Jan 232014
 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/editorials/9627574/Editorial-Afghanistan-venture-an-exercise-in-futility

OPINION: Afganistan remains a dismal country after 12 years of Western occupation. A United Nations report finds that it is once again becoming a narco-state, with a huge rise in opium poppy cultivation. Corruption is rampant. The Karzai Government controls only a small part of the country. Torture is widely used. The Western intervention in Afghanistan, in which New Zealand played an important role, comes to a dismal end.

The invasion of the country after September 11 was justified and New Zealand was right to back it. The Taliban Government was sheltering Al Qaeda, the terrorist group which had committed the outrage in New York. The United States and its Western partners were justified in responding.

Read the rest of the article here

Dec 182013
 

Thursday, 19 December 2013, 10:12 am
Press Release: New Zealand Government

Hon Murray McCully

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Defence

19 December 2013

Media Statement

NZ to maintain support as Afghanistan mission transitions

New Zealand will maintain its current level of support for international efforts in Afghanistan until December 2014, the Government says.

Twenty seven New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel are currently deployed in behind-the-wire roles based in Kabul, including at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters, ISAF Special Operations Forces headquarters, and Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA).

“The Government has reviewed the mandate for these deployments, which is due to expire next April. Our 27 personnel will remain in Afghanistan to December 2014 to support the final stages of the ISAF mission,” Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says.

The ISAF mission will be replaced by a training, advice and assistance mission.

“As previously announced, a small number of personnel are expected to remain at the UK-led Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) in roles focused on training assistance and capacity building beyond 2014,” Dr Coleman says.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says New Zealand’s work in Afghanistan is business as usual.

“New Zealand remains committed to fulfilling our role as part of the ISAF mission to secure the gains made in Afghanistan over the last decade.

“New Zealand will continue to make financial and development contributions to Afghanistan. The nature of those contributions has not been finalised.”

ENDS

Nov 202013
 

Endless Occupation?  Afghanistan To Have US Troops Indefinitely? Security Agreement Draft Leaked


By The Inquisitr 
November 20, 2013 “Information Clearing House –   Afghanistan may not be seeing a full withdrawal of US troops soon, as many had expected. A newly obtained US-Afghanistan security agreement draft suggests that US forces will stay for much longer than originally expected, possibly indefinitely. The draft includes an agreement for US military outposts and bases to remain in Afghanistan through 2024. It also shows plans to fund and train a great number of Afghan security forces.

The security agreement draft was obtained by NBC News, as they reported Tuesday. The unsigned 25-page document is dated to July 25, 2013 and appears to be a working draft. Titled the “Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement Between The United States of American and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” its details range from being very specific to rather unclear.

The draft is set for review and discussion between some 2,500 officials, academics, and village representatives in Kabul this week. While the panel, known as Loya Jirga, does not have authority to make an agreement, Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karzai says he will not sign the treaty without their approval.

News of this security agreement draft comes on the heels of statements made recently by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Army General Martin Dempsey, Bloomberg reports. On Monday he said that while a “ubiquitous presence of US military force” is not necessary in Afghanistan post-2014, the country “can’t live without any.” Dempsey says a US and NATO presence will be needed to maintain Afghanistan’s security and to guarantee foreign aid money is not being exploited.

The high ranking military official’s remarks back up indications that the Afghan security agreement draft seeks to allow US troops to remain in country indefinitely. NATO has already said that around 8,000 to 12,000 troops could stay in Afghanistan after 2014, not including security guards or counterterrorism forces.

The newly leaked treaty draft, as it is written, would go into effect in 2015, after the end of the current mission in Afghanistan. It also says the deal would be in effect through 2024 “and beyond.” While there have been concerns over several details in the draft, NBC News says an update circulated among Pentagon staff and Congress on Monday addresses these issues.

Signing of the the Afghanistan security agreement will likely not happen for another two months, as it must be approved by the Afghan parliament and president.

This article was originally published at The Inquisitr

Oct 272013
 

Kiwi soldier wounded by ‘insider attack’
ROB KIDD AND ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 14:10 27/10/2013

Defence Force commander Lieutenant-General Rhys Jones has given more details on the Kiwi soldier shot in the foot in Afghanistan yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference, Lieutenant-General Jones said the Sergeant was with two Australian troops returning from a visit to a neighbouring Afghan army unit around 9am Afghan time yesterday.

Without warning, an Afghan soldier shot at them and hit one of the Australians in the chest.

Lieutenant-General Jones said the Australian’s body armour shattered the bullet and a piece of shrapnel hit the New Zealander in the foot.

The Afghan shot three times in quick succession, then began to advance towards the group. The other Australian soldier shot and critically wounded him.

“We don’t know of that is killed or just critically injured at this stage,” Lieutenant-General Jones said.

The New Zealander was a member of the Afghan National Army Officer Academy support team.

The New Zealander was treated at the scene and then airlifted to Craig Hospital at Bagram Air Force Base, where he received further medical treatment.

Read article here

Oct 082013
 

By Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan Global Research, October 08, 2013 Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) – See more at: http://www.globalresearch.ca/afghanistan-12-years-of-occupation-down-with-the-us-invaders-and-their-afghan-stooges/5353471#sthash.vOeViyi9.dpuf

With the aggression of the US and NATO occupiers on October 7, 2001 in our homeland, it has been twelve years now that our country is facing war, destruction, and the killing of thousands of its innocent civilians. The US used the terrorist attacks of 9/11 as a pretext to change the regime in Afghanistan and pave the way for its long-term military presence in the region. For the first time in their history, Afghanistan’s people, who were tired and fed up from the crimes of the Jehadi pigs and the brutalities of the Taliban, did not react to an occupier force.

The US government and its allies promised our people democracy, but imposed upon them the most undemocratic, corrupt, and mafia government of our history; they spoke of ‘war on terror’ but brought the murderers and terrorists of the Northern Alliance, gun-lords and drug kingpins to power, and have now extended their hands in friendship to the Taliban; the US used human rights and women’s rights as an excuse, but Afghanistan still faces the worse kinds of human rights violations and horrifying catastrophes against its women; they promised our people liberation and freedom, but practically turned our country into a narco-state and the center of their longest-running criminal war.

From the very start, the democratic forces of Afghanistan and peace-loving elements of the world had recognized the US’s war in Afghanistan as part of its imperialist policies. They announced that that this superpower was only invading Afghanistan to compete with its emerging contenders and was cementing its military bases in the heart of Asia towards this purpose.

Twelve years of our country’s occupation proves the validity of this prediction. In these years, not only did the justice-seeking people of the US and world protest against the war, but a significant number of soldiers also stood up against their government’s inhumane and hypocritical policies, and started a vast and glorious anti-war movement.

The people of Afghanistan soon noticed the false nature of the US and NATO’s ‘war on terror’, when against their demand, the criminal Taliban terrorists were replaced with the misogynist terrorist gangs of the Northern Alliance. In addition to providing staunch support to the Jehadi and technocrat traitors, the US has taken the service of a group of intellectual sellouts, and have created a band of lackeys out of them by stuffing Dollars down their filthy throats. If in the past, being on the payroll of a foreign country was seen as treachery and disgrace, today this group has become so shameless and devoid of conscience that they proudly flaunt off their servitude to the US and other foreign intelligences. Karzai and those surrounding him, confessed, in an unseen blatant fashion, that they took bags of Dollars from the CIA, Vavak, MI6, RAW, ISI and others, and branded them as ‘useful’ so that their masters would continue pouring in money. The so-called Jehadi leaders have also tied themselves on the leashes of foreign countries and continue to demolish our country at their orders. This way, Afghanistan has practically become the battlefield of the intelligence services of superpowers and neighboring countries. The threat to our sovereignty and national assets grows with each passing day.

After bringing calamity upon Afghanistan and its people, the US informed the world of the withdrawal of its forces in 2014, and started a widespread propaganda that without the US presence, Afghanistan will sink into crisis and a civil war. With this false propaganda through tens of media channels, the US is manipulating and threatening the public sentiment, and trying to get the puppet Karzai government to sign the strategic pact – which would guarantee the US’s long-term presence – as soon as possible. All the reactionary forces and a group of mercenary intellectuals know that their very existence depends upon this pact and are begging for it to go through, so they can escape our people and the claws of justice under the protective wing of their military master.

Read full article here  

Sep 092013
 

A US-led airstrike has killed at least 16 Afghans, including eight women and children, in the eastern province of Kunar, officials say.

According to the provincial governor, 16 people – 12 of them civilians – lost their lives in the strike. Among the victims are four children and four women.

The latest deadly US-led drone attack occurred in the Watapur district of Kunar Province, which lies near the border with Pakistan.

A NATO spokeswoman, however, said that only enemy forces were killed in the operation.

The aerial attack comes one day after at least four people lost their lives in two separate airstrikes by US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan’s central province of Wardak.

Civilian killings at the hands of US-led forces have been a source of tension between Kabul and Washington in recent years. The attacks have also increased anti-American sentiment among Afghans, who hold regular protests to condemn them.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.

The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country, despite the presence of thousands of US-led troops.

Read article here

Aug 242013
 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/9082794/Life-in-prison-for-Afghanistan-massacre

The US soldier who massacred 16 Afghan civilians last year in one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 40, who pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty, showed no emotion as the verdict was announced at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle.

Bales’ mother, sitting in the front row of the court, bowed her head, rocked in her seat, and wept. An interpreter flashed a thumbs-up sign to a row of Afghan villagers who were either wounded or lost family members in the March 11, 2012 attacks.

Bales never offered an explanation for why he armed himself with a 9 mm pistol and an M-4 rifle and left his post on the killing mission, but he apologized on the witness stand Thursday and described the slaughter as an “act of cowardice, behind a mask of fear, bulls— and bravado.”

Read article here

Jun 092013
 

http://rinf.com/alt-news/breaking-news/karzai-demands-return-of-afghan-detainees-from-secret-uk-prison/40401/

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is demanding the return of nearly 100 Afghan men who are being held in secret, without charges in the country’s UK-run Camp Bastion—a situation with obvious parallels to the United State’s Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility.

“We are living in Afghanistan and we are talking about Afghans detained on Afghan soil and held in Afghanistan. According to our laws this is a breach of sovereignty,” Karzai spokesman Aimal Faizi told the Guardian. “The UK … is another country with its own laws and sovereignty, [which] don’t mean anything here in Afghanistan.”

Their report continues:

This month the defense secretary, Philip Hammond, announced that Kabul and London had agreed safeguards to protect prisoners from torture, and handovers would start after three weeks.

The delay is a requirement to allow for any legal challenges to the decision, and is almost certain to stretch far longer, as lawyers acting for the prisoners have said they will challenge the decision in court.

But Karzai has demanded custody of the prisoners by 22 June.

Read article here

May 202013
 

Did 9/11 Justify the War in Afghanistan?

Using the McChrystal Moment to Raise a Forbidden Question
By David Ray Griffin

Global Research, May 19, 2013
Global Research 25 June 2010

There are many questions to ask about the war in Afghanistan. One that has been widely asked is whether it will turn out to be “Obama’s Vietnam.”1 This question implies another: Is this war winnable, or is it destined to be a quagmire, like Vietnam? These questions are motivated in part by the widespread agreement that the Afghan government, under Hamid Karzai, is at least as corrupt and incompetent as the government the United States tried to prop up in South Vietnam for 20 years.

Although there are many similarities between these two wars, there is also a big difference: This time, there is no draft. If there were a draft, so that college students and their friends back home were being sent to Afghanistan, there would be huge demonstrations against this war on campuses all across this country. If the sons and daughters of wealthy and middle-class parents were coming home in boxes, or with permanent injuries or post-traumatic stress syndrome, this war would have surely been stopped long ago. People have often asked: Did we learn any of the “lessons of Vietnam”? The US government learned one: If you’re going to fight unpopular wars, don’t have a draft – hire mercenaries!

There are many other questions that have been, and should be, asked about this war, but in this essay, I focus on only one: Did the 9/11 attacks justify the war in Afghanistan?

Read essay here

May 202013
 

This is What Winning Looks Like
A Shocking, Eye-Opening Look At Afghanistan

“All it is now is about getting out and saving face. We’re not leaving because we achieved our goals. We’re leaving because we’ve given up on achieving those goals,” he says. “All the fighting has been to introduce a hated and feared government, who in some areas make the Taliban look like the good guys.”