2010 begins with more war

This video from the USA is about military escalation in Afghanistan.

The new decade has begun with a series of events signaling that the United States will intensify its aggressive and militarist policies in Central Asia, East Africa, the Middle East and beyond: here.

The deaths of eight US operatives in a suicide attack near Khost deals a blow to CIA operations and drone bombings along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border: here.

US closes Yemen embassy: here.

Amb. Marc Ginsberg: Dick Cheney’s Role in Al Qaeda’s Yemeni Resurgence: here.

US drone missiles slaughtered 700 Pakistani civilians in 2009: here.

American counter-terrorism specialists and Saddam Hussein’s former intelligence officers have forged an unlikely alliance in Yemen to tackle al-Qaeda: here.

A dirty war in Aden: Britain’s role in Yemen’s history: here.

‘Failed states’: a loaded term: here.

This Is How the Media Amplify Our Terrorism Fears: here.

Diane Sawyer and ABC News pay tribute to remote control drone killings: here.

Save the Earth, Close the Pentagon: here.

War Ravages Afghan Environment: here.

A report published this month in Pakistan makes clear that the carnage from the fighting between the Pakistani military and anti-government militants more than matches that taking place in neighbouring Afghanistan: here.

Intensified US drone aircraft attacks or ground operations against militants in Pakistan could endanger relations between the two allies, Pakistan’s foreign minister said yesterday: here.

5 thoughts on “2010 begins with more war

  1. 44 US drone hits in Pakistan killed 700 civilians in 2009

    Web posted at: 1/2/2010 8:39:10

    Source ::: INTERNEWS

    PESHAWAR: Of the 44 Predator strikes carried out by the American drones in the tribal areas of Pakistan in 12 months of 2009, only five were able to hit their actual targets, killing five key Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but at the cost of around 700 innocent civilian lives.

    According to the figures compiled by the Pakistani authorities, the Afghanistan-based US drones killed 708 people in 44 predator attacks targeting the Pakistani tribal areas between January 1 and December 31, 2009. For each Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist killed by the American drones, 140 civilian Pakistanis also had to die. Over 90 percent of those killed in the deadly missile strikes were innocent civilians.

    The success percentage for the drone hits during 2009 is hardly 11 percent. On average, 58 civilians were killed in these attacks every month, 12 persons every week and almost two people every day. Most of the hits were conducted on the basis of human intelligence, reportedly provided by the Pakistani and Afghan tribesmen, who are spying for the US-led allied forces in Afghanistan.

    Of the five successful predator attacks carried out in 2009, the first one came on January 1, which reportedly killed two senior al-Qaeda leaders – Usama al-Kin and Sheikh Ahmed Salim, both wanted by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Kin was the chief operational commander of Al Qaeda in Pakistan and had replaced Abu Faraj Al Libi after his arrest in 2004.

    The second successful drone attack was conducted on August 5 in South Waziristan that killed the most wanted fugitive chief of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Baitullah Mehsud along with his wife. The US State Department had announces a $5m head money for information leading to Baitullah , making him the only Pakistani fugitive with the head money separately announced by Islamabad and Washington.



  2. Updated at 7:10 a.m., Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    Army charges single-mom soldier who refused to go to Afghanistan

    Associated Press

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — The Army filed charges yesterday against a single-mom soldier who refused to deploy to Afghanistan last year because she had no family able to care for her infant son.

    Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, a 21-year-old Army cook, could face a prison sentence and a dishonorable discharge if she is convicted in a court-martial. But first, an officer will be appointed to decide if there’s enough evidence to try a case against her.

    Hutchinson of Oakland, Calif., was scheduled to deploy from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah on Nov. 5. She skipped her unit’s flight, saying the only relative she had to take care of her 10-month-old son — her mother — was overwhelmed by the task and backed out a few days before Hutchinson’s departure date.

    A spokesman for Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah said today that Hutchinson has been charged with missing movement — for missing her overseas flight — being absent without leave, dereliction of duty and insubordinate conduct.

    The stiffest charge, missing movement, carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.

    The decision to charge Hutchinson was far different than the Army’s handling of another recent case involving a military mom.

    Lisa Pagan of Davidson, N.C., was granted a discharge after she fought being recalled to the Army, under the military’s “individual ready reserve” program, four years after she left active duty.

    Pagan reported for duty at Fort Benning in west Georgia last February with her two young children in tow. She argued that her husband traveled for business too often to care for their children alone. While Pagan and her attorney battled the Army through appeals, she was never accused of refusing orders.

    The Army requires all single-parent soldiers to submit a care plan for dependent children before they can deploy to a combat zone.

    Hutchinson had such a plan — her mother, Angelique Hughes, had agreed to care for the boy. Hughes said she kept the boy for about two weeks in October before deciding she couldn’t keep him for a full year.

    According to the Defense Department’s latest demographic report, there are more than 70,500 single parents on active duty in the U.S. military — about 5 percent of all service members. Nearly half of military single parents are in the Army.

    Cases like Hutchinson’s, where a conflict between deployment orders and parental duties lead to a prosecution, appear to be rare, said Lory Manning, a retired Navy captain a who studies how military policies affect women for the nonprofit Women’s Research and Education Institute.

    “There are thousands upon thousands of single parents that have deployed since the war in Afghanistan started,” Manning said. “Things don’t fall apart that often. Sometimes the family care plan doesn’t work for whatever reason, but overall it works well.”

    Hutchinson’s civilian attorney, Rae Sue Sussman, says the soldier was afraid to show up for her overseas flight because one of her superiors told her she would have to deploy and turn her child over to the state foster care system.

    A spokesman for Hunter Army Airfield, Kevin Larson, said the Army would not deploy a single parent with no one to care for her child.

    Hutchinson’s commanders granted her a leave last month so she could spend the holidays at her mother’s home in California. Before that, she had been prohibited from leaving the Army post.

    Hutchinson, who is assigned to the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, joined the Army in 2007 and had no previous deployments. Sussman said Hutchinson is no longer in a relationship with her son’s father.

    Hughes said she’s already taking care of her ailing mother and sister, as well as a daughter with special needs. She also runs a daycare center at her home, keeping about 14 children during the day.

    Hughes said she returned Kamani to his mother in Georgia a few days before her November deployment.

    She said they told her daughter’s commanders they needed more time to find another family member or close friend to help Hughes care for the boy, but Hutchinson was ordered to deploy on schedule.

    Hutchinson’s son, Kamani, was placed into custody overnight with a daycare provider on the Army post after she was arrested and jailed briefly in November for skipping her flight. Hutchinson’s mother picked up the child a few days later and took him back to her home in California.

    Hutchinson is not in custody. Sussman said today that Hutchinson’s son, who had his first birthday this month, returned home with his mother to Georgia after the holidays.


  3. US admits drone attacks intensified in Pak after Khost attack on CIA operatives

    Washington | January 12, 2010 5:41:52 PM IST

    US Central Command Chief, General David Petraeus, has acknowledged that there has been an increase in drone attacks on suspected militant targets in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan, since the suicide attack at a US base in Khost Province of Afghanistan last week.

    The seventh drone attack since the suicide bombing came on Saturday in North Waziristan, part of the tribal area and a region where Washington is pressing Pakistan to launch an offensive.

    North Waziristan is a refuge for the Taliban and Al-Qaida, as well as for the Haqqani network, which is considered the most dangerous Afghan insurgent group.

    The Pakistani Taliban, the Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaida all have claimed responsibility for the Khost bombing, which killed seven CIA operatives, including the chief of the base, an officer of Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate and the Afghan base security chief at the base.

    Petraeus also commented on a video, which shows the triple agent suicide bomber of Jordanian descent, Balawi, sitting beside the former Pakistan Tehrik-i-Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud. Balawi claims that he blew himself up to avenge the death of Mehsud in a US drone attack.

    “Baitullah Mehsud and his organization carried out horrific attacks inside Pakistan, and that is what I think should concern the Pakistanis, as certainly it concerns us,” The Dawn quoted Petraeus, as saying.

    “There will be loss of innocent life in war, but we have got to make sure that we minimise it and that we try to avoid it just about at all costs,” he added.

    Petraeus further said that a relationship with Pakistan is ‘absolutely critical’ to the United States.

    “We don’t talk about the source of the explosions in western Pakistan. But certainly, many commentators have noted the considerable pressure that has been brought on the leadership, in particular, of Al-Qaeda and also of some other important extremist elements there,” Petraeus said. (ANI)


  4. US drone slaughters 18 in Pakistan attack

    Thursday 14 January 2010

    A US drone missile attack has killed at least 18 people and injured 14 others – but missed its target of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud – in Pakistan’s underdeveloped North Waziristan region.

    The attack, which was controlled remotely by CIA officials working out of control centres at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, was the seventh remotely-controlled US missile assault in the tribal district this month.

    A Pakistani security official said that two missiles had bee fired at a compound in Pasalkot village where Pakistan’s Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud was believed to have been staying.

    The official said that he had “information that he was around there – we’re checking on whether he was killed.”

    A Taliban spokesman claimed that Mr Mehsud was safe and had left the compound minutes before the assault.

    The attack was mounted a day after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking the Obama administration to disclose the legal basis for its use of Predator drones to conduct “targeted killings” overseas.

    There were at least 45 drone attacks in Pakistan in 2009, compared with 27 in 2008.

    In particular, the ACLU sought to find out under what conditions drone strikes can be authorised, and how Washington ensured compliance with international laws relating to extrajudicial killings.

    ACLU National Security Project legal fellow Jonathan Manes said: “The Obama administration has reportedly expanded the drone programme, but it has not explained publicly what the legal basis for the programme is, what limitations it recognises on the use of drones outside active theatres of war and what the civilian casualty toll has been thus far.”

    Barack Obama’s government has used unmanned drones to target and kill individuals not only in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, but also in other countries such as Yemen.



  5. Pingback: Stop Gordon Brown’s wars in Afghanistan and Yemen | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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