Afghanistan

Ant22

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#1
I’ve noticed that Afghanistan doesn’t have its own thread here despite being quite a hot political topic in the news as well as being a strategic location the US clearly has no intention to let go of.

Prompted by last night's SOTT radio show very accurately titled Afghanistan: Where Empires Go To Die I thought I'd create one.

As the saying goes, if you don't know what's it all about, it's most likely all about money:

From RT: "How many more lives sacrificed for profits for the military-industrial complex?": https://www.rt.com/shows/big-picture/400962-trump-afghanistan-social-security/

After all these years of American involvement in Afghanistan, Moscow has now raised concerns that despite the US "war on terror" ISIS forces are continuously growing in strength in Afghanistan, thus putting Russia's security at risk. Pakistan, which according to the article cited below has been made a scapegoat for the US failures in Afghanistan, refers to Russia as a stabilising force for the region.

Bearing in mind the outcome of the Russian intervention in Syria, there may now be a light at the end of the tunnel for Afghanistan.

‘US doesn’t want Afghanistan war to end – it's cash cow for Pentagon, contractors’: https://www.rt.com/op-edge/400760-us-afghanistan-war-pentagon/

The US is alarmed Pakistan decided Russia has the best chance of being a stabilizing force for a peaceful outcome in Afghanistan: the US doesn’t want to end the war which is a cash cow, says Brian Becker from the anti-war ANSWER coalition.
During Donald Trump’s speech on Monday, where he presented the new Afghanistan strategy, the US leader criticized Pakistan by calling it a “haven” for terrorists.

“Pakistan has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately. No partnership can survive a country’s harboring of militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials,” Trump said.

The US president threatened to change America’s stance on Pakistan if it’s “continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists.”

Pakistan hit back at Donald Trump's claim responding that the country is being singled out as a “scapegoat” for US failures.

"They should not make Pakistan a scapegoat for their failures in Afghanistan," Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said on Tuesday in an interview with Geo TV, as cited by Reuters. He added that its “commitment to the war against terrorism is unmatched and unshaken."

RT talked about Donald Trump's strategy in Afghanistan and his accusations against Pakistan with Brian Becker from the anti-war ANSWER coalition.

In his view, the reason President Trump “announced animosity toward Pakistan… is that Pakistan has been reaching out to Russia in the last few months and drawing Russia in, and asking Russia to be the primary stabilizing force in a possible peaceful outcome in Afghanistan."

“The US has become alarmed that Pakistan, even though Pakistan-Russian relations had been historically strained, has shifted. The Pakistanis have now decided it is Russia, not the US, that has the best hope as an international player bringing others to the table and possibly bringing together a government of national unity in Afghanistan, which of course will be the only way this war could end. The Pentagon doesn’t want to end the war. They are perfectly happy with the stalemate as it is. It is a cash cow for the Pentagon and for the US contractors,” Becker said.

Becker agrees the US is scapegoating Pakistan.

“There is no question that there has been a porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. There is no question the Pakistani intelligence agencies have had a long-standing relationship with the Taliban who they considered to be a proxy among the many warlord factions fighting in Afghanistan,” he said.

What has changed, Becker added, “is the peace overture from Pakistan to Russia asking Russia to help create a regional and an internal - inside Afghanistan - possible…architecture for new peace negotiations.”

Washington doesn’t want “Russia meddling in Afghanistan,” Becker said, adding that it has already spent “a couple of trillion dollars” on the war and lost over 2,000 troops.

“It is a big cash cow; there are many Pentagon bases in Afghanistan. These are long term projects on the part of the Pentagon. They don’t want Russia to come in. They don’t want peace to break out in Afghanistan.”

In his speech on Afghanistan this week, Trump also ruled out “a hasty withdrawal” and said there are no limits on troop numbers.

As to whether President Trump has a chance of succeeding where his predecessors have failed, Becker referred to past experience.

“When Richard Nixon, for instance, became president in 1969, he and Henry Kissinger knew the Vietnam War cannot be won by the US but they didn’t want to take responsibility for having been defeated. So they kept dragging the war on and on. So, part of the definition of success here for Trump likewise is to not take responsibility for the exit of US forces from Afghanistan which would be conceding defeat,” he explained.

“The second motivation in terms of what success means is that this is very successful for the Pentagon because they have established permanent military bases in one sovereign country, in Afghanistan, and yes most of the bleeding is done by the Afghans, maybe 100,000 of them died even though most of them have never heard anything about the World Trade Center and had nothing to do with 9/11,” Becker concluded.

Back in 2016 Moscow said that the increase of ISIS presence in Afghanistan is a threat to Russia and requested 'real action' from the US . The US obviously didn't deliver on the expectation and earlier this month Russia warned of deploying military force in Afghanistan. At this stage this is only a warning and as indicated below, Russia is unlikely until Daesh attacks the borders of six Central Asian states and Russia:


What's Behind Russia's Warning of 'Resorting to Military Force' in Afghanistan?: https://sputniknews.com/politics/201708121056412734-russia-afghanistan-military/

Despite efforts by the Afghan government and the US, Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) and the Taliban continue to gain ground in the country, threatening to import terrorism to the Central Asian states. Speaking to Sputnik, Afghan military analyst Atiqullah Amarkhel shared his views on whether Russia will intervene to tackle the terror threat.
Zamir Kabulov, a high rank career diplomat and Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan, has recently remarked that if the Afghan government and Washington are unable to counter the threat posed by Daesh's (ISIS/ISL) spread, Russia will resort to military force, Sputnik Afghanistan reported.

The Russian diplomat cited the fact that Daesh continues to strengthen its positions in Afghanistan, which triggers serious concerns in Moscow about the possibility of the spread of instability to the countries of Central Asia near Russia's borders.

Kabulov also referred to recent reports regarding the alleged delivery of weapons to Daesh extremists by unidentified helicopters.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, in at least three provinces in the north of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan an unidentified aircraft was spotted dropping boxes for Daesh militants. Kabulov noted that the issue was raised by Russian diplomats at a UN Security Council meeting.

The parliament of Afghanistan echoed the envoy's concerns. Some deputies even went so far as to suggest that the unidentified aircraft may be connected to the United States.
What then did Kabulov mean by referring to Russia's deployment of military force? Does it mean that Moscow is ready to bring in the military to Afghanistan in order to defeat Daesh?

According to an Afghan military analyst, retired Air Force General Atiqullah Amarkhel, the Russian official's statement is more of a "warning" over the potential escalation of the situation in Afghanistan, than a promise to use military force.

"It is a political issue and [Kabulov's] words are a diplomatic warning," Amarkhel explained, stressing that it is highly unlikely that Russia will intervene to fight Daesh in Afghanistan.

"The Russian Federation will not take military measures until Daesh attacks the borders of six Central Asian states and Russia," the general pointed out. "The reason for Russia's concern over the growing influence of Daesh in Afghanistan, especially in the country's north, is the threat of the deterioration of the situation in Central Asia."
"Will Russia tolerate the presence of the Taliban and Daesh in Central Asia, which Russia considers to be in its sphere of interest? Unlikely. Moscow views the presence of any terrorist groups in Central Asia as a threat to its security," Amarkhel remarked.

Thus, to tackle the problem the Russian Defense Ministry announced in June that it was going to reinforce its military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan with modern weapons in order to prevent the import of terrorism from Afghanistan into Central Asia.

"We are alarmed by the growing presence in Afghanistan of Daesh militants whose number now exceeds 3,500. The terrorist group's ongoing effort to establish an Islamic caliphate poses a serious threat to the security of Afghanistan and its neighbors," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a June meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Kazakh capital Astana.

The Russian defense minister emphasized that the Russian military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are "guarantors of regional stability."
"Together with our allies we are boosting their combat capability which, in turn, ensures the security of [their capitals] Dushanbe and Bishkek," Shoigu stressed.

Citing political analysts, Amarkhel noted that Russia's military involvement in Afghanistan would created new challenges for Moscow. He referred to the fact that Russia is currently engaged in an aerial operation in Syria aimed at protecting the legitimate government of Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow has repeatedly voiced its willingness to provide political and technical-military assistance to Kabul, at the same time denying the possibility of the involvement of the Russian Armed Forces in any military actions on the ground in Afghanistan.

Speaking to Sputnik, General Amarkhel called attention to the fact that although the government of Afghanistan and its allies are trying to defeat Daesh, the organization is only getting stronger.

With the Taliban controlling most of Afghanistan's rural areas and Daesh consolidating its positions in the war-torn country the situation is steadily deteriorating.

"The war in Afghanistan is being expanded, in addition to the Taliban and Daesh, new terrorist groups have emerged [in the country]. Let's see how the situation will unfold," the general said.

"The relationship between Russia and the US is deteriorating day by day, so the US can use various groups of Islamists to increase pressure on the Russian Federation in order to worsen the situation in the Central Asian states, therefore, Russia is closely monitoring the situation," Amarkhel assumed.
Interestingly enough, the picture of the previous Soviet intervention in Afghanistan (the Soviet-Afghan War 1979-1989) is not exactly what the mainstream media wants everyone to believe.

Here are a couple of excerpts from Andre Vltchek's article:

https://www.sott.net/article/358581-Andre-Vltchek-On-the-road-in-Afghanistan-Lies-legends-and-myths

“Almost all poor Afghan people would never say anything bad about Russians. But the government people are with the West, as well as those Afghan elites who are now living abroad: those who are buying real estate in London and Dubai, while selling their own country…those who are paid to ‘create public opinion.’”
“Before and during the Soviet era, there were Soviet doctors here, and also Soviet teachers. Now show me one doctor or teacher from the USA or UK based in the Afghan countryside! Russians were everywhere, and I still even remember some names: Lyudmila Nikolayevna… Show me one Western doctor or nurse based here now. Before, Russian doctors and nurses were working all over the country, and their salaries were so low… They spent half on their own living expenses, and the other half they distributed amongst our poor… Now look what the Americans and Europeans are doing: they all came here to make money!”
“Before Bagram I served at the Leatherneck US Base, in Helmand Province. When the Americans were leaving, they even used to pull out concrete from the ground. They joked: “When we came here, there was nothing, and there will be nothing after we leave…” They prohibited us from giving food to local children. What we couldn’t consume, we had to destroy, but never give to local people. I still don’t understand, why? Those who come from the US or Western Europe are showing so much spite for the Afghan people!”
“What was the main difference between the Russians and Westerners during their engagement in Afghanistan?”
“The Russian people came predominately to serve, to help Afghanistan. The relationship between Russians and Afghans was always great. There was real friendship and people were interacting, even having parties together, visiting each other.”

I didn’t push him further; didn’t ask what was happening now. It was just too obvious. “Enormous walls and high voltage wires,” would be the answer. Drone zeppelins, weapons everywhere and an absolute lack of trust… and the shameless division between the few super rich and the great majority of the desperately poor… the most depressed country on the Asian continent.
Later I asked my comrade Arif, whether all this was really true?

“Of course!” He shouted, passionately. “100% true. The Russians built roads, they built homes for our people, and they treated Afghans so well, like their brothers. The Americans never did anything for Afghanistan, almost nothing. They only care about their own benefits.”

“If there would be a referendum right now, on a simple question: ‘do you want Afghanistan to be with Russia or with the United States, the great majority would vote for Russia, never for the US or Europe. And you know why? I’m Afghan: when my country is good, then I’m happy. If my country is doing bad, then I suffer! Most people here, unless they are brainwashed or corrupted by the Westerners, know perfectly well what Russia did for this country. And they know how the West injured our land.”
Before we parted, Mr. Wahed Tooryalai grabbed my hand. I knew he wanted to say something essential. I waited for him to formulate it. Then it came, in rusty but still excellent Russian:

“Sometimes I feel so hurt, so angry. Why did Gorbachev abandon us? Why? We were doing just fine. Why did he leave us? If he hadn’t betrayed us, life in Afghanistan would be great. I wouldn’t have to be a UN driver… I used to be the deputy director of an enormous bread factory, with 300 people working there: we were building our beloved country, feeding it. I hope Putin will not leave us.”

Then he looked at me, straight into my eyes, and suddenly I got goose bumps as he spoke, and my glasses got foggy:

“Please tell Mr. Putin: do hold our hand, as I’m now holding yours. Tell him what you saw in my country; tell him that we Afghans, or at least many of us, are still straight, strong and honest people. All this will end, and we will send the Americans and Europeans packing. It will happen very soon. Then please come and stand by us, by true Afghan patriots! We are here, ready and waiting. Come back, please.”
Heck, if I was wearing glasses they'd definitely would have gotten foggy too upon reading the last paragraph.
 

Esprit

Jedi
FOTCM Member
#2
Russia probably wants to avoid further conflicts being already involved in Syria. It's a very tough decision to go to help another country, even when asked as it seems to be the case, and this is probably what the western military wants to happen. Get Russia involved in a though war hoping to see it financially collapse and/or find a false flag reason to start a war against them.

At the same time Russia does'nt seem to want to wait for the problems to grow right next to it's door. But when do you exactly decide to attack the menace at it's root ?
You go to war when you know you have a chance to win but the menace seems to be much stronger.
It's all looking not so good either you let the cancer slowly infect the world or take a stand like Duterte who fears for his life by saying no to US and that could lead to catastrophic destruction.
I think the only way would be for all anti US to unite, and at one point, even neutrals will have to do something to avoid invasion.

But of course all of this means WW3. What other option do the world have with psycho drivens forces wrecking the world appart ? They just wont stop, the talking and good information is good up to one point until the cancer knocks at your door...

Trump's menace over Pakistan sounds just like their looking for the next place to invade, or at least keep their options open for when they'll need the next Vietnam.
What can we conclude of Trump trying to be in good term with Russia and possibly pushing the chaos further into Eurasia territory ? His hands are tied by the establishment ? He's just doing like all other liars before him ?
 

bjorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#3
[quote author= Ant]Bearing in mind the outcome of the Russian intervention in Syria, there may now be a light at the end of the tunnel for Afghanistan.[/quote]

Great thread! There are some signs that Russia might intervene in the future! And that's something to look forward to!

From what I gathered and understand:

Afghanistan is ideally positioned to disrupt Eurasian integration. Here is were the Arc of Crisis and the Jihadi plague of Brzezinski started. (To destablize the Eurasian continent) It would be symbolic, if it ends here.

From the looks of it, it’s my impression that Russia is trying to find ways to intervene. I believe that this can only happen if the Afghan government will make an official request at the UN. I don’t know how realistic that is, since it begs the question how tightly the US controls the Afghan government. I’m guessing the US is not taking any chances. Allthough, Afghan officials have been very vocal about the desire for Russian intervention.

I geuss another option for Russia is to just intervene. But that’s not the new world Putin is trying to build. Cooperation between nations and respecting each other sovereignty is the real New World Order. (That’s also why the Russian president always refers to the core foundations of the UN, it seems he wants to create a real UN and not the phony one we have now) If Putin wants his revolution to work. (Which is basically putting an end to Imperialism) I geuss he knows that the end does not justify the means. (You can’t set an example if you discard your own rules, otherwise his revolution might fail) I think it’s all up to the Afghan government to let the world and the UN know that they want Russian help.

Fingers crossed that it will happen soon!


[quote author= Article: Andre-Vltchek-On-the-road-in-Afghanistan-Lies-legends-and-myths]“If there would be a referendum right now, on a simple question: ‘do you want Afghanistan to be with Russia or with the United States, the great majority would vote for Russia, never for the US or Europe. And you know why? I’m Afghan: when my country is good, then I’m happy. If my country is doing bad, then I suffer! Most people here, unless they are brainwashed or corrupted by the Westerners, know perfectly well what Russia did for this country. And they know how the West injured our land.”[/quote]

Ok excellent, perhaps the Afghan people can hold rallies by the millions requesting for Russian help. Someone needs to organise it. The Afghan government would need to react on that. Though the US will certainly false flag those rallies with terror attacks to discourage people from attenting those. :(


I think that economically wise Afghanistan could be build up in no time. Afghanistan holds a enormous amount of rare earths and minerals. Only thing that hinders big investments is the ongoing war. And I’m guessing China and Russia are willing to invest in Afghanistan just so to stabilize the region in service of China's one Road, one Belt initiave. And ofcourse, it’s a win-win situation.

From what I understand Afghanistan was the first country where the plague of Brzezinsk started, it will be symbolic if it ends here, and with it a new world can truly emerge.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#4
Ant22 said:
I’ve noticed that Afghanistan doesn’t have its own thread here despite being quite a hot political topic in the news as well as being a strategic location the US clearly has no intention to let go of.
Great idea, Ant22!

The Afghanistan President and it's government body want the U.S. and it's "excess baggage" out of their Country ... like yesterday ... already!

Afghanistan Wants Russia, Not US to Help Restore Peace in Country - Ambassador
https://sputniknews.com/asia/201708261056814201-afghanistan-us-russia-peace/

"We wanted the US troops and troops of other Western countries, which have close relations with Afghanistan, to leave Afghanistan long ago," Kochai stressed. "We have now very powerful troops. They fight against terrorism, against Taliban, against Daesh. We can do this."


The UK Stop the War Coalition criticized the reported intention of the UK government to deploy special forces unit to Afghanistan.
Stop the War Coalition Condemns UK Forces Alleged Deployment in Afghanistan
https://sputniknews.com/world/201708291056895774-stop-war-coalition-sas-afghanistan/

The UK Stop the War Coalition (STWC) criticized the reported intention of the government to send a special forces unit to Afghanistan, a spokesperson for the group told Sputnik on Tuesday.

On Sunday, The Sunday Times reported, citing senior sources in the UK government, that the country's Prime Minister Theresa May was prepared to approve an increase in operations against the terrorists in Afghanistan and the Special Air Service (SAS) would reportedly play a key role in such operations.

"In the sixteen years since the country [of Afghanistan] was invaded, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, millions have become refugees and there is no end to the conflict in sight… We therefore condemn any British troops being sent to Afghanistan," the spokesperson said.

Earlier in August, US President Donald Trump announced his country's new strategy in Afghanistan. Among other changes, the president vowed to continue US support for the Afghan authorities in their fight against Islamic extremists and to expand authorities for US troops to target terrorists in Afghanistan.


Former career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service, Bhadrakumar Melkulangara, underscored the need for a peaceful, rather than military, solution to the crisis in Afghanistan, while London is reportedly mulling covert operations in the country.
UK Mulls More Special Ops in Afghanistan, but the Road to Peace Lies Elsewhere
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201708291056882245-afghanistan-conflict-solutions/

Mr. Melkulangara said that now that all Western attempts to defeat the Taliban have failed, the conflicting sides should start looking for a negotiated end to the 16-year-old conflict.

“What have the US and Britain really achieved by fighting this war for 16 years? I believe that what we need are inter-Afghan negotiations to end the conflict now that the Western powers have completely failed even to explain what they are going to do,” Bhadrakumar Melkulangara wondered.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is contemplating waging more covert operations in Afghanistan that will target jihadists groups, The Sunday Times reported.

“In his speech on Washington’s new Afghan strategy, President Trump said that special operations were needed [to fight Daesh terrorists] and I believe that, in a sense, they could be quite effective,” Bhadrakumar Melkulangara said.

He added that the British would clearly fall in line with Washington’s new strategy.

“However, I think that it would be extremely relevant for the British to explain how Daesh figures in the US strategy in the light of the experience of Iraq and Syria. This is what the region is mostly concerned about and there is total silence about this,” Melkulangara pointed out.

The British move comes amid concerns that Afghanistan could be lost to the Taliban if the US troops pull out.

When asked how justified these concerns really are, Bhadrakumar Melkulangara said that it was essentially a propagandistic stunt.

“The Americans want to show that they are irreplaceable, that they have done a marvelous job and that they should continue doing this. Trump didn’t say why the US military bases in Afghanistan should stay on.”

When queried about how the UK special operations could help improve the situation in Afghanistan, Bhadrakumar Melkulangara said that with the 120,000-strong US military contingent still in place in Afghanistan, the several hundred troops London is going to send there will only be playing a secondary role assisting US military and CIA operations.

Regarding widespread fears that British special operations in Afghanistan could result in human rights abuses by Special Air Service (SAS) commandos, Bhadrakumar Melkulangara said that “this is going to be an extremely violent period.” He also mentioned the likelihood of military contractors coming in. “This is exactly what former Afghan President Hamid Karzai had in mind when he said that there is a very dangerous situation arising because once again we’ll see landing parties, bombings, etc.,” Melkulangara warned.

He added that there would be no lasting peace in Afghanistan unless some of the Taliban’s demands are met and that the terms and conditions of the Taliban’s integration is something everyone should now focus on.

“The thesis that the Taliban would eventually be degraded and brought to the negotiating table is an old tale we have heard under President Barack Obama. The problem is, however, that the Taliban adamantly insists that there must be an end to the country’s foreign occupation.”

Bhadrakumar Melkulangara added that US military bases are the main stumbling block on the way to a peaceful resolution of the Afghan conflict because, with the exception of those in Afghanistan who have vested interests in the continued Western presence in the country, the majority of the Afghan people want the US military bases to leave.

“I think that regional powers should speak up and insist that there is no military solution to this conflict,” he concluded.

The UK is expected to deploy Special Air Service and Special Boat Service operatives to assess what kinds of troops are needed for a new Afghan deployment.

The intentions to introduce special operations in Afghanistan come as UK intelligence agencies warn that the Central Asian country could be lost to the Taliban if the US were to withdraw its troops.

According to The Sunday Times, intelligence agencies have played a crucial role in convincing President Trump to increase the military presence in Afghanistan. There are 500 British troops currently stationed in the country.

The ongoing war has cost UK taxpayers over 40 billion pounds. Nearly 500 military personnel have died in the conflict.


According to NATO Resolute Support Mission Afghanistan, no US troops were hit by the recent explosion in the Afghan capital that occurred close to US embassy.
No US Troops Injured in Kabul Blast - US Military Spokesman
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201708291056880625-kabul-explosion-us-troops/

"There were no US troops injured in the explosion in Kabul today," Lt. Damien E. Horvath, Press Desk Chief of NATO Resolute Support Mission Afghanistan, said in an emailed statement.

Earlier media reports indicated that a blast occurred around 10 a.m. local time in the diplomatic quarter of Kabul, at a bank located close to the US embassy. A suicide bomber is suspected of having carried out the attack.

The Afghan Health Ministry told Sputnik earlier in the day that four people were killed and eight others were injured in the blast.


Afghan officials began investigating reports of an air force strike in Herat province late on Monday that authorities said killed at least 13 civilians as well as some Taliban militants.
Afghan Officials Investigate Civilian Deaths in Airstrike
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960607001686

Civilian casualties caused by US air strikes in Afghanistan have long been a source of friction been the government and foreign forces, but over the past two years, the reformed Afghan air force has been conducting more of its own strikes, Daily Star reported.

Defence Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said Afghan aircraft had conducted a strike on a Taliban target in the Western province and had killed 18 insurgents and said officials were investigating reports civilians had also been killed.

"There are reports of civilian casualties, so the minister has appointed a team to investigate," he said.

A spokesman for the NATO-led international support mission in Kabul referred questions to the defence ministry.

"Our understanding that this was an Afghan Air Force strike," he said in an emailed statement.

Farhad Jilani, a spokesman for the Herat provincial governor, said 13 civilians had been killed and seven wounded in the air strike in Shindand district.

"There was a command and control center of the Taliban where some Taliban had gathered," he said.

Both the US and Afghan air forces conduct strikes against the Taliban and other insurgent targets and the incident underlined the risks posed as they have stepped up the pace of strikes in recent months.

The government of President Ashraf Ghani and its Western backers have announced a drive to boost the power of the fledgling Afghan air force as part of a four-year strategic plan to strengthen security forces.

The United Nations said in a report last month civilian deaths and injuries from air strikes had spiked 43 percent in the first half of the year, with 95 people killed and 137 wounded.


The Taliban insurgents executed two important leaders of the ISIL-Khorasan group in Nangarhar province, media reports said.
Taliban Execute Two Important ISIL Leaders in Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960607001373

According to reports, the two local ISIL leaders were initially arrested by the Taliban insurgents and were executed on charges of killing civilians and Taliban fighters, Khaama Press reported.

The provincial government in Nangarhar also confirmed the execution of the two ISIL leaders.

A statement by the media department of Nangarhar government said the two ISIL leaders were executed in the restive Bati Kot district.

The statement further added one of the slain ISIL leaders was identified as Qadir who was in charge of a group of fifty militants and was arrested from Bati Kot district where he was executed shortly after his apprehension.

The other ISIL leader detained and executed by the Taliban insurgents has been identified as commander Nasir who was arrested from Momand Dara area.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#5
The Madness, Terrorist Organization NATO And It's Warplanes Bomb Zerkoh District Afghanistan Slaughtering Innocent Women And Children
http://nrt24.ru/en/news/madness-terrorist-organization-nato-and-its-warplanes-bomb-zerkoh-district-afghanistan

At least 16 civilians, including a number of women and children, were killed and many others wounded Monday in western Afghanistan, when NATO warplanes carried out a flurry of airstrikes in Herat Province’s Zerkoh District, aiming to hit a “Taliban base.”

The raid started with strikes on the Taliban base, but quickly got out of hand when survivors of that strike started fleeing in all directions, and the NATO planes responded by bombing civilian homes in the same neighborhood, assuming the Taliban had taken refuge there.

Provincial officials say a number of Taliban fighters were killed in the strike, 16 to 18 depending on the source,but all seem to agree that the attack also resulted in substantial numbers of civilian deaths. Though the Defense Ministry had initially credited the Afghan Air Force with the strike, they later admitted it was a NATO operation.

NATO, for its part, has been unusually silent on the operation, having made no statements confirming or denying the incident, nor their requisite claim that they’d heard reports of civilian deaths and intend to investigate.
 

Ant22

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#6
Esprit said:
Russia probably wants to avoid further conflicts being already involved in Syria. It's a very tough decision to go to help another country, even when asked as it seems to be the case, and this is probably what the western military wants to happen. Get Russia involved in a though war hoping to see it financially collapse and/or find a false flag reason to start a war against them.

At the same time Russia does'nt seem to want to wait for the problems to grow right next to it's door. But when do you exactly decide to attack the menace at it's root ? (...)
Good points Esprit. The way I see it is that involvement in other countries simply uses up resources Russia could utilise to help its own people and the country's economy. I therefore do not advocate Russia simply helping out everyone who happens to need help. I may be wrong of course, but excessive military involvement will likely put a strain on the country's economy - which is already being challenged with sanctions.

I think Russia is being strategic (and no surprise there) when they say that they will resort to military involvement if their own borders are threatened. The outcome of the Russian involvement in Syria has shown that this statement is certainly something to be taken seriously. But since the PTB are not exactly strategic thinkers and predicting outcomes of their own actions is not their strength, Russia may in fact be forced to intervene to defend its borders and its people.

And if Andre Vltchek's article is something to go by, such intervention would not be the end of the world for Afghanistan.

I do admit that Andre Vltchek's article made quite a strong impression on me as before I read it I mostly thought of Afghanistan as one of the countries the US ruined. I think the description of the 'people' factor and personal tragedies behind the US involvement made me think quite emotionally about Afghanistan - and I guess that might have shone through my post a little.


bjorn said:
(...) Afghanistan is ideally positioned to disrupt Eurasian integration. Here is were the Arc of Crisis and the Jihadi plague of Brzezinski started. (To destablize the Eurasian continent) It would be symbolic, if it ends here.

From the looks of it, it’s my impression that Russia is trying to find ways to intervene. I believe that this can only happen if the Afghan government will make an official request at the UN. I don’t know how realistic that is, since it begs the question how tightly the US controls the Afghan government. I’m guessing the US is not taking any chances. Allthough, Afghan officials have been very vocal about the desire for Russian intervention.

I geuss another option for Russia is to just intervene. But that’s not the new world Putin is trying to build. Cooperation between nations and respecting each other sovereignty is the real New World Order. (That’s also why the Russian president always refers to the core foundations of the UN, it seems he wants to create a real UN and not the phony one we have now) If Putin wants his revolution to work. (Which is basically putting an end to Imperialism) I geuss he knows that the end does not justify the means. (You can’t set an example if you discard your own rules, otherwise his revolution might fail) I think it’s all up to the Afghan government to let the world and the UN know that they want Russian help. (...)
You actually described something I have been thinking of: that Putin intervenes only when he is asked for help. So yeah, let's see what happens if Afghanistan does ask.

Moreover, during the last SOTT radio show chat discussion it was mentioned that there is a video on YouTube where Gaddafi's son regretted not asking for Russian weapons sooner - and look what happened to Libya. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find the video.


angelburst29 said:
(...) Afghanistan Wants Russia, Not US to Help Restore Peace in Country - Ambassador
https://sputniknews.com/asia/201708261056814201-afghanistan-us-russia-peace/

"We wanted the US troops and troops of other Western countries, which have close relations with Afghanistan, to leave Afghanistan long ago," Kochai stressed. "We have now very powerful troops. They fight against terrorism, against Taliban, against Daesh. We can do this."
Great articles angelburst29! It's the US and not Russia that is responsible for the current situation in Afghanistan. They created the mess, how can they be trusted to clean it up? Especially that they make lots of money out of the current state of affairs in Afghanistan.

Also, ongoing airstrikes are not exactly the best way to resolve the problem - that's in fact what started it in the first place. How can fighting fire with fire stop the spread of the fire?

At Least 28 Civilians Killed in US Airstrike in Afghanistan: https://sputniknews.com/asia/201708301056920347-afghanistan-logar-us-airstrike/

The US air forces have once again waged an airstrike in Afghanistan, leaving victims and injuries, local media reported on Wednesday, citing anonymous sources.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — At least 28 civilians, including women and children, were killed in an US airstrike in Afghanistan's eastern province of Logar, local media reported on Wednesday.

According to the Pajhwok news agency, the airstrike hit a residential building in the province's city of Pol-e Alam.

The information on the airstrike was confirmed by a spokesman of the province's governor, according to the outlet.
President Donald Trump set out his Afghan policy on August 21, saying US troops would "fight to win." He said there was no deadline and refused to disclose how many personnel would stay behind. Moreover, on January 1, 2015, NATO announced its new mission in the country, called Resolute Support, to train and assist the Afghan security forces.
Ex-Afghan President Karzai: Trump Strategy Risks More Bloodshed: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201708251056771416-afghan-president-trump-strategy-bloodshed/

Afghanistan's former President Hamid Karzai claims that the new US strategy for his country is against Afghanistan's national interests.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Afghanistan's former President Hamid Karzai has slammed the new US strategy for his country and the use of private US security firms as anti-Afghan, in an interview with a Russian newspaper out Friday.

President Donald Trump set out his Afghan policy on Monday, saying US troops would "fight to win." He said there was no deadline and refused to disclose how many personnel would stay behind. Defense officials told US media the actual number of US troops serving in Afghanistan was several thousand higher than the official estimates.

"I strongly oppose the new US strategy for Afghanistan as it is against the country’s national interests," Karzai told the Izvestiya newspaper.

He said increased presence of private US contractors on the Afghan soil breached the national sovereignty and constitution and would lead to a drawn-out conflict and more bloodshed. US firm Blackwater (Academi) previously gained notoriety for killing civilians in the Iraq war.
"The use of private security companies is an anti-Afghan project," Karzai concluded.

The United States has been in Afghanistan for almost 17 years following the September 11, 2001 attacks in Washington and New York. Before his election, Trump condemned sending US troops and resources to this Central Asian country.

The stated goal of the 2001 US invasion was to defeat the al-Qaeda terrorist group but Afghanistan has also been ravaged by the Taliban, a major Islamic fundamentalist political movement in the 1990s, which held power over a large part of the country in 1996-2001 before being overthrown. The movement was then able to regroup and regain some of its prominence, waging war against the Afghan government.
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#7
Voters divided on American troop increase in Afghanistan – poll
Published time: 30 Aug, 2017 17:21
https://www.rt.com/usa/401482-voters-divided-american-troop-increases/
Related link
Almost a half of American voters support President Donald Trump’s plan to increase troops in Afghanistan, while almost the same number oppose the plan, a new poll showed.

Of those polled, 45 percent of voters support Trump’s plan to increase troops while 41 percent oppose the step, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll released on Wednesday.

When voters were asked to self-identify along party lines, 68 percent of Republicans supported the increase, with 30 percent of Democrats and 35 percent of independents disagreed, according to the poll.

When asked about how the war in Afghanistan was going, 38 percent of Republicans said the US was winning, compared with 17 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of independents.

When not broken down by political affiliation, overall, 24 percent of voters think the United States is winning the Afghanistan War, while 40 percent think it is losing.
President Trump laid out his plans for Afghanistan in a speech on August 21 in Fort Myer, Arlington, Virginia.

He reversed his previous statements to pull troops out of Afghanistan and said after studying the issue there would be no “rapid exit” from the 16-year war, instead ordering the military to “fight to win” by “killing terrorists.”

“A hasty withdrawal,” Trump said, would create a “vacuum” for terrorists. He argued that “9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan because that country was ruled by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists.”
About 2,400 Americans have died in the war, the longest in US history. Trump is the third American president promising to win the war, preceded by George W. Bush, who originally sent troops to Afghanistan, and Barack Obama, who repeatedly vowed to pull them out.

Trump declined to say by how much he would increase the number of US troops, which currently stands at around 8,400.

In the poll, half of voters agree with Trump’s refusal to announce how many soldiers he would add to the war effort
“so as not to alert our enemies overseas.”
Just 34 percent think the president should “reveal specific plans to the American people, who have the right to debate the best course of action.”
The poll was conducted August 24-28 and surveyed 1,999 registered voters. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 2 percentage points.


How Do We End the War In Afghanistan? (12:22)
The Big Picture RT Published on Aug 25, 2017
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzsQpbfYQuQ
Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies/Ending the Us War in Afghanistan: A Primer. Is Trump aiming for a political victory on Afghanistan or a permanent occupation?
US ‘failing in Afghanistan’ – fmr CIA agent (5:29)
Published on Aug 24, 2017 RT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGK34aMesT0
The Taliban is more successful now than at any time since September 11, 2001. Former CIA agent Jack Rice joins RT America’s Manila Chan to address criticisms that President Donald Trump is “scapegoating” Pakistan to account for US inability to achieve victory in Afghanistan.
Moreover, during the last SOTT radio show chat discussion it was mentioned that there is a video on YouTube where Gaddafi's son regretted not asking for Russian weapons sooner - and look what happened to Libya. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find the video
This may be the one from Rt.
Dec 19, 2016
Gaddafi's son interview: Libya used as fast food by NATO (12:47)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpMugPQC4ZY
 

Ant22

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#8
c.a. said:
(...)
Moreover, during the last SOTT radio show chat discussion it was mentioned that there is a video on YouTube where Gaddafi's son regretted not asking for Russian weapons sooner - and look what happened to Libya. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find the video
This may be the one from Rt.
Dec 19, 2016
Gaddafi's son interview: Libya used as fast food by NATO (12:47)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpMugPQC4ZY
Thank you for finding it c.a. Yes, I think it's the one that was discussed.

It's a really interesting interview, I haven't watched it before. At around 10mins he says that at the time the attack on Libya happened he was very "liberal, tolerant and peaceful" which was a big mistake to make. It did make me think of all those liberal snowflakes fighting for tolerance for all kinds of societal disorders. Allowing everyone to do what they want in the name of freedom and tolerance enables a snake to sneak in unnoticed before it's too late. But I guess it would be like talking to a brick wall.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#9
They lie! The Pentagon may admit they have 11,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan - but are not forth coming on how many NATO troops are stationed there from the U.S. and NATO countries? The Pentagon's "simplified accounting methodology" is nothing more than smoke and mirrors! Then again, why get specific when everything below the rank of the Pentagon is considered "useful idiots and cannon folder"?

US Defense Department confirmed that approximately 11,000 US troops are currently positioned in Afghanistan.
Pentagon Confirms 11,000 US Troops in Afghanistan - Joint Staff Director
https://sputniknews.com/asia/201708301056936949-us-pentagon-troops-afhganistan/

"Under the new, simplified accounting methodology the current total forces number in Afghanistan is approximately 11,000," McKenzie stated.

The number is 2,600 higher than the previously announced one because the Pentagon has included other categories of troops, like those on temporary duty status, assigned to combat support agencies and the Resolute Support sustainment brigade among others, McKenzie added. He noted that the new estimate does include the counterterrorism mission forces.

This new number does not include any future deployments that could be made in order to accomplish President Donald Trump's new strategy for southeast Asia, McKenzie explained.

In July of 2016, former President Barack Obama announced the United States would keep 8,400 US military personnel in Afghanistan until the end of his administration. That was the last time the US government officially announced the number of troops in Afghanistan.


At least two people were killed in an explosion near the residence of an Afghan parliamentarian in the country's Eastern Nangarhar province on Wednesday, local media said, citing local authorities
At Least 2 Killed in Blast Near Afghan MP's House in Jalalabad
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960608001472

The province's governor said that a suicide attacker set off an explosion outside Zahir Qadir's house in the city of Jalalabad, Tolo News reported.

Two of the lawmaker's bodyguards were killed in the blast, and another suicide attacker was reportedly shot by more bodyguards.

The nearby area has been cordoned off, the broadcaster said.

The incident took place a day after a blast occurred near the US embassy in the Kabul's diplomatic quarter, killing at least five people. The Taliban terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Previously the Taliban vowed to continue 'jihad' as a response to the new US strategy in Afghanistan, which has been also widely criticized by the country's former president Hamid Karzai. He noted that the Trump's decision might lead to more bloodshed.
 

Ant22

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#10
angelburst29 said:
They lie! The Pentagon may admit they have 11,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan - but are not forth coming on how many NATO troops are stationed there from the U.S. and NATO countries? The Pentagon's "simplified accounting methodology" is nothing more than smoke and mirrors! Then again, why get specific when everything below the rank of the Pentagon is considered "useful idiots and cannon folder"? (...)
This reminds me of that anecdote about an accountant who was asked at a job interview: "how much is 2 + 2?" and he replied: "and how much do you want it to be?" Well, that accountant might have actually worked for the Pentagon.

I guess I'd be quite surprised if they told the truth for a change.


c.a. said:
(...) He reversed his previous statements to pull troops out of Afghanistan and said after studying the issue there would be no “rapid exit” from the 16-year war, instead ordering the military to “fight to win” by “killing terrorists.”

“A hasty withdrawal,” Trump said, would create a “vacuum” for terrorists. He argued that “9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan because that country was ruled by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists.”
About 2,400 Americans have died in the war, the longest in US history. Trump is the third American president promising to win the war, preceded by George W. Bush, who originally sent troops to Afghanistan, and Barack Obama, who repeatedly vowed to pull them out.


This has been one unsuccessful endeavour for the US and the longest war in the US history. Yet withdrawal would be "hasty". I guess all those lucrative poppy fields make the decision making process a tad more complex and 16 years isn't enough to assess the situation. Especially if the income generated this way funds political campaigns and covert projects in the US. :rolleyes:


https://www.rt.com/op-edge/399575-afghan-heroin-funded-us-political/

Not only the military, but ex-military people who were involved in doing a lot of the flights in and out of Afghanistan began shipping drugs out, claims Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor of Veterans Today.

A report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), suggests the US war in Afghanistan has been fueling America's drug crisis.

RT: Do you think there are any links between the record production of opium in Afghanistan and America's heroin crisis?

Jim Dean: It is a connection in that before we went into Afghanistan there was almost no heroin production there. And then after we went in it miraculously began to skyrocket, because the northern warlords went back into growing opium to fund the war and also enrich themselves. What also happened is, we found out much later that US contractors – particularly not only the military but the ex-military people who were involved in doing a lot of the flights in and out of the country began shipping drugs out.

We did not know whether they were just doing it on the side. But later we found out a lot of the increase in heroin production was being officially done and the money … eventually ending up in political campaigns in the US, and also to fund black projects for intelligence operations that they didn’t want anyone in Congress to know.

So yes, the big increase in production did come as a result of the US invasion of Afghanistan. But the story gets a little more complicated because once you have opium, it has to be turned into heroin. That is a long story that evolved over what’s been many years now.

RT: There has been a warning that heroin has been smuggled from Afghanistan into the US through Canada. How is it possible?

JD: Canada has a lot of their heroin coming in from Afghanistan. The Canadian border is the most porous because it has the least number of border enforcement people. In terms of carrying things in, they can’t have people stationed every 100 yards.

We hear in the US that heroin production in Mexico has also greatly increased and officials here, although there is disagreement on this, say most of the heroin currently coming into the US is coming from Canada, but that the amounts coming in from Afghanistan are increasing. The question is: how are they getting in after all of those long fights. The danger of shipping it for a long distance.

Our information is that a lot of it is being brought in are government operations that are being secret, they don’t go through normal customs, because their operations are classified, and they have their own air transport. This is how a lot of this drug trafficking is going into political campaigns, and big wigs are moving around through the defense and intelligence contractors that are being widely used now by the US.

RT: What is the main cause of opium production increase in Afghanistan?

JD: The US campaign just made it completely wide open. The country was devastated economically – there was no real economy. So growing drugs, and particularly poppies, no other crop could really compete with it. And the Taliban was no longer there to stop drug production because they knew what the long-term consequences would be.

It is a little bit more complicated because a lot of that heroin and opium was traveling not only into the former Soviet Union states but also into Russia. They have their own growing epidemic because they were being flooded with cheap heroin coming out of Afghanistan. We see now that was part of the destabilization process that the West and NATO was beginning with Russia; to increase the problem that they have with drug addiction, and Putin spoke out about this very early on.

Lavrov described the US strategy on Afghanistan as a 'dead end and it's hard to disagree: https://www.rt.com/news/400756-us-afghanistan-dead-end-lavrov/

The new US strategy in Afghanistan has no chance for success, as it mainly relies on the use of force, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“The main emphasis in the new strategy, which was announced by Washington, is made on settlement through use of force,” Lavrov said at a press conference on Thursday. “We believe that it’s a dead-end approach.”

Apart from that, the new strategy allows negotiations with the Taliban without any preconditions, which is also a significant flaw, Lavrov added, saying that it jeopardizes the joint international stance formed in the UN Security Council.

“If I’ve got the new US strategy right, it allows contacts with the Taliban without them fulfilling any conditions at all,” Lavrov said.

“I don’t think that it goes in line with our joint interest to follow the negotiated, coordinated line which is approved by the UN Security Council. But I hope that within the framework of the expert-level contacts we have with our American colleagues, we will be able to clarify this apparent contradiction.”

Lavrov noted that the UN Security Council, with the approval of Afghanistan’s government, ruled to allow the Taliban to enter the negotiation process under conditions that include severing terrorist links, bringing armed resistance to an end, and respecting Afghanistan’s constitution.

“We maintain the contacts with the Taliban exactly in accordance with these criteria, urging them to comply with these UN Security Council demands,” the minister said.

The new US strategy was announced by US President Donald Trump at the Army’s Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall on Monday. Despite saying earlier that he was in favor of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, Trump now seems to be following the approach of his predecessors, promising that the troops “will fight to win.” Ending the 16-year military engagement in the country with a “hasty withdrawal” would only play into the hands of the terrorists, he said.

The US president said that after an “effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan.” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later that Washington stands ready to “support peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban without preconditions.”
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#11
Thank you for finding it c.a. Yes, I think it's the one that was discussed.
Your welcome Ant22.

Strategic Culture Foundation
Endless Regional Chaos: American Presence in Afghanistan Explained
Federico PIERACCINI | 04.09.2017 | WORLD
_https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/09/04/endless-regional-chaos-american-presence-in-afghanistan-explained.html
The geographic location of Afghanistan has always occupied a central role in many geopolitical studies. Donald Trump’s reasons for reinforcing US troops in the region are driven by the continuing US need to prevent a complete Eurasian integration among regional powers.

The April peace talks between Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Russia and China seemed to have put an end to the persistent and dominant American presence in the country. In Washington, following fifteen years of war and a series of failures, many had come to the conclusion that the time had come for the United States to return home.

Trump had throughout his electoral campaign criticized the foreign policy of his predecessors, giving the indication that he would be looking to leave Afghanistan once he assumed the presidency.

The road plan for Afghanistan laid out by the April peace talks seemed to offer the prospect of national reconciliation between the Taliban and the central authority in Kabul, assisted by parties with great interest in the country like India and Pakistan, given their geographic proximity, as well as Russia, China and Turkey.

The first talks in April 2017 capitalized on America's absence at the conference as well as on the will of the protagonists to reach an agreement after fifteen years of war and terror. Afghanistan is a key crossroad in the eastward expansion strategy that illustrates the special partnership between Russia and China, as seen with the steady progress of the Silk Road 2.0 initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union. Given Afghanistan’s geographic position, sharing boundaries with Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, it is useful to emphasize the role the country could play as a commercial and energy hub in the not too distant future.

Due to incompetence or perhaps due to facing insurmountable pressures, Donald Trump is undergoing a gradual and inexorable diminution with the elimination of all the most representative members of his administration. At the same time, the appointment of military personnel to civilian roles has pushed the administration into unexplored directions not foreshadowed in the electoral campaign. Trump spoke of less US military presence in the internal affairs of other nations. But as we shall see, nothing could be further from the truth.

The appointment of Generals McMaster, Kelly and Mattis (Mattis perhaps being the most powerful US defense secretary since the end of World War II) is Trump's attempt to withstand and bargain with the most significant elements of America’s deep state. A strong military component in the White House helps ensure continuity in US foreign policy. Contrary to what was professed during the elections, Donald Trump immediately traded American foreign policy in exchange for explicit GOP backing for key legislation that will help secure a 2020 re-election. Without bills on health, tax and immigration reform being passed, there will be no arguments in favor of the GOP and Trump during the midterm and presidential elections in 2018 and 2020 respectively.

The deep state in Washington has slowly but inexorably taken over Trump's presidency, a task made all the simpler by Trump’s character, which dismisses his lack of experience with an overweening self-confidence. The military component of the deep state, in concert with GOP leaders, took less than six months to quash Trump's electoral promises and turn the president’s foreign policy into a dangerous reprise of the Obama and Bush years.

More and more frequently, American intervention in foreign lands lead to situations of uncontrollable chaos, with no real central authority able to govern and obey Washington’s orders. The current state of the Middle East is reflective of this. In Afghanistan, Washington, especially Mattis, is cognizant of the country's rebirth under Sino-Russian leadership after fifteen years of America’s presence. This is a scenario that the US deep state is not willing to tolerate.

Leaving aside Afghanistan’s huge amounts of natural resources (about one trillion in precious metals), as well as its strategic location linking east and west, a peaceful Afghanistan led by a single central authority would hardly cohere with US objectives in the country. The US loves to consider itself the indispensable nation for peace in Afghanistan, when actually it is the main obstacle to peace.

For American foreign policy continuity, Afghanistan needs to remain in a chaotic situation. Above all, the US military industrial complex is not willing to surrender its political and military power in the country, only to be substituted by Moscow or Beijing. With these unofficial motives, General Mattis announced a surge of several thousand American troops to the country. It is immediately clear that numerically and tactically, four or five thousand soldiers will make no difference. The intent is purely demonstrative, as seen in Syria with a few missiles lobbed at an empty airbase. The purpose is to send a clear and unambiguous message to Russia, China, Pakistan and even India, to the effect that without American consensus, no strategic reorganization is permissible in Afghanistan.

General Mattis and all those who for decades have been constantly thinking of MacKinder's geopolitical theory (Heartland Theory) are aware of the strategic importance of keeping Afghanistan hostile towards regional powers like China and Russia. The USSR's war in defense of the country, and the socialist superpower’s subsequent collapse, offers a historical warning.

In April, Moscow and Beijing, with the tacit approval of New Delhi and Islamabad, launched a peace process in Kabul that should have facilitated talks between the central authority and the Taliban to bring about a truce that would bring to an end the violence and destruction that had over fifteen years left the country bleeding in endless poverty and suffering.

The American surge will not advance American interests in the country. It will not change the delicate balance negotiated between the parties back in April. It will not affect the efforts of Moscow and Beijing to stabilize the country. It will only buy Washington more time by bombing and killing civilians, always viewed by American generals as an acceptable and privileged option available to them.

Like in other parts of the world, the presence of American troops does not fully explain the long-term goals of military planners. Afghanistan in some respects resembles a similar situation to Southeast Asia. In South Korea, the American presence has persisted since 1950, and with it the destabilization of the Korean peninsula. As in Asia, the central purpose of the American presence in Afghanistan is to occupy geo-strategic zones in order to prevent Eurasian integration between powers like India, China and Russia. Secondly, it is the constant presence of troops and military bases in locations close to or around the two major powers of China and Russia that aims to overburden and thereby diminish the defensive capabilities of these two strategic threats. In 1962, when the USSR did something similar in response to the US deployment of patriot missiles in Turkey, it started building up its offensive capability in the Western Hemisphere using Cuba as a military base. The US was willing to go to war to halt this domestic threat and for weeks the world was on the verge of a nuclear conflict. Only dialogue between American and Soviet leaders averted this threat to human existence.

Conclusions

Washington cares for nothing other than its own interests. But twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, the world is changing, and more and more fruitful efforts to replace the chaos wrought by US policies can be seen with peaceful, mutually beneficial cooperation increasingly being the order of the day. The road to economic prosperity and a re-established unity among the Afghan people is still a work in progress, but once the country manages to establish its independence, Washington will have a hard time dictating conditions. Countries like Russia, China and India have every intention of using diplomacy and peacekeeping to prevent a dangerous escalation in Afghanistan.

India and China have some divergence over the future of the region, but by the start of the 2017 BRICS conference, they had already resolved a border dispute that lasted over two months. The ability to create diverse organizations like BRICS, AIIB and SCO provides the opportunity to begin any kind of negotiation with a legal and economic foundation. This represents a commendable example of overcoming differences through diplomacy and economic benefits.

While the United States exhales the last breaths as a declining global power, no longer able to impose its will, it lashes out in pointless acts like lobbing 60 cruise missiles at Syria or sending 4000 troops to Afghanistan. Such acts do not change anything on the ground or modify the balance of forces in Washington’s favor. They do, however, have a strong impact on further reducing whatever confidence remains in the US, closing the door to opportunities for dialogue and cooperation that may otherwise have offered themselves.

Trump promised isolationism. His generals, behind the scenes, have managed to make this electoral promise come true, leaving Washington alone in the international arena in the near term.
Taliban Fits Perfectly Into US Strategy to Destabilize Afghanistan, Central Asia
(updated 11:37 05.09.2017)
Couple of Snips links within:
https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201709051057082531-us-taliban-china-russia/
The emergence of the Taliban was facilitated by the US and its allies, who tried to use the terrorist threat to maintain their control over the Central Asian region while simultaneously posing a challenge to America's geopolitical competitors, Russia and China, Afghan experts told Sputnik.

The Taliban — a radical Afghan Islamist organization — was created by the US and its allies to maintain control over Central Asia and pose a challenge to Russia and China, experts told Sputnik Afghanistan, assuming that Pentagon war planners are not really interested in destroying the terrorists.

Azami said that if Washington had truly planned to eradicate the terrorist organization it could have done it at the very beginning of the conflict, especially given the fact that Pakistan at that time was America's close ally.

"The Taliban was created by the West and the countries neighboring [Afghanistan]," Gol Ahmad Azami, a military expert and Afghan parliamentarian told Sputnik. "The main role [in creating the Taliban] was played by Pakistan and Arab [Gulf] countries."
"The purpose of the US military presence in our country is not a war on terrorism, but penetration into neighboring countries and Russia," Taqat believes.
"The Americans said they had trained the Afghan military, and they would now fight on their own," Amarkhel noted. "In fact, this was not the case, as the Afghan military did not have enough weapons."
Earlier, on August 22, The Intercept's Ryan Grim wrote that "shortly after the US invaded Afghanistan, the Taliban tried to surrender," however, Washington "turned them down repeatedly."


Since George Bush, the Afghan strategy envisaged eradicating as many terrorists as possible, "Afghans that the US worked with understood the predicament their military sponsors were in, so they fabricated bad guys,"
Grim pointed out.
Afghanistan War Report – September 2, 2017: New US Strategy Leads To Further Escalation Of Conflict

https://youtu.be/CVK3C-bXEMk
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#12
A NATO airstrike killed two people at a wedding ceremony in Afghanistan's eastern province of Ghazni.

NATO Airstrike Kills Civilians in Eastern Afghanistan
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960614001394

The airstrike hit the province's Qarabagh district, after the guests at the ceremony started firing shots into the air, celebrating the wedding, the TOLO news broadcaster reported, citing local authorities.

The NATO forces reportedly mistook the gunfire for an attack against them and bombed the area in retaliatory fire.

Qarabagh’s district governor Abdul Sami Sharifi confirmed to the broadcaster that the bombing left two people dead and three others injured.

According to some other sources of the media outlet, the airstrike resulted in around 20 casualties.

Police reportedly launched an investigation into the incident.


At least twenty five Taliban insurgents were killed or wounded during the airstrikes in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, the country's Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.
Taliban Commanders Among 25 Killed, Wounded in Helmand Airstrikes
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960614000704

According to a statement by MoD, the airstrikes were conducted in three different districts of Helmand, including the provincial capital Lashkargah city, Khaama Press reported.

The statement further added that twelve insurgents were killed in total including three of their local commanders.

The Taliban commanders killed during the airstrikes have been identified as Mullah Khaliqdad, Mullah Musafir, and Khayal Mohammad, MoD added.

According to the Ministry of Defense, at least thirteen insurgents were also wounded during the same airstrikes.

The airstrikes targeted the hideouts of the insurgents that led to the casualties to the Taliban insurgents, MoD said, adding that four hideouts of the group were destroyed in total.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report so far.

Helmand remains one of the most volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 where terrorist related incidents are frequently reported from its various districts.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#13
Interesting title to this article:

Daesh Gets New Foothold in Libya, Afghanistan
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201709061057147928-daesh-libya-comeback/

Not surprising - considering the Pentagon and NATO control both Libya and Afghanistan and have been funding and supplying their Daesh proxies in Iraq and Syria. It also gives a reasonable explanation, as to the many reports of U.S. helicopter's airlifting terrorists groups out of "hot combat zones" to an undisclosed destination. I wonder, what the Pentagon has in mind, since they got Trump to approve "an undisclosed amount" of troops for Afghanistan?

Daesh terrorists, who are losing ground in Syria and Iraq, are now moving to Libya and Afghanistan taking two countries’ security forces flat-footed.
As the jihadist terrorists continue to be flushed out from Syria and Iraq, they are now looking elsewhere to regroup and form a kind of backup caliphate.

Libya: Daesh is Back

Libya is seen by Daesh as a new jumping-off ground outside the Middle East. The religious fanatics have seized the port city of Sirte, which was defended until autumn 2011 by forces loyal to Libya's former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

“After months of NATO bombardments, the port city of Sirte was captured by insurgents, then run by semi-criminal gangs. As a result the city’s infrastructure ceased to exist, the residents moved elsewhere so by the time Daesh came there was no one left to defend the city,” political analyst Grigory Lukyanov said.

Fortifying their positions in Sirte the terrorists moved on to control part of the country’s coastline wedging themselves between territories controlled by the UN-recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and by General Khalifa Haftar whose forces control the eastern part of the country.

The two rivals then joined forces to drive Daesh out of the port city, but there have been no reports that their leaders were eliminated. According to media reports, Daesh supporters have retreated to the no man’s land in the south.

In September 2017 it became clear that Daesh had not been defeated and General Haftar had to admit that the Islamists “are getting back.”

Libya's violent, deadly civil war broke out five years ago as part of the so-called 'Arab Spring' that engulfed much of the Middle East and North Africa; the conflict, which erupted between Muammar Gaddafi's government and its opponents, resulted in his public execution and the utter disintegration of the prosperous state he had established since taking power in 1969.

Mother of All Bombs Missed

Meanwhile, Daesh has been beefing up its forces in Afghanistan where the Mother of All Bombs dropped by the Americans on underground terrorists tunnels in Nangarhar province in April failed to justify the high hopes pinned on one of the deadliest non-nuclear weapons ever devised by man.

In September, the US had to admit that Daesh militants were getting back to where the MOB was supposed to flush them out.

They are back in the tunnels,” US military advisor Richard Anderson said.

It is apparently with this realization in mind that Washington is now holding talks with the Taliban which it considers to be a more moderate opponent than Daesh.

Russia Will Pump Oil in Libya

Grigory Lukyanov believes that Russia has an economic interest in seeing radical Islamists driven out of Libya, because in this case it would be able to vie for contracts to rebuild the country’s devastated infrastructure.

“Russia wants to work with all political forces capable of ensuring peace in Libya this giving Russian companies a chance to rebuild roads and the country’s oil industry,” Lukyanov continued.

He added that talks to this effect are already ongoing, but concrete agreements are being held up by the current political instability in the oil-rich North African nation.

“Still, as far as I know, Russia’s participation in the reconstruction of the Libyan infrastructure, above all in the oil sector, has been discussed with a delegation from Misurata, first in London and then in Moscow. The ussie was also raised during Prime Minister Al-Sarraj’s recent visit to Moscow,” Lukyanov said.

Libya has the biggest proven oil reserves in Africa and its oil industry is attempting a comeback after years of civil war.

Despite the local oil industry’s flagging performance, and predictions that it may never return to how it was under former leader Muammar Gaddafi, experts hope it will be able to make a full recovery. But problems linked with shutdowns, lack of maintenance and investment still remain.


A blast at the entry of the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan caused "a small number of casualties", the US military said Wednesday as quoted by Reuters.
Blast at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan Results in 'Small Number of Casualties'
https://sputniknews.com/asia/201709061057149809-bagram-airfield-explosion-casualties/

The Taliban has reportedly claimed responsibility for the explosion — allegedly in retaliation for a NATO leaflet which offended Afghan Muslims. The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber, TOLONews said.

"An explosion occurred outside an entry control point at Bagram Airfield at 5.38 p.m. local time today," a Pentagon release stated. "The explosion resulted in a small number casualties."

The leaflet distributed by US forces in Parwan province, north of Kabul, showed a white dog with a part of the Taliban’s banner superimposed on its side running from the lion. The banner contained a passage from the Quran in Arabic. It has prompted anger across Muslims in the country.

The lack of control and instability turned the country into home to the largest opium poppy production and distribution network in the world.

On August 22, the Taliban announced it would continue jihad in reposne to US President Donald Trump's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.


A senior US commander hurried to apologize after a NATO leaflet depicted Islam in an offensive manner sparking a scandal in Afghanistan.
'Highly Offensive' to Islam: NATO's Propaganda Leaflet Prompts Indignation
https://sputniknews.com/asia/201709061057143212-nato-leaflet-sparks-conflict-afghanistan/

The leaflet distributed by US forces in Parwan province, north of Kabul, showed a white dog with a part of the Taliban’s banner superimposed on its side running from the lion. The banner contained a passage from the Quran in Arabic. It has prompted anger across Muslims in the country.

In Islam associating an image of a dog with one of the religion’s most sacred texts is deemed highly disrespectful and offensive.

Above the picture of the lion and the dog, the leaflet asked people to report insurgents to the authorities.

“Take back your freedom from the terrorist dogs and cooperate with coalition forces so they can target your enemy and eliminate them,” it said.

Although information campaigns are a common method used by both government and coalition forces to get people to turn against the Taliban and other insurgent groups, sometimes the images used for leaflets create misunderstandings and lead to conflict.

Following the incident, the Governor of Parawn Mohammad Hasem condemned the leaflet as “unforgivable” and said an investigation would be held.

“Those who have committed this unforgivable mistake in the publicity, propaganda or media section of the coalition forces will be tried and punished,” he said.

It was reported that a senior US commander in Afghanistan apologized for the leaflet.

“The design of the leaflets mistakenly contained an image highly offensive to both Muslims and the religion of Islam,” Major General James Linder said in a statement on Wednesday.

“I sincerely apologize. We have the deepest respect for Islam and our Muslim partners worldwide,” he said, adding that an investigation would be held “to determine the cause of this incident and to hold the responsible party accountable,” he added.

In 2012, US commanders had to apologize after copies of the Quran and other religious texts were accidentally burned at Bagram Air Base near Kabul. The incident sparked large demonstrations in Kabul and other provinces in which several people were killed.

On another occasion, a film of US Marines urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters caused widespread offence, leading to an investigation and criminal charges.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#14
A local leader of the Taliban group was killed along with his three comrades in an airstrike conducted in Central Logar province of Afghanistan.

Taliban Local Leader Among 4 Killed in Logar Airstrike
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960620001381

The Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan informed regarding the deaths of the Taliban leader and his fighters today morning, Khaama Press reported.

A statement by the ministry of interior said the Taliban leader killed in the airstrike has been identified as Qari Ismail who was also famous as Mir Mohammadi.

The statement further added that the three other Taliban group members killed in the airstrike have been identified as Qari Sirajuddin, Ahmad Gul and Mohammad Tahir.

The airstrike was carried out in the vicinity of Ab Josh area of Charkh district, the ministry of interior said, adding that several weapons along with a vehicle of the Taliban were also destroyed.

According to MoI, the group was involved in several terrorist related activities including coordinated attacks, and roadside bombings before they were killed in the airstrike.

The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.

Logar is among the relatively volatile provinces in central Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents as well as militants belonging to other terrorist networks are actively operating in its various districts.

A prominent commander of the Haqqani terrorist network who was leading a group of at last fifty insurgents was also killed during an operation in this province late last month.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#15
More than 6,000 Fort Carson soldiers will head to Afghanistan in the coming months, joining a planned surge of American forces aimed at quelling violence there.

Long-rumored deployment of 6,000 Fort Carson troops relayed in unique fashion (Video)
http://gazette.com/article/1611155?TC_SC_REF

The long-rumored deployment was confirmed Thursday by Patrick Murphy, who was the Obama administration's top Army civilian leader during a speech at the post. Murphy, who served as the acting Army secretary until Donald Trump took office in January, was in Colorado Springs to tout a U.S. Chamber of Commerce program to help former troops get civilian employment.

He told a crowd of troops and civilians that the 4th Infantry Division headquarters and its 2nd Brigade Combat Team are the units headed to Afghanistan.

The strange source of the deployment announcement came as the Pentagon shows growing reluctance to talk about which units will head overseas
to accomplish Trump's goal of winning the 16-year-old Afghanistan war.

Murphy said the Fort Carson troops will head to the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, an area that has been repeatedly pacified by American forces only to return to insurgent hands.

While several sources have confirmed the 2018 deployment of the brigade and division headquarters, Fort Carson officially will not confirm the deployment. A spokeswoman said Thursday night the post has received no notification of any imminent deployment.

The units Murphy mentioned include the 4,500-soldier 2nd Brigade, one of America's most experienced units in Afghanistan combat and the most decorated unit to emerge from 16 years of fighting there.

The brigade is made up of ground-pounding infantry who can climb through the mountainous terrain near Kandahar to target insurgents. Much of Kandahar province lacks roads required for armored units.

Three 2nd Brigade soldiers since 2009 have earned the Medal of Honor for heroism in Afghanistan combat.

The brigade will be joined overseas by the 4th Infantry Division headquarters led by Maj. Gen. Randy George, Murphy said.

George, who took command of the division in August, led the predecessor unit to 2nd Brigade on one of its most storied deployments to Afghanistan and is known as one of America's top strategists for targeting the Taliban and the remnants of Al Qaida.

In recent deployments, American troops have acted as advisers to Afghanistan's Army rather than taking a more active role in fighting. That's likely to change under the strategy outlined by Trump last month.


The U.S. Air Force’s iconic B-52 Stratofortress bomber has been flying continuous missions over Afghanistan for months, as the American aerial campaign in the country expands in the face of resurgent and emerging threats, including Taliban insurgents and ISIS-linked terrorists. The flights have been part of an existing surge in air support as the service says it is still looking at how best to contribute to President Donald Trump’s new U.S. strategy for the region.
B-52s Are Back In The Skies Of Afghanistan Dropping Bombs Once Again
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/14304/b-52s-are-back-in-the-skies-of-afghanistan-dropping-bombs-once-again

Since March 2017, the B-52s, or BUFFs, have dropped more than 800 individual weapons on Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS-K targets in support of U.S. forces and the NATO-led coalition, U.S. Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT), the top Air Force command for operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, told The War Zone in an Email. This works out to an average of approximately 150 bombs dropped every month.

ISIS-K, or ISIS-Khorasan, is the terrorist group’s franchise in Afghanistan, which first appeared in January 2015. The bombers had already been striking at the main body of the organization in Iraq and Syria from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar since April 2016.

At the time of writing, AFCENT’s public affairs office had not yet responded to a query about what specific types of weapons the bombers had been dropping in Afghanistan. In sorties against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the BUFFs have been carrying a mixture of 500-pound class GBU-38/B and 2,000 GBU-31/B GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs). These have been among the Air Force’s most commonly employed weapons in Afghanistan for close air support and other missions, according to an official presentation from earlier in 2017.

In addition to directly attacking targets, the aircraft can provide limited surveillance capabilities thanks to the infrared camera in its Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod. The bombers can drop inert bombs full of propaganda leaflets to help with psychological warfare missions, as well.

Regardless of the particular weapons they've employed, the aging B-52s have been able to use their large bomb load, long range, and ability to orbit the battlefield for extended periods, even when flying all the way from Qatar, to their advantage over Afghanistan. The bombers have reportedly carried as many as 30 bombs, which would require the use of upgrades to their bomb bays that allows the aircraft to carry precision guided munitions internally.

“In essence, if we had 30 targets, we could hit 30 targets,” U.S. Air Force Major General James Hecker, who runs the coalition air war in Afghanistan, told Air Force Magazine in an interview earlier in 2017. “It gives us a fairly large capability.”

Still, the distance, along with a lack of tankers situated within or in the immediate vicinity of the country, does impact the regularity of these operations. As of June 2017, the bombers were flying an average of just one mission a week, according to Air Force Magazine.

This hasn’t prevented the BUFFs from contributing to the most intensive month of U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan in five years. In August 2017, American aircraft released more than 500 weapons in total over the country, according to official statistics. This was the most since August 2012, when the figure reached almost 600.

After a sharp decline following the transition of the NATO-led mission from combat to advisory functions in January 2015, these numbers have been steadily rising since earlier in 2017. The increase does coincide with the reappearance of the B-52s over Afghanistan, but it is unclear just how significant the appearance of the bombers has been to the overall operation. This broad uptick also included the first ever combat drop of the so-called "Mother of All Bombs" on ISIS-K fighters in April 2017.

Beyond their large payloads and other capabilities, the lumbering BUFFs may have intangible benefits, as well, having been an important component of the U.S. military’s early operations in Afghanistan starting after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The bombers played a key and visible role in driving the Taliban from power and chasing the militants and their Al Qaeda allies into the mountains.

The aircraft notably carpet bombed enemy positions in the mountains around Tora Bora in December 2001. In June 2017, ISIS-K took control of the area, which had once served as a base of operations for Osama Bin Laden.

The Air Force reportedly stopped routinely employing the B-52s over Afghanistan in 2005, but some additional missions appear to have occurred in the subsequent years, as well. During 2016, the bombers briefly flew a number of missions specifically targeting ISIS-K before another apparent halt. At this time, AFCENT has not yet responded to a request for more information about when the bomber flights ended before they resumed in March 2017.

In addition, the sporadic nature of the new missions seems to have led to some additional confusion about their present use in the country. After President Trump announced his new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia in August 2017, the U.S. military as a whole began reviewing possible options for expanding their operations.

Requests for more air support have been a common theme in those deliberations. Later in August 2017, The Washington Post, citing unnamed officials, said that this could include the deployment of additional F-16 Viper fighter jets, A-10 Warthog ground attack aircraft, or additional support from the B-52s in Qatar, or some combination of these assets.

Earlier in September 2017, Afghanistan’s Khaama Press reported that the country’s defense ministry had responded positively to the news. Specifically, Defense Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Radmanish “said the return of bomber aircrafts could play a key role in eliminating the militants,” despite the B-52s having already been flying overhead for almost six months at that time. Of course, it is entirely possible that there was some confusion in translation or another error in paraphrasing his Radmanish’s statements.

The Air Force itself has played down the significant of any potential changes, insisting it is still reviewing its available options. In an interview with Military.com, Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein said that the total number of air strikes in Afghanistan “remained steady” despite the increase in the total number of weapons that the aircraft actually employed.

"I don't think you're going to see it change that much," Goldfein said. "We've never come back. We've been engaged in Afghanistan the entire time."

But given the visible trend, it seems almost guaranteed that additional air power in some form will be a core component of any new surge of operations in Afghanistan. Whether or not additional air strikes or other increases in the U.S. military posture in the country will be able to change the existing dynamic in the country is another matter entirely.

While serving as the top intelligence officer for the NATO-led coalition and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Major General Mark Quantock once “used the term ‘Afghan Condition’ to describe circumstances in Afghanistan culture that restrict or limit their progress,” according to a Department of Defense Inspector General report we obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. “The Afghan condition includes high illiteracy rates, internal language barriers, gender inequality, tribal or family influences, corruption, and security concerns.”

While dropping more bombs might keep Taliban insurgents and ISIS-K terrorists at bay temporarily, these are the issues that will continue to make or break the chances of any real resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan.


Estimates as to how many ISIS fighters were killed as a result of America's highly publicized Mother Of All Bombs attack on an ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province continue to grow.
Mother Of All Bombs Certainly Did Its Job Based On These New Satellite Images
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/9524/mother-of-all-bombs-certainly-did-its-job-based-on-these-new-satellite-images

New estimates based on what the Afghan National Army saw at the site nearly tripled the original estimate to nearly 100 fighters. That may or may not be accurate, but by looking at new before and after satellite imagery of the target area, it seems as if nearly all features built up on the targeted hillside were wiped off the face of the earth by the strike.

The massive air blast appeared to have worked just as advertised, with the mountainside focusing it effects, and the shockwave expanding down into the valley below. The images above also closely correlate with the official infrared video we have seen of the strike.
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/9295/heres-flir-video-of-yesterdays-moab-strike-in-afghanistan?iid=sr-link1

When Defense Secretary Mattis was asked earlier today for an updated casualty report from the MOAB strike he said "frankly digging into tunnels to count dead bodies is probably not a good use of our troops’ time when they’re chasing down the enemy that’s still capable.” Mattis also elaborated on his disdain for killed in action metrics as a focus of ongoing military operations, telling reporters while traveling to the Middle East that "for many years we have not been calculating the results of warfare by simply quantifying the number of enemy killed. You all know of the corrosive effect of that sort of metric back in the Vietnam War. It’s something that has stayed with us all these years... You don’t want to start calculating things, as far as what matters, in the crude terms of battle casualties.”

Fair enough, and considering all the streaming video and hyperspectral and radar imagery from aerial and satellite sources the Pentagon has at its disposal, they can ascertain better than anyone that what was is no longer when it comes to ISIS's remote hillside fortification in Nangarhar province.

fighting continues in pockets throughout the region, and in the vacinity of the MOAB strike. Some think the level of devastation caused by the exotic attack is something the US does not want to share with the press. FLIR imagery of the blast and even satellite photos are one thing, but seeing close-up what an air burst weapon like MOAB can do may be another manner.

Mattis and his team are also fully aware of how big an impact the use of the GBU-43 would have on the media, and like its BLU-82 "Daisy Cutter" predecessor, MOAB is as much a psychological weapon as anything else. When asked about his commanders' decision to use weapon, and if they realized how big of a story it would become, Mattis responded that "I have no doubt that they do. And if they didn’t, I’d remove them.”
 
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