662 posts tagged with afghanistan.
Displaying 101 through 150 of 662. Subscribe:

Grab the goat, bring it around the pole and put it in the circle.

In northern Afghanistan, here are goats, horses, men and dusty plains, and they have been there ever since Genghis Khan and his Mongol horde swept into the neighborhood in the 13th century. Their game, then, is simple. Men on horseback grab a goat from a chalk circle, carry it around a pole and drop it into another circle. No downs or innings. Sometimes there are teams, and sometimes there aren't. Sometimes the field is 200 meters by 200 meters, and sometimes it isn't. And the goat might be a calf, but it's always dead, with its head and hooves cut off. Grab the goat, bring it around the pole and put it in the circle. That's buzkashi.
posted by nevercalm on Sep 24, 2011 - 29 comments

That’s when I lost my country

Three days late, The War Nerd looks back on 9/11 and mourns.
posted by clarknova on Sep 14, 2011 - 79 comments

photos from war torn Afghanistan

Burke + Norfolk. Photographs from the War in Afghanistan, by John Burke and Simon Norfolk (previously).
posted by wilful on Sep 13, 2011 - 13 comments

The Lion of Panjshir

Two hours north of Kabul is the Panjshir Valley. Remote, rugged, and filled with beautiful scenery, it is also the birthplace of Ahmad Shah Massoud who was assassinated ten years ago today, though his legend lives on. [more inside]
posted by ob1quixote on Sep 8, 2011 - 19 comments

Attack on British Council in Kabul

"Today is our independence day from Britain. They recognised our independence 92 years ago; today's attack was marking that day" - 12 dead confirmed thus far as a result of suicide attack on British Council building in Kabul.
posted by numberstation on Aug 19, 2011 - 88 comments

Love's labours... won?!

Freedom to love, tested in Afghanistan. When Rafi Mohammed, a 17-year-old Tajik Afghani, met and fell in love with his girlfriend Halima, he did not think about the rage that would erupt in her ethically conservative Hazara neighborhood, or of the lengths to which the local police and religious leaders would go to protect the couple from an angry mob in a region of Afghanistan which has seen fewer attacks recently and has been restored to local control. Despite -- or perhaps because of -- the violence that ensued, many of the locals have found themselves opposed to the fundamentalists, unwilling to see another pair of young lovers executed, as happened under Taliban rule. (video, NSFW) ""I feel so bad. I just pray that God gives this girl back to me. I'm ready to lose my life. I just want her safe release. . . It’s the heart. When you love somebody, you don’t ask who she is or what she is. You just go for it.”
posted by markkraft on Jul 31, 2011 - 35 comments

Afghanistan through an iPhone

The War in Hipstamatic: A rare and beautiful look at Afghanistan, through an iPhone.
posted by homunculus on Jul 31, 2011 - 98 comments

"The Third Way of COIN: Defeating the Taliban in Sangin"

100 Firefights, Three Weeks: Inside Afghanistan's Most Insane Fight
"In its first three weeks in Afghanistan’s Sangin district, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines got into more than 100 firefights and sustained 62 casualties. The insurgents managed to negate the Marines’ night-vision gear, and rendered their traditional close-combat tactics useless. Things got so bad, the 3/5’s superior officers even suggested pulling their troops back. That didn’t happen. Instead, the 3/5 went after the militants, hard. When the 3/5 came home, they told counterinsurgency historian Mark Moyar all about their deeply unconventional approach to what was already an unconventional war."
This is an excerpt in Wired of Moyar’s 74-page after action report. (pdf) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 12, 2011 - 23 comments

The shot that nearly killed me.

In pictures: the life of a war photographer (There are some graphic images in here; not for the squeamish, though for most would be SFW for most workplaces).
posted by smoke on Jul 6, 2011 - 11 comments

DIY Internet

"The technology used to create FabFi networks seems like it leaped out of an episode of MacGyver. Commercial wireless routers are mounted on homemade RF reflectors covered with a metallic mesh surface. Another router-on-a-reflector is set up at a distance; the two routers then create an ad-hoc network that provides Internet access to a whole network of reflectors. The number of reflectors which can be integrated into the network is theoretically endless; FabFi's network covers most of Jalalabad."
FabFi is an open-source initiative to bring low-cost, mesh-based networking to remote areas. Using little more than cheap, widely available routers and window screens, they piloted their idea in Kenya and launched JoinAfrica as a free, distributed ISP. In Afghanistan, they've brought the internet to Jalalabad, where One Laptop Per Child is also focusing their efforts.
posted by mkultra on Jun 24, 2011 - 14 comments

The Invisible Army

The U.S.'s military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq are mostly staffed by Third Country Nationals (TCN), who are often victims of human trafficking. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jun 22, 2011 - 37 comments

"Crazy Shots"

Ray Bribiesca: "Crazy Shots" (via "60 Minutes" video extra) Interview of "60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan highlighting Ray Bribiesca, the Vietnam War veteran responsible for some amazing combat footage. [more inside]
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere on Jun 5, 2011 - 9 comments

There is Much More to Say

It might be instructive to ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic (after proper burial rites, of course). Uncontroversially, he is not a “suspect” but the “decider” who gave the orders to invade Iraq -- that is, to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: in Iraq, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country and the national heritage, and the murderous sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region. Equally uncontroversially, these crimes vastly exceed anything attributed to bin Laden.
There is Much More to Say by Noam Chomsky.
posted by klue on May 24, 2011 - 463 comments

Iran and the West

While not being an outright example of a clash of civilizations in the Huntingtonian sense, elements of cultural misunderstanding and fears about the system-challenging tendencies of Iran do affect Western perceptions and influence Western behavior toward Iran. Furthermore, these kinds of reciprocal identity-based fears and projections of the other side’s presumed malevolent intentions tend to be mutually reinforcing. The risk is that they eventually become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Iran and the West - Regional Interests and Global Controversies [PDF]. [more inside]
posted by klue on May 23, 2011 - 4 comments

Details given for friendly audience about tactics, mistakes, funding and even entrepreneurial opportuneship.

Interesting details about the tunnel dug for the recent escape of 500 Taliban.
posted by maiamaia on May 16, 2011 - 11 comments

"An institution full of intelligence but devoid of wisdom"

Whose side is Pakistan's ISI really on?
posted by Artw on May 12, 2011 - 44 comments

So how do we stand now?

Following recent events; Frontline has rushed out a special report (53 mins). which takes the viewer inside two fronts of the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. They also find new evidence of covert support for elements of the Taliban by the Pakistani military and its intelligence service, the ISI [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on May 5, 2011 - 55 comments

Custom Robot Toys in Afghanistan

PFC Rupert Valero is a U.S. soldier stationed in Afghanistan who makes amazing custom toy robots out of recycled materials.
posted by MegoSteve on Apr 22, 2011 - 11 comments

War is Boring

David Axe is on his way back from reporting for 6 weeks in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by garlic on Apr 19, 2011 - 7 comments

"I don't know if I should be photographing that or not"

On filming desperately graphic war footage. Aussie photojournalist was 5 metres away when a 12 year old suicide bomber detonated a bomb.
posted by malibustacey9999 on Apr 10, 2011 - 89 comments

"They asked us who we were, and we told them we were civilians from Kijran district."

A Tragedy of Errors. On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA-obtained transcripts of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
posted by zarq on Apr 10, 2011 - 59 comments

Afghanis riot over Terry Jones' Koran-burning kill 20

A 2nd day of riots in Afghanistan over Rev. Terry Jones's trial and execution-by-burning of a Quran leaves a total death total of 20, with at least 80 injuries, including 7 UN aid workers. Thousands participated in the riots across the country. "I don't think we should be blaming any Afghan. We should be blaming the person who produced the news — the one who burned the Quran," stated the top U.N. envoy in Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura. Others defend Jones's right to free speech. (previously)
posted by shivohum on Apr 2, 2011 - 227 comments

Pakistan's Secret Dirty Little War

Pakistan's Secret Dirty Little War
posted by lalochezia on Mar 29, 2011 - 34 comments

The Great American Counterterrorism Memo

Employed as a Counterterrorism Analyst, But Think Your Bosses Are Misunderstanding the Problem? Quit your DoD post and write a book! Offer it for free, on the Web. Oh, and do it anonymously. Reddit AMA here.
posted by darth_tedious on Mar 22, 2011 - 29 comments

More Truths to Handle

German news magazine Der Spiegel has published trophy photos taken by a U.S. Army "kill team" in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by clarknova on Mar 22, 2011 - 193 comments

“I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up … I finally wanted to speak the truth.”

Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas, spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously) Her replies: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," and that the Jews "can go home" to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else," sparked media outrage, prompted her to issue an apology and retire. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by zarq on Mar 22, 2011 - 224 comments

Deal of the Century

How two American kids became big-time weapons traders - "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via; previously on arms contractors)
posted by kliuless on Mar 21, 2011 - 69 comments

NYTimes has a paywall; this is free.

[Basetrack] is an experimental media project, tracking the deployment of 1/8 – 1st Battalion, Eighth Marines, throughout the duration of their deployment to southern Afghanistan. A small team of mobile media operators is embedded with the battalion, transmitting their reports and reflections from Helmand province as they travel across the battalion’s area of operations.
posted by nushustu on Mar 18, 2011 - 1 comment

It's A Racket

The U.S. governmental Commission on Wartime Contracting held hearings today regarding the corruption, mismanagement, massive financial waste and lack of oversight among private defense contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream on Feb 28, 2011 - 47 comments

The Exact Opposite of Countercultural

The Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Effexor, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Restoril, Xanax, Adderall, Ritalin, Haldol, Risperdal, Seroquel, Ambien, Lunesta, Elavil, Trazodone War New York Magazine's Jennifer Senior writes on prescription drug (ab)use among soldiers and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Feb 15, 2011 - 50 comments

The Hidden Victims

Rafaela Persson photographed female drug addicts and their children in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jan 18, 2011 - 9 comments

Gorgon Stare

With Air Force's Gorgon Drone 'we can see everything.' "In ancient times, Gorgon was a mythical Greek creature whose unblinking eyes turned to stone those who beheld them. In modern times, Gorgon may be one of the military's most valuable new tools. This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town."
posted by homunculus on Jan 5, 2011 - 85 comments

Women in War: Female Engagement Teams in Afghanistan

Since the spring of 2010, all-volunteer units called Female Engagement Teams have been doing what male soldiers can't: speak with women and children in rural Afghani communities, both to gain information and to foster trust. These soldiers may carry M4 rifles, but their toolkit includes sidewalk chalk and jump ropes, too. The FETs, trained for this specific mission grew out of more ad hoc programs like the Lioness program for traffic checkpoints in Iraq. "The FET mission to me is so critical that if I had to exchange blood for it, I would," said Sgt. 1st Class Sawyer Alberi, an FET team leader for the National Guard. "The FET mission is nested very closely in the COIN mission, and unless you do it, you're not doing the whole COIN mission." First Lieutenant Quincy Washa, platoon commander for the Female Engagement Team with Regimental Combat Team 1, describes the teams' role. Despite the apparent importance of the FETs' work, the program is still an experiment; it is unclear whether it will continue after the current teams' deployment.
posted by ocherdraco on Jan 3, 2011 - 21 comments

Halfway around the world tonight / In a strange and foreign land / A soldier packs his memories / As he leaves Afghanistan --Arlo Guthrie

...if all these neocons who worship the Ancient Greeks, like Victor Davis Hanson, really want to know what their precious Greeks were like, those boy-fucking, throat-slitting, 400-verse war-song reciting founders of our glorious civilization and all that, they should go live in a Pashtun village.... Well, the Pashtun are sensible people too. They don’t have much to lose, and they’re not that scared of dying.... They’ve got nothing coming from the whole Thomas Friedman world, and they’d be fools to think they do.
from The War Nerd: Market Lessons from the Pashtun [more inside]
posted by orthogonality on Dec 31, 2010 - 46 comments

Drone warfare against Pakistan

It may take years, but some researcher will travel to Pakistan’s tribal areas and produce a definitive study on what it’s been like to live amidst an aerial bombardment from American pilotless aircraft. When that account inevitably comes out, it’s likely to find that 2010 — and especially the final quarter of 2010 — marked a turning point in how civilians coped with a drone war that turned relentless. (previously: 1,2)
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 17, 2010 - 151 comments

Restrepo

Restrepo is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, "Restrepo," named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. It was considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military. This is an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley; there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. The only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 90-minute deployment. This is war, full stop. The conclusions are up to you. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 14, 2010 - 41 comments

Hamid Karzai had heard enough

"If I had to choose sides today, I'd choose the Taliban," [Hamid Karzai] fumed.
posted by klue on Dec 13, 2010 - 48 comments

Grammar rodeo at the Sheraton Hotel in Afghanistan

"Hann sells his Afghanistan tours as a chance to see the country's rugged outback while sleeping on dirty teahouse floors and tackling the country's roads in minibuses that buck like mechanical bulls... Obviously, Hann's tours attract adventurous travelers, but they're not adrenaline freaks or war junkies. Most are past middle age, unmarried, fairly mild-mannered, and childless," Damon Tabor on tourism in Afghanistan.
posted by geoff. on Dec 13, 2010 - 18 comments

They always did tend towards having the snappiest uniforms

American military planners are fascinated with German/Prussian military history. Busts of Von Clauswitz adorn American military academies where On War is taught, often with the misperception that Von Clauswitz viewed war as a controllable science. Shock & Awe is just the idea of Blitzkrieg with better weapons. Endless exhortations about unit cohesion (a complex, multi-layered idea with no military definition that is nonetheless used to keep gay soldiers from openly serving) comes from admiration for the Wehrmacht, their discipline and courage on the battlefield. So too the idea of a military culture separate and more honorable than the civilians they protect, advancing the professional warrior model at the expense of the citizen-soldier model. But to quote author military/adventure author Tom Clancy, “Why do people have a fixation with the German military when they haven’t won a war since 1871?Previously
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 2, 2010 - 128 comments

Welcome Home, Soldier

"Regardless of political stance, no one can deny the joy felt upon seeing your loved ones return home safely -- WelcomeHomeBlog.com is a site celebrating that amazing feeling. Visit daily for heartwarming stories, videos and pictures of members of our courageous armed forces returning home to their families and friends..."
posted by zizzle on Dec 1, 2010 - 5 comments

Is He For Real?

Is it wise to negotiate with the Taliban? Probably not without first checking credentials. Apparently the "Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour," very senior commander in the Taliban movement, who has been engaged in talks to end the Afghanistan war, is no such person. Whoever he was, and whoever sent him, he also walked away with "a lot of money." (SLNYT)
posted by bearwife on Nov 23, 2010 - 56 comments

Tanks in Afghanistan

The U.S. military is sending a contingent of heavily armored battle tanks to Afghanistan for the first time in the nine-year war... Although the officer acknowledged that the use of tanks this many years into the war could be seen as a sign of desperation by some Afghans and Americans, he said they will provide the Marines with an important new tool in missions to flush out pockets of insurgent fighters. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 19, 2010 - 92 comments

You would like us to tighten our belts. Instead, tighten your belts--or leave.

The Soviet Collapse "The document which effectively concluded the history of the Soviet Union was a letter from the Vneshekonombank in November 1991 to the Soviet leadership, informing them that the Soviet state had not a cent in its coffers."
posted by bitmage on Nov 19, 2010 - 28 comments

MR PINK, MR WHITE AND BOTTOM

'This is the very odd story of the events that led to a horrific mass killing of Afghan civilians by coalition forces in August 2008.' 'It is the story of the Americans and the British striding into the fairy wood only to find themselves spun around so much by the Afghans that they do not know who is the enemy and who is a friend any longer. And they come out with a donkey's head. But on the way they kill 90 innocent people.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Nov 18, 2010 - 29 comments

Skateistan, the film

Skateistan - To Live and Skate in Kabul (9:16) is a short documentary based on the work of the NGO Skateistan (previously), who provide lessons in skateboarding, environmental health, information technology, art and language to hundreds of boys and girls in Kabul, Afghanistan. (via) [more inside]
posted by Ufez Jones on Nov 12, 2010 - 5 comments

A Year At War

A Year at War: One Battalion's Wrenching Deployment to Afghanistan: "Some 30,000 American soldiers are taking part in the Afghanistan surge. Here are the stories of the men and women of First Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division" out of Fort Drum, NY., based in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan. Over the next year, The New York Times will follow their journey, chronicling the battalion’s part in the surge in northern Afghanistan and the impact of war on individual soldiers and their families back home. (First link is an interactive feature containing images and autoplaying video, and requires flash. Second link is a standard-style article.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 21, 2010 - 28 comments

NATO: bin Laden in Pakistan

Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are believed to be hiding close to each other in houses in northwest Pakistan, but are not together, a senior NATO official said. ... al Qaeda's top leadership is believed to be living in relative comfort, protected by locals and some members of the Pakistani intelligence services... The official would not discuss how the coalition has come to know any of this information, but he has access to some of the most sensitive information in the NATO alliance. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 18, 2010 - 107 comments

ADF members charged with manslaughter

On 12 February 2009, soldiers from the ADF 1st Commando regiment crept through the dark near the village of Surkh Morghab, in southern Afghanistan. What happened next will be closely scrutinised, however grenades were used and five children were killed. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Oct 11, 2010 - 167 comments

End this war Mr. Obama!!!

Last Wednesday, October 6, a panel of speakers from a variety of political positions met antiwar activists at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Francisco to discuss how to build a consensus to end the war in Afghanistan. The speakers included Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame, Antiwar.com’s Angela Keaton, Republican congressional candidate John Dennis, labor leader Michael Eisenscher, and radio talk show host Karel. The moderator was Jeff Johnson of PeacePundit.com, and included remarks by Unitarian Church leaders Dolores Perez Priem, Sandra Schwartz, Jeremiah Halliday, and Louis Vitale, and Anthony Gregory of the Independent Institute. (via) Daniel Ellsberg - part I - part II - part III [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Oct 10, 2010 - 12 comments

They don't know what we do.

"For a lot of soldiers, there are two kinds of people: those who serve, and those who expect to be served, and those who serve are pretty noble.'' The U.S. Army now begins its 10th continuous year in combat, the first time in its history the United States has excused the vast majority of its citizens from service and engaged in a major, decade-long conflict instead with an Army manned entirely by professional warriors.
posted by bardophile on Oct 3, 2010 - 218 comments

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 14