Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

Aid expert says only pennies of foreign aid reaching Afghans

May 31, 2009

In a country where government corruption and payoffs are pervasive, only pennies from each aid dollar being sent to Afghanistan are actually reaching the people who need help, an international aid expert said Thursday. Marco Vicenzino, the founder of the Global Strategy Project, a non-partisan, non-profit foreign policy think-tank based in Washington, D.C., said he is “appalled” by the inefficiency of humanitarian aid efforts in the war-torn country… Vicenzino, who is a strategic adviser for the Afghanistan World Foundation and a former official with the World Bank, said about 80 cents of every dollar goes back to donor countries, largely through the contractors doing the work. “You have 20 cents left for Afghanistan and those 20 cents have to go through their layers of corruption. By the time any money reaches the ordinary citizen, you’re lucky if you even have five cents ….

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The Main Result of the “War on Terror” The Destabilization of Pakistan

May 31, 2009

So far the principle result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following the events of 9-11 has been the destabilization of Pakistan. That breakdown is peaking with the events in what AP calls the “Swat town” of Mingora—actually a city of 375,000 from which all but 20,000 have fled as government forces moved in, strafing it with gunships. We’re talking urban guerrilla warfare, house-to-house fighting, not on the Afghan border but 50 miles away in the Swat Valley. We’re talking about Pakistani troops fighting to reclaim the nearby Malam Jabba ski resort from the Tehreek-e-Taliban, who since last year have been using it as a training center and logistics base. We’re talking about two million people fleeing the fighting in the valley and 160,000 in government refugee camps. And of course, “collateral damage”…

UN wants ‘flood of drugs’ in Afghanistan to devalue opium

May 27, 2009

United Nations officials in Afghanistan are attempting to create a “flood of drugs” in the country intended to destroy the value of opium and force poppy farmers to switch to legal crops such as wheat.

After the failure to destroy fields of the scarlet flowers in Afghanistan’s volatile south, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says the answer is to stop the drugs from leaving the country in the first place.

Neocon Zalmay Khalilzad to be Afghan ‘Chief Executive’?

May 20, 2009

A former US official has reportedly been groomed to assume the second most powerful post in Afghanistan — a move that will tighten Washington’s grip on Kabul.The New York Times reported Tuesday that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has agreed to give the former US ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, the position of chief executive officer of Afghanistan.

Fight for Oil: 100 Years in the Middle East

May 16, 2009

The history of the race for oil in the Middle East, and the conflict is caused between world powers in the 20th century, is explored in this documentary.

As the race for oil began Britain, Russia, The USA, Germany and France all began to lay claim to the land in the Middle East, bidding to control the natural resources and related wealth it provided.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi gives her thoughts on the former Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, and his fight for independence from the world powers.

Britain’s influence on Iran and the Middle East, through the creation of monarchies, armies and parliaments, is explored, as well as the impact of its withdrawal from the region.

This is part of a series focusing on the history of oil and the conflicts it has caused, many of which continue today.

Obama Picks Up Where Bush Left Off: From My Lai to Bala Baluk

May 16, 2009

Barack Obama is aggressively stepping up the war in Afghanistan. He’s intensified the cross-border bombing of Pakistan and he is doubling the number of U.S. troops to 68,000 by 2010. He’s also a strong proponent of pilotless drones even though hundreds of civilians have been killed in bombing raid blunders.

Obama believes that civilian casualties are an unavoidable part of achieving one’s policy goals. The end justifies the means. He has strengthened the Bush policy, not repudiated it. So much for “change”.

Rumsfeld’s renegade unit blamed for Afghan deaths

May 16, 2009

Special Forces group implicated in three incidents that claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians / MarSOC was set up by former defence secretary despite opposition from within the Marine Corps.

CIA and ISI together created Taliban, says Zardari

May 13, 2009

In a new revelation, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the CIA of the United States and his country’s ISI together created the Taliban.

“I think it was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and CIA created them together,” Zardari told the NBC news channel in an interview

Did newly announced top Afghan general run Cheney’s assassination wing?

May 13, 2009

It was reported on Tuesday that Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal will be taking over command of US forces in Afghanistan, pending Senate approval.

McChrystal is presently director of the Joint Chiefs staff, but from September 2003 to August 2008, he headed the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which oversees such elite units as the Army’s Delta Force and the Navy SEALs.

Famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh recently described the JSOC as an “executive assassination wing” controlled for many years by the office of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Zadari: Osama was an “Operator” for the United States

May 11, 2009

In the interview here, NBC’s David Gregory completely ignores Pakistan president Asif Ali Zadari when he declares that Osama bin Laden was an “operator” for the United States. Gregory wants to know if Zadari believes Osama is alive. He wants to know why Pakistan has not gone after Bin Laden.

Opium harvest in Afghanistan as US troops look on

May 6, 2009

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The Day Today – Bombdogs

April 30, 2009

FROM THE TIMES: A senior British Army officer and six other military personnel survived attack when a tethered donkey laden with explosives was detonated as their armoured vehicle passed in southern Afghanistan.

Preparing for years in Afghanistan

April 30, 2009

The Pentagon’s senior military leaders are worried that the security situation in Afghanistan is stalemated or deteriorating, and now are preparing a far-reaching plan that would prepare the U.S. military for a war that could last three to five more years, officials said.

The effort, which is being coordinated by the Joint Staff and is still in its early stages, is designed to create an experienced cadre of officers and senior enlisted soldiers, who would rotate between assignments in Afghanistan and at their home stations until the end of hostilities.