Six American soldiers were killed and more than a dozen American and Afghan troops were wounded on Sunday morning when a van packed with explosives was detonated at a new jointly operated outpost in southern Afghanistan. ...
American fatalities in Afghanistan have risen steadily for five years, with 479 American soldiers killed so far in 2010, according to icasualties.org, an independent Web site that compiles battlefield data. That is more than three times the 155 American casualties in 2008. ...
The attack occurred in an area where the Americans and Afghans have maintained a heavy military presence this fall, when NATO and Afghan forces flowed into Taliban-controlled territory of Kandahar Province in an effort to clear it of insurgents and bring the area under the control of the government in Kabul. (emphasis added)
Two upcoming National Intelligence Estimates on Afghanistan and Pakistan will say that the fight is not winnable without Pakistani engagement against Taliban militants on its side of the border. Incredibly, military commanders challenged the conclusions, saying that they don’t take into account alleged progress made this fall. ...
Of course, the claims of “progress” are vague, while the NIE, according to this report, is very specific. It says that progress can only be seen in “inkspots” with enough US presence to maintain it, like in Kabul, or parts of Helmand and Kandahar. In the rest of the country, the Taliban either have control, or the probablility of Taliban attack exists. ...
So there it is – no real partner in the corrupt central government, lagging development and security training, no buy-in from Pakistan to root out safe havens, fading support from the public, and a country still under Taliban control, for the most part.
Other than that, great war we’re running.
Holbrooke, a senior adviser to Al Gore, was acutely aware that either he or Wolfowitz would be playing important roles in the next administration. Looking perhaps to assure the world of the continuity of US foreign policy, he told his audience that Wolfowitz's "recent activities illustrate something that's very important about American foreign policy in an election year, and that is the degree to which there are still common themes between the parties." The example he chose to illustrate his point was East Timor, which was invaded and occupied in 1975 by Indonesia with US weapons – a security policy backed and partly shaped by Holbrooke and Wolfowitz. "Paul and I," he said, "have been in frequent touch to make sure that we keep [East Timor] out of the presidential campaign, where it would do no good to American or Indonesian interests."
The situation in East Timor is one of the number of very important concerns of the United States in Indonesia. Indonesia, with a population of 150 million people, is the fifth largest nation in the world, is a moderate member of the Non-Aligned Movement, is an important oil producer – which plays a moderate role within OPEC – and occupies a strategic position astride the sea lanes between the Pacific and Indian Oceans ... We highly value our cooperative relationship with Indonesia.
« Older There are generally two approaches to thinking abo... | “A member of the armed forced ... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt