for the murder of thousands of innocent Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, including ten civilians in Ghazi Khan Village in Narang district of the eastern Afghan province of Kunar. The ten civilians were executed during a midnight raid on Dec 27 by what NATO called "non-military" (meaning CIA) American commandos.

CIA commandos, often Green Berets and Navy SEALs hired into the CIA’s Special Activities Division, do not wear uniforms in violation of international rules of land warfare. Instead they grow long beards and wear traditional Afghan garb and appear to be civilians. During the post-9/11 "global war on terror," these teams have engaged in widespread kidnappings and executions.

CIA commandos are "America’s Einsatzgruppen", similar to the notorious Nazi death squads that hunted and terrorized partisans in the Russian countryside in World War Two. Other CIA commandos function like the Gestapo, terrorizing the resistance cells in urban areas. In both cases, their mission is to terrorize the civilian population into submission.

CIA Terrorism

NATO spokesmen initially labeled the ten victims in Ghazi Khan as "insurgents" belonging to a "terrorist" cell that manufactured improvised explosive devices used to kill occupation troops and civilians. But later reports from Afghan government investigators and townspeople identified the dead as civilians, including eight students, aged 11 to 17, enrolled in local schools. All but one of the dead came from the same family.

According to a Dec. 31 article published by the Times of London, the CIA death squad flew by helicopter from Kabul, landing about two kilometers from the village. The commandos snuck up to the residence, taking the inhabitants by surprise as they slept. The commandos entered the first room and shot two of their victims – a guest and a student – then entered the second room and handcuffed seven other students, whom they executed in cold blood. When the farmer with whom the students were staying heard the shooting and came outside, the commandos killed him too.

Protests over the killings erupted throughout Kunar Province, where the deaths occurred, as well as in Kabul. Hundreds of protesters demanded that American occupation forces leave the country, and that the murderers be brought to justice.

A NATO spokesman claimed there was "no direct evidence to substantiate" the claims of premeditated murder. And yet, the record of American forces engaging the first degree murder of unarmed people in Afghanistan and Iraq is a long one, with testimony about premeditated executions even emerging in U.S. military disciplinary hearings.

These types of "unilateral" (done without informing any Afghan nationals) CIA "covert actions" are increasing in frequency with Obama’s surge of 30,000 additional U.S. troops into Afghanistan. Of course, this ratcheting up of the cycle of violence will only incite more and more revenge killings. Indeed, the CIA immediately vowed to avenge the murder of its colleagues. Typically, a public statement of revenge such as this is an invocation of the notorious 100-to-one rule employed by the Nazis: anytime the partisans killed a member of the Gestapo or Einsatzgruppen, the Nazis killed 100 innocent civilians as punishment.

In the meantime, the surviving CIA personnel at Forward Operating Base Chapman have barricaded themselves inside their compound and are grilling the Afghan employees who were on duty at the time of the Dec. 30 bomb attack. Afghans who worked with the CIA on the outside are locked out.

Given their elevated status and class prerogatives, CIA officers do not perform menial tasks, and every chauffeur, maid, and vendor will now be seen as a potential "double agent." This apprehension will spread (as the suicide bomber and his masters intended) from the bottom to the top: Afghan officials in the US-backed government knew little about unilateral CIA operations at FOW Chapman to begin with, but now, as mutual mistrust reaches unprecedented levels, they will have less input and the war will enter a bloodier phase reminiscent of the pacification of Iraq.

The Face of Terrorism – Provincial Reconstruction Teams

The events of the past week are instructive in explaining how CIA covert operations are conducted in concert with the U.S. news media.

Few Americans were aware that FOB Chapman was a CIA base camp. The local Afghans, however, were well aware of this fact. They also knew that the CIA used the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) based at Chapman as a means of gathering – from informants, secret agents, and field interrogations – intelligence upon which to coordinate super-sophisticated drone attacks and crude paramilitary operations.

Composed of Afghan and US forces, the PRTs have been a foundation stone of the CIA’s secret government in Afghanistan since they were instituted in 2002 under the imprimatur of Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzadin. As with all the entities the CIA has created in Afghanistan, the PRTs are entirely funded by the CIA, and staffed with collaborators under CIA control.

Naturally, the suicide bombing has cast doubt on the integrity of the intelligence the PRTs produce for the CIA. Agents of the resistance have infiltrated the program and the PRTs are certainly going through an internal review. But they will not be abandoned, and so it is instructive to know how they are organized and how they operate.

The PRTs provide CIA agents – usually Afghans working in the PRTs – with a covert way to recruit and meet sub-agents (informants) in the field. CIA "officers" run "agents" in the field and these Afghan agents in turn run "sub-agents" – people in villages like Ghazi who spy on other people in the villages.

The CIA managers of the PRTs also rely on interpreters, as well as Afghan "counter-parts" in the secret police and military to determine if the intelligence given about "suspects" in a particular village is reliable. This leap of faith carries considerable risk. If a sub-agent in a village or an agent in the PRT is a double, a CIA death squad can easily be misdirected against innocent civilians. Likewise, a drone strike could be directed against an enemy of Jalaluddin Haggani’s within the resistance.

The PRT "counter-terror" mission is to identify members of the resistance. The sub-agent tells the PRT agent where the suspect lives in the village, how many people are in his house, where they sleep, and when they enter and leave the house. He also provides a picture, if possible. Other times a PRT agent will attempt to blackmail the suspect into becoming an informant, if there is reason to believe that is possible.

The PRT also has a "foreign intelligence" mission, which involves collecting intelligence on Taliban leaders and their Al Qaeda contacts in foreign nations, like Pakistan.

Obviously, al Qaeda and the Afghan resistance are aware of the CIA’s activities, and this fact casts suspicion on the CIA’s interpreters and counter-parts in the Afghan police and military. All of this puts increasing pressure on the CIA to separate itself entirely from the untrustworthy, ungrateful Afghans it has come to liberate.

The CIA’s Provincial Reconstruction Teams are at the center of this dilemma. Although it bills the PRTs as a means of spreading economic development and democracy, the CIA is not a social welfare program: its job is gathering intelligence and using it to capture, kill or turn the enemy into agents. The PRTs are a means to achieve these goals – but only as long as the CIA can plausibly deny that it does so. Thus, the two main purposes of PRTs are 1) maintaining the fiction that the US is a force for positive change and 2) providing the CIA with cover for its dirty business.

As the CIA tightens its security measures, and as the Obama administration moves to reactivate some of the most brutal and corrupt warlords who fought the Soviets in the 1980s, the PRTs and their "community defense forces" will become increasingly reliant on criminals and sociopaths – agents who have no compunctions about pursuing unilateral CIA policies and goals that are antithetical to Afghanistan’s national interests. And that spells trouble for the CIA.

The Origins of PRTs in Vietnam

Much of this bloody strategy was tested during the Vietnam War. In the early 1960s in South Vietnam, the CIA’s Covert Action Branch developed the programs that would, in 1965, be grouped within its Revolutionary Development Cadre program. The standard Revolutionary Development Team was composed of North Vietnamese defectors and South Vietnamese collaborators advised by U.S. military and civilian personnel under the management of the CIA.

The original model, known as a Political Action Team, was developed by CIA officer Frank Scotton. The original PAT consisted of 40 men: as Scotton told me, "That's three teams of twelve men each, strictly armed. The control element was four men: a commander and his deputy, a morale officer, and a radioman."

"These are commando teams," Scotton stressed, "displacement teams. The idea was to go into contested areas and spend a few nights. But it was a local responsibility so they had to do it on their own."

"Two functions split out of this," Scotton added. First was pacification. Second was counter-terror. As Scotton noted, "The PRU thing directly evolves from this."

The PRU, for Provincial Reconnaissance Unit, was the name given in 1966 to the CIA’s "counter-terror" teams, which had generated a ton of negative publicity in 1965 when Ohio Sen. Stephen Young charged that they disguised themselves as Vietcong and discredited the Communists by committing atrocities, including murder, **** and mutilation.

Notably, propagandists like Mark Moyar, a professor of national security affairs at the Marine Corps University, advocate for the expansion of PRU-style counter-terror teams in Afghanistan. [See’s "A Bad Vietnam Lesson for Afghanistan."]

Staffing is a crucial element of this "political action" strategy, and to this end Scotton developed a "motivational indoctrination" program, which is certainly used today in some form in Afghanistan and Iraq. Scotton’s motivational indoctrination program was modeled on Communist techniques, and the process began on a confessional basis.

"On the first day," according to Scotton, "everyone would fill out a form and write an essay on why they had joined." The team’s morale officer "would study their answers and explain the next day why they were involved in a special unit. The instructors would lead them to stand up and talk about themselves." The morale officer's job, he said, "was to keep people honest and have them admit mistakes."

Not only did Scotton co-opt Communist motivational techniques, but he also relied on Communist defectors as his cadre. "They could communicate doctrine, and they were people who would shoot," he explained, adding, "It wasn't necessary for everyone in the unit to be ex-Vietminh, just the leadership."

Indeed, the Vietnamese officer in charge of Scotton's PAT program, Major Nguyen Be, had been party secretary for the Ninth Vietcong Battalion before switching sides.

In 1965, Scotton was transferred to another job, and Major Be, with his new CIA advisor, Harry "The Hat" Monk, combined CIA "mobile" Census Grievance cadre, PATs, and Counter-Terror Teams into the standard 59-man Revolutionary Development (RD) team.

Census Grievance Teams were the primary way RD agents contacted sub-agents in the villages – by setting up a portable shack in which civilians could privately complain about the government. The PRTs very likely have this Census Grievance element in their intelligence unit.

Major Be's 59-man Revolutionary Development teams were called Purple People Eaters by American soldiers, in reference to their clothes and terror tactics. To the rural Vietnamese, the RD teams were simply "idiot birds."

In mid-1965 the RD Cadre Program was officially launched and teams were sent across South Vietnam. With standardization and expansion came the need for more advisers, so Thomas Donohue, the CIA officer in charge of Covert Action in South Vietnam, began recruiting military men. Most came from US Special Forces, though the regular army, navy and marines also provide support personnel as "detailees" to the CIA.

"We got to the point," Donohue told me, "where the CIA was running a political program in a sovereign country where they didn't know what the hell we were teaching. But what kind of program could it be that had only one sponsor, the CIA, that says it was doing good? It had to be sinister. Any red-blooded American could understand that. What the hell is the CIA doing running a program on political action?

"So I went out to try to get some cosponsors for the record. They weren't easy to come by. I went to [USIS chief] Barry Zorthian. I said, `Barry, how about giving us someone?' I talked to MACV about getting an officer assigned. I had AID give me a guy."

But all of it, Donohue said, "was window dressing. We [the CIA] had the funds; we had the logistics; we had the transportation."

The same can undoubtedly be said for the PRTs in Afghanistan and Iraq.

PRTs in Iraq

The CIA’s RD Cadre program in Vietnam has been cloned into the Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan and Iraq. The PRT program started in Afghanistan in 2002 and migrated to Iraq in 2004.

PRTs consist of anywhere between 50 and 100 civilian and military specialists. The standard PRT has a military police unit, a psychological operations unit, an explosive ordinance-demining unit, an intelligence team, medics, a force protection unit, and administrative and support personnel.

Like Scotton’s teams in South Vietnam, they conduct terror, political, and psychological operations, under cover of fostering economic development and democracy. Long ago the American people grew weary of the heavily censored but universally bad news they got about Iraq, and are now quiet happy to believe that PRTs have put Iraq back on its feet. Americans are quite happy to forget about the devastation they wrought.

But few Iraqis are fooled by the "war as economic development" shell game, or by the deceitful standards the US government uses to measure the success of its PRT program.

In his correspondence with reporter Dahr Jamail, one Iraqi political analyst from Fallujah (a neighborhood that was destroyed in order to save it) put it succinctly when he said: "In a country that used to feed much of Arab world, starvation is the norm."

According to another of Jamail’s correspondents, Iraqis "are largely mute witnesses. Americans may argue among themselves about just how much "success" or "progress" there really is in post-surge Iraq, but it is almost invariably an argument in which Iraqis are but stick figures – or dead bodies."

In a publication titled "Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience," the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction describes its mission as the largest overseas rebuilding effort in U.S. history.

In some places in Iraq unemployment is at 40–60 percent. Repairing war damage was the policy goal, but little connection was made between how the rebuilding would – or even could – bring about a democratic transition. As in Iraq, the PRTs in Afghanistan are a gimmick to make Americans feel good about the oppressive occupations conducted for their benefit. The supposed successes of the PRTs are cloaked in double-speak and meaningless statistics.

After all, achieving statistical progress is not hard in nations whose infrastructures were destroyed by invasion and occupation, and where entire neighborhoods have been leveled in the name of security. The hard truth is that the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq always have been less about combating Islamic "terrorism" and "protecting the homeland" than about projecting the dark side of the American collective psyche.

Protecting the People from the Knowledge of CIA Terrorism

Protecting Americans from any knowledge of the horror their government inflicts, is the job of the mainstream media. Its propagandists will not tell you that the CIA has a policy of targeting civilians for recruitment as agents and informants, or that it intentionally detains, without charge, and interrogates civilians as a means of coercing information from them about the Islamic resistance to American aggression. Civilians are knowingly killed and maimed in drone attacks, as well as raids by CIA commandos, as a means of terrorizing the people from associating in any way with the resistance.

It is the job of mainstream propagandists to disguise this policy and characterize these civilians as either members of the enemy infrastructure, or jihadists, and thus legitimate military targets.

Another thing you will not read about is the accommodation that normally exists between the opposing elites in any war. This accommodation exists in the twilight zone between reality and imagination, in the fog of war. It is why officers are separated from enlisted men in POW camps and given better treatment. It is why officers of opposing armies have more in common with one another than they have with their own enlisted men.

Officers are trained to think of the lower ranks as canon fodder. Officers know when they send a unit up a hill, some men will be killed. That is why they do not fraternize with the lower ranks. This class distinction exists across the world, and is the basis of the accommodation. It is why the Bush family flew the bin Laden family, and other Saudi Royals, out of the United States in the days after 9-11. If anyone was a case officer to the 9-11 bombers, or had knowledge about the bombers or any follow-up plots, it was these "protected" people.

CIA officers too are among the Protected Few. Blessed with false identities and bodyguards, they fly in private planes, live in villas, eat fancy food and enjoy state-of-the-art technology. CIA officers tell army generals what to do. They direct Congressional committees. They assassinate heads of state and innocent children with equal impunity and indifference.

In Afghanistan they manage the drug trade from their hammocks in the shade. They know the Taliban tax the farmers growing the opium, and they know that Karzai’s warlords convert the opium into heroin and fly it to the Russian mob. They are amused by the antics of earnest DEA agents, who, in their patriotic bliss, cannot believe such an accommodation exists.

CIA officers are trained to exist in this moral netherworld, for the simple reason that the CIA in every conflict has a paramount need to keep secure communication channels open to the enemy. The CIA, as part of its mandate, is authorized to negotiate with the enemy, but it can only do so as long as the channel is secure and deniable. The mainstream media makes sure that no proof will ever exist, so the American public can be deceived.

But every once in a while, something disrupts the accommodation. Take Iran Contra, when President Reagan publicly vowed never to negotiate with terrorists, then secretly sent a team of spies to Tehran to sell missiles to the Iranians and use the money to buy guns for the drug dealing Contras.

There are stated and unstated policies, and the CIA exists to pursue the government’s unstated policy. And without an accommodation in Afghanistan, the CIA would not have a secure channel to the resistance to negotiate on simple matters like prisoner exchanges.

The exchange of British journalist Peter Moore for an Iraqi in CIA custody is an example of how the accommodation works in Iraq. Moore was held by a Shia group allegedly allied to Iran, and his freedom depended entirely on the CIA communicating secretly and in good faith with America’s enemies in the Iraq resistance. The details of such prisoner exchanges are never revealed by complicit assets in thee media, but the same channels of communication are used to discuss issues of strategic importance vital to any eventual reconciliation.

The Afghanis want reconciliation. Apart from US policy, Karzai and his clique at every level have filial relations with the resistance. And no matter how powerful the CIA and its doppelgangers in al Qaeda are, they cannot overcome that.

Ed Brady, an Army officer detailed to the CIA in Saigon in 1967 and 1968, explains how the accommodation worked in Vietnam.

While Brady and his Vietnamese counterpart Colonel Tan were lunching at a restaurant in Dalat, Tan pointed at a woman eating noodle soup and drinking Vietnamese coffee at the table next to them. He told Brady that she was the Viet Cong province chief’s wife. Brady, of course, wanted to grab her and use her for bait.

Coolly, Colonel Tan said to him: "You don’t understand. You don’t live the way we live. You don’t have any family here. You’re going to go home when this operation is over. You don’t think like you’re going to live here forever. But I have a home and a family and kids that go to school. I have a wife that has to go to market…. And you want me to go kill his wife? You want me to set a trap for him and kill him when he comes in to see his wife? If we do that, what are they going to do to our wives?"

"The VC didn’t run targeted operations against them either," Brady explains. "There were set rules that you played by. If you went out and conducted a military operation and you chased them down fair and square in the jungle and you had a fight, that was okay. If they ambushed you on the way back from a military operation, that was fair. But to conduct these clandestine police operations and really get at the heart of things, that was kind of immoral to them. That was not cricket. And the Vietnamese were very, very leery of upsetting that."

The CIA relies on such clandestine operations in Afghanistan, but only among working and middle class families, in an effort to rip apart the fabric of Afghan society, until the Afghan people accept American domination, through its ruling class. And that, ultimately, is why CIA officers were targeted. It has played a double game, violating the accommodation on the one hand, and exploiting it on the other.

The CIA is utterly predictable. As programmed, it will go on a killing spree until its vengeance is satisfied. But at the end of the day, the Afghan people will only hate the Americans more. And that spells defeat for the CIA and America.

Douglas Valentine [send him mail] is the author of four previously published books: The Hotel Tacloban (Lawrence Hill, 1984), The Phoenix Program, (William Morrow, 1990), TDY (, 2000), and The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America’s War on Drugs (Verso, 2004). His latest book is The Strength of the Pack (TrineDay, 2009). For more information about the author and his works, please visit his websites at and

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« Reply #97 on: October 18, 2010, 07:04:52 am »

The war on Afghanistan: a crime against humanity

Socialist Alliance

October 17, 2010

The following statement was released by the Socialist Alliance on October 8.

* * *

On October 17, 2001, the Liberal/National Coalition government of John Howard deployed Australian troops to Afghanistan, just nine days after the US had begun bombing one of the most poverty-stricken and war-weary nations on Earth.

The then newly-formed Socialist Alliance responded to this attack and its reputed catalyst, the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, by noting the US' hypocrisy and pledging to campaign against then president George W. Bush's "war without end".

"We are ready to play a part in mobilising the broadest possible opposition to any attempt by US policies and their global allies to use the tragedy as a pretext for military aggression", we said.

Since then, the Socialist Alliance has maintained its opposition to Australia's commitment to the US-NATO occupation of Afghanistan. We have continued to seek ways to build community opposition to this war and the Iraq war — an opening that could become greater when federal parliament starts its debate.

This October marks the 10th year since the US and its allies, including Australia, invaded Afghanistan. The bombing of the poorest country in the world by some of the richest is a crime against humanity. The real purpose of this crime is to further US power in the region.

Its initial legal justification has been called into question since the US and Britain’s use of United Nations Article 51 prevents any self-defence that continues after an attack.

Furthermore, the right of self-defence relates to attacks by other nation states, not criminal activity, such as terrorism.

Despite what Western leaders have claimed, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan did not sponsor the 9/11 attacks. The Al-Qaeda leadership was based in Afghanistan, but the terrorists who carried out the attacks (none of whom were Afghan) were residents of Germany and the US.

Recent reports even suggest the Taliban may have tried to warn of the 9/11 attacks and curtail the activities of Al-Qaeda.

Ironically, the US has engaged in state-sponsored terrorism against Afghanistan since the 1970s. Al-Qaeda is a US-created terrorist outfit that went rogue.

Afghanistan has been called "the graveyard of empires". In the past, insurgent groups in Afghanistan have defeated all invaders. The same will happen with the current war — the longest for Australia since Vietnam.

The Taliban is part of the blowback from the Russian war in Afghanistan. Even Hillary Clinton admits it was one of the jihadist groups, which, as ally, was "emboldened, trained and equipped" and not deemed a security risk to the US or its allies.

Taliban expansion will continue, often with complicity of the Afghan people as a result of their increasing disgust with the brutal and corrupt Kabul government, the rising civilian deaths from the US-led forces, particularly though air strikes, and their own dispossession and hopelessness.

Al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan does not pose as great a threat to the Afghan people as does the suffering caused by the occupiers, or the constant bombings by unmanned predator drones launched from bases in the US.

Al Qaeda has greatly reduced its numbers in Afghanistan. In a June interview on US ABC TV, CIA chief Leon Panetta said the number of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was "at most … 50-100".
Insurgent groups continue to form to fight the occupying armies’ support for the corrupt Hamid Karzai government, lawless warlords and their connection to the venal Pakistani Intelligence Agency. (See the Wikileaks Afghanistan War Diaries for more evidence of this.)

The brave Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan (RAWA) links the current rise in fundamentalism, lawlessness, poverty and **** directly to the occupation.

Besieged by extreme weather, in a country whose infrastructure has been smashed by conflict, many Afghan people have little chance of surviving past the age of 43.

Apologists for Australian troops remaining in Afghanistan claim they are there to "finish the job". This, apparently, means training the Afghan army and police so they can maintain the corrupt and drug-lord linked Karzai government, which was installed undemocratically by the US and allied invaders. This dubious "job" may never be finished.

The Karzai regime is protected by foreign troops and private mercenaries rather than by the ragged Afghan army or police. These forces are either the private warlord militias (in new uniforms) or people looking for some pay to feed their families. Many desert. Others shoot their "mentors".

Rosy views of Australia’s involvement as helping the Afghan people are now being challenged by the September decision to court-martial members of an Australian Special Operations Task Group for the murder of two adults and four children near the village of Sarmorghab in Oruzgan province in 2009.

Labor and the Coalition insist Australia's national security would be at stake if the troops were withdrawn. But Afghanistan has never threatened Australia.

However, protracted Western wars of aggression, occupation and terror against poor Muslim nations like Afghanistan will continue to provoke the level of resentment that can lead to terrorism by groups and individuals in many countries.

These wars are acts of sustained state terror, which are provoking individual acts terror of in response. This is why defence commentators admit the troop surge and endless war of occupation not only helps to destabilise Afghanistan and Pakistan, but are a threat to global security.

Life for Afghan women, whom supporters of the war claim to want to protect, continues to deteriorate in Taliban and non-Taliban areas. Karzai has made it legal for husbands to **** their wives, and recent reports indicate a rising number of attempts at self-immolation.

A September report by the World Health Organisation and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Trends in Maternal Mortality said that after nearly a decade of donor-funded health projects, there has been only a small reduction in maternal and child mortality.

Last year, UNICEF ranked Afghanistan the worst of 202 countries in terms of maternal, infant and child mortality.

We must force the Australian government to withdraw the troops. Sixty-one percent of Australians want them brought home. The views of most Australians should not be ignored for the sake of the US-Australia Alliance.

But Australia should not walk away from this war-ravaged country. The Gillard government must provide funding and aid to the people of Afghanistan (not the corrupt bureaucrats — Afghan or Western). War reparations would allow the Afghan people to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.

Australia must also open its doors to those Afghan refugees who want to come here. This is the least this country can do after having helped create mass dislocation and displacement.

Finally, politicians must stop politically manipulating this ongoing tragedy. The debate — which the ALP has been forced to have — must extend well beyond parliament. It will not be a debate if, as PM Julia Gillard wants, it is framed within a call for "support for the troops".

The purpose of framing the "debate" this way is to use blind and misplaced nationalist sentiment to silence any argument that exposes the Australian and other foreign military intervention in Afghanistan as the criminal and anti-people war that it really is.

It’s time for the silent majority to make their views known, and force an end to this bipartisan madness in which tens of thousands, if not more, have been killed for no good reason.

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« Reply #98 on: October 28, 2010, 05:55:56 am »

Afghan resistance: The untold reality of Kandahar Operation (Part 1)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

October 27, 2010

As all the readers of Alemarah website might know that a major enemy operation is taking place in Kandahar province which has been ongoing since the last one and a half month. Lately the enemy, through its biased media, claims to have ridded the surrounding districts of Mujahideen presence and also claims to have gained substantial ground against Mujahideen in the areas. Alemarah website has recently had the opportunity to interview the district commander of Dand district, Mullah Abdullah Mubarak and ask him questions regarding the untold reality of the situation.


Alemarah: Firstly could you tell us about the ongoing enemy operations in Dand district and why did they come about?

Mullah Abdullah Mubarak: Dand district is located at a very close proximity to Kandahar city and it has a large number of Mujahideen operating inside so the enemy became frightened that it might, just like Dand, lose the entire city to Mujahideen and hence started their preparatory operation firstly in this district in the month of Ramadan. The enemy soldiers entered Mahlajat, Chalghor, Nakhoni, Khanjakak, Zila Khan and Salawat area by helicopters and in huge numbers. Mujahideen, due to a tactical maneuver, did not want to engage them in normal battle but decided to use guerilla warfare in order to cause them maximum damage. We decided to mine all the main roads and when the enemy could not make any inroads, they decided to bulldoze local’s farms and fields so to gain at least some ground but that attempt also proved futile as they suffered massive casualties due to Mujahideen also mining those ways, ambushes and missile attacks. To put it bluntly, a day hasn’t passed so far that at least 4 to 10 blasts do not detonate on their patrols. Due to their immense suffering, the enemy decided to bomb the area randomly using cruise and other missiles from which civilians were killed, their houses and fields wrecked and many were forced to flee the district. After this criminal act, the enemy turned the local’s houses into their military barracks. So far the enemy has abandoned most of those barracks and in the areas which they do exist, they have neither come out nor can they due to heavily mined areas and Mujahideen waiting in ambushes. But even these bases are located in such places that providing of logistics will be a big problem in the future.

Alemarah: It is said that the civilians are the only ones who have been affected by this operation. Could you elaborate on this?

Mullah Abdullah Mubarak: Yes, to sum up the genocidal behavior of the enemy in one sentence, it would be that this kind of crime against civilians has not been done in the entire history. I swear by Allah that so far only 5 of our Mujahideen have been Martyred, 3 have been injured and none have been captured but the prison of Kandahar has been filled by civilians. I would like to summarize the crimes against civilians of Dand by giving a few examples:

1.       When the enemy came to Mahlajat in the morning, the blocked all the main roads and blind folded all those who came their way. Nearly all the locals of Dand have shops in the city where they sell fruits and vegetables so throughout the day the barbarians handcuffed and imprisoned around 300 civilians by the name of Taliban.

2.       A few days earlier, the American invaders besieged Ghra and Mahi Village located in Zila Khan area of Dand district. Most of the people had emigrated from these villages except 97 people which were village elders and children who had come to collect some o their belongings but even those were not spared as they were stripped naked, blind folded and then imprisoned. They were released 12 days after enduring many hardships.

3.       All their new barracks are built inside civilian houses and on their lands. They have bulldozed local’s lands, fields, farms and houses as they try to make inroads against Mujahideen. Some 500 homes and shops have been bulldozed due to this process in Nakhoni area alone. Similar crime has been carried out in Khanjakak, Chalghor and all the other areas. They recently blew up locals raisin houses in Chalghor. Nearly all incidents involve the demolition of homes with the owners belonging inside them.

Alemarah: The enemy says that they have killed and captured many Mujahideen, their leaders and many of their bases have been destroyed. How much of this is true?

Mullah Abdullah Mubarak: The American invaders decided that they would make check posts in very close proximity to the next one by destroying the homes and fields of civilians and that would rid Mujahideen from the area but did not realize that Mujahideen were going to use guerilla tactics. Now the enemy has barracks in various areas but don’t have control 50 meters beyond their posts and thus cannot come out. As for our casualties, only 5 of our Mujahideen have been Martyred and 3 wounded and none of our leaders have been either killed or captured.

Alemarah: How has this operation affected the Mujahideen and what do you say about the claims of Ahmad Wali Karzai that Mujahideen bases have been destroyed throughout Dand and Kandahar?

Mullah Abdullah Mubarak: I don’t know how Ahmad Wali can make such claims when in fact he cannot even peacefully sleep in his own house due to constant Mujahideen attacks on it. If he was really honest in his claims then he should just once, walk freely in Kandahar city let alone Dand and Panjwaee districts. All these claims are false. As for the number of our groups and bases, they have not decreased compared to spring and summer time. Due to the enemy operation we decreased the number of Mujahideen but now that the enemy has become tired and lost morale, those Mujahideen are coming back to carry out operations because their enemy numbers have become vast and much easier to target.

I want to congratulate the Afghan nation in particular for this victory of Mujahideen because we have not suffered any serious damage and the enemy has lost because they cannot sustain this large force for long especially that their newly built bases and barracks are becoming harder and harder to supply with logistics.

(to be continued)

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« Reply #99 on: October 29, 2010, 05:16:18 am »

South Asia
Oct 30, 2010


Taliban peace talks come to a halt

By Syed Saleem Shahzad

Efforts to begin a process of reconciliation with the Taliban have completely failed as Washington has refused to give any of the guarantees demanded by the Taliban as a prerequisite to sitting at the negotiation table, a Taliban representative has told Asia Times Online.

Should the breakdown prove permanent, the coming year promises to be a very tough one in Afghanistan as well as in Pakistan's tribal areas, home to militants and al-Qaeda.

The recent strategic dialogue between the United States and Pakistan that renewed a US$2 billion five-year security assistance package for the Pakistani army is aimed specifically at effectively fighting against al-Qaeda bases situated in the tribal areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The al-Qaeda response, Asia Times Online has learned, will be to activate sleeper cells around the world, orchestrated by a fresh team in place in border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Talks fall flat
The moves towards reconciliation with the Taliban began in late 2008. Saudi Arabia was named in the Western media as the main component of the process; it invited some former Taliban and Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan members for dinner during the annual hajj (pilgrimage).

This became the first regular process of indirect American and Taliban interaction, with messages conveyed through various third parties. Interestingly, this period saw the beginning of the US's stepped-up drone war against al-Qaeda's sanctuaries in the tribal areas, with almost daily missile strikes, especially in North Waziristan.

By this October, at least two dozen important al-Qaeda members had been killed, as well as a sizeable number of newly recruited and trained European nationals. Regional franchises of al-Qaeda, including the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban), also suffered losses, as did the Uzbek militia.

Extensive spy networks in the tribal areas ensured that the Americans fully understood the dynamics of al-Qaeda and the ground situation in North Waziristan. A case in point is Nasrullah Khan, a former member of the Laskhar-e-Taiba jihadi group who joined forces with Ilyas Kashmiri's al-Qaeda-linked 313 Brigade.

Before the beginning of the Commonwealth Games that ended on October 14 in Delhi, Khan had been selected to head a unit of the brigade to carry out an operation against the Games.

However, on September 20, he and five other men were killed in a drone attack in the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan. Khan had an extensive network of operatives in India and Indian-administered Kashmir and his death disrupted the ground operations in India to such an extent that no operation could be undertaken.

Similar drone missile attacks in September and October brought al-Qaeda's European operational branches in North Waziristan to a halt.

Even as death was raining from the skies in the tribal areas, the peace process with the Taliban was gathering pace, with fresh overtures in August. For the first time, all parties noted some flexibility in the Taliban's approach, and it appeared they would at least sit down for negotiations with the Americans or with the Afghan government. (See Taliban and US get down to talks Asia Times Online, September 11, 2010.)

The process drew on all international players to solicit the student militia to resolve the nearly 10-year conflict. (See Taliban soften as talks gain speed Asia Times Online, September 15, 2010.) To establish rapport with the Taliban and further the process of dialogue, the Taliban's commander in Afghanistan, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was released. (See Pakistan frees Taliban commander Asia Times Online, October 16, 2010.)

The US's top man in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, while saying that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would remain tough in Afghanistan against the Taliban, said the peace process was welcomed. He also disclosed that NATO had even gave safe passage to a senior Taliban commander to go to Kabul for talks - a hint over the release in Pakistan of Baradar.

Publicly, though, the Taliban did not acknowledge that talks were taking place. A recent handout read:
No Taliban official has spoken to the Americans or their puppet Afghan government ... those who were arrested [Baradar], those who changed their loyalties [former Taliban foreign minister Abdul Wakeel Muttawakil and Senator Arsala Rahmani] or those who are living under Afghan government surveillance [former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Zaeef] are not Taliban representatives. Their interaction does not have any meaning for the Taliban.
Due to the extraordinary surveillance against the Taliban, no senior leader would agreed to come forward to give the real Taliban side of the story; however, eventually a middle-cadre member was sent to meet with Asia Times Online, and he confirmed the public statement.

"The much-hyped reconciliation strategy was a trap and we never actually considered it as an option," the Taliban envoy - who had traveled from Kandahar in Afghanistan - said.

"The Americans never wanted reconciliation with the Taliban. They never approached us directly. If we were approached by third parties, like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or the UAE [United Arab Emirates], we did not consider it anything serious," the envoy said.

This did not fit with a general understanding that Naseeruddin Haqqani, the son of commander Jalaluddin Haqqani and brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani of the most powerful Taliban network, had been at the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad in September. Further, the embassy had arranged for him and his family to go on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. (Naseeruddin Haqqani had been arrested in 2009 by the Pakistani security forces and then released in exchange for Pakistani soldiers. The swap was brokered by now slain Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.)
I gave my understanding, "That was the real clandestine interaction of the Haqqani network with the American or the Afghan government through Saudi Arabia, not the contacts mentioned in the Western media."

I continued, challenging the envoy's version of events, "The fact of the matter is that the Taliban did show flexibility for talks, so I wonder why they abruptly failed?"

The Talib responded, "On the one hand they were offering an olive branch and from the another hand they were tightening the noose around us. We could see that the whole game of reconciliation was not aimed at offering us power, but on inflicting serious damage on us."

He explained, "On the one side they were looking to establish a channel of communication with the Haqqanis, yet now [in October] they are gathering troops in Khost [province in Afghanistan across the border from North Waziristan]. There has been extraordinary troop mobilization in Khost. For what?" he asked, then answered the question.

"Pressure is mounting on Pakistan to carry out a military operation in North Waziristan against the Haqqani network. It is clearly evident that they want to place the Haqqani network between a hammer and a hard rock [NATO forces in Khost and the Pakistan army in North Waziristan]."

The Talib concluded, "There is more. For the first time, we see extraordinary movement in Chaman [a border town in Pakistan's Balochistan province across from the Spin Boldak-Kandahar area in Afghanistan]. This makes us wonder what the reconciliation process is really all about. In this whole situation, Pakistan's role is central. If it takes NATO's side, the Taliban will have a tough time as we see a serious battle ahead behind this smokescreen of the reconciliation process."

Ali al-Shamsi, a special envoy of the UAE for Pakistan and Afghanistan and the main person who arranged high-profile Taliban meetings in Dubai at the US's behest to initiate the dialogue process, submitted his resignation this month. (Shamsi was the UAE's ambassador to Pakistan during Taliban rule in Afghanistan - 1996-2001.)

However, the UAE government requested him to continue his assignment until a peace conference in Dubai on Afghanistan scheduled for late next month. The conference is an initiative by the Afghan government.

Shamsi's move followed the Americans stating that Washington could not give any guarantees for meeting any conditions set by the Taliban in the leadup to dialogue and that it backed out of earlier promises. (See Taliban and US get down to talks Asia Times Online, September 11, 2010.)

Al-Qaeda, meanwhile, realizing all along that it is the US's main target, is regrouping after all the losses it has sustained.

Early this year, al-Qaeda finally had 16 of its members released by Iran. (See How Iran and al-Qaeda made a deal Asia Times Online, April 30, 2010. Prominent among them were Saad bin Laden (one of Osama bin Laden's sons), Saiful Adil, Suleman al-Gaith and Abu Hafs al-Mauritani.

They settled in the tribal areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, since they had spent almost eight years in detention in Iran, al-Qaeda kept them away from operations, they were not even allowed to attend shura (council) meetings.

In the face of al-Qaeda's losses, though, al-Qaeda decided to embrace them for operations. Saiful Adil is likely to be the new face of al-Qaeda in 2011, with operations emanating in Pakistan and spreading to Somalia, Yemen and Turkey to pitch operations in Europe and India.

As matters stand now, going into 2011, the Taliban will continue the struggle in Afghanistan with the help of al-Qaeda's new team, which in turn will also plan attacks in Europe and India.

Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at

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« Reply #100 on: October 29, 2010, 05:24:21 am »

Central Asia
Oct 30, 2010

Uncle Sam, energy and peace in Asia

By M K Bhadrakumar

In the Orient, offspring don't rebuke parents, even if the latter are at fault - especially in the post-Soviet space where Marxian formalism continues to prevail as political culture. The sort of stern public rebuke bordering on short shrift that Ashgabat administered to Moscow is extraordinary.

But then, Moscow tested Turkmen patience by trying to create confusion about Ashgabat's policy of positive "neutrality" - building energy bridges to the West alongside its thriving cooperation with Russia and China.

On Thursday, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry bluntly rejected any role for Russia in the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, commonly known as TAPI. Ashgabat alleged that Moscow is spreading calumnies and expressed the hope that "future statements by Russian officials will be guided by a sense of responsibility and reality".

The reference was to a friendly and seemingly helpful statement by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin (who accompanied President Dmitry Medvedev to the Turkmen capital last weekend) that Russian participation in the TAPI figured in the latest Russian-Turkmen summit talks and "Gazprom may participate in this project in any capacity - builder, designer, participant, etc ... If Gazprom becomes a participant, then we will study possibilities of working in gas sales."

The Turkmen Foreign Ministry said, "Turkmenistan views such statements as an attempt to hamper the normal course of our country's cooperation in the energy sector and call into question its obligations to its partners." It added that there was "no agreement whatsoever" regarding Russian participation in the TAPI.

The TAPI presents a knot of paradoxes and the Russians who hold the pulse of the Central Asian energy scene would have sensed by now that Uncle Sam is close to untying the knot, finally, after a decade-and-a-half of sheer perseverance. The TAPI falls within the first circle of the Caspian great game. When it appears that Russia all but checkmated the United States and the European Union's plans to advance trans-Caspian energy projects bypassing Russia, a thrust appears from the south and east opening up stunning possibilities for the West.

Russia promptly began slouching toward the TAPI - which, incidentally, was originally a Soviet idea but was appropriated by the United States no sooner than the USSR disintegrated - against the backdrop of renewed interest in the project recently among regional powers amid the growing possibility that Afghan peace talks might reconcile the Taliban and that despite the Kashmir problem, Pakistan and India wouldn't mind tangoing.

The TAPI pipeline runs on a roughly 1,600-kilometer route along the ancient Silk Road from Turkmenistan's fabulous Dauletabad gas fields on the Afghan border to Herat in western Afghanistan, then onto Helmand and Kandahar, entering Pakistan's Quetta and turning east toward Multan, and ending up in Fazilka on the Indian side of Pakistan's eastern border. An updated Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimate of 2008 put the project cost for the pipeline with an output of 33 bcm annually at $7.6 billion.

The signals from Ashgabat, Kabul, Islamabad and New Delhi in recent weeks uniformly underscored that the TAPI is in the final stage of take-off. India unambiguously signed up in August. On Wednesday, the Pakistan government gave approval to the project at a cabinet meeting in Islamabad. The ADB is open to financing the project and is expected to be the project's "secretariat".

As things stand, there could be a meeting of the political leaderships of the four participating countries in December to formally kick-start the TAPI.

The commencement of the TAPI is undoubtedly a defining moment for Turkmenistan (which is keen to diversify export routes), for Afghanistan (which hopes to get $300 million as transit fee annually and an all-round economic spin-off) and for Pakistan and India (which face energy shortages).

However, the geopolitics trumps everything else. For the first time in six decades, India and Pakistan are becoming stakeholders in each other's development and growth - and it is taking place under American watch. The rapprochement would positively impact the Afghan chessboard where Pakistan and India are locked in a futile, utterly wasteful zero-sum game.

NATO enters energy business
The most important geopolitical factor, perhaps, is that the US is the "ideologue" of the project and its Great Central Asia strategy - aiming at rolling back Russian and Chinese influence in the region and forging the region's links with South Asia - is set to take a big step forward.

India and Pakistan, traditional allies of Russia and China, are in essence endorsing the Great Central Asia strategy. It signifies a tectonic shift in the geopolitics and immensely strengthens the US's regional policies. India and Pakistan are becoming stakeholders in a long-term US presence in the region.

Equally, NATO is set to take on the role of the provider of security for the TAPI, providing the alliance an added raison d'etre for its long-term presence in Central Asia. NATO's role in energy security has been under discussion for some time. Russia used to robustly contest the concept, but its thoughts are mellowing as the reset with the US gains traction.

Broadly, the NATO position was outlined by the alliance's former secretary general Jaap de Hoop Schaffer in January last year when he said:
Protecting pipelines is first and foremost a national priority. And it should stay like that. NATO is not in the business of protecting pipelines. But when there's a crisis, or if a certain nation asks for assistance, NATO could, I think, be instrumental in protecting pipelines on land.
Clearly, the long-term "strategic cooperation" agreement between NATO and Karzai's government which is expected to be signed at the alliance's summit in Lisbon on November 19 now assumes an altogether profound meaning.

Besides, the TAPI is also a "Western" project, as several NATO countries involved in Afghanistan's stabilization - the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Norway - are also members of the ADB and TAPI is piloted by the US and Japan, two major shareholders in the ADB.

More important, the BP Statistical Review 2009 puts Turkmenistan's known gas reserves so far at a staggering 7.94 trillion cubic meters (TCM). A 2008 audit of the gigantic South Yolotan-Osman field in western Turkmenistan by the UK firm Gaffney, Cline & Associates estimated the reserves of this field alone at anywhere between 4 to 14 TCM of gas. Many more fields in Turkmenistan are yet to be audited. Without doubt, the propaganda that Turkmenistan lacks gas reserves to supply markets beyond Russia and China stands exposed.

And the curious part is that South Yolotan-Osman - and the gas reserves in Uzbekistan and northern Afghanistan - can be linked to the TAPI and a TAPI branch line can be very easily extended from Quetta to the Pakistani port of Gwadar, in which case Europe can finally tap Central Asian energy reserves directly, dispensing with the Russian middleman.

Obama has style
Quite obviously, the TAPI meshes well with the Afghan endgame. Karzai used to work for Unocal before he surfaced in Kabul as a statesman in 2001, and Unocal originally promoted TAPI in the mid-1990s. "Good" Taliban were all along enthusiastic about the TAPI project provided the US traded with them as Afghan interlocutors.

The US initially warmed up to the Taliban in the early 1990s as a stabilizing factor that could put an end to the chaotic mujahideen era and help facilitate the transportation of the Caspian and Central Asian energy to the world market via Pakistani ports. Senior Taliban officials were hosted by the US State Department and things were indeed going spectacularly well until militant "Arab fighters" began influencing the Taliban leadership and spoiled everything.

The Americans dithered far too long in according recognition to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden grabbed the window of opportunity. Nonetheless, there is reason to believe that the contacts continued all the way up to the eve of the al-Qaeda's 9/11 attacks.

The "good" Taliban are in business again. NATO aircraft ferry them to Kabul so that they can urgently talk peace.

From the beginning, the US saw the TAPI's potential to bring Pakistan and India together and also bind the two South Asian adversaries to it, thus providing an underpinning to its overall Asian strategy. Moscow and Beijing would have a sense of unease about what is unfolding. The recent Moscow commentaries display some irritation with New Delhi. Last weekend there was an unusually preachy opinion-piece on India's "Chechnya" - Kashmir.

The plain truth is that the TAPI revives the Silk Road, which can also unlock Afghanistan's multi-trillion dollar untold mineral wealth and transport the hidden treasures to Gwadar port for shipment to faraway lands.

If George W Bush were handling Barack Obama's job today, he would probably thread into his forthcoming November visit to New Delhi a regional summit where the TAPI gets formalized as a historic American initiative in regional cooperation.

But that isn't Obama's style - descending from the skies wearing a windbreaker and proclaiming premature victory from the deck of an aircraft carrier. He trusts "smart power".

Obama would intellectualize the TAPI as the harbinger of peace in one of the most destitute regions on the planet - which it indeed is. He would then probably sit down and explain that what seems a setback in the Caspian great game is ultimately for China's and Russia's larger good. A "stable" Afghanistan is in their interests, after all.

Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey.

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« Reply #101 on: October 29, 2010, 05:43:40 am »

Published on Thursday, October 28, 2010 by The Nation

Killing Reconciliation: How US Policy Undermines Peace in Afghanistan

by Jeremy Scahill

On March 26, 2009, Mullah Sahib Jan, a militant Taliban imam from the Mohammed Agha district in Afghanistan's Logar province, walked into the office of the Independent National Reconciliation Commission, the main body encouraging the Taliban to lay down their weapons and work with the government. He was escorting fifty Taliban fighters who, he said, had committed to ending their fight against the Afghan government and entering the process of integration. To the government, Sahib Jan was a shining example of how reconciliation with the Taliban is supposed to work. But less than a year later, the former militant's story would stand as a devastating symbol of how the actions of US Special Operations Forces are sabotaging the very strategy for reaching a political settlement that US officials claim to support.

Throughout Afghanistan, large billboards line the major roads encouraging Taliban fighters to do what Sahib Jan did—reconcile with the government. The billboards show red silhouettes of Kalashnikov-carrying Taliban fighters walking across a line, after which they transform into civilians and join white silhouettes of unarmed Afghans dressed in traditional garb. The message is clear: lay down your weapons and rejoin the family.

The US killing of civilians--often in deadly night raids--combined with a widely held perception that the Afghan government exists only for facilitating the corruption of powerful warlords, drug dealers and war criminals, is producing a situation in which the Taliban and the Haqqani network are gaining support from the Pashtun heartland in communities that would not otherwise be backing them. (AFP/Getty image)

When Sahib Jan walked into the reconciliation office, he publicly announced that he and his Taliban colleagues had agreed to work with the government on a peace process after the commission assured him that it would restrict US-led NATO forces from conducting night raids and killing civilians. "If the killing and arrests of people were not stopped," he said, "we would withdraw our support to the government and the foreign forces."

Reconciliation officials in Logar province say that making allies out of figures like Sahib Jan is the centerpiece of their work. Logar and its neighboring provinces, Paktia, Wardak and Ghazni, contain a strong presence of not only the Taliban but also the Haqqani network, the insurgent group portrayed by US officials as having the closest ties to Al Qaeda and a cozy relationship with Pakistan's ISI spy organization. Logar is also home to several tribes that say they have spent the past two years trying to make peace. A crucial part of this, they say, is building enough trust with the Taliban to make a serious case for ending their insurgency. Soon after his initial trip to the reconciliation office, Sahib Jan left his calling as an imam and took a position as a religious adviser to the reconciliation commission. As part of his work, reconciliation officials say, he traveled to **** Taliban areas.

"He was preaching to the Taliban, encouraging them to come to the government, telling the fighters there were a lot of benefits to laying down their arms," says Mohammed Anwar, director of Logar's reconciliation commission and an adviser to a local tribal council. Council officials credit Sahib Jan with putting Taliban fighters on the road to reconciliation.

But on the morning of January 14, Sahib Jan's bullet-riddled body lay on the ground outside his family's mud-brick compound in Logar's Safed Sang village. According to local officials and his family, he was killed in a night raid by US Special Operations Forces. "At 1 or 1:30 in the morning, US soldiers pulled up to the gas station in front of our house. We were sleeping in our rooms at that time," recalls Sahib Jan's 18-year-old son, Haider. "They broke down the doors of our house. My father was in one room, and we were in another. We don't know exactly when the US soldiers entered our house, we just know that they took our father and killed him. They killed our father outside our house, a short ways away. We don't know if they killed him from a helicopter or if commandos killed him."

According to Haider, US forces entered the compound with ladders and corralled the men into one room, where they handcuffed and blindfolded them. They moved the women to a separate room. "They tied all of our hands and roughed us up a little bit. They were beating us with both weapons and their hands," recalls Haider. "I was tied up from 1 or 1:30 in the morning until 6 in the morning." The family says that during the raid much of their property was damaged or destroyed. As Sahib Jan's sons were tied up, they had no idea of their father's fate until the Afghan translator appeared with US soldiers. They showed them a picture and said, "This is the man we killed."

"It was my father," Haider recalls. The soldiers then escorted the surviving men of the family to their father's body, where they saw about six bullets in it. With that, the Americans left; they have never contacted the family since.

"We have checked our logs and with our units that conduct these types of mission profiles. There is no record of the operation," US Lt. Commander Thomas Porter wrote in an e-mail to The Nation. But an eyewitness to the raid named Azmuddin, who works at the gas station in front of Sahib Jan's home, says, "US forces told me the next morning that they killed him because he had shot at them." Azmuddin says the morning after the raid he was arrested by US forces and taken to the classified Tor Prison, or "black jail," for fifteen days before being locked up at the Bagram prison for four months. In response to NATO's statement, government officials in Logar reacted angrily and swore that Sahib Jan was killed by US forces.

"There was a false report claiming that Sahib Jan was a Taliban, and the Americans conducted a night raid and killed him even though he had been working with us for months," says Anwar, the head of Logar's reconciliation commission. "During the entire time he worked with us, he hadn't participated in any attacks against the government. He worked with us as a religious adviser. Only the US soldiers know why they killed Sahib Jan. We don't know why." The local district chief, Abdul Hameed, says US forces carried out the raid without the cooperation of provincial security personnel. Anwar says that when he tries to contact US forces about these deadly incidents, they won't let him on their base, and the guards always tell him the appropriate officials are too busy or not there.

Officials at the reconciliation office point to several night raids over the past year, which they say targeted former Taliban who entered the process of reconciliation, as devastating to their work. "We are trying to build bridges between the Taliban and the government and trying to find jobs for them. We are working to get them decent housing in return for leaving the Taliban," says Anwar. "We are also trying to ensure that once they turn themselves in, they are not arrested again. How can we encourage reconciliation in good faith in the face of these American raids against the very people who agree to disarm?"

Meanwhile, US and NATO officials proclaim that the Taliban are on the ropes and will eventually be forced to make a deal. "The insurgency is under pressure, under pressure like never before in Afghanistan," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on October 22. "Our aim for this year was to regain the momentum. Now we have it." In recent weeks, such rhetoric has been bolstered by a flurry of reports about senior Taliban officials engaging in direct talks with the Karzai government, and US officials portray Washington as open to some form of a political settlement. But there is an enormous disconnect between the image projected by the US and Afghan governments and reality. On the ground the Taliban seem to be gaining traction and increasing membership despite, or perhaps because of, intensified US targeted-killing operations and night raids.

Two senior officials of the former Taliban government have told The Nation that the Taliban will not engage in any meaningful talks until foreign troops are expelled from Afghanistan and that reports that the Taliban are engaged in serious negotiations are false. "There is nothing going on, no negotiations between the Taliban and the Americans or the Taliban and the [Afghan] government," says Abdul Salam Zaeef, who served as the Taliban government's ambassador to Pakistan, in an interview at his home in Kabul. He says if anyone claiming to be Taliban is negotiating, they are essentially nobodies to the movement. "There was no 'peace meeting' because the Taliban reject it."

Privately, US officials have acknowledged that reports in US media outlets of senior Taliban negotiating are propaganda aimed at sowing dissent among the Taliban leadership. "This is a psychological operation, plain and simple," a US official with firsthand knowledge of the Afghan government's strategies told the McClatchy news service. "Exaggerating the significance of it is an effort to sow distrust within the insurgency."

The story of Sahib Jan raises a complicated question: was he really an influential Taliban figure? A current Taliban commander from Kunduz told The Nation that there is no evidence of the reconciliation program's success and that rural people are sometimes used as pawns in a game to elevate the status of tribal leaders with the Afghan government by "reconciling" Taliban fighters. "These are people who are just getting salaries from foreign powers or Afghan officials. You and I just invent a group and give them turbans and weapons and they go and say, We are Talibs and we surrender," says the Taliban commander, who goes by the nom de guerre Salahuddin. It is not clear whether Sahib Jan was an example of this, but in terms of public perception in Logar, that is irrelevant. What is not in dispute is that he publicly announced he was a Taliban mullah on the path to reconciliation and was killed in a night raid ten months later.

The US strategy seems to be to force the Taliban to the table through a fierce killing campaign. According to the US military, over a ninety-day period this past summer, US and coalition Special Operations Forces killed or captured more than 2,900 "insurgents," with an estimated dozen killed a day. Between July 4, when Gen. David Petraeus assumed command in Kabul, and early October, according to the military, US and Afghan Special Operations Forces killed more than 300 Taliban commanders and more than 900 foot soldiers in 1,500 raids. "This is precisely the kind of pressure we believe will lead to reconciliation and reintegration" of the Taliban, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said recently.

Zaeef, the former senior Taliban official, who spent four years in Guantánamo prison, confirmed that the American targeted-killing campaign of Taliban leaders has been successful, but he believes that the strategy will backfire for both the US and Afghan governments. "If these people, important, known people, disappear from the [Taliban] movement, what will happen? Who should [the Afghan government] make a dialogue with?" he asks. "The fighting will not stop. I know the new generation is more extremist than the last generation. The new generation will not listen to anyone. This is a dangerous thing. It will be bad for the Americans, but it will be worse for the people of Afghanistan."

Evidence of this can be found in a recent incident in Paktia province, when the Taliban leadership in Quetta, Pakistan, sent a representative to "reprimand a group of young commanders who were breaking the organization's rules," according to veteran Afghanistan journalist Anand Gopal. "But the defiant young commanders killed the cleric. While such incidents are still isolated, the danger is that as the Taliban undergo a massive demographic change in the coming years, this trend will accelerate, and the ability of Quetta to enforce decisions on its rank and file will be diminished."

Zaeef says the night raids and the targeted killings are strengthening the Taliban and inspiring more people "to become extremist against the Americans." US political and military leaders, he says, "are thinking, 'When we scare the people, they should be quiet.' But this is a different nation. When you are killing one person, four or five others rise against you. If you are killing five people, twenty, at least, are rising against you. When you are disrespecting the people or the honor of the people in one village, the whole village becomes against you. This is creating hatred against Americans."

The US killing of civilians, combined with a widely held perception that the Afghan government exists only for facilitating the corruption of powerful warlords, drug dealers and war criminals, is producing a situation in which the Taliban and the Haqqani network are gaining support from the Pashtun heartland in communities that would not otherwise be backing them. Since 2005, when Zaeef was released from Guantánamo, "the Taliban have become stronger," he says. "Are the Taliban coming from the sky?" Zaeef asks. "No, it's new people."

Zaeef and Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, the former Taliban foreign minister, insist that the Taliban is still the umbrella under which all of the insurgent forces operate. But at the same time they acknowledge that smaller, localized militias not loyal to Mullah Mohammed Omar or the Quetta-based Taliban leadership are popping up more and more. "By killing leaders, the war will not come to an end, but on the contrary, things will get worse, which will give birth to more leaders," says Muttawakil. "Many people might not like Taliban but join them because they are being harassed by powerful Afghans or foreigners and want to get revenge." Many of these newer insurgents live in rural areas of Afghanistan and, for now, fight in their own communities rather than as part of a cohesive national rebellion. "The nature of this kind of war is that it starts from the rural areas, as it started against the Soviet Union. Gradually the war spreads to district centers and then to the center of small provinces," Muttawakil says. "The war has started in rural areas and gradually will spread to big cities."

On a practical level, the discontent in those rural areas with the corruption of the Afghan government and the consistent killing of civilians by US forces is raising the prospect that Afghans offering assistance to the Afghan government and NATO forces—such as allowing safe passage to key supply convoys—may withdraw that support.

* * *

One community leader in Logar, Hajji Showkatt, works with a network of tribal leaders across Logar and its neighboring provinces who broker complex deals with the Taliban and Haqqani network forces to refrain from attacking oil and supply convoys headed to and from Kabul. Part of this involves paying bribes to the Taliban, but the deals also rely on assurances from Showkatt and the reconciliation commission to insurgent forces that they are working to end the night raids and arrests.

In the weeks leading up to Sahib Jan's killing, Logar officials say, there had been three other night raids in the area. Sahib Jan's killing was the final straw. "At the funeral everyone was so emotional when we took his body to be buried. We cursed the Americans," Showkatt says. In response, local people—not aligned with the Taliban—attacked an oil convoy, blowing up more than a dozen trucks, according to local officials. The scorched earth left by the attack can still be seen on the highway running through Logar. "Here is the bottom line: the US is conducting actions that are killing innocent people," Showkatt says. "The Taliban use this as propaganda and say to the people, 'This is what America is about.' It makes them more powerful."

Showkatt, who fought as a mujahedeen against the Soviets, continues to protect supply convoys for the United States and Afghan governments along key routes, but he says that this is becoming increasingly difficult to justify. Showkatt and other leaders say they cannot guarantee they will continue to offer convoy protection. "In the mujahedeen times, we stopped all of the Russian convoys in this area," Showkatt boasts.

"We fought the Russians when they were here and we expelled them," adds Showkatt's friend Azrat Mohammed, a former mujahedeen commander from Logar. "Americans are not stronger than the Russians. If they continue with these actions, disrespecting our women, killing the wrong people, inshallah, we will rise up to defeat them too."

Throughout the Pashtun heartland of southern Afghanistan, police officials and civilians alike tell stories about personal grudges being settled through death by US night raids, where false intelligence is deliberately passed on to NATO forces to get a rival or enemy killed or captured.

Mohammed is living in a refugee camp in Pakistan, he says, for that very reason. He says he has been warned he is on a list for kill or capture. "I am too afraid to even sleep in my own home at night, so I spend most of my time in the camps in Pakistan. I am afraid the Americans will kill me," he says. "The way the Americans rely on bad intelligence to target people like me, the night raids we keep witnessing, the arrests and the torture and the killing is all making me want to pick up a weapon again. We are not by our nature against the government, but what they are doing is encouraging people to rise up against them."

In Afghanistan, Taliban commanders are fond of characterizing their fight to expel the United States and its allies with the phrase, "You've got the clocks, we've got the time." While US leaders are struggling to define what victory would look like in Afghanistan, the forces they are fighting are not. "We have two goals: freedom or martyrdom," says Taliban commander Salahuddin. "If we do not win our freedom, then we'll die honorably for its cause." The continuing US targeted-killing campaign and renewed airstrikes ordered by General Petraeus seem only to be further weakening the already fragile Karzai government. In plain terms, the United States' own actions in Afghanistan seem to be delivering the most fatal blows to its counterinsurgency strategy and its goal of winning hearts and minds. "I think that the Americans are already defeated in Afghanistan, they are just not accepting it," says former Taliban official Zaeef.

"If the US pulls out, my heart will be very sad because there will be a civil war," says Asif Mohammed, a young driver who escorts supply convoys to Kabul. "If they stay, they will continue killing our women and children." In the end, there could be the worst of both worlds: an escalation in raids by US Special Operations Forces, with their heavy toll on civilians, and a failed counterinsurgency campaign incapable of stopping a civil war.

© 2010 The Nation


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« Reply #102 on: October 29, 2010, 05:48:00 am »

Published on Thursday, October 28, 2010 by McClatchy Newspapers

US Can't Untangle Billions in Bush-Era Afghan Spending

by Marisa Taylor

WASHINGTON - The U.S. government knows it's awarded nearly $18 billion in contracts for rebuilding Afghanistan over the last three years, but it can't account for spending before 2007.

Thousands of firms received wartime contracts, but the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction found it too difficult to untangle how billions of additional dollars had been spent because of the U.S. agencies' poor recordkeeping.

"Navigating the confusing labyrinth of government contracting is difficult, at best," the inspector general says in a report that was released Wednesday.

The finding raises doubts about whether the U.S. government ever will determine whether taxpayers' money was spent wisely in Afghanistan.

"Data got better from 2007 on," said Susan Phalen, a spokeswoman with SIGAR, "but it remains to be seen whether we'll ever know how much U.S. agencies spent overall."

Overall, the U.S. has set aside about $55 billion for rebuilding Afghanistan, but that includes agencies' budget for staff salaries, operations and security. SIGAR couldn't parse how much was spent on contractors alone.

SIGAR recommended that the Pentagon, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development create one database to track wartime contracts. As it stands, the Pentagon has four contracting agencies that oversee contracts, but none of them is sharing information. SIGAR found a lack of coordination among all the U.S. agencies that oversee contracting in Afghanistan, not just the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, a handful of companies received a majority of the contracts, auditors found.

USAID, for example, awarded almost half of the $2 billion it set aside for Afghanistan projects to two companies, Louis Berger and Development Alternatives Inc. Overall, the agency doled out contracts to 214 companies.

Of 6,600 firms that have received contracts from the Pentagon for Afghanistan, 44 of them received more than half the military's business there. One contractor, DynCorp International, accounted for about 75 percent of all the contracts for Afghanistan that two State Department bureaus awarded.

The military's joint contracting command acknowledged problems with its tracking, but it told auditors that it's trying to improve it.

Although the State Department and USAID received drafts of the report from SIGAR so they could comment on it, they didn't respond.

The report is the latest to criticize the U.S.'s handling of contracts in Afghanistan. A SIGAR audit released Wednesday concluded that six police stations in a dangerous stretch of southern Afghanistan were so poorly constructed by the Afghan contractor that they can't be occupied. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers didn't detect the problems and paid the firm almost $5 million of the $5.5 million contract price.


Special inspector general's report on U.S. spending in Afghanistan [1]

© 2010 McClatchy Newspapers


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« Reply #103 on: October 29, 2010, 05:56:01 am »

Published on Thursday, October 28, 2010 by

Is the Pentagon Deliberately "Degrading" Afghanistan's Capacity for Peace?

by Robert Naiman

On Wednesday, the Washington Post carried a remarkable article [1] reporting that according to U.S. government assessments, the U.S. military escalation in Afghanistan has failed.

The Post's Greg Miller reported that

An intense military campaign aimed at crippling the Taliban has so far failed to inflict more than fleeting setbacks on the insurgency

Miller explains why this is so:

Escalated airstrikes and special operations raids have disrupted Taliban movements and damaged local cells. But officials said that insurgents have been adept at absorbing the blows and that they appear confident that they can outlast an American troop buildup set to subside beginning next July.

"The insurgency seems to be maintaining its resilience," said a senior Defense Department official involved in assessments of the war. Taliban elements have consistently shown an ability to "reestablish and rejuvenate," often within days of routed by U.S. forces, the official said, adding that if there is a sign that momentum has shifted, "I don't see it."


So, since the policy of military escalation has failed, according to the U.S. government's own assessments, we should expect that in December, when President Obama promised that the policy will be reviewed, we should see a fundamental change in policy. Right?

But, according to the same Washington Post report, "no major change in strategy is expected in December."

How could it be, that the policy has failed, according to official U.S. government assessments, and yet no change is expected when the promised review occurs?

One possible explanation would be that while the policy is failing according to stated Pentagon objectives, it is succeeding according to unstated Pentagon objectives. The Pentagon is not succeeding in degrading the Taliban's military capacity. But the Pentagon is, apparently, succeeding in degrading the Taliban's political capacity: in particular, the Taliban's political capacity to strike a deal that ends the war and enforce the deal on its mid-level commanders and footsoldiers. This would be dangerously counterproductive if your goal were to end the war, but if your goal is to make a peace deal more difficult in order to facilitate a long-term US military presence in Afghanistan, maybe you don't think this is counterproductive, because a feasible peace deal almost certainly implies a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces.

An op-ed in Tuesday's New York Times by anthropologist Scott Atran notes that [2]

The United States claims to have killed thousands of Taliban in recent months, mostly foot soldiers and midlevel commanders. But those 25-year-old foot soldiers are being replaced by teenage fighters, and the 35-year-old midlevel commanders by 20-something students straight out of the religious chools called madrasas, which are the only form of education available in many rural areas.

These younger commanders and their fiercely loyal fighters are increasingly removed from the dense networks of tribal kinship and patronage, or qawm, and especially of friendship born of common experiences, or andiwali, that bind together the top figures in the established insurgent groups like the Quetta Shura and the Haqqani network. Indeed, it is primarily through andiwali -- overlapping bonds of family, schooling, years together in camps, combat service, business partnership -- that talks between the adversaries, including representatives of Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's president, and Mullah Omar, the Taliban's ultimate leader, have continued over the years.

These new Taliban warriors, however, are increasingly independent, ruthless and unwilling to compromise with foreign infidels and their associates.


Atran notes that "recently the Quetta Shura sent a Muslim scholar to chastise a group of youthful commanders in Paktia Province who were not following Mullah Omar's directives; they promptly killed him."
The Afghanistan that the Pentagon is producing with its current policy is one in which a peace deal will be more difficult to reach and to enforce; that we know. The question is whether this is a deliberate result of Pentagon policy. If there is a meaningful review of the policy in December that leads to a significant change towards deescalation and serious negotiations, then one will be able to plausibly argue that the current policy was merely a disastrous, deadly and counterproductive mistake which killed many Americans and Afghans for no reason. But if the review is fake and the escalation policy continues, even though the result of current policy is clear, the more sinister explanation -- that the Pentagon is making peace more difficult on purpose -- will be much more plausible.

Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy [3]


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« Reply #104 on: October 29, 2010, 06:01:33 am »

Published on Thursday, October 28, 2010 by This Can't Be Happening

What Are They Hiding? Obama Administration Defending Black Site Prison at Bagram Airbase

by Dave Lindorff

A victory for the government in a federal court in New York City Monday marks another slide deeper into Dick Cheney’s “dark side” for the Obama Administration.

In a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been seeking to force the Pentagon to provide information about all captives it is holding at its huge prison facility at Bagram Airbase outside Kabul in Afghanistan, Federal District Judge Barbara Jones of the Southern District of New York has issued a summary judgement saying that the government may keep that information secret.

The lingering question is: Why does the US government so adamantly want to hide information about where captives were first taken into military custody, their citizenship, the length of their captivity, and the circumstances under which they were captured?

Says Melissa Goodman, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, “The military says that they can’t release the information because it would be a threat to national security, but they provided that information for the prisoners at Guantanamo.”

And of course, as our leaders informed us repeatedly, those captives at Guantanamo, who hailed from all over the globe, including Afghanistan, were allegedly “the worst of the worst” -- at least until it turned out that many of them were wholly innocent of anything. had been framed and turned in for a bounty, or were mere children when picked up, like Omar Khadr, the 24-year old Canadian man who just copped a guilty plea to avoid a sham tribunal before 7 officers and potential life imprisonment, after being captured at 15, tortured at Bagram, and held for nine years at Guantanamo (on a charge of killing an American soldier in battle).

The court ruling keeping the information about the thousands of prisoners held at Bagram secret may be a victory for the government, but it is hardly a victory for America’s image in the world, or for the troops battling in Afghanistan, who will be attacked all the harder by people induced to fight to the death to avoid capture and consignment to the hellhole in Bagram (now known as Parwan Prison), which has become Afghanistan’s Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo rolled into one.

One of the things that concerns the ACLU is that by not even making public the circumstances under which Bagram detainees were brought into the prison, it appears likely that the administration is hiding the reality that many “probably don’t deserve to be there,” says the ACLU’s Goodman. She explains, “There could be plenty of people sitting there who were just caught up in house sweeps in Kabul, for instance.”

As well, she says that by withholding information about citizenship and about the place of initial capture, the government may be hiding the fact that it is using Bagram as it used to use Guantanamo, as a so-called “black site” for “rendering,” or bringing, people captured all around the world.

Making matters worse is a string of continuing reports from people released from Bagram, including some which are very recent, that it is a site where torture is routinely applied to prisoners.

Significantly, a second part of the court’s ruling was that the CIA does not have to confirm or deny whether it too is holding captives at Bagram. This is a serious blow too to America’s reputation and to democratic values, since when President Obama, early in his presidency, signed an executive order outlawing torture by the military, he left some major loopholes. Most significantly, he applied that order only to persons captured during “armed conflict.” Since the US doesn’t consider captives in the loosely-defined “War on Terror” to be legitimate combatants, that means many of the people held at Bagram may be considered outside of the president’s ban. The order also says captives in counterterror operations do not have to be reported to the Red Cross.

Goodman says, "Despite concerns that Bagram has become the new Guantánamo, the public remains in the dark when it comes to basic facts about the facility and whom our military is holding in indefinite military detention there. The public has a right to know how long the U.S. has kept people locked up in military detention and under what circumstances. The lack of transparency about these key facts is even more disturbing considering the possibility that the U.S. will continue holding and interrogating prisoners at Bagram well into the future. Unfortunately, today's ruling will allow the government to continue hiding this vital information."

When the ugly sadistic goings on at Abu Ghraib were exposed, it caused massive damage to the US, and, according to government statements at the time, ended up helping recruit more future terrorists. It seems the Obama adminstration is heading down the same road now at Bagram, with the blessing of a Judge Jones.

Copyright © 2010 This Can't Be Happening
Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent, collectively-owned, journalist-run online alternative newspaper. His work, and that of colleagues John Grant, Linn Washington and Charles Young, can be found at


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« Reply #105 on: October 29, 2010, 06:15:09 am »

October 29, 2010

U.S. And NATO Drag Asia Into Afghan Quagmire

by Rick Rozoff

On October 7 the American and North Atlantic Treaty Organization war in Afghanistan entered its tenth year and in slightly over two months will be in its eleventh calendar year.

There are currently more than 150,000 foreign troops in the nation and the number is steadily rising.

As examples, this February Germany raised its troop numbers in Afghanistan from 4,500 to a post-World War Two overseas high of 5,350.

Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa recently pledged 1,200 more troops for the war, bringing the nation’s total to 4,000, during a meeting with commander of all U.S. and NATO forces General David Petraeus. This month Italy also announced it was sending three new military helicopters to the war theater and La Russa stated that he was considering authorizing bombings by Italian fighter jets in Afghanistan.

Newer NATO members in Eastern Europe have authorized comparable increases in troop deployments, with the senate of the Czech Republic voting on October 27 to boost its nation’s contingent to 720 troops and Bulgaria confirming it will raise its figure to 600 by the end of the year. Moreover, the Czech Republic will redeploy special forces to Afghanistan and Bulgaria will shift from security duties to combat operations.

Not only are NATO member states continuing to enlarge the amount of troops for a war without a foreseeable end, but Washington and Brussels are intensifying joint efforts to recruit troops from nations that have until now avoided being pulled into the Afghan imbroglio.

Earlier this year Armenia, Montenegro, Mongolia, South Korea and Malaysia became the 43rd-47th official Troop Contributing Countries for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. On October 8 the diminutive South Pacific nation of Tonga was recruited by Britain as the 48th and will deploy “more than two hundred troops to Afghanistan” as – to believe British and NATO accounts of the agreement – Tonga “wants to show its support to the alliance.” [1]

A few days before, the U.S.’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke pressured the foreign minister of Bangladesh to supply combat troops to serve under NATO in Afghanistan. Four days later, on September 30, the charge d’affaires of the US mission in Dhaka, Nicholas Dean, stated, “The United States has intensified its discussion on Bangladesh’s engagement in Afghanistan….” [2]

In the past week new disclosures indicate that the U.S. and NATO are broadening their Afghan war recruitment campaign throughout Asia.

A Kyodo News report of two weeks ago revealed that Japan is to deploy ten or more Self-Defense Forces medical officers and nurses to Afghanistan by the end of the year, according to sources in the nation’s Ministry of Defense and military. The medical personnel would be the first members of the Self-Defense Forces stationed in the Afghan war zone, the second violation of the nation’s constitutional prohibition against stationing troops in a war theater, the first being in Iraq in 2006.

According to the Japanese press, with the new mission “Japan intends to demonstrate its personnel contributions to Afghanistan through the planned dispatch when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is expected to decide on fresh support measures in November,” at the military bloc’s summit in Portugal.

“The United States, which is engaged in fighting the Taliban, has called for its allies to provide more physical support and Tokyo has determined ‘it is necessary to meet such expectations,’” according to the sources. [3]

However, to indicate that Japan has been no stranger to NATO’s operations in Afghanistan, earlier in the month an explosive device was set off at a NATO Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) camp in the capital of Ghor province. “The majority of the personnel in the [contingent] have been deployed to multinational missions in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan previously. Representatives of Denmark, Georgia, Japan, the USA, Poland, Finland and Ukraine serve together with Lithuanian military and civilian personnel in the Ghor PRT camp in Chaghcharan.” [4]

On October 25 President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, who had earlier provided troops for the Polish-led and NATO-supported Multinational Division Central-South in Iraq, met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels, after which the Kazakh head of state announced that “Several Kazakhstani troops will serve at the headquarters of the international coalition in Afghanistan,” and the NATO chief “called Kazakhstan a ‘leading partner’ of the coalition.” [5]

Since shortly after Washington launched Operation Enduring Freedom, NATO forces have been based in other Central Asian nations: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Including the Middle East and the South Caucasus, NATO’s Asia-Pacific roster in the Afghanistan-Pakistan war theater consists of (and soon may) a growing number of nations: Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Georgia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Tonga and the United Arab Emirates, in addition to Afghanistan (and Pakistan).

With all 28 NATO members and nine European members of the Alliance’s Partnership for Peace program already having supplied troops – and only six European states to date not having done so (Belarus, Cyprus, Malta, Moldova, Serbia and Russia) – the U.S. and NATO necessarily have to look beyond the Euro-Atlantic region for more troops. In doing so the war in Afghanistan has become an Asian war in two senses: The first prolonged war in the continent the U.S. has waged since that in Vietnam and the first Asian war in NATO’s history, and a conflict that is pulling more and more Asia-Pacific countries into its bloody grip.

As of October 28 the U.S., its NATO allies and partnership countries had lost 605 soldiers this year, compared to 521 for 2009, itself the highest annual total until now. The combined death count for 2009-2010 – 1,126 – is over half of all foreign soldiers killed since the war began on October 7, 2001, which is 2,175. Seventeen NATO soldiers were killed in three days, October 13-15, alone.

Afghan civilians have fared even worse. Last month, two months after General David Petraeus took over command of all U.S. and NATO forces from Stanley McChrystal [6], American and NATO air strikes in Afghanistan had increased to 700 from 257 in September of 2009 according to U.S. Air Force statistics. [7]

Although nominally targeting insurgents, the bombings and missile strikes have left scores of Afghan civilians dead. Recent reports include:

Early this month a NATO air strike killed at least 18 people in an attack on a residence in Helmand province.

A week later, October 11, at least 20 civilians were killed by a Western rocket attack in the same province. [8]

A U.S.-NATO air strike in Baghlan province killed at least 18 people and wounded several others on October 17, with “eyewitnesses and local sources [saying] all those killed in the attack were civilians.” [9]

On October 23 Afghan government officials accused NATO troops of firing indiscriminately at civilians in Wardak province, causing the deaths of two schoolchildren. “The attack prompted a brief demonstration by angry villagers, demanding an explanation from NATO forces over the killing.” [10] The following day it was reported that four Afghan civilians, including a child, were killed by a U.S.-NATO air strike in the same province.

Regarding the overall, cumulative effect of the Western war and occupation in Afghanistan, on October 10 – the United Nations-supported World Mental Health Day – Afghanistan’s Dr. Suraya Dalil, Deputy Minister for Policy and Planning and Acting Minister of the Ministry of Public Health, stated that “More than 60 percent of Afghans are suffering from stress disorders and mental problems,” a figure substantiated by the World Health Organization. [11]

Seventeen days afterward Saleem Kunduzi, Acting Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, told a gathering marking World Food Day that “Two years ago, five million people in Afghanistan lived in extreme poverty, but now the number has increased to nine million,” [12] almost a third of the population.

In the nine years since the U.S. and NATO invaded Afghanistan, opium cultivation has expanded by 40,000 percent and now accounts for over 90 percent of the world’s supply.

On June 9-10 of this year an international forum called Drug Production in Afghanistan: A Challenge to the International Community was held in Moscow and was addressed by among others President Dmitry Medvedev and Viktor Ivanov, Director of the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation. The second had stated earlier at a similar conference in Berlin that “Revenues derived from smuggling the ‘white death’ to Europe, Asia and America are estimated to score billions of dollars. In fact, the production and illegal trafficking of Afghan drugs should be classified as a threat to international peace and security.” [13]

The U.S. and NATO have also escalated attacks inside Pakistan. Last month witnessed the largest amount of unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) missile strikes inside the country since their inception in 2004, with at least 20 attacks – many involving the firing of several missiles – causing the deaths of at least 140 people.

NATO also launched four helicopter gunship attacks inside Pakistan in September and killed three Pakistani soldiers in the last, on the 30th.

A minimum of 14 drone strikes by the 28th of this month have killed close to 90 people.

On October 12 two NATO helicopters violated Pakistani airspace in the province of Balochistan and a week later “NATO warplanes and helicopter gunships entered up to 15 kilometers inside Pakistani airspace” in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. [14]

A South Asian news source recently wrote that “US officials may [be planning] raids into Balochistan….Indeed the attacks would be even more controversial than the previous ones, as the earlier helicopter attacks were in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), while military officials are now seeking raids into Pakistan proper, into the Balochistan province….” [15]

A full-scale incursion by U.S. and NATO troops into Pakistan appears to be only a matter of time.

The U.S. led its allies into three wars in less than four years – from March 24, 1999 to March 20, 2003 – in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Along the way the Pentagon has acquired dozens of new military bases in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia, including future strategic air bases in Bulgaria, Romania, Iraq and Afghanistan.

It has also recruited a permanent “coalition of the willing” to wage wars and conduct military occupations in campaigns that have moved inexorably to the east, from Southeastern Europe to the Persian Gulf to the Afghan-Chinese border.

Almost all the 48 nations contributing troops for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan also provided troops for NATO’s Kosovo Force from 1999 to the present and the Multi-National Force – Iraq from 2004-2008. The vast majority have supplied forces for all three missions. In Iraq twenty graduate and current members of NATO’s Partnership for Peace transitional program sent troops: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. All 12 countries absorbed into NATO since the war cycle began in 1999 have deployed troops to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Nine out of 15 former Soviet republics had troops in Iraq.

Non-European and non-former Soviet nations that currently have troops in or headed to Afghanistan also had troops in Iraq: Australia, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Tonga. Others that have troops in Afghanistan also assigned troops to NATO’s Kosovo Force: Malaysia, Mongolia and the United Arab Emirates.

In 2002 U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld “put forward a proposal to create a NATO rapid reaction force,” which was endorsed at the 2002 Alliance summit in the Czech Republic and launched at the 2004 summit in Turkey to conduct “Any mission, anywhere in the world.” [16]

With partners on every populated continent – Colombia has been tapped for troops to be deployed to Afghanistan and Egypt, a NATO Mediterranean Dialogue partner, has security personnel there – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has proven an effective vehicle for the U.S. to establish, train, deploy and integrate a global expeditionary military force which has been used in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, with increasing emphasis on the last.

1) BNO News, October 8, 2010
2) Indo-Asian News Service, October 1, 2010
3) Kyodo News, October 15, 2010
4) Baltic Course, October 11, 2010
5) Central Asia Online, October 27, 2010
6) Afghan War: Petraeus Expands U.S. Military Presence Throughout Eurasia
Stop NATO, July 4, 2010

West’s Afghan Debacle: Commander Dismissed As War Deaths Reach Record Level
Stop NATO, June 25, 2010

7) ABC News Radio, October 13, 2010
Cool Press TV/Afghan Islamic Press, October 12, 2010
9) Press TV, October 18, 2010
10) Reuters, October 23, 2010
11) Agence France-Presse, October 10, 2010
12) Pajhwok Afghan News, October 27, 2010
13) Russian Information Agency Novosti, June 6, 2010
14) Asian News International, October 19, 2010
15) The Nation/Asian News International, October 15, 2010
16) North Atlantic Treaty Organization

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« Reply #106 on: October 29, 2010, 01:08:26 pm »

Afghan resistance statement

US war in Afghanistan unjustifiable, unwinable and intolerable

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

October 29, 2010

The US invasion of Afghanistan,extending over a period of more than 10 years, has had nothing' to offer the Afghans and the world throughout this prolonged span of time but darkness of terrors, tortures, bloodshed and massacres.

It is an indisputable fact that the US, despite its all ploys, maneuvers and dirty tricks has been unable to win the heart and minds of the Afghan masses, on the contrary, hundreds of thousands of Afghans, from every part of the country, have stunningly turned to Jihad bringing about noticeable improvements and anti-American situations in every corner of the country.

If armed and given the opportunity, such people would inflict irreparable blows on the US invading forces and its allies and attack the enemy in their homes, fields, roads and bazaars every single moment which have undoubtedly put the US and its allies in a shocking panic that, in spite of high-tech weaponry and billions of dollars at their disposal and exercising any kind of brutality and oppression, neither have been able to capture an inch of Afghan soil nor have they prevented the Afghan masses from taking vengeance and doing Jihad alongside Mujahideen.

There is much to be learned from the undeniable fact that Mujahideen’s strong spirit of faith is not merely a theoretical fact but it is practically seen that the intense chase and the strong resistance against the enemy in the northern Afghanistan are much the same as in southern Afghanistan and those provided with the opportunity by Mujahideen to do Jihad keep carrying out their mission without regional, racial and linguistic prejudice and stand shoulder to shoulder with Mujahideen supporting them and taking part in the operations against the enemy besides giving the Mujahideen shelter during the night which leads up to the conclusion that all the claims by the enemy and their puppets that the Kabul puppet regime is winning the confidence of the Afghan people day by day are proving to be merely unfounded propaganda and lies.

The Afghan nation have realized the fact that the only cause of the deviation of the new generation and destabilization of the Afghan national integrity and sovereignty is the continuation of the US invasion, whereas the withdrawal of the US invaders and their allies is the only way to save and maintain the Islamic values by forming a united Afghan nation.

On the other hand, there is a growing pessimism against the Afghan war under the US leadership and people are openly showing their dislikes and reactions to the US invasion of Afghanistan. Last week, in a debate on the current Afghan war, the Australian parliamentary members strongly opposed to the war representing the views of the majority of the voters and described the Afghan war as "unwinable and unjustifiable".

From the standpoint of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the US forces do not only seem to have suffered defeat at the hands of Mujahideen on the ground in Afghanistan but are also faced with a defeat in the home country and the west as there are increasing criticism worldwide and the world posses anti-US views and is willing to help Afghans end the war and achieve their independence.

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« Reply #107 on: October 31, 2010, 06:39:08 am »

Afghan resistance : The untold reality of Kandahar Operation (Part 2)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

October 30, 2010

Zhiri district is located to the south of Kandahar-Herat main highway and has been a solid base and under the control of Islamic Emirate Mujahideen for the past 9 years. Previously the invaders only had outposts on the main highway but due to the recent operations have expanded those to Pashmool and Sanzari areas. For recent information on the situation in the district, Alemarah interviewed the Military commander for this district, Mullah Ateequllah Agha.

Alemarah: Can you please give us information about the recent enemy operation and on the situation in the district?

Mullah Ateequllah Agha: As you might already know that Zhiri is known as the most hostile district for the enemy for the past 9 years and especially Sang-e-Sar and Pashmool areas where the enemy has not been able to take over and has proved very deadly for its forces. The southern parts of the districts have been completely under our control which the enemy has never even attempted to enter.

The enemy was real frustrated due to the constant attacks by Mujahideen on the main highway which immensely disrupted the movement of their military and logistical convoys and therefore started the huge push towards Sang-e-Sar, Pashmool and Sanzari areas by bringing hundreds of tanks, foot soldiers bombing the areas by Jets, cruise missiles etc. Due to their cruel and barbaric blind bombings, the residents of Pashmool and Sanzari have fled during a time when they were supposed to collect their harvests. Mujahideen countered their strategy by adopting guerilla warfare from which the enemy has suffered more damage than at any other time. You might have heard through the media of the tanks being blown up every day in Pashmool and Sanzari areas and the retaliatory ambushes and attacks against their foot patrols. Similarly the invaders arrested civilians after forcing their way into their homes at night.

So due to our resistance, the enemy has not gained any ground in some parts and in others where they have gains some ground, it has come after much suffering and deadly losses. Overall the enemy’s force is winded up, they have only added 2 outposts each in Pashmool and Sanzari areas and the Mujahideen numbers which were decreased for the initial enemy push have returned back to their normal levels.

Alemarah: How much new ground has the enemy gained from this operation?

Mullah Ateequllah Agha: The enemy has not gained an inch of territory in Sang-e-Sar, which is only 100 meters away from the main highway. They have gained some ground in Sanzari but after intense bombing and making headway by demolishing people’s homes, fields and other property. They also made ground towards the south of Pashmool up to Rod area but in all areas the advance has been short term because they have all returned to the 4 new outposts made in civilians homes and all their military equipment has also been vacated from the rest of the regions.

Alemarah: It is said that the enemy has severely bombed the areas bringing huge destruction to the civilians?

Mullah Ateequllah Agha: Like in the rest of Kandahar province, Zhiri has also experienced enormous destruction to civilian property from the barbaric enemy. Although the exact facts and figures have not been compiled but I will summarize some of the damage done that we have witnessed in a few points.

1.       Nearly 80% of civilians have become homeless due to the ruthless bombings from cruise missiles, canon rounds and other types of bombs dropped in all of Zhiri from Kandahar airfield. The civilians have also suffered deaths and nearly all of the people’s homes and other property have been completely destroyed.

2.       Hundreds of homes have been utterly demolished in the area between the main highway and Wyala of Sang-e-Sar as the enemy claims that their convoys and bases are always attacked from this area.

3.       The barbaric enemy has filled streams with dirt, demolished homes and blown apart all the greenery in Pashmool, Sanzari, Syachowi and also the other areas to make new roads due to the other roads being completely mined.

4.       In all these areas, the enemy has destroyed homes with all its belongings inside. The homes were either already abandoned and if they weren’t, they would force its owners to leave by bulldozing the property’s walls.

5.       The enemy has dropped types of bombs which have created massive craters and which have also burnt people’s fields and plants so to make an alternative way to enter due to fear of mines being placed on the main roads.

6.       In this process, the enemy has Martyred, wounded and imprisoned countless civilians but we don’t have their exact figures.

Alemarah: The enemy claims to have caused Mujahideen many casualties, killed their leaders and also broken their hold on the district?

Mullah Ateequllah Agha: So far 10 Mujahideen have been Martyred which includes a group’s leader and he was not Martyred in Zhiri but rather in Reag district by a night raid. In contrast, the enemy has suffered immense casualties as you might also have heard from the media.

Alemarah: How do you see the result of the current situation and the operations result?

Mullah Ateequllah Agha: The current situation does not differ a lot from the situation before the operation began. Our groups in Pashmool and Sanzari have become active like before and like before, the enemy is always attacked as they come out of their newly built outposts in these areas and also the ones built on the main highway. The only result coming out of the operation is the death and destruction caused to the civilians which deplorably, the foreign and domestic media have been silent about.


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« Reply #108 on: November 05, 2010, 06:34:54 am »

Afghan resistance : The untold reality of Kandahar Operation (Part 3)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

November 4, 2010

Arghandab district is located to the north of Kandahar city which has also taken center stage in the enemy operation and the enemy has also made bold claims of routing Mujahideen from the area in their recent propaganda reports. These reports have surfaced at a time when they enemy has neither made any considerable progress and neither has the situation of the district seen any change. To shed light on what has taken place in the district and its recent situation, Alemarah interviewed one of the district leaders, Mullah Muhammad Yasir.


Alemarah: Could you please shed light on Arghandab district’s current situation?

Mullah Muhammad Yasir: As you might already know that Arghandab is situated very close to Kandahar city and in the past few years Mujahideen extended their presence and took control of more areas in the district from which the enemy feared a great danger and therefore it also included this specific district in their push for the control of Kandahar but their assaults have been few, sporadic and very ineffective.

They started their campaign from North-eastern area, where they had already established a huge base, into Khasro and Tarako Kala and similarly in Char Kot and Char Gholbi through Baba Sahib area but their operation did not yield any result in weakening Mujahideen or taking control of any of their strategically important areas but rather the only thing they did achieved was that of harming and causing damage to the lives and properties of civilians however they did build 2 new bases in close proximity to their old ones. The operation in Arghandab was not like that of the other districts as it was carried out for only a couple of days and the situation right now is no different than it was before the operation took place.


Alemarah: What do you say about the claims of the enemy of completely taking control of Arghandab?

Mullah Muhammad Yasir: Like all their other baseless claims this is also false. As a matter of fact, we invite journalists to come and check out the district for themselves, so they can see who controls majority of the district. The enemy only controls Baba Sahib, Nagahan and Manara which were also previously under their control but Mujahideen have been carrying out guerilla attacks in it on a regular bases. As for Char Gholba, Tabinan, Khasro, Shahtori, Shinan and the rest of areas, they are fully under our control. The enemy only has outposts on the road which comes from Uruzgan then leads to Herat and similarly the road which leads towards the north from Baba Sahib area. All the rural areas are under our control like how they were under our control before and we have a very powerful presence in those areas.

Alemarah: Can you give us information about what took place in the operation?

Mullah Muhammad Yasir: The enemy started a campaign of heavy bombardment using cruise missiles and other means at night in Khasro’s Tarko Kala village and other places for 3 days. The bombing campaign was continued because their tanks and foot soldiers were hit by IED explosions in every meter of entering from the North and South of the district.

The civilians lost most of their property due to the enemy’s bombings and cruise missiles. More than 20 houses were destroyed in Tarko Kala village alone. Arghandab is also covered with pomegranate trees and since this was the time of harvest, the civilians also faced a huge economic burden as their fields and trees were completely destroyed. The reason why civilians were not killed is because they had either already fled their homes or were forced by the repeated enemy warnings to vacate the district.

The enemy arrested more than 70 civilians by the name of Mujahideen when in fact they would only come from the city and surrounding areas to collect some of the pomegranates so they can feed their families by selling these fruits. Similarly more civilians were also arrested in the other areas but they were later released. Only 2 of our Mujahideen brothers have been Martyred in these operations but the enemy has suffered major losses due to the deadly IED explosions.

Alemarah: The enemy plans to make militias in the district. Do you see that happening?

Mullah Muhammad Yasir: These are just rumors spread by their propaganda machines. Nearly all the people of Arghandab are Mujahideen and are even helping us right now. The enemy cannot even leave their bases and they have been trying to implement such strategies in the last few years but without any effective outcome. The people of Arghandab hate the enemy and have therefore embraced us with open arms. There is no possibility that the enemy can take control of Arghandab by implementing such useless strategies.

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« Reply #109 on: November 08, 2010, 12:27:58 pm »

Afghan resistance statement

The occupying forces are the main factor behind the recent assault and all other adversities.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Sunday, November 7. 2010

Media outlets, both at home and abroad, admitted that at the end of last week, on Thursday in the suburbs of Eastern province of Ningarhar, the Russian and American forces raided some heroin-producing factories, destroying some of them, according to their report.

It is not quite clear till now whether they really targeted the narcotics centers or carried out the attacks for some other common imperialistic objectives. The facts behind the foray into the centers, will come to the open later, but one thing is quite clear that for the last decade, the Americans have not only given themselves the right to commit every crime and cruelty but also provided opportunity to other countries to exploit the Afghan soil and resources for their military, political, economic and cultural interests and quests.

The Americans have allowed member states of their unholy alliance to pound Afghan villages and hamlets to evaluate their weapons; to test their bullets and rockets in order to know their range of destruction.

If some of the countries had the ambition to target the Afghan civilian by their tanks and helicopters; just for the sake of sport; they did repeatedly commit this brutal crime.

Countries that were fond of looting and plundering the mineral and other vital resources of Afghanistan, the Americans provided them the opportunity to build military bases and barracks over there.

Countries desiring to appoint their Afghan agents in the higher ranks of Kabul administration i.e. the so called parliament, the peace council etc; they did this with great impudence.

Countries longing for preaching Christianity and propagating obscenity and irreligiousness have carried it out openly.

Countries trying to import their culture and civilization to Afghanistan, these enemies of our Islamic and national culture have succeeded to a great extent.

It seems that now it is the Russians’ turn. To safeguard their regional and global interests from the claws of the Russians, the Americans opened the Afghan airspace for them and provided them the chance to participate preliminarily in the assault against narcotics.

The Russians should not have taken the audacity to violate the Afghan sanctuary; because in the eighties, when the former Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan and fought with their full strength and brutality for a decade, the result was quite clear, i.e. the collapse and disintegration of the former Soviet Union. It should have been an exemplary lesson for the present Russia.

Some analysts are of the opinion that the intention behind the recent co-operation is that Russians want the Americans not to evacuate earlier so that the American imperialism is also engraved in Afghanistan just like the former Soviet Union met the fate.

Whatever the objectives might be, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly condemns the recent operation carried out by the Russians in the Achin district of Ningarhar province, and calls upon the Afghans to react strongly and focus on avenging themselves on Americans and their mercenaries for the recent operations.

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« Reply #110 on: November 08, 2010, 12:39:29 pm »

Open Letter of Qari Mohammad Yousaf Ahmadi,
Spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,
to Members of the American Congress

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

November 7, 2010

Zul Qadah 29, 1431 A.H, Sunday, November 07, 2010

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Open Letter of Qari Mohammad Yousuf Ahmadi, Spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, to Members of the American Congress

To Members of the American Congress:

Availing myself of this opportunity, I am pleased to share with you my views about certain issues that have become a cause of concern and resentments for many peace-loving people, not only in America, Afghanistan but for all people at the region and the world. They now openly say that the status quo is unbearable and that drastic measures must be taken to change it.

Messrs American Congressmen!

You certainly know that on June 7, the current year, the war of Afghanistan, surpassed that of Vietnam in terms of longevity--thus becoming the longest war in the history of America. Ironically, this war began on the basis of an event which in itself is a mystery to many people. But your government is bent on continuing the war further more on the same basis. However, we have made it clear from the day one that we have no role in this event, nor participation in operations on foreign soil is part of our policy.

It is also worth mentioning that, no neutral entity which is acceptable to all sides, has ever carried out investigation into the September Event. In short, the war started as you resorted to the usage of most sophisticated, lethal and latest weapons available at your arsenal. To confront this, our people had to put up resistance to your offensive out of sheer feeling of patriotism to defend the country and the religious sanctity. From the beginning of the war, your army, your coalition allies, the regional sycophants and proxies turned a blind eye to all universal norms and principles of the war, seeing that the Afghans were miserable and friendless.

Hence, a new trend set in where murdering, capturing, harassing and insulting the Afghans became not only legal but a commendable work. Entire villages of Afghanistan were razed to ground as a result of your heavy bombardment, ostensibly under the name of mopping-up havens of so-called terrorists. Not only that. Orchards were burnt down to ashes; mass murders were committed in northern and central Afghanistan, not once but recurrently. Houses of local people were destroyed, women raped and green field scorched by using daisy-cutter bombs. People were put under detention in the notorious Jouzajan, Guantanamo, Bagram and Kandahar prisons for many years on mere suspicions. All these were done under the name of war on terror!

Throughout the past nine years, the Afghans have been festering in the vortex of an imposed war. They have remained deprived of the delight and solace of a normal life. The apparition of mass murder, imprisonment, night house raids and plundering which has become the order of the day, constantly haunts them. Every morning, as the Afghan wake up from the bed, they do not know whether he or she will see the next sunset, thinking that they might fall prey to your blind bombardment or straying bullets. Some times, media reports highlight these events. But the real and gruesome picture of these horrendous events remains stored in the chests of our people. In face of all these adversities, our people remained firm as they were in the right. Ultimately, casualties of your troops and your material losses began to spiral up as the war hauled along with the passage of time. This naturally sparked off hot discussions among common Americans about the worthiness of this unjustified war. The worry and concern of people presumably found way to the echelons of the representatives of the people in your country and now it has become one of the most critical issues pending before you.

As we monitor the developments, we see that, after every few days, a military official submits you distorted information about Afghanistan. They want to keep you snarled up in an environ of a misleading optimism and are trying to give vent to their own grudges. By doing so, they want to show themselves victorious, to obtain financial gains and add fuel to the fire of the war.

Your defense Secretary, Robert Gates, whenever he takes the floor at the podium, he speaks of military advancement in Afghanistan. General Petreous says, the initiative of the war is in our hands. But in fact, in the last two years, your military high-ups implemented different strategies including troop’s surge, construction of new military bases, forming militias, boosting the Kabul mercenary army etc. However, all these steps have been taken without considering the ground realities. It is why they all failed. The resistance of our people easily thwarted all efforts of your military brasses. Last year, on the basis of Obama’s new strategy, the south of our country saw rise in troop’s deployment, but, on the contrary, we opened new fronts in the north and east of the country and beefed up our operations there.

You launched operations for the capture of rural areas, we infiltrated into different cities including the cities of Kandahar and Kabul, expanding our operations there. You intended to reverse the resistance but we extended the jihad to become a country-wide resistance. Now your troops are not able to take a breath of relief in any part of Afghanistan. Last, you launched military operations dubbed as Dagger’s Strike in Helmand province, considering it as your experimental initiative to test your fortune. But it only brought in casualties and failures.

Resistance has increased comparatively in areas wherever you have carried out operations. Your troops have the highest life losses in these areas. In the east of the country, the successful operations of Mujahideen forced General Crystal to waive the rural areas protection strategy by announcing a new strategy of concentration of forces at most populated urban areas. Then you launched the Marja operations with great fanfare but only turned out to entangle you in a deadly and crippling battles. Every day, brings new fatality to your ranks and files. Similarly, in this current year, your generals wanted to launch Kandahar operations but Mujahideen took initiative in their hands as they always do so. They launched tip-and run attacks there instead and have been forging ahead with the tactic successfully.

The formation of militias as a part of civilian support program and the boosting of the Kabul administration’s army was your most prominent plan, propagated with most fanfare, prior to launching it. But this plan also went awry. Soldiers in the army and in military uniform targeted you with their own weapons. Still, instead of pondering over their mistakes, your military officers are bent on continuing the war. They irresponsibly give you distorted information about a losing war, trying to conceal from you, their failures.

Your generals and intelligence high-ups claim that the current resistance in Afghanistan is the result of interference by neighboring countries. However, by doing so, they want to justify the prolongation of the war. Sometimes, they ascribe the resistance to foreign elements and are trying to show the current armed Jihad by the Afghans as being a war waged only by Taliban or they intentionally portray it as an insurgence being put up by a given tribe and ethnicity of Afghanistan-- whereas, in fact, the current armed Jihad is a country-wide resistance against you . Men and women, old and young from every tribe, ethnicity, caste and area have arisen to oppose you. Thus by your intending to wipe out the resistance, you have chosen the way of committing genocide of the whole nation.

Think, can a few militants stand up to armed forces of 40 countries including the strongest countries of the world—still more in circumstances that the initiatives of the war is in the hands of the invaders, as your generals claim? Can a clandestine and weak intervention (by foreigners) be able to confront these troops? Can only Taliban i.e. students, confront these large number of forces? Can a certain race in a multi-ethnicity nation of Afghanistan, be able to resist such a strong and well-equipped military coalition? If the intervention had been a decisive factor for the maintenance of stability, then the Karzai would have been able to achieve that goal by now?

If you claim that the current resistance is being put up by non-Afghan elements, then your government and the coalition should produce concrete evidence for all to see. Following your occupation of Afghanistan and the inception of armed Jihad against you, you have undoubtedly detained not only tens of people, or hundreds of them, or thousands of them, but tens of thousands of them, would your military generals produce only one hundred non-Afghans from among those thousands of detainees to prove their case? If they did so, we would accept your claim that non-Afghan Mujahideen had been fighting against you all these years? Otherwise, the claim is a mere assumption.

If you are not willing to act on our suggestion, then how about another experiment? Send a team to Afghanistan on fact-finding mission. But members of the team should have freedom of movement, and should be allowed to remain far from the clutches of your intelligence agencies. Then they should see for themselves whether the military generals give them permission to go out of military barracks and hotels or they try to keep them in barracks and hotels as distinguished detainees? Presume, if they permit you to go out to find the ground realities, would you be able to travel to other areas beyond the vicinity of the few limited streets of Kabul? Even if you venture out of Kabul, do you believe, you will come back safe? The fact of the matter is that you will hardly find any area in all Afghanistan beyond proximity of two kilometers of the military bases where you can walk freely and openly.

On the other hand, when Mujahideen captured your soldier Bergh dal, they traveled with him 500 km on foot. Berg dal himself says that no government soldier ever stopped him on the way during that long journey. But still if you are not willing to put to experiment our proposal, then you should listen to my words , however, they may be bitter but are the ground realities. By feeling the burden of the issue, as responsible persons, you should not plunge your nation into perdition furthermore.

Moreover, the fear that Afghanistan may turn out to be a threat to the world peace must be put out of your minds as it is a mere baseless propaganda and a lie fabricated by your rulers to justify and continue their illegal, unjustified and irrational war, the so-called war on terror.

You had better know the ground reality that the war of Afghanistan is a losing war, being fought by the indigenous people, not just by a given faction, a tribe but by an entire nation which has over 5,000 years old history; a nation that considers both victory and martyrdom in the war against your forces as a cherished wish of success not only in this world but in the world to come as well.

Your modern and advanced military warfare and arms with state-of the-art technology have failed against Mujahideen. Your tanks, the military hardware and your soldiers that you have been spending billion of dollars on them to keep, are simply and inexpensively wiped out by ordinary Afghans. For example, 69 year-old Saleh Jan Aka along with his 18 year-old son, destroyed 32 tanks of the coalitions and 9 ranger vehicles in Helmand, by spending just $2500 —the only amount paid to him for the purpose.

Sale Jan Aka who has never been trained in any military academy, neither he left his farming work nor his village to do this. Besides, he has never asked for any reward as quid pro que. Meantime,. All the items which he used to blow up the US and its allies tanks and vehicles has been bought from Lashkar Gah, while the seller not knowing what he bought them for?

According to him, his house has been searched four times so far by the US and its allies but nothing was found to prove that he was involved in such activities. He says, once after destroying the coalition forces tanks by using IED's, he gave some cold water to the wounded soldiers to brush away their suspicions and to cause their injuries to get worse.

It is worth to consider whether your forces in Afghanistan with all the advanced hardware and modern military equipments that they have and your various operations such as Expectation, Mountain, Dagger, Dragon which cost you billion of dollars and the media war by you, will ever be able to prevent people like Saleh Jan Aka and many thousands others from carrying out their mission or even slow down the tempo of their mission? Not at all.

Is it that, that your force have come all the way to Afghanistan, expecting the Afghan people stand for them in ovation and keep watching while your forces will do what they wish to do? Or just the Afghans be sitting hand on hand while your forces will be busy building military bases, barracks, airbases and so forth? Or are you under the illusion that the Afghan nation would ever tolerate the presence of your forces and military interference in their country? You will only come around to know it when the Afghans rise to show their response.

Come and think, a moment for the sake of pondering. Suppose, a foreign force invades your country and tries to build military bases there, would you and your nation tolerate all these? or would you be convinced that the invasion was a fair and just act and the forces in your country were there for security purposes?

Anyway, on the basis of the principle of your universal slogan( democracy), the decision by parliament is considered final because it is the parliament that approves fund for each and every mission. So all relevant affairs and events are referred to the parliament for decision.

I would like to bring one last point to your notice, what was your goal to come to Afghanistan? what have you achieved so far (through the war) and what will possibly you achieve in future? Will you be able to obtain your long-term goals in the region only through the war in Afghanistan?

You are representatives of people and are an authorized entity to take decision about the Afghan issue, therefore, I presented you with a true picture of the ground realities of Afghanistan-- say, another side of the coin, more different from the one which is submitted to you by your generals, time and again.

Qari Mohammad Yousuf Ahmadi

Spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

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« Reply #111 on: November 12, 2010, 04:46:51 am »

An indepth interview with Haji Ahmad Saeed,
head of resistance operations in Kandahar city

Alemarah (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan)

November 11, 2010

The recent operations in the province of Kandahar, by the enemy I.S.A.F forces are viewed by the western-orientated media, as the last military push against the Mujahideen. The majority of them are of the opinion that should these operations fail as well; the Americans would have no other option but to leave Afghanistan.

The enemy admits, that the essential objective of this operation is to prevent the collapse of Kandahar city (which is Afghanistan’s second largest city) to the Mujahideen forces. To achieve this, the enemy, besides conducting operations in the districts surrounding Kandahar city, has now also started military operations in the city centre as well. To find out exactly what impact these operations have had on the Mujahideen forces, we talked to Haji Ahmad Saeed, who is in charge of Mujahideen military operations in Kandahar city. This detailed interview is presented below.

Alemarah: First of all, please give us some general information of the recent operations of the invading forces: what are some of the activities the invaders have undertaken?

Haji Ahmad Saeed: All Praise is to Allah, Kandahar city, which has in the past many years, bore witness to some of the Mujahideen’s greatest operations and bravery, has seen sustained attacks by Mujahideen warriors. These attacks have caused our internal and external enemies’ to panic, to the point of admitting that could very well fall to the banner of Islamic Emirate’s soldiers. Since then, the enemy has completely revised its strategy, focussing almost exclusively on Kandahar city and its surrounding regions. In line with this strategy, the enemy has increased its presence in the region considerably. This increase has been witnessed in the city centre as well, where the enemy has increased its infantry and motorised battalions. They have also carried out large scale raids against civilian population by surrounding entire districts, then carrying out house to house searches for weapons and Mujahideen. They have also started operations in regions that are under Mujahideen control. They have infested the city centre with numerous foreign and army outposts, besides the normal police stations. They have set up more and more check points on the roads and increased their intelligence gathering spy-rings. All this has given Kandahar city the appearance of a city under siege.

The enemy has caused all this commotion and carried out these measures to stop our activities in the region but Alhamdulillah and again Alhamdulillah, as our recent operations in the heart of the city have shown, the enemy has utterly failed in this objective. Even the westerners’ own governmental and non-governmental agencies confirm our success by stating that Mujahideen activities in Kandahar, instead of decreasing, have increased by over twenty-four percent.

Alemarah: The enemy invaders claim that they have set up a belt our Kandahar city to choke the movements of Mujahideen into and out of the city. What information do you have regarding this?

Haji Ahmad Saeed: It is true that the enemy has set up various check points on the roads leading into the city and on the main highways and constructed some ten large army stations. One of these army posts is on the Panjwaee road near Kobai; another is one the way from Khanjakak towards Soop; another is on the Heart road near Seelo; another is on the Arghandab road near Mir Ahmad Khan’s Kalachi; one near Kotal, one on Shah Wali Kote road, on Kabul road near Ainoominy; on the Boldak road from Shurandam towards the city. They have also set up two new army posts on the roads leading from Mahlajat. All these outposts have some of the most high-tech detection and identification tools available to the west. Yet despite this they have never captured any of our Mujahideen, nor detected any explosive-laden vehicle. Everyday our explosive filled vehicles pass over these army checkpoints and army posts without being detected or captured. This is all by the Grace of Allah who has favoured us in all opportunities. The enemy’s so called 'belt’ has achieved no other purpose besides harassing the local populace. As you can see, our attacks on the city have increased rather than decrease. Therefore this belt is no impediment to the Mujahideen operations and its purpose has been inflated far beyond its capabilities.

Alemarah: How are Mujahideen’s operations inside Kandahar city?

Haji Ahmad Saeed: In the city, as of old, as soon as darkness spreads the stooge governments rule comes to an end, our battalions start their patrols and our operations begin. At night, we set up our ambushes on all the major roads, sealing the enemy inside their outposts. Due to our ambushes, now the enemy has accepted that they cannot provide support to their other outposts if and when they get attacked. Similarly, the Mujahideen always watch their activities during day time. Everyday enemy spies and soldiers are shot dead by our snipers. Several days ago, on the Kandahar bypass road, Mujahideen conducted searches of cargo trucks finding and subsequently burning those trucks carrying supplies to enemy soldiers. All this proves that the Mujahideen have the capabilities and willingness, to conduct operations in the city according to their own initiative, while the enemy has lost all morale and determination to fight.

Alemarah: It is said that since this new operation was launched, many innocent residents have gone missing, some of whom have subsequently been found and have reported to have been kidnapped by American and puppet government officers. What information do you have regarding this?

Haji Ahmad Saeed: It is true that the enemy has arrested many innocent people, the majority of whom are still suffering in prisons. These people have been arrested by government intelligence services as well as by various local militias. Many of them have been arrested due to personal or tribal rivalries. These incidents require a thorough investigation because many of these innocent arrestee’s have often been tortured to death without any legal process. These are all innocent Afghan civilians whose death should be investigated by all Afghan and global societies.

Alemarah: Enemy has been announcing recently that they have captured a large cache of weapons, explosives and mines from the Mujahideen. What is your information regarding this?

Haji Ahmad Saeed: This is yet another of the enemy’s baseless claims. We have not yet faced a situation where the Mujahideen’s weapons or mines have been captured due to the enemy’s intelligence gathering. However, it has sometimes happened that some of our mines have failed to explode due to some technical or electronic failure. These have subsequently fallen into enemy hands further inflating their egos.

Alemarah: The issue of civilian casualties is hotly debated in Kandahar. The enemy propaganda claims that civilians are often killed in Mujahideen operations. What do you have to say about this?

Haji Ahmad Saeed: I, as the head of Kandahar operations, feel very sensitive to this issue, first in front of Allah and then in front of our Afghan people. If we did not fear for causing harm to our own people then our operations in Kandahar would be ten times more than they are today. We have always tried our best to completely end any civilians casualties on our part. We often have had to cancel our operations when we fear the possibility of civilian casualties. On the other hand, the enemy always seeks to stay and move in our population centres so that if Mujahideen attack them, any resulting civilian damage would be blamed on the Mujahideen. As much as we want to attack the enemy, we know that they want to use our people as human shields for their protection and therefore we abstain from confronting them in these areas.

Alemarah: Partly as a result of the recent operations and partly due to the targeted killings of government workers, some people in Kandahar are beginning to think that these shootings and bombings are random and indiscriminate. For this reason these people are very fearful of the present situation. What is your message to these people?

Haji Ahmad Saeed: I want to tell these people that if they are not government workers then they should be completely calm and relaxed. The operation in Kandahar are not random and spirit of the moment operations, instead each step is thoroughly planed and meticulously executed. The Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate first conduct thorough background research into their targets and when their relationship with the puppet government and their foreign paymasters is fully confirmed, do they proceed to punish these collaborators. Only once during my term has one of our Mujahids mistaken an innocent person (who fully resembled the intended target and was present in the same neighbourhood) for an intended target and killed him. On that occasion we contacted the family of the deceased and resolved the matter under the law of Shariah. Other than that no innocent person has been killed in these targeted assassinations. I want to console my fellow countrymen that the valiant Mujahideen would never steep to randomly killing their own countrymen. It is quite possible that the puppet government and the foreign invaders have put some moles in the city that terrify the populace by defaming the name of the pious Mujahideen. We have provided a contact number to the people of Kandahar to seek our help if ever confronted by these stooge government bandits.

Alemarah: How would you describe the Kandahar government?

Haji Ahmad Saeed: The government in Kandahar is barely capable of defending itself. We can see that the Kandahar government has no staff or functioning bureaucracy. Its only functioning organs are the police stations, which are run by the American invaders. On the other hand, the Mujahideen have set up various different committees which are always busy resolving the daily disputes of the local people in Kandahar.

Alemarah: To end, if you would like to say something or send a message, feel free.

Haji Ahmad Saeed: I, as a Mujahid and Muslim Afghan, would like to outline three issues which, if acted upon, will Inshallah bring success in this world and the one to follow.

My first message is to the puppet government workers. I say to them as a Muslim Afghan to leave this government. The government they work for is neither lawful nor Shar’ee (which applies the rule of Allah) but is a slave institution set up by the Americans to further their imperial goals. It does not befit a Muslim to work for the infidels in such an institution. They should hasten to leave this institution, and the Mujahideen will uphold all their rights.

My second message is to the various different contractors responsible for working for the Americans in exchange for money. I tell them that even if your collaboration with the foreigners brings you wealth; it also increases the misery of Afghanistan under foreign occupation. For this reason you must give up on earning such unlawful wealth and give up your collaboration with the American invaders.

My third message is to the various militias around Kandahar that are set up and run by the American invaders. Most of the commanders and soldiers in these militias are those same bandits that infested Kandahar before the inception of the Islamic Emirate. These bandits were once disarmed after the invasion but have once more been re-armed to serve as the shovels of Americans. I ask these men to consult their consciousness. How the Americans used them at the start of the invasion and then denounced them as bandits and miscreants. Now that they are again knee-deep in the mud, they invoke you to do their dirty deeds. Is it not enough for you to learn from your previous mistakes. You should not involve yourself once again in this dangerous war.

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« Reply #112 on: November 12, 2010, 12:31:31 pm »

Afghan resistance  "What do the Americans want to achieve in Afghanistan?"

by Hunzala Mujahid, Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

November 11, 2010

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Beneficent

In October 2001, when the invading American aerial attacks on Afghanistan began, they had predicted an easy victory by dent of their technological ascendancy and thought that the subsequent armed clashes at the battlefields would be as easy as the initial aerial onslaughts.

Being under the delusion of their own propaganda, the Americans believed that they had advantage over the Russians, English, Mongols, Macedonians and Persians who had already faced route in this ancient land. The Afghan nation’s habitual prudence in testing the strengths and capabilities of their new enemies before embarking on a full scale struggle was mistaken for being signs of weakness of the Afghans. This emboldened the enemy to take on the Afghans on their own land and focused on building grand military bases in the country. Not since the days of Akbar of the Moghul’s India, had anyone been so foolish to bring their armies to the precipitous heights of our heartlands. However, the inevitable defeat and tremendous losses quickly taught the American generals how futile their venture was. So they abandoned the rural area operations strategy and embarked on another strategy--concentrating on the main population areas. They gave priority to taking control of the southern provinces of Afghanistan. But all praises be to the Almighty Allah, the Mujahideen have foiled their plan.

The brutal I.S.A.F’s failure to hold Marjah and their inability to gain any significant ground in Kandahar or Helmand illustrates utter defeat of the invaders’ strategy. Seeing that they can’t succeed militarily, the enemy has resorted to a new stratagem instead: sowing dissension in the ranks of the Mujahideen by spreading rumors of talks and negotiations between the Afghan puppet government and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. By such deception, they hope to create a split within the Mujahideen or alternatively draw away some of the Mujahid combatants from the armed struggle, or at least to demoralize Mujahideen. A thousand thanks to Allah, this ploy of the enemy also went awry. Rather than benefiting the enemy, it exposed how weak the enemy was. In light of the U.S. military’s failures to achieve any tangible results in Afghanistan, naturally, the U.S. public is asking why they went into Afghanistan in the first place and what do they want to achieve?

After the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., Washington reacted like a mad dog, threatening every government on earth on the basis of the evidence that only existed in the figments of their imagination. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which wanted to put an end to the chaotic situation created by warlords, was attacked in the most barbaric manner and forced to defend its country and people. The U.S. government never bothered to identify the underlying causes of the 9/11 attacks on its territory nor sought to formulate a rational response to it. Instead it emptied its resources, and now seeks to somehow extricate itself from the quagmire it got itself into. To date, America has never clarified its goals that are hidden behind attacking Afghanistan except the so-called apparent slogan of war on terror which is a well-known prefabricated pretext. According to a survey conducted among US soldiers in Afghanistan, majority of them do not know what they fight for in Afghanistan and why they are stationed there. It is also not clear, that the American military presence in Afghanistan will ever serve the cause of peace and stability in the region and the world.

It is worth mentioning that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has never carried out any attack against the U.S. nor any other county. For the Afghans, Afghanistan is their land where they live. The people of Afghanistan simply wish to live peacefully according to our Islamic principles and have no higher aspiration than to live and die in defense of our land and our religion. We will continue to defend our honor and land, until any and all foreign forces leave Afghanistan. As for America, it clearly needs to re-evaluate its objectives in Afghanistan because its presence in Afghanistan serves no valuable purpose for its security and every extra day it stays in Afghanistan, paves the way for its financial melt-down and decline in political stature. America would be far better off if it withdraws its forces from Afghanistan, and instead, engage with people of countries like Afghanistan, on a mutually beneficial and constructive way.

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« Reply #113 on: November 16, 2010, 05:13:18 am »

Message of Mullah Omar on the occasion of Eid-ul-Odha

Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid, Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan


Mullah Mohammed Omar

November 15, 2010

Message of Felicitation of the Esteemed Amir-ul-Momineen on the Occasion of Eid-ul-Odha

Praise be to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help, forgiveness and guidance.

We seek His refuge from the whims of our inner-self and from our transgressions. Whoever Allah guides, no one can deviate( him/her); who ever goes astray, can find no one as a friend and guide (except Allah to guide him). We testify that there is no god but Allah. Alone is He and no partner He has. We also testify that Mohammad (peace be upon him) is His servant and messenger. Having said that, I would like to further say:

To the suffering Mujahid people of Afghanistan; to all believing ethnicities in all parts of the world; to all nearly and remotely- situated Muslims and to the Muslim Ummah: Peace, Mercy and Blessing of Allah be upon you all. My heart-felt felicitation to you on this great day of joy, selflessness and sacrifice. May Allah (swt) accept in His Sight the worship and offerings of all Muslims. Similarly, may Allah (swt) accept the pilgrimage of the pilgrims who are now visiting the Kabba Sharifa and the struggles and toils of the Mujahideen of the way of truth and of their supporters. May Allah (swt) bestow blessing, salvation and victory on the Ummah as a result of the endeavors of the Mujahideen.Ameen

Meanwhile, I would like to share with you some viewpoints concerning the current situation of the country and the world.

Regarding the Internal Developments of the Country:

The moments of defeat of the invaders have approached now due to the special victory and the sincere sacrifices of the Mujahideen. The enemy has been defeated at the battle field. Now they rely on media hypes and portray themselves as if making advancement but the ground realities are what you and we are witnessing. The enemy is retreating and facing siege in all parts of the country day in and day out. Their life casualties are spiraling up. It is because of this pressure that the enemy has resorted to spreading the misleading rumors of peace talks. Thus, they want to reduce the military pressure which is being exerted on them. But it was the enemy in the first place, who invaded our country, imposing the war on us, so the sole way for our salvation is the armed jihad in the way of Allah (swt). Our Mujahid people will never feel exhausted in the sacred path of Jihad, because it is a divine obligation and a great worship. Fatigue can have no way into it. It is a matter of pride that the Mujahideen and the people, like brothers, lay down their lives in the defense of their religion, honor and independence of their country. They do not give chance to the enemy to create split among them through propaganda and other covert machinations. The enemy wants to protect itself from the attacks of Mujahideen by creating local militia units and utilize them as a shield; we have paid special attention to this task and obtained spectacular achievements. Similarly, some internal and external enemies are now speaking of disintegration of the beloved country. They should know that the patriotic countrymen and the Islamic Emirate will never allow any one to put into practice their wicked plan.

Regarding the Puppet Kabul Regime:

The situation of the Afghan people and the beloved country is going from bad to worse during this reign of the surrogate Karzai regime. Hardships, starvations, poverty, homelessness, civilian casualties, various diseases, aberrations of the youth and cultural and social deviation in the name of democracy are touching its climax. A few hoarders in the high government slots have control over all items including the daily consumption items. This is being carried out under the title of the open market system. They are determiner of the prices. We witness this hard fact, that many miserable families of the country have been forced to resort to beggary. Corruption is at its epic. This is not what we say but the founders and masters of this regime admit that their puppet regime ranks 2nd at the index of the most corrupt regimes of the world. This is because the rulers of the regime have been installed by others and they are not interested in the future and prosperity of the country. They are only hankering after filling their pockets with money and fleecing the masses. Many of them have foreign nationality and do not consider Afghanistan as their own country.

The Americans are intending to keep in the country, a regime installed under the leadership of some westernized elements-- a regime which is extremely bereft of any resolve and determination; a surrogate only relying on foreign aid. Thus the invaders want to prolong their presence in the region and extend their occupation. Every Afghan in this corrupt regime has obligation to desist from supporting the invaders because of the current ordeals and tribulations that the Afghan Muslim people are passing through. They should not help their enemies of faith to destroy their home. There is no moral and religious justification to work in a regime, being puppet and traitor to its people. If they are not able to join the ranks of Jihad, at least, they can desist from cooperating with them. Thus they would perform their patriotic and ideological obligation. They should take care, less they may not stand shameful before their people and history and Allah (swt) on the Day of Resurrection.

The number of those who have left the ranks of the enemy has increased following our previous call to do so. This is a commendable phenomenon. We have instructed all Mujadeen to favor them with special incentives and acclamations.

Regarding the Rumors of Peace Talks by the Americans:

The Islamic Emirate still holds its previous stand regarding the current issue of the country. Islamic Emirate believes that the solution of the issue lies in withdrawal of the foreign invading troops and establishment of a true Islamic and independent system in the country. The cunning enemy which has occupied our country, is trying, on the one hand, to expand its military operations on the basis of its double standard policy and, on the other hand, wants to throw dust into the eyes of the people by spreading the rumors of negotiation. Claims about negotiation, flexibility in the stance of the Islamic Emirate, are mere baseless propaganda. The enemy wants to cover up its failure in Afghanistan by wrongfully raising hollow hopes in the hearts of their respective people. The believing people of Afghanistan and the public of the world should not trust any news report or rumor about the stance of the Islamic Emirate disseminated by any one rather than the leadership of the Islamic Emirate or the designated spokesmen, because such new reports are spread by the intelligence agencies of the hostile countries. Then the media outlets affiliated with these espionage entities, irresponsibly publish them with great fanfare. The aim is to play down the defeat ( of the enemy) at the military field through media warfare. But these conspiracies will never prove effective against our brave people and mujahideen as these experiences have already been tested.

The former Jihadi leaders and influential based in Kabul should know that, as the invading Americans already used you against the Mujahideen in the framework of peace council, they will again use you for their illegitimate objectives besides the puppet regime of Kabul. We can’t figure out why you are unilaterally coopering with the invaders? Can the present regime reflect your objectives of former jihad? Was the aim behind your 14-years long Jihad to let the place of the Russians to be occupied by the Americans?

If you want to extricate yourself of this dilemma and lead a life like a proud Muslim Afghan, the only way of honor and dignity is the way of the sacred Jihad and independence of the country. Come and compensate for your mistakes of the previous years by honestly embarking on the path of struggle against the invaders. This does not mean that every one has to join the stronghold but every one should utilize his capability in support of the current resistance. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has comprehensive policy for the efficiency of the future government of Afghanistan; about true security, Islamic justice, education, economic progress, national unity and a foreign policy based on norms to protect itself from the harms of others and convince the world that the future Afghanistan will not harm them.

Regarding the Military Situation of the Country:

Our coming military programs will forge ahead on the basis of the climate of the country and the geographical locations as per the plans now at the disposal of the Mujahideen. The aim is to entangle the enemy in an exhausting war of attrition and wear it away like the former Soviet Union. This will force it face disintegration after dealing a crushing and decisive blow at it that it would not be able to hold itself thereafter. To achieve this, we have hammered out short term and long term plans. We are optimistic about the results of these plans. Our strategy is to increase our operations step by step and spread them to all parts of the country to compel the enemy to come out from their hideouts and then crush them through tactical raids. This experiment was effective in Marja, Kandahar and some other areas. Therefore, the Mujahideen should focus on their jihadic efforts more than ever and expand their jihadic operations on the basis of the given plans. They should try their best to compel the moribund enemy to flee from our soil. They should constantly and unremittingly remember Allah during the performance of their tasks and be sure that Allah is the ultimate creator and conductor of all affairs; and must have the conviction that their achievements are the result of the exclusive blessings and victory from Allah; should increase their worship and recite the prayers during jihad which the holy prophet (peace be upon him) usually recited. This will bestow on them solace and consolation and will strengthen in them the essence of trust, sincerity, humbleness and the desire to seek the pleasure of Allah (swt). These characteristics of a believer are an asset which even in worse conditions lead to a blessing and victory from the Almighty Allah. Similarly, do not forget the Islamic moral conduct, even for a while, during your journey on the path of the sacred Jihad. You should study the Jihad related affairs in the books of the Sayings of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and in the laws of religious jurisprudence. Pay attention to the life and property of the civilians so that, may Allah (swt) forbid, your Jihadic activities will not become a cause for destruction of property and loss of life of people. Any thing that is not permissible in Islam, has no place in our military policy. Spread fraternity among yourselves and help each other during the time of distress and ordeal. Maintain close contact with the people, seek the advice of local influential and hear their constructive advice and consultation and put them into practice.

To the Young Educated Generation and Men of Letters of the Country and the Students of Universities:

As a young educated generation and men of letters (writers) of our Islamic country, you are the leaders of tomorrow of the country. Our enemy is turning every stone to spread their cultural and ideological influence over the young generation of this Muslim country and thus jeopardize our history, religious values and our future. Our religious and historical enemy has cunningly launched a propaganda drive, spending huge amount of money in order to gradually strip our young generation of their Afghan and Islamic identity. As a young generation of this Islamic country, you have an Islamic and Afghani responsibility to confront these hostile anti-Islamic and anti-Afghan endeavors of the enemy with all your capability of tongue and pen and indefatigable struggle. Do not let your historical, religious and cultural enemy succeed. You should know that the cunning enemy financially and extensively fund some sold-out Afghan circles in a surreptitious manner to flare up a domestic war on the basis of language and geographical locations. Thus they want to harm the identity and integrity of the country and take avenge on the Afghans. You, the young educated generation, should not become part of these negative movements. Instead, solely focus on serving the cause of dissemination of Islamic culture, independence of the country and unity. The honor of a Muslim lies in Islam and Islamic unity. It is you that are able to protect the pillars of Islamic culture and Afghani identity from crumbling down. The Islamic Emirate is your flank of battle and a stronghold.

The Islamic Emirate is proud of your support; your Jihad of words and pen and holds you in high esteem and praise. This resistance will increasingly boost through your scholarly cultural efforts.

To Peoples and Governments of the Islamic World:

On this occasion of Eid-ul-odha and on behalf of the Islamic Emirate and as a member of the world Islamic family, I would like to remind the governments and people of the Islamic world to forget the issue of the occupied Afghanistan and the miserable condition of the people of this country. You should remember that the Afghan people have played prideful role for the defense of Islam and Islamic world, offering numerous sacrifices in this way throughout different stages of the history. This nation stood as a wall of iron in front of the invasions of Genghis, Britons and the communist colonialists, saving the Islamic world. Today, this nation is entangled in a complicated trial and an imposed war on the charges of their professing (Islamic) ideology. Every day, men and women of this nation, fall prey to the bombardment of the invaders and their children become orphans; miserable people are displaced internally due to the operations and fear of bombardment of the enemy. The people are grappling with hardship and poverty. But the Afghans have embraced all these sufferings out of commitment to the great cause of establishment of rules of the Holy Quran and the defense of the Islamic faith. So the Muslims of the world should share and feel (their pain) and have conduct with them on equal terms as pious Muslim. Perform your obligation of fraternity( towards them) in your material wealth. The countries of the Islamic world should not feel as being a lien to the issues of Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine and should not spare any effort in this regard in the framework of their foreign policies. They should consider the pains and hardship of these suffering people as their own pain and problem and play positive role in the solution of their problems.

To American and European Peoples and to Members of Parliaments:

Afghanistan is an independent Islamic country. It has a prideful history and freedom-loving people at the level of the region and world. This nation has not harmed the independence of other countries and, throughout the history, has not permitted any one else to take their independence. Now when your forces have invaded this territory for the achievement of some colonialist objectives and goals, so it is the religious and humane obligation of the Afghans to stand up to your forces. Think, if your country is invaded by some one else, would you remain indifferent in such circumstances? What do you think, should our people allow the invasion and aggression in their country and remain insouciant vis-avis the invaders? And should not they show any reaction in front of the aggression against their honor religious values, national dignity and independence.?

If you are an impartial judge, you would yourself give us the right to keep up the path of resistance against the invaders and even shore it up more than ever.

Availing the limited resources at their disposal and because of their firm determinations and conviction in their being in the right, the Afghans showed to your military chiefs and political leaders in the past nine years, that you, invaders, are not able to force this nation to accept your occupation. The troops surge made no change in the status quo and never will they be able to turn the tide, if God willing. Body counts of your troop’s causalities have spiraled up but still your political leaders and military chiefs stubbornly persist in their failed politics.

First of all, you should find for yourselves the ground realities and then study them. Ponder over them impartially. How long the governments and people of the world will tolerate your tyrannical policy and your demeanor of taking hostage the people. To relieve yourselves and the Afghan people from the weariness of this unjustified war, you have to put an end to the war as soon as possible. The more the war prolongs, the more causalties of your troops increase and the more its economic burden become heavier. Nothing more than this, you will achieve.

This is the country of the Afghans. The Afghan will not relinquish of it. The resistance will continue as long as the invaders are stationed there. You should review the historical facts to learn some essential points from them. It is more rationale to stop adding fuel to the flames of war by leaving this region. The presence of foreign forces on our soil, paves the way for intensification and aggravation of the war--consequent upon which you will have to face colossal financial and life losses.

To the Neighboring and Regional Countries of Afghanistan:

As an independent country, Afghanistan has been forced to wage a sanguinary war for the attainment of its identity. The colonialist countries led by America, want to turn our historical and independent country into a military base under various pretexts. It has persuaded some other countries to align with them and even have compelled the World Body of the United Nations to issue resolutions palatable to the USA. It has turned the World Body, defacto, into personal entity of America.

I urge you to find for yourselves the ground realities instead of listening to the futile propaganda of the colonialists. Do not forget your responsibilities in the way of independence of our oppressed country.

On the basis of its hypocritical policy, America wants to project our legitimate mission to defend our country and the current resistance as a threat to the world whereas they have no convincing proof and evidence on hand in this regard.


To end, I urge all Muslims to remember the families of Muahideen, the prisoners, martyrs and IDPs in these day of sacrifices and selflessness; they have sacrificed themselves in the defense of this venerable religion (Islam) and the country. Remember their orphans and heirs and behave with them like you behave with your children, particularly, favor them with a share in the joy of the Eid.

Once again congratulations on the occasion of Eid and may Allah protect you from grief and anguish.

Peace be on you all

The servant of Islam
Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid


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« Reply #114 on: November 16, 2010, 05:35:06 am »

Taliban Leader Mullah Omar: The US and NATO Are Being Defeated in Afghanistan

by Jeremy Scahill

The Nation, November 15, 2010

In a communiqué marking the beginning of the Muslim holiday, Eid-al-Adha, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, claimed his forces were making gains against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan and announced a new plan to increase attacks aimed at delivering a "crushing and decisive blow" against the presence of foreign forces. "The aim is to entangle the enemy in an exhausting war of attrition and wear it away like the former Soviet Union," declared Omar in his address on the "Festival of Sacrifice." Omar wrote that his forces had developed new short and long term strategies, saying overall "our strategy is to increase our operations step by step and spread them to all parts of the country to compel the enemy to come out from their hideouts and then crush them through tactical raids."
Omar's declaration comes amid reports that leaders at this week's NATO summit in Portugal plan to set 2014 as an end date for "combat" operations.
Omar portrayed the ongoing battle with US forces in Marjah and, more recently, in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar--where US-led forces code-named their operation "Dragon Strike"-- as victories. Noting the surge in US and NATO casualties and deaths in Afghanistan, Omar wrote. "The moment of defeat of the invaders has approached," adding: "The enemy has been defeated on the battlefield. Now they rely on media hype and portray themselves as if making advancement but the ground realities are what you and we are witnessing. The enemy is retreating and facing siege in all parts of the country day in and day out. Their life casualties are spiraling up."
Current Taliban commanders and former senior officials of Omar's Taliban government recently told The Nation that while the US Special Operations Forces' targeted killing campaign against Taliban commanders has been successful, the strikes were actually producing a more radical generation of fighters and commanders. In his communication, Omar did not address the issue of the targeted killing campaign, but he did claim that morale among the Taliban remained high. "Our Mujahid people will never feel exhausted in the sacred path of Jihad, because it is a divine obligation," he wrote. "Fatigue can have no way into it."
Omar is never seen publicly and US officials believe is hiding in Quetta, Pakistan. In interviews with The Nation in Afghanistan, several former and current Taliban leaders suggested that Omar was currently residing in Afghanistan. In the nine years since US forces toppled the Taliban government analysts have questioned the extent of his control over insurgent forces fighting to expel the US and NATO. On the ground in Afghanistan, anti-US fighters tell different stories. Many say they are loyal to Omar and proclaim him the leader of the jihad, while other reports paint a picture of a fractured resistance with multiple groups. Omar "is the main figure and a powerful person and the emir of the Taliban," says Abdul Salam Zaeef, the former Taliban government's ambassador to Pakistan. Speaking at his home in Kabul where he is closely monitored by Karzai's security forces, Zaeef said, "Nobody knows where is he. If I know, the [Afghan] government should know, the Americans should know. It would be not safe. Nobody knows where is he, but he is alive." As for reports Omar has been captured, Zaeef laughs and says, "He was already captured so many times by the American media."
In his Eid-al-Adha communiqué, Omar blasted the Karzai government as a corrupt "puppet Kabul regime" subservient to Washington and rejected as "baseless propaganda" reports that senior Taliban officials have engaged in any negotiations with the Karzai government or US/NATO forces. "The cunning enemy which has occupied our country is trying, on the one hand, to expand its military operations… and, on the other hand, wants to throw dust into the eyes of the people by spreading the rumors of negotiation," Omar wrote.
The Taliban leader's allegations mirror those of a US official who told McClatchy News Service in October that reports of senior Taliban meeting with Afghan or US officials were propaganda aimed at sowing dissent among the Taliban leadership. "This is a psychological operation, plain and simple," said the US official with firsthand knowledge of the Afghan government's strategies. "Exaggerating the significance of it is an effort to sow distrust within the insurgency."
In his declaration, Omar wrote:
"The enemy wants to cover up its failure in Afghanistan by wrongfully raising hollow hopes in the hearts of their respective people. The believing people of Afghanistan and the public of the world should not trust any news report or rumor about the stance of the Islamic Emirate disseminated by any one rather than  the leadership of the Islamic Emirate or the designated spokesmen, because such new reports are spread by the intelligence agencies of the hostile countries. Then the media outlets affiliated with these espionage entities, irresponsibly publish them with great fanfare. The aim is to play down the defeat (of the enemy) at the military field through media warfare. But these conspiracies will never prove effective against our brave people and mujahideen."
Omar also delivered his counter-point to the US counterinsurgency doctrine, instructing his forces not to target civilian populations and to build ties in local communities, calling on his followers to ensure that their "Jihadic activities will not become a cause for  destruction of property and loss of life" of civilians, adding, "Anything that is not permissible in Islam, has no place in our military policy."

Watch :

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« Reply #115 on: November 16, 2010, 05:45:12 am »

The Stimulus Package in Kabul

(I Was Delusional -- I Thought One Monster “Embassy” Was the End of It)

By Tom Burghardt

Tomdispatch, November 15, 2010

You must have had a moment when you thought to yourself: It really isn’t going to end, is it?  Not ever.  Rationally, you know perfectly well that whatever your "it" might be will indeed end, because everything does, but your gut tells you something different.

I had that moment recently when it came to the American way of war.  In the past couple of weeks, it could have been triggered by an endless string of ill-attended news reports like theChristian Science Monitor piece headlined "U.S. involvement in Yemen edging toward 'clandestine war.’"  Or by the millions of dollars in U.S. payments reportedly missing in Afghanistan, thanks to under-the-table or unrecorded handouts in unknown amounts to Afghan civilian government employees (as well as Afghan security forces, private-security contractors, and even the Taliban).  Or how about the news that the F-35 "Joint Strike Fighter," the cost-overrun poster weapon of the century, already long overdue, will cost yet more money and be produced even less quickly?

Or what about word that our Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has officially declared the Obama administration "open" to keeping U.S. troops in Iraq after the announced 2011 deadline for their withdrawal?  Or how about the news from McClatchy’s reliable reporter Nancy Youssef that Washington is planning to start "publicly walking away from what it once touted as key deadlines in the war in Afghanistan in an effort to de-emphasize President Barack Obama's pledge that he'd begin withdrawing U.S. forces in July 2011"?

Or that bottomless feeling could have been triggered by the recent request from the military man in charge of training Afghan security forces, Lieutenant General William Caldwell, for another 900 U.S. and NATO trainers in the coming months, lest the improbable "transition" date of 2014 for Afghan forces to "take the lead" in protecting their own country be pushed back yet again.  ("No trainers, no transition," wrote the general in a "report card" on his mission.)

Or it could have been the accounts of how a trained Afghan soldier turned his gun on U.S. troops in southern Afghanistan, killing two of them, and then fled to the Taliban for protection (one of a string of similar incidents over the last year).  Or, speaking of things that could have set me off, consider this passage from the final paragraphs of an Elisabeth Bumiller article tucked away inside the New York Times on whether Afghan War commander General David Petraeus was (or was not) on the road to success: "'It is certainly true that Petraeus is attempting to shape public opinion ahead of the December [Obama administration] review [of Afghan war policy],' said an administration official who is supportive of the general. 'He is the most skilled public relations official in the business, and he’s trying to narrow the president’s options.'"

Or, in the same piece, what about this all-American analogy from Bruce Riedel, the former CIA official who chaired President Obama’s initial review of Afghan war policy in 2009, speaking of the hundreds of mid-level Taliban the U.S. military has reportedly wiped out in recent months: "The fundamental question is how deep is their bench." (Well, yes, Bruce, if you imagine the Afghan War as the basketball nightmare on Elm Street in which the hometown team’s front five periodically get slaughtered.)

Or maybe it should have been the fact that only 7% of Americans had reports and incidents like these, or evidently anything else having to do with our wars, on their minds as they voted in the recent midterm elections.

The Largest "Embassy" on Planet Earth

Strange are the ways, though.  You just can’t predict what’s going to set you off.  For me, it was none of the above, nor even the flood of Republican war hawks heading for Washington eager to "cut" government spending by "boosting" the Pentagon budget.  Instead, it was a story that slipped out as the midterm election results were coming in and was treated as an event of no importance in the U.S.

The Associated Press covered U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry's announcement that a $511 million contract had been awarded to Caddell Construction, one of America’s "largest construction and engineering groups," for a massive expansion of the U.S. embassy in Kabul.  According to the ambassador, that embassy is already "the largest... in the world with more than 1,100 brave and dedicated civilians... from 16 agencies and working next to their military counterparts in 30 provinces," and yet it seems it’s still not large enough.

A few other things in his announcement caught my eye.  Construction of the new "permanent offices and housing" for embassy personnel is not to be completed until sometime in 2014, approximately three years after President Obama’s July 2011 Afghan drawdown is set to begin, and that $511 million is part of a $790 million bill to U.S. taxpayers that will include expansion work on consular facilities in the Afghan cities of Mazar-i-Sharif and Herat.  And then, if the ambassador’s announcement was meant to fly below the media radar screen in the U.S., it was clearly meant to be noticed in Afghanistan.  After all, Eikenberry publicly insisted that the awarding of the contract should be considered "an indication... an action, a deed that you can take as a long-term commitment of the United States government to the government of Afghanistan."

(Note to Tea Party types heading for Washington: this contract is part of a new stimulus package in one of the few places where President Obama can, by executive fiat, increase stimulus spending.  It has already resulted in the hiring of 500 Afghan workers and when construction ramps up, another 1,000 more will be added to the crew.)

Jo Comerford and the number-crunchers at the National Priorities Project have offered TomDispatch a hand in putting that $790 million outlay into an American context: "$790 million is more than ten times the money the federal government allotted for the State Energy Program in FY2011. It's nearly five times the total amount allocated for the National Endowment for the Arts (threatened to be completely eliminated by the incoming Congress). If that sum were applied instead to job creation in the United States, in new hires it would yield more than 22,000 teachers, 15,000 healthcare workers, and employ more than 13,000 in the burgeoning clean energy industry."

Still, to understand just why, among a flood of similar war reports, this one got under my skin, you need a bit of backstory.

Singular Spawn or Forerunner Deluxe?

One night in May 2007, I was nattering on at the dinner table about reports of a monstrous new U.S. embassy being constructed in Baghdad, so big that it put former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s grandiose Disneyesque palaces to shame.  On 104 acres of land in the heart of the Iraqi capital (always referred to in news reports as almost the size of Vatican City), it was slated to cost $590 million. (Predictable cost overruns and delays -- see F-35 above -- would, in the end, bring that figure to at least $740 million, while the cost of running the place yearly is now estimated at $1.5 billion.)

Back then, more than half a billion dollars was impressive enough, even for a compound that was to have its own self-contained electricity-generation, water-purification, and sewage systems in a city lacking most of the above, not to speak of its own antimissile defense systems, and 20 all-new blast-resistant buildings including restaurants, a recreation center, and other amenities.  It was to be by far the largest, most heavily fortified embassy on the planet with a "diplomatic" staff of 1,000 (a number that has only grown since).

My wife listened to my description of this future colossus, which bore no relation to anything ever previously called an "embassy," and then, out of the blue, said, "I wonder who the architect is?"  Strangely, I hadn’t even considered that such a mega-citadel might actually have an architect.

That tells you what I know about building anything.  So imagine my surprise to discover that there was indeed a Kansas architect, BDY (Berger Devine Yaeger), previously responsible for the Sprint Corporation's world headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas; the Visitation Church in Kansas City, Missouri; and Harrah's Hotel and Casino in North Kansas City, Missouri.  Better yet, BDY was so proud to have been taken on as architect to the wildest imperial dreamers and schemers of our era that it posted sketches at its website of what the future embassy, its "pool house," its tennis court, PX, retail and shopping areas, and other highlights were going to look like.

Somewhere between horrified and grimly amused, I wrote a piece at TomDispatch, entitled "The Mother Ship Lands in Baghdad" and, via a link to the BDY drawings, offered readers a little "blast-resistant spin" through Bush’s colossus.  From the beginning, I grasped that this wasn’t an embassy in any normal sense and I understood as well something of what it was.  Here’s the way I put it at the time:

"As an outpost, this vast compound reeks of one thing: imperial impunity. It was never meant to be an embassy from a democracy that had liberated an oppressed land. From the first thought, the first sketch, it was to be the sort of imperial control center suitable for the planet's sole 'hyperpower,’ dropped into the middle of the oil heartlands of the globe. It was to be Washington's dream and Kansas City's idea of a palace fit for an embattled American proconsul -- or a khan."

In other words, a U.S. "control center" at the heart of what Bush administration officials then liked to call "the Greater Middle East" or the "arc of instability."  To my surprise, the piece began racing around the Internet and other sites -- TomDispatch did not then have the capacity to post images -- started putting up BDY’s crude drawings.  The next thing I knew, the State Department had panicked, declared this a "security breach," and forced BDY to take down its site and remove the drawings.

I was amazed.  But (and here we come to the failure of my own imagination) I never doubted that BDY’s bizarre imperial "mother ship" being prepared for landing in Baghdad was the singular spawn of the Bush administration.  I saw it as essentially a vanity production sired by a particular set of fantasies about imposing a Pax Americana abroad and a Pax Republicana at home.  It never crossed my mind that there would be two such "embassies."

So, on this, call me delusional.  By May 2009, with Barack Obama in the White House, I knew as much.  That was when two McClatchy reporters broke a story about a similar project for a new "embassy" in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, at the projected cost of $736 million (with a couple of hundred million more slated for upgrades of diplomatic facilities in Afghanistan).

Simulating Ghosts

Now, with the news in from Kabul, we know that there are going to be three mother ships.  All gigantic beyond belief.  All (after the usual cost overruns) undoubtedly in the three-quarters of a billion dollar range, or beyond.  All meant not to house modest numbers of diplomats acting as the face of the United States in a foreign land, but thousands of diplomats, spies, civilian personnel, military officials, agents, and operatives hunkering down long-term for war and skullduggery.

Connect two points and you have a straight line.  Connect three points and you have a pattern -- in this case, simple and striking.  The visionaries and fundamentalists of the Bush years may be gone and visionless managers of the tattered American imperium are now directing the show.  Nonetheless, they and the U.S. military in the region remain remarkably devoted to the control of the Greater Middle East.  Even without a vision, there is still the war momentum and the money to support it.

While Americans fight bitterly over whether the stimulus package for the domestic economy was too large or too small, few in the U.S. even notice that the American stimulus package in Kabul, Islamabad, Baghdad, and elsewhere in our embattled Raj is going great guns.  Embassies the size of pyramids are still being built; military bases to stagger the imagination continue to be constructed; and nowhere, not even in Iraq, is it clear that Washington is committed to packing up its tents, abandoning its billion-dollar monuments, and coming home.

In the U.S., it’s clearly going to be paralysis and stagnation all the way, but in Peshawar and Mazar-i-sharif, not to speak of the greater Persian Gulf region, we remain the spendthrifts of war, perfectly willing, for instance, to ship fuel across staggering distances and unimaginably long supply lines at $400 a gallon to Afghanistan to further crank up an energy-heavy conflict.   Here in the United States, police are being laid off.  In Afghanistan, we are paying to enroll thousands and thousands of them and train them in ever greater numbers.  In the U.S., roads crumble; in Afghanistan, support for road-building is still on the agenda.

At home, it’s peace all the way to the unemployment line, because peace, in our American world, increasingly seems to mean economic disaster.  In the Greater Middle East, it’s war to the horizon, all war all the time, and creeping escalation all the way around.  (And keep in mind that the escalatory stories cited above all occurred before the next round of Republican warhawks even hit Washington with the wind at their backs, ready to push for far more of the same.)

The folks who started us down this precipitous path and over an economic cliff are now in retirement and heading onto the memoir circuit: our former president is chatting it up with Matt Lauer and Oprah; his vice president is nursing his heart while assumedly writing about "his service in four presidential administrations"; his first secretary of defense is readying himself for the publication of his memoir in January; and his national security advisor, then secretary of state (for whom Chevron once named a double-hulled oil tanker), is already heading into her second and third memoir.  But while they scribble and yak, their policy ghosts haunt us, as does their greatest edifice, that embassy in Baghdad, now being cloned elsewhere.  Even without them or the neocons who pounded the drums for them, the U.S. military still pushes doggedly toward 2014 and beyond in Afghanistan, while officials "tweak" their drawdown non-schedules, narrow the president’s non-options, and step in to fund and build yet more command-and-control centers in the Greater Middle East.

It looks and feels like the never-ending story, and yet, of course, the imperium is visibly fraying, while the burden of distant wars grows ever heavier.  Those "embassies" are being built for the long haul, but a decade or two down the line, I wouldn’t want to put my money on what exactly they will represent, or what they could possibly hope to control.

Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute's  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.

[Note:  For those still interested, some of the BDY sketches of the Baghdad embassy remain up at  Click here to see them.  And while I’m at it, let me make a heartfelt bow to, without which TomDispatch research would truly be hell and, in particular, Jason Ditz, whose daily updates are must-read fare for me.  Other crucial must-read sites for collecting war info include Juan Cole’s Informed Comment, Paul Woodward’s the War in Context, and Noah Shachtman’s Danger Room.]

Copyright 2010 Tom Engelhardt

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« Reply #116 on: November 17, 2010, 05:01:47 am »

South Asia
Nov 18, 2010 

Have (infinite) war, will travel

By Pepe Escobar

Anyone aware enough to think that Washington's goal is not to "win" the unwinnable AfPak quagmire but to keep playing its bloody infinite war game forever is now eligible for a personal stimulus package (in gold).

Let's review the recent evidence. All of a sudden, the White House, the Pentagon and the United States House of Representatives have all embarked on a new narrative: forget major US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2011; let's move the goalpost to 2014.

Then wily Afghan President Hamid Karzai tells the Washington Post he does not want all these US troops roaming around "his" country no more, adding please, stop killing my people with special-forces night ops - a euphemism for Pentagon terrorism.

General David “I'm always positioning myself for 2012” Petraeus is "astonished". How could he not be? After all, Karzai wanted to give the boot to private contractors - undisputed AfPak champions of false-flag black ops - then he gave up, as he might give up again on the night raids. As for Petraeus, he only wants the best of both worlds; kick up the hell-raising, as in drone hits and night ops (who cares about collateral damage?) and sit back and talk with the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence-created Taliban.

Incidentally, Petraeus' counter-insurgency myth has been buried in the plains south of the Hindu Kush (not that many in the US noted). The counter-insurgency (COIN) myth implies that Washington, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and what passes for "Afghan security forces" could "take, clear, hold and build" areas previously controlled by the Taliban. They could not accomplish any of this even in Marjah, insistently sold by the Pentagon and compliant corporate media as a success, not to mention much bigger Kandahar.

Former US secretary of state Colin Powell has just weighed in on CNN, admitting the US won't be "pulling out 100,000 troops. I don't know how many troops we'll pull out." Powell also said that "inside the national security team", the whole thing is "conditions-based". Thus "conditions" may be bent to suit any narrative. Sharp noses may immediately detect a whiff of Vietnam, and Powell had to insist that Afghanistan is not that country. Well, whether Karzai is increasingly becoming the new Ngo Dinh Diem is beside the point; his assassination would not solve anything anyway.

And all this while a 71-page Council on Foreign Relations report written by 25 "experts" gets a lot of traction in Washington. The report finds that the war costs a fortune, may not serve US interests and it's not "clear that the effort will succeed". Do people get paid to conclude this? The report also meekly suggests that depending on President Barack Obama's December strategic AfPak review, the US "should move quickly to recalculate its military presence in Afghanistan". It won't.

Let's try following the money. The AfPak war costs roughly US $7 billion a month - money that Washington needs to borrow from Beijing. Afghanistan in itself costs $65 billion a year - not counting NATO and humanitarian aid. Afghanistan's gross domestic product is only $22 billion. So Washington is spending three times the wealth of a whole country just to occupy it. Money for nothing. Properly invested, by this time Afghanistan would be the new Singapore.

AfPak costs nearly $100 billion a year. Surrealist as it may seem, polls indicate that for most Americans the US federal budget deficit is not a priority. No wonder no election candidates on November 2 emitted a peep about the ridiculously expensive quagmire.

Let's face it. Whoever is writing this screenplay deserves an Oscar.

All you need is NATO
According to the official narrative, technically NATO only left its (cavernous) building in Europe for Afghanistan under the organization's Article 5 (emphasizing collective defense) to help Washington fight George W Bush's "war on terror" against al-Qaeda. Yet even somnolent diplomats in Brussels know that Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri crossed from eastern Afghanistan to Pakistan in early December 2001, and disappeared into a black void.

This would never prevent NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen - ahead of the NATO summit this weekend in Lisbon - stressing that the war, well, goes on forever, as in "there is no alternative to continuing military operations". NATO's council secretary Edmund Whiteside didn't mince his words, "Afghanistan will be a very long military venture." And German Brigadier General Josef Blotz insists: "No timetable has been set for withdrawal of coalition troops."

The "strategy" of the 152,000-soldier, 50-nation, NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan ranks as a thesis on Monty Python geopolitics; to pledge a tsunami of euros for Karzai's shenanigans while forcing member countries to unleash ever more troops into the Taliban meat grinder - even though public opinion all across Europe says out loud "we can't take this anymore".

At least the commander of British forces in southern Afghanistan, Major General Nick Carter, was sensible enough to stress that NATO would only know if it was "winning" by June 2011, "when the fighting season begins again" and everyone can "compare Taliban attacks with this year". Wait for another eight months and pray for 2014; that's the "strategy". Talk about on-the-ground intelligence.

NATO is absolutely useless at infiltrating the historic Taliban - also known as the Quetta shura, based in Balochistan (they cannot even point a drone to where Mullah Omar is). NATO cannot infiltrate the Haqqani network in North Waziristan. And NATO cannot infiltrate the Hezb-i-Islami network, controlled by former prime minister and bomber of Kabul (in the mid-1990s) Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, based in and around the strategic Khyber Pass.

The Pakistani ISI will always align with the Taliban under any circumstances - because this is Islamabad's way of protecting its "strategic depth" against India. The ISI will always insist on having the Taliban at the same table with Washington, otherwise any semblance of "talks" will be dead on arrival.

Islamabad's dream scenario is the Taliban, the Haqqanis and Hezb-i-Islami controlling southern and eastern Afghanistan. That would also be instrumental in preventing another one of Islamabad's primal fears - that disgruntled Pashtuns will unite and go all out to form an across-the-artificial-border Pashtunistan.

The key to all this mess is not Obama, Karzai, the Pentagon or NATO. It's which way General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani, number 29 on Forbes' list of the most powerful people in the world, will see the wind blowing. As much as during the Bush "war on terror" years, when Islamabad was ruled from Washington, during the Obama AfPak years the White House is a hostage of Islamabad.

But for the Pentagon/NATO axis, Pakistan is just a drop in the ocean. Next Friday and Saturday, at the Lisbon summit, the world will be presented with a NATO-goes-global narrative. Team Pentagon/NATO will be convinced to abandon its privileged outpost of infinite war - Afghanistan - over its dead nuclear bombs. After all, Washington/Brussels has implanted a precious foothold in the heart of Eurasia - arguably for life.

The Lisbon summit, moreover, will see NATO formally adopting a new strategic concept - which essentially means keeping its nuclear arsenal in perpetuity, including US nuclear bombs stationed in Europe. You know, those nuclear bombs that Iran does not have (but Pakistan and India, not to mention Israel, do). Paraphrasing the great Burt Bacharach, what the world needs now, is NATO sweet NATO.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and RedZone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obamadoes Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

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« Reply #117 on: November 17, 2010, 05:27:50 am »

The 2014 Timetable for Afghanistan

Robert Dreyfuss | November 15, 2010

If you're an antiwar activist, the news from Afghanistan ought to be somewhat encouraging. Not only is the Obama administration sticking to its guns concerning the July, 2011, deadline for the start of a drawdown, but the NATO summit this week in Portugal will fix 2014 as the end point for US and NATO combat forces, a deadline that President Karzai of Afghanistan has endorsed vociferously. That's not good enough, of course, since it still means four more years of war and, even then, an uncertain timetable for removing residual (i.e., "non-combat") troops. (See: Iraq, where there are still 50,000 troops in the country and renewed talk about extending their deployment past the deadline of 2011 for complete withdrawal.)

But the good news embedded in all of this is that the discourse on Afghanistan is built around when to end the fighting and transition to the use of Afghan forces to do the fighting. And it's not about "winning" the war, nation-building and village-by-village, valley-by-valley, Petraeus-style counterinsurgency. That's a shift that Obama's White House has engineered, and it was laid out in detail in Bob Woodward's recent book, Obama's Wars.

If you're General Petraeus, the news from Afghanistan is disheartening. Disheartening enough, in fact, that according to the Washington Post Petraeus was sounding a bit like an insulted child, dropping hints that he might resign over Karzai's latest outburst.

Over the weekend, Karzai gave an extended interview to the [1]Post [1] in which he renewed much of his critique of the war. Last spring, you'll remember, Karzai launched a strong attack on US policy in his country. As I wrote for The Nation [2] in April:

In a series of angry, frustrated outbursts, Karzai has declared that the United States is acting like an invader and occupier, that ‘there is a thin curtain between invasion and cooperation-assistance,' that the heavy-handed US and NATO military operations could transform the insurgency into a "national resistance" and that he himself might throw in his lot with the Taliban. He said, not without reason, that the Obama administration was trying to undercut his efforts to reach a settlement with the Taliban. And an Afghan who attended a meeting with Karzai told the New York Times, "He believes that America is trying to dominate the region, and that he is the only one who can stand up to them."

In his latest interview, Karzai lambasted American "mistakes," criticized private security firms, renewed charges that the United States was trying to rig Afghanistan's elections, and, when asked if the US government was "well-intentioned" in Afghanistan, said: "That has to be proven."

He also said that the United States must halt its night raids, the central plank of Petraeus' vaunted counterinsurgency plan for sending death squads against Taliban leaders, saying: "The raiding homes at night. Terrible. Terrible.… I don't like it in any manner, and the Afghan people don't like these raids in any manner. We don't like raids on our homes. This is a problem between us, and I hope this ends as soon as possible." Karzai added that the war on terrorism shouldn't be fought on Afghan soil, since the actual terrorists are elsewhere. And he renewed calls for talks with the Taliban.

All that didn't make Petraeus too happy, and the Post reports today that the general expressed "astonishment and disappointment" [3] with Karzai's remarks. Though he probably isn't going to quit over this, aides to Petraeus weren't ready to say it's impossible, but they went as far as to hint at it [3], according to the Post: "Officials discounted early reports Sunday that Petraeus had threatened to resign."

For months now, both Karzai and NATO have been trying to highlight 2014 as the year that the war ends, and now, it appears, the Obama administration is on board with that. Though it's too distant—the war can certainly end before that, and in fact now is a good time for a cease-fire [4] to jumpstart peace talks—it's good that the administration is talking now about an end to the war. The role of the opposition is put pressure on the White House to accelerate its timetable, and to focus on diplomacy—not just talks with the Taliban, but with all of the key international players, including India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia.

Like this blog post? Read all Nation blogs on the Nation's free iPhone App, NationNow. [5]


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« Reply #118 on: November 20, 2010, 12:20:39 pm »

Afghan resistance statement

The Americans can no longer conceal their defeat in the Kandahar Operations

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

November 20, 2010

The White House has determined July 2011 as the deadline to begin withdrawing their defeated invader forces from Afghanistan. It is therefore necessary for them to justify this withdrawal in front of their civilians and the world at large by achieving some meaningful or tangible gain in Afghanistan.

To this end they have stationed over 150,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan along with all the military technology they can muster. The Americans have chosen Kandahar as their battleground both for its sentimental and strategic importance.

For the past nine months the Americans have been attempting their utmost to achieve some sort of military or political gain in Afghanistan. They employed all the propaganda tools at their disposal to turn the people away from the Mujahideen. However, failing to win the support of the people, the invaders resorted to the indiscriminate carpet bombings of the people’s lands and the mass murders of the innocent civilians. All this has caused the displacement of thousands of families from their lands and villages. However, despite all their trickeries and force, the battle for Kandahar has settled steadily in the Mujahideen’s favour.

The Mujahideen were, from the start of these operations, to carry out precise Commando-led operations against the nerve centres of the foreign forces and their puppet partners, thus seizing the initiative from the foreign occupiers. Not only did the Mujahideen conduct these operations in Kandahar city, but also extending to surrounding areas such as the airport, Dand, Arghandab, Zhiri, Panjwaee, and Maiwand districts. The head of the foreign barbarian forces, Nick Carter, last month, could not give any information on these operations to the media. This is mostly because the enemy neither knows the military strength of the Mujahideen nor their main bases. The Mujahideen, profiting from the Dagger and Marjah operations, were able to introduce several new tactics that have completely demoralised the invader forces. These tactics are the main reason why the Mujahideen have not abated their operations in the area in the winter season. These new tactics have placed the foreign invaders under significant military and domestic pressure.

Their failure in the Kandahar operations was also the main reason behind Obama’s supporters, the Democrats, defeat in the mid-term elections. Also due to their failures in the Kandahar operations, Obama’s approval ratings in America have sunk to 46% while the myth of America’s military superiority globally has been shattered. This Friday’s NATO meeting in Portugal will also address how the foreigners can prevent the escalating death toll of their soldiers in Afghanistan.

Though the eleventh month in Afghanistan is generally very cold and naturally impedes any military undertakings, the Mujahideen have been so active in Afghanistan that midway through the month, the invaders (who hide 90% of their real casualties in Afghanistan) by their own count have lost over 23 soldiers in this month. In summary it has become clear that after nine years of occupation, the invaders are doomed towards the same fate as those that tread this path before them. Their troop surges, their new strategies, their new generals, their new negotiations, and their new propagandas have been of no avail.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan opines that the Americans have exhausted themselves in Afghanistan over the last nine years, and now will not stay long in our beloved country. What they could not gain in the last few months with their, then, fresh troops, they will not be able to gain in Kandahar, with their, now, demoralised and fearful troops. It is becoming manifest that the Americans will not be able to conceal their defeat in Afghanistan for too long. Therefore, the White House, instead of counting their mounting casualties in Afghanistan, would be better advised to formulate a withdrawal plan, to at least save those troops, which are still alive.


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« Reply #119 on: November 22, 2010, 04:49:37 am »

Afghan resistance statement

Response of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as regards Lisbon Meeting

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Zilhajj 13, 1431 A.H, Saturday, November 20, 2010

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

On 20.11.2010 ended the meeting of 28 NATO member countries which had been held in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Participants of the meeting passed some decisions about Afghanistan. In response, the Islamic Emirate issue its stance concerning the decision as follows:

1. Seeing that the USA failed to get additional military assistance of the NATO member countries in Lisbon Meeting for prolongation of the war in Afghanistan despite her all-out efforts or at least get commitment to ensure long-term continuation of the present military power of the NATO member countries in Afghanistan, therefore, it is a good news for the Afghans and all freedom-loving people of the world and it is a sign of failure for the American government. In the past nine years, the invaders could not establish any system of governance in Kabul and they will never be able to do so in future.

2. The real solution of the Afghan issue lies in withdrawal of the foreign forces. Hence the NATO decision to start withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan in 2014 is an irrational decision because until then, various untoward and tragic events and battles will take place as a result of this meaningless, imposed and unwinning war. The bottom line for them is to immediately implement what they would ultimately have to implement though after colossal casualties. They should not postpone withdrawal of their forces even be it for one day.

3. As far as the Mujahid people of Afghanistan are concerned, they are not ready to tolerate foreign invasion and occupation of their country even if it is for one day because of their firm determination. Nor they feel exhausted in the way of the sacred Jihad and the struggle of independence. So they will not remain silent even for a single night until and unless the goal of complete freedom and formation of an independent government is achieved. They will not wait for the time of implementation of a given decision or timetable of withdrawal.

4. Seeing that the invading forces which have come here from far-flung places, thousands of kilometers away, and want to set a timetable for withdrawal but still want to continue presence of their forces at the regional countries, therefore, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on the neighboring and regional countries to take drastic measures for a bright future of Afghanistan, the Afghans, and all the region, for good relationship and reconstruction of Afghanistan.

5. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has formulated comprehensive policy for the future Afghanistan, for efficient governance, security, Islamic justice, education, economic advancement, national unity, and a foreign policy that will ensure protection of the country against any harm of others and convince the world that the future Afghanistan will not harm them. The Islamic Emirate wants to take strong step in collaboration with all countries and in the framework of mutual respect to maintain bilateral corporation with all countries; ensure economic progress and bright future.

We consider the whole region as our home against colonialism and as a responsible force, want to play a role for peace and stability of the region in future.



The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

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