Category Archives: Afghanistan

The Landing at Shah-har-adin

Posted by lex, on September 1st, 2011

Army medivac pilot in the Af.

Damned good writing.

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A Week Late

Posted by lex, on August 10th, 2011

Thirty-eight lives short:

The Taliban who shot at a US military helicopter which crashed, leaving 38 American and Afghan troops dead, have been killed, a US commander has said.

General John Allen, US forces commander in Afghanistan, said those responsible had been targeted in an air strike.

Separately, Nato said in a statement the strike had killed Taliban leader Mullah Mohibullah and the insurgent who fired at the helicopter.

“The strike killed Taliban leader Mullah Mohibullah and the insurgent who fired the shot associated with the August 6th downing of the CH-47 helicopter,” the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) statement said.

But Isaf did not specify whether it was Taliban fire that had brought down the Chinook in Wardak province, west of Kabul.

Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday, Gen Allen said international forces learned where the insurgents had fled to, sought them out and killed them.

“We dealt with them in a kinetic strike,” Mr Allen said.

Traditionally, the blogger attempts to place something pithy or wise here.

Today, I’ve got nothing.

 

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Afghan Politics

Posted by lex, on July 18th, 2011

dangerous business to be in:

A close adviser to President Hamid Karzai was killed on Sunday night after two gunmen stormed his walled home here. It was the second killing in less than a week of one of the president’s trusted but controversial political allies.

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Belgium without the Beer

Posted by lex, on June 28th, 2011

US foreign policy in Afghanistan now seeks to mimic the Congress of Vienna and turn the central Asian “nation” into peaceful oasis at the center of Great Game rivalries, according to the Financial Times *:

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A Hard Fight

Posted by  lex, on March 12th, 2011

Read what the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines are taking on in Afghanistan:

The regiment has patrolled Sangin for nearly five months. Twenty-five Marines have died. More than 150 have been wounded; many of the wounded have lost limbs.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a battalion in the Marine Corps at any time — in World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam — that’s pulled a tougher mission than what 3/5 has right now,” Gen. Richard Mills, commander of U.S. and international forces in southwestern Afghanistan, told reporters in November.

Read the whole thing to learn how Rick Wimer, former Marine and father of a lance corporal stationed in Sangin is coping.

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Skin in the Game

Posted by Lex, on March 17, 2011

 

By lex, on March 17th, 2011

Whatever else you may think of America’s ongoing military commitment in Afghanistan, there’s little denying that – for some in the military, at least – it’s a deeply personal issue: *

Noting that Obama has said the U.S. will have combat troops out by the end of 2014, with the Afghan government in position to provide its own security, a skeptical (Rep Walter) Jones said he could imagine a senior military leader coming before Congress in 2015 and pleading for more time and more sacrifice.

“You know, 15, 16, 17 years, for God sakes, how much more can we take, how much more can we give treasure and blood?” Jones asked.

Petraeus replied: “I may not be at this table, probably won’t be, in 2015, but I’ll tell you that my son is in uniform, and Lieutenant Petraeus just completed a tour in Afghanistan, which thankfully we were able to keep very quiet, and left in November after serving as an infantry platoon leader. We’re very proud of what he did. He thinks he was doing something very important.”

His son, 2nd Lt. Stephen Petraeus, served in Afghanistan as a member of Alpha Company, 3rd Platoon, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

I know that General Petraeus is proud of his son’s service, as indeed I am of mine. Just as Marine Lt Gen John Kelly is no doubt somberly proud of the ultimate sacrifice his son made in Afghanistan.

I do wonder sometimes whether military service as a kind of “family business” is healthy for the republic.

 

** 05-11-2018 Link Updated – Ed. 

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Anti-Corruption Campaign

Posted by lex, on February 16, 2011

 

The Afghan government is famously corrupt and ineffectual, a fact that has made winning hearts and minds in the hinterland endlessly challenging. So ordinarily, it would be good to learn of an Afghan government minister finding a suitable target for an anti-corruption campaign.

Ordinarily: *

Afghanistan’s top female official began a sustained verbal assault on women’s shelters on Tuesday, accusing them of corruption and mismanagement, and insisting that the government was determined to take control of them, whether or not donors continue to give financial support.

The shelters, nearly all of them supported by Western charities and governments, provide havens for women and girls fleeing sexual and physical abuse, and give the runaways an alternative to seeking help from the authorities, who often forcibly return them to their families — and sometimes subject them to further abuse.

The new rules would put government officials in charge of the shelters, provide close monitoring of their activities, and could subject unmarried girls in them to virginity tests, critics complain.

“These shelters do not care about the women in them, there are thousands of women living around them and they are not concerned about those women, they are not concerned about these women in the shelters, they are only concerned about their budgets,” said Hussan Ghazanfar, the acting minister of women’s affairs, at a news conference she called to defend the government’s proposed new rules.

Asserting that the country’s 11 registered shelters spent $11 million last year taking care of 210 women, she said that was far more than needed. “This is corruption, you can just count,” Ms. Ghazanfar said, claiming that the entire women’s ministry has a total budget of only $1 million. “The shelters do not need this much money.”

Afghan women’s rights activists dispute Ghazanfar’s claims on funding, and suspect her of shilling for the President Karzai’s campaign of accommodation with the Taliban in advance of a coalition withdrawal.

I just want to rinse of my keyboard, it’s dripping with disgust.

** 05-10-18 Link Changed – Ed. 

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