From Reuters today:
U.S. death toll in Afghanistan hits 1,000: website
KABUL, Afghanistan – The number of American soldiers killed in Afghanistan has reached 1,000, an independent website said on Tuesday, a grim reminder that eight years of fighting has failed to defeat Taliban insurgents.
Icasualties.org said 54 U.S. troops were killed this year in Afghanistan, raising the casualties to 1,000, compared to eight in Iraq, where the total has reached 4,378. The rise to 1,000 dead coincides with one of the biggest offensives against the Taliban, a NATO-led assault in the Marjah district of Helmand, Afghanistan‘s most violent province. …
Violence is at its highest level since the 2001 ouster of the Taliban. Last year was the deadliest of the war for civilians and foreign troops.
A US air strike killed dozens of civilians in Afghanistan’s central Uruzgan Province Sunday, while to the south a US ground offensive in the Helmand Province town of Marjah ground through its second week, producing growing casualties and the threat of a humanitarian disaster: here.
The Afghan human rights commission has reported that the massive Nato assault on the town of Marjah has killed at least 28 civilians so far, including 13 children: here.
The human cost of Nato’s massive assault on the Afghan town of Marjah began to emerge on Thursday as Red Cross officials reported that at least 40,000 people trapped by the fighting have little or no access to medical care: here.
Western diplomats have torn into Afghan President Hamid Karzai after it emerged that he had issued a decree granting himself total control of the country’s official election watchdog: here.
Kabul Bank’s executives helped finance President Hamid Karzai’s fraud-blighted reelection campaign last year, and the bank is partly owned by Mahmoud Karzai, president’s older brother, and by Haseen Fahim, the brother of Karzai’s vice presidential running mate: here.
Key senators rip Blackwater actions in Afghanistan: here.
Ministry of Defence figures reveal that there were more than 2,000 incidents of British soldiers going absent without leave (Awol) last year alone: here.
Berlin has hit back at US assertions that a lack of military will in Europe was “directly impacting operations in Afghanistan,” saying that the EU was well positioned to deal with new security risks: here.
Amid growing fears in Washington that European powers may withdraw their troops from Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates delivered a speech blasting Europe for insufficient militarization and warning of a deepening crisis in the NATO alliance: here.
Are Afghan lives worth just $2,500? Here.
The New York Times has published two telegrams from the US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl W Eikenberry (a retired Lieutenant General), in which he has offered his assessment of the US strategy in Afghanistan, in November 2009, conveying his reservations about the counter insurgency strategy that relied on an additional deployment of 40,000 troops: here.