Last May President Barack Obama announced that US forces in Afghanistan would finally be ending their combat mission and in 2015 would move to an advisory role. According to The New York Times that pledge has now been reversed with an order to continue combat missions against the Taliban and anyone else who threatens US forces in the country or the Afghan government. Rather than pull back from Afghanistan as President Obama promised, the US is doubling down.
|By: DSWright Monday November 24, 2014 7:03 am|
|By: Matt Farwell Saturday November 15, 2014 1:59 pm|
EDITORS NOTE: This Book Salon will be rescheduled. Apologies for the interruption.
Michael Hastings’ The Last Magazine, is a scathing satire and indictment of the way the New York / DC big media world works. When I first read it, in an all-nighter months after his death, it was an amazing surprise: he was gone but his voice was still out there, and for a good 80,000 words completely new and fresh. Anyone halfway familiar with the New York / DC news and media apparatus will recognize the characters behind the characters. Hopefully the way they’re portrayed is as disturbing to you as it was to me—as essentially out-of-touch, solipsistic, preening weenies, who for some reason we keep listening to on TV & Radio and reading in print.
|By: DSWright Wednesday October 1, 2014 10:30 am|
So about that leaving Afghanistan by 2015 plan? Not so much. The US has now secured a new status of forces agreement that will keep the war going in Afghanistan indefinitely. Of course, given the US is back in Iraq after losing a status of forces agreement maybe these agreements are mostly symbolic anyway. If so, the symbolism could not clearer – the US has taken up permanent residence in Afghanistan.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday August 11, 2014 11:05 am|
Thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed by United States and NATO military forces since 2001, but, according to Amnesty International, there have been only six cases in which the US military has “criminally prosecuted” officers for “unlawfully killing civilians.”
|By: DSWright Friday July 4, 2014 1:45 pm|
While publicly lamenting wasteful spending, Washington gets high blowing cash on the drug war. In the case of Afghanistan and the fight against heroin, the US government spent $7 billion to eradicate poppy cultivation with no discernible effect. In fact, according to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Opium Survey, opium production is hitting records in Afghanistan with “estimates that 209,000 hectares are under opium-poppy cultivation, an all-time high and a 36% increase from 2012.”
|By: Barry Lando Tuesday June 3, 2014 7:03 pm|
I concluded my last blog about the resignation of General Eric Shinseki as head of the Department of Veterans Affairs with this rather dramatic statement…
|By: Peter Van Buren Friday April 25, 2014 12:46 pm|
The Chicago Tribune gained access to the 2013 U.S. Army report on the death of State Department Foreign Service Officer Anne Smedinghoff in Afghanistan.
She was only 25 years old. She was one of three American civilians, three soldiers and a local interpreter killed in what was once the deadliest day of last year for Americans in Afghanistan. There’s always a new record set.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Friday April 11, 2014 8:35 am|
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) formed an alliance with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and deployed agents in hundreds of raids conducted as part of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report from The Washington Post.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday April 1, 2014 10:30 am|
Rajiv Chandrasekaran describes the poll as an “unprecedented glimpse into the lives and attitudes of modern warriors.” In fact, this poll and the story are only concerned about the lives and attitudes of American “warriors.” The Iraqi and Afghan people are given very minimal attention, and, when they are, it is to scorn them for not being more grateful that the United States chose to occupy their country and try and make their country “safer” or “better.”
“This is typical of American war culture, which only gives importance to the American lives that are lost in war and to the suffering that American soldiers bring home with them as a result of war,” explained Ross Caputi, a Marine who served in the Second Battle of Fallujah.
|By: DSWright Tuesday February 25, 2014 1:15 pm|
Of all the people who would demand a full US withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai would seemingly be one of the last. Karzai’s installation as president after his career at Unocal and subsequent protection was due to US military force. Without the US military Karzai would likely not have remained president, possibly even alive. And yet, his intransigence may lead to total pullout of forces at the end of this year.