Afghan war, a bottomless pit


This video from the USA is called Rethink Afghanistan War (Part 3): Cost of War.

From Associated Press:

Report: US agencies don’t track Afghan spending

A new government report says the U.S. agencies spending the most in Afghanistan can’t easily show where their money goes.

The special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction also found federal agencies still aren’t tracking their contracts in a shared database.

The lack of coordination and agency reporting on U.S. spending led the watchdog office to develop its own list of contractors tapped for Afghanistan work. Nearly 7,000 contractors received almost $18 billion between 2007 and 2009 from the Defense Department, State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Those three agencies are the biggest spenders on Afghanistan projects, yet they don’t separate money for that work from other U.S.-funded projects around the world. And the report says that makes it difficult to track where the money is going.

See also here.

Afghan Women Demand Liberation, Not Lip Service: here.

From Afghanistan source, “First Americans kill us, then they want to put us on camera” reports Jeremy Scahill. On DN now here.

Six fighters from the private army of Afghan warlord, drug trafficker and highway robber Matiullah Khan were recently in Australia for training with the Australian Defence Forces, the October 29 Sydney Morning Herald said: here.

Britain: Hero of the anti-war movement Joe Glenton will return his Veteran Badge to Downing Street before a national demonstration against the war in Afghanistan, he announced on Saturday: here.

Leading anti-war figures urged the British public on Saturday to “intensify” pressure on the government for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the end of the ongoing occupation of Iraq: here.

Several hundred people took to the streets of Kabul today to protest against September’s [fraudulent] parliamentary election outcome: here.

Military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to use waste methods that expose troops to potentially toxic emissions without fully understanding the effects, according to a new government audit obtained by CNN: here.

5 thoughts on “Afghan war, a bottomless pit

  1. ‘French force may begin Afghan withdrawal in 2011’

    AFP – 1 hour 44 minutes ago

    PARIS (AFP) – – France and some allied NATO armies could begin to withdraw some of their forces from the conflict in Afghanistan as early as 2011, Defence Minister Herve Morin said Thursday.

    “There’s a fixed date for NATO in the framework of its new strategy, that’s the start of 2011, because in 2011 we’re going to transfer a whole series of districts to the Afghans,” he told RTL radio.

    “At that moment, there could be the first movements or first withdrawals of Allied forces from Afghanistan. In any case, that’s the calendar set by Barack Obama, that in 2011 the first American troops could quit Afghanistan.

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  2. Watchdog: Company botched Afghan police stations

    AP News

    An Afghan-owned company bungled the construction of police stations there so badly that the buildings are at risk of collapse, undermining U.S.-led efforts to beef up the country’s security forces, a government watchdog says.

    In a report to be released Wednesday, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction found the company, Basirat Construction Firm, cut corners with low-quality concrete, substandard roofing, uninsulated windows, and plastic plumbing.

    The six police stations were built in Helmand and Kandahar provinces in the country’s violent south, where the international coalition and Afghan security forces are trying to wrest control of the region from the Taliban.

    The report also faults the Army Corps of Engineers for failing to properly oversee the work, while still paying Basirat close to $5 million _ more than 90 percent of the contract value.

    Basirat is liable for fixing an estimated $1 million worth of problems at the stations, the report says. But the company has little incentive to make the repairs, according to the report, because it’s already collected most of the money.

    In August, the State Department accused Basirat and another Afghan-owned company, Al Watan Construction, of fraud on a separate contract to renovate the country’s largest prison. Both companies have been suspended from receiving new government contracts while the fraud charges are investigated, according to internal State Department documents.

    The inspector general’s report underscores the challenges the Obama administration faces in meeting two major goals of the Afghan reconstruction effort: training, equipping, and housing up to 134,000 Afghan national police by September 2011; and hiring Afghan-owned companies to rebuild the country’s infrastructure.

    While Afghan firms are eager for the lucrative reconstruction contracts, they can be overwhelmed by the tight schedules and tough standards.

    At a hearing held last December by the Commission on Wartime Contracting, assistant Pentagon inspector general Kenneth Moorefield said few Afghan companies have the experience “to effectively undertake and complete projects at the required standards.”

    In comments reprinted in the report, the Corps of Engineers says security challenges in the construction zones makes oversight of the police station construction very difficult. But the Corps of Engineers agreed that “construction at each site did not meet all contract requirements” and said Basirat is committed to making the needed repairs.

    Obaidur Rahman, Basisrat’s owner, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

    The Corps of Engineers awarded the police station contract to Basirat in May 2007 and construction was to be completed by January 2009 _ a date that had to be extended by more than a year.

    Even as Basirat was being chided by the Corps for what the inspector general’s report describes as “deficient work and chronic schedule delays,” the State Department elected to hire Basirat and Al Watan in July 2009 to renovate the vast Pul-i-Charkhi prison on the outskirts of Kabul.

    Two months ago, Corey Rindner, the State Department’s top procurement official, informed Basirat and Al Watan they were being suspended for violating U.S. procurement rules.

    According to Rindner, Rahman improperly provided confidential bid proposal information about State Department contracts to Nadeem Naqibullah, an Al Watan executive. Rahman also paid $30,000 to the contracting officer who had been overseeing the Pul-i-Charkhi prison renovation, Rindner wrote in Aug. 26 letters from Rindner to Rahman and Naqibullah.

    These “actions demonstrate a lack of business integrity or honesty that seriously affects your present responsibility to hold or perform government contracts,” Rindner wrote.

    __

    Online:

    Special Inspector General: http://www.sigar.mil/

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  3. APPEAL against NATO towards its summit in Portugal 2010

    The World Peace Council and the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC) salute the peace loving people of the world and the peace movements which stand up and continue denouncing imperialist wars, illegal occupations and social injustice, and call upon them to continue and reinforce the common efforts and struggles against imperialism and its mechanisms, particularly against NATO, the biggest war machinery in the world.
    Under the slogan: NATO-Enemy of the Peoples and of Peace- DISMANTLE IT! the WPC is calling upon all Organizations in NATO member States and the entire world for the endorsement of this appeal underlining the following aspects:
    * NATO has been an aggressive and reactionary force since its founding in 1949. The Warsaw Treaty had been created later and was dissolved earlier.
    * NATO has had its hands dipped in the blood of many peoples for 60 years and cannot constitute “a peace-making force” within the UN framework.
    * Despite the domination of the USA, aggressions are waged together with other imperialist forces, which do not change the character of NATO.
    * NATO is directly bound to the EU and vice-versa, as a large number of EU countries are also members of NATO.
    * NATO acts as a global policeman with collaborators on all continents, carrying out its Plan for a “Greater Middle East” and actively intervening in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and elsewhere.
    We fully support and endorse the Portuguese campaign “Yes to peace, No to NATO” which unites dozens of movements and social Organizations. We call upon all peace loving Organizations to unite our voices and forces under this appeal and meet in November 2010 in Lisbon.

    World Peace Council (WPC)
    Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation(CPPC)

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  4. Pingback: British anti-Afghan war movement, 20 November | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Get NATO massacre apologist Jamie Shea out of university | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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