Posts Tagged ‘ Taliban ’

Afghanistan: an end in sight?


I don’t buy into the claim that the war in Afghanistan was illegal, immoral or that it wasn’t worth going in there and kicking some Taliban butt.

That said, we’re not really getting anywhere, are we? Thus, the following is probably the best course of action.

THE US and Afghan governments have begun secret* three-way talks with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told The Wall Street Journal, disclosing an important breakthrough in efforts to end the 10-year war.

Mr Karzai, whose government had protested being left out of recent talks between Washington and the insurgents, added he believes most Taliban are “definitively” interested in a peace settlement.

Now an assertation by Karzai doesn’t exactly carry much weight IMO, but let’s hope he’s right on this occaision. It looks like this report out of the Pentagon backs what Karzai is saying.

The Pentagon on Wednesday offered new details of its plan for shifting from a combat mission in Afghanistan to one focused on training and advising Afghan forces as they gradually shoulder more of the combat burden.

The Army identified five U.S.-based brigades, as well as an Army Reserve organization, that will be reconfigured and sent to Afghanistan between April and August to “generate, employ and sustain” Afghan forces.

The Army called this a “new mission” after more than 10 years of fighting in Afghanistan.

And there’s this interesting and hopefully positive development, as well.

Karzai’s comments came as he prepared to meet the leaders of neighbouring Pakistan and Iran in Islamabad on Thursday for a summit set to focus on security issues, including the Taliban insurgency and support for it from within Pakistan. He did not give any further details about the contacts.

Now I’m no military strategist hotshot, but I really don’t think the West has to worry too much about Taliban strikes on our home soil or Iran cutting off its oil supplies if the US/NATO has a less active role in the region. Iran needs the money and/or gold more than ever thanks to sanctions; gold which they’re reportedly using to by grain (from Australia no less) and which others are reportedly using to buy Iranian oil.

*BTW, the talks aren’t really “secret” are they when word of them is splashed across the WSJ and the Australian.

Seriously? It has come to this?


After 10 long years, the US military and the Taliban are fighting it out…

On twitter?

*groan*

The Taliban is, er, NOT our enemy?


So says US VP Joe Biden.

H/T Newser

Pakistan, too


It’s hard to find fault with Christopher Hitchen’s latest.

It’s essentially about the quagmire in Afghanistan.

And (my opinion) whilst it would be folly to leave, geez it’d be nice if Karzai were on our side.

But this narrowness pales beside the truly awful opportunism and cynicism of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. In previous cases of irrational violence, such as the bloody riots that occurred on the mere rumor of a Quran being desecrated in Guantanamo, he had taken quite a responsible line (pointing out, for example, that one library destroyed by the incendiaries had contained several fine old Qurans). Unlike some provincial mullahs, Karzai also knows perfectly well that the U.S. government is constitutionally prohibited from policing religious speech among its citizens. Yet, when faced with the doings of the aforementioned moronic cleric from Gainesville, he went out of his way to intensify mob feeling. This caps a long period where his behavior has come to seem like a conscious collusion with warlordism, organized crime, and even with elements of the Taliban. Already under constant pressure to make consistent comments about Syria and Libya, the Obama administration might want to express itself more directly about a man for whose fast-decomposing regime we are shedding our best blood.

Roleplay


It can be an effective weapon in a teacher’s arsenal of methods used to teach. But this one may be taking that last metaphor a bit too literally.

The Mail Online where I found this video is shocked, but before rushing off to that YouTube Smackdown link in the sidebar, consider the bloke who originally published it on his facebook page. He doesn’t exactly come across as a promoter of terrorism.

Much more likely it is indeed one of those art reflects life scenarios.

Not the best activity a teacher could be doing? Perhaps.

But let’s remember the origins of “Ring a Ring a Rosey”.

If true, how can we trust Pakistan?


This isn’t the first time Pakistan have been strongly suspected of at best, playing a double game or at worst actively working against our interests. You may remember a piece from a few months back purporting Osama bin Laden is “living well” in north west Pakistan, protected by locals and elements of Pakistan’s ISI (intelligence service).

Then there was Obama making a pretty poor decision IMHO to release the Taliban’s #2 who was in Pakistan.

And now, this:

THE reclusive one-eyed chief of the Afghan Taliban Mullah Mohammed Omar was treated for a heart attack in Pakistan with the help of its intelligence service, the Washington Post says.

The spiritual leader of the Islamist insurgency, who went deep underground after the 2001 US-led invasion, suffered a heart attack on January 7 and was taken to a hospital near Karachi for several days, the Post said, citing a report by a private intelligence network run by former US security officials.

The network, operating as a private company known as “The Eclipse Group,” said its source was an unnamed physician in the hospital.

“While I was not personally in the operating theatre… my evaluation based on what I have heard and seeing the patient in the hospital is that Mullah Omar had a cardiac catheter complication resulting in either bleeding or a small cerebral vascular incident, or both,” the physician was quoted as saying.

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The doctor added that Omar appeared to have suffered some brain damage and had slurred speech following the operation.

The report said Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency had “rushed him to a hospital in Karachi, where he was given heparin (an anticoagulant) and operated on.”

Geez. When they’re not “fixing” the cricket, they’re “fixing” the war, which will be “won” hard enough as it is.*

*If that last link doesn’t work, it’s because the Korean education Dept. won’t let their computers go to Rolling Stone, along with a plethora of other sites. Why sites like Rolling Stone, wired.com, and the Guardian homepage, for example, are banned is a mystery.

The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System


Via commenter, Red, White, and Blue, in email who states, “Now, this is what I like to see.”

Ditto.

The XM25 is basically a “smart” grenade launcher and is being hailed as a game changer.

Let’s hope so.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – It looks and acts like something best left in the hands of Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo,” but this latest dream weapon is real — and the US Army sees it becoming the Taliban’s worst nightmare.

The Pentagon has rolled out prototypes of its first-ever programmable “smart” grenade launcher, a shoulder-fired weapon that uses microchipped ammunition to target and kill the enemy, even when the enemy is hidden behind walls or other cover.

Tidy.

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