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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Autumn '07 in Afghanistan

by Sarah Meyer
Index Research

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PHOTO. Jazeera file EPA

1. Preface: Shadows in Afghanistan

The US war in Afghanistan was in deep shadows in the autumn of 2007. NATO, controlled by the US, was having difficulty: countries would join but refuse to fight; few countries paid their dues. The people of Canada and the Netherlands, and Germany are not happy about participating in this US war. Warnings have been given by generals from various countries. Governments don't listen; too much money is being made from their wars. NATO responded by looking for more countries to join the melee, playing war games and by wanting to oursource the air force and helicopters . The US ally, Musharraf in Pakistan, to whom the US have paid millions, gives an example of what martial law is all about. Bush tells him to take his uniform off and proposed $845m more.

Meanwhile, in the opium fields, the US was threatening biological warfare against the advice of specialists . This means that spraying the fields might kill as many people as it will poppies.

Civilians are still being killed by NATO assaults and, rightly, Karzai objects. The security companies were / are causing problems in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq.

Osama bin Laden? He appears on video when another US crisis arises.

Prognosis? Not good.

Index on Afghanistan Autumn 2007

1. Preface
2. Oil and Gas: The Great Game
3. Strategic Imperatives (Afghanistan, Pakistan, United States)
4. Contracts
5. Contractors
6. Aid and Trade
7. Opium
9. US-Nato Coalition (Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Slovakia, New Zealand, UK)
10. Human Rights (Rendition, Guantanamo, Torture)
11. Some Deaths in Afghanistan
12. Future Deaths

2. Oil and Gas

Analysis: Oil and Gas Pipeline Watch
30.08.07. Ben Lando, UPI. Tehran has sent a nine-member delegation led by National Iranian Gas Export Co. Managing Director Hossein Nawab to Islamabad for talks on the struggling "peace pipeline" project. .. The pipeline, which includes India, has hit numerous snags over the price of gas and transit fees, as well as U.S. concerns over dealings between allies and Iran.

Afghan bridge exposes huge divide
05.09.07. M K Bhadrakumar, History; Great game accelerating; America's 'Great Central Asia' strategy; US-China equations. Last week, the US Army Corps of Engineers plugged the gap in Alexander's logistics by building a bridge across the Pyanj River to connect Tajikistan and Afghanistan. … Anyone even remotely interested in the Great Game took note. … 1) the Great Game in Central Asia not only shows no signs of abating, but it is actually accelerating. 2) Washington is pressing ahead with its "Great Central Asia" strategy, no matter the fluidity of the Afghan (and Pakistani) security situation. 3) Washington has knowingly facilitated an efficient access route for China that leads to the markets in South Asia and the Persian Gulf. … The thrust of the United States' so-called "Great Central Asia" strategy is to pull Tajikistan toward Afghanistan by the scruff of its neck, as it were, in an effort to draw the Central Asian region itself incrementally toward the South Asian countries - with Afghanistan acting as a hub, or a revolving door. With the consolidation of US strategic influence in the recent years in the South Asian region, Washington estimates that its skillful midwifery in Central Asia has a fair chance of success. … Of late, the Great Game, which has been keenly pursued in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, has spilled over into Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The transfer of power to a new leadership in Turkmenistan after the death of Saparmurat Niazov last December opened a window of opportunity for the US to contest the lead role established by Russia and China in accessing the country's vast resources of natural gas.
The US has brought in financial institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to explore the possibility of funding trans-regional projects aimed at strengthening the infrastructure and communication links among the countries of the Central/South Asian region. … But in the US understanding, a strategic alliance between Russia and China in Central Asia within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a long way from materializing. … The bridge underscores that China doesn't necessarily have to depend on the SCO for developing its transportation routes to the South Asia/Persian Gulf region.

India set to join gas pipeline project
24.10.07. Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan project will meet growing energy needs. India is all set to join the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline project next month. The project is backed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that aims at importing natural gas from the Central Asian nation to meet the growing energy needs. … In 2005, the Asian Development Bank submitted the final version of feasibility study designed by British company Penspen.

3. Strategic Imperatives (Afghanistan, Pakistan, United States)

AFGHANISTAN: September 2007

Reform of Afghan police hindered
31.08.07. Crucial reform of the Afghan police has been hindered by its neglect by the international community, according to a Brussels think tank, resulting in the emergence of a corrupt, inefficient and politicized force.

Strange Goings-On Here in Lebanon ..
01.09.07. Robert Fisk, Independent - ICH. ‘And then comes the cruncher in my friend's letter. "I think that the Bush administration is looking for something to distract Americans before the mid-September report on progress in Iraq. And I believe that the pressure is building to do something about the sanctuaries for the Taliban and foreign fighters along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border..." A few days after my friend's letter arrived in Beirut, the Pakistanis reported that the Americans were using pilotless drones to attack targets just inside Pakistan.

Justice fails Afghan women
03.09.07. Aunohita Mojumdar, jazeera. Imprisoned for what are loosely described as "moral crimes", these women would qualify as victims rather than criminals under any interpretation of international human rights laws, including those to which Afghanistan is a signatory.

Taliban unrest shuts nearly 400 schools in Afghanistan
08.09.07. turkishpress. All the affected schools, among 8,500 in Afghanistan, are in the south, where the violence is worst, they told AFP.

Photo AFP.

Fighting for Afghanistan's Kajaki Dam
09.09.07. AFP. Only two shops are open in the once-bustling Tangye bazaar in southern Afghanistan -- one that makes bread and a radio repair place run by a beefy man called Rambo. The rest of the several hundred small stalls are shuttered or trashed, weathered goods spilled onto the pavement and into the dusty streets of what has become a ghost town.

U.S. Secret Air War Pulverizes Afghanistan and Iraq
14.09.07. Conn Hallinan, Foreign Policy in Focus – alternet. The U.S. military is increasingly relying on deadly air strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bin Laden

Latest Bin Laden Video Is a Forgery: All References to Current Events Are Made During Video Freeze
09.09.07. George Maschke – boomantribune – Osama Bin Laden's widely publicized video address to the American people has a peculiarity that casts serious doubt on its authenticity: the video freezes at about 1 minute and 36 58 seconds, and motion only resumes again at 12:30. The video then freezes again at 14:02 remains frozen until the end. All references to current events, such as the 62nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan, and Sarkozy and Brown being the leaders of France and the UK, respectively, occur when the video is frozen! The words spoken when the video is in motion contain no references to contemporary events and could have been (and likely were) made before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. VIDEO

In case you missed it : True or False?
Report: Bin Laden Already Dead
26 Dec 2001. Fox news. Usama bin Laden has died a peaceful death due to an untreated lung complication, the Pakistan Observer reported, citing a Taliban leader who allegedly attended the funeral of the Al Qaeda leader. Bin Laden, according to the source, was suffering from a serious lung complication and succumbed to the disease in mid-December, in the vicinity of the Tora Bora mountains. The source claimed that bin Laden was laid to rest honorably in his last abode and his grave was made as per his Wahabi belief.

Pakistan poll: Bin Laden more popular than Musharref
12.09.07. Post The poll was done by Free Tomorrow , a “US anti-terrorism group”.

US loses track of original mission in Afghanistan
01.09.07. Khalid Hasan, Six years after the invasion of Afghanistan, the US mission of capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden has reached a level of obscurity unthinkable to Americans in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, writes the Dallas Morning News in an editorial on Sunday. Afghanistan, the editorial points out, was long ago relegated to the White House’s back burner, along with the “garden of Islamist radicalism that Osama Bin Laden is cultivating in neighbouring Pakistan.”

Afghans losing hope: former FM and Massoud aide
09.09.07. AFP. Afghanistan is supported by the world's strongest military forces and the Taliban are weakened, but Afghans are still losing hope, ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah told AFP in an interview.

Afghanistan 'sliding further into war'
14.09.07. AFGHANISTAN is sliding ever further into conflict with more than half of the country affected and several regions out of reach of humanitarian aid, a senior international Red Cross official warned today.

We're losing in Afghanistan too
13.09.07. LA Times. Former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld says in the current edition of GQ magazine that the war in Afghanistan has been "a big success," with people living in freedom and life "improved on the streets." To anyone working in the country, there is only one possible, informed response: What Afghanistan is the man talking about? In reality, Afghanistan -- former Taliban stronghold, Al Qaeda haven and warlord-cum-heroin-smuggler finishing school -- feels more and more like Sept. 10, 2001, than a victory in the U.S. war on terrorism.

CIA analyst says West losing in Iraq, Afghanistan
16.09.07. Xinhuanet. The West is losing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because it does not understand the true motives of terrorists and is thus taking wrong strategies against them, a former analyst [Michael Scheuer, a retired 22-year CIA veteran] of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said Sunday.

'My hopes for Afghanistan's future'
17.09.07. BBC. Former Kabul producer Bilal Sarwary left the BBC in 2006 to study in the United States. He has spent his summer holidays in Afghanistan reporting for the BBC. Here, as he returns to university, he reflects on the hopes he and other Afghans had for their country after landmark elections - and what has happened since.

Kabul rejects terms for Taliban talks

Afghans rally for peace as violence continues
22.09.07. AFP. Hundreds of people rallied across war-scarred Afghanistan Friday to call for an end to violence on the United Nations' Day of Peace, as fighting linked to a Taliban-led insurgency continued.

In Afghanistan, Anger in Parliament Grows as President Defies Majority’s Wishes
26.09.07. NY Times /

Afghan President Condemns Suicide Bombing, Offers Taleban Posts For Peace
29.09.07. VOA. Schearf Report.
Taleban reject (30.09.07. IHT)

AFGHANISTAN: October 2007

Afghanistan: A heroic resistance that puts us to shame
01.10.07. Gabriele Zamparini, The Cat’s Blog. The Afghanistan's puppet Karzai offered the Taliban "high position in a government ministry as a way to end the rising insurgency" in the country.
The infamous peace talks propaganda, so effective for the Western minds, is something the Afghans seem to be immune.

Gates Tells Lawmakers Iraq War Is Hurting Afghanistan Mission
01.10.07. Bloomberg / Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told a group of U.S. House Democratic lawmakers that the multinational 'mission' in Afghanistan is suffering from a lack of resources, citing the war in Iraq and the reluctance of U.S. allies to contribute more troops, participants at the meeting said. [Just what is the "mission" in Afghanistan, Mr. Gates?]

U.N.: Violence in Afghanistan up almost 25 percent in '07
01.10.07. mcclatchy / ICH. Afghanistan is currently suffering its most violent year since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, according to an internal United Nations report that sharply contrasts with recent upbeat appraisals by President Bush and his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Balkans Push for Cluster Bomb Ban
02.10.07. AFP.

U.N.: Afghan violence up nearly 30%
03.10.07. USATODAY. The report said Afghanistan is averaging 550 violent incidents a month, up from an average of 425 last year. It said three-fourths of suicide bombings are targeting international and Afghan security forces, but suicide bombers also killed 143 civilians through August.

Don't forget Afghanistan, where death toll grows
04.10.07. indystar. The front page on Oct. 2 trumpeted success in Iraq: "Military, civilian toll drops." Great news! Unfortunately, the nearly simultaneous Associated Press report that casualties in Afghanistan are up 30 percent over 2006 was nowhere to be found in the entire edition. More than 5,000 insurgency-related deaths already in '07 versus just over 4,000 in all of 2006; more than 100 suicide attacks so far, more than in any other entire calendar year; the U.S. death toll in Afghanistan is up nearly 15 percent, on pace to significantly exceed 100 in a year for the first time since the war began.

Afghanistan to carry out more executions of convicted felons, after 15 shot to death
08.10.07. IHT.

'War on terror' has been a 'disaster': British think tank
08.10.07. AFP. The US-led "war on terror" has been a "disaster" and Washington and its allies must change their policy in Iraq and Afghanistan to defeat Al-Qaeda, an independent global security think tank [Oxford Research Group] said.

Afghanistan ends death penalty moratorium with 15 executions
08.10.07. The Jurist. Afghanistan has ended a three-year moratorium on the death penalty by executing 15 prisoners Sunday by firing squad at Pul-e-Charkhi [BBC backgrounder], the country's largest prison, Afghanistan's chief of prisons said Monday.

Afghanistan cracks down on private security firms, closes 2, more to follow
10.10.07. canadianpress. Police Gen. Ali Shah Paktiawal says authorities shut down the Afghan-run security companies Wathan and Caps… A western security official who doesn't want to be named says some major western companies are on the list of at least 10 others tapped for closure. He would not identify the companies. See Contractors (below).

Hundreds of Afghans stage anti-US protest
17.10.07. reuters. Hundreds of Afghans staged a protest against the United States on Wednesday, saying U.S. troops had thrown a copy of the Koran during an operation in the southeast, a police officer said. … The protests come as anti-U.S. sentiments are running high in parts of Afghanistan following the deaths of more than 370 civilians this year during operations by Western troops stationed in the country.

Afghan prison 'hunger strike' in 10th day, lips sewn
18.10.07. paktribune. The strike at Kabul's Pul-i-Charki prison started three days after 15 convicts were executed on October 7 on various criminal charges.

Taliban / Insurgents

Taliban was paid $2.46m for hostages
31.08.07. theaustralian. SOUTH Korea paid $A2.46 million to Taliban extremists in Afghanistan to secure the release of 19 hostages. Citing unidentified sources in Afghanistan, a Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun said Afghan mediators persuaded South Korea's ambassador in Kabul that there was no other way to end the six-week kidnap ordeal.
South Korea denies paying Taliban ransom

Afghan Police Are Set Back as Taliban Adapt
02.09.07. D. Rohde, NY Times. Over the past 6 weeks, the Taliban have driven government forces out of roughly half of a strategic area in southern Afghanistan that American and NATO officials declared a success story last fall in their campaign to clear out insurgents and make way for development programs, Afghan officials say.

Afghan insurgent HQ destroyed: US Military
02.09.07. globe and mail.

‘Seoul Offered to Build Hospitals in Afghanistan’

Insurgents retake key Kandahar areas: police chief
03.09.07. CTV. Many of the gains Canadian occupation troops fought so hard for in Afghanistan have been lost to Taliban insurgents in key areas in Kandahar province, an Afghan police chief told CTV News.

Taleban 'getting Chinese weapons'
03.09.07. BBC. Britain has privately complained to Beijing that Chinese-made weapons are being used by the Taleban to attack British troops in Afghanistan.

Taliban says 'ready for talks' with Afghan govt
09.09.07. AFP. The Taliban said Monday it was ready for talks with the Afghan government after President Hamid Karzai offered negotiations in a bid to end the rebels' nearly six-year bloody insurgency.

Taliban commander says reports of death premature
14.09.07. – ICH. Taliban commander Mullah Brother told Reuters on Friday he was "alive and well," more than two weeks after the Afghan government announced he had been killed.

Iranian Arms Destined for Taliban Seized in Afghanistan, [US-NATO] Officials Say
16.09.07. Washington Post.

About 50,000 people attend funeral for slain pro-Taliban cleric
16.09.07. IHT / ICH. About 50,000 people gathered amid tight security Sunday for the funeral of a pro-Taliban cleric who was shot dead a day earlier in northwestern Pakistan, police and witnesses said.

rehashed propaganda
US-led coalition accuses Taliban of using children as human shields
19.09.07. IHT.

Taliban claim downing NATO helicopter
26.09.07. monstersandcritics. The Taliban claimed Wednesday they shot down a helicopter carrying NATO soldiers in western Afghanistan, but NATO said 'no hostile activity' was involved in the downing of its copter. … 'Our Mujahideen downed a helicopter of foreign forces in Ghormach district and all the soldiers aboard were killed. The copter caught fire in air,' the Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, adding that the second helicopter hovering overhead was missed.

Attacks by Taliban increase, approach Afghanistan capital
28.09.07. Seen capitalizing on public concern, weak government

Red Cross workers freed in Afghanistan
29.09.07. AFP. Afghanistan's Taliban have released four Red Cross workers, including two foreign nationals, captured near the capital four days ago, officials said Saturday.

Taliban October 2007

15-year-old boy among four Afghans executed for spying
02.10.07. gulftimes/ICH. The Taliban have executed four people in different parts of Afghanistan for spying for foreign forces and the Afghan government, local officials and Taliban sources said yesterday.

Taliban: No foreign troops in Afghanistan
04.10.07. UPI. A member of the Taliban said militants are determined to drive all foreign soldiers out of Afghanistan, Polish Radio reported Thursday.

Taliban attacks mount in Afghanistan
07.10.07. AP – newsday.

Taliban sets out demands to Afghan president
15.10.07. Declan Walsh, Guardian. Senior Taliban commanders in Helmand province have sent a list of demands to the Karzai government as part of tentative back-channel talks to bring a peaceful end to the conflict. The militant leaders - who include a key aide to Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar - want control of 10 southern provinces, a timetable for withdrawal of foreign troops, and the release of all Taliban prisoners within six months. The demands were passed through a former Taliban foreign minister, Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, and the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef. The demands are unlikely to be taken seriously.


August-September 2007


"Pakistan-U.S. Relations,"
(updated 24.08.07 - pdf)

The U.S. Government was acquiescent in Pakistan's acquisition of nuclear weapons technology over a period of decades, according to a new book on the subject. The activities of individual members of Pakistan's nuclear procurement network in the United States are examined in detail by investigative reporters David Armstrong and Joseph Trento in "America and the Islamic Bomb," Steerforth Press, 2007.


Pakistan Under Siege
22.08.07. Zia Mian, Foreign Policy in Focus. The rule of General Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in 1999, has been no different. Beset on all sides, he now seeks, with American help, to ride out the storm and stay in power. Down this path lies even greater disaster. Sections: Origins of Failure; Lost Generation; The Musharraf Era; The Democratic Challenge.

Analysis: Musharraf may bring general
31.08.07. upi. Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf has made his last move in the endgame he is playing with the country’s politicians -- threatening to hand over the keys to another general before he quits.

How the West summoned up a nuclear nightmare in Pakistan
02.09.07. timesonline. Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark reveal how misguided deals with Pakistan have created a terrifying threat of nuclear terrorism

US, UK brokering deal?
02.09.08. thenews.jang. Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s Friday meeting with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in the middle of the decisive secret talks between her and President Pervez Musharraf’s aides was meant to encourage Britain to intensify the use of its good offices for the conclusion of a deal. Bhutto is adopting the “traditional” route – the road to Islamabad lies via Washington and London – adopted by different Pakistani politicians in the past.

Govt yielding to pressure; 100 tribesmen freed: Troops held hostage number about 300

Most Afghanistan Suicide Bombers Trained in Pakistan (Update1)
09.09.07. Bloomberg. More than 80 percent of suicide bombers staging attacks in Afghanistan are trained, recruited or sheltered in neighboring Pakistan, the United Nations said in a report published today.

Pakistan army says 50 militants, 2 soldiers killed in battle near Afghan border
13.09.07. Militants attacked a military base near the Afghan border Thursday, sparking a battle that drew in army helicopters and left about 50 insurgents and two soldiers dead, the army said.

Suicide bomb kills 15 Pakistan soldiers
13.09.07. A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a mess hall inside a high-security base used by a Pakistani counterterrorism force, killing at least 15 soldiers, officials said

Borderland where al-Qaida has sanctuary
13.09.07. Declan Walsh, Guardian. ‘Rugged, cloaked in secrecy and populated by deeply conservative tribesmen with a historical affinity for jihad, Waziristan is a wonderful hiding place - so good that US intelligence believes al-Qaida is using it to plot its next attack.’ There was a superb double page photo by D. Walsh and one hopes the Guardian will make this publicly available.

Fighting in Waziristan as Negroponte visits Pakistan
13.09.07. Reuters. The Pakistan army said it has killed scores of militants in a tribal region during two days of fighting that has coincided with a visit to Islamabad by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte.

ISRAELI aircraft strike car allegedly carrying Palestinian militants near Gaza City
14.09.07. AP – ICH. A witness who would only give his name as Mohammed said he saw a car stop suddenly and the passengers jump out just before the vehicle exploded. The blast was apparently caused by a missile, Mohammed said.

Musharraf to seek re-election Oct. 6
21.09.07. The Star.

Musharraf arrests opposition leaders
24.09.07. theglobeandmail … comments from 'This is descending into a complete banana republic.' Dictator Bush's ally in Islamabad clings to power; Police raids round up politicians planning demonstrations against the President; politicians fear democratic process has broken down Opposition leaders were arrested over the weekend in Pakistan as General Pervez Musharraf extended his crackdown on dissent ahead of a presidential election. Heavy police raids rounded up politicians, who had been planning to spearhead demonstrations in the capital of Islamabad this week against Gen. Musharraf's re-election plans. Leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League, the party of exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and some religious party chiefs were taken away.

Resurgent al-Qaida plotting attacks on west from tribal sanctuary, officials fear
27.09.07. Declan Walsh, Guardian. Violence flares in Waziristan as President Musharraf battles to retain power

Pakistani journalists protest police "brutality"
30.09.07. reuters.

October 2007

Pakistan: A crucial moment in the history of a troubled nation
01.10.08. O. Waraich, Independent. The fallout from the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan has introduced al-Qa'ida and pro-Taliban elements into the lawless tribal belt along the Afghan border. A long-simmering nationalist insurgency is fighting the Pakistan army in the vast and resource-rich province of Baluchistan. And General Musharraf's own popularity has plunged over recent months as calls for a restoration of democracy continue to grow.

US blamed for Pakistan insecurity
07.10.07. aljazeera. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of a powerful armed group in Afghanistan, has accused the United States of trying to destabilise Pakistan.

50 Pakistani troops missing near Afghan border
08.10.07. Scores killed amid heavy fighting with pro-Taliban militants, army says

Photo AFP

Scores dead in Pakistan bomb blast
18.10.07. al jazeera. More than 130 people have been killed in a twin-bombing attack in Karachi near the convoy of Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, hours after her return from self-imposed exile. VIDEO.

US forced into 'Plan B' for Pakistan
24.10.07. asia times/ ICH. Beyond the horrific body count of about 140 people dead and hundreds injured, the major political casualty of last week's bomb attack in Karachi is likely to be the United States-brokered plan to unite President General Pervez Musharraf and former premier Benazir Bhutto in a marriage of convenience.

November 2007

US proposes 845 million dollar-aid for Pakistan in FY 2008
10.11.07. deepikaglobal / ICH. The United States considers Pakistan a key ally in the war against terror, having given more than 10 billion dollars to the Musharraf Government since 2001. [ one must watch visits of Condi, Gates and Cheney with hawk eyes … they can carry lots of bribery shekels in their pockets when they visit a country ]


Late August – September 2007


"Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan: Effects and Countermeasures,"
updated 28.08.07. CRS REPORT - pdf

"Army Commands, Army Service Component Commands, and Direct Reporting Units,"
04.09.07. Army Regulation 10-87

US Military Equipment in Afghanistan
09.09.07. wikileaks. Very important document! Table of contents: US Military Equipment in Afghanistan; US War Spending; Analyzing the Contents of the Leaked Document; Homemade radio bombs change everything (Robots, protective armor); Other Equipment - (chemical weapons, A One Cent Rocket launcher, a Wide Range of Cryptologic Gear; Following the Money; Comprehensive Tally; The Original Document; Tools for Analysis; See also: About the Analysis, ‘Further Research Tasks and Questions, Notes and References, Appendix. READ THIS.

DOD Approved Strategic Communication Plan for Afghanistan

"Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy"
updated 10.09.07 - pdf

"Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2007"
updated 12.09.07, CRS - pdf

"Defense: FY2008 Authorization and Appropriations,"
updated 17.09.07 - pdf

"Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1999-2006"
26.09.07. CRS -pdf


Condoleeza Rice

As Her Star Wanes, Rice Tries to Reshape Legacy
01.09.07. H. Cooper, NYTimes. On May 25, Stanford University's student newspaper, The Stanford Daily, devoted the bulk of its front page to the university's former provost, who is on leave while she serves out her term as secretary of state. "Condi Eyes Return," read the headline, "but in What Role?" Within hours, the letters to the editor started coming in.

Pope 'refused audience for Rice'
19.09.07. BBC. Pope Benedict XVI refused a recent request by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to discuss the Middle East and Iraq, Vatican sources say.

By November 2007, Rice’s management is still under fire. Is there is a power struggle between Cheney and Rice? The ubiquitous right-wingbat press is after her head. [One has to ask WHO is giving instructions to this distasteful crowd of neo-con propagandists].

Iran, cont …

Manufacturing Consent For War With Iran
US Govt: Iran's Military to be Declared "Specially Designated Global Terrorists"
( The real “global terrorists” sit in the White House )

Iran warns U.S. of crushing response
12.09.07. tehrantimes. Iran has boosted its defense capabilities based on the weak points of the enemies, which occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, General Jafari said on Tuesday.

American commander accuses Iran of arming Taliban
21.09.07 AP / ICH. A top U.S. military commander accused Iran on Friday of supplying powerful roadside bombs to militants in Afghanistan and said the United States would "act decisively" if the cross-border flow continued.

US trains terrorists in Afghanistan
25.10.07. Iran's Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-mohammadi says Washington has established centers in Afghanistan for training terrorists.

[ The United States will accuse Iran for as long as Iran challenges the US dollar and/or makes plans/signs contracts for oil/gas pipelines with neighboring countries which ignore the US imperial design. The fact that US / Israel have their own nuclear agenda is by the by. ]

The Next Quagmire
03.09.07. Chris Hedges,, Truthout. But we live in an age where dialogue is dismissed and empathy is suspect. We prefer the illusion that we can dictate events through force. It hasn't worked well in Iraq. It hasn't worked well in Afghanistan. And it won't work in Iran. But those who once tried to reach out and understand, who developed expertise to explain the world to us and ourselves to the world, no longer have a voice in the new imperial project. We are instead governed and informed by moral and intellectual trolls.

Carter assails Bush for abandoning Afghanistan

Text of Bush Remarks in Australia
07.09.07. AP. Also see: APEC 2007 - World’s #1 Terrorist And #1 War Criminal In Australia (08.09.07. Dr Gideon Polya, Countercurrents)

US Army's strategy in Afghanistan: better anthropology
07.09.07. csm. Counterinsurgency efforts focus on better grasping and meeting local needs. Evidence of how far the US Army's counterinsurgency strategy has evolved can be found in the work of a uniformed anthropologist toting a gun in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Part of a Human Terrain Team (HHT) – the first ever deployed – she speaks to hundreds of Afghan men and women to learn how they think and what they need.

Rumsfeld Calls Afghanistan 'Big Success'
10.09.07. AP.

US Suffers Decline in Prestige
12.09.07. Stephen Fidler, The Financial Times/Truthout. "The US has suffered a significant loss of power and prestige around the world in the years since George W. Bush came to power, limiting its ability to influence international crises, an annual survey from a well regarded British security think-tank concluded on Tuesday."

U.S. Secret Air War Pulverizes Afghanistan and Iraq
15.09.07. Conn Hallinan, Foreign Policy in Focus/ The U.S. military is increasingly relying on deadly air strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan as the ground occupations fall apart, killing untold numbers of civilians . details of some nasty assaults … These assaults are part of what may be the best kept secret of the Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts: an enormous intensification of US bombardments in these and other countries in the region, the increasing number of civilian casualties such a strategy entails, and the growing role of pilot-less killers in the conflict. …

State Dept. Official Accused of Blocking Inquiry
18.09.07. NY Times.

Third Annual Most Corrupt Members Of Congress Report
18.09.07. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released its third annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress entitled Beyond DeLay. The 22 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (and two to watch).

Military Medical Team Makes the 'Toughest Call'
22.09.07. ABC. Unexploded Rocket-Propelled Grenade Impales Army Private in Afghanistan. … Roughly the length of a baseball bat, an RPG travels at the speed of a bullet. At the front end is the warhead -- a large grenade. The detonator and fuel are contained in the shaft. On the back are its fins, pieces of metal that stick out like legs The RPG that had plowed into Moss' lower abdomen stretched from one hip to the other. If the RPG went off, it would kill everyone within 30 feet of him. Yet Angell stayed close, bandaging his wounds and stabilizing the weapon so that movement wouldn't cause it to explode. Moss was still fully conscious on a camera tripod. The RPG is the weapon of choice for many of the world's guerillas. … The RPG that had plowed into Moss' lower abdomen stretched from one hip to the other. If the RPG went off, it would kill everyone within 30 feet of him. Yet Angell stayed close, bandaging his wounds and stabilizing the weapon so that movement wouldn't cause it to explode.

Syria accuses the US and Israel of mass murders
23.09.07. Roads to Iraq/uruknet. … Syria Newspaper Teshreen in its editorial accused the US and Israel of the assassination of Lebanese deputy Antoine Ghanem saying: … American armies and mercenaries killed hundreds of thousands in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel killed thousands in occupied Palestine and Lebanon over the past years, why not the International Security Council adopts resolutions against them, the killers are known and there are documented with evidence.
Yes, we accuse, and let there be an international tribunal to try nations-killers and not only for killing Hariri and his companions.

The world's largest swastika at Coronado Navy Base in San Diego

Coronado Says "Sieg Heil!"
25.09.07. Malcom Lagauche, uruknet. A little known fact is that San Diego is also the home of the largest swastika in the world: maybe the largest one every built. An amalgamation of buildings on the Coronado Naval Amphibian Base built almost 40 years ago depicts the Nazi symbol. Don’t forget, the NavySEAls are trained at Coronado. They are the super-elite of special forces who have created havoc for many people in Afghanistan and Iraq. … I’ll take the swastika-like buildings any day over the slaughtering of thousands of innocent humans performed by the SEAls and other U.S. military special forces.

Gates Seeks $190 Billion More for Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan
26.09.07. VOA.

October 2007


"Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions,"
updated 11.10.07-pdf


NY Guardsmen train for deployment to Afghanistan next year
01.10.07. newsday. The task force from New York will include soldiers from New York City, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Binghamton and the Capital and Hudson Valley regions, said Col. Brian Balfe, commander of the 27th Brigade Combat Team. The units will converge at the northern New York Army post beginning Oct. 6.

US Offers $200,000 to Catch Taliban
01.10.07. Chicago tribune / The U.S. military has launched a new "Most Wanted" campaign offering rewards of up to $200,000 for information leading to the capture of 12 Taliban and al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] leaders. Posters and billboards are being put up around eastern Afghanistan with the names and pictures of the 12, with reward amounts ranging from $20,000 to $200,000.

United State terrorism: 8 Million Deaths & Media Holocaust Denial
03.10.07. G. Polya. While the egregiously dishonest and violent Bush Administration asserts that this atrocity was committed by Muslim Men in Caves, nobody has been arraigned and tried and there is a large body of available evidence that the US or US surrogates (Israelis?) were complicit in this crime (e.g. see Scholars for 9/11 Truth).

Boy's rape scene delays film release as Hollywood and Afghan culture collide
05.10.07. Guardian. Studio to take young Kite Runner stars to US before worldwide screenings amid fears for their safety at home

6 Years Later, US Expands Afghan Base
06.10.07. JASON STRAZIUSO, AP. Originally envisioned as a temporary home for invading U.S. forces, the sprawling American base at BAGRAM, a former Soviet outpost in the shadow of the towering Hindu Kush mountains, is growing in size by nearly a third. At Bagram, new barracks will help accommodate the record number of U.S. troops in the country. .. we're going to have an enduring presence," (Col Jonathan Ives) .. "So this is going to become a long-term base for us. .. "Where we designed a base around 3,000 (troops), it quickly moved to 7,000 and now we're housing about 13,000, so just in a very short period of time you've grown not necessarily exponentially but you've definitely doubled just about every two years," Ives said. new runway, new barracks. {Ives doesn’t mention the infamous Bagram prison ].

Marines Press to Remove Their Forces From Iraq
11.10.07. Thom Shanker, NY Times / Truthout. "The Marine Corps is pressing to remove its forces from Iraq and to send marines instead to Afghanistan, to take over the leading role in combat there, according to senior military and Pentagon officials."

'Many in the US Military Think Bush and Cheney Are Out of Control'
15.10.07. der Spiegel. Interview with military historian, Gabriel Kolko. The American military is stretched to the limit. They are losing both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Everything is being sacrificed for these wars: money, equipment in Asia, American military power globally, etc. Where and how can they fight yet another? The Pentagon is short of money for procurement, and that is what so many people in the military bureaucracy live for. The situation will be far worse in the event of a war with Iran. Many in the American military have learned the fundamental dilemma of modern warfare: More money and better weapons don't mean that you win. …
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Are people in the Pentagon getting nervous about how influential voices in the White House continue to push for conflict with Iran?

Kolko: Many in the US military think Bush and Cheney are out of control. They are rebelling against Bush and Cheney. Washington Post reporter Dana Priest recently said in an interview that she believed the US military would revolt and refuse to fly missions against Iran if the White House issued such orders. [They did]

Pentagon to alert 8 Guard units for duty
17.10.07. AP / Guardian. The Pentagon is preparing to alert eight National Guard units that they should be ready to go to Iraq or Afghanistan beginning late next summer, The Associated Press learned Wednesday. According to defense officials, seven of the units would deploy to Iraq and one to Afghanistan.

More for Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan
22.10.07. AP. President Bush asked Congress on Monday for $46 billion more to finance wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. None of the requests appear to be for the Afghani or Iraqi people and their countries, but rather for maintenance and construction for military purposes.

'War on Terror' may cost $2.4 trillion
24.10.07. S. Hargreaves, CNN. Congressional Budget Office expects the funds would keep 75,000 troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next 10 years.

Trillion-dollar war: Afghanistan and Iraq set to cost more than Vietnam and Korea
24.10.07. Independent. President George Bush will have spent more than $1 trillion on military adventures by the time he leaves office at the end of next year, more than the entire amount spent on the Korean and Vietnam wars combined. There are also disturbing signs that Mr Bush is preparing an attack on Iran during his remaining months in office. He has demanded $46bn (£22.5bn) emergency funds from Congress by Christmas [included with it a single sentence requesting money to upgrade the B-2 "stealth" bomber].

4. Contracts


"Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process,"
updated 12.09.07. -pdf


Defense Dept. pays $1B to outside analysts
09.08. usatoday. The Defense Department is paying private contractors more than $1 billion in more than 30 separate contracts to collect and analyze intelligence for the four military services and its own Defense Intelligence Agency, according to contract documents and a Pentagon spokesman.

21.08.07. edo

VIASPACE Expands Scope of Security Business with New Industry Applications, Teaming Agreements, Resources & International Focus
04.09.07. VIASPACE is broadening its focus to include potential customers in Asia and the Middle East, working with new teaming agreement partners, expanding its business development and marketing resources, and developing new software upgrades for established security systems. The company is also exploring security and surveillance applications with Raytheon Net Centric Systems per a jointly executed teaming agreement. The company recently signed a teaming agreement for collaboration on software development of VIASPACE Security products with Tokai Bussan Co., Ltd. of Nagoya, Japan, which has strong marketing capabilities, a substantial distribution channel and the trust of many government and commercial customers in Japan. … “Our security division is focusing on the growing market for commercial and military security solutions in the United States as well as Asia and the Middle East …”

Five-Nation Naval Drill Presages 'Asian NATO'?
08.09.07. Discussions are also in progress between India and the US manufacturer Lockheed Martin to buy eight P3-C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft at a cost of 650 million dollars, coupled with 16 multi-mission MH-60R Sikorsky helicopters costing about 400 million dollars. Raytheon is negotiating the sale of its Patriot PAC-3 antimissile systems too.

Raytheon Delivers Active Denial System 2 To USAF
12.09.07. spacewar. Raytheon delivered its non-lethal Active Denial System 2 to the U.S. Air Force Aug. 31. Raytheon's Active Denial System is designed to use millimeter wave technology to repel individuals without causing injury.

Saudi Arabia to buy 72 warplanes from Britain for $8.8 billion
17.09.07. haaretz.

$6 Billion in Contracts Reviewed, Pentagon Says
21.09.07. NY Times /Truthout. Military officials said Thursday that contracts worth $6 billion to provide essential supplies to American troops in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan - including food, water and shelter - were under review by criminal investigators, double the amount the Pentagon had previously disclosed. In addition, $88 billion in contracts and programs, including those for body armor for American soldiers and material for Iraqi and Afghan security forces, are being audited for financial irregularities, the officials said. .. At the hearing, a panel of high-ranking Defense Department officials described a war-zone procurement system in disarray. They said that the Pentagon failed to provide adequate training for contracting officers for their assignments, offered insufficient oversight of contracting officers' activities and had not put in place early warning systems to catch officers who violated the law.

Vancouver mining company Hunter Dickinson bidding for Afghanistan copper mine
22.09.07. canadianpress.

NATO group to buy 3 C-17 cargo planes
26.09.07. Boeing Co. plans to sell three C-17 military cargo jets this year to a group of 17 NATO countries that would share the aircraft. If the transactions go through, Chicago-based Boeing anticipates additional sales of planes to members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, said David Bowman, Boeing's vice president for global mobility systems.

Defense Contract Award Protested
26.10.07. Walter F. Roche Jr./Truthout. A Defense Department medical services contract worth up to $790 million was awarded last month to a Wisconsin-based company three months after it hired a former Bush administration appointee who had supervised military health programs at the Pentagon for the last six years. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs from 2001 until April, joined Logistics Health Inc as a director and consultant in June. The firm beat out two other bidders with proposals that ranged from $80 million to $100 million less, records show. Under the new contract, Logistics Health will provide immunizations and physical and dental exams for reservists and National Guard members.

A recent study by the Congressional Research Service estimated that as of March 2007, the US government had spent $99 billion on the war in Afghanistan. … The leaked document lists Army equipment held by the US Army, Marines, Air Force, coalition, and possibly CIA units in Afghanistan as of April 2007. It only includes items registered with battle planning systems, but that appears to cover most valuable equipment. [4] It does not include soldiers' combat pay, transportation, R&D or at home costs, and not does not include most supplies, ammunition or other disposables. … we have discovered that there is at least $1,112,765,572 worth of US Army managed military equipment in Afghanistan (the actual value is likely to be two or three times higher)[5] The list contains codes for military units, item codes, as well as other logistics data. The most useful of these for investigatory purposes is the NSN, or NATO Stock Number.

Half of all equipment purchases have been diverted to dealing with home made mobile phone and radio bombs. Not since the US 1945-1951 nuclear build up has there been such a decisive shift in military purchasing priorities. … Significant price gouging by counter-IED defense contractors is evident. For comparison, each briefcase-sized "Warlock" IED jammer, of which is there is on average more than one per vehicle, is worth $150,000; however, as can be seen by this analysis, that is more costly than nearly every vehicle it was designed to protect. The "Warlock" producer, defense contractor EDO Corp , predicts financial year 2007 will see a 400% total revenue increase over its 2003 levels.[15]

5. Contractors

EU appoints new head of police training mission in Afghanistan
19.09.07. canadianpress. Schaeuble acknowledged that transition from the German police training mission to the EU mission "has been a little bit difficult."

Blackwaters run deep
24.09.07. Willliam Bowles, Atlantic Free Press.

Security Company Death Squads Timeline
25.09.07. Dirk Adriaensens /Sarah Meyer, Index Research. There is an uncanny resemblance between the the WW2 Italian Squadristi1, Blackwater and the thousands of other “security” forces. There is no such thing as "security". "Security" companies were formed to make money on our anxieties, just as pharmaceutical companies financially thrive on anxiety about health and have a vested interest in illness. Lists of articles about each “security “ company.

Bush's Global 'Dirty War'
01.10.09. R. Parry, Consortium. George W. Bush has transformed elite units of the U.S. military – including Special Forces and highly trained sniper teams – into “death squads” with a license to kill unarmed targets on the suspicion that they are a threat to American military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to evidence from recent court cases.

Texas firm accused of overbilling U.S. government in Afghanistan
11.10.07. Houston-based U.S. Protection and Investigations (USPI), which does security work for the U.S. State Department arm USAID, is the latest firm to face scrutiny since private guards allegedly killed 17 Iraqi civilians.

Private US military contractors move into Helmand
14.10.07. K. Sengupta. Large numbers of US private military personnel are expected to arrive in Helmand, the focal point of British involvement in Afghanistan, as part of a new effort to promote reconstruction and development in the war-torn province.
DynCorp, one of the main American security companies, has already sown resentment in Helmand with its participation in the campaign to eradicate the opium poppy crop. Blackwater provides security for the US embassy in Kabul. .. the largest American government contract in the country is believed to be held by Texas-based USPI . According to reports in its home state last week, the company has been accused of overbilling the US government by millions of dollars for non-existent employees and vehicles. USPI's hiring practices in Afghanistan have drawn criticism from the International Crisis Group, a think tank. It said in a report that a majority of the men on USPI's payroll were associated with private militias. "Many have used their authority to engage in criminal activity, including drug trafficking," it claimed. An American supervisor working for USPI was accused of shooting dead an Afghan interpreter.

Security Companies in Afghanistan
07.11.07. S. Meyer, Index Research. List of some security companies in Afghanistan and their questionable behavior.

6. Aid and Trade

Civilians suffer as fighting spreads in Afghanistan: ICRC
13.09.07. Puts many areas on the verge of becoming too dangerous for aid workers.

Bangladeshi Aid Worker Shot Dead in Afghanistan
14.09.07. times of India.

Bangladeshi Aid Worker Seized In Latest Afghan Kidnapping
17.09.07. Washington Post.

Turquoise Mountain

Rory Stuart

profile of Rory Stewart
(13.09.07. M. Kaylan, WS Journal) who now runs the Kabul charity, Turquoise Mountain Foundation, that works to preserve Afghan crafts and monuments.

"You have to start with how things actually are and work from there. In Afghanistan, for example, it's no good telling an opium farmer suddenly to stop -- in rural areas you earn $1.50 per day for a wheat harvest and $8 to $9 for opium. It adds up to half the national economy. Neither the populace nor the leadership considers it a priority to eradicate it. It's useless to demand or impose Western standards from afar. "We also have illusions about the kind of government they should have. Afghanistan is a country run from the countryside, which is a highly varied population ranging from mullahs to warlords. It's not possible to run things from the center in a clean, transparent, efficient Western way. Toppling or changing regional power by fiat only creates chaos. In Afghanistan, in my view, you have a center versus region problem, rather than a Karzai versus Taliban problem.

Afghanistan struggles to preserve rich past despite ongoing war
14.10.07. canadianpress. "There was garbage up to here," he says, shaking his head. "We hauled it out for weeks. And there were people living in that." Murad Khane was once a thriving area that played host to Afghan royalty. It had grand houses that people loved to live in and a busy market along the Kabul River. Through decades of war, the area had fallen far from its glory days. The landmark buildings were crumbling. Raw sewage ran in the streets. The wells were dry, and the only people who remained were those too poor to have anywhere else to go. "The people like living in these houses," he says as he strolls through a maze of alleys and construction sites. "They have been here for generations.".. Poor and uneducated, few had the prospect of earning a living. Children worked if they could, and women stayed hidden inside their homes in fear of Taliban reprisals.

The treasures of Turquoise Mountain
14.10.07. Last week, Canada's International Co-operation Minister Beverley Oda announced $3 million for the project Turqouise Mountain , funded so far by individual donations from philanthropists including Prince Charles and the Crown Prince of Bahrain.

Billions In Aid Wasted In Afghanistan?
18.09.07. CBS. Rotting bio-wast is dumped in the hospital’s backyeard because as Warner and the hospital director showed CBS news Lara Logan – the new wast incinerator donated by the government is completely useless. Even if the hospital had been trained how to run it, they can’t afford the fuel. Video.
"I was brought aside and they told me, 'Don't tell that story.' I said 'Why not?' And they said 'Well, this is one of our success stories,'" he said.

Regional trade conference underway in Afghanistan
17.10.07. Reuters. A regional conference on trade among nations in the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) began on Wednesday in Afghanistan, the first such major gathering to be held for decades in the war-torn country. Iran, Turkey and Pakistan are the founding members of the organisation, which was set up in 1985 and now includes seven other regional nations, Afghanistan among the.

Afghanistan receives $3.3b remittances from expats
22.10.07. onlinenews.

The world's most dangerous golf course
22.10.07. Telegraph. Funds raised went to an Afghan charity set up by the veteran ITN journalist Sandy Gall.

UN: 34 aid workers killed in Afghanistan
29.10.07. AP.

Worsening violence strangles Afghan aid
29.10.07. BBC. Six years since the Taleban fell, Afghanistan's main national road is not safe enough for aid convoys to reach those most in need in some parts of the country.

7. Opium


Afghanistan Opium Survey, 2007
August 2007. Council on Foreign Relations.

"Afghanistan: Narcotics and U.S. Policy,"
updated 14.09.07.


Europe: European Parliament Committee Calls for Pilot Project on Medicinal Opium in Afghanistan
Drug War Chronicle, Issue 502.

UK strategy on Afghan drugs under attack
03.09.07. FT.

Call to produce legal analgesics instead of illicit opium in Afghanistan
12.09.07. European Parliament. The EP Foreign Affairs Committee is urging the Council to put forward a plan to the Afghan government which would include the possibility of a pilot project to turn part of the illicit poppy crop into legal opium-based analgesics.

Poppy paradox in Afghanistan
16.09.07. P. Fishstein, Boston Globe. AFGHANISTAN'S opium output has risen for another year, and with it the volume of the debate over solutions. On opposite extremes are the US government, which advocates a more aggressive, eradication-led approach, including chemical spraying, and the Senlis Council, which advocates the legalization of opium poppy cultivation to meet a claimed worldwide shortage of painkillers.

Our soldiers 'deserve US-style parades'
22.09.07. timesonline. He (General Dannatt) then revealed that, until now, the British military had avoided taking on the opium growers in southern Afghanistan because of the risk of alienating the Afghan farmers whose livelihoods depended on their poppy crops.

An Opium Alternative for Afghanistan
25.09.07. Shank / Dellawar, FPIF. Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karzai recently came out swinging at the West again, this time on the topic of opium eradication. Responding to the latest UN report showing an opium production increase of 17% in 2007, Karzai accused the international community of failing to implement a coherent counter-narcotics strategy in Afghanistan.

Opium harvesting all set to be legalized in Afghanistan
29.09.07. md sabir ansari, It is satire on the American alliance that, during the 2001 attack, opium production under supervision of the Taliban government had fall down to an all-time low. The UN and other international organisations had, at that time, issued certificates of good demeanour to the Taliban government in this regard. Under the Taliban administration, most of the harvesting of opium was in those areas where the warlords were ruling over the people. The Taliban had in fact declared that anyone caught cultivating poppy would be immediately hanged in public. .. But many European countries, that have sent their armies to Afghanistan, are now planning to legalise its production. They are planning to purchase opium from Afghan farmers at the same market price. Governments in Paris, Berlin and Rome think that the opium can then be turned to pharmaceutical companies to produce legal products such as morphine (an alkaloid narcotic drug extracted from opium

US wants to bring Colombia tactics to Afghan drugs war
04.10.07. K. Sengupta, Independent. The Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, is resisting American pressure to authorise a major programme of crop spraying to eradicate the country's massive opium crop amid warnings that it would lead to a rise in support for the Taliban. The plan has been strongly opposed by the British, who hold that it will make the task of the military in Helmand, the province which produces 50 per cent of the opium crop, much harder.

The recent appointment of a former US ambassador to Colombia as envoy to Kabul is seen as the most overt move by Washington to ensure that spraying takes place in Afghanistan. William Wood, who has acquired the nickname "Chemical Bill" among British and other Nato officials for his fervent belief in chemical spraying, was in the team which implemented "Plan Colombia", which involved aerial spraying in the Latin American state in an attempt to eliminate cocaine production. .. during his confirmation hearing before Congress, Mr Wood said the Colombian option may be repeated in Afghanistan and General Peter Pace, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, has also voiced the opinion that it could be a template for Afghanistan. Members of the Colombian security forces are already training Afghan police in counter-narcotics. … A US diplomatic source said: "There is absolutely no evidence that spraying causes harm to people or cattle. Everyone has seen the rise in the poppy harvest, and obviously the current policy is not working."

Now ask yourselves about the Gates visit in Colombia and his REAL agenda?

Counternarcotics Strategy and Police Training in Afghanistan

American Bio-War?

U.S. to Spray Food Crops In Afghanistan
08.10.07. NY Times. After the biggest opium harvest in Afghanistan’s history. American officials have renewed efforts to persuade the government here to begin spraying herbicide on opium poppies. But officials said the skeptics -- who include American military and intelligence officials and European diplomats in Afghanistan -- fear that any spraying of American-made chemicals over Afghan farms would be a boon to Taliban propagandists. Some of those officials say that the political cost could be especially high if the chemicals destroy food crops that farmers often plant alongside their poppies.

Pipe Dreams: War Profiteers Plow Under the Poor
09.10.07. Chris Floyd , Empire Burlesque/uruknet. A.C. Grayling nails the stupendous – and literally murderous – folly of the Bush Regime's decision to launch a war of economic destruction against the Afghan people: Opium of the People (Guardian). The Regime is pressing its satrap in Kabul to step up the eradication, at gunpoint, of the nation's only cash crop – opium – with American-made herbicides. Thus both the land and the agrarian-based economy that most Afghans depend upon will be blighted, and multitudes will be plunged into further despair: ripe fruit for the Taliban and other extremists. Since the American invasion, Afghan's world-leading poppy production has shot even higher through the roof. (It had been virtually eradicated under the Taliban -- with the help, now forgotten, of the Bush Administration.) … Now, if you wanted to curtail opium production, cripple the criminal organizations feasting on profits from outlawed drugs, support Afghan farmers and help them move successfully to other crops -- and incidentally build mountains of goodwill for America – what would you do? Grayling offers the blindingly obvious solution: you would buy the opium crop from the Afghan farmers yourself, giving them a great price, then use part of the opium to support medical care around the world and destroy the rest. You would also provide funds, expertise, equipment, etc. to help develop profitable markets for other crops and goods from Afghanistan's rural economy. Finally, if you were truly wise, you would destroy or at least decimate the global crime cartels by decriminalizing narcotics, regulating and taxing their use, as with tobacco and alcohol. The result would be a remarkable boon for all humanity. The lion might not lie down with the lamb, but there would be an immeasurable reduction in crime, and in the violence and corruption spawned by the trade in criminalized substances. … So what do they care, really, these maggoty masters of ours, if Afghan farmers sink into starvation -- or take up arms against the foreigners who have blighted their lives? More conflict just means more war profits, more contracts, more weapons, more useful fear to justify more repression at home.

Afghanistan Seeks Review of Herbicides in Poppy War
21.10.07. NYTimes. In the face of pressure from the American government, the administration of President Hamid Karzai is seeking the formation of an international scientific committee to review the safety of chemical herbicides to combat Afghanistan’s opium poppy crop, Afghan and Western officials say.

U.S. ignores angry reaction to secret poppy spraying test
25.10.07. mcclatchydc. “In 2004, U.S.-contracted aircraft secretly sprayed harmless plastic granules over poppy fields in Afghanistan to gauge public reaction to using herbicides to kill the opium poppies that help fund the Taliban and al Qaida. The mysterious granules ignited a major outcry from poor farmers, tribal chiefs and government officials up to President Hamid Karzai, who demanded to know if the spraying was part of a poppy eradication program. At the time, U.S officials up to the level of Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad denied any knowledge of the program. U.S. officials declined to identify the agency that oversaw the test spraying, but pointed out that the State Department oversees U.S. counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan. The department's bureau of international narcotics and law enforcement declined to comment. U.S. officials spoke to McClatchy Newspapers on condition of anonymity because the tests remain classified.

Now the Bush administration is pressing Karzai to spray real herbicide against what's expected to be another record opium poppy crop, which is refined into heroin.”

Afghanistan: Poor Helmand Farmers Find Themselves In Eye Of Drug Storm
10.10.07. For most poor Afghan farmers and sharecroppers, poppy cultivation is a desperate survival strategy. Highly resilient to drought and disease, opium poppy is also 10 times more profitable than any other cash crop. … The anxiety of Afghan farmers and the greed and ambitions of Afghan and international drug traffickers have turned Afghanistan into what some officials call a "narcostate." The UN Office on Drugs and Crime says this year's 9,000-ton Afghan opium crop is unprecedented in the past century and can be only compared to China in the 19th century. This year's Afghan crop alone surpasses estimated global demand by 3,300 tons. … Since the ouster of the Taliban government in 2001, the Afghan government and the international community have tried several uncoordinated and largely futile policies to combat narcotics.

Opium in Afghanistan: Eradicate or subsidize?
14.10.07. DG McNeil, IHT.

Legalise all drugs: chief constable demands end to 'immoral laws'
19.10.07. Independent. One of Britain's most senior police officers is to call for all drugs – including heroin and cocaine – to be legalised and urges the Government to declare an end to the "failed" war on illegal narcotics.

Letting slip the drugs of war
22.10.07. Nick Possum , uruknet. Is the CIA helping itself to the Afghan heroin harvest? Once again, the streets of Western Europe and Russia are awash with the stuff and that fact got me thinking about the CIA. The espionage game provides a powerful motive, superbly trained teams and the perfect cover for large-scale drug smuggling. It’s hardly a secret that, in the past, the CIA has partaken of the feast and, collectively, it couldn’t give a damn if the stuff gets dumped on the despised nations of 'Old Europe’. The US clandestine agencies are a sprawling brotherhood of silence and trust. And it isn’t just the huge bureaucracy of the CIA itself. Now, there’s also a freelance parallel universe of 'special forces’ and 'security contractors’ – created by the neocons for their War on Terror – doing everything from assassinations to 'interrogation’. No mainstream politician wants to know what these people are doing in their name.

“We visited with two heroin addicts. One brought his little daughter along.They were quiet men, soft spoken and skinny. Their families had been wrecked by the drug and all they lived for as they said, was for their next fix. They took us to an abandoned building some distance out of Kabul. The structure was bombed out, bullet hole marked and littered with human feces.The little girl waited and they smoked up with raw unprocessed heroin. They were methodical and practised. The inhaled deeply and one used a pen minus the refill to inhale the fumes from the burning chunk of heroin.” From Ryan Lobo photo story, Afghan addiction

Bush Seeking Aid for Mexico In Drug Fight
23.10.07. Washington Post / legitgov. Million$ for private US contractors to train Mexican troops --U.S. and Mexican negotiators reached agreement in secrecy . President [sic] Bush announced Monday in Washington that he will ask Congress to approve a $500 million package to help Mexico fight [build] drug cartels. U.S. and Mexican negotiators reached the agreement in secrecy. The much-anticipated Mexico aid plan, which is included in Bush's $46 billion supplemental budget request for war funding, would pay for helicopters, canine units, communications gear and inspection equipment, the State Department said. The aid packages are part of what the Bush regime hopes will be a multiyear, $1.4 billion initiative. [See: Private US military contractors may train Mexican drug forces (20.10.07) The U.S. and Mexican governments are expected Monday to announce an 'anti'-drug package that will probably involve hiring private U.S. military contractors to train Mexican troops, senior U.S. officials said.]

US drug war endangers Diggers
31.10.07. theaustraliannews. A US anti-narcotics program in Afghanistan has raised tensions, undermined security and endangered Australian and Dutch soldiers' lives, a respected international foreign policy think tank [ Senlis] has warned. The Senlis Council claims the US Government brushed aside Australian and Dutch concerns to ram through an ill-conceived poppy eradication program in Oruzgan province, which has undermined military reconstruction efforts and created a pool of new Taliban sympathisers.


August 2007


NATO fires two women for marrying Muslims

Afghan militants burn 13 trucks carrying NATO supplies
03.09.07. indiaenews.

More allies could help against Taliban: NATO chief
05.09.07. Reuters – catoday. NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said on Wednesday he was disappointed some members of the alliance would not send troops to fight Taliban guerrillas in the south of Afghanistan.

NATO lacks troops to guarantee Afghan peace – report
14.09.07. The findings of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which draws legislators from 42 countries, echoes recent complaints by NATO commanders that troop shortages are hampering operations and come as some allies face domestic pressure to pull troops out.

NATO comes clean on cluster bombs
16.09.07. Independent. Eight years on, Serbia is finally told where munitions fell. [ and how many children and civilians lost their limbs / life from these hellish weapons?]

Iranian-made arms for Taliban found
17.09.07. I. Bruce, the herald. Nato special forces have intercepted a large shipment of Iranian-made arms destined for Taliban insurgents fighting British troops in Afghanistan's Helmand province. … While Britain and the Afghan government have played down accusations that the Iranian government is directly involved in smuggling arms across the border, the US has publicly accused Tehran of complicity in terrorism in both Iraq and Afghanistan. [ Where is some proof?]

Gates warns Afghanistan is a "litmus test" for NATO
17.09.07. AFP. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Monday that Afghanistan is a "litmus test" for NATO and would be "a mark of shame on all of us" if the alliance falters in laying the foundations for democracy there. Gates alluded to both Afghanistan and Iraq in a speech in Williamsburg, Virginia that argued for realism in advancing US values of democracy and freedom around the world. [ The US is out of touch with realism ]

Overstretched NATO forced to rethink showpiece response force
19.09.07. AP. Shortages of troops and equipment have forced NATO to rethink its elite new response force less than a year after the 25000-strong ...

UN Council Extends Mandate for Forces in Afghanistan
19.09.07. Bloomberg.

The Mad Hatter

Giuliani says NATO should admit ISRAEL, Japan
19.09.07. reuters. [ What is Guiliani's relationship with AIPEC? ]

Giuliani urges NATO to admit Australia
20.09.07. ABC.

The Decay and Eventual Collapse Of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
20.09.07. IHT / NATO is backing away from establishing a combat force that would be capable of moving rapidly into conflict areas because it lacks the money, the troops and the equipment, officials said Thursday.

NATO's decision to rethink the Response Force is a blow for the 26-member alliance, which was seeking a way to alter a cumbersome and reactive organization of the Cold War era to field flexible units capable of being deployed within days to carry out a range of operations, including counter-terrorism.

While NATO has changed significantly in recent years - seen in its involvement in combat in Afghanistan, for example - the way missions are financed and military equipment is procured has lagged.

NATO Secretary General to United Nations General Assembly
21.09.07. NATO,int. The Secretary General of NATO, Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, will visit the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on 23-27 September 2007.

NATO in difficulty in Afghanistan
25.09.07. courrierinternational. "In the EU, there is talk of a common foreign policy and a European army, but NATO's difficulty coordinating operations in Afghanistan suffices to understand why everything is advancing so slowly. In addition, NATO wishes to eliminate its fast action force. It claims that it will give it up after Iraq, but the world never stops being in conflict.

Wartime Demands Force NATO to Scale Back Ambitions for Response Force
26.09.07. worldpoliticsreview.

NATO: Gains in Afghanistan Could be Lost to Taleban
28.09.07. VOA.

October 2007


Poor strategy undermines coalition efforts in Afghanistan
16.10.07. CHATHAM HOUSE REPORT. A briefing paper published today by Chatham House states that coalition forces have failed to bring security to Afghanistan because they do not have a coherent strategy for operating in the country.

The coalition's internal cohesion is becoming increasingly fragile as some NATO states have been less willing to share risks, and resisted sending their troops in Afghanistan into combat. Insurgents have been able to take advantage of this weakness, and have sought to influence NATO strategy by targeting individual member states so as to manipulate public opinion among their home populations.


US-NATO War Games

12 NATO countries have war game in Croatia
01.10.07. UPI.

India seeks aerial wargames with US, NATO
06.10.07. AFP. The event, codenamed "Red Flag," will be staged next January with participants drawn from NATO members and other US military allies. .. "India has participated in multinational exercises in the past with the US, France and Singapore and we will be holding joint exercises with China in the future," Antony added. .. The two nations [aka Condi Rice ]now say there is a need for global cooperation to stamp out rising extremism.

Croatia hosts major Nato exercise
10.10.07. BBC. For the first time, Nato is holding a major military exercise in a non-member country, Croatia. The BBC's Nick Hawton has been given access to the Noble Midas 07 exercise.

NATO Holds Military Exercises in Albania

NATO sets standards for unmanned aerial vehicles
01.10.07. UAVs are mainly used for military purposes, including combat situations to perform surveillance and other intelligence-gathering operations in theatre. A small number of UAVs are also used for civilian purposes during and after natural disasters.

NATO Staggers in Afghanistan as Some Can't Fight On, Some Won't
08.10.07. Bloomberg. NATO's campaign in Afghanistan is under threat from member countries on the front lines clamoring to get out and others on the sidelines refusing to go in. With military casualties on the increase this year, the Netherlands and Canada are weighing full or partial pullouts within the next 18 months. Meanwhile, leaders in Germany, France, Spain and Italy, mindful of polls showing a majority of Europeans oppose the conflict, are resisting calls to send troops to relieve them.

NATO chief to meet Rice, Gates on Afghanistan, NATO
08.10.07. AFP.

Afghanistan 'putting Nato's future in peril'
08.10.07. T. Coghlan, Telegraph. The commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan has given warning that the survival of the alliance is at risk amid signs that several key members are re-evaluating their roles against the insurgency. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, American General Dan McNeill said that Nato troops were "gaining the upper hand" against the Taliban, but progress was limited by not having a "force big enough to clear and hold every part of this country".

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO): Index Timeline: "NATO OF THE EAST"
16.10.07. Sarah Meyer, Index Research. (continually updated). The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was founded in 2001 by the leaders of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Other countries are clamouring to be part of this group. The SCO's member states cover an area of over 30 million km2, or about three fifths of Eurasia, with a population of 1.455 billion, about a quarter of the world's total.Its working languages are Chinese and Russian. There is a US / Russian 'special interests' tiff over Azerbaijan. "The strategic course of Eurasia and global energy reserves hangs in the balance at the Caspian Sea Summit" in Tehran. … research of background buildup of SCO.

US-NATO Missile Shield

Consultations on missile defence at NATO HQ
17.10.07. The North Atlantic Council and the NATO-Russia Council respectively, discussed on 17 October missile defence issues. The sessions were a continuation of consultation meetings held at NATO HQ last year, as well as in February and April 2007.National delegations included high-ranking officials and experts from capitals. For example, the US team was headed by Under Secretary of Defence Eric Edelman, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried and Director of the Missile Defense Agency General Henry Obering, while the Russian delegation was led by Ambassador Anatoliy Antonov from the Foreign Ministry and General Alexander Yakushin of Russian Space Forces. See also US-NATO 'Missile Shield' Programme: Index Timeline Update: (continually updated)


NATO Wants Outsourced Air Force for Afghanistan
19.10.07. Wired. The Financial Times Deutschland is reporting that NATO is planning on outsourcing air support for southern Afghanistan, an area of some of the most intense fighting. The alliance is intending to contract for some twenty helicopters. According to the Financial Times Deutschland, air support is being outsourced because of widespread domestic opposition in member countries to the deployment of more troops. .. This summer Germany, France, Turkey, Spain and Greece all declined NATO requests for more helicopters to be sent to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. .. Similarly, a majority of the Dutch are against further engagement of their troops in Afghanistan.

Beleaguered NATO set to charter helicopters
24.10.07. P. Koring, globeandmail. Though it highlights rift within alliance, decision will help protect Canadian troops. Defence ministers meeting today in the Netherlands are expected to approve chartering up to 20 large helicopters, flown by civilian contractors, to provide vital airlift and reduce the number of military convoys exposed to roadside bombs. .. Outsourcing helicopter services will also relieve the severely overstrained U.S. helicopter squadrons in Kandahar whose deployment has been repeatedly extended.

NATO: We have no mandate to deal with Iran
23.10.07. jerusalempost. Visiting NATO official Patrick Hardouin on Tuesday brushed aside calls by Israelis, including Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu, for his organization to focus more on the fight against militant Islamic regimes and a nuclear Iran. He also side-stepped requests by Israelis to upgrade the country's ties with NATO by making it a formal strategic partner.

NATO Fills Some Gaps in Afghanistan Mission, `Shortages' Remain
24.10.07. Bloomberg. France and Germany offered to send more trainers for the Afghan army, while declining to lend combat support to the U.S., U.K., Canada and Netherlands in the hard-fought south of the country. The offers are in the framework of training and in other areas as well,'' North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a press conference after allied defense ministers met in Noordwijk, Netherlands today. “There are still shortages.'' A year after taking full control of the Afghan campaign, NATO is facing an insurgency similar to the one the U.S. is battling in Iraq.

Nato ‘lacking resources to fight Taleban'
17.10.07. timesonline. In its paper released yesterday, Chatham House said that the shortage of troops was becoming a “particularly sensitive” issue in southern Afghanistan, where the majority of British forces are concentrated.

Shadows over NATO
18.10.07. Economist. The war in Afghanistan is straining the West's military alliance

NATO to Lease 20 Helicopters to Fill Afghan Shortfall
22.10.07. Bloomberg. The non-combat helicopters would be used to shuttle equipment and ammunition around the Afghan battlefields. The leasing arrangement would be unusual for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, reflecting the strain on allied armed forces as the Afghan war heads into the seventh year with the radical Taliban movement far from vanquished. … Faced with the transport shortage, the U.S. in June extended the deployment of a helicopter unit in Kandahar until the end of 2007 and insisted that NATO plug the holes by then. The leasing pact would free the U.S. helicopters for combat, troop transport and the ferrying of wounded soldiers.

NATO defense talks likely to focus on Afghanistan, Turkey
23.10.07. AP. The mounting tension on Turkey's border with Iraq and U.S. demands for European allies to do more in Afghanistan are expected to dominate a meeting of NATO defense ministers opening Wednesday in the Netherlands.

Gates Doubts Europeans' War Commitment
25.10.07. R. Burns, AP. HEIDELBERG, Germany. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday questioned the commitment of some NATO allies to winning in Afghanistan, saying the outcome there is at "real risk" because some European nations are unwilling to provide enough troops and resources to the mission. .. "The failure to meet commitments puts the Afghan mission — and with it, the credibility of NATO — at real risk," { the credibility of the US which controls NATO?

"Get out of NATO!"
30.10.07. "The Nordic NATO members should resign from the club. The main concern of the new NATO seems to be military action in remove countries, action designed primarily to promote the military interests of the USA," Steingrimur Sigufsson told the Nordic Council plenary assembly and the Nordic the prime ministers in Oslo on Tuesday.

Facing defeat in Afghanistan
31.10.07. Simon Tisdale, Guardian. As the allies squabble about burden-sharing, the situation on the ground is becoming increasingly grim. Nato troops plunged into a vicious new round of fighting with the Taliban yesterday as hundreds of Afghan civilians fled their homes in villages around Kandahar. The violence, in which about 50 militants reportedly died, again underscored how insecure and ungovernable large tracts of the south and east remain six years after "victory in Kabul".


Britain and Canada Back Albania’s NATO Accession


NATO Begins New Co-operation with Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan
19.10.07. trendaz. [ This is SCO territory.]


NATO Moves Fighter Planes from Italy to Bulgaria
06.10.07. NATO will move aircraft from the US air base in Aviano, northeastern Italy, to Bulgaria's Graf Ignatievo air base near Plovdiv, Italian media reported on Saturday.

31.10.07. sofiaecho. Bulgaria, Romania, France and the UK are the only countries, members of both EU and NATO, which meet NATO’s requirement for minimal military budget.


Advancing step by step toward NATO
05.09.07. Preparations for Finnish security and defence policy have been launched, so that in the autumn of next year it would be possible to present a report to Parliament. It is customary for this significant document to be published at four-year intervals.

Poll: Finns increasingly uncertain over NATO; no increase in fear of Russia

Finnish Membership in NATO Seen as Threat to Russia

Finland and Sweden to stay out of core of Nato Response Force
(no date) NATO's decision to reorganise the NRF forces, which have been in readiness for just a year, was not directly related to either Finland or Sweden - two non-NATO countries which are nevertheless taking part in the programme. The input of the two countries in NRF would be small in any case, and would be likely to primarily complement the input of the forces of actual NATO members.


Bush and Sarkozy 12.08.2007

Reports: France to redeploy 6 fighter planes from Tajikistan to NATO base in Afghanistan
31.08.07. The redeployment, along with a planned increase in French troops in Afghanistan, comes as new President Nicolas Sarkozy seeks to improve ties with the United States and boost France's visibility on the world stage.

Afghanistan operation faces 'real difficulties': French minister
08.09.07. AFP. The French defence minister said Friday a planned redeployment of French jets from Tajikistan to Afghanistan would bring them closer to the anti-Taliban operation which was "encountering real difficulties." The six Mirage jets are expected to be moved to Kandahar city in southern Afghanistan in the coming weeks.

France may rejoin military wing of Nato
13.09.07. Independent.

NATO ready to welcome France back to command
14.09.07. Scotsman.

Sarkozy Sets French Terms for Return to NATO Command
25(?).09.07. Reuters / Newsandpolicy.

World politics stranger than fiction for thriller writer
30.09.07. Sunday Herald. FRANCE'S TOP-SELLING spy thriller writer (de Villiers) has some trenchant advice for British forces fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan: get out while you can. … Fiction writer he may be, but de Villiers is more qualified than most to pronounce on Nato's dilemma. His latest book [Hostage of the Taliban] - like its predecessors - is built around a solid core of expert information, gleaned during a field trip to Afghanistan in May and from high-placed sources inside French intelligence.


NATO Approaches Georgia
03.10.07. eng.primenewsonline. Cooperation between Georgia and the NATO enters a new stage. Georgia’s striving to join the NATO is not so imaginary.


India holds the Key in NATO’s World View
16.10.07. M K Bhadrakumar, mainstreamweekly/Asia Times. NATO Exercises in the Indian Ocean. Ships from Portugal, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Canada and the United States, forming the NATO’s so-called Standing Naval Maritime Group, one of four such groups of the Western alliance, undertook the two-month mission. As the newly appointed US ambassador to NATO, Victoria Nuland [ wife of PNAC member, Robert Kagan ] said in the run-up to the Riga summit, the “post-Cold War honeymoon” is over and NATO needs to develop capabilities “wherever and whenever they may arise”. “NATO must be the place where we talk about all the issues affecting our future—the Middle East, Iraq, North Korea, China, Iran, just to name a few,” she added. … Details about AFRICOM; NATO in the Asia-Pacific.

Nuclear Deal With India May Be Near Collapse
16.10.07. Washington Post. Premier Cites Internal Opposition To Agreement Pushed by Bush. A controversial nuclear deal between the United States and India appears close to collapse after the Indian prime minister told President Bush yesterday that "certain difficulties" will prevent India from moving forward on the pact for the foreseeable future. … Neither government appeared eager to announce the setback to what had been billed as one of the Bush administration's biggest foreign policy ‘achievements’ [ sic - An ‘achievement ‘ for India but a reason for war with Iran? Doesn’t make sense, does it? ]. … he reluctance to admit that the deal is faltering contrasts with the fanfare when it was announced in 2005. … The agreement lays [laid] out a framework for peaceful nuclear cooperation that would eventually allow trade in nuclear reactors, technology and fuel between the two nations. It permits [permitted] India to reprocess nuclear fuel and opens the way for the United States to become a "reliable" supplier for India's energy program.


Analysis: Dreaming of NATO
23.10.07. Jerusalem post. In February 2006, former US deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs Ronald Asmus published an opinion piece in The Washington Post calling for NATO to dramatically upgrade its relationship with Israel, perhaps even granting it full membership. "There are growing signs that Israel is interested in such a relationship with NATO," wrote Asmus.

ISRAEL seeking a formal partnership with NATO
30.10.07. This enhanced participation of NATO members in the war against the Iranian-supported Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, is a part of a strategic American decision to give Europe a higher profile in Lebanon and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Co-operation between Israel and NATO first developed within the framework of the multilateral Mediterranean dialogue that included Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Mauritania. Of the seven countries, Israel was the most active, while Egypt in particular was hesitant to co-operate with Israel within the framework of NATO. Last month, however, Egypt surprised all concerned by signing with NATO an agreement similar to that of Israel. Since mid-2004, Israel has deepened its co-operation with NATO. Israel considers itself a "natural partner" in NATO, in light of its rich experience in combating terrorism.


U.S. steps up pressure over Japan's Afghan support
11.09.07. reuters. Washington stepped up pressure on Japan on Wednesday to extend its mission supporting U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan as opposition parties prepared to grill Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on an issue that could drive him from office. … Opposition parties, which won control of parliament's upper house in a July election, are against the mission.

Japan govt. approves naval mission to Afghanistan
17.10.07. The new bill limits Japanese vessels to refueling and supplying water to ships on anti-terrorism patrols, but not to those involved in military operations. At present, 17 vessels from eight countries (the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Pakistan, Canada, New Zealand and Japan) are involved in Maritime Intercept Operations, or MIO, in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf as part of the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom.

Japan PM left in Afghan deadlock
30.10.07. BBC. Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has failed to make a deal with the main opposition party to continue a naval mission backing forces in Afghanistan.

New Zealand

New Zealand signs agreements with NATO, EU to help in Afghanistan
03.10.07. iht. On a visit to NATO headquarters Clark signed an agreement making it easier to share classified information with the 25-nation Atlantic alliance.


Polish general among candidates for NATO chief
31.08.07. - Warsaw,Poland. General Franciszek Gagor, head of the Polish military headquarters, is one of three candidates for the position of Chief of NATO Military Committee.

Poland to help train Afghan army
15.09.07. peninsularQatar.


NATO Secretary General to visit Romania
26.10.07. On 29.10.07. [ with money in pocket?]


Objections for Spanish General in NATO
31.08.07. plenglish.


Russian journalist warns of possible Turkish split from NATO


US Defence Secretary Gates arrives in Ukraine
21.10.07. focus-fen. [with money in pocket?]

Yushchenko confirms Ukraine's desire to join NATO Membership Action Plan
22.10.07. interfax.

9. US-Nato Coalition (Australia, Bulgaria,
Canada, Germany, Slovakia, New Zealand, UK)


ADF to deploy mortar unit to Afghanistan
03.09.07. . They will come from the Townsville-based 2RAR and will be based at the Reconstruction Task Force (RTF) at Tarin Kowt in Oruzgan province.

No plan to increase Afghanistan troops

Blast kills Australian soldier in Afghan south
08.10.07. Reuters. A roadside bomb killed an Australian soldier in southern Afghanistan on Monday, the first Australian combat fatality in the war on terror.

Afghanistan 'is going down fast'
13.10.07. T. Friel, Australian news. THE bloodshed in Afghanistan has reached levels not seen since the 2001 invasion as anger at bungling by an ineffective Government in Kabul and its foreign backers stokes support for the Taliban and other extremist groups. The death of Trooper David Pearce underlines the rising dangers for Australia's 1000 soldiers in Afghanistan, most of them deployed in the Taliban's southern heartland -- a region some of Canberra's NATO allies consider too dangerous to fight in.

Tributes flow for fallen SAS sergeant
25.10.07. Sergeant Locke is the second Australian killed in action in Afghanistan in less than three weeks.

NATO 'failure' endangering Australian forces
27.10.07. theage. Whichever party wins in Australia on November 24 may come to regret being involved in a conflict European nations are increasingly reluctant to take part in. … Greens leader Bob Brown said yesterday the return of Australian troops to Afghanistan went back to an "enormous strategic mistake Bush and Howard made when, after taking over Afghanistan, instead of consolidating there against the Taliban and pursuing al-Qaeda, they invaded Iraq".

Diggers pull out of Afghan battle
28.10.07. AUSTRALIAN troops, who feared many civilian casualties in an Afghan operation, refused to take part in the Dutch-led assault on advancing Taliban militia.


Canadian troops forced to start from scratch
01.09.08. C. Blatchford, globeandmail. Like Sisyphus, the Greek mythologicalfigure condemned to push a boulder up a hill every day only to see it roll right back down, Canadian soldiers here are trapped in a loop that has the fourth iteration of troops battling for the exactly the same ground their predecessors in southern Afghanistan fought to take. “We essentially have to start from scratch, you know,” Brigadier-General Guy Laroche told The Globe and Mail this week in an interview at the main coalition base at Kandahar Air Field.

We're out by February '09, MacKay says
03.09.07. globeandandmail. Harper government tells NATO Canada's military mission to Kandahar has an 'expiration date' in 20 months

Insurgents retake key Kandahar areas: police chief
03.09.07. CTV. Many of the gains Canadian occupation troops fought so hard for in Afghanistan have been lost to Taliban insurgents in key areas in Kandahar province, an Afghan police chief told CTV News.

Canadian military too focused on Afghanistan: report
04.09.07. A new report written by three retired generals says the Canadian military has been too focused on the war in Afghanistan and not enough on other areas. The report, leaked to the Ottawa Citizen, reportedly calls for greater balance in the military's focus and distribution of resources.

Top NATO generals meet in Canada to map Afghanistan strategy
06.09.07. iht.

General says troop shortage is hindering Afghanistan gains
07.09.07. Top NATO officer, a Canadian, says `gaps' are being debated as alliance meets in Ottawa

Protesters accuse NATO generals of war crimes

Harper wants troops to 'finish job' in Afghanistan; dims hope for quick vote
09 09.09.07. canadianpress – Prime Minister Stephen Harper has set the benchmark for what might be called winning conditions on a vote to extend Canada's military mission in Afghanistan. Harper said Sunday there'll be no vote in Parliament anytime soon unless he can find enough support to ensure his wish to "finish the job." [What, exactly, *is* "the job"?]

Canada PM criticizes electoral ruling allowing voters to wear Muslim veil
10.09.07. [JURIST] Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official profile] Sunday voiced his disapproval of an administrative decision allowing Muslim women to wear veils and burqas while voting in upcoming by-elections in the province of Quebec. Elections Canada [official website], an independent body that oversees national elections, announced Thursday that Muslim women will be allowed to wear …

Canadian soldiers test positive for drugs; prevented from going to Afghanistan
11.09.07. CanWest News Service

Ottawa should consider opening Cdn detention centre in Afghanistan: Red Cross
15.09.07. Canadianpress. Amnesty International has launched a court challenge to bar Ottawa from transferring any more prisoners to the Afghan jails. .. Hilary Homes, a campaigner with the human rights group, said NATO countries ultimately have to (jointly) decide how to handle detainees.

Iraq and Afghanistan two sides of same coin
16.09.07. Haroon Siddiqui, the star. On the sixth anniversary of 9/11, Canadians have been inundated with what are largely American concerns …

Jim Miles: Canada - Time to exit NATO
16.09.07. palestinechronicle. If the countries involved wished to truly be independent actors and thinkers, then NATO itself should be disbanded – it has long outlived its original purpose.

Karzai pleads with Canada: Don't pull out troops
18.09.07. Reuters.

Quitting Afghanistan early a moral betrayal, diplomats say
20.09.07. canadacom. [And *who* is the biggest 'moral betrayer of them all? ]

Canada can't find 50 Afghan detainees
22.09.07. globeandmail. Canada still can't account for at least 50 prisoners it captured and turned over to Afghan authorities, several sources say, frustrating efforts to put to rest concerns the detainees were subject to torture. Canada blamed the Afghans.

Canada to decide by April on Afghanistan mission's future
25.09.07. AFP.

Canadian soldier killed, 5 wounded in clashes with Taliban in Afghanistan
26.09.07. canadianpress.

Canadian troops in Afghanistan have new weapon in war against deadly IEDs
26.09.07. canadianpress. Military officials unveiled the first of their new RSD Husky armoured vehicles Wednesday.

Afghan protesters shout “Death to Canada’
26.09.07. CTV.

Canada to UN: Send 'Blair-like' envoy to Afghanistan
29.09.07. jpost. Canada will ask the UN to appoint a special envoy to Afghanistan to raise global awareness of international efforts there, modeled on Quartet representative Tony Blair's work in the Middle East. [ anything “Blair-like” is dangerous. ]

October 2007

Kandahar base on security alert
02.10.07. No reason was given.

Canadian troops accidentally kill Afghan man Canadian troops accidentally shot and killed an Afghan man.

PM appoints panel to review Canada's options in Afghanistan
10.10.07. AFP. Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday appointed a panel of "eminent Canadians" to recommend Canada's future role in Afghanistan, as tensions mount in Parliament over the current military mission.

Canada - Time to exit NATO
11.10.07. J. Miles, jazeera. “I don’t understand why NATO exists... NATO is a war tool the West uses to intimidate other nations into submission." … NATO as it currently stands has a dual command structure, SACT and SACEUR. … NATO has recently had one of its regular meetings of the “Military Committee” in Victoria, B.C., Canada, with appropriate demonstrations against it for Canada’s role within NATO and Afghanistan. Phil Lyons, the organizer of the demonstration, which ended peacefully, says "NATO is now a weapon of American Imperialists." Another demonstrator asks, “I don’t understand why NATO exists,” then answers his own question, perhaps without realizing it, that "NATO is a war tool the West uses to intimidate other nations into submission." [1] It should be obvious that NATO is led by the U.S. military. With its current role involved with the powers of the American empire in unilateral pre-emptive actions that generally work against international law, yes, NATO is nothing but an extension of that empire, a tool of the corporate-military structure that is part and parcel of the American government.I don’t understand why NATO exists,” then answers his own question, perhaps without realizing it, that "NATO is a war tool the West uses to intimidate other nations into submission." … NATO as it currently stands has a dual command structure, SACT and SACEUR.

Canada undecided on Afghanistan past 2009 as NATO allies make up their minds
14.10.07. canadianpress.

Canada sees troops staying longer in Afghanistan
16.10.07. reuters. The Canadian government said on Tuesday it wanted its military contingent in Afghanistan to stay until 2011, two years longer than planned, but was coy about how many troops would remain and exactly what they would be doing.

NATO must step up in Afghanistan, says Hillier
25.10.07. Canada's chief of the defence staff left Afghanistan Thursday calling for more helicopters and military help from NATO members reluctant to work in the country's troubled southern provinces.

Blair urges Canada not to back down in Afghanistan
26.10.07. [ Shut up Blair]

War woes
28.10.07. Hundreds of Canadian soldiers returning from Afghanistan are suffering from a range of mental-health problems linked to their deployment, according to new data.
But even with this latest information, the military admits it still has little understanding of how many troops might be affected by the rigours of war and operational stress over the long haul. See: Undiagnosed brain injury - the hidden legacy of Iraq

Canada denies new claims that detainees transferred to Afghans were tortured
29.10.07. jurist. The Canadian government Monday rejected fresh allegations that members of the Taliban captured by Canadian troops in Afghanistan were tortured by Afghan investigators after being transferred from Canadian custody. According to Montreal's La Presse, three prisoners said they were tortured [La Presse report, in French] by Afghan authorities after receiving assurances from Canadian officials them that Afghanistan no longer tortured detainees. Government House leader Peter Van Loan said in response that Taliban detainees frequently make false accusations of torture and that their statements should not be taken at face value.


Danish officer dies in Afghanistan – Summary
16.10.07. earthtimes.


Bush and Merkel 9 November 2007, AP Photo/Rod Aydelotte, Pool

Plot designed to increase pressure for Afghanistan pullout
05.09.07. IHT. The alleged plot by Islamist militants to carry out "massive bomb attacks" against U.S. and German installations was designed in part to increase pressure for a pullout of German troops from Afghanistan, security experts said Wednesday.

NATO Chief: No pressure on Berlin for South Afghanistan mission

Cracks appear in allied coalition in Afghanistan
13.09.07. iht. The coalition established to stabilize Afghanistan after the ouster of the Taliban by U.S. forces in 2001 is weakening as countries fighting in the volatile south criticize the lack of military support from other NATO allies, defense officials said Thursday.

Germany wrestles with keeping its soldiers in Afghanistan
16.09.07. IHT. Germany’s military presence in Afghanistan is becoming so unpopular that it could force Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government to reconsider its support for the US counterterrorism operation there, legislators said Sunday.

NATO Secretary General visits Berlin
17.09.07. epicos. The Secretary General praised Germany's significant contributions to NATO's missions in Afghanistan and in Kosovo.

Germany OKs Extending Afghan Mission
20.09.07. AP. The German Cabinet on Wednesday approved a one-year extension to the country's increasingly unpopular role in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, a decision that must now be passed by parliament.

October 2007

01.10.07. der Spiegel. German Elite Troops in Afghanistan Marred by Reports of Misconduct. As members of the German Bundestag prepare to decide whether to extend the German military's mission in Afghanistan, reports of alcoholism and irresponsible behavior by commanders of Germany's "Kommando Spezialkräfte" elite unit are coming to light.

Germany to Keep Troops in Afghanistan
12.10.07. NY Times. The German government won a crucial vote in Parliament on Friday to keep its troops in Afghanistan for another year, despite recent polls indicating that a majority of Germans want them to come home.

Despite Political Control, German Arms Industry Rolls Ahead
28.10.07. An estimated 80,000 people are employed by the German arms industry, which might be far fewer than during the Cold War but still counts as a thriving business. Most of the weapons and armaments manufactured are earmarked for the Bundeswehr, but exports are now on the rise. [headline might instead read: Merkel encourages German arms industry]


Italian Wounded in Afghanistan Dies
03.10.07. AP.


NATO seeks extension of Dutch mission in Afghanistan as vote approaches
31.08.07. canadianpress.

NATO pressurises Dutch to stay in Afghanistan
19.09.07. radionetherlands

Eleventh Dutch soldier killed in Afghanistan
20.09.07. monstersandcritics.

Dutch will send 80 more troops to Afghanistan
28.09.07. Reuters.

October 2007

INTERVIEW-NATO, not Dutch, must secure southern Afghanistan
03.10.07. reuters. The Dutch government, under pressure to keep its troops in volatile southern Afghanistan, wants NATO to take responsibility for the region's security after its mandate expires at the end of August 2008.

Combat Footage of Dutch Troops in Afghanistan Released
01.10.07. radionetherlands. Has Dutch public broadcaster NOS allowed itself to be used as a tool of the 'communications policy' of the country's defence ministry, or was the video material provided by the ministry simply too interesting for the broadcasting organisation to ignore?

Report: Dutch general advises government to reduce presence in Afghanistan
20.10.07. IHT. The top Dutch military official (Gen. Dick Berlijn) has advised the government to reduce its presence in the NATO force in Afghanistan, a newspaper reported Friday. … from around 1,800 soldiers at present to around 1,200 — closer to the amount originally agreed to when the Netherlands began its participation in August 2006.

Dutch tally cost of Afghanistan
28.10.07. globeandmail. The public debate in both Canada and the Netherlands whether to stay or leave Afghanistan has been weighed in the cost of both lives and treasure. But for the Dutch there has been a lot of emphasis on treasure. The enormous cost of the military mission — the biggest for the Netherlands since the Second World War — is a top of mind issue you hear from almost everyone here when Afghanistan is mentioned.


Another 77 Defence Force personnel off to Afghanistan
15.10.07. Three members of the deployment will serve as trainers for the Afghan National Army or as staff officers at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Headquarters in Kabul. The other 74 will serve with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in the Bamyan Province of Afghanistan.


Romanian soldier killed in Afghanistan
06.09.07. monstersandcritics. A Romanian soldier died and three others were injured, one seriously, Thursday when their tank hit a mine and exploded in the south-east Afghan province of Zabul


Slovakia to double its mission to Afghanistan
17.10.07. AP / IHT. Slovakia currently has 57 military engineers as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. "In 2008, we'll have 111 troops in this mission," Defense Minister Frantisek Kasicky said. The plan still has needs parliamentary approval.


20, shows the effects of marching for nearly 13 hours in 46 degree
heat carrying more than 35kg of ammunition, weapons and water.

British troops hunt the Taliban in Afghanistan
02.09.07. Rament, Sutcliffe, Telegraph. From the moment we left the compound, the Taliban knew the British were coming. *In pictures: On the ground in Helmand * Frontline: Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ben Parkinson: Human Rights Disaster Story

will lose savings and home, says soldier's mother
01.09.07. Guardian. · Parents make up shortfall for 'insulting' award · MoD will not raise payout for severely injured son. The mother of a British soldier who was severely injured while fighting in Afghanistan has said she will lose her life savings and will have to sell her home because of the "insulting" compensation offer made to her son by the Ministry of Defence. Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson, 23, has been described as one of the most seriously wounded soldiers ever to survive. He lost both legs, suffered serious brain damage, fractured several vertebrae and sustained 34 further injuries when his vehicle struck a landmine in Helmand province last September.

Disabled soldier's pay-out victory
02.09.07. Ned Temko, Observer. MoD will review controversial policy. [ A review is not a victory ]

What price the life of a British soldier?
02.09.07. W. Hutton, Observer. Diane Dernie's son, Ben Parkinson, lost both his legs in Afghanistan. Last week, she decided to challenge the Ministry of Defence's award of a mere £152,000 as compensation as an impossibly small amount to pay for a lifetime of decent care. The quite shocking disparity between City bosses* and ordinary people has never been better exemplified than by the case of Lance-Bombardier Ben Parkinson. The same day, we learnt that average pay for Britain's leading chief executives had risen by 37 per cent to £2.85m. I can imagine no more eloquent commentary on today's values and the noxious impact that our collective indifference to huge inequality is having.

How the Rich Live
SEE: City bonuses hit record high with £14bn payout
How BAE and a rather mysterious Labour peer get rich as our troops die
02.09.07. Craig Murray, uruknet. To you and me, the Iraq and Afghan wars may look like unmitigated disasters. Hundreds of our young soldiers have died, as have untold thousands of local civilians, but to what end? Even the minority who supported the invasion of Iraq are inclined to agree that the subsequent occupation has been catastrophically handled. Iraq is more than ever a failed state, with an abysmal decline in the most basic water, energy and health services for the majority of the population. Armed militias control their little fiefdoms, sometimes actually constituting the laughably named Iraqi security services. Nowhere is that more true than in Basra, now controlled from Tehran, while our troops hunker in ditches under mortar fire and take casualties whenever they venture out on patrol. Last month, for the second time, the Iraqi governor of one of the provinces we had declared secure and 'handed over' to Iraqi forces was murdered, almost certainly not by Al Qaeda but by the very warring factions to whom we have handed control. Meanwhile in Afghanistan, the drugs warlords we promoted to the Karzai government preside over massively increased opium harvests and busy heroin factories (...) These wars have also introduced us to the new phenomenon of 'legitimate' mercenary companies such as Aegis Defence Services . There are currently up to three times as many British mercenaries as British troops in Iraq. Tony Blair's favourite mercenary soldier, Colonel Tim Spicer, famed for his involvement in failed coups with Sandline and Executive Outcomes and now boss of Aegis Specialist Risk Management, has added many millions to his private fortune. But the biggest British beneficiary has been BAE Systems – formerly British Aerospace – highlighting its extraordinary and poisonous relationship with New Labour...

PS: Shocking establishment decision

Cenotaph ban on wounded war heroes
11.09.07. Obsever. His father's anger was echoed yesterday by the mother of Ben Parkinson, the 23-year-old whose horrific injuries from an Afghan landmine explosion sparked a nationwide controversy over compensation levels for seriously wounded soldiers. 'Ben, Jamie and the other young men who have been badly injured are an inspiration,' Diane Dernie said last night. 'But the government wants them hidden away, not be seen or heard from.'

Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan
05.09.07. Reuters.

Britain tells US: We're winning Afghan battles but not the war
07.09.07. timesonline.

Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan
08.09.07. Reuters. Two British soldiers were killed and two others were seriously injured on Saturday (8 sept) in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, the Ministry of Defence said.

Sgt Lee Clegg deployed to Afghanistan
13.09.07. Telegraph. The deployment of Sgt Clegg, who will serve as a medic in Afghanistan next summer with 2nd Bn The Parachute Regiment, comes 17 years after he was at the centre of a political storm following the deaths of two teenage joyriders.

Conditions rougher at some UK bases than in Afghanistan, say MPs
14.09.07. R. Norton Taylor, Guardian. · 'Disgraceful' standards found at army barracks · Forces minister accepts problem areas need work

British soldier killed in bomb attack in Afghanistan

Soldier may have been killed by ‘friendly fire’
19.09.07. timesonline. A British soldier (Private Andrew Cutts, 19) who was shot dead during an operation against the Taleban in southern Afghanistan last August may have been the victim of ‘friendly fire,’ an inquest was told.

Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan
21.09.07. Xinhuanet.

Elite UK troops rescue Italians in Afghanistan
25.09.07. R. Norton-Taylor, Guardian. · Eight kidnappers killed in fierce gunfight · Intelligence reports led to use of special forces

Accepting defeat
25.09.07. Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian / uruknet. Des Browne has admitted that we cannot win in Afghanistan. Now ministers should be asked how long the fighting will have to continue. Britain's military commanders do not like talking about winning wars or victory. Certainly not in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are too sensible for that. In Basra, they are talking to the radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army and other Shia militia as they prepare to leave southern Iraq. Now Des Browne, the defence secretary, seems to have recognised that the Taliban in southern Afghanistan are unbeatable. "In Afghanistan, at some stage, the Taliban will need to be involved in the peace process because they are not going away any more than I suspect Hamas are going away from Palestine," he is reported to have told a Labour party fringe meeting hosted by the IPPR thinktank in Bournemouth on Monday night...

October 2007

Briton killed, two hurt in Afghanistan

Why? Six years on from the invasion of Afghanistan
06.10.07. Independent. As another British soldier is killed in Afghanistan, Patrick Cockburn asks what is the point of the mission

British Troops face decades in Afghanistan h troops
06.10.07. Telegraph. British troops face a 30-year "marathon mission" against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the commander of UK troops in Helmand has warned.

Scots troops plan for Afghanistan
08.10.07. BBC. The Ministry of Defence is planning to send more Scottish troops to Afghanistan next year, it has emerged. … Military analyst Gordon McKenzie told BBC Radio Scotland that many soldiers returning from Iraq could be redeployed to Afghanistan next year.

'Draw-down has more to do with Afghanistan - not Iraq'
09.10.07. Scotsman. … A former MoD official said it was disingenuous for Mr Brown to make a statement on Iraq and not Afghanistan. … Patrick Mercer, a Tory MP and former government security adviser to Mr Brown, warned: "As the very difficult situation in Iraq comes to some sort of conclusion, extra fighting troops are going to be required in Afghanistan. "The government is bringing troops out of Iraq in relatively small numbers, but at the same time sending them to Afghanistan in larger numbers." Mr Brown said yesterday that Britain now had about 8,000 members of the armed forces in Afghanistan - higher than the figure provided by the MoD….He renewed his commitment to fighting the Taleban and hinted further announcements could be on the way, adding: "Afghanistan is the front line against the Taleban. If the Taleban were to take over in Afghanistan, the whole of the civilised world would be affected. "We must support America and NATO forces in Afghanistan. We have around 8,000 troops, around 20 [per cent] of the armed forces, in Afghanistan, and we are supporting reconstruction in what is, essentially, a rural economy."

Scot takes over in Helmand role
10.10.07. BBC. Brigadier Andrew Mackay, commander of the 52 Infantry Brigade in Edinburgh, will now head Task Force Helmand in southern Afghanistan.

UK backs plan to split Taliban from within
15.10.07. The strategy, spearheaded by the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai [?], reflects a significant shift in British policy, and is showing initial signs of success. The Guardian has learned that members of the Taliban's leadership council have used go-betweens to negotiate their defection,

'No plan' to increase Afghan troops
21.10.07. Guardian. The Ministry of Defence has said there are no plans to send more British troops to Afghanistan, after a spokesman for Nato Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said he understood the UK was considering "potentially increasing" its 7,700-strong force there. Nato sources later backtracked on spokesman James Appathurai's remark, stressing that he was not expecting any offer of additional UK troops and was simply seeking to reflect the solid nature of Britain's commitment to the International Security Assistance Force.

UK troops to fill Nato's boots in Afghanistan
22.10.07. Tom Coghlan, Telegraph. it is widely expected that Canada will withdraw from its current fighting role in Kandahar after losing 71 soldiers since 2001. The Dutch government has indicated that it is looking for other Nato countries to take over in Uruzgan province from August 2008. The Dutch have lost 11 soldiers in the past year. [How many Afghan civilians have been ‘lost’? ]

Afghanistan is lost, says Lord Ashdown
25.10.07. Telegraph. The former United Nations High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina delivered his dire prediction after being proposed as a new "super envoy" role in Afghanistan. Lord Ashdown said: "We have lost, I think, and success is now unlikely. I believe losing in Afghanistan is worse than losing in Iraq. It will mean that Pakistan will fall and it will have serious implications internally for the security of our own countries and will instigate a wider Shiite [Shia], Sunni regional war on a grand scale.”

War with Taliban 'could last for years' warns defence chief
25.10.07. This is London. British troops could remain in Afghanistan for "decades", the head of the Armed Forces )Sir Jock Stirrup) warned yesterday. Britain has lost 82 soldiers in Afghanistan and 7,700 remain in action there.

Emails 'reveal Nimrod warnings'
27.10.07. R. Norton-Taylor, Guardian. Fresh evidence emerged yesterday that the RAF was repeatedly warned about potentially serious problems with ageing Nimrod aircraft of the kind that crashed in Afghanistan, causing the single biggest loss of life suffered by Britain's armed forces since the Falklands war.

‘Imperialism behind UK action in Iraq, Afghanistan’
27.10.07. British involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is a hangover from its imperial past, a distinguished military historian has said, accusing politicians of exaggerating the country’s importance in the world. Award-winning Cambridge University academic Correlli Barnett said Britain has delusions of grandeur about its role as a world power, which has led to the “ludicrous” over-commitment of its armed forces. He also said Prime Minister Gordon Brown, his predecessor Tony Blair, and the leader of the main opposition Conservative Party, David Cameron, were deluded that Britain’s influence was comparable to that of the United States.

MoD fears £1bn shortfall for equipment
29.10.07. M. Evans, timesonline. Defence chiefs are facing painful cuts in their equipment programmes to ensure that they keep within new spending limits ordered by the Treasury, officials said yesterday. Bernard Jenkin, Conservative MP for North Essex and a member of the Commons Defence Committee, said that if the £1 billion shortfall was accurate there would be cuts across the three Armed Forces, with more frigates and destroyers mothballed and the last tranche of Eurofighters cancelled. “It’s obvious that if you have a rise of 1.5 per cent in the defence budget when equipment and manpower costs are increasing by an annual 8 per cent above inflation, it’s not surprising the situation is desperate,” Mr Jenkin said. Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, has also given a warning that the MoD is facing painful spending decisions, but he told The Times in a recent interview that there were no plans to “halve” the size of the Royal Navy, as had been suggested in one report. “Nor will we be cutting the Army by 6,000 soldiers as I saw being claimed the other day,” he said.


©STEVE BELL: 13.11.07: Gordon Brown's Mansion House speech

10. Human Rights (Rendition, Guantanamo, Torture)


War Crimes

Rule of law and Iraq war
11.09.07. gulfnews. The Bush administration and the Blair government claimed that their invasion of Iraq should be justified by their commitment to bringing democracy and rule of law to Iraq. A growing body of evidence suggests that the self-styled promoters of rule of law showed consistent disregard for the rule of international law, and colluded to deceive their peoples and the world.

Bush & Blair Holocaust Commission
31.10.07. Gideon Polya, MWC news / uruknet. HOLOCAUST DENIAL is repugnant because it denies the horrendous suffering of those who died; adds to the continuing suffering of their surviving families and descendants; and threatens repetition of like atrocities. The post-1950 Muslim Holocaust involving 0.6 billion post-1950 excess deaths (avoidable deaths, deaths that did not have to happen) in the Muslim World (as estimated from UN Population Division data ) is of course IGNORED by the First World-dominated world, as is the post-1950 Third World Holocaust involving 1.1 billion avoidable deaths. These horrendous excess death statistics for Spaceship Earth make a compelling case for sanctions against holocaust denial in general. Bush & Blair Holocaust Commission; Article 55; Article 56; Bush & Blair Holocaust Denial; Bush & Blair invite arraignment for Holocaust Commission and Holocaust Denial: Bush and Blair – and their confrères such as Rumsfeld, Cheney, Dr Rice (Dr Death, the Wicked Witch of the West) and White Australia’s John Howard - invite arraignment for Holocaust Commission AND Holocaust Denial.

Gonzales leaves Justice Department as AG resignation takes effect
15.09.07. [JURIST] Alberto Gonzales [JURIST news archive] bade farewell to public service Friday, officially leaving the US Justice Department [official website] after a stormy 2 1/2 years as Attorney General. Gonzales resigned [JURIST report] late last month in the midst of controversy surrounding the firings of several US Attorneys and subsequent allegations that he may have perjured himself in testimony...

The murder of Nawab Buntangyar

Army will examine Special Forces killing
17.09.07. Paul von Zielbauer, IHT. “Captain Dave Staffel, the special officer in charge, gave the order to shoot. Anderson fired a single bullet into the man’s head.”

Green Berets Face Hearing on Killing of Suspect in Afghan Village
17.09.07. P. von Zielbauer, NY Times.

Navy lawyer balks at testifying at hearing
19.09.07. H. Cuningham, A Navy lawyer on Tuesday refused to testify about his role in bringing charges of premeditated murder against two Fort Bragg Special Forces soldiers for their actions in Afghanistan. .. in a telephone interview, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Douglas R. Velvel balked at answering questions during the Article 32 hearing at Fort Bragg… Earlier, lawyers interviewed Sgt. 1st Class Scott R. Haarer, a paralegal who signed the charge sheet. Haarer said he had knowledge of the incident only from reading a report and Velvel, his boss, asked him to sign it June 12 as a part of his job. Haarer said that at the time, he had not seen another report that indicated the shooting was justified. Col. Duke Christie, the investigating officer, promised to go to Velvel’s military superiors to compel him to testify.

THE MURDER OF Nawab Buntangyar
20.09.07. Robert Parry, Consortium. This is a SUPERB article entitled George W. Bush’s Thug Nation. There are good discussion threads. ‘Overseas, it now appears that Bush has authorized "rules of engagement" that have transformed U.S. Special Forces into "death squads," much like those that roamed Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s identifying "subversives" and murdering them.

According to evidence emerging from a military court hearing at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, U.S. Special Forces are empowered to kill individuals who have been designated "enemy combatants," even if they are unarmed and present no visible threat. The hearing involves two Special Forces soldiers who took part in the cold-blooded execution of an Afghani who was suspected of leading an insurgent group. Though the Afghani, identified as Nawab Buntangyar, responded to questions and offered no resistance when encountered on Oct. 13, 2006, he was shot dead by Master Sgt. Troy Anderson on orders from his superior officer, Capt. Dave Staffel.

The soldiers viewed the killing as "a textbook example of a classified mission completed in accordance with the American rules of engagement," the International Herald Tribune reported. "The men said such rules allowed them to kill Buntangyar, whom the American military had designated a terrorist cell leader, once they positively identified him.

a two-star general in Afghanistan instigated a murder charge against the two men. That case, however, has floundered over accusations that the charge was improperly filed. [IHT, Sept. 17, 2007]

However, the greater significance of the case is its confirmation that the U.S. chain of command, presumably up to President Bush, has approved standing orders that allow the U.S. military to assassinate suspected militants on sight.

Green Beret Hearing Focuses on How Charges Came About
19.09.07. PAUL von ZIELBAUER, NY Times. An enlisted man who accused two Special Forces soldiers of illegally killing an Afghan man last year testified in a court Tuesday that he would not have agreed to make the accusation if he had known that a military investigation already concluded the killing was justified.

Sgt. First Class Scott R. Haarer, a paralegal for the lawyer responsible for initiating the murder charges, said that if he had known about the investigation’s findings, “I would have requested that I not sign the document” that officially accused the two soldiers in June of premeditated murder.

The admission was one of a few unusual moments in a hearing that cracks open a window onto some of the most secret Special Operations tactics in Afghanistan, including the hunting and killing of people designated as enemy combatants.

Hearing in Killing of Afghan Puts Army War Effort on Trial
20.09.07. Paul von Zielbauer, HY Times. At the close of a two day hearing on charges that Special Forces soldiers murdered an Afghan man near his home last October, it is increasingly evident that the Army is also examining itself and how it is fighting the war in Afghanistan. … But the focus of the hearing frequently shifted … The case revolves around differing interpretations of the kind of force that the Special Forces team that hunted and killed the man, Nawab Buntangyar

Soldiers are cleared, but left with huge legal bills
05.10.07. Observer. Nawab Buntangyar’s killer cleared.

[It would appear that US / UK soldiers / contractors are invariably cleared of murder. Thus any ‘trial’ is a farce, making a mockery of “law”.]

A way for America to assert its moral strength
18.09.07. Alex Little, CSM. If the US joined the International Criminal Court, it would send a dramatic message to a world skeptical of America's human rights record. To date, more than 100 nations have joined the ICC, which is the world's first permanent international criminal tribunal. It serves as a court of last resort to prosecute genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity when national authorities are unable or unwilling to do so.

Human rights groups accuse MoD of hypocrisy over cluster bombs
18.09.07. R. Norton-Taylor, Guardian.· Weapon reclassified to escape ban, say critics · Unexploded munitions are threat to civilians

Republicans Block Detainee Rights Bill
19.09.07. NY Times / Truthout. Reporting for The New York Times, David Stout writes "A move to give terrorism suspects the right to challenge their detentions in federal court fell short in the Senate today, even though it had majority support."

Nangarhar (cont).

Marines Dispute Accounts of Excessive Force in Afghans’ Deaths
05.09.07. P. Zielbeauer, NY Times. When a suicide bomber struck a convoy carrying special operations marines along a highway in northeastern Afghanistan in March, the blast killed one bystander and wounded one marine and three Afghans in a nearby vehicle, a military police report said.

What came next — a lethal response by the Marine platoon along a seven-mile stretch of road that American military commanders say killed about a dozen civilians — caused outrage among Afghan villagers and criticism from high-ranking Afghan officials about the rising civilian toll in American military operations. …

But as a Marine general is mulling whether to bring charges against a handful of the 30 Americans involved in the episode, lawyers for two of the marines, including a company commander riding in the convoy, are disputing the official military and Afghan descriptions of their actions that morning.

Marines to Look at Afghanistan Shooting
10.10.07. AP. An official court of inquiry will investigate a shooting in Afghanistan involving a Marines special operations company in which civilians were killed, the Marine Corps said Thursday.
The step is a preliminary one and is not a criminal proceeding, and no charges have been filed against the Marines in the March shooting. Conflicting reports have cited between 10 and 19 fatalities and several dozen civilians wounded.

Marine Inquiry Into Afghan Killings to Look at 2 Officers, Lawyer Says
21.10.07. P. von Zielbauer, NY Times. A Marine Corps court of inquiry, scheduled to convene in November in the killings of at least a dozen Afghan civilians last March by a special operations platoon after its convoy was attacked, will focus only on the actions of two officers in charge, a defense lawyer said yesterday. The two officers, Maj. Fred Galvin, the commander of F Company, Second Marine Special Operations Battalion, and Capt. Vincent Noble, the platoon leader and mission commander at the time, will be the only members of the elite unit to be called as official parties to the court of inquiry, said Lt. Col. Scott Jack, a lawyer for Major Galvin.

No marines have been charged with a crime in connection with the episode, in which at least a dozen apparently unarmed Afghan civilians were killed on March 4 by members of Captain Noble’s platoon in the minutes after a suicide bomber drove his vehicle into the convoy. No marines were seriously wounded in that attack. … Both the military investigation and a separate inquiry by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission found no evidence that the marines had been fired on. … Mark Waple, a civilian lawyer for Major Galvin, said his client and Captain Noble had done nothing wrong. “I’m very optimistic that even this court of inquiry will not result in any adverse action against either of these two Marine officers,” Mr. Waple said.

Military tribunal investigating Afghan civilian shootings delayed
30.10.07. IHT. A Marine Corps legal tribunal called to investigate the killing of up to 19 Afghan civilians earlier this year has been delayed until early December, a spokesman said Tuesday. .. As many as 19 people were killed and 50 injured in March when members of the Marine special operations company opened fire in a crowded roadway, after their convoy was rammed by a minivan full of explosives, Army officials said. The shootings occurred in Nangahar province.

Federal Judge Rules Detainees Have Rights
04.10.07. Henry Weinstein, LA ‘Times / Truthout. "A federal judge in Washington ordered the US not to transfer a detainee held in US custody in Afghanistan without giving 30 days' notice to his attorney." Detainee WINS CASE.



"Extradition To and From the United States: Overview of the Law and Recent Treaties,"
updated 03.08.07 - pdf


CIA director defends US secret detention program
07.09.07. THE JURIST.

Khaled el-Masri

Did CIA Kidnap Vacationer? It's a State Secret
19.08.07. W. Richey, CSM / Truthout. At issue is whether the White House has the power to keep an alleged victim from seeking redress in US courts. In December 2003, German citizen Khaled el-Masri boarded a bus in Germany for a holiday in Skopje, Macedonia. Instead of a restful vacation, the Muslim man of Lebanese heritage says he ended up in a Central Intelligence Agency isolation cell in Afghanistan as a suspected terrorist. He was released after five months of interrogation with no explanation justifying the action or apology if it was a mistake.

US rejects Germany bid for extradition of CIA agents in el-Masri rendition
22.09.07. Jurist. German Justice Ministry official said Saturday that US officials have confirmed that there are no plans to extradite 13 CIA agents wanted in Germany on suspicion of playing a role in the alleged 2003 kidnapping and extraordinary rendition of German national Khalid el-Masri [JURIST news archive]. German prosecutors said in June they would seek extradition [JURIST report] of the agents.

'Rendition' victim is denied justice in US
11.10.07. atimes. The US Supreme Court has declined to take up the case of a German citizen who was allegedly abducted, detained and tortured by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as part of the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program.

By declining to hear the appeal, the court effectively let stand a decision by a federal court judge in 2006 to dismiss a civil lawsuit brought against former CIA director George Tenet, among others, by Khaled el-Masri, on the grounds that a trial risked exposing "state secrets".

"This is a sad day not only for Khaled el-Masri but for all Americans who care about the rule of law and our nation's reputation in the world," said Ben Wizner, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which brought the case on el-Masri's behalf.

"When the government hides behind the state secrets doctrine to evade accountability for abuses, and the courts accept that justification despite clear evidence of wrongdoing, it undermines the whole idea of enforcement of human rights," agreed Elisa Massimino, the Washington director of Human Rights First.

Robert Fisk: Warning... this film could make you angry
03.11.07. Independent.



Leaked: Guantanmo Bay Operations Manual


U.S. report says 'mass disturbances' up sharply among Guantanamo detainees
31.08.07. canadianpress.-legitgov. "Mass disturbances" are up sharply at the Guantanamo Bay prison this year despite a security overhaul and the release of dozens of prisoners, according to a new U.S. military report. A one-page report titled "Danger Inside the Wire" said there were 385 mass disturbances in the first six months of 2007 compared to 201 for all of 2006, an increase of more than 90 per cent with half the year still to go.

16 at Guantánamo Are Transferred to Saudi Custody
06.09.07. NY Times. he group is the latest of several large transfers to Saudi Arabia since May 2006 that have reduced the population of Saudi detainees, formerly among the largest contingents at Guantánamo Bay, to fewer than 40, according to figures maintained by The Associated Press. .. The detention of Saudis at the United States naval base in southeast Cuba has been a source of tension with Riyadh, a close American ally. Three Saudis have committed suicide inside the prison camp since it opened in 2002, according to the military. .. Of the 759 people who have been held at the camp, 136 have been Saudis, the second-largest group behind Afghans, according to Defense Department documents released to The A.P. About 340 detainees remain at the camp, suspected of links to terrorism, Al Qaeda or the Taliban. Most have been held for years without being charged.

Doctors accuse US of 'unethical practices' at Guantanamo Bay
07.09.07. Independent. More than 260 doctors from around the world have launched an unprecedented attack on the American medical establishment for its failure to condemn unethical practices by medical practitioners at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba.

Guantanamo tent complex under construction for trials
07.09.07. THE JURIST. The US government has begun setting up a "tent city" at the US detention center in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], Cuba, where the US military plans to hold military tribunals [JURIST news archive] for Guantanamo detainees, officials said Thursday. The military believes tribunals could begin as early as March, and the new facility will allow several detainees to be tried together ...

USA Today: 'Detainees Tell of Abuses' -- But Story Shows Little of it
11.09.07. 1Warner Todd Huston, Newsbusters
Newsbusters is connected with the Media Research Center - the conservative media watchdog group. Mr. Baker is the Vice President of the Media Research Center. According to Source Watch, The Media Research Center is funded by the same rich foundations researched in The Haditha Doctor and Media Dissemblers, ie: the Sarah Scaife Foundation, John M. Olin Foundation, Castle Rock Foundation, The Lynne and Harry Bradley Foundation.

One has to ask WHO is giving instructions to these unpalatable group of people to disseminate falsehoods?

US intelligence officials challenge Guantanamo detainee evidence ruling
11.09.07. [JURIST] The directors of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and National Security Agency (NSA) [official websites] have said that a July 20 appeals court decision [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] mandating the disclosure to federal appeals courts of all evidence on Guantanamo detainees will pose a serious risk to national security.

Al-Jazeera man at Guantanamo Bay 'close to death'
13.09.07. Independent.

Afghan transferred to Guantanamo over alleged Al-Qaeda links
13.09.07. AFP.

The case of the Guantanamo lawyer, the detainees and the illegal pairs of pants
14.09.07. Independent – legitgov. Commanders at the US naval base in Cuba have written to lawyers for two of the inmates accusing their clients of wearing contraband underpants and Speedo swimming trunks which they claim have been illegally smuggled into the high-security compound. In a bizarre development that would be laughable if it did not have such serious implications, the US prison's staff judge advocate has now launched an official inquiry to discover who is behind the smuggling operation. The judge has named the prisoners' lawyers as the two prime suspects... The second detainee accused of wearing the contraband underwear is a juvenile named Mohammed El Gharani, a Chad national, who was just 14 years old when he was seized by the Pakistani authorities and sold to the US military. ...He is now one of 20 juveniles Reprieve has identified as being held in Guantanamo Bay. [ In interviews with his lawyers he claims he has been terribly abused, including having a cigarette stubbed out on his arm by an interrogator. He states that much of the abuse stems from his vocal objection to being called a "nigger" by US military personnel].

Myopic Pentagon Keeps Filling Gitmo
19.09.07. A. Worthington, anti-war. Soon after taking office, Gates declared that he wished to close Guantánamo and conduct trials on the U.S. mainland, explaining that, "because of things that happened earlier at Guantánamo, there is a taint about it," and adding that he felt that "no matter how transparent, no matter how open the trials, if they took place in Guantánamo, in the international community they would lack credibility." Despite support from Condoleezza Rice, however, who had inherited the State Department's profound opposition to Guantánamo from the intel-cuckolded Colin Powell, the malignant swamp of Cheneydom was not to be drained. In no uncertain terms, the vice president and his little puppet boy, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, shut down all discussion of Gates' plan.

US Government Blocks Lawyer Access to Gitmo
22.09.07. Ben Fox, AP/ Truthout. "Attorneys for at least 40 Guantanamo Bay prisoners have been barred from visiting or writing their clients because of a judge's order dismissing legal challenges to the men's confinement, the US Department of Justice said Friday."

DOJ cuts off Guantanamo lawyer access after federal court ruling
22.09.07. The Jurist. A US Department of Justice lawyer has informed lawyers representing some 40 detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST report] that they will no longer be able to visit with or send written communications to their clients. DOJ lawyer Andrew I. Warden sent an e-mail to the detainees' counsel Friday, referencing a court ruling [CCR press release] issued by US District Judge Ricardo Urbina


Pentagon to move ahead on Khadr trial after court approves jurisdiction
25.09.07. [JURIST] The Pentagon Tuesday declared its intention to "expeditiously" move forward with the trial of Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr [JURIST news archive], following a Monday decision [PDF text] from the Court of Military Commissions Review (USCMCR) [DOD materials] granting jurisdiction to military trial judges to hear the case. In June, a military commission judge dropped terrorism charges ... .

Military Commissions Appellate Court Reinstates Unfair Tribunals for Guantánamo Detainees
25.09.07. ACLU press release. A military appeals court last night reinstated charges against Canadian citizen and Guantánamo detainee Omar Khadr. The decision by the newly formed court reversed a June ruling by a military judge which found that the tribunal system created by Congress to prosecute certain prisoners held at Guantánamo lacked authority to try detainees not previously determined to be “unlawful enemy combatants.” Monday’s decision found that the commissions themselves can designate a suspect an “unlawful enemy combatant.”

Lawyers for Canada Guantanamo inmate mull appeal
25.09.07. / legitgov. Lawyers for a young Canadian detainee in Guantanamo Bay on Tuesday said they might appeal the decision of a U.S. military court to reinstate terrorism charges against their client.

Omar Khadr, 21, is accused of killing one U.S. soldier with a grenade and wounding another during a firefight at a suspected al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan in 2002. Khadr, who was 15 at the time, is the only Canadian inside Guantanamo.

Court Advances Military Trials For Gitmo
25.09.07. ACLU.

Pentagon releases eight Guantánamo detainees
01.10.07. miamiherald / legitgov. The Pentagon reported that it has reduced its captive population at Guantánamo to 'approximately 330' after a weekend transfer. The Defense Department on Sunday announced it had released eight more Guantánamo Bay captives -- six Afghans, a Libyan and a Yemeni.

Afghanistan, Pakistan Bounties Harming Civilians
02.10.07. Ann Wright, Truthout. "The Bush administration has cooked up another bounty program that will undoubtedly result in hundreds of innocent persons in Afghanistan and Pakistan being detained and imprisoned, perhaps for years, if history is repeated."

Over 370 people who still remain in the Guantanamo prison were turned in to US forces (not captured by US forces) in Afghanistan and Pakistan for rewards from $5,000 (for alleged Taliban) to $25,000 (for alleged al-Qaeda). The Bush administration says that 300 will never be charged, yet they are still imprisoned after five and one-half years. Only 50 to 70 prisoners will be charged, according to the Bush administration.

Of the approximately 770 persons imprisoned in Guantanamo over the past five and one-half years, over 400 have been released and not charged with any offense by their home country when returned. Only one of the 770 imprisoned in Guantanamo has been charged and convicted.

The stuff of nightmares
04.10.07. Economist. Civil liberties: detention without trial. Judges and parliamentarians are restraining the zeal of governments who want a free hand to fight terror. See also: UK terror detention limit is longest of any democracy (Guardian 12.11.07)

NOTE: In October 2007, I stopped taking urls for stories on Guantanamo that involve Afghanistan. This is because the diabolical policies of the United States of America concerning Guantanamo deserve a separate feature: A catalogue of War Crimes.


Canada finds no evidence of torture in Afghanistan detainee transfers
05.09.07. The Jurist.

Psychological "torture bible" published in 1961 reappears online
05.09.07. boing boing. If you were to begin researching interrogation, interviewing, and brainwashing techniques, you would eventually notice that one particular interesting-sounding volume appears over and over again in the relevant bibliographies: something called The Manipulation of Human Behavior, published in 1961 [by John Wiley & Sons]. The book is a compilation of seven research reports, and funded at least in large part by the United States government. You can even track down the table of contents online, and your jaw may drop when you read the chapter titles


Psychiatry Triumphs

In Unusual Step, Human Rights Groups Oppose CIA Nominee
11.09.07. prnewswire. Human rights groups and advocacy organizations have urged the U.S. Senate to reject the nomination of John Rizzo to serve as General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) because of his stated views on torture. In a letter to the members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the human rights and advocacy groups cited Rizzo's testimony before the committee in June, during which he said that he had not raised any objections to the August 2002 legal memorandum on torture prepared by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. Even in hindsight, he told the Senators, he does not feel that he should have objected to the memorandum.

MI5 and MI6 to be sued for first time over torture
12.09.07. Vikram Dodd, Guardian. ‘A British man who was held in Guantánamo Bay has begun a civil action against MI5 and MI6 over the tactics that they use to gather intelligence. .. He wants a high court ruling that will ban the security services from "benefiting" from the abuse of prisoners being held in detention outside the UK. … According to court documents seen by the Guardian, Mr Dergoul alleges that agents from MI5 and MI6 repeatedly interrogated him while he was held and tortured in Afghanistan and then Guantánamo, and were thus complicit in his treatment. In the 13-page document to be lodged at court, he says he suffered beatings, sexual humiliation, insults to his religion, and was subjected to extremes of cold. He was released back to Britain in 2004 without charge.’ Rabinder Singh, QC, drafted the papers.

CIA Bans Water-Boarding in Terror Interrogations
14.09.07. ABC. The controversial interrogation technique [torture] known as water-boarding, in which a suspect has water poured over his mouth and nose to stimulate a drowning reflex, has been banned by CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden, current and former CIA officials tell [Believe that one?]

Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations
04.10.07. S. Shane / D. Johnston, Washington Post. When the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations. But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency. The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures. … Later that year, as Congress moved toward outlawing “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment, the Justice Department issued another secret opinion, one most lawmakers did not know existed, current and former officials said. The Justice Department document declared that none of the C.I.A. interrogation methods violated that standard.

Dan Froomkin | Torture, Continued
04.10.07. Dan Froomkin, Washington Post / Truthout.: "Finding out what our government has been doing in our name, and openly debating our interrogation policies, should have been high on the national agenda since the disclosure of the shockingly inhumane treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib." However, genuine discourse has been stifled, Froomkin writes: "Bush shuts down discussion by declaring that 'we don't torture' - yet he won't even say how he defines the term."

Congress Seeks Secret Memos On Interrogation
05.10.07. Democratic lawmakers assailed the Justice Department yesterday for issuing secret memos that authorized harsh CIA interrogation techniques [torture], demanding that the Bush regime turn over the documents. But officials refused and said the tactics did not violate anti-torture laws.

ACLU Announces Publication of Administration of Torture, a Groundbreaking A of Prisoner Abuse in U.S. Custody Abroad
23.10.07. ACLU. Book Contends that Senior Government Officials Should be Held Accountable for Systemic Abuse. The American Civil Liberties Union and Columbia University Press today announce the publication of Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond. Written by ACLU attorneys Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, the book presents a detailed account of the treatment of prisoners held in U.S. detention centers in Afghanistan , Iraq , and Guantánamo Bay. Based on thousands of government documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the book supplies substantial evidence that the torture and abuse of prisoners was systemic and resulted from decisions made by senior U.S. officials, both military and civilian. … Administration of Torture also contends that the abuse of prisoners took place because of policy, not in spite of it. Jaffer and Singh write, "the maltreatment of prisoners resulted in large part from decisions made by senior officials, both military and civilian. More information

Rights groups file war crimes suit against Rumsfeld in France
26.10.07. Jurist. European and US-based rights groups filed a lawsuit [press release] against former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] with the Paris prosecutor Friday coincident with Rumsfeld's arrival in Paris to deliver a speech sponsored by Foreign Policy magazine. In their complaint [PDF text; additional materials] the French-based International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH), the US-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights (LDH) [advocacy websites] allege that Rumsfeld authorized harsh interrogation tactics that amount to torture. The rights groups insist that France is obligated to prosecute Rumsfeld since authorities in the US and Iraq have failed to launch an independent investigation into his responsibility for the alleged torture. They have also called on French officials to arrest Rumsfeld while in Paris, saying it had authority to detain him under the Convention Against Torture [text]. See also: No Place To Hide: Audio and Transcript
26.10.07. On Visit to France, Donald Rumsfeld Hit with Lawsuit for Ordering, Authorizing Torture. The complaint was filed with the Paris prosecutor's office as Rumsfeld arrived in France for a visit. This is the fifth time Rumsfeld has been charged with direct involvement in torture since 9/11. We speak with two attorneys with the plaintiffs -- Center for Constitutional Rights president Michael Ratner and Jeanne Sulzer of the International Federation of Human Rights.

VIDEO. Taxi to the Dark Side
Must Watch Award-Winning Documentary. The film documents how Rumsfeld, together with the White House legal team, were able to convince Congress to approve the use of torture against prisoners of war. Taxi to the Dark Side is the definitive exploration of the introduction of torture as an interrogation technique in U.S. facilities, and the role played by key figures of the Bush Administration in the process. The death of Dilawar in Bagram prison.

NOTE: In October 2007, I stopped taking urls for stories on Human Rights that involve Afghanistan. The diabolical policies of the United States of America deserve a separate feature: a Catalogue of War Crimes.

11. Some Deaths: Afghan Civilians, US


The Human Cost - Civilian Casualties in Iraq & Afghanistan
03.09.07. American Civil Liberties Union. Since U.S. troops first set foot in Afghanistan in 2001, the Defense Department has gone to significant lengths to control and suppress information about the human cost of war. It banned photographers on U.S. military bases from covering the arrival of caskets containing the remains of soldiers killed overseas. It paid Iraqi journalists to write positive accounts of the U.S. war effort. It invited U.S. journalists to "embed" with military units but required them to submit their stories to the military for pre-publication review; according to some reports, the policy was meant to co-opt the embedded journalists and make independent and objective reporting more difficult. It has erased journalists' footage of civilian deaths in Afghanistan . And it has refused to disclose statistics on civilian casualties. "We don't do body counts," General Tommy Franks has said.

Documents received from the Department of the Army in response to ACLU Freedom of Information Act Request

Articles relating to ACLU report

Pattern Cited in Killings of Civilians by U.S.
04.09.07. AP – NY Times.

Lawsuit demands US reveal civilian deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan
04.09.07. AFP – Raw Story.


Afghan Civilian Deaths

Poll: Civilian death toll in Iraq may top 1 million
14.09.07. LA Times. A British survey offers the highest estimate to date

Afghan civilians again killed in airstrike
20.09.07. earthtimes. Kabul - A number of civilians were killed in an International Security Assistance Force airstrike in southern Afghanistan, the NATO-led force reported in a statement Thursday. According to the statement, the civilians were killed on Wednesday in operations to clear militants from the Islamist extremist Taliban out of an area in Helmand province.

Six Afghan civilians killed in air strike: governor
22.09.07. AFP / ICH. NATO warplanes killed six Afghan civilians, most of them women and children, in an air strike during a battle with Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan, a district governor told AFP.

Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan: No Coincidence
23.09.07. Ira Chernus, NATO bombs killed at least 45 civilians in Afghanistan the other day. If you get your news from the front pages of the U.S. mainstream media, you wouldn't know it. The New York Times did run news from Afghanistan on its front page the next day — a rather ghoulish piece about Muslims refusing to give Taliban suicide bombers a religious burial, because suicide bombing is morally reprehensible. And so it is. But what about pushing a button in an airplane to drop bombs that fall on people's homes? Not so reprehensible, apparently. The Times buried its report on the slaughter in Helmand province back on an inside page, as did the Washington Post. The LA Times relegated to a "World in Brief" notice. If you take the time to read those back-page articles, they all tell you that NATO faces a dilemma: not a moral dilemma — when Westerners kill Afghans, the moral issue does not seem to arise — but a strategic dilemma.

NATO, Taliban clash kills three Afghan civilians
30.09.07. Reuters. Three Afghan civilians were killed during a clash of NATO-led forces with Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan's southeastern province of Paktia, the alliance said on Sunday.

Most Recent Incident Where U.S. Military Killed Civilians in Ongoing Afghan Conflict
03.10.07. The Afghan Victim Memorial/uruknet. in Bati Kot in the Ghanikhel district of Province near Jalalabad. U.S. Special Operations and Afghan forces raided three homes, justifying the assault by saying that a bomb making facility existed there. In the assault, six civilians were killed – a teenage girl, 2 men and 3 women - and others injured others (including two children). Neighbors said five people had died, including two women wit! h only a young girl surviving from a family. A woman named Mariam told Pajhwok Afghan News (the Associated Press and other mainstream press were apparently not interested), "at 2.00 A.M. American soldiers knocked down the main gate of our house and lobbed a hand grenade inside before storming in and firing at us." Slapping her face, a weeping Mariam said: "The Americans gunned down my father-in-law, my husband's brother and his sister." The photo above shows a 9-year-old girl who told journalists that her father, mother and sisters were killed by the U.S. troops (RAWA photo)....

Civilians die in Afghanistan raid
05.10.07. BBC. A woman and child were among the civilians killed in a raid by a US-led coalition force against a Taleban hideout in Afghanistan, officials say.

Nato occupation troops kill four civilians in Afghanistan
09.10.07. Nato soldiers shot dead three Afghan civilians when they did not heed warnings to stop near checkpoints or military vehicles, while police shot dead a woman in similar circumstances, officials said on Sunday.

Civilians 'killed in Nato raid'
15.10.07. BBC. Three civilians were killed and seven injured when Nato planes attacked insurgents outside Kabul on Sunday, a senior Afghan police officer says.

Villagers hurt in joint U.S.-Afghan operation
22.10.07. stars and stripes. A joint U.S.-Afghan military operation dubbed Operation Rock Avalanche launched in northeastern Afghanistan has resulted in 11 villagers being injured, including women and children, U.S. military officials and witnesses said on Sunday.

Civilians injured as bomber hits NATO convoy in Helmand
23.10.07. Three civilians were injured in a suicide attack on NATO convoy in Grishk district of the southern Helmand province on Monday.

Nato strike 'kills Afghan family'
23.10.07. al jazeera. At least 11 members of one Afghan family have been killed in a Nato-led air raid in Wardak province near the capital Kabul, according to local officials. The International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan said on Tuesday that it was probing the claims, while the Afghan defence ministry said it was "12 enemies" that had been killed. … "The only survivor from the family is a man who is hospitalised and can't speak." Janan also said that eleven of the family's neighbours were wounded in the air raid in the town of Jalrez, 30km west of the capital.

UN Challenges US on Illegal Air Strikes in Iraq
23.10.07. Nicolas Davis, online journal.

Karzai demands fewer airstrikes in Afghanistan-media
25.10.07. reuters. Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants the U.S. military to limit airstrikes against insurgents because they are killing too many civilians, the Afghan leader says in a U.S. television interview. Civilian casualties in Afghanistan fuel resentment of foreign forces and Karzai's Western-backed government. He has repeatedly asked U.S. and NATO troops to do everything they can to minimize civilian deaths.

Airstrikes in Afghanistan: US Knowingly Kills Civilians
29.10.07. Scarecrow / Alternet. Scarecrow: There's a "macabre kind of calculus" about whether the "target" was "worth" the likely number of civilian deaths.

NATO Denies Killing Afghan Civilians in Air Strike
29.10.07. The International Security Assistance Force carried out a ``thorough investigation'' into the Oct. 22 air raid in eastern Wardak province and found the allegation to be ``completely without merit,'' the alliance said in a statement on its Web site.

2 children die in US raid in Afghanistan
01.11.07. AP.

Afghan soldiers / police

Car bomb rocks Afghan Nato airport
31.08.07. Aljazeera. One Afghan soldier was killed and several wounded after a suicide car bomb exploded outside a Nato military airport in Kabul, officials said.

500 Afghan Police Officers Killed In Five Months
02.09.07. The Afghan government said today that around 500 Afghan police officers have been killed in the past five months, in a wave of violence linked to Taliban attacks and a backlash against counternarcotics efforts.

Suicide attacks kill 3 Afghan police
04.09.07. VOA. Afghan officials say three police officers have been killed in two different suicide bombings Tuesday.

Taleban attack leaves 24 dead in Afghanistan
20.09.07. AFP / Khaleej times. at least 20 militants and 4 police dead.

[stopped keeping records of this section]

‘Insurgents’’ & ‘Taliban’

Forty insurgents killed in Afghanistan by Afghan army
01.09.07. Times of India. Afghan police and foreign forces killed around 40 [suspected] Taliban fighters

100 Taliban killed in Afghan battles
03.09.07. Afghans Say 120 Taliban Killed in Battle, US Says Only 25

Pakistani military kills six pro-Taliban militants
06.09.07. monstersandcritics/ Pakistani helicopters Thursday destroyed a suspected vehicle in the restive tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, killing six militants including some foreign fighters with al-Qaeda links, officials said.

50 Taliban rebels killed in Afghanistan
08.09.07. At least 50 Taliban rebels have been killed in two days of operations by Afghan and US-led troops across insurgency-hit southern Afghanistan

30 suspected rebels killed in Afghan airstrikes
09.09.07. International military war planes bombed apparent rebel hideouts in southern Afghanistan, killing more than 30 suspected militants, the US-led coalition said on Sunday.

Pakistani forces kill 10 pro-Taliban militants
09.09.07. Reuters. Pakistani security forces killed 10 pro-Taliban militants on Sunday after they tried to attack a military convoy near the Afghan border, an army spokesman said.

Afghanistan clashes leave 75 dead
14.09.07. – ICH. Fighting around Afghanistan killed about 75 persons just as the holy month of Ramadan began, including 45 suspectedTaliban militants who died in airstrikes and Afghan army gunfire, officials said on Thursday.

US-led Coalition: 'Several' Rebels Killed During Fighting in Southern Afghanistan
16.09.07. VOA. U.S.-led coalition forces clashed Sunday with Taleban militants in the country's southern Helmand province. Military officials say at least 10 insurgents were killed when coalition air strikes hit militant positions during an early morning operation in the Garmser district.

Official: US Airstrike Kills Taliban Kidnapper
18.09.07. NBC.

170 rebels, foreign soldier killed in Afghan clashes
26.09.07. AFP. NATO and US-led occupation troops backed up by warplanes said Wednesday they had killed nearly 170 Taliban in two major battles in southern Afghanistan, while a US-led coalition soldier also died.

170 Taleban killed in Afghanistan
27.09.07. AFP – tehrantimes. NATO and U.S.-led troops backed up by warplanes said Wednesday they had killed nearly 170 Taleban in two major battles in southern Afghanistan, while a U.S.-led coalition soldier also died.

[stopped keeping records of this section]

US deaths


United States Military Casualty Statistics: Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom,"
updated 17.08.07- pdf

Defense Dept.: 364 Afghan-Area Deaths
30.08.07. AP – Forbes – As of Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007, at least 364 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department. The department last updated its figures Aug. 28, 2007


U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan, Region
27.09.07. AP / Guardian. As of Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007, at least 375 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department. The department last updated its figures Sept. 22, 2007.

U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan, Region
31.10.07. AP. As of Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007, at least 387 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department. The department last updated its figures Oct. 27, 2007, at 10 a.m. EDT. Of those, the military reports 259 were killed by hostile action.

At Least 430 Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans Have Committed Suicide
31.10.07. Aaron Glanz, War Comes Home. The Associated Press has got hold of a preliminary government study on suicides by Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. According to the VA, at least 283 combat veterans who left the military between the start of the war in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 and the end of 2005 took their own lives. In addition, 147 troops have killed themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan since the wars began bringing the government count to 430. The VA’s count is not a complete one, however.

12. Future Deaths (DU, Nuclear, Biological, Chemical)

U.S. nuke work afflicted 36,500 Americans
31.09.07. Radiation sickened 36,500 and killed at least 4,000 of those who built bombs, mined uranium, breathed test fallout

A soldier climbs out of the driver position in the M-1A1 Abrams main Battle Tank at Pennsylvania National Guard Training Site at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., Friday, Nov. 12, 1999. The tank has been upgraded with depleted uranium armor plate.

Depleted Uranium, Increased Risk
05.09.07. Perry O’Brien, Cornell University - uruknet. Weapons the Department of Defense claims are harmless have serious and lasting effects. It is significant, however, that Gulf War veterans have been found to be more likely to develop cancers of the bone, skin, and liver than other veterans. Even more alarming, Iraqi doctors have reported up to a five-fold increase in cancer rates among populations living near sites contaminated by depleted uranium. DU also has an environmental impact, since its half-life is about 4.5 billion years. UN teams found traces of DU in Bosnia seven years after the war there, and Iraq has hundreds of radioactive sites left over from the first Gulf War. This persistent contamination puts DU in violation of the Geneva Conventions prohibition on weapons that "cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment." Given the evidence linking DU exposure with numerous health problems, it is shameful that the United States continues to field such weapons without further research on their human impact....

09.10.07. AGI. 255 Italian soldiers who worked abroad - in the Balkans, in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon from 1996 to 2006 - have cancer. Of these, 37 are dead. 161 soldiers belong to the regular army, 47 to the navy, 26 to the air forces and 21 to the carabinieri. It was reported by the defence minister Arturo Parisi to the Senate commission on depleted uranium.

Chemical Weapons


US Military Equipment in Afghanistan
09.09.07. WIKILEAKS. According the US Military's own classification system (1040 - "Chemical Weapons and Equipment"), the US is using at least two types of chemical weapons in Afghanistan. On the list are 72 M7 Grenade Dischargers (NSN: 1040014541625) and 8 FN303's (NSN/MCN: 104001D170316). The former appears to be a gas grenade launcher and the latter is the FN303, which can fire pepper-spray impregnated projectiles.



Index on Afghanistan (May to August 2006)

Index on Afghanistan : September 2006

Index on Afghanistan : October 2006

Index on Afghanistan : November 2006

Index on Afghanistan : December 2006

Index on Afghanistan : January 2007

Index on Afghanistan : February 2007

Index on Afghanistan : March 2007

Index on Afghanistan: April 2007: Murder in Nangarhar

Dead in Afghanistan: May 2007

Index on Afghanistan: May 2007 Part I

Index on Afghanistan: May 2007: Part II - NATO; Human Rights

Schisms: Index on Afghanistan, August 2007

Afghanistan: Cleared of Wrongdoing

NATO: The Bathtub of Unreadiness

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO): Index Timeline: "NATO OF THE EAST". 16.10.07: (updated continuously)

US-NATO 'Missile Shield' Programme: Index Timeline 06.08.07: (updated continuously)

Security Companies in Afghanistan , 7 November 2007


Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in the UK. She is also on the BRussels Tribunal Advisory Committee.

The url to Index on Afghanistan: Autumn 2007 is

The shorter url is


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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