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Archive for Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gates: Decision near on Afghanistan troops

February 11, 2009

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— President Barack Obama is days away from approving a new Afghanistan troop buildup, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday, as the new administration confronts a worsening war and the prospect of fiercer fighting in the spring.

Obama is likely to send fresh forces to the Afghan battle even before concluding a wide review of U.S. strategy and goals there, in part because time is short to have new units in place for the expected increase in fighting that comes with warmer weather.

Gates said he expects a decision “in the course of the next few days.”

Comments

madmike 5 years, 2 months ago

Merrill and Logruthmic! Together again, like poop and toilet paper!

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logrithmic 5 years, 2 months ago

Thank you Merrill. And I second it. Here's what Willaim Blum, one of the best foreign policy minds out there, had to say to President Obama:"AfghanistanPerhaps the most miserable people on the planet, with no hope in sight as long as the world's powers continue to bomb, invade, overthrow, occupy, and slaughter in their land. The US Army is planning on throwing 30,000 more young American bodies into the killing fields and is currently building eight new major bases in southern Afghanistan. Is that not insane? If it makes sense to you I suggest that you start the practice of the president accompanying the military people when they inform American parents that their child has died in a place called Afghanistan.If you pull out from this nightmare, you could also stop bombing Pakistan. Leave even if it results in the awful Taliban returning to power. They at least offer security to the country's wretched, and indications are that the current Taliban are not all fundamentalists.But first, close Bagram prison and other detention camps, which are worse than Guantanamo.And stop pretending that the United States gives a damn about the Afghan people and not oil and gas pipelines which can bypass Russia and Iran. The US has been endeavoring to fill the power vacuum in Central Asia created by the Soviet Union’s dissolution in order to assert Washington's domination over a region containing the second largest proven reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the world. Is Afghanistan going to be your Iraq?"For Blum's complete review of American foreign policy, go here:http://www.counterpunch.org/blum02062009.html

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

Afghanistan is a terribly vast hostile region, much like thefoothills of the Himalayas with very high plateaus, ruggedmountains, cold weather, lack of oxygen, etc. It's not some warm near-sea level place where troops can go dancing around in with 70kg of equipment on their backs like ballerinas. Ten steps and they wouldall be on the ground gasping for air. It's a tough assignment.Russia did not do well there. Can you just take a stroll up into the Andes and fight a war? NO! Are Gates and the PNAC war hawks abusing our troops YES!If there ever was truly an opportunity to nail terrorists that opportunity is long gone. Not only that what does a terrorist look like?Could your tax dollars be better spent? Select your state, town, county or congressional district and a program, and find out what else your tax dollars could provide.http://nationalpriorities.org/tradeoffsNational Priorities Project analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent.http://nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_homeDoes it truly matter whether this bin Laden character is dead or alive? No! Killing thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraq families replaced bin Laden years ago.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

A foolhardy invasion, a fruitless struggle, increasing hatred of the American occupiers, even our own puppets protesting our brutal methods: does any of this sound familiar?Of course it does. The war in Iraq, which was supposed to be a "cakewalk," includes all of the above – and so does the ongoing war in Afghanistan, albeit with far graver dangers.For some reason, the Afghan war is considered the "good war," even in ostensibly antiwar circles. All the well-known arguments against the Iraq adventure – the high costs, the futility of nation-building, the risk of igniting a wider conflagration – somehow do not apply to Afghanistan. Yet they are all too applicable, and increasingly so, as the U.S. puts 30,000 more troops into that war-torn country and extends the conflict into Pakistan.The original rationale for attacking Afghanistan was the alleged presence of Osama bin Laden, but now that he is long gone we're escalating the fight – and provoking a backlash from the Afghan people. The technocrats and warlords we support have little to no credibility, and our reckless killing of civilians has been vigorously protested by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, to little effect.We are told that bin Laden is being harbored in the tribal areas of Pakistan, just as we were once told he was allied with Iraq. How many lies will the American people swallow before they turn against this war, too?America can ill afford to sink further into this quagmire – and yet it is poised to do just that, almost without opposition.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

The tax man cometh and the war party is thrilled...Because that means their war chest is being filled to the brim again. They spend billions on an arsenal that is the mightiest on earth – indeed, they spend more on the weapons of war than all other nations on earth combined.And still it's not enough. They want more – and they'll get more, unless the American people say what no mainstream political figure has had the courage to say: "Enough!"There are very few voices these days calling for a cut in military spending. The conservatives, of course, love the idea of lavishing supposedly unlimited funds on the so-called defense budget. It's what they're all about. And these days liberals – at least the ones in Congress – aren't much better. All too many see militarism as a jobs program.

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