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: DSWright Friday July 4, 2014 1:45 pm|
|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.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday January 15, 2014 4:48 pm|
There are only a few details currently, but what is known suggests that forces led by the United States in Afghanistan mounted a night raid to hunt down militants in a residential area. When they were fired upon by insurgents, the forces decided to call in an airstrike to attack a compound. That led to the deaths of up to eight civilians.
|By: DSWright Wednesday January 8, 2014 6:46 am|
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates claims in his book that President Obama did not really believe in the war in Afghanistan even while agreeing to the troop surge. So although Obama acknowledged the reality everyone knows – that the war in Afghanistan is a complete waste of blood and treasure – he continues the war for cynical political reasons.
|By: Toby Blome Sunday January 5, 2014 1:59 pm|
Lloyd Gardner’s new book is an in depth historical analysis of President Obama’s foreign policy during his first 5 years in public office. In 2008, many Americans had deep trust that President Obama was going to bring significant change into the White House and guide our country to a place of more “rightful” and lawful foreign policy strategies by putting an end to torture, drawing down the illegal Iraq War, and closing down Guantanamo prison. President Obama promised the American public more transparency and accountability, and adherence to the rule of law, without “looking back”.
|By: Juan Cole Sunday December 22, 2013 1:59 pm|
Andrew Bacevich’s “Breach of Trust: How Americans failed their Soldiers and their Country” is a post-mortem on the professional standing army that the US has sent to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bacevich argues that the citizens’ standing army created by the draft in WW II and after had been highly successful militarily in Europe and Korea and had been a profound expression of individual buy-in and shared national sacrifice.