Over the weekend, Afghan President Hamid Karzai informed General David Petraeus that US apologies for civilian deaths in Afghanistan are no longer sufficient. In response, Defense Secretary Robert Gates made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday.
|By: Jim White Monday March 7, 2011 7:55 am|
|By: Jim White Friday December 24, 2010 6:55 pm|
As I reported very early on Friday, ISAF claimed that they an arms smuggler they captured last Saturday in southern Afghanistan was a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard al-Quds force. Less than twenty-four hours after making that claim, ISAF now is backing down on the claim that the arms smuggler is al-Quds. That’s an awfully short time from announcement to correction, especially since the prisoner had been held for several days before ISAF made the claim.
|By: Jim White Friday December 24, 2010 7:00 am|
In a very interesting bit of coincidental timing, two stories have emerged on the role of Iran in Afghanistan. The Times of London (behind a subscription paywall) reported on Friday that “intelligence officials have revealed that the Iranian government is releasing significant al-Qaeda terrorists from jail so that they can help to reorganise its battered structures in border areas of Pakistan.” The Times also reported that Iran is directly aiding the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. Conveniently providing confirmation for this story, NATO informed the press that an Iranian Revolutionary Guard al-Quds officer was captured Saturday by NATO forces in southern Afghanistan.
Update: ISAF has withdrawn their claim that the captured arms smuggler was al-Quds. See the follow-up post.
|By: Jim White Wednesday October 27, 2010 7:00 am|
Despite a propaganda buildup that began last weekend, with both General David Petraeus and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen making claims of regaining momentum against the Taliban in the Kandahar offensive, Wednesday’s Washington Post destroys those claims with the headline that “U.S. military campaign to topple resilient Taliban hasn’t succeeded“. As if the destruction of Petraeus’ propaganda offensive by the Post is not enough on its own, BBC chimes in Wednesday, as well, with a fresh quote from Mikhail Gorbachev that victory in Afghanistan is impossible.
|By: Jim White Wednesday October 20, 2010 6:04 am|
Details are beginning to emerge in the death of an Afghan prisoner on Sunday night. According to ISAF, a US soldier is in custody and a criminal investigation is underway. Hamid Karzai issued a short statement calling the death a killing by coalition forces. The New York Times recounts that one version of the story suggests the prisoner may have been trying to escape, but other Afghans who were present at the prison disagree on that point.
|By: Jim White Thursday October 7, 2010 6:03 am|
As I reported on Wednesday, although the joint NATO-Pakistan investigation of the deaths of Pakistani soldiers at a border post concluded on Tuesday, no joint statement had yet been issued. Dawn had listed the areas of disagreement that were delaying release of a statement. Late Wednesday, both NATO and the US Embassy in Pakistan released statements on the investigation and the incident, presumably signaling that no joint statement will be forthcoming. A review of Dawn’s list of areas of disagreement in light of the released statements shows that all but one of Pakistan’s demands were met. Pakistan had insisted that NATO take responsibility for the attacks and deaths, but neither the NATO nor US Embassy statement does so. A Washington Post story this morning provides more details on the sequence of events in the attacks on the border post, lending support to Pakistan’s account of what happened.
|By: Jim White Monday September 27, 2010 1:15 pm|
It’s hard to imagine how the United States could heap more abuse on Pakistan. We are approaching the one year anniversary since Jeremy Scahill disclosed the extensive JSOC-Blackwater secret war effort within Pakistan and yet there is no indication that either Barack Obama or David Petraeus sees a need to shut down the rogue operators there. Despite the occasional attempt to portray the US military as providing crucial relief efforts in the massive floods in Pakistan (such as in the accompanying photo), the reality is that US military relief to Pakistan has been derided as but a tiny fraction of the military relief provided in other recent world catastrophes. Last week’s sentencing of Aafia Siddiqui to eighty-six years in jail provoked massive protests across Pakistan. And now we are learning that NATO (which really means US) helicopters have killed over 50 people in air raids on the Pakistan side of the border with Afghanistan over the weekend.
|By: Karaka Pend Friday August 13, 2010 3:05 pm|
After the failure this week of an independently-run Afghan National Army mission, it’s obvious somebody’s gotta clean house in Afghanistan. But who’s it going to be, when Afghan president Hamid Karzai can’t get his parliamentary act together and International Security Assistance Force is trying to be more hands-off?
|By: Derrick Crowe Friday August 6, 2010 11:35 am|
Exclusive, on-the-ground interviews obtained by Brave New Foundation’s Rethink Afghanistan project confirm what U.S. and allied forces repeatedly denied: U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan killed dozens of people in the Sangin District of Helmand Province on July 23.
|By: Derrick Crowe Wednesday July 14, 2010 8:05 am|
If you can’t protect the population generally, from the perspective of COIN doctrine, you lose. If you lack a legitimate host nation government as a partner, you lose. And guess what? According to that doctrine — the doctrine used as the rationale for the troop-heavy American strategy in Afghanistan — the United States is losing. Badly.