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Archive for July, 2009

Posted by Steve Hynd on July 2nd, 2009

Bob Woodward’s piece for the WaPo, in which he recounts national security advisor Jim Jones telling military leaders that any further calls for more troops in Afghanistan would occasion a “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment” from Obama, has both COINdinistas and contraCOINers discussing prioritization of the (still benchmarkless) strategy’s confusing components in Afghanistan.

Marine general Lawrence Nicholson is quoted by Woodward as having a mission of “Protect the populace by, with and through the ANSF,” where “killing the enemy is secondary.” By contrast, Obama back in his March Af/Pak stratergy speech said that “These soldiers and Marines will take the fight to the Taliban in the south and east, and give us a greater capacity to partner with Afghan Security Forces and to go after insurgents along the border.” Pretty much everyone agrees that there aren’t enough troops on the ground – whether they be U.S., allied or local Afghan forces – to cover all the bases; to both secure population centers in a COIN “clear, hold and build” operation and to go after the insurgency in its own rural and border territory. Something has to give – and it looks like it will be the latter.

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Posted by ZP Heller on July 2nd, 2009

As the US military launches operation “Strike of the Sword” in Afghanistan, sending 4,000 newly arrived Marines and 650 Afghan forces into the Helmland River valley, we must consider how this major offensive will impact Afghan civilians forced to flee this war torn region. Rough estimates from The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) suggest there are already up to 1,000 Helmland families living in refugee camps near Kabul. Who knows how many thousands more families will seek shelter in these camps in the ensuing weeks due to deadly battles in Helmland or anywhere else in Afghanistan. One thing is clear though, which Tom Hayden nailed in his recent piece on the Long War, “American troops can never “protect” Afghanistan civilians from American troops!”

The Afghan Women’s Mission and RAWA have been working tirelessly to help Afghan refugees in dire need, despite threats from warlords and the Afghan intelligence agency. At this point, refugees lack food more than anything else. Just consider what the prices of food are in an Afghan market (based on a exchange rate of $1 US = 50.2 Afghanis):

5 kg ghee = 247 Afg
4 kg rice = 145 Afg
50 kg flour = 1100 Afg
A middle quality blanket = 500 Afg
A middle quality tent carpet = 2000 Afg

Please make a contribution to RAWA through The Afghan Women’s Mission today.

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Posted by tomhayden on July 2nd, 2009


The simultaneous conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and beyond are all connected to the Pentagon strategy of “the Long War” projected to last fifty years in “the arc of crisis” that just happens to stretch across Muslim lands where there are oil reserves and plans for Western-dominated pipelines. The term “Long War” was introduced by Gen. John Abizaid in the 1990s and is the perspective of counterinsurgency experts around the Pentagon and think tanks led by the Center for New American Security.

The Long War will require a long peace movement, and a different one.

Many veterans of the movement against the Iraq War, impacted by the multiple wars, the financial and budget crises, and confused about the Obama era, are pondering the question of what to think and do. The following are brief notes outlining a possible strategy.

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Posted by Martha de Hoyos on July 1st, 2009

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Cuando una política exterior está bien desarrollada y pensada, vemos que incluye atención hacia temas humanitarios como trabajos, salud, educación y vivienda.

Cuando una política consiste en aplicar una solución militar a lo que en esencia es un problema político, el resultado es lo opuesto, vemos muerte, destrucción y sufrimiento. En una visita reciente a Afganistán Robert Greenwald, presidente de Brave New foundation, vió personalmente las consecuencias devastadoras para los civiles debido a los ataques aéreos por parte de los EEUU.

El material que está a punto de ver es estremecedor y conmovedor y es el resultado de nuestra política exterior. Debemos ayudar a los refugiados que han visto sus el deterioro de sus vidas a través de la política de EEUU y sus ataques militares.

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Posted by Martha de Hoyos on July 1st, 2009

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Al hacer el pago anual de nuestros impuestos, debemos urgir a los demás en repensar Afganistán, una guerra que cuesta más de 2 mil millones de dólares al mes y que no nos ha traído más seguridad. Todos tenemos un amigo o familiar que ha perdido su trabajo.

¿En verdad queremos gastar otro trillón de dólares en otra guerra? La administración de Obama ha tomado algunos pasos inteligentes para contrarrestar ésta crisis económica con su propuesta presupuestal. ¿En verdad queremos ver todos esos esfuerzos tirados a la basura debido a las demandas militares?

Vea a autores ganadores del premio Pulitzer, reporteros, militares y expertos en política exterior, así como economistas y muchos más explicar justo cuanto más va a costar la Guerra en Afganistán y por cuánto tiempo.

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Posted by Martha de Hoyos on July 1st, 2009

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“Pakistán es hoy el país más peligroso en todo el mundo.”

- Bruce Riedel, experto en política exterior que lidera la revisión a la política de Afganistán del Presidente Obama.

Las recientes protestas en Pakistán revelan el potencial explosivo de ése país. Pakistán tiene armas nucleares y un gobierno completamente desconectado de la pobreza extrema, malnutrición y la falta de servicios de salud que afligen a su población. Aún cuando Pakistán permanece como un aliado cercano de los EEUU, las tensiones entre ambos países continúan incrementándose, mientras EEUU contempla expandir sus ataques hacia la frontera de Pakistán. La segunda parte de nuestro documental Rethink Afghanistan, se enfoca precisamente en como la crisis de Pakistán nos afecta a todos.

¿Como exactamente es que Afganistán puede encender un caos regional con Pakistán? Líderes de opinion y expertos como Steve Coll, Ahmed Rashid, Cathy Collins, Tariq Ali, Rory Stewart, Stephen Kinzer, y Andrew Bacevich hablan precisamente acerca de éste tema.

La Guerra en Afganistán y su posible impacto catastrófico en Pakistán son temas complejos y peligrosos, los cuales representan aun más ejemplos del porque nuestro país necesita un debate nacional urgentemente.
Algo que usted puede hacer sobre este tema es mandar este video por Facebook a sus amistades y a su familia.

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Posted by robertgreenwald on July 1st, 2009

I would like to invite you to an event with Congresswoman Maxine Waters that will be held at Brave New Studios on Thursday, July 2nd. Representative Waters has served as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1991 for California’s 35th congressional district. She sits on the Committee on the Judiciary and the subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, among others. She co-founded and chairs the Congressional Out of Iraq Caucus and serves as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Representative Waters is someone with an insider perspective on Congress and will be discussing U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and other important legislative topics.

You will not want to miss this discussion.

Here are the event details:

Date: Thursday, July 2nd

Location: 10536 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232
Please enter through the gate behind the building.

Time:
5 pm

RSVP: Please RSVP by emailing ewagner@bravenewfoundation.org
Seating is very limited, so we will be taking a small number of RSVPs.

Parking: There is free parking on the streets on either side of our building. Please do not park in the parking spots behind the building as they are reserved.

I hope you can join us at the Brave New Foundation offices for this event.

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Posted by Martha de Hoyos on July 1st, 2009

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Muchos de ustedes trabajaron diligentemente para apoyar al Presidente Obama y su llamada para el cambio. Tal vez sienten un entusiasmo palpable y se llenan de orgullo al tener a un hombre de la inteligencia e integridad de Obama en la Casa Blanca. Lo que también es notable es la convicción de Obama hacia los que hablan francamente sin discutir motivo o carácter de la persona.

El presidente Obama se comprometió en mandar a un poco más de 17.000 soldados extras para la guerra en Afganistán. Para  el equipo de Brave New Foundation, esta decisión levanta muchas dudas que deberán ser abordadas, en especial acerca de nuestras tropas, acerca de los costos del conflicto, acerca de la misión en general, y acerca de cuál será la estrategia de salida. Históricamente, ha sido el deber del Congreso el tener que hacer estas preguntas en forma de audiencias que inciten a los políticos, que examinan los gastos del ejército, y que eduquen al público.

Ya que la situación en Afganistán es extraordinariamente compleja, el objetivo de Brave New Foundation es el de crear videos que demuestren precisamente todas esas preguntas sobre la guerra en Afganistán, para que el Congreso de los EEUU tenga que darles seguimiento y contestarlas eficazmente.

Algo que usted puede hacer sobre este tema es mandar este video por Facebook a sus amistades y a su familia.

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Posted by robert dreyfuss on July 1st, 2009

It’s encouraging that General Jim Jones, the national security adviser, seems to have laid down the law to US generals in Afghanistan: no more troops.

That’s not the same as less troops, but it’s a start.

In a lengthy Washington Post report, Jones is quoted extensively telling the generals that economic development in Afghanistan will win the fight with the Taliban, not more soldiers. And he used rather colorful language to make his point. During the meeting with Jones, General Nicholson, the US commander, dropped hints that he’d like more forces.

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