Thursday
Dec162010

Voices

Sometimes there's very little to say; the story speaks for itself...


Politics Daily: "A recent Pentagon report, for instance, asserts that U.S. and allied forces and the new strategy announced by Obama a year ago are “beginning to have cumulative effects.” But in unusually frank terms, the report concludes that despite combat operations against the Taliban by the 97,000 U.S. troops and 49,000 NATO and allied troops, the insurgents’ “capabilities and operational reach have been qualitatively and geographically expanding.” In other words, despite the U.S. “surge,” enemy forces are getting better and bigger." Read the full article...


Danger Room: "Petraeus unleashed special operations forces, who have killed or captured thousands of militants. His generals relied on massive surface-to-surface missiles to clear the Taliban out of Kandahar, and ordered tanks to help crush opponents in Helmand province. And then there’s the metastasizing air war. In the last three months, NATO aircraft have fired their weapons on 2550 sorties, according to U.S. Air Force statistics provided to Danger Room. During the same period last year, there were less than half the number of violent sorties — just 1188."  Read the full article...


New York Times: "American commanders say their plan in the next few years is to kill large numbers of insurgents in the border region — the military refers to it as “degrading the Taliban” — and at the same time build up the Afghan National Army to the point that the Afghans can at least contain an insurgency still supported by Pakistan. (American officials say Pakistan supports the insurgents as a proxy force in Afghanistan, preparing for the day the Americans leave.)" Read the full article...


Associated Press: "Only 11 percent of enlisted personnel and 35 percent of noncommissioned officers in Afghanistan’s army and police are literate, according to NATO trainers." Read the full article...


ICRC Press Release (15 Dec 2010): ""In a growing number of areas in the country, we are entering a new, rather murky phase in the conflict in which the proliferation of armed groups threatens the ability of humanitarian organizations to reach the people who need their help," said Reto Stocker, head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan. "One armed group may demand food and shelter in the evening, then, the next morning, another may demand to know why its enemy was given sanctuary." The emerging groups, which also include criminals, remain difficult to identify." Read the full article...


Open Letter to President Obama: "The military campaign is suppressing, locally and temporarily, the symptoms of the disease, but fails to offer a cure. Military action may produce local and temporary improvements in security, but those improvements are neither going to last nor be replicable in the vast areas not garrisoned by Western forces without a political settlement." Read the full article...

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