Tag Archives | Rethink Afghanistan

Former U.S. Intelligence Chief Calls For End Of Drone War

Noah Schachtman of Wired reports on some subversive thoughts expressed by former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair (thanks to Liam P for submitting this story):
ASPEN, Colorado — Ground the U.S. drone war in Pakistan. Rethink the idea of spending billions of dollars to pursue al-Qaida. Forget chasing terrorists in Yemen and Somalia, unless the local governments are willing to join in the hunt. Those aren’t the words of some human rights activist, or some far-left Congressman. They’re from retired admiral and former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair — the man who was, until recently, nominally in charge of the entire American effort to find, track, and take out terrorists...
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Taliban Announces Spring Offensive In Afghanistan

Trying to keep the shareholders happy for Q3? Especially noteworthy following last week’s jailbreak where over 400 insurgents escaped. BBC News reports:

The Taliban have announced the start of a spring offensive across Afghanistan.

In a statement, the group said the fighting would start on Sunday, targeting foreign troops as well as Afghan security forces and officials.

Taliban insurgents turn themselves in to Afghan National Security Forces at a forward operating base in Puza-i-Eshan -a

It warned civilians to stay away from public gatherings, military bases, government buildings and convoys.

Meanwhile initial findings from a Nato inquiry into a deadly attack at Kabul airport on Wednesday suggest the gunman was not connected to the Taliban.

The man, an Afghan pilot, killed eight US troops and a contractor. He was later found dead.

The Taliban claimed the attack, but the coalition said there was no evidence for this and the gunman appeared to have acted alone.

Saturday’s statement by the Taliban said the group would attack “foreign invading forces, members of their spy networks and other spies, high-ranking officials of the Kabul puppet administration”.

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First Day of Libya Strikes Cost More Than $100 Million

Here we go again … Robert Greenwald points out the insane financial cost of yet another preemptive war (never mind the human cost), at his blog on the Rethink Afghanistan site:

President Obama’s decision to participate in the strikes in Libya has already cost U.S. taxpayers “well over $100 million,” according to the National Journal. The Journal also relayed that, “the initial stages of taking out Libya’s air defenses could ultimately cost…coalition forces between $400 million and $800 million.” The administration launched this new war (and yes, it is a war) with no official congressional authorization, little public debate and with a vague, possibly even non-existent, endgame in mind. It’s as if the lessons of the last decade are completely lost on policymakers in the United States.

Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile (Approximate cost: $756,000 in 2011 dollars).

Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile (Approximate cost: $756,000 in 2011 dollars).

Congress and the President should be ending the wars we were already in, not starting new ones in new Arab countries where even the hint of civilian casualties could quickly set fire to a bonfire of anti-U.S.

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Army Deploys Psy-Ops On U.S. Senators

Lt. Gen. William Caldwell

Lt. Gen. William Caldwell

Proving that some magazines are still able to practice important investigative journalism, Rolling Stone‘s Michael Hastings shows how the U.S. Army deliberately misled Senators on a fact-finding visit to Afghanistan. You might think this kind of plotting by the military against its own government only happens in places like Egypt and Libya … but you’d be wrong:

The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in “psychological operations” to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war, Rolling Stone has learned – and when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators.

The orders came from the command of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops – the linchpin of U.S. strategy in the war. Over a four-month period last year, a military cell devoted to what is known as “information operations” at Camp Eggers in Kabul was repeatedly pressured to target visiting senators and other VIPs who met with Caldwell.

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I Have a Dream … To Go To War?

The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to end it must be ours. -- Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking of Vietnam. This week the Pentagon sank to a new low: claiming that Dr. King would "understand" the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. King's legacy is clear: he opposed war and other violence and condemned war as "an enemy of the poor."
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People Joe Klein Thinks Are Stupid: Ed Schultz and YOU

The irrepressible Robert Greenwald explains why Joe Klein is the stupid one in the debate about taking our troops out of Afghanistan, at Huffington Post:
...Let's talk about stupid for a minute. The U.S. has increased troop levels in Afghanistan every year since the initial invasion, and every year we've seen an increased level of violence in Afghanistan. President Obama and General Petraeus promised--twice!--that huge troop increases would help "protect the population" of Afghanistan and break Taliban momentum...
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An Anti-War Challenge to Obama in 2012: The Case for Alan Grayson

Alan GraysonI will admit to total ignorance of Alan Grayson’s merits, but I’d love to hear input from Disinformation’s readers about any viable alternative candidate for the 2012 nomination.  As a starting point, this bit from Mark Pinsky at Politics Daily:

Current Beltway consensus holds that the 2012 race, like 2010, will be a referendum on the economy. But what if, instead, the war in Afghanistan, which Barack Obama has embraced, deteriorates dramatically, requiring a delay in the scheduled troop withdrawal or, worse, forces another escalation? Might Democratic anti-war sentiment — until now a sleeper issue — turn rebellious?

Already, national polls show a plurality (Pew) or a majority (Quinnipiac) opposed to remaining in Afghanistan, with the margins of opposition rising. A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted Dec. 9-12 found that 60 percent of Americans believe that, “considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States,” the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting.

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