Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:24 am
Location: Berkeley, Ca.
NATO Ministers Hold Crisis Talks on Afghanistan, Bill Van Auken. And Leon Panetta basically states that US troops will remain in Afghanistan till well past 2014, in fact with no end date.
Amid growing signs of crisis in the decade-old US-led war in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Wednesday that the US military would make a “transition” from combat to “training” and “advising” puppet Afghan forces by the end of 2013.
The announcement came on the eve of a NATO ministers meeting in Brussels. The deadline is a year earlier than previously set by NATO at its summit in Lisbon in 2010. The new timetable was widely seen as an attempt to head off even earlier withdrawals of troops by European NATO members.........
Panetta told reporters on a plane en route to the NATO conference in Brussels that US troops would remain in Afghanistan well past the end of 2014, the date previously announced as a withdrawal deadline, though they would be there to support the troops of the US-backed regime in Kabul.
“Our goal is to complete all of that transition in 2013, and hopefully by mid to the latter part of 2013, we’ll be able to make a transition from a combat role to a training, advise and assist role,” said the Pentagon chief.
Panetta claimed that the US intervention in Afghanistan had reached a “turning point” in 2011 based on the “ability to really go after the Taliban” following the surge announced by President Barack Obama in late 2009, which sent another 33,000 US troops into the country.
Panetta said that the US strategy was to utilize Afghan puppet troops to conduct security operations, while the US military maintains a substantial military presence, including with units “embedded” among the Afghan forces as well as special operations troops to carry out counterinsurgency raids and air strikes.
He stressed that the US military would maintain a “robust role” in Afghanistan long past 2014. “We’re committed to an enduring presence there,” he said. “We have the missions we’re going to be involved with—those CT [counter-terrorism] operations. We’ll be involved with training, advising and assisting, not only the Afghan forces, but we’ll continue to have to provide enabling forces for ISAF as well as Afghanistan. And there’ll be a large civilian presence there involved with development. So there clearly is going to be a continuing presence in Afghanistan for the long term...”
While the troops remaining would be formally designated as advisers and trainers, Panetta added, “Look, it doesn’t mean that, you know, we’re not—we’re not going to be combat-ready. We will be, because we always have to be in order to defend ourselves.”.........
The defense secretary’s emphasis on an “enduring presence” of US troops in Afghanistan reflects a key aim pursued by Washington since the onset of the war in October 2001: the securing of permanent American bases near the strategically vital and oil-rich regions of Central Asia as well as on the borders of both China and Iran.
Panetta’s rosy description of the situation in Afghanistan is belied, however, by a series of recently released reports.
The latest of these is a leaked classified report prepared by NATO, titled “State of the Taliban 2012,” which describes the forces resisting the US-led occupation as gaining strength and enjoying widespread popular support, including within the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai and its security forces........
Another focus of the report – likely the reason that it was leaked – is its portrayal of the Pakistani military intelligence agency, the ISI, as being “intimately involved” in the Taliban’s operations..........
The report was leaked on the eve of a visit to Kabul by Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, the first high-level contact between the two governments since last September. The apparent aim of the Pakistan government was to exploit divisions between Washington and its puppet Karzai over US efforts to broker peace talks with the Taliban.
Pakistan is anxious to preserve its influence over the Afghan resistance forces as a means of securing its own strategic interests in the region, particularly vis-a-vis Indian influence in Afghanistan.........
Also pointing to the crisis of the decade-long US war was a secret National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) issued last month, reflecting the assessment of the situation in Afghanistan of the CIA and 15 other US intelligence agencies......
Finally, US military brass testified Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee on the growing number of incidents in which members of the US-backed Afghan security forces have shot and killed American and other NATO troops.
the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition! (V For Vendetta)
Living and intention need a re-view. How and what and why before where and when. - Allissun