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Max Forte's List: Afghanistan: Occupation and Resistance

    • In Iraq, we haven't learned the lessons of the last war Add to ... 


       The Globe and Mail



    • Is history repeating itself in Syria and Iraq? Has Canada learned the lessons of Afghanistan and applied them to its new military mission? Or are we about to repeat the same cycle of caution, bravado, overconfidence, distraction, failure, delusion, doubling down, deception, redefinition, amnesia and retreat?

       <!-- This is a catch-all ASF view; only displays when an unsupported article type is put in an ASF drop zone --> 

      It’s hard to tell, for the tough lessons of our four consecutive Afghanistan missions are still not really acknowledged by Canada or its military. Other countries are more transparent about this: The U.S. Army has an entire Center for Army Lessons Learned, headquartered at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., that openly publishes harsh assessments of every battlefield misstep and epiphany.

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    • Press Statement
      Office of the Press Secretary
      Washington, DC
      February 27, 2003
    • Joint Statement Between the United States of America and Afghanistan

      Released by the White House 

      President Bush and President Karzai reaffirm their common vision for an Afghanistan that is prosperous, democratic, at peace, contributing to regional stability, market friendly, and respectful of human rights. They affirm their ironclad and lasting partnership in pursuit of this vision, and will work together to ensure that Afghanistan is never again a haven for terrorists and that no resurgence of terrorism threatens Afghanistan  

      The United States has demonstrated its commitment to Afghanistan, providing U.S. forces to combat terror and secure stability, and granting over $900 million in assistance since 2001. Working together, Afghans, Americans, and our international partners have made great progress in ridding Afghanistan of Al Qaida and Taliban elements. We averted famine for some 7 million Afghans last year, and have begun the essential and challenging work of rebuilding after decades of dictatorship, war, and extremism. As a sign of confidence in the future, some 2 million refugees have returned to Afghanistan over the past year. But much remains to be done. This year will mark a shift toward long-term reconstruction projects and the rebuilding of Afghan institutions. The United States will be a full partner in this transition, helping to secure stability and supporting reconstruction throughout the country, including roads, schools, clinics, and agriculture. We will continue our work together, with other partners, to gather the resources that will hasten the day when all Afghans lead prosperous and secure lives.

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    • America's utter failure in Afghanistan, in one depressing statistic

    • A new government report on Afghanistan reconstruction includes a startling fact: The US has spent more money — a lot more money — trying to rebuild Afghanistan than we did rebuilding Europe after World War II.


      The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) submitted a statement to Congress on Wednesday in a hearing to review the fiscal year 2017 budget request and funding justification for the US Department of State. It included this line:

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      Bernie and the Jets

    • As Clintons are wont to do, Hillary laid a political trap and Bernie Sanders, in his Schlemiel-like way, stumbled right into it. In the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s smashing victory as the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Hillary’s super-PAC, Correct the Record, tarred Sanders as a Corbyn-lite renegade who has cozied up to untouchable figures like Hugo Chavez.

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    • Hillary Clinton and the Syrian Bloodbath

    • Jeffrey Sachs Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University

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    • Western warmongers have all the answers, and they're all wrong

      Nafeez Ahmed's picture
      Friday 29 January 2016
    • The wars in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan failed not because of noble errors, but because short-sighted Western interests trumped the needs of the people. And this is why the creeping return to war will fail again

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    •   Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:17pm EST   
        Related:     World,   Afghanistan   

      Afghan Taliban use captured Humvees in suicide attack

    • Taliban insurgents in captured military Humvee vehicles launched suicide attacks in the southern Afghan province of Helmand on Saturday, killing several members of the security forces in the district center of Sangin, a senior official said.

      The incident came amid bitter fighting in Helmand, a traditional Taliban heartland where insurgents have overrun many areas, leaving government forces in some district centers including Sangin and Marjah barely clinging on.

      Provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Sarjang said that after heavy fighting on Friday during which the Taliban lost around 40 fighters, suicide bombers in two captured Afghan army Humvees targeted the police and governor's headquarters.

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    • Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:49pm EST   
        Related:     World,   Afghanistan   

      Outgoing U.S. commander says mission in Afghanistan not changing

    • U.S. troops in Afghanistan will not return to an active role fighting the Taliban despite the likelihood of another difficult year of combat, the outgoing commander of international forces, Gen. John Campbell, said on Saturday.

          U.S. special forces units assisting Afghan forces have been involved in firefights in the volatile southern province of Helmand, where a Green Beret was killed last month and where the Taliban have put government forces under pressure.

          Another 500 U.S. soldiers have been sent down to the province to bolster local forces that have been hard-pressed to hold on to key district centers such as Sangin and Marjah, but their role will remain to advise and assist.

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    • Obama forced again to rethink troop numbers in Afghanistan
    • By:   Deb Riechmann And Robert Burns The Associated Press    Published on Sat Jan 30 2016    

      WASHINGTON — Fifteen years into the war that few Americans talk about any more, conditions in Afghanistan are getting worse, preventing the clean ending that President Barack Obama hoped to impose before leaving office.


      Violence is on the rise, the Taliban are staging new offensives, the Islamic State group is angling for a foothold and peace prospects are dim.


      Afghanistan remains a danger zone. It's hobbled by a weak economy that's sapping public confidence in the new government. Afghan police and soldiers are struggling to hold together the country 13 months after the U.S.-led military coalition culled its numbers by 90     per cent  .

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    • ISIS prompts call for 'enduring' presence in Afghanistan, new action in Libya

    • Washington (CNN)Lt. Gen. John Nicholson, President Barack Obama's nominee for commander of U.S. operations in Afghanistan, said Thursday that "we do need to think about an enduring commitment to the Afghans."

      Speaking at his Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing, Nicholson said that the plan for an long-term U.S. military commitment was part of the President's policy shift that allowed for the retention of 5,500 troops beyond his presidency.

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    • Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:55pm EST   
        Related:     World,   Afghanistan   

      Desertions deplete Afghan forces, adding to security worries

        KANDAHAR, Afghanistan/KABUL  |  
    • Afghan Lieutenant Amanullah said he was ready to fight to the death to stop the Taliban making gains across the south of the country, where insurgents have already overrun a series of districts in their traditional heartland.

      In November, 15 months after joining up, he deserted, one of thousands of tired and frustrated soldiers who have shed their uniforms, seriously blunting the Afghan army's power to repel a growing militant threat.

      For Amanullah, everything changed late last year when, fighting on an empty stomach and without being paid for months, militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns attacked his base from all directions in a three-day battle.

      The final straw came when requests for reinforcements at the remote outpost went unanswered and colleagues bled to death around him because of a lack of medical care.When the ambush ended, he joined three friends shedding their uniforms and walking away from the base near Kandahar, an area that has long been a Taliban stronghold. "I joined the army so that I could support my family and serve my country, but this is a suicide mission," said Amanullah, 28, who, like many Afghans, uses one name.

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    • Non-human Democracy: our political vocabulary has no room for animals   

    • Sandra Eterovic

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    • Rockets fall on Kabul as Taliban intensifies onslaught across Afghanistan     

    • Three explosions shook the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, near key ministries, embassies and residences. The attack comes hours after six NATO soldiers were killed near Bagram air base amidst a surge in Taliban violence.  

      Local police told Reuters that one of the missiles hit Massoud Square, adjacent to the well-fortified US embassy, and another landed in Shirpur Square, close to the sprawling presidential complex. A third rocket detonated further away from the heart of the city.

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    • Taliban attacks: 3 NATO troops killed in Afghanistan, part of Helmand province seized     

    • The militant group Taliban has launched a major offensive in the Afghan Helmand province and claimed responsibility for a bombing attack, in which three NATO troops were killed.

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      U.S. strike on Afghan hospital likely not a mistake, says Doctors Without Borders


      United States has said the hospital was hit by accident


          Thomson Reuters    Posted: Nov 05, 2015

    • Medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said on Thursday it was hard to believe a U.S. airstrike on an Afghan hospital last month was a mistake, as it had reports of fleeing people being shot from an aircraft.
      At least 30 people were killed when the hospital in Kunduz was hit by the strike on Oct. 3 while Afghan government forces were battling to regain control of the northern city from Taliban forces who had seized it days earlier.
      The United States has said the hospital was hit by accident and two separate investigations by the U.S. and NATO are underway but the circumstances of the incident, one of the worst of its kind during the 14-year conflict, are still unclear.

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    • Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:29pm EDT   
        Related:     World,   Afghanistan   

      Taliban threatens southern Afghan city, civilians flee

        LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan  |  
    • Taliban forces advanced on the capital of the volatile southern Afghan province of Helmand on Tuesday amid fierce fighting with government forces that threatened to cut off a major highway and prompted many families to flee.

      The fighting near the town of Lashkar Gah comes three weeks after the Taliban won its biggest victory in the 14-year war, capturing the northern town of Kunduz and holding the city center for three days before government forces regained control.

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    •   Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:27pm EDT   
        Related:     World,   Politics,   Afghanistan   

      Military families on edge as U.S. delays Afghanistan troop withdrawal

    • Lauren Alaquinez will soon say goodbye to her husband for the fifth time in three years, when he deploys once again to Afghanistan with the U.S. Army Special Forces.

      As a military family, Alaquinez and her four children know what they've signed up for. But that made it no easier to hear the news that President Obama would delay the withdrawal of 9,800 U.S. troops stationed in the war-torn Central Asian country.

      "Of course, it naturally makes me so angry," said the 30-year-old Florida resident. "He spends more of his time in that country than he does at home."

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    • Obama reverses pledge to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan Add to ... 


       WASHINGTON — The Globe and Mail



    • Reversing his promise to bring all but a handful of U.S. troops home from Afghanistan this year, President Barack Obama said Thursday that thousands will remain when his successor is sworn in as commander-in-chief in early 2017.

      And he hinted that the next president – the third to cope with ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – may need to further extend those commitments.

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    • APNewsBreak: US analysts knew Afghan site was hospital

        Oct. 15, 2015
    • WASHINGTON (AP) — American special operations analysts were gathering intelligence on an Afghan hospital days before it was destroyed by a U.S. military attack because they believed it was being used by a Pakistani operative to coordinate Taliban activity, The Associated Press has learned.


      It's unclear whether commanders who unleashed the AC-130 gunship on the hospital — killing at least 22 patients and hospital staff — were aware that the site was a hospital or knew about the allegations of possible enemy activity. The Pentagon initially said the attack was to protect U.S. troops engaged in a firefight and has since said it was a mistake.

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    • US forces in Afghanistan knew Kunduz site was hospital - report     

    • New information suggests the US deliberately targeted the Kunduz hospital, killing 22 patients and staff, despite knowing it was a protected medical site.  

      US special operations analysts investigated the hospital for days prior to the deadly October 3 attack, describing the hospital as a base of operations for a Pakistani agent coordinating Taliban activities, AP has learned from a former intelligence official familiar with the documents.

      The site, operated by Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF), was attacked five times in the span of an hour by a C-130 gunship, despite repeated pleas by the MSF to US forces. MSF officials described repeated strafing runs against the main hospital building, which housed the emergency room and the intensive care unit. No surrounding buildings were hit, they say.

      The new details suggest "that the hospital was intentionally targeted,” Meinie Nicolai of MSF told the AP by email. “This would amount to a premeditated massacre,” she added.

      According to AP's source, intelligence reports suggested the hospital was being used as a Taliban command and control center and a repository for heavy weapons. MSF insists that no weapons were allowed in the hospital. While the US military has claimed that US and Afghan forces came under fire from the hospital, Afghan hospital employees told AP that no one had fired from the building

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