Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Final Sacrifice

The first known gay soldier killed in Afghanistan.

A letter from his partner made it known.

(Even in death, his name is unknown to us, at this time - as are others.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thieves at the feast

The sad case of our own ammo finding its way, through allied hands, into enemy hands.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Is U.S. Military Gassing Itself

No, not farts. Real concern about burn pits in theater.

Lies about the status of the Afghan conflict?

I don't remember Rumsfeld saying anything about strongholds have existed for three years:

U.S. and NATO commanders were not certain whether the insurgents who have lorded over Marja for the past three years would stay and fight
I guess that was part of national secrets?

After how many years, do you stop getting called an "insurgent"?

Now, in our seventh year or so of starting over-over-over-over-over-over-over:

The group finally got moving, but by then a group of Afghan soldiers had already raised their red, green and black flag in the bazaar for the dignitaries. The governor and the visiting generals walked around the rubble of the market -- large parts of which were destroyed by a U.S. Special Forces airstrike in spring 2009 -- and hailed the progress of the current mission.

or not:

"It's still dangerous in this area," one soldier said. The Taliban "might burn it.

"Cambodia" weighs in on the conflict

"It's high time we move beyond that era [of mistrust] and see what is good for all of us," a Pakistani military official said. "We are home to 70 percent of the Pashtuns," an ethnic group in southern Afghanistan and Pakistan that forms the bulk of the Taliban insurgency, "and we have a legitimate right to be part of this effort," the official said.


Or, is it more like Pakistan is the new Egypt? Praise Allah and pass the ammunition:

Reporting from Karachi, Pakistan, and Washington - The United States has delivered a fleet of drone aircraft and billions of dollars in aid to coax Pakistan to do more to confront Afghan Taliban militants taking refuge in the country.

Over the next seven years of our "deployment in Afghanistan", we will surely find out.

("Our deployment", not "war", must be the right term, given that the American public are seized of the Olympics, American Idol, and Tea Baggers, not "war").

and, Karachi, now?:

Several former U.S. intelligence officials and terrorism experts said Karachi is increasingly seen as a base of Taliban operations, with key leaders hiding in plain sight in an urban center that offers greater access to communication and resources.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

A media war

A sophistcated, learning enemy:

He too is frustrated, accusing the Taliban of manipulating the rules of engagement by using women and children as shields and shooting from hidden positions before dropping their weapons and standing out in the open.

"They know we can't shoot them if they don't carry guns or without positive identification. They are fighting us at another level now," MacLean said.

-First Lt. Aaron MacLean, 2nd Platoon commander of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Regiment.

I have no reason to doubt this.

I'll wonder aloud the same as one does when the Israelis complain the same thing: in such circumstances, a telephoto lens is probably more effective than a rifle scope. Using women and children as shields is really, really, really, really, really bad press.

Without the video tape, ...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Awesome Afghanistan Photos

David Guttenfelder, from last October, so a bit late to see these.