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Tag: Afghanistan

US Intervention in Syria

US Intervention in Syria

Pressures are increasing on President Barack Obama to intervene militarily in the Civil War in Syria, a war that seeks to topple the dynasty that has ruled Syria for generations with brutal and undemocratic procedures. The risks that are holding back Obama on Syria are similar to those faced by the United States in its failed interventions in other Arab countries, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan where billions of dollars and thousands of lives were wasted in American attempts to…

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We May Never Know Why

We May Never Know Why

We may never know why the brothers Tsarnaev performed their murderous actions at the Boston Marathon. These men, we imagine were sick and distant but before the murders they seemed to be one of us. How do small numbers of young men become radicalized? How do they lose their humanity and become killers without conscience, disaffected and apart? Some of these educated young people did evil things. Others did great things. Sometimes they were the same kids. Sometimes a young…

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Our wars are not a factor at the political conventions

Our wars are not a factor at the political conventions

Some voters and foreign-policy experts tried to make the 2012 presidential campaign a referendum on foreign policy. They are failing: they can’t get the candidates to focus on Afghanistan, Iran, or the Pentagon budget despite the enormous cost in lives, money and resources. We have accepted a national amnesia about these very controversial wars. The focus on domestic issues has diverted the country and silenced most national security discussions. At the campaign conventions wars are not even worth a mention,…

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The Wars on Libya

The Wars on Libya

The current attack on Libya by the United States is not the first. According to the authoritative Library of Congress, the attack is the second such war; the first was fought intermittently between 1800 – 1815 against the so-called Barbary States of North Africa led by Tripoli. The war was never declared by the US House of Representatives as required by the U.S. Constitution. The Library of Congress study analyzed the 250 wars fought by the US and reported that…

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General Petraeus Says…….

General Petraeus Says…….

The broader counter insurgency strategy of Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan, and the Karzai government of Afghanistan, is “to win over the population with good government and economic opportunity,” as well as with improved security. Modern, literate, supremely powerful United States of America has some of the same problems as backward, illiterate Afghanistan, riven by civil war and tribal rivalries, occupied by 150,000 soldiers from Western nations bearing different religions, technologies and cultures. The 100,000 American…

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The Drama in the Wikileaks

The Drama in the Wikileaks

Wikileaks is a sensation, providing an unprecedented view of backroom bargaining by embassies all over the world, harsh assessments of foreign leaders and insider views of nuclear and terrorist threats. Like its predecessors the Obama administration says the diplomacy must remain secret. Wikileaks says all governments abuse secrecy by hiding facts and negotiations that should be made public. Here are a few examples: American and South Korean officials have discussed the formation of a United Korea should North Korea’s economic…

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The Occupier in Afghanistan

The Occupier in Afghanistan

Disagreements between Afghan President Hamad Karzai and the US over how the war should be pursued burst into the open at a coalition summit November 20 — 21. In a face-to-face confrontation photographed in Lisbon, Portugal by the Wall Street Journal, President Barack Obama rejected Afghan demands to curtail raids and airstrikes, telling Karzai that he must listen to American concerns. In a speech to the closed-door NATO session, Karzai named “civilian casualties, detentions, lawless behavior by some security companies,…

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Will We Ever Leave Afghanistan?

Will We Ever Leave Afghanistan?

American military forces have been fighting in Afghanistan since 2001 under the congressional authorization to destroy Al Qaeda for its role in training the 19 criminals who attacked the World Trade buildings in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001, a date that will live in infamy. US military leaders now say that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda are no longer in Afghanistan but probably in Pakistan. The enemy has become the Taliban,…

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Maintaining US Hegemony

Maintaining US Hegemony

Robert M. Gates, US Secretary of Defense, wrote in Foreign Affairs, “The United States is unlikely to repeat a mission on the scale of those in Afghanistan or Iraq any time soon – that is, forced regime change followed by nation building under fire.” This statement is close to admitting that the invasions were mistakes, that the dangers they were designed to suppress were not commensurate with the cost of suppression. One might then ask, why not bring the troops…

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Military Influence in the US

Military Influence in the US

In this period of American military dominance, generals and admirals have acquired influence well beyond the battlefield. Four-Star General David Petraeus, chief of the US Central Command, oversees US military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the rest of the greater Middle East. He is the likely choice to become the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he will again be in the public spotlight. His recent lower profile was suggested by the Obama White House. His…

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