6/13 IN CONTEXT, part 2: U.S Man and "New Discovery" in Afghanistan; U.S.World Law Enforcer

NYT 'Breaking News Alert'
Sun, June 13, 2010 -- 9:22 PM ET
"one one of missed opportunities and the distractions of war"
U.S. SUDDEN "DISCOVERY" of VAST AFGHAN MINERAL RESOURCES: saga of imperialist war and 'development'
(all emphases added by the digest)
The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world...An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and Blackberries.
The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said....The mineral deposits are scattered throughout the country, including in the southern and eastern regions along the border with Pakistan that have had some of the most intense combat in the American-led war against the Taliban insurgency...

Like much of the recent history of the country, the story of the discovery of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth is one of missed opportunities and the distractions of war. In 2004, American geologists, sent to Afghanistan as part of a broader reconstruction effort, stumbled across an intriguing series of old charts and data at the library of the Afghan Geological Survey in Kabul that hinted at major mineral deposits in the country. They soon learned that the data had been collected by Soviet mining experts during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, but cast aside when the Soviets withdrew in 1989. During the chaos of the 1990s, when Afghanistan was mired in civil war and later ruled by the Taliban, a small group of Afghan geologists protected the charts by taking them home, and returned them to the Geological Survey’s library only after the American invasion and the ouster of the Taliban in 2001.
Armed with the old Russian charts, the United States Geological Survey began a series of aerial surveys of Afghanistan’s mineral resources in 2006, using advanced gravity and magnetic measuring equipment attached to an old Navy Orion P-3 aircraft that flew over about 70 percent of the country.The data from those flights was so promising that in 2007, the geologists returned for an even more sophisticated study, using an old British bomber equipped with instruments that offered a three-dimensional profile of mineral deposits below the earth’s surface. It was the most comprehensive geologic survey of Afghanistan ever conducted. The handful of American geologists who pored over the new data said the results were astonishing... In 2009, a Pentagon task force that had created business development programs in Iraq was transferred to Afghanistan, and came upon the geological data...Soon, the Pentagon business development task force brought in teams of American mining experts to validate the survey’s findings, and then briefed Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Mr. Karzai...

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. The Pentagon task force has already started trying to help the Afghans set up a system to deal with mineral development. International accounting firms that have expertise in mining contracts have been hired to consult with the Afghan Ministry of Mines, and technical data is being prepared to turn over to multinational mining companies and other potential foreign investors. The Pentagon is helping Afghan officials arrange to start seeking bids on mineral rights by next fall, officials said.“The Ministry of Mines is not ready to handle this...We are trying to help them get ready.”...

The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.
American and Afghan officials agreed to discuss the mineral discoveries at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan. The American-led offensive in Marja in southern Afghanistan has achieved only limited gains. Meanwhile, charges of corruption and favoritism continue to plague the Karzai government, and Mr. Karzai seems increasingly embittered toward the White House.
So the Obama administration is hungry for some positive news to come out of Afghanistan. Yet the American officials also recognize that the mineral discoveries will almost certainly have a double-edged impact. Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country.
The corruption that is already rampant in the Karzai government could also be amplified by the new wealth, particularly if a handful of well-connected oligarchs, some with personal ties to the president, gain control of the resources. Just last year, Afghanistan’s minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. The minister has since been replaced...

American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.

Another complication is that because Afghanistan has never had much heavy industry before, it has little or no history of environmental protection either. “The big question is, can this be developed in a responsible way, in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible? observed Paul Brinkley, Under Secretary of Defense, Director Task Force for Business and Stability Operations and and leader of the Pentagon team that discovered the deposits....

Kandahar offensive will take months longer than planned, U.S. says
..."When you go to protect people, the people have to want you to protect them," Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, said Thursday explaining why the Kandahar operation has been pushed back until at least September. "It's a deliberative process. It takes time to convince people,"...In Marja, in western Helmand province, where Marines launched a major operation this year, U.S. efforts have been hindered by the absence or incompetence of Afghan officials and security forces and by the Taliban's enduring resistance...
When the Obama administration decided last fall to accept Hamid Karzai as the legitimate president of Afghanistan for the next five years, there were no illusions that working with him and his government would be easy. It has been even harder than many U.S. officials anticipated."Washington is making nice with him, but what good has that done?" a U.S. official in Afghanistan said of Karzai. "We need him to step up and take a leadership role, to get his government to support what we're doing. But he's either unwilling or unable to do it....
The Americans are reluctant to blame Karzai and his government directly for the delays in Kandahar. But the Marja experience, with troops fighting to provide political space for government officials who still have not appeared, taught them that their efforts must be matched by the Afghans. "You've got to have the governance part ready to go," Brig. Gen. Frederick Hodges, one of the top U.S. commanders in southern Afghanistan, said in an interview last week. "We talked about doing that in Marja, but didn't realize how hard it was to do." "Ultimately, it's up to the Afghans to step forward," he said.

the 'cost' in human life, dignity and future hope: incalculable and unforgivable
According to the National Priorities Project report, the cost of US wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, which began in October 2001 and March 2003 respectively, as of June 1 2010, exceeds $1 trillion
Posted by: "Rick Rozoff" Stop Nato Jun 10, 2010 http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/06/10/9490128.html

Pentagon Chief: Afghan War Arc Stretches To Caspian And Caucasus
Rick Rozoff , Stop NATO, June 8,2010
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrived in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan June 6, the day after the ninth annual Asian security summit organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore and before his attendance at the NATO defense chiefs meeting in Brussels on the 10th and 11th. He intended to visit Beijing following the conference in Singapore, but was rebuffed by the Chinese government, presumably because of Washington’s confirmation this January of plans to complete a $6.5 billion arms transaction with Taiwan, one whose latest installment includes 200 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 anti-ballistic missiles.
That Baku replaced Beijing on the Pentagon chief’s way to the NATO meeting indicates the importance that the comparatively small nation – with a population of under nine million while China’s is over 1.3 billion – has in American global geostrategic plans... to lure all the nations of the South Caucasus into the U.S. and NATO orbit. Last December the Armenian government approved the deployment of troops to serve under NATO command in the Afghan war theater along with those of their Caucasus neighbors Azerbaijan and Georgia...
According to the Pentagon’s website, "More military exercises and intelligence sharing also came up during the meetings," Gates added, "and the discussions also touched on Iran and Russia," with the American defense secretary saying of his hosts, "These guys clearly live in a rough neighborhood." [5]Georgia borders Russia and Armenia borders Iran, but Azerbaijan alone abuts both...Gates’ main concentration – at least that of most immediate importance – was the expanding war in South Asia, where he will soon have 100,000 U.S. troops serving with another 50,000 NATO forces... "Tens of thousands of cargo aircraft have flown over Azerbaijan for the Afghan war, with planes ferrying 100,000 US and allied troops and personnel through the country’s airspace last year, Pentagon officials said." [8]
With the recent turmoil in Kyrgyzstan hampering the transit of troops and equipment through the Central Asian country where hundreds of thousands of U.S. and NATO forces have passed directly to Afghanistan, Azerbaijan (in addition to Kazakhstan [9]) will play an even more pivotal role as the battle for Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province begins...
With Turkey increasingly adopting an independent foreign policy orientation not to Washington’s liking; with the nearly nine-year-old war in Afghanistan reaching its apex; with the U.S. and its NATO allies ramping up pressure on Iran in Azerbaijan’s "rough neighborhood"; and with the U.S. pursuing global interceptor missile plans that may include evicting the Russian military from the Gabala radar station in the north of the country, Azerbaijan is assuming a greater strategic significance with each passing day.
Related articles:
*West’s Afghan War And Drive Into Caspian Sea Basin http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/wests-afghan-war-and-drive-in...
*Azerbaijan And The Caspian: NATO’s War For The World’s Heartland http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/azerbaijan-and-te-caspian-nat... ...
*Eurasian Crossroads: The Caucasus In U.S.-NATO War Plan http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/118

not satire....
U.S. Intelligence Puts New Focus on Afghan Graft
"Military officers are looking for insights on how to combat perversion of authority by Afghan power brokers."
WASHINGTON — The military’s intelligence network in Afghanistan, designed for identifying and tracking terrorists and insurgents, is increasingly focused on uncovering corruption that is rampant across Afghanistan’s government, security forces and contractors, according to senior American officials.Military intelligence officers in Afghanistan are scouring seized documents and interrogating captured fighters and facilitators — but not just to learn about insurgent networks that plan attacks, plant roadside explosives and send out suicide bombers.They are also looking for insights on how to combat a widespread perversion of authority by Afghan power brokers, which senior officials describe as “a plague” on the American-backed effort to build an effective and competent government and win the support of the Afghan people. It is a remarkable but perilous military undertaking in a sovereign country...

With U.S. Aid, Warlord Builds an Afghan Empire
Afghan gunmen have come to the fore as the heads of private security companies or as militia commanders, independent of any government control. The most powerful man in this arid stretch of southern Afghanistan is not the provincial governor, nor the police chief, nor even the commander of the Afghan Army. It is Matiullah Khan, the head of a private army that earns millions of dollars guarding NATO supply convoys and fights Taliban insurgents alongside American Special Forces. In little more than two years, Mr. Matiullah, an illiterate former highway patrol commander, has grown stronger than the government of Oruzgan Province, not only supplanting its role in providing security but usurping its other functions, his rivals say, like appointing public employees and doling out government largess. ... His militia has been adopted by American Special Forces officers to gather intelligence and fight insurgents. His fighters run missions with American Special Forces officers...With his NATO millions, and the American backing, Mr. Matiullah has grown into the strongest political and economic force in the region. He estimates that his salaries support 15,000 people in this impoverished province. He has built 70 mosques with his own money, endowed scholarships in Kabul and begun holding weekly meetings with area tribal leaders. Under an arrangement with the [U.S. puppet govt] Ministry of the Interior, the government pays for roughly 600 of Mr. Matiullah’s 1,500 fighters, including Mr. Matiullah himself, despite the fact that the force is not under the government’s control...Mr. Matiullah’s army is part of a constellation of militias and security companies, many of them unregistered and unregulated, that claim at least some loyalty to Ahmed Wali Karzai, who is widely acknowledged to be the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan. "Ahmed Wali is my friend, my close friend!" Mr. Matiullah said earlier this year, offering to put him on the telephone for this reporter.In a second, more recent, interview, Mr. Matiullah said he and Mr. Karzai had no relationship at all. Both Ahmed Wali Karzai and Mr. Matiullah are associates of Jan Mohammed Khan, a former governor of Oruzgan Province and Mr. Matiullah’s father-in-law. Mr. Khan was removed from Oruzgan Province at the insistence of the Dutch in 2006 because of concerns that he was close to the drug trade. He is now an adviser to President Karzai...

KABUL 6/6/10 For rent on Street 6 in the neighborhood of Sherpur: a four-story, 11-bedroom dwelling of pink granite and lime marble, complete with massage showers, a rooftop fountain and, in the basement, an Asian-themed nightclub. Price: $12,000 a month. WP

In Afghanistan, Obama Presses Karzai to Fight Corruption
KABUL President Obama pressed Afghan President Hamid Karzai to take serious steps against corruption and drug trafficking on Sunday, in an unannounced trip—his first as commander in chief—to the site of the war he inherited and has stamped as his own...The trip highlighted how far the administration believes that the Afghan government has to go to make good on promises that Mr. Karzai has made to the international community on governance and even reintegration with certain reconcilable members of the Taliban insurgency... Gen. James L. Jones, the national security adviser, told reporters on Air Force One enroute to Afghanistan the administration wanted Mr. Karzai to “understand that in his second term, there are certain things that have not been paid attention to, almost since day one.” General Jones said the Afghan president “needs to be seized with how important” the issue of corruption in particular, is for American officials....Besides General Jones, Obama was accompanied by Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, and a number of other officials from the White House and the Defense Department

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the half-brother of Afghanistan's president [is] the most powerful figure in southern Afghanistan...the summertime U.S. military offensive in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar has now been delayed, in what American officials said was an acknowledgment of opposition among local officials, without singling out Karzai by name...some American officials say it is naive to think that Ahmed Wali Karzai will loosen his grip on Kandahar... Of the 900 new policemen headed to the city this summer, Karzai claimed 250 of them for his provincial council, and 110 as personal bodyguards, a senior U.S. official said...
he returned to Afghanistan in 1992, after 10 years in the United States...has long-standing ties to the CIA and reportedly been paid by the agency for providing security forces and safe houses in and around Kandahar...critics say they have little doubt that Karzai is involved in the opium trade, and some estimate that he receives millions of dollars a year in illicit income. The widespread perception in Afghanistan is that Karzai is complicit in the kind of industrial-strength corruption that has left Afghan people furious with their government.... "He's a key tribal leader," a U.S. official said earlier this year. "If you take out Karzai, you don't have good governance, you have no governance. He's done very good things for the United States. He's effective."..The fact that Karzai remains in power means anything related to him is politically sensitive, and U.S. officials would speak about him only on the condition of anonymity.

Despite Doubt, Karzai Brother Retains Power
Dexter Filkins
Senior American officials spent months weighing the allegations against Ahmed Wali Karzai: that he pays off Taliban insurgents, that he launders money, that he seizes land, that he reaps enormous profits by facilitating the shipment of opium through the area. And the officials concluded that the evidence, some compelling, some circumstantial, was not clear enough to persuade the president to move his brother out of town, two NATO officials said...“I absolutely think he can help us with reintegration,” the NATO officer said, referring to the American-backed program to coax fighters away from the insurgency....Any decision about Ahmed Wali Karzai is complicated by his relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency, which maintains a large presence in Kandahar. Current and former American officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, say the agency has paid Ahmed Wali Karzai regularly for many years for performing a variety of services... The decision to leave Mr. Karzai in place comes as American commanders are preparing a huge military operation in and around the city of Kandahar, the Taliban’s spiritual home. The operation is seen as the fulcrum of the entire Afghan campaign, whose aim is to break the Taliban’s hold across its heartland of Kandahar and Helmand Provinces.At the heart of Kandahar sits Ahmed Wali Karzai, who has been a prominent public figure in southern Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban government in 2001... There is little doubt here that few important matters are settled without him...American officials say he has provided extensive help in battling the insurgency. He helps the C.I.A. operate a paramilitary group, the Kandahar Strike Force [AKA DEATH SQUAD] which is used for raids against suspected insurgents. Ahmed Wali Karzai is also paid for allowing the C.I.A. and American Special Operations troops to rent a large compound outside the city, several American officials said.

Russia wants info on U.S. dealers of Afghan drugs
"We have identified several people who in the U.S. who organize the trafficking of drugs from Afghanistan to Russia. We have passed this information on to the appropriate U.S. entities and we are waiting for confirmation," Russia's drug chief, Viktor Ivanov, told an international anti-drug forum in Moscow. http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100610/159377545.html

The effort to win over Afghans on former Taliban turf in Marja put American and NATO commanders in the unusual position of arguing against opium eradication, pitting them against some Afghan officials who are pushing to destroy the harvest.

Karzai Said to Doubt West Can Prevail Against Taliban
A senior NATO official said the resignations of Mr. Atmar and Mr. Saleh, who had strong support from the NATO allies, were “extremely disruptive.”
Two senior Afghan officials were showing President Hamid Karzai the evidence of the spectacular rocket attack on a nationwide peace conference earlier this month when Mr. Karzai told them that he believed the Taliban were not responsible. “The president did not show any interest in the evidence,,,” Amrullah Saleh, then the director of the Afghan intelligence service... Mr. Saleh declined to discuss Mr. Karzai’s reasoning in more detail. But a prominent Afghan with knowledge of the meeting, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Mr. Karzai suggested in the meeting that it might have been the Americans who carried it out.Minutes after the exchange, Mr. Saleh and the interior minister, Hanif Atmar, resigned — the most dramatic defection from Mr. Karzai’s government since he came to power nine years ago. Mr. Saleh and Mr. Atmar said they quit because Mr. Karzai made clear that he no longer considered them loyal. But underlying the tensions, according to Mr. Saleh and Afghan and Western officials, was something more profound: That Mr. Karzai had lost faith in the Americans and NATO to prevail in Afghanistan...“Karzai told me that he can’t trust the Americans to fix the situation here,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul, who spoke on condition of anonymity...Indeed, on many issues, like initiating contact with some Taliban leaders and persuading its fighters to change sides, Mr. Karzai and the Americans are on the same page.But their motivations appear to differ starkly. The Americans and their NATO partners are pouring tens of thousands of additional troops into the country to weaken hard-core Taliban and force the group to the bargaining table. Mr. Karzai appears to believe that the American-led offensive cannot work. A senior NATO official said the resignations of Mr. Atmar and Mr. Saleh, who had strong support from the NATO allies, were “extremely disruptive.”The official said of Mr. Karzai, “My concern is, is he capable of being a wartime leader?”

NB the uses of made-in-usa 'terrorist' pretexts
Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike
By Greg Miller
The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country's tribal areas, according to senior military officials. Ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration's need for retaliatory options, the officials said. They stressed that a U.S. reprisal would be contemplated only under extreme circumstances, such as a catastrophic attack that leaves President Obama convinced that the ongoing campaign of CIA drone strikes is insufficient.

NB: imperialist-zionism established, supports and manipulates many Islamist organizations to destroy national political cohesion and resistance
"Despite attempts during the years of communist [sic] rule to secularize Afghan society, Islamic practices pervade all aspects of life. In fact, Islam served as the principal basis for expressing opposition to communist rule and the Soviet invasion." www.thefreedictionary.com/

COIN: How Development Can Fight Radicals
CFR Eli Berman, Joseph H. Felter,Jacob N. Shapiro
June 1, 2010
“We’ve got a government in a box, ready to roll in,” said General Stanley McChrystal, the top American commander in Afghanistan, of plans for holding the hard-won town of Marja in February...Only a few years ago, the strategy for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq focused on targeting insurgents. The strategy failed; critics now call it “mowing the grass,” since soldiers would repeatedly clear areas of insurgents only to see them reappear afterward.
Today the U.S. military's counterinsurgency strategy centers on protecting the population, with a special emphasis on political and economic development. The objective is often termed “winning the hearts and minds” of the population , and its logic is simple. Insurgents cannot operate without civilians learning something about their location and identities: recruiting, raising funds, and preparing weapons and explosives all entail observable actions. The more effective the government is at providing services to civilians, the more likely it is that they will prefer the government over the insurgents. In turn, the population will provide the government with a steady stream of tactically useful information -- calls to anonymous tip lines about the location of weapons caches, for example -- that the government can use not only to defeat the insurgents but also to prevent their reappearance.....

Stanley McChrystal... Instead of focusing on providing security to the population in the hopes that a "civilian surge" might follow, has decided to attack and destroy enemy strongholds. The recent offensive in Marja -- a relatively sparsely populated area with little economic potential -- was an unlikely target for a population-centric campaign. But given insurgent strength in the area, it made an ideal target for an enemy-centric approach. Likewise, the announced follow-up operation in the area of Kandahar -- another insurgent stronghold -- is also an enemy-centric program....Although many COIN experts see enemy-centric campaigns as the second-best option, the truth is that such efforts are both more likely to succeed and to showcase the U.S. Army's strengths. Successful counterinsurgency campaigns are usually explicitly enemy-centric, focused on seeking out and destroying insurgent organizations... These sorts of campaigns require a willingness to treat the population harshly, however. For both ethical and practical reasons, the United States is unwilling to pursue this course of action.... http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/66432/eli-berman-joseph-h-felter-...

India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan: Holbrooke's Visits Axed Due To SCO
Asian News International
U.S. Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke's Pakistan visit was cancelled after Holbrooke was informed that neither Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari nor Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would be in Islamabad on the day due to prior commitments. Holbrooke planned to visit Islamabad for discussions on the Pak-US official-level talks, the recently concluded India-US strategic dialogue, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to China and the Afghan peace jirga.
Zardari would be in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit and Qureshi in Istanbul for the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit. This would have been Holbrooke's eighth visit to Pakistan since assuming office early last year, and third this year. Earlier, he had to cancel his visit to India and Turkmenistan because of similar problems... Posted by: "Rick Rozoff" Jun 8, 2010 9:06 pm (PDT)

Upcoming Summit: India May Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Indo-Asian News Service
June 10-11 SCO summit to be held in Tashkent is likely to clear the rules and procedures for expanding the membership of the regional grouping that comprises Russia, China and the energy-rich Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The foreign ministers of SCO countries met last week and finalized procedures for admitting new members. India, along with Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia, currently have observer status at the SCO.... India has shown an interest in joining the SCO that has emerged as an important regional security organization with networks of energy supplies Posted by: "Rick Rozoff" Jun 8, 2010 9:00 pm (PDT)

Is There Still a Terrorist Threat?: The Myth of the Omnipresent Enemy
Why Afghanistan Is the Wrong War
John Mueller, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/61911/john-mueller/is-there-still...
April 15, 2009
Summary: The Taliban and al Qaeda may not pose enough of a threat to the United States to make a long war in Afghanistan worth the costs.
John Mueller, Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University. Among his books are Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them and the forthcoming Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al Qaeda.
George W. Bush led the United States into war in Iraq on the grounds that Saddam Hussein might give his country’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. Now, Bush’s successor is perpetuating the war in Afghanistan with comparably dubious arguments about the danger posed by the Taliban and al Qaeda.President Barack Obama insists that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan is about "making sure that al Qaeda cannot attack the U.S. homeland and U.S. interests and our allies" or "project violence against" American citizens. The reasoning is that if the Taliban win in Afghanistan, al Qaeda will once again be able to set up shop there to carry out its dirty work. As the president puts it, Afghanistan would "again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can." This argument is constantly repeated but rarely examined; given the costs and risks associated with the Obama administration’s plans for the region, it is time such statements be given the scrutiny they deserve.
Despite all the ominous warnings of wily terrorists and imminent attacks, there has been neither a successful strike nor a close call in the United States since 9/11. The reasonable -- but rarely heard -- explanation is that there are no terrorists within the United States, and few have the means or the inclination to strike from abroad.
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Desperate and dumb, U.S./NATO/WB 'plan' to disarm Taliban fighters
President Hamid Karzai rolled out his program to lure Taliban fighters off the battlefield, when he attended the conference last week...."Young men from the community of fighting age can be given preference to deny recruits for the insurgency," reads the draft plan. Recruits for the conservation corps would, instead of picking up a gun, be planting trees...Tuesday, US special envoy Richard Holbrooke pressed the Afghan government to finalize a draft plan and get it up and running before a Kabul conference on July 20....But international aid groups involved in the NSP say that the current draft plan would militarize the civilian program, making themselves and the village councils a target for the Taliban...Every organization associated with that project will be considered an enemy," says Laurent Saillard, head of the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief, a consortium for nongovernmental organizations...
NSP [is] funded by international donors including the United States and the World Bank. Each village is teamed up with an NGO, known as a facilitating partner, that helps run a local election for the council and develop the village's list of project priorities. It also provides engineering assistance...A donor-funded study led by Harvard University researcher Andrew Beath looked at a random sample of 500 villages, half with NSP and half without. Villages with an NSP project gave slightly higher marks to the Afghan president, provincial and district leaders, and the US military. NSP villages did not see security improve, but the perception of safety went up by four percentage points.... "using the NSP as a model for counterinsurgency will put the model at risk" says Mohammad Tariq Ismati, the government's executive director for the NSP program...But General Jones gave no indication that the pushback on the idea was likely to sink it...
Few alternatives exist beyond the NSP village councils to receive the reintegration money. Giving it directly to the ex-combatants would give people incentives to join and quit the insurgency for the rewards. At the village level, few other credible leaders exist, and district-level government in Afghanistan is famously corrupt and ineffective.

Helmand: a "radical underestimation of the challenge"
June 9, 2010
Major-General Andrew Mackay, a former commander of British troops in the province who has left the Army, accused the military of being too acquiescent in rolling over to political bidding

Afghans’ Distrust Threatens U.S. War Strategy
New York Times, 13 May 2010
Nearly a year into a new war strategy for Afghanistan, the hardest fighting is still ahead, but already it is clear that the biggest challenge lies not on the battlefield but in the governing of Afghanistan itself. That has been the early lesson of the American-led offensive in February in Marja, in Helmand Province, as American troops clear areas of militants, they find either no government to fill the vacuum, as in Marja, or entrenched power brokers, like President Karzai’s brother in Kandahar, who monopolize NATO contracts and other development projects and are resented by large portions of the population....Corruption big and small, remains an overwhelming complaint...“We’re not worried about corruption in itself, but we are worried about governance,” Colonel George said....One village elder at the outdoor meeting looked at Colonel George and said: “You are giving the money to individuals not to the community. Look at the directors of government agencies, look at the cars they are driving, look at the houses they build — where does that money come from? It’s our money.”...The challenges are clearly visible in eastern Afghanistan, where the military has come to recognize the limits of American power in this wild terrain. The United States abandoned two combat outposts in the east over the past year — one in Nuristan, the other in the Korangal Valley, in Kunar Province. Col. Randy George of the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, Fourth Infantry Division, who has responsibility for the four easternmost provinces, tries to build relationships with tribal leaders in most of his territory, at gatherings called shuras, although he has given up ground to the insurgents in some areas.

imperialist occupation mercenaries have slaughtered countless numbers of Afghani people in their
U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan surpass 1,000, about 500 in 2009
Afghan resistance to occupation intensifies
By: Michael Prysner
The Obama-McChrystal strategy that began in July 2009 tripled the size of the U.S./NATO occupation to "reverse the momentum of the Taliban" has had the opposite effect...the popularity of the Taliban and the broad national resistance of over 140 different anti-occupation forces skyrocketed. The Afghan resistance controls the vast majority of the country, their attacks are increasing in frequency, sophistication and success.... The United States is being defeated militarily but would rather slaughter thousands more Afghans and bury thousands more U.S. troops than admit defeat and abandon their colonial interests in the region. The destructive path of U.S. imperialism is steered by ts violently maintained network of global domination... http://www.uruknet.de/?

Afghan resistance statement
Statement of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Regarding the Convening of the So-called Consultative Jirga in Kabul.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
June 1, 2010 The holding of the so-called National Consultative Jirga under the name of peace is a part of the failed efforts of the invading Americans and their surrogates in Afghanistan...convening this phony jirga to provide stuff for consumption by the American and world public but at the mean time, along with peaceful slogans of the jirga, they resound their intent of launching vast offensive against Kandahar....
The holding of jirgas is an integral cultural and traditional characteristic of the Afghans. They have solved many of their problems through this prideful institution. However, this is only possible when the jirga is convened by the Afghans, on the wants of their Afghan willpower and aimed at solving the problems of the Afghans themselves....Afghanistan is under occupation of the foreigners.. all the participants of the Jirga are persons affiliated with the invaders and their powerless stooge administration in one way or the other. They are on the payroll of the invaders and work for their interests. Neither they are elders of the people, nor they represent the Afghan Mujahid people...The main problem of the Afghans is the presence of foreign invaders in the free land of the Afghans.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=66541

11-17-08 President Bush "conveyed the following impression, that he thought the next president's biggest challenge would not be Iraq, which he thinks he'll leave in pretty good shape, and would not be Afghanistan, which is manageable by itself… It’s Pakistan." We have "a sort of friendly government that sort of cooperates and sort of doesn’t. It's really a complicated and difficult situation." Right on cue, presidential candidate Barack Obama... on July 15, in which he argued that more focus and resource were required on both Afghanistan and Pakistan... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=48819 http://www.daily.pk/local/other-local/8161-pakistan-the-next-us-target.h...

Obama Declares War on Pakistan
by Webster G. Tarpley
15 Dec. 2009
In the summer of 2007, Obama, coached by Zbigniew Brzezinski and other originators of the unilateral US decision to use Predator drones for political assassinations inside Pakistan...
Obama’s West Point speech of December 1 represents far more than the obvious brutal escalation in Afghanistan — it is nothing less than a declaration of all-out war by the United States against Pakistan....his is no longer the Bush Cheney Afghan war we have known in the past. This is something immensely bigger: the attempt to destroy the Pakistani central government in Islamabad and to sink that country into a chaos of civil war, Balkanization, subdivision and general mayhem. The strategy is to massively export the Afghan civil war into Pakistan and beyond, fracturing Pakistan along ethnic lines... to wage the Great Game against the hub of Central Asia and Eurasia more generally...US Special Forces General Stanley McChrystal, organized the infamous network of US torture chambers in Iraq. McChrystal’s specific credential for the Pakistani civil war is his role in the Iraqi 'civil war', Sunnis versus Shiites by creating “al Qaeda in Iraq” ..... tactics drawn from British General Frank Kitson, who wrote about them in his book Low Intensity Operations...
An integral part of the new policy is to expand the deadly flights of the CIA Predators and other assassination drones into Baluchistan. One pretext for this is the report, peddled for example by Michael Ware of CNN, that Osama bin Laden and his MI-6 sidekick Zawahiri are both holed up in the Baluchi city of Quetta, where they operate as the kingpins of the so-called “Quetta Shura.” Blackwater teams cannot be far behind. In Iranian Baluchistan, the CIA is funding the murderous Jundullah organization.. The rebellion of Baluchistan would smash the national unity of both Pakistan and Iran, thus helping to destroy two of the leading targets of US policy...
US Goal: cut the Pakistan energy corridor between Iran, China...Pakistan is traditionally a strategic ally and economic partner of China, a country which the US and British are determined to oppose and contain on the world stage. Specifically, Pakistan could function as an energy corridor linking the oil fields of Iran and possibly even Iraq with the Chinese market by means of a pipeline that would cross the Himalayas above Kashmir...the so-called “Pipelinestan” issue. This would give China a guaranteed land-based oil supply not subject to Anglo-American naval superiority, while also cutting out the 12,000 mile tanker route around the southern rim of Asia...

US domestic propaganda is already portraying Pakistan as the new home base of terrorism. The four pathetic patsies going on trial for an alleged plot to bomb a synagogue in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx in New York City had been carefully sheep-dipped to associate them with the shadowy and suspicious Jaish-e-Mohammad, allegedly a Pakistani terrorist group. The same goes for the five Moslems from Northern Virginia who have just been arrested near Lahore in Pakistan...

India under the unfortunate Manmohan Singh seems to be accepting the role of continental dagger against Pakistan and China on behalf of the US and the British. This is a recipe for a colossal tragedy. India should rather make permanent peace with Pakistan by vacating the Vale of Kashmir, where 95% of the population is Moslem and would like to join Pakistan....
Regarding Iran, George Friedman, head of the Stratfor outlet of US intelligence recently told Russia Today that the great novelty of the next decade will be an alliance of the United States with Iran directed against Russia. In that scenario, Iran would cut off oil to China altogether. That is the essence of the Brzezinski strategy...

Military Taps Social Networking Skills
...As it rapidly expands its drone program over Afghanistan, the U.S. military is turning to the technology that powers NFL broadcasts, ESPN and TV news to catalog a flood of information coming from the cameras of its fleet of unmanned aircraft. U.S. military archives hold 24 million minutes of video collected by Predators and other remotely piloted aircraft that have become an essential tool for commanders. But the library is largely useless because analysts often have no way of knowing exactly what they have, or any way to search for information that is particularly valuable....The military is seeking to use similar technology to track possible insurgents in theaters thousands of miles away.Drones are used by the CIA to attack suspected insurgent sites in Pakistan's tribal areas along the Afghan border...But there can be difficulties in operating from so far away...a Predator drone crew involving a helicopter attack killed 23... civilians...For the most part, though, the networking has been so productive that senior commanders are sidestepping some of the traditional military hierarchy and giving the analysts leeway in deciding how to use some spy planes. “If you want to act quickly, you’ve got to flatten things out and engage at the lowest possible levels,” said Lt. Col. Jason M. Brown, who runs the Air Force intelligence squadron at this base near Sacramento.The connections have been made possible by the growing fleet of remote-controlled planes, like the Predators and Reapers, which send a steady flow of battlefield video to intelligence centers across the globe. The Central Intelligence Agency and the military use drones to wage long-distance war against insurgents, with pilots in the United States pressing the missile-firing buttons. But as commanders in Afghanistan mass drones and U-2 spy planes over the hottest areas, the networking technology is expanding a homefront that is increasingly relevant to day-to-day warfare.And the mechanics are simple in this age of satellite relays. Besides viewing video feeds, the analysts scan still images and enemy conversations. As they log the information into chatrooms, the analysts carry on a running dialogue with drone crews and commanders and intelligence specialists in the field, who receive the information on computers and then radio the most urgent bits to troops on patrol. Marine intelligence officers say during the Marja offensive in February, analysts managed to stay a step ahead of the advance, sending alerts about 300 possible roadside bombs..."TALEBAN" NOW BACK IN CONTRO, PROVING AGAIN THAT ANTI-IMPERIALIST POLITICAL RESISTANCE TRUMPS CAPITALIST TECHNOLOGY...Military officials are planning to repeat the operation around Kandahar...

u.s. imperialist law enforcer: "thugs rule"
Could International Criminal Court Deploy U.S. as World Law Enforcer?
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The chief prosecutor of the court that purports to bring the rule of law to the planet is actively campaigning to appoint the United States - 'the world's most prolific perpetrator and sponsor of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide' - as chief law enforcement agent. This, despite the fact that the United States is not, and does not intend to become, a member of the International Criminal Court, nor subject to its jurisdiction. But, no matter: thugs rule.

Torture and Research Experimentation: Official Policy under Bush and Obama
by Stephen Lendman
June 12, 2010 - ...Today and since the early 1950s, CIA operatives conducted physically and psychologically crippling mind control experiments, turning human beings into mush, a topic this writer addressed earlier. In addition, for decades, CIA and other US agencies experimented illegally with human subjects, including: * in 1931, Dr. Cornelius Rhoads conducted radiation and cancer cell injection experiments;* in 1932, Tusk egee Syphilis Study doctors infected 200 black men with the disease, followed their progression, and let them die untreated; * in 1940, 400 Chicago prisoners were infected with malaria to test experimental drugs; * numerous human radiation experiments have been conducted on unwitting subjects; * VA hospital patients were used as human guinea pigs.. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=66955

Obama Interrogation Official Linked to U.S. Mind Control Research
Jeff Kaye, Firedoglake , May 23, 2010
Government Psychologist Susan Brandon: Chief for Research in DCHC Behavioral Science Program
In a recent article, Scott Horton at Harper’s picked up on the unique link between the APA/CIA workshop and the recent revelations about torture at a hitherto unknown black site prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. That link was an individual, Susan Brandon. Referenced by Horton as working for the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA), Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC), a recent publication identified Brandon more fully as Chief for Research in the DCHC’s Behavioral Science Program. As Horton notes, a recent column by Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic described the DCHC as providing "intelligence operatives and interrogators….. [performing] interrogations for a sub-unit of Task Force 714, an elite counter-terrorism brigade." Interrogations at the Afghan black site reportedly have included use of sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, brutality, isolation, relying on the guidelines of the Army Field Manual, including its Appendix M....
Dr. Soldz rightly notes, "Psychology as a profession is at a crossroads." The same holds true for other professions involved with this abusive and criminal history, including the activities of anthropologists in the military’s Human Terrain System teams in Afghanistan, researchers in numerous academic departments across the country, and the many reports of doctors and other medical personnel involved in the monitoring of torture activities for the CIA and Defense Department...

A new article at Truthout, by H.P. Albarelli and Jeffrey Kaye, describes how the CIA’s Artichoke Project* was the contemporaneous and operational side of the MK-ULTRA mind control research program. It was not superceded by MK-ULTRA in the 1950s, as often supposed. Even more, Artichoke-derived methods of using drugs, hypnosis, sensory deprivation and overload, behavioral modification techniques and other methods of mind control have resurfaced as a primary component of U.S. interrogation practice...the curtain pulled back on mind control research by the U.S. government involved the online description by the American Psychological Association (APA) of a CIA and Rand Corporation workshop which it co-sponsored in July 2003 at Rand’s Arlington, Virginia headquarters attended by approximately 40 research psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, as well as "representatives from the CIA, FBI and Department of Defense with interests in intelligence operations."...the curtain pulled back on mind control research by the U.S. government involved the online description by the American Psychological Association (APA) of a CIA and Rand Corporation workshop which it co-sponsored in July 2003 at Rand’s Arlington, Virginia headquarters. The event was attended by approximately 40 research psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, as well as "representatives from the CIA, FBI and Department of Defense with interests in intelligence operations." One of these workshops, ostensibly on detection of deception, specifically described how participants should consider "sensory overloads on the maintenance of deceptive behaviors," including the use of "pharmacological agents. "How might we," the workshop asked, "overload the system or overwhelm the senses and see how it affects deceptive behaviors?"...

"Targeted killings" increase under Obama
Far from having broken with the practice of extrajudicial executions (also known as "targeted killings") which the Bush administration had made ample use of, the Obama administration has turned it into a priority tool of intervention. According to the Washington Post, the White House has set aside $ 9.8 billion for Special Operations in 2011 (6.3 billion funded from the general budget and 3.5 billion off costs) [1]. Under the authority of Admiral Eric T. Olson, secret interventions have been planned in 75 countries this year, as opposed to 60 during George W. Bush’s last year in office, noted the newspaper.
Presenting his annual report to the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions underscored the commonplace occurrence of drone killings. The United States is the leading state in the world to perform extra-judicial executions. They get little media coverage, except when Washington boasts of having murdered alleged "leaders of Al Qaeda" without trial because in countries of the Third World.[1] U.S. ’secret war’ expands globally as Special Operations forces take larger role, by Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe, WP Post 4 juin 2010.
The 75 targeted countries [...]

Obama Blurs Line Between Warfare and Summary Execution.
By Jacob Sullum
Under a policy secretly initiated by George W. Bush and expanded by Obama, the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command track and kill people, including U.S. citizens, based on their alleged ties to Al Qaeda or its allies...Imagine if a foreign government claimed it had the right to kill people on the streets of New York because it considered them "belligerents."...Last February, Dennis Blair, then the director of national intelligence, assured members of Congress that "we don't target people for free speech." Rather, "we target them for taking action that threatens Americans or has resulted in it."Awlaki, for example, is known for his inflammatory yet constitutionally protected sermons. But according to an unidentified "American official" quoted by The New York Times in April, "The danger Awlaki poses to this country is no longer confined to words. He's gotten involved in plots."...Luckily for the government, it does not need to present any evidence against Awlaki or other "high-value targets," because it does not want to detain them. It only wants to kill them.

Obama Administration Planning to Use Bagram Like Gitmo: LA Times Report
Jeremy Scahill
... Citing unnamed US officials, the Los Angeles Times reports the US is exploring a plan to "carve out a section of Bagram prison for non-Afghan detainees who would remain under U.S. custody" even after Bagram is officially handed over to Afghan control, as the White House agreed to do last month. "It is the subject of quiet discussions among senior officials, and has not been submitted to the National Security Council or to Afghan officials." Major Tanya Bradsher, a Pentagon spokeswoman said "No decision has been made to house international terrorism suspects at Bagram.".. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=6686

Intel chief nominee Clapper held disputed Iraq WMD view
President Obama's choice for next director of national intelligence supported the view that Saddam Hussein's Iraq regime sent weapons and documents to Syria in the weeks before the 2003 U.S. invasion...Senior Israeli military officers said their country snapped line of sight photographs of convoys leaving Iraq for Syria before the war that may have carried sensitive technology.

CYA for the CIA
CIA Experiments in Torture
By Stephen Soldz
A new report of which I am a coauthor, Experiments in Torture: Evidence of Human Subject Research and Experimentation in the "Enhanced" Interrogation Program, just released by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) confirms previous suspicions and provides the first strong evidence that the CIA was indeed engaged in illegal and unethical research on detainees in its custody. The report, the result of six months of detailed work, analyzes now-public documents, including the "torture memos" from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and the CIA’s Inspector General Report and the accompanying CIA Office of Medical Services (OMS) guidelines for monitoring of detainees... instances where medical personnel -– physicians and psychologists –- monitored the detailed administration of torture techniques and the effects upon those being abused. The resultant knowledge was then used both as a legal rationale for the use of the techniques and to refine these abusive techniques, allegedly in order to make them safer...
As Renée Llanusa-Cestero demonstrated in a recent paper on CIA research in the peer-reviewed journal Accountability in Medicine, the medical personnel conducting these observations were primarily present as researchers to observe and monitor, not as treating doctors...
Justice Department torture memos argued that torturers could be protected from prosecution for their acts of torture if they demonstrated a "good faith" effort to avoid causing the "severe pain" involved in legal definitions of torture irrespective of how much suffering and harm the torturers actually caused.
One way they could demonstrate such a good faith effort was to consult with health professionals, the researchers, who could assure them their actions would not cause harm. Another way to demonstrate good faith was to collect and analyze evidence of prior interrogations demonstrating, allegedly, that they did not cause severe harm. Thus, the quality of the research did not matter. Its very existence would provide the CIA torturers and responsible officials with a get-out-of-jail-free card.
The SERE studies described in the PHR report provided good reason to suspect that the CIA’s torture would cause harm. That is likely why they were ignored by the CIA and the lawyers writing the torture memos.But the CIA’s torture research claiming that the "enhanced interrogation" tactics were safe could be used as a legal defense for the torturers, possibly counteracting the body of legitimate research demonstrating the opposite. The CIA’s research was junk science. But that was no problem because its purpose wasn’t increasing understanding, but ass-covering, CYA, for the CIA...
Regarding the call for a criminal investigation, it is important to realize that the logic used by the Obama administration to refuse an investigation of torture claims -– that the torture memos allowed the torturers to believe their actions were legally sanctioned -– does not apply to potential research on detainees. As far as is publicly known, there exist no "torture research" memos authorizing ignoring laws and regulations prohibiting research on torture techniques....
Stephen Soldz is a psychoanalyst, psychologist, public health researcher, and faculty member at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. He edits the Psyche, Science, and Society blog. He is a founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, one of the organizations working to change American Psychological Association policy on participation in abusive interrogations. He is President-Elect of Psychologists for Social Responsibility [PsySR]. He can be reached at: ssoldz@bgsp.edu

Arrests Fuel Alarms Over Growth of Radicalized Americans (same article's headline 6/7 in Seattle Times)
New Jersey men arrested are latest from U.S. tied to terrorist groups
By Peter Finn and Jerry Markon
The two New Jersey men who were arrested late Saturday for allegedly planning to fight in Somalia with al-Shabab, an extremist group allied with al-Qaeda, are only the latest in a stream of American recruits attracted to violent jihad in the failed African state...though no evidence has surfaced that the two men planned any immediate attacks in the United States or overseas. Officials fear that radicalized Americans, even if they start off as naive as the two New Jersey aspirants appeared to be, could return home battle-hardened and determined to commit terrorist acts on American soil....one of the two New Jersey men, were often in the company of a man they thought to be a cohort but was in fact a wired NYPD undercover officer...The two men, who had been under surveillance for four years, trained for their departure by simulating combat at paintball facilities and using "first-person shooter" computer software, as well as working out and hiking through snow, according to the criminal complaint....
The arrests reinforced fears of homegrown terrorism that have been building in recent months. ..."There's been a whole slew of disaffected youth in the United States willing to become radicalized and take action, either overseas or here," one federal law enforcement official said... to explain the rise in homegrown radicals, U.S. officials point to the use of the Internet by Islamists who can communicate effectively in English to Westerners.

Jihadi Calls For 'Suspicious Bags' To Be Left Throughout DC and NYC
A recent internal FBI report warns federal, state and local authorities to be alert for a potential new tool in the jihadi terror arsenal – the placing of suspicious, but harmless, bags in public places to inspire fear, disrupt public transportation and tie up police and bomb squads.mhttp://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/jihadi-calls-suspicious-bags-left-dc-nyc/story?id=10826590

Fascist 'national security' state's Military-Intel-Police 'fusion centers'
State fusion centers expand beyond counterterrorism efforts
Fusion centers combine data from various sources — primarily federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, but also other repositories, such as driver's license databases — and make the information available through a single interface or, at least, in a single location.The 2001 terrorist attacks and the intelligence gaps that allowed them to happen have played a significant role in the rapid expansion of fusion centers

LA police expand iWatch terror program to airport
A.P. LOS ANGELES — Police are expanding a citizen terror watch program to include travelers at the Los Angeles International Airport.
The iWatch program was launched in October for residents to alert authorities to suspicious activity by phone or Internet.Thursday, police and political leaders are using fliers and posters to enlist help from people at LAX. iWatchers are asked to be on the lookout for possible terror activities...Tips are reviewed by anti-terror experts, then entered into a database designed to find patterns and trends. The program was developed by LAPD and has been adopted by police departments across the country.