Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

US finds new friend in Uzbekistan after Pakistan fallout

imagePresident Obama has asked Uzbekistan to expand its role in resupplying troops in Afghanistan as Washington tries to reduce its dependence on Pakistan.

The past fortnight has seen relations between Islamabad and Washington sink to new lows over allegations that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency was working with the Haqqani network to direct attacks on American targets in Afghanistan.

The crisis, the latest in a turbulent year, has seen both countries scrambling to build up alternative regional alliances.

However, more than a third of supplies to Nato forces in Afghanistan pass through Pakistan, giving Islamabad a strong bargaining position.

A White House official said President Obama had discussed sending more supplies through the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan during a phone call with the country’s president, Islam Karimov. (more…)

Armed Forces Day

British Legion banners banned for ‘glorifying war’

imageBritish Legion banners banned for ‘glorifying war’

Officials last week removed the five Royal British Legion advertisements that were displayed on roundabouts around Andover, Hants.

Town Hall bosses from Test Valley Borough Council allegedly removed the £400 banners after just five people complained they portrayed a positive message about the war in Afghanistan. (more…)

Nato issues apology for bungled Afghan airstrike

A senior Nato general has issued a “heartfelt apology” after helicopters killed women and children in a bungled airstrike in Helmand Province.
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The international coalition admitted the deaths hours after Hamid Karzai had given America a “final warning” to change its tactics and avoid killing civilians.

A statement said aircraft, which locals said were helicopters, fired into a house where insurgents had fled after killing a United States Marine. (more…)

Pakistan has questions to answer over Bin Laden, says Cameron

imageDavid Cameron has said the Islamabad authorities have “lots of questions” to answer over the support given to Osama bin Laden during his stay in Pakistan, but stressed that a “massive row” with Pakistan’s political leadership was not in Britain’s national interest.

The prime minister said it was important to “engage” with Pakistan and deal with the extremists rather than “throw up one’s hands in despair” because the stronger the country’s democracy, the more it would work with international partners to combat terrorism. (more…)

General Petraeus, US commander in Afghanistan, set to be head of CIA

imageDavid Petraeus, already an American national hero, is to replace Leon Panetta – in Barack Obama’s first major reshuffle Barack Obama is planning to conduct the first major reshuffle of his administration that would see General David Petraeus, the US commander in Afghanistan, take over as head of the CIA and Leon Panetta, the CIA director, become defence secretary.

The Associated Press, which broke the story, reported that Obama would make the announcement on Thursday. (more…)

Why war has spring in its step

imageThe timing of the Taliban prison escape reminds us that war and springtime have been linked in art for centuries News that 480 Taliban prisoners have escaped in time for this year’s “fighting season” in Afghanistan is hardly something to be taken lightly. But the fact that this war has a fighting season is a strange reminder of the dark side of springtime. For centuries, before mechanised conflict, the seasonal nature of war was a familiar fact, recorded in famous works of art. (more…)

Guantánamo Bay files rewrite the story of Osama bin Laden’s Tora Bora escape

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Several documents claim al-Qaida leader evaded US offensive by heading north, rather than into Pakistan as widely thoughtOsama bin Laden escaped American and British special forces closing in on his refuge in December 2001 with the help of a minor local warlord who provided fighters to guide him to safety in the north-east of Afghanistan, claims a secret intelligence report compiled by officials at Guantánamo Bay.

The al-Qaida leader’s successful flight from Tora Bora has long been seen as one of the key early lapses of the international military effort in Afghanistan. Though various theories have been floated, no firm account of how Bin Laden evaded the coalition forces and their Afghan auxiliaries has yet emerged.
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Guantánamo Bay files: Al-Qaida assassin ‘worked for MI6’

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• Leaked Guantánamo papers link UK to Algerian militant
• At least 123 prisoners incriminated by one informer

An al-Qaida operative accused of bombing two Christian churches and a luxury hotel in Pakistan in 2002 was at the same time working for British intelligence, according to secret files on detainees who were shipped to the US military’s Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

Adil Hadi al Jazairi Bin Hamlili, an Algerian citizen described as a “facilitator, courier, kidnapper, and assassin for al-Qaida”, was detained in Pakistan in 2003 and later sent to Guantánamo Bay.

But according to Hamlili’s Guantánamo “assessment” file, one of 759 individual dossiers obtained by the Guardian, US interrogators were convinced that he was simultaneously acting as an informer for British and Canadian intelligence. (more…)

British soldier dies in hospital after Afghanistan blast

imageBomb disposal expert was fatally wounded while clearing improvised explosive devices in Nahr-e Sarajm, Helmand province
A soldier who was injured in Afghanistan while clearing roadside bombs has died, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The soldier, from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, was on an operation to clear improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the Nahr-e Saraj (south) district of Helmand province on Monday when one bomb detonated.

The soldier was taken to Camp Bastion in Helmand before being evacuated to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, and died on Tuesday, the MoD said. (more…)

Tim Hetherington obituary

imageThe photographer and film-maker Tim Hetherington, who has been killed at the age of 40 while covering the escalating violence in Misrata, Libya, was a leading light of his profession. The canon of work he bequeaths defines a generation of reportage.

His eye and ability for capturing on film some of the most disturbing events of the past decade was as relentless as it was unsurpassed. With a great sense of self-deprecation and humanity, Hetherington was driven repeatedly to explore the ragged, violent margins of society to bring back portraits of people profoundly affected by conflict. (more…)

Top US military officer accuses Pakistan’s ISI of links with Haqqani militants

imageThe top U.S. military officer accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency of maintaining ties to militants in Afghanistan during a trip to Islamabad on Wednesday that was focused on easing diplomatic tensions.

Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Pakistan’s perceived foot-dragging in tackling strongholds in North Waziristan belonging to the Haqqani network and its continuing relationship with it was “the most difficult part” of the U.S.-Pakistani relationship. (more…)

Libya: Liam Fox compares Libya to Afghan conflict

imageLiam Fox, the Defence Secretary, has stoked fears of a prolonged British role in Libya by comparing the conflict there to Afghanistan, where British forces have been fighting for almost a decade.

By James Kirkup, Ben Farmer in Benghazi 12:10AM BST 21 Apr 2011. (more…)

U.S. Troops Will Fight Without Pay If The Government Shuts Down

The White House, Senate Democrats, and congressional Republicans are currently locked in intense negotiations, trying to find agreement on a plan to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. (more…)