Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Postby winston » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:49 pm

Afghan cash-for-weapons program leads to tips

US-sponsored cash-for-weapons program awards Afghans for tips leading to hidden munitions

DUSAN STOJANOVIC
AP News

Jan 01, 2010 09:19 EST

It's not exactly Cash for Clunkers — more like Cash for Cache.

A U.S. Defense Department program under which Afghans can tip off foreign forces about hidden mines or weapons and get money in return has paid out nearly $200,000 in its first three months, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement Friday.

Since Oct. 1, about 150 Afghans have cashed in on the incentives, which range from $50 to $10,000 for information that leads to weapons caches or "the disruption of enemy activities," ISAF said.

Recent tips from "Operation Jaeza," or reward, have led to the discovery of 43 rockets, 40 recoilless rifle rounds, 40 mortars, five anti-tank missiles, several anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, and anti-aircraft weapons, it said.

The program assures people who provide tips their anonymity.

"This program helps international forces protect innocent civilians who might become victims of terrorism," said the program's spokeswoman, Navy Capt. Jane Campbell. "It also provides citizens a channel to fight back against violent attacks without placing themselves or their families in danger."

"This is a program we fully support," said Zarguna Hammeed, a representative of the Women of Paktia rights group.

"People who discover information about improvised explosive devices should stop and report it," she said in the statement. "The money offered helps families as they help protect others by reporting the IEDs."

IEDs are the weapon of choice for insurgents in the war-ravaged country.

The number of known IEDs placed by insurgents in Afghanistan has nearly tripled since 2007, as has the number of coalition forces killed and wounded by the blasts, according to figures kept by international forces.

Similar cash-for-weapons programs have been instituted by the U.S-backed government in Iraq, including one started in 2004 under which Shiite militia members got paid for turning in weapons.

Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki ordered the government to give an Iraqi citizen a reward of $85,000 last week for a tip-off that a Syrian was about to set off a car bomb in western Baghdad.

He has offered a the same reward for anyone who gives similar information.

______

Associated Press Writer Katharine Houreld in Baghdad contributed to this report.

Source: AP News
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Re: Afghanistan

Postby winston » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:56 pm

US investigating 38 cases of reconstruction abuse

KIM GAMEL


The U.S. agency overseeing the multibillion dollar Afghanistan reconstruction effort is investigating 38 criminal cases ranging from contract fraud to theft — most involving non-Afghans, officials said Tuesday.

The reconstruction effort has come under increased scrutiny as Defense Department contractors pour into Afghanistan to support the U.S. military surge. But the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, headed by retired Marine Corps Gen. Arnold Fields, was only established by Congress in 2008, nearly seven years after the U.S. invasion to oust the Taliban.

Just 10 of the criminal cases under the microscope involve Afghans only, while the rest involve U.S. and other foreigners, according to Raymond DiNunzio, the agency's assistant inspector general for inspections. He would not elaborate since the cases are under investigation.

Afghanistan also faces intense pressure to control rampant corruption in the country, but its institutions are weak after years of war and civil strife.

Fields acknowledged that the government might not be ready to deal with the flow of additional funds into Afghanistan as the international communicate escalates the mission to stabilize the country.

"We suspect ... that there may not necessarily be the capacity here to absorb additional funding when it comes to the government of Afghanistan, but we are not sure yet," he said at a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

He said his office also plans to increase staff from 90 in 2008 to 118 by the end of this year and a projected 132 in 2011.

"We are ramping up commensurate with the increased numbers and spending expected here in Afghanistan," he said.

The international community has invested more than $60 billion since 2002 in reconstruction efforts, including $40 billion from the U.S. alone. Concerns have been raised in past months that the waste and fraud that has undermined the U.S. reconstruction effort in Iraq is being repeated in Afghanistan, particularly as the number of contractors rises.

More than 60 percent of the investigators had experience in Iraq, DiNunzio said.

"They have come over from our sister agency responsible for Iraq reconstruction as the U.S. winds down its involvement in that country," he said.

DiNunzio said 40 percent of the criminal cases involve allegations of program fraud, procurement fraud or contract fraud while the other 60 percent involve bribery allegations and theft of emergency military funds. Two other investigations are under way into cases involving alleged negligence and incompetence, he said.

The agency also has stepped up efforts to involve the public, opening a hot line for reports of fraud involving U.S. reconstruction funds.

The inspector general's office is responsible for monitoring a broad range of projects, including training of the Afghan army and police, and ensuring U.S. tax dollars are spent properly.

Source: AP News
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Re: Afghanistan

Postby winston » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:23 pm

Image

I was watching "Red Sand" recently. The movie reminded me of a comment that I made a while back..

When the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan statues, I told my friends that it would be a matter of time before bad luck strikes them. Thereafter, the US invaded Afghanistan ...

One does not destroy religious objects of any religion and be able to get away with it ..
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Re: Afghanistan

Postby winston » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:40 am

The Meaning of Marjah
February 16, 2010

By Kamran Bokhari, Peter Zeihan and Nathan Hughes


On Feb. 13, some 6,000 U.S. Marines, soldiers and Afghan National Army (ANA) troops launched a sustained assault on the town of Marjah in Helmand province. Until this latest offensive, the U.S. and NATO effort in Afghanistan had been constrained by other considerations, most notably Iraq.

Western forces viewed the Afghan conflict as a matter of holding the line or pursuing targets of opportunity. But now, armed with larger forces and a new strategy, the war - the real war - has begun.


Rooting out insurgents is no simple task. It requires three things:

1. Massively superior numbers so that occupiers can limit the zones to which the insurgents have easy access.
2. The support of the locals in order to limit the places that the guerillas can disappear into.
3. Superior intelligence so that the fight can be consistently taken to the insurgents rather than vice versa.

Without those three things - and American-led forces in Afghanistan lack all three - the insurgents can simply take the fight to the occupiers, retreat to rearm and regroup and return again shortly thereafter.
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Re: Afghanistan

Postby winston » Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:00 pm

NATO admits killing Afghan women in bungled raid

NATO forces have admitted killing three women in a bungled raid on a village in Afghanistan earlier this year, after initially denying involvement.

The NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement late Sunday that its troops were responsible for the women's deaths in a village near Gardez, the capital of eastern Paktya province, on February 12.

Two newspapers -- the New York Times and Britain's The Times -- said Monday that the foreign troops involved in the shooting were members of US special forces who tried to cover up the deaths by removing bullets from the bodies.

ISAF had no immediate comment on the nationality of the troops or the cover-up claims, when contacted by AFP.

The women were in the same compound as two armed men who were killed by members of a joint international-Afghan patrol after appearing to show "hostile intent," the military statement said.

"We deeply regret the outcome of this operation, accept responsibility for our actions that night and know that this loss will be felt forever by the families," said ISAF spokesman Brigadier General Eric Tremblay.

( And what does accepting responsibility means ? )

"The force went to the compound based on reliable information in search of a Taliban insurgent and believed that the two men posed a threat to their personal safety.

"We now understand that the men killed were only trying to protect their families."

Tremblay said international forces were working with their Afghan counterparts to prevent any similar future incidents.

HOW ??

The admission comes as NATO and US forces try to reduce civilian casualties, which are often used by Afghan politicians and the Taliban to whip up public opposition to the presence of foreign troops.

ISAF said soon after the incident that the three women were found bound and gagged but the latest statement said the claim was based on a report by troops unfamiliar with Islamic burial customs.

Investigators assessed the women were accidentally killed when the soldiers fired at the two men but no exact cause of death was given due to lack of forensic evidence.

Source: AFP Global Edition
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Re: Afghanistan

Postby kennynah » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:40 pm

told u.... atrocities are being committed on a daily basis on occupied lands around the world....
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Re: Afghanistan

Postby winston » Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:40 pm

US War Sheet:-

Afghanistan
Days 3,107
GIs Killed in Action 739 DoD
Non-Hostile GI Deaths 205 DoD
GIs Severely Wounded 3,059 DoD
Current Troop Deployment 68,000 Brookings , AP
Total Cost (approved through Sept 30, 2010) $269 Bln AP
Cost Per Day (Avg) $82 Mil

Casualty Status updated April 5, 2010
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Re: Afghanistan

Postby winston » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:17 pm

Afghan Mineral Wealth May Be Greater: $3 Trillion

Afghanistan’s untapped mineral wealth is worth at least $3 trillion — triple a U.S. estimate, according to the government’s top mining official, who is going to Britain next week to attract investors to mine one of the world’s largest iron ore deposits in the war-torn nation.


Source: AP
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Re: Afghanistan

Postby kennynah » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:31 pm

no lah....usa is not interested in harvesting such minerals...they all belong to the afghanistan people....

americans are there to promote democracy and remove any taliban threat to them....

such minerals... is really not their (americans) interests....
....
....
....

and you wonder if there are reasons that this piece of news is just now being released and not earlier...
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Re: Afghanistan

Postby millionairemind » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:53 pm

kennynah wrote:no lah....usa is not interested in harvesting such minerals...they all belong to the afghanistan people....

americans are there to promote democracy and remove any taliban threat to them....

such minerals... is really not their (americans) interests....
....
....
....

and you wonder if there are reasons that this piece of news is just now being released and not earlier...


haha... and if we believe that the US is not interested in those minerals, then I guess the Tooth fairy really exists. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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