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Keyword: afpak

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  • The Inside Story of How the White House Let Diplomacy Fail in Afghanistan

    03/03/2013 8:56:53 PM PST · by Mike Darancette · 18 replies
    Forign Policy ^ | March 3, 2013 | VALI NASR
    "My time in the Obama administration turned out to be a deeply disillusioning experience." It was close to midnight on Jan. 20, 2009, and I was about to go to sleep when my iPhone beeped. There was a new text message. It was from Richard Holbrooke. It said, "Are you up, can you talk?" When I called, he told me that Barack Obama had asked him to serve as envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He would work out of the State Department, and he wanted me to join his team. "No one knows this yet. Don't tell anyone. Well, maybe...
  • McCain: If U.S. uses torture, nation will suffer (US in Afghanistan for "rest of the 21st century")

    05/13/2011 6:01:53 AM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 43 replies
    CBS News ^ | 2011-05-13 | David S. Morgan
    Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years, has rejected the argument that torture was necessary to successfully combat terrorism - and denied claims that waterboarding detainees provided intelligence that helped end the manhunt for Osama bin Laden. (snip) On CBS' "The Early Show" Friday, McCain denied claims made by Rep. Peter King, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, who said earlier this week that through the use of such tactics, a courier for the al Qaeda leader was identified. (snip) "Through normal, conventional...
  • A Risky Fatalism In India

    01/16/2011 10:39:43 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 4 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | January 16, 2011 | David Ignatius
    NEW DELHI: Everything is going right these days for India, except for one big problem: It is living next to a Pakistan that is coming apart politically, and Indian leaders insist with a tone of resignation that there's nothing they can do about it. Starting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, top Indian officials know that their booming democracy is endangered by the growing chaos across the border in Pakistan. ---------- Welcome to the world's most dangerous zero-sum game. The sad fact is that India and Pakistan, separated at birth in 1947, are locked in what seems like a blood feud....
  • White House Moves Away From 2011 Afghanistan Withdrawal Timeline

    11/09/2010 8:35:14 PM PST · by kristinn · 34 replies
    McClatchy Newspapers via The Seattle Times ^ | Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | Nancy A. Youssef
    The Obama administration has decided to walk away from what it once touted as key deadlines in the Afghanistan war in an effort to de-emphasize the president's pledge that he would begin withdrawing U.S. forces in July 2011, administration and military officials said Tuesday. The new policy will be on display next week during a NATO conference in Lisbon, Portugal, where the administration hopes to introduce a timeline that calls for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan by 2014, according to three senior officials and others speaking anonymously as a matter of policy. Afghan President Hamid Karzai...
  • Columnist Calls Dutch Cowards, Demands World War for Women

    08/04/2010 8:32:27 PM PDT · by Christian Cage · 12 replies
    The Spearhead ^ | August 4 2010 | Welmer
    She writes that if we don’t stop the Taliban, American and Dutch women will be subject to the horrors of the life of a Pashtun peasant maiden, possibly cooking dinner over an livestock dung fire, being forced to wear unfashionable clothes, etc. As the Taliban succeed, their power across Afghanistan will spread; and with that, similar movements, inspired by their achievements, will gain strength–indeed, already are gaining strength–across the region, in countries from Somalia to Iran, and onward to Holland and the U.S.A. There will be women there, as well. We must not abandon them. It really is starting to...
  • Marine General Confirms That Americans Fighting Feminist War in Afghanistan

    07/29/2010 1:55:16 PM PDT · by Christian Cage · 13 replies · 2+ views
    The Spearhead ^ | July 29 2010 | Welmer
    I long thought that the feminism that is often used to justify our presence in Afghanistan long after the failure to capture or kill Osama bin-Laden – the longest war in American history – was a cover for something else. However, with Hillary Clinton in charge of the State Department, and now this outrageous statement, I’m not so sure any longer. Although Americans have long justified violence on behalf of women, for example by lynching innocent men – both black and white – in the old South, beating and shooting men in their homes over domestic disputes and other such...
  • Forgotten soldiers

    07/29/2010 2:43:28 AM PDT · by Scanian · 3 replies · 2+ views
    NY Post ^ | July 29, 2010 | Ralph Peters
    If we needed yet another example of Washington's self-absorption, we sure got it with the WikiLeaks dump of classified data on AfPak. Government officials promptly freaked about the political consequences. The rush to insist that "there's nothing new here" and that the leaks "really don't change anything" was dishonest even by DC standards. Lies, lies, lies, lies, lies! The victims of this tragic event aren't punch-drunk White House staffers or members of Congress up for re-election. They're not the wed-to-Pakistan wonks at State or even the Pentagon's hide-the-bad-news generals. The forgotten victims are our troops on the ground. And the...
  • 'Can’t monitor military aid to Pakistan': US to India

    07/23/2010 6:40:44 PM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 1 replies
    The Indian Express ^ | Sat Jul 24 2010 | The Indian Express
    The US has virtually rejected India’s demand for a monitoring mechanism on military aid being given to Pakistan for the fight against terror. At the same time, it has also raised concerns about the links the ISI has with terror outfits and said that the strategic approach of the Pakistani spy agency needs to fundamentally change. The US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said that there are concerns about “the links the ISI has”. He admitted that there is a lot about the Pakistani spy agency that the US does not know and added that...
  • 'Pakistan using US funds meant for war on terror to bolster military might' [$18 billion since 2001]

    07/23/2010 4:37:21 PM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 10 replies
    The Times of India ^ | Jul 24, 2010 | The Times of India
    Pakistan has been diverting a large part of US funds meant for the global war on terrorism for conventional weapon procurements from China and other countries. This illegal diversion of US provided funds, far more than what is known in public, is resulting in a massive modernisation of Pakistan's military beyond its official means, believes the Indian security establishment. A source said that the findings and concerns of India were shared with the US during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's US visit in April. This issue formed a substantial part of the conversation between the two sides. Officials later said US...
  • McCain, Graham and Lieberman back Obama over McChrystal

    06/22/2010 11:25:15 AM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 123 replies
    The Los Angeles Times ^ | 2010-06-22 | Michael Muskal
    <p>Three key senators on Tuesday joined the Washington chorus questioning the judgment of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, adding that his fate is in the hands of President Obama.</p> <p>The statement by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham is important because it gives the Obama administration political cover if the president decides to fire McChrystal. The three senators are longtime backers of the military.</p>
  • US allays apprehensions, briefs India on Pak talks

    03/27/2010 10:45:59 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies · 364+ views
    Times of India ^ | 3/27/2010 | Indrani Bagchi
    As the Pakistan-US strategic dialogue and its accompanying hype wound down in Washington, US briefed India about the content and scope of the discussions between the two sides. US national security adviser, Gen Jim Jones called up Shivshankar Menon, national security adviser, to bring him up to speed on the talks, while US undersecretary William Burns briefed his counterpart, Nirupama Rao. Specifically, the conversations were intended to allay any Indian apprehensions of “secret” understandings reached with Pakistan. As the joint statement made clear, there was no reference to India or Kashmir in the document. Even on the water issue, the...
  • US toll in Afghanistan war reaches 1,000

    02/23/2010 5:29:19 PM PST · by combat_boots · 16 replies · 387+ views
    Telegraph ^ | 23 Feb 2010 | Ben Farmer in Kabul and Alex Spillius in Washington
    The US death toll in Afghanistan has reached 1,000 with the number of soldiers killed doubling since last year. The icasualties.org website, which tracks military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq, said 54 US soldiers had died in the war so far this year, as the coalition tries to regain momentum in its eight-year campaign. It was the worst toll for two consecutive months since the US-led invasion of 2001 and compared with a toll of 30 in the same period last year.
  • Issue of placing ISI under civilian control shelved: Zardari

    01/09/2010 12:34:26 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies · 188+ views
    The Times of India ^ | 01/01/2010 | The Times of India
    Political forces in Pakistan want the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency to be placed under civilian control but the matter has been put on the backburner for the time being, President Asif Ali Zardari has said. "The political forces want the ISI should be brought under civilian control but for the time being, this matter has been shelved," Zardari said in an interview with a TV news channel. He did not give the reasons for the issue being shelved. The government led by Zardari's Pakistan People's Party had attempted to place the ISI under the control of the interior ministry in...
  • The Taliban's Shadowy Partners

    12/08/2009 6:01:55 PM PST · by Kaslin · 9 replies · 638+ views
    Investors.com ^ | December 8, 2009 | INVESTORS BUSINESS DAILY staff
    War On Terror: The anti-war crowd says the small number of enemy fighters inside Afghanistan doesn't justify sending 30,000 fresh troops there. They fail to understand the larger problem. Sen. Barbara Boxer complains al-Qaida is scarcely in Afghanistan. She cites an intelligence report leaked to ABC News that only 100 fighters are actually present inside the country, along with several thousand Taliban fighters. "I do not support adding more troops," the California Democrat argued, "because there are now 200,000 American, NATO and Afghan forces fighting roughly 20,000 Taliban and less than 100 al-Qaida." In other words, why are we even...
  • AMERICANS REMAIN SPLIT ON AFGHAN WAR

    12/05/2009 8:47:31 AM PST · by Tamar Rush · 6 replies · 237+ views
    The Last Crusade ^ | Dec. 5, 2009 | The Last Crusade
    A New Viet Nam? thelastcrusade.org U.S. residents are split over whether the country can achieve its goals in Afghanistan, according to a Gallup poll released this weekend. Almost three-quarters of those surveyed, 73%, say they fear spending in Afghanistan will interfere with domestic goals. Just over half, 51% , stated their support for the president's strategy, while 48% said they oppose it.
  • Af-Pak policy: ISI must fall in line

    12/05/2009 1:42:28 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies · 327+ views
    he Economic Times ^ | 12/04/2009 | ET Bureau
    The Manmohan Singh government on Thursday said it was imperative for the international community to continue putting pressure on Pakistan to dismantle the safe havens that export terror into the neighbourhood. Responding to President Barack Obama’s Afghan policy, MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said Pakistan has to be persuaded to root out these safe havens. `` India believes that it is in the interest of the international community to impress upon Pakistan that it must use all its influence and resources to implement its commitments to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism and to deny sanctuary to all terrorist groups who operate...
  • CIA paid millions of dollars to ISI since 9/11

    11/16/2009 4:17:50 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 14 replies · 659+ views
    The Economic Times ^ | 11/16/2009 | The Economic Times
    The CIA has paid millions of dollars to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) since 9/11, "accounting for as much as one-third of the foreign spy agency's annual budget", says a media report. The ISI also collected "tens of millions of dollars through a classified CIA programme", which pays for the capture or killing of wanted militants, a newspaper reported on Monday citing current and former US officials. An intense debate has been triggered within the US government due to "long-standing suspicions that the ISI continues to help Taliban extremists who undermine US efforts in Afghanistan and provide sanctuary to Al Qaeda...
  • John McCain 'angry' over Afghanistan delay (will "support" Obama when he makes "the right decision")

    11/09/2009 2:32:48 PM PST · by rabscuttle385 · 26 replies · 1,161+ views
    Politico ^ | 2009-11-05 | Andy Barr
    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that he is “angry” and “disappointed” with President Barack Obama for delaying his decision on increasing troop levels in Afghanistan. “The fact is we already have men and women over there, and the longer we delay in sending them the needed resources they need the greater danger they are in,” McCain said during an interview on Fox News’ Fox & Friends program. “That’s just a fundamental fact of warfare and so I’m past being a bit angry.” “I’m disappointed that we haven’t made the decision,” he said.
  • McCain Would Not Use Cheney's Words ["I want to support the president"]

    10/25/2009 4:41:43 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 74 replies · 2,363+ views
    CBS ^ | 2009-10-25 | Michelle Levi
    Senator John McCain made clear that he and the Republican Party should send the message that they support whatever President Obama's strategy in Afghanistan ends up being, rather than send messages that the U.S. is "waffling" or "dithering." In response to former Vice President Dick Cheney's recent remarks, in which he said, "signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries," McCain said, "I wouldn't use that language." Speaking Wednesday evening while accepting an award from the conservative Center for Security Policy, Cheney said, "The White House must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in...
  • CQ Transcript: Sens. McCain, Feingold on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ [McCain on health care]

    10/25/2009 12:59:03 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 10 replies · 950+ views
    CQ Politics / CBS ^ | 2009-10-25
    (snip) SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you about health care quickly. It looks like that’s coming finally to a head in the Senate. It looks like that the majority leader, Harry Reid, is going to put the government- run insurance option in there, the so-called public option. Do you think at this point that that will pass the Senate?MCCAIN: I think that the Democrats have the votes. I think that Blue Dogs bark but never bite. So I don’t think they have a problem over in the House side.MCCAIN: In the Senate, I think that the Democrats are very aware that...
  • [Tenn.] GOP Congressman: Afghanistan is a 'medieval' country [nation-building could take "decades"]

    09/29/2009 4:56:44 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 16 replies · 870+ views
    The Hill, Washington, DC ^ | 2009-09-29 | Jordan Fabian
    Nation-building in Afghanistan is a tough proposition for the United States since it is a "medieval" country, Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) told a local editorial board on Monday afternoon. The freshman lawmaker said that the a rebuilding project similar to what the U.S. undertook in Iraq would unlikely to achieve success in Afghanistan because the latter is "medieval" and the former is a "20th century country." Roe added that winning "the war" there would take "decades." He emphasized that the government needs to re-evaluate the mission there and define victory in the conflict against Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgents. "I believe...
  • It's up to Obama to decide on Afghanistan [why is Zero calling McInsane?] [RINO love story] [barf]

    09/28/2009 11:38:57 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 14 replies · 1,448+ views
    Reuters ^ | 2009-09-29
    (snip) "This is not easy and I would expect that the public would ask some very tough questions," Obama said last Friday. "That's exactly what I'm doing, is asking some very tough questions." Obama telephoned Senator John McCain, his Republican opponent from last year's election campaign, on Saturday to get his advice on Afghanistan. McCain supports sending more troops. "I think he has a very difficult decision," McCain told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "The base of his party, Americans are weary, understandably they're weary. And it's a very difficult decision for him. But I believe he'll make the right...
  • SC 2014: Graham holds town hall meeting Friday in Florence [wants to "support Obama all the way"]

    09/25/2009 1:55:43 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 17 replies · 1,143+ views
    FLORENCE—Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Friday the Afghan government has failed to provide services for its citizens, allowing a Taliban resurgence and a need for more U.S. troops. Graham, who serves on the Armed Services Committee, said more forces to keep the Taliban from taking over part of the country. “I will support the recommedation to send more troops,“ Graham said this morning during a town hall meeting of about 150 people at Francis Marion University. “I will support President Obama if he decides to commit troops. I do not want to make this a partisan issue like they (Democrats)...
  • Counterterrorism at the expense of counterinsurgency will doom Afghanistan and Pakistan

    09/24/2009 6:22:46 AM PDT · by batter · 4 replies · 409+ views
    The Long War Journal ^ | 24 September 2009 | Bill Roggio
    US military and intelligence officials are concerned that a proposed alternative plan to ramp up cross-border attacks in Pakistan and rapidly build the Afghan security forces in lieu of a comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy may take hold and lead to a catastrophic failure in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This alternative strategy, which was proposed by Vice President Joe Biden and reported in The New York Times, calls for reducing the US military mission in Afghanistan and ramping up airstrikes and covert raids against the al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas. "Rather than trying to protect the Afghan population from the Taliban, American...
  • Levin takes on McCain over Afghanistan strategy

    09/20/2009 6:25:06 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 19 replies · 1,026+ views
    WASHINGTON (CNN) – The chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee responded Sunday to recent criticism from former White House hopeful Sen. John McCain, the ranking Republican on the committee. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, has lately suggested that the proper course for the United States to pursue in Afghanistan is to beef up the country’s own army and police forces before planning on sending in any additional American troops.
  • Only Decisive Force Can Prevail in Afghanistan

    09/17/2009 4:15:12 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 15 replies · 994+ views
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | 2009-09-14 | U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, Joseph I. Lieberman, ID-Conn., and John McCain, R-Ariz.
    A middle path of muddling through is the real recipe for quagmire and loss of public support. BY LINDSEY GRAHAM, JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, & JOHN MCCAIN Growing numbers of Americans are starting to doubt whether we should have troops in Afghanistan and whether the war there is even winnable. We are confident that not only is it winnable, but that we have no choice. We must prevail in Afghanistan. We went to war there because the 9/11 attacks were a direct consequence of the safe haven given to al Qaeda in that country under the Taliban. We remain at war...
  • Cato report says Afghan 'victory' unlikely

    09/15/2009 4:04:32 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 19 replies · 836+ views
    UPI ^ | 2009-09-15
    WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. military can pull most of its troops from Afghanistan in the next year as "victory" is not a realistic outcome, a report by the Cato Institute says. Malou Innocent and Ted Galen Carpenter in an authoritative report on the conflict in Afghanistan note that "a definitive, conventional 'victory' is not a realistic option." Washington said its strategy in Afghanistan is focused in part on denying al-Qaida and other militants the opportunity to establish a safe haven in the embattled nation. The authors, however, opine that denying a sanctuary to terrorists does not require...
  • Graham, McCain: Send more troops to Afghanistan [as McCain tells cadet that Obama is not a liar]

    09/14/2009 12:18:31 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 63 replies · 1,972+ views
    AP ^ | 2009-09-14 | Bruce Smith
    CHARLESTON (AP) – Republican U.S. Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham said Monday that President Barack Obama should act quickly to send additional troops to Afghanistan for the war against the Taliban. McCain, of Arizona, told reporters after a town hall meeting on health care at the military college The Citadel that the president knows what's needed and he should make the decision immediately. "Then we'll work with him to sell it to the American people who are understandably weary of the conflict," McCain said.
  • GOP provides backing for Obama's war effort [McCain, Cantor helping Obama]

    09/11/2009 8:33:49 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 13 replies · 992+ views
    The Washington Times ^ | 2009-09-12 | David R. Sands
    Facing fire from his own party over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, President Obama is getting cover from an unlikely source: Republicans. Sen. John McCain of Arizona and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia are among a growing faction of congressional Republicans speaking up for the Democratic president as he faces questions of whether to escalate the U.S. troop presence in an increasingly bloody conflict. Mr. Cantor, who has helped lead the fight in the House GOP caucus against much of Mr. Obama's domestic agenda, voiced support Friday for Mr. Obama's willingness to carry the fight to the Taliban...
  • AZ 2010: Anti-War Protesters To Greet McCain [at tonight's Phoenix town hall]

    08/26/2009 11:18:17 AM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 8 replies · 695+ views
    PHOENIX -- Sen. John McCain will hold a central Valley town hall Wednesday evening to discuss proposed health care reforms with Arizonans. McCain held a town hall Tuesday in Sun City, where most of the 1,400-plus attendees were retirees concerned about changes in Medicare and their insurance coverage. Wednesday's meeting may shape up to be a bit different because when McCain arrives, he will be greeted by anti-war protesters. Protest group End the War said it will be waiting outside the town hall with signs calling for the U.S.'s withdrawal from Afghanistan. Group spokesman Mitch Rubin said that McCain has...
  • McCain calls for more US troops in Afghanistan

    08/18/2009 1:13:15 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 16 replies · 2,773+ views
    KABUL (AP) — Sen. John McCain called Tuesday for more American troops in Afghanistan, saying that doubling the number of Marines in one southern region could lead to "significantly more success." The former Republican presidential candidate, along with other members of a visiting congressional delegation, also said that Afghanistan's elections this week were a milestone event, but that the U.S. was not backing one candidate over another. The group's two-day visit included meeting with Marines in southern Helmand province, where U.S. and Afghan forces are staging a major offensive aimed at clearing out Taliban militants ahead of Thursday's vote.
  • Pakistani Voice of America Reporter Detained by US Immigration

    08/15/2009 11:23:16 AM PDT · by buzzer · 1 replies · 254+ views
    Voice of America ^ | 14 August 2009 | Cindy Saine
    U.S. immigration officials are holding a Pakistani journalist for Voice of America's Deewa Radio who was detained at the airport as he arrived in Washington to contriubte to programing at VOA headquarters. The journalist, whose home was destroyed by the Taliban last month, was taken into custody on Sunday.
  • US for smaller India role in Kabul-Pakistan pressure to prune consulate footprint in Afghanistan

    05/27/2009 5:18:58 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 5 replies · 684+ views
    The Telegraph, India ^ | May 26, 2009 | JAYANTH JACOB
    US for smaller India role in Kabul-Pakistan pressure to prune consulate footprint in Afghanistan JAYANTH JACOB New Delhi, May 26: The US administration is nudging India to scale down its presence in Afghanistan — including pruning or closing down its consulates — in line with Islamabad’s demands, sources said. This stand goes against US policy of the past eight years, when Washington wanted India to send troops to Afghanistan. The US is now hunting new allies to “stabilise” Pakistan and Afghanistan, such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran that have leverage with Islamabad, as President Obama’s Afpak policy takes off....
  • Mr. Obama's War? - No. Like it or not, it's America's war.

    05/17/2009 4:18:40 PM PDT · by neverdem · 30 replies · 1,103+ views
    Washington Post ^ | May 17, 2009 | Masthead Editorial
    PRESIDENT OBAMA'S clashes with the liberal base of his party are the kind of sporting event that Washington loves. But what Mr. Obama is confronting is less his party and more a stubborn reality that many in his party are unwilling to accept: There are forces in the world that continue to wage war against the United States and its allies, whether or not the United States wants to acknowledge that war. Mr. Obama's recent decisions on paying for Afghanistan, reviving military tribunals and withholding photos of detainee abuse, among others, all reflect this reality. Although we disagreed with his...
  • Time To Get Tough With Pakistan

    05/15/2009 7:11:35 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 8 replies · 617+ views
    Wall Street Journal ^ | MAY 15, 2009 | Jeff M. Smith
    Back in 2007, commentators were sounding the alarm that Pakistan was approaching a precipice. A lot has changed in two years. Pakistan's problems then -- protesters clogging the streets of Islamabad demanding President Musharraf's resignation, and sporadic Taliban raids on coalition forces in Afghanistan -- were but a glimpse of the danger ahead. No one could have imagined the speed and intensity with which the Taliban and their allies have since spread east from their sanctuary in the Hindu Kush mountains to threaten an invasion of the Pakistani capital. Pakistan's deepening disorder coincides with the release of the Obama administration's...
  • ‘Pakistan Making More N-Weapons’

    05/15/2009 12:23:43 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 16 replies · 929+ views
    The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, has confirmed reports that Pakistan is increasing its nuclear weapons programme. The confirmation came during a Senate Armed Services committee hearing on Thursday when Democrat senator Jim Webb, an expert on defence issues, raised fears that Pakistan is adding to the nuclear weapons it traditionally has pointed toward India, and questioned whether US aid could be funding it. Noting reports that Pakistan "may be actually adding on their weapon systems and warheads" Webb asked: "Do you have any evidence of that?" "Yes," Mullen answered. The US has urged...
  • Gates, Petraeus, McKiernan, McChrystal and Rodriguez (Michael Yon)

    05/13/2009 9:20:59 AM PDT · by SonOfDarkSkies · 31 replies · 1,513+ views
    michaelyon-online.com ^ | 5/13/2009 | Michael Yon
    Every British officer I talk with asks what in the world happened with General McKiernan, and why was his relief performed so publicly. I do not know. And I do not personally know General McKiernan. I do know that these ears have never heard someone speak a foul word about him, and I talk with lots of interesting people. If he, McKiernan, was a bad general I would have heard about it. However, General McKiernan did make some statements about additional troops to Afghanistan, and when he made those statements I remember thinking, “He’s going to get fired.” And so...
  • The curious sacking of Gen McKiernan

    05/12/2009 10:07:49 PM PDT · by garyhope · 83 replies · 10,009+ views
    The Guardian ^ | Tuesday 12 May 2009 15.11 BST | Simon Tisdall
    It seems harsh to suggest the Pentagon top brass don't know what they're doing. But those who care to read the transcript of the press conference at which the sacking of the top American general in Afghanistan was announced may find that conclusion hard to resist. "In some ways we're learning as we go here," said Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs. It was not a reassuring admission. The public defenestration of General David McKiernan, a distinguished career officer who took command in Kabul less than one year ago, was brutal in that cold, callous way peculiar to...
  • Tillman's parents want general's record reviewed

    05/12/2009 4:45:00 PM PDT · by Nachum · 17 replies · 1,126+ views
    breitbart ^ | 5/12/2009 | Lara Jakes
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The parents of slain Army Ranger and NFL star Pat Tillman voiced concerns Tuesday that the general who played a role in mischaracterizing his death could be put in charge of military operations in Afghanistan. In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Pat Tillman Sr. accused Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal of covering up the circumstances of the 2004 slaying. "I do believe that guy participated in a falsified homicide investigation," Pat Tillman Sr. said.
  • US fires top general in Afghanistan as war worsens

    05/11/2009 3:35:30 PM PDT · by truthandlife · 47 replies · 2,915+ views
    AP ^ | 5-11-09 | PAULINE JELINEK and ANNE GEARAN
    President Barack Obama fired the top U.S. general in Afghanistan on Monday, replacing him with a former special forces commander in a quest for a more agile, unconventional approach in a war that has gone quickly downhill. With the Taliban resurgent, Obama's switch from Gen. David McKiernan to Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal suggests the new commander in chief wants major changes in addition to the additional troops he's ordering into Afghanistan to shore up the war effort. McKiernan, on the job for less than a year, has repeatedly pressed for more forces. Although Obama has approved more than 21,000 additional...
  • On Af-Pak: Stop "Helping" [Ron Paul]

    05/11/2009 3:41:13 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 50 replies · 3,134+ views
    While much of the country’s attention is on other issues, a serious situation is developing in Pakistan that threatens to plunge us into another fruitless and bloody war. It is very frustrating to see that many who were so vehemently against the wars of the last administration have suddenly lost interest in foreign policy simply because we were promised change. Those still paying attention know that nothing could be further from the truth. Very little has changed, except perhaps rhetoric, but what does that matter when the bombing missions are only getting deadlier? Rather than drawing down violent military interventions...
  • 'The US is Making a Mistake in Pakistan'

    05/10/2009 7:37:19 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 9 replies · 545+ views
    Rediff ^ | May 08, 2009 | Aziz Haniffa
    A conference on 'Pakistan's Troubled Frontier: The Future of FATA and the NWFP' in Washington, DC witnessed several speakers expressing concern about the situation in Pakistan. In the third of the five-part series (read the first and second), Stephen P Cohen, the distinguished expert on South Asian affairs, discusses the crisis. An acute equipment shortage and an army that has only been trained to fight against India has left the Pakistani army highly ineffectual in its counter-insurgency efforts against the Taliban [Images], he said. "There's truth to what the Pakistanis will tell you, that they lack equipment," Cohen, who has...
  • US ‘Deeply’ Regrets Civilian Losses in Afghanistan: Clinton

    05/06/2009 7:16:50 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 24 replies · 1,286+ views
    Sindh Today ^ | May 6th, 2009
    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologised for the civilian casualties caused by US airstrikes in Afghanistan after a meeting with the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan Wednesday. “We deeply, deeply regret that loss,” Clinton said, promising a joint investigation after an airstrike in western Afghanistan this week that may have killed more than 100 people, according to an Afghan regional legislator. Clinton said bringing peace to the region required an “all government effort” that went well beyond military support, amid an uptick in fighting against the Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President...
  • Af-Pak leaders meet Obama as new violence erupts

    05/06/2009 2:41:06 PM PDT · by jazusamo · 5 replies · 360+ views
    The Hill ^ | May 6, 2009 | Bridget Johnson
    President Obama affirmed Wednesday the commitment between the U.S., Afghanistan and Pakistan to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” extremists just as Pakistan was wracked by fresh Taliban violence. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and other administration members in a trilateral summit that was hailed as a key step in coordinating efforts against the insurgency fueled by al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Speaking to reporters while flanked by both leaders, Obama stressed the need for more “troops, training and assistance,” and said the trio needed to work together “with...
  • 'Hybrid War' to Pull U.S. Military in Two Directions, Flournoy Says

    05/04/2009 4:56:06 PM PDT · by SandRat · 6 replies · 473+ views
    WASHINGTON, May 4, 2009 – The type of “hybrid warfare” that defense experts predict the United States is increasingly likely to face will pull the military in two directions, the Defense Department’s top policy official said today. Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, said America's conventional dominance gives incentive to its enemies to use asymmetric means to undermine U.S. strengths and exploit its weaknesses. “Preparing for this operating environment will pull the Army, and the military writ large, in two very different directions,” she told the roughly 200-person audience at the Army Leader Forum at the Pentagon. On the...
  • A nuclear Taliban?

    05/03/2009 1:32:13 PM PDT · by appleseed · 19 replies · 812+ views
    WND ^ | May 01, 2009 | Hal Lindsey
    The Pakistani Taliban, even while continuing their penetration of central Pakistan, have begun mobilizing fresh recruits from all over the country to go help their Afghan Taliban brothers resist the newly arriving Western troops. The Taliban now control the tribal regions of Pakistan, huge sections of the Swat Valley and have just consolidated their control over the district of Buner, just 60 miles from Islamabad...(Snip) Pakistan was one of only two nations on earth that recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan's legitimate government (the other being Osama's home country of Saudi Arabia)...(Snip) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made headlines last weekend...
  • Obama's War Secrets

    05/03/2009 7:31:40 AM PDT · by Abakumov · 6 replies · 1,064+ views
    The Washington Times ^ | May 3, 2009 | Editorial
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton wants to keep things secret that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton found it expedient to politicize. The Obama administration wants to keep its metrics of progress for the war in Afghanistan under wraps.
  • Zardari to meet Obama, buoyed by sea-change in Pakistan

    05/02/2009 11:07:01 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 5 replies · 572+ views
    Reuters ^ | Sun May 3, 2009 3:28am BST | Simon Cameron-Moore - Analysis
    ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistanis don't often see their country the same way as American presidents, but the fear spread by Taliban fighters turning up a few hours drive from Islamabad has finally put them on the same page. When Barack Obama said on Wednesday that the situation in the nuclear-armed Muslim nation warranted "grave concern" there was no dispute in Pakistan. Politicians of every hue, the media and the public have all been seized by the urgent need to fight back. "The national mood is changing," said a senior Pakistani official with knowledge of foreign policy and security matters. "People...
  • Holbrooke disagrees with Obama’s assessment (Honest Headline)

    Holbrooke disagrees with Obama’s assessment By Anwar Iqbal Saturday, 02 May, 2009 | 12:39 PM PST | WASHINGTON: US presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke disagrees with President Barack Obama’s description of the Zardari government as ‘very fragile,’ which is incapable of delivering even basic services to its people. In an interview hastily arranged by the Pakistan Embassy to undo the impression created by President Obama’s remarks, Mr Holbrooke said he believed the Zardari government was capable of doing what his boss said it was not. Questioned pointedly if the government in Islamabad was capable of delivering what is being expected from...
  • Full confidence in Pakistani govt, Holbrooke insists (Apologizing for Obama's pres conf remarks!)

    05/02/2009 11:26:52 AM PDT · by milwguy · 7 replies · 589+ views
    dawn ^ | 5/2/2009 | dawn
    US presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke on Friday voiced the Obama administration’s full confidence in the ability of the democratic Pakistani government to deliver services for its people as he rubbished media reports implying that Washington might be concerned about the performance of the elected government to the point of seeking change. Referring to stories that spoke of the Obama administration considering the civilian government weak, Holbrooke, special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, said, ‘I don’t understand these stories.’ This is journalistic garbage. This is journalistic gobbledygook. It’s a story being hyped by journalists,’ he added, when asked to comment on...