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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan War’

Afghanistan Shooting Victims’ Families Received Money From U.S.

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 26, 2012

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — The U.S. paid $50,000 in compensation for each villager killed and $11,000 for each person wounded in a shooting rampage allegedly carried out by a rogue American soldier in southern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Sunday.

The families were told that the money came from President Barack Obama. The unusually large payouts were the latest move by the White House to mend relations with the Afghan people after the killings threatened to shatter already tense relations.

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is accused of sneaking off his base on March 11, then creeping into houses in two nearby villages and opening fire on families as they slept.

The killings came as tensions between the U.S. and Afghanistan were strained following the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base in February. That act – which U.S. officials have acknowledged was a mistake – sparked riots and attacks that killed more than 30 people, including six American soldiers.

There have been no violent protests following the March 11 shootings in Kandahar province’s Panjwai district, but demands for justice on Afghan terms have been getting louder since Bales was flown out of the country to a U.S. military prison. Many Afghans in Kandahar have continued to argue that there must have been multiple gunmen and accused the U.S. government of using Bales as a scapegoat.

U.S. investigators believe the gunman returned to his base after the first attack and later slipped away to kill again.

That would seem to support the U.S. government’s assertion that the shooter acted alone, since the killings would have been perpetrated over a longer period of time than assumed when Bales was detained outside his base in Kandahar province’s Panjwai district. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘It May Be Difficult Using Another Man’s Sperm’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 22, 2012


See, war is not only to destroy enemies, but also own people and the whole human race. It does not matter we win the war or not, but it always matters what we really do to our human civilization and the whole creation. Shame to us human being for farming useless war and not love:

Before they went off to fight in Afghanistan, the guys of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines talked quietly about their deepest fear. Not dying. Not losing a leg or an arm.

It was having their genitals ripped off, burned away or crushed in the fiery blast of an improvised explosive device.

This was no idle concern to young men bursting with testosterone. The makeshift bombs known as IEDs are taking a frightening toll in Afghanistan, the blasts shearing off arms and legs, ripping through soft flesh, crushing organs and bone, and driving dirt, rocks and filth deep into torn flesh — often leaving the genitals shredded or missing. Some guys said they’d rather be dead.

Mark Litynski, a 23-year-old rifleman with Lima Company, knew the odds. He’d been married to Heather for almost a year, and children were in the future they planned together.

I ought to freeze my sperm so we could still have kids if something happened, he thought.

The idea nagged at him. But in the rush of last-minute training before they packed their sea bags and weapons and then took a few days of boisterous leave, he kept putting it off. Where do you go to freeze your sperm, anyway? Who would you even ask?

By the time they loaded on the buses at Camp Pendleton, it was too late. Should have done it, Mark thought as they boarded the plane in September 2010.

Weeks later, Mark was on a combat patrol in Sangin, southern Afghanistan, walking behind an engineer sweeping for IEDs, marking their path with yellow spraypaint. IED detectors aren’t foolproof. There came a bright flash and searing heat, then the upward blast ripped off both of Mark’s legs and most of his left arm, slashing into his remaining arm, shattering his pelvis and driving a rock and other debris up into his abdominal cavity. Read the rest of this entry »

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U.S. Soldier Opens Fire On Civilians In Afghanistan

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 11, 2012

(Adds eyewitness quotes, Taliban statement, U.S. embassy statement)

By Ahmad Nadem

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, March 11 (Reuters) – Western forces shot dead 16 civilians including nine children in southern Kandahar province on Sunday, Afghan officials said, in a rampage that witnesses said was carried out by American soldiers who were laughing and appeared drunk.

One Afghan father who said his children were killed in the shooting spree accused soldiers of later burning the bodies.

Witnesses told Reuters they saw a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar’s Panjwayi district at around 2 am, enter homes and open fire.

The incident, one of the worst of its kind since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, is likely to deepen the divide between Washington and Kabul.

The U.S. embassy in Kabul said an American soldier had been detained over the shooting. It added that anti-U.S. reprisals were possible following the killings, which come just weeks after U.S. soldiers burned copies of the Koran at a NATO base, triggering widespread anti-Western protests.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the rampage as “intentional murders” and demanded an explanation from the United States. His office said the dead included nine children and three women. Read the rest of this entry »

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Afghanistan Car Bomb Targets Aid Team, Killing 4

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 26, 2012


We can not go anywhere, war always follow us whether we want it or not. Because we already planted and fertilized a lot:

KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide car bomber targeting a NATO-sponsored reconstruction team killed four Afghan civilians, including a child, and wounded 31 on Thursday in southern Afghanistan, officials said.

Three civilian international members of the aid team – two men and one woman – were among the wounded, said Daud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial governor. He said their injuries were not life threatening and did not know their nationalities.

The bomber detonated his explosives-laden vehicle Thursday morning as a convoy of a NATO Provincial Reconstruction Team passed by in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province, Ahmadi said.

The blast ripped through the convoy of armored vehicles, knocking at least one over and charring others. The explosion also shredded nearby storefronts and damaged at least 17 civilian cars nearby, a provincial statement said.

Provincial Reconstruction Teams are joint international military-civilian units dedicated to aid projects to boost support for the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai. They are sponsored by the NATO military coalition and there are 27 now operating in Afghanistan.

Afghan National Army soldier Dad Mohammad witnessed the attack while on patrol in the town.

“A car passed our vehicle and parked down the road,” he said. “When the foreigners’ vehicle was passing this road, it was targeted and there was an explosion.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Wounded Soldiers Could Face Redundancy, Leaked Memo Shows

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 12, 2011

More than twice as many soldiers as previously announced could face being made redundant over the next few years, according to a leaked classified memo.

The document, seen by the Daily Telegraph, suggests as many as 16,500 Army personnel could be made redundant by April 2015, in a dramatic acceleration of cuts to the armed forces.

According to the memo, those laid off could include as many as 2,500 wounded soldiers – 350 of them who have lost a limb, the newspaper said. But the Ministry of Defence said it had “absolutely no plan” to change the way it treated wounded, injured and sick soldiers.

Distancing itself from the contents of the memo, which was reported to have been sent to senior commanders in Afghanistan, an MoD spokeswoman said no decisions had been taken on the scale of the next tranche of redundancies.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Afghanistan: Private Security Firms Disbanding Progresses Slowly

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 2, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan — NATO is pouring extra resources to set up an Afghan force to take over from private security firms after a report showed the Afghans are unlikely to be ready for the planned disbanding of private security companies in March, officials said Wednesday.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered last year that security companies be disbanded because they were flouting Afghan laws and creating the equivalent of paramilitary forces.

But the process of shifting the guarding of convoys, development projects and the outside perimeters of NATO bases over to Afghan forces has been slow.

According to a U.S. government report released last month, the new force – called the Afghan Public Protection Force, or APPF – is short about 18,600 of the 25,000 guards needed to take over all the work currently performed by privately contracted guards.

Only about 615 guards have graduated from training programs, which were meant to turn out 500 guards every three weeks. The training programs have been hampered by a shortage of resources, insufficient infrastructure and health challenges, according to the report.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Afghanistan Suicide Bombing Kills Contractors And Coalition Troops

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 30, 2011


This is the war with no winner, but only looser.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Hillary Clinton On Surprise Visit To Kabul

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 20, 2011


US with diplomatic muscle in Istanbul.

KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is encouraging Afghanistan’s wary leadership to keep up Taliban reconciliation efforts and boosting counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan as the Obama administration presses ahead with troop withdrawal plans.

Clinton arrived in Kabul late Wednesday on an unannounced visit and was scheduled to see President Hamid Karzai, other top Afghan officials and civic leaders on Thursday. Her trip came after Karzai expressed frustration with attempts to woo Taliban fighters away from the insurgency amid increasing attacks by the Taliban-allied, Pakistan-based Haqqani network.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Afshaq Kayani, Pakistan Army Chief, Warns U.S. To Focus On Afghanistan

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 19, 2011

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s powerful army chief said in a rare briefing to parliamentarians that the U.S. should focus its efforts on stabilizing neighboring Afghanistan, rather than pressuring Islamabad to step up its war against Islamist militants on Pakistani territory, a parliament member said Wednesday.

 

Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani’s appearance before two parliamentary defense committees followed increased U.S. pressure on Pakistan to crack down on the Haqqani militant network, believed to be based in the country’s North Waziristan tribal area along the Afghan border.

 

The U.S. has deemed the Haqqani network the most dangerous threat to American troops in Afghanistan and has accused the Pakistan military’s spy agency, the ISI, of supporting the militants – an allegation denied by Islamabad.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Afghanistan War: Ex-Commander Stanley McChrystal Says U.S. Started War With ‘Frighteningly Simplistic’ View Of Country

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 8, 2011


War must be to change ourselves and not to change others. We need Movement to help to change others. War to change others could bring series of wars. Let’s try to change ourselves first. This could be the only way to change the world to save for our future generation­s.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Afghanistan: Impact of mission on UK forces’ reputation

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 8, 2011

By Caroline Wyatt

British forces became involved in Afghanistan soon after the 9/11 terror attacks in the US in 2001. Few

The Armed Forces' profile and popularity with much of the public have rarely been higher

expected it to last this long.

The Armed Forces’ reputation has paradoxically both suffered and been enhanced by its decade of experience in Afghanistan.

British special forces have more than proved their worth, and British personnel their bravery and willingness to fight, sometimes against overwhelming odds.

But their limits have also been made clear, not least in the size of force the UK has been able to deploy and sustain, or the strains on the RAF’s airbridge – the supply route from the UK to Afghanistan – and its ageing transport fleet, or the lack of enough of the right armoured vehicles or transport helicopters in earlier years.

Tragedies such as the crash of Nimrod XV230, which killed all those on board, focused attention on years of cost-pressures and a culture of “making do”. Questions have also been asked over politicians’ and some of the senior military leadership’s priorities and decisions.

Some commentators have asked whether senior officers and officials should have spoken hard truths unto power at an earlier stage, while others condemn the fitting of a force size to financial limits set down by the Treasury, and a disconnectedness in Whitehall which in turn played out on the ground, despite frequent references to the “comprehensive approach” in Helmand between the military and civilians from the Foreign Office and Department for International Development (DfID).

Rarely has a nation at peace with its neighbours had such battle-hardened young troops, some now returning to Helmand for a third, fourth or fifth tour of duty.

Yet the strains on their families and children back at home have been immense, with some service personnel happy to leave the forces in the current round of redundancies after multiple tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Attack On U.S. Embassy Highlights Need To Exit Afghanistan

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 15, 2011


Only to exit Afghanista­n could not be the solution, but also narrowing the gap between these two poles are very necessary and could be the most important solution to overcome the problem.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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U.S.-Afghan Pact That Should Improve Relations Instead Creates New Tensions

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 30, 2011


Good idea!
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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US troops may stay in Afghanistan until 2024

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 20, 2011

America and Afghanistan are close to signing a strategic pact which would allow thousands of United States troops to remain in the country until at least 2024, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

By , Kabul

The agreement would allow not only military trainers to stay to build up the Afghan army and police, but also American special forces soldiers and air power to remain.

The prospect of such a deal has already been met with anger among Afghanistan’s neighbours including, publicly, Iran and, privately, Pakistan.

It also risks being rejected by the Taliban and derailing any attempt to coax them to the negotiating table, according to one senior member of Hamid Karzai’s peace council.

A withdrawal of American troops has already begun following an agreement to hand over security for the country to Kabul by the end of 2014.

But Afghans wary of being abandoned are keen to lock America into a longer partnership after the deadline. Many analysts also believe the American military would like to retain a presence close to Pakistan, Iran and China.

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Among The Costs Of War: $20B In Air Conditioning

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 26, 2011

The amount the U.S. military spends annually on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion.

Air conditioners keep tents cool on a U.S. military base in Iraq. The tents have been treated with polyurethane foam to increase energy efficiency.

That’s more than NASA’s budget. It’s more than BP has paid so far for damage during the Gulf oil spill. It’s what the G-8 has pledged to help foster new democracies in Egypt and Tunisia.

“When you consider the cost to deliver the fuel to some of the most isolated places in the world — escorting, command and control, medevac support — when you throw all that infrastructure in, we’re talking over $20 billion,” Steven Anderson tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rachel Martin. Anderson is a retired brigadier general who served as Gen. David Patreaus’ chief logistician in Iraq.

Why does it cost so much?

To power an air conditioner at a remote outpost in land-locked Afghanistan, a gallon of fuel has to be shipped into Karachi, Pakistan, then driven 800 miles over 18 days to Afghanistan on roads that are sometimes little more than “improved goat trails,” Anderson says. “And you’ve got risks that are associated with moving the fuel almost every mile of the way.”

Anderson calculates more than 1,000 troops have died in fuel convoys, which remain prime targets for attack. Free-standing tents equipped with air conditioners in 125 degree heat require a lot of fuel. Anderson says by making those structures more efficient, the military could save lives and dollars.

Still, his $20.2 billion figure raises stark questions about the ongoing war in Afghanistan. In the wake of President Obama’s announcement this week that about 30,000 American troops will soon return home, how much money does the U.S. stand to save?

 When you have this many people in a country that doesn’t want you there — that has no economy, no infrastructure and a corrupt government — and you’re trying to stabilize it and build them into a viable nation? I’m not sure we have enough time, and I definitely know we don’t have enough money. Read the rest of this entry »

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