Archive for the 'Afghanistan' Category

Troop levels reach record high in Afghanistan

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

BAGRAM, Afghanistan (AP) — The 101st Airborne Division took command of American forces in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, helping to boost U.S. troop levels in the country to their highest number since the 2001 invasion.

Marching in step, paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne retired the unit’s flag during a ceremony under a light rain beside the main runway at Bagram Air Field. Then 101st paratroopers unfurled their flag, officially marking the start of their 15-month tour.

The 101st has 7,200 troops in Afghanistan, several hundred more than the 82nd. Its arrival, coupled with the deployment of some 3,500 Marines to the country’s south, has pushed the total number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to over 32,000, part of a steady rise in force levels as violence has increased over the last two years.

The top American commander in Afghanistan has requested three more brigades — about 7,500 more troops — and the Pentagon has promised that more troops will be sent next year.

Following the 2001 ouster of the Taliban, the U.S. had fewer than 10,000 troops in the country, and no real presence in the volatile south.

Full Story Here:
Troop levels reach record high in Afghanistan

Pay special attention to that last line, “Following the 2001 ouster of the Taliban, the U.S. had fewer than 10,000 troops in the country, and no real presence in the volatile south.” because the next line is the payoff, “What has become clear as the insurgency has picked up steam over the last year or two is that an increasing number of forces are needed to clear and hold territory,” said Seth Jones, an analyst who follows Afghanistan for the RAND Corp. “In fact, I think a significant number more are needed. I would like to see those U.S. numbers come up.”

In my opinion George W. Bush, and his desire to traipse off to Iraq and take on Saddam is the very reason that Afghanistan has escalated once again, we didn’t complete the job we needed to in Afghanistan, we hit the Taliban and we hurt them, but we didn’t destroy them and their capability to wage guerrilla warfare, and all the while the Bush Bots continued to chirp that al-Qaida IS in Iraq, well, YES, they are, NOW, because WE went there and they came to fight US, they were NOT in Iraq before Saddam was deposed…

The Bush Bots cry that al-Qaida IS the reason we went TO Iraq, forgetting that the Senate, Congress and the Defense Department have ALL published reports on their studies that have determined that Saddam had nothing to do with the attacks of 9-11 nor any serious association with al-Qaida or the Taliban…

So, here we go again, we have to go back and do a job all over again, and this time it’s not because the Iraqi army couldn’t hold a position, it’s all because our illustrious leader has the attention span of a 3 year old, and he is NOT smarter than a 5th grader…

Don’t take this the wrong way, I am glad to see our troop buildup in Afghanistan, I was terribly disappointed when troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan to be re-tasked to The Debacle in Iraq, maybe this time our guys will be allowed to do the job they were sent to do, maybe they will be ordered to wipe out the Taliban and al-Qaida once and for all…

Yeah, I know, but a guy can dream can’t he??

Trackback URL:

Senators’ emergency landing in Afghanistan

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

WASHINGTON - Helicopters carrying three senior U.S. senators made emergency landings Thursday in the mountains of Afghanistan because of a snowstorm.

Sens. John Kerry, Joseph Biden and Chuck Hagel were aboard the aircraft. No one was injured, according a statement from Kerry’s office. The senators and their delegation returned to Bagram Air Base in a motor convoy, and have left for Turkey.

“After several hours, the senators were evacuated by American troops and returned overland to Bagram Air Base, and left for their next scheduled stop in Ankara, Turkey,” the Kerry statement said. “Sen. Kerry thanks the American troops, who were terrific as always and who continue to do an incredible job in Afghanistan.”

The lawmakers were on a trip this week that included stops in India, Turkey and Pakistan, where they observed the elections earlier this week.

Kerry and Biden are Democrats from Massachusetts and Delaware, respectively, and the Republican Hagel is from Nebraska.

Senators’ emergency landing in Afghanistan

I am, quite frankly, amazed that they didn’t come under fire from some Taliban war lord, I guess they’re all still hiding out in the caves, waiting for the winter to end, but you know, if they had come under fire, what with Kerry being a war hero and all, I’m pretty sure he’d have taken up a .50cal with a full bandolier and gone all Rambo on the attackers as he saved the entire mission, much like he did somewhere in the Mekong delta back in the day…

Seriously, kudos to our troops for making the extraction and bringing them all back alive and well, our military guys and gals are the very best there is…

Trackback URL:

US Shift Seen to Pakistan, Afghanistan

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration is attempting to re-energize its terrorism-fighting war efforts in Afghanistan, the original target of a post-Sept. 11 offensive. The U.S. also is refocusing on Pakistan, where a regenerating al-Qaida is posing fresh threats.

There is growing recognition the United States risks further setbacks, if not deepening conflict or even defeat, in Afghanistan, and that success in that country hinges on stopping Pakistan from descending into disorder.

Privately, some senior U.S. military commanders say Pakistan’s tribal areas are at the center of the fight against Islamic extremism; more so than Iraq, or even Afghanistan. These areas border on eastern Afghanistan and provide haven for al-Qaida and Taliban fighters to regroup, rearm and reorganize.

This view may explain, at least in part, the administration’s increasingly public expressions of concern.

At a Pentagon news conference last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that while the U.S. respects the Pakistani government’s right to decide what actions are needed to defeat extremists on its soil, there are reasons to worry that al-Qaida poses more than an internal threat to Pakistan.

Full Story Here:
US Shift Seen to Pakistan, Afghanistan

I am going to say this one more time, IF we had a President that had a lick of sense, Iraq would never have happened, we’d have stayed the course where the course actually was, Afghanistan, and by now, if the war had been conducted as it should have been, it would be all but over by now…

We had al-Qaeda, or the Taliban, which ever name you find most appropriate, we had them on the run in Afghanistan, we had them all but destroyed and what do you suppose happens next?? We up and all but abandon our efforts in Afghanistan so we can go play in Saddams sandpile because he threatened Bush 41 and made fun of him for not winning in ‘91…

We were quite successful in ‘91, by OUR standards of PC warfighting, but by our enemies standards, we didn’t accomplish too much because Bush 41 called it off and didn’t let Swartzkopf take it to a decisive resolution while we had the forces in place to do so and had world opinion in our favor…

When we went into Afghanistan post 9-11 we had the forces to do the job and we had world opinion in OUR favor, and another PC President named Bush blew it, there seems to be a strain of no warfighting ability in that family, at least I see a trend in that direction…

I am pretty sure that now we have Iraq fairly well under control, a task that only took 5 years, almost 4,000 American lives and God only knows how many BILLIONS of our tax dollars, all to bring a nation the size of Texas under control, I’m pretty sure we’re going to go back, in force, to Afghanistan and try a ‘do over’, we might as well, Bush has another year left in office and there’s war profits to be made, and a legacy to be sought and what the hell, Americans still have a few bucks to spare, Bush hasn’t bankrupted us yet…

Trackback URL:

Allies feel strain of Afghan war

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

WASHINGTON - The U.S. plan to send an additional 3,200 Marines to troubled southern Afghanistan this spring reflects the Pentagon’s belief that if it can’t bully its recalcitrant NATO allies into sending more troops to the Afghan front, perhaps it can shame them into doing so, U.S. officials said.

But the immediate reaction to the proposed deployment from NATO partners fighting alongside U.S. forces was that it was about time the United States stepped up its own effort.

After more than six years of coalition warfare in Afghanistan, NATO is a bundle of frayed nerves and tension over nearly every aspect of the conflict, including troop levels and missions, reconstruction, anti-narcotics efforts, and even counterinsurgency strategy. Stress has grown along with casualties, domestic pressures and a sense that the war is not improving, according to a wide range of senior U.S. and NATO-member officials who agreed to discuss sensitive alliance issues on the condition of anonymity.

While Washington has long called for allies to send more forces, NATO countries involved in some of the fiercest fighting have complained that they are suffering the heaviest losses. The United States supplies about half of the 54,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, they say, but the British, Canadians and Dutch are engaged in regular combat in the volatile south.

“We have one-tenth of the troops and we do more fighting than you do,” a Canadian official said of his country’s 2,500 troops in Kandahar province. “So do the Dutch.” The Canadian death rate, proportional to the overall size of its force, is higher than that of U.S. troops in Afghanistan or Iraq, a Canadian government analysis concluded last year.

British officials note that the eastern region, where most U.S. forces are based, is far quieter than the Taliban-saturated center of British operations in Helmand, the country’s top opium-producing province. The American rejoinder, spoken only in private with references to British operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is that superior U.S. skills have made it so.

Full Story Here:
Allies feel strain of Afghan war

I am going to keep this short and to the point lest I drift off on another tirade concerning the dumbest SOB to ever inhabit the White House…

If ‘Mr. Stay the Course’ had actually done that, stayed the course where the course actually was, we could have very likely avoid almost 4,000 combat deaths in Iraq, saved BILLIONS of U.S. taxpayer dollars and been done with Afghanistan, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Pakistan and any other REAL threat to America by now, that is, if this GWoT were actually about terror and not so much about arming those that caused the attacks of 9-11 in an effort to secure oil and the revenues that go with it…

And to our allies, if the Taliban is more active in your area than they are in the U.S. areas, KILL THE TALIBAN, I mean, there’s just something about KILLING your enemies, in LARGE numbers, it has been MY observation that this practice tends to take the fight, or the desire to be active, right out of them…

When did the armies of the free world decide it was OK to prosecute a PC war?? What part of that idea is just not right?? Do ANY of you think the Taliban and al-Qaeda are going to fight a PC war??

I think not…

Trackback URL:

Power eludes Kabul despite global aid

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

KABUL, Afghanistan — Gul Hussein was standing under a pale street lamp in a poor section of east Kabul when the entire neighborhood suddenly went black.

“As you can see, it is dark everywhere,” the 62-year-old man said, adding that his family would light a costly kerosene lamp for dinner that evening. “Some of our neighbors are using candles, but candles are expensive, too.”

More than five years after the fall of the Taliban — and despite hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid — dinner by candlelight remains common in the Afghan capital of Kabul. Nationwide, only 6% of Afghans have electricity, the Asian Development Bank says.

The electricity shortage underscores the slow progress in rebuilding the war-torn country. It also feeds other problems. Old factories sit idle, and new ones are not built. Produce withers without refrigeration. Dark, cold homes foster resentment against the government.

In Kabul, power dwindles after the region’s hydroelectric dams dry up by midsummer. This past fall, residents averaged only three hours of municipal electricity a day, typically from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., according to USAID, the American government aid agency. Some neighborhoods didn’t get any.

Full Story Here:
Power eludes Kabul despite global aid

Let me ask this, simply out of curiosity and a desire to hear the opinions of the readers, what do YOU think has happened to those hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid?? Most of which came from the pockets of U.S. taxpayers??

I have my own ideas, I am pretty sure it was nearly ALL stolen, that’s the Muslim, Arab whatever way of life and doing business, steal all you can before they notice and then try to throw up a half-assed effort to appease the money givers in hopes that they will continue to give…

Any ideas from you folks?? Comments are open, lets see what the readers think…

Trackback URL:

U.S. fears Pakistan spillover

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

President Bush held an emergency meeting of his top foreign policy aides yesterday to discuss the deepening crisis in Pakistan, as administration officials and others explored whether Thursday’s assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto marks the beginning of a new Islamic extremist offensive that could spread beyond Pakistan and undermine the U.S. war effort in neighboring Afghanistan.

U.S. officials fear that a renewed campaign by Islamic militants aimed at the Pakistani government, and based along the border with Afghanistan, would complicate U.S. policy in the region by effectively merging the six-year-old war in Afghanistan with Pakistan’s growing turbulence.

“The fates of Afghanistan and Pakistan are inextricably tied,” said J. Alexander Thier, a former United Nations official in Afghanistan who is now at the U.S. Institute for Peace.

U.S. military officers and other defense experts do not anticipate an immediate impact on U.S. operations in Afghanistan. But they are concerned that continued instability eventually will spill over and intensify the fighting in Afghanistan, which has spiked in recent months as the Taliban has strengthened and expanded its operations.

Unrest in Pakistan and increasing fuel prices have already boosted the cost of food in Afghanistan, making it more likely that hungry Afghans will be lured by payments from the Taliban to participate in attacks, a U.S. Army officer in Afghanistan said.

Full Story Here:
U.S. fears Pakistan spillover

I hate to say ‘I told you so’, but, I told ya so, and so did a few other forward looking sites, Pakistan IS the most volatile place on earth right at this moment and warnings were sounded along about the time Bhutto went back to Pakistan, several mil-bloggers told everyone, this IS going to happen, and it has…

We, the USA, have tried to install a democracy in Iraq, a nation that is a lot more peaceful, for now, but all the Bush Bots need to ask themselves this question, why is it more peaceful, is it all because of the much maligned SURGE or are there other factors to be considered??

And IF they are willing to give an honest answer I think they would conclude that the reason for the lessening of violence in Iraq is because, as I opined recently, the radical Islamic insurgency are heading for Pakistan and Afghanistan, easier pickings so to speak, especially Pakistan, we don’t have a huge military presence there and the Pakistani army is not a force to be reckoned with…

Afghanistan is on the verge of becoming a HOT ZONE all over again, Pakistan is erupting as I write this and yet we are mired in the affairs of Iraq, not exactly where we need to be in MY opinion but that poses another question, what are we going to do IF Bush decides to re-engage the insurgents in Afghanistan as well as continuing to remain engaged with those that remain in Iraq and then address the problems and the certain dangers faced in Pakistan?? You see, for all the BS about WMDs in Iraq, the ones that to this very day have NOT been found, Pakistan DOES have WMDs, and those WMDs, nukes, are a heartbeat away from falling into the hands of Islamic radicals…

Bush supports Karzai in Afghanistan, al-Maliki in Iraq and Musharraf in Pakistan, 2 warlords that rose to power and 1 military leader that took over by means of a military coup, and now the administration is meeting to discuss the deepening crisis in Pakistan, well, I hope that the fate of the USA is much better served by these discussions than it was by the discussions 5 years ago, the ones that caused us to minimize our involvement in Afghanistan and traipse off to Iraq on the Bush Mission of Vengeance

And then there’s Iran to consider, if Iraq and Afghanistan have our military stretched to the breaking point as has been claimed, what can we do to address the latest imminent threats??

Spillover?? I guess that’s going to become the new ‘catch phrase’ in D.C., spillover, seems to me like BOIL over may be a lot more appropriate…

Trackback URL:

Bush Administration Credibility Suffers

Friday, December 7th, 2007

WASHINGTON — The new National Intelligence Estimate — which says Iran had a nuclear weapons development program, but halted it in 2003 — made President Bush’s week play out like a sad country song.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was smiling and called the report a victory. Rush Limbaugh blasted the report as a product of administration sabotage. And Democrats were accusing the president of being a flip-flopper.

The NIE drew fire from nearly all sides, including anti-war Democrats in Congress, foreign leaders the administration needs to hold the line against Iran, and conservatives usually supportive of the administration.

The root issue for many critics comes down to credibility: Credibility of the estimate, credibility of the intelligence community that developed it and the credibility of the administration for whom those agencies work. Bridging that credibility gap might prove difficult for an administration heading into its final months.

Full Story Here:
Bush Admin. Credibility Suffers After Iran NIE Report

1. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was smiling and called the report a victory, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a lying little piece of garbage and his regime can’t be trusted any further than they can be picked up and thrown and anyone, read Dems, that would think they can be trusted is an idiot…

2. Rush Limbaugh blasted the report as a product of administration sabotage?? So?? All Limbaugh is, is a political commentator, the same as me and you and most other bloggers, he just has a bigger audience, that’s all, and, he IS the biggest Bush Bot of ALL the Bush Bots, maybe King of the Bush Bots would be a good title for Rush, and maybe he’s not really a Bush Bot at all, maybe he’s just one heck of a good salesman and he sold the Bots a bill of goods, it could happen…

3. The root issue for many critics comes down to credibility… Well, as far as I’m concerned, when the Bush administration pulled a substantial number of troops out of the hunt for Bin Laden and allowed Afghanistan to revert to many of it’s old ways and then declared Iraq to be the new mission, when Bush welcomed the Saudi prince to his home here in Texas and took the Saudi prince by the hand, kissed his cheek and welcomed him as a long lost brother, when Bush tried to force the AMNESTY bill down our throats, when he took the side of the ILLEGAL invaders over that of law abiding, tax paying American citizens, well, along about that time George W. Bush ceased to have ANY credibility in my opinion…

I don’t know the truth of what’s going on in Iran, maybe the Bush administration doesn’t either, all I know is this, I would have thought that by now, after 7 years in office, Bush would have had our intelligence agencies rebuilt to a somewhat credible level, I cut him some slack when 9-11 happened, he hadn’t been in office very long and hadn’t had the time to repair the damage that the Clinton’s had done to our military and intelligence services, but the time for excuses is long past, did our Intel people let the Iranians put one past us?? Did it make Bush look like a numb skull?? Well, it wouldn’t be the 1st time Bush looked like an idiot, and what the heck, he has another year in office, I’m sure there will be at least a few more screw ups before his term is over…

Somehow, I just don’t think history will be very kind to Mr. Bush, and I seriously doubt that we’ll ever hear the words Bush and credibility used synonymously…

Trackback URL: