Military News Highlights: January 25, 2011

An Uncharacteristically Upbeat General in Afghanistan

While the “Happy Talk” continues, consider the accompanying charts/reports on “the progress” and the “teeth in the jugular vein”, as you read the latest coming out of US/NATO in Kabul.

Afghan NGO Safety Office, 2010 4th Quarter Report

2010 4th Quarter Report

Claim: Afghans Heart G.I.s Who Flattened Their Village [Updated]

Apparently, if you are not on the ...

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Military News Highlights: January 14, 2011

Vantage Point: The Challenges of Small-Unit Patrolling in Afghanistan

C.J. Cheevers from the New York Times has been a go-to 24/7 resource for the SFTT news project; CJ also recently published the definitive history of the Avtomat Kalashnikov this past year in “The Gun.”  his NYT blog is a new entry that he will update periodically that the SFTT news team directs your attention to.

The first video blog provides an upfront and personal look at an aero-medevac of ...

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Military News Highlights: December 16 & 17

Uncertainty marks White House review on Afghanistan, Pakistan

In regards to the highly touted release of the administrations review of Afghanistan, one-step up and two-steps back. 

 One-step up, “strategy is showing progress”; two-steps back, no new information on how soon Afghan Security Forces will be able to assume responsibility for security and when the “rat-lines” coming out of Pakistan can be severed.

 One-step up, “we are on track to achieve our goals”; two-steps back, gains are still “fragile and reversible” and ...

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Military News Highlights: December 13, 2010

6 Americans Killed by Bomb at a New U.S.-Afghan Outpost

Six American soldiers were killed and more than a dozen American and Afghan troops were wounded on Sunday morning when a van packed with explosives was detonated at a new jointly operated outpost in southern Afghanistan.

The soldiers were inside a small mud-walled building near the village of Sangsar, north of the Arghandab River, when the bomber drove up to one of the walls and exploded his charge around 9 ...

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Eickenberry calls for more “assets” on Afghan border

The Stars and Stripes reports that US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry cites progress and requests more “assets” at the Afghan border.  


  • Nine years into the Afghan war, efforts to monitor the border with Pakistan have met with little success; massive amounts of bomb-making chemicals, drugs, weapons and enemy fighters continue to pour into Afghanistan.  US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry visited Wesh, a town on the road between Kandahar and the Pakistani city of Quetta, one of just two crossings ...
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Afghan government falls short in Kandahar

In an article published by the Washington Post on November 2, it would appear that the Afghan government falls short in Kandahar.  A “learning” experience for the US military.


  • Despite months of American prodding, the Afghan government has failed to fill dozens of key positions in Kandahar, leaving an ineffectual local administration that U.S. officials fear will cripple the battlefield progress the military says it is making in the Taliban stronghold.  Just a month before President Obama ...
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Medics Improvise to save lives on killing fields of Afghanistan

In a compelling story published today by the Washington Post, “Military medics combine ultramodern and time-honored methods to save lives on the battlefield” of Afghanistan.

Key Highlights:

  • At 6:09 p.m., Dustoff 57 has just left this base deep in Taliban-infiltrated Kandahar province, headed for a POI, or point of injury. Somewhere ahead of the aircraft is a soldier who minutes earlier stepped on an improvised explosive device, the signature weapon of the wars in Iraq and ...
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Update on the Kandahar Campaign

The New York Times reports that a NATO field commander suggests that the “fate” of the Kandahar Campaign will not become clear until June (2011).

Key Highlights:

  • A NATO offensive to secure the Taliban’s birthplace of Kandahar is putting pressure on militants, but genuine success will not be clear until next June, the region’s top commander said on Thursday. British Major-General Nick Carter’s comments were the latest by U.S. and NATO ...
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Military News you may have missed: Oct 27, 2010

Policy – Corruption Perceptions Index 2010 

Key Highlights

  • The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 178 countries around the world.

    Afghanistan is 176 of 178 and scored a 1.4 on the index.

  • Iraq is 175 of 178 and scored a 1.5 on the index.


Analysis:  After almost 10 years of war in Afghanistan and almost 7 years after the US toppled the Saddam regime we have these lovely ...

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Military News you may have missed: Oct 26, 2010

Policy – A Firefight Exposes Afghan Weakness

(Wall Street Journal – Pay to View: Article Obtained via OSINT) 

Key Highlights

  • An account of the six-hour siege on the U.S. agency on July 2, drawn from interviews with witnesses and survivors and an internal investigation by the aid agency, shows an Afghan force that appears ill-equipped to take over national security from their foreign counterparts.
  •  About 15 to 20 minutes after the attack began, the Afghan army and police occupied a ...
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