Afghanistan

The Kandahar massacre and the fight against war

Statement by Jerry White, SEP candidate for US president

By Jerry White and Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, 14 March 2012

As the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for US president, I share the revulsion felt by millions of people in Afghanistan, in the United States and throughout the world over the brutal murder of at least 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, by a US soldier Sunday in Kandahar province.

Afghanistan’s My Lai

By Patrick Martin, 13 March 2012

Sunday’s mass murder by an Army staff sergeant demonstrates both the brutality and the deepening crisis of American imperialism’s war in Afghanistan.

Massacre in Afghanistan: US soldier kills 16 villagers, including 9 children

By Patrick Martin, 12 March 2012

A sergeant in the US Special Forces walked into a village near Kandahar and systematically shot to death nine children, three women and four men.

Six British soldiers killed by explosion in southern Afghanistan

By Harvey Thompson, 8 March 2012

The UK Ministry of Defence has confirmed that six soldiers are missing, believed dead, after an explosive device hit their armoured vehicle Tuesday in southern Afghanistan.

Afghan troops kill two more US soldiers in Kandahar

By Patrick Martin, 2 March 2012

The incident was the third such killing of American soldiers by their Afghan “partners” in little more than a week.

Afghanistan rises in revolt against US occupation

By Patrick Martin, 27 February 2012

The Koran-burning incident that triggered nationwide protests in Afghanistan is the product of the neo-colonial US occupation.

Afghans besiege US bases in Koran protests

By Bill Van Auken, 24 February 2012

Two American soldiers and at least 15 Afghans have been killed as crowds besieged US and NATO bases for a third day Thursday, in an escalating protest over US troops burning copies of the Koran.

NATO bombing kills eight Afghan children

By Bill Van Auken, 11 February 2012

At least eight Afghan civilians, all children according to some reports, were killed Thursday when a NATO warplane bombed a village in Afghanistan's northeast Kapisa province.

NATO ministers hold crisis talks on Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 3 February 2012

Amid growing signs of crisis in the decade-old US-led war in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Wednesday that the US would make a “transition” from combat to “training” and “advising” puppet Afghan forces by the end of 2013.

France rules out rapid Afghanistan withdrawal

By Olivier Laurent, 28 January 2012

Sarkozy will keep French troops in Afghanistan despite rising popular opposition to the NATO occupation following the January 20 deaths of four French soldiers.

Ten NATO troops killed in Afghanistan

By Alex Lantier, 21 January 2012

At least ten NATO soldiers were killed in Afghanistan when a US helicopter crashed and an Afghan soldier shot four French troops after a training session.

US marines desecrate Afghan dead

By James Cogan, 13 January 2012

A video published yesterday shows four US marines in Afghanistan urinating on the heads of three Afghan dead, joking among themselves as they desecrate the corpses.

Afghanistan signs oil contract with Chinese giant

By John Chan, 10 January 2012

China’s oil contract with Afghanistan will exacerbate tensions with the US and India.

Afghan government accuses US of torture and false imprisonment

By James Cogan, 10 January 2012

The puppet government of President Hamid Karzai has accused the American military of torture and arbitrary detention at the largest US-run prison in the country.

US backs Taliban office in Qatar in bid for Afghanistan deal

By Bill Van Auken, 4 January 2012

US and Taliban sources have confirmed a deal to set up an office of the Islamist group in Qatar as part of Washington’s attempt to negotiate a settlement of its decade-old war in Afghanistan.

Another year of death and destruction in the AfPak War

By James Cogan, 3 January 2012

The tenth year of the US and NATO occupation of Afghanistan was among the deadliest and most destructive of the entire conflict.

Slideshow presentation: Afghan refugees in Paris speak out

By Shantan Kumarasamy, 29 December 2011

Homeless Afghan asylum seekers discuss their dangerous journeys to Europe and their desperate struggles for survival.

Cameron visits Afghanistan as UK prepares further interventions in region

By Julie Hyland, 23 December 2011

A strict media blackout was in force for Prime Minister David Cameron’s pre-Christmas visit to British troops in Afghanistan Tuesday.

US generals balk at Obama’s Afghanistan withdrawal plan

By Bill Van Auken, 8 December 2011

In the latest round of conflict between Obama and his top military commanders, the senior US general in Afghanistan is opposing the administration’s plans for the withdrawal of troops from the US-occupied country.

Bonn conference on Afghanistan dominated by crisis and pessimism

By Bill Van Auken, 6 December 2011

A decade after the first international conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, delegates returned to the former West German capital under conditions of growing regional crisis and increasing pessimism over the 10-year-old war.

Australian elite troops prepared for decade-long operations in Afghanistan

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 November 2011

The SAS forces are highly valued by American commanders, having functioned for years as brutal death squads, hunting down and assassinating individuals identified as opponents of the US-led occupation.

Afghan army trainee kills three Australian soldiers

By Will Morrow, 4 November 2011

Far from “stabilising” Afghanistan, the continued presence of foreign troops is generating deep-seated enmity that will inevitably lead to further attacks.

UN report documents systematic torture of Afghan detainees

By Barry Grey, 12 October 2011

A report released Monday by the United Nations documents what it calls "systematic" torture at Afghan government prisons of suspected insurgents captured by US, NATO and Afghan authorities.

A decade of neo-colonial war in Afghanistan

By Peter Symonds, 8 October 2011

The war has been a disaster for the Afghan people and a tragic waste of the lives of American and allied soldiers. It has profoundly destabilised regional and world politics.

India-Afghan pact further poisons Afghan-Pakistan relations

By James Cogan, 6 October 2011

The agreement is a clear threat that India, in conjunction with the US and its allies, will continue to build its political and economic influence in Afghanistan at Pakistan’s expense.

Two dead in shooting at CIA headquarters in Kabul

By Oliver Campbell, 29 September 2011

The Taliban’s ability to penetrate the security structures in Afghanistan stems from the deep-seated resentment felt by broad layers of the population to the decade-long US occupation.

Assassination of top Afghan negotiator undermines “peace talks”

By Peter Symonds, 22 September 2011

The killing of Burhanuddin Rabbani will only exacerbate ethnic tensions and weaken the Afghan government as it balances precariously between the country’s rival factions and tribal groups.

NATO admits killing BBC journalist in Afghanistan

By Harvey Thompson, 16 September 2011

NATO admitted last week that a US soldier shot dead BBC journalist Ahmed Omaid Khpalwak in Afghanistan in July.

US embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul under fire

By Peter Symonds, 14 September 2011

Coordinated Taliban attacks in the Afghan capital yesterday have again highlighted the tenuous nature of the US-led military occupation of the country.

Multiple deaths in attack on British Council compound in Kabul

By Harvey Thompson, 23 August 2011

The compound of the British Council headquarters in the Afghan capital, Kabul, came under a sustained guerrilla attack on Friday, resulting in nine deaths and 22 casualties.

Obama’s bloody “endgame” in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 18 August 2011

Nearly two months after President Obama announced plans for a limited withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, US strategy in the nearly 10-year-old war points to a steady escalation of bloodshed.

US retaliation in Afghanistan in wake of helicopter downing

By Bill Van Auken, 11 August 2011

The Pentagon claimed Wednesday to have killed the Afghan fighters responsible for last week’s downing of a helicopter that resulted in the worst US losses to date in the decade-old war.

Helicopter shootdown in Afghanistan hits Navy SEALs

By Patrick Martin, 8 August 2011

Nearly 10 percent of the elite SEAL Team 6 were killed in the incident Saturday.

High profile assassinations continue in southern Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 3 August 2011

The Taliban government-in-exile has claimed responsibility for a wave of attacks last month in which assassins were able to circumvent the security surrounding their intended victims.

Second Karzai ally assassinated in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 20 July 2011

The deaths of Karzai’s half-brother, and now Jan Mohammad Khan, are significant blows to the US puppet regime in Kabul.

Remote control murder: Afghan drones operated from Nevada and Virginia

By Julie Hyland, 15 July 2011

Last week’s admission that Britain’s Royal Air Force killed four civilians and injured two others in Afghanistan has highlighted the growing resort to remote-controlled “drones” as weapons of choice by the major powers.

Documents prove Australian complicity in Iraq war crimes

By James Cogan, 13 July 2011

Defence department records released this week show that the Australian government covered up the torture committed by American forces at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in late 2003.

Killing of Karzai’s brother deepens US crisis in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 13 July 2011

The killing of Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Afghan president’s half brother, represents a serious blow to US strategy in the key southern province of Kandahar.

US air strikes kill women and children in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 7 July 2011

The latest civilian casualties come amid indications that the phased withdrawal of the US troops sent into Afghanistan as part of Barack Obama’s surge will mean an escalation of the bloodshed.

European think-tank warns: Insurgency strengthening in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 5 July 2011

The ICG report contradicts President Obama’s claim that the US-led occupation was in a “position of strength”.

Kabul hotel attack shakes US occupation regime in Afghanistan

By Alex Lantier, 1 July 2011

The June 28-29 attack by Afghan insurgents on the luxury Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul has again exposed the political isolation of the US occupation regime in Afghanistan.

All US troops out of Afghanistan now!

By Bill Van Auken, 24 June 2011

Obama’s Thursday night speech on “the way forward in Afghanistan” offered only years more of a dirty colonial war that both the American and the Afghan people overwhelmingly oppose.

Behind Obama’s Afghan withdrawal decision

By Bill Van Auken, 21 June 2011

While the media focuses on Obama’s anticipated announcement of a limited withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the US administration is carrying out behind-the-scenes negotiations for permanent bases in the country.

Pentagon demands continuation of US surge in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 18 June 2011

On the eve of President Obama’s July deadline for beginning the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, top US military commanders have opposed any significant drawdown.

German troops intensify attacks on civilians in Afghanistan

By Sven Heymann, 11 June 2011

An attack on high-ranking German and Afghan military personnel has further revealed deep-seated popular hatred of the occupying NATO troops.

US and Britain seek accommodation with Taliban

By Harvey Thompson, 8 June 2011

The Guardian has reported that Britain and the US are pressing for the lifting of UN sanctions against 18 former senior Taliban figures.

Two more Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan

By Terry Cook, 6 June 2011

Canberra is clearly concerned that the accelerating death toll in Afghanistan will further fuel popular opposition to the war.

Obama, Pentagon stall on Afghanistan troop withdrawal

By Bill Van Auken, 4 June 2011

With the deadline for Obama’s promised initial withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan less than a month away, the top US military commander revealed that no plan has been submitted for pulling out US forces.

After latest massacre, NATO to continue attacks on Afghan civilians

By Bill Van Auken, 1 June 2011

The US-led NATO command in Afghanistan brushed aside President Hamid Karzai’s demand for a halt to air strikes and night raids on Afghan homes after an attack that killed 14 civilians.

Twelve children killed in another US massacre in Afghanistan

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 May 2011

The incident, one of several involving civilian deaths recently, is yet another atrocity committed by the US-NATO forces.

Charges dropped against Australian soldiers over Afghan civilian killings

By Patrick O’Connor, 26 May 2011

As the result of a military court decision, Australian forces have effectively been given a green light to kill civilians.

Afghans killed in protest over NATO night raids

By Bill Van Auken, 19 May 2011

At least a dozen Afghan civilians were shot to death and another 85 wounded in mass protests over a US-led night raid that killed four members of a family in the country’s northern Takhar province.

The Kabul airport killings: What are US troops dying for?

By Bill Van Auken, 29 April 2011

The execution-style slaying of eight US troops and a civilian contractor at a supposedly secure military facility at Kabul airport underscores the crisis of the nearly decade-old US war in Afghanistan.

Nine US military personnel killed in Afghanistan airport shooting

By Naomi Spencer, 28 April 2011

An Afghan pilot opened fire on NATO forces at a Kabul air base Wednesday, killing eight US soldiers and an American contractor. It is the deadliest attack of its kind in the nearly ten-year-old occupation.

500 Afghan insurgents escape from high-security Kandahar prison

By David Walsh, 27 April 2011

In an audacious operation, some 500 Taliban insurgents, including 100 commanders, escaped to freedom from an Afghan prison early Monday morning.

US occupation in Afghanistan hit by string of bombings

By Bill Van Auken, 19 April 2011

A series of bombings have signaled the beginning of a spring offensive by the Afghan resistance forces, while inflicting the greatest single-day casualties on US forces in nearly a year.

Anti-American rioting sweeps Afghanistan

By a reporter, 4 April 2011

A Koran-burning incident in Florida has touched off one of the worst disturbances since the US invasion in 2001.

Australian soldiers in Afghanistan post racist anti-Afghan comments

By Margaret Rees, 31 March 2011

The Gillard Labor government and military officials have gone into damage control over revealing internet postings by soldiers.

Afghanistan: More children killed in US-NATO air attacks

By Patrick O’Connor, 29 March 2011

The atrocity is the latest in a series of recent US-led bombing operations that have inflicted mass civilian casualties.

Another war crime in Afghanistan: US massacres nine children in air strike

By Joseph Kishore, 4 March 2011

The latest atrocity in the northeastern Kunar Province prompted protests of hundreds of Afghans, who denounced the US occupation and the Karzai regime.

US retreats from strategic Afghanistan valley

By Bill Van Auken, 26 February 2011

The Pentagon is withdrawing forces from the northeastern Afghanistan’s Pech Valley, which it had previously insisted was strategically vital.

Dozens slaughtered by US forces in Afghanistan-Pakistan air attacks

By Patrick O’Connor, 23 February 2011

After a US air strike killed up to 51 civilians last Thursday in Afghanistan’s north-eastern Kunar province, General David Petraeus reportedly accused local residents of burning their children to fake evidence of civilian casualties.

German parliament votes to extend participation in Afghan war

By Sven Heymann and Ulrich Rippert, 12 February 2011

The German parliament’s vote to extend the country’s participation in the Afghan war for another year is at complete odds with popular sentiment.

Afghan president confirms US demand for permanent bases

By Mike Head, 11 February 2011

Washington’s plans demonstrate that the protracted war in Afghanistan is being waged to secure US hegemony in Central Asia, one of the most geo-strategically vital regions of the globe.

US commander in Afghanistan boasts of inflicting “enormous losses”

By Peter Symonds, 29 January 2011

Petraeus’s letter was pitched at justifying the Obama administration’s surge of troops to Afghanistan, which has taken a terrible human toll—both of Afghans and foreign troops alike.

Afghan president continues building ties with Moscow

By Niall Green, 24 January 2011

President Karzai paid his second visit in six months to Moscow, hoping to drum up support for his regime.

Obama orders new Afghan surge

By Bill Van Auken, 7 January 2011

The Obama administration's decision to deploy another 1,400 US Marines in Afghanistan is a harbinger of a far bloodier war and a further indication that this year will see no drawdown of US forces.

Obama’s reign of terror in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 4 January 2011

2010 was the bloodiest year of the now nine-year conflict in Afghanistan and the tribal border regions of Pakistan.

Huge rise in wounded Afghan civilians

By Harvey Thompson, 30 December 2010

Britain’s Channel 4 News has revealed a dramatic increase in the numbers of war-wounded civilians in southern Afghanistan, following the military troop surge initiated by US president Barak Obama earlier this year.

US spy agencies paint grim picture of Afghan war

By Bill Van Auken, 16 December 2010

Two reports produced by US intelligence agencies sharply contradict the American military's claims of success in the nine-year-old war in Afghanistan.

Another massacre of civilians in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 13 December 2010

The killings point again to the murderous character of the operations being conducted by the Special Forces units scouring Afghanistan.

WikiLeaks document points to US contractor role in “dancing boys” incident

By Joseph Kishore, 13 December 2010

Afghan officials asked the US to “quash” media coverage of the incident, which involved the crime of “purchasing a service from a child”—apparently a reference to child prostitution.

Afghan trainee kills six US troops

By Bill Van Auken, 1 December 2010

The killing of six US soldiers by an Afghan police officer is one of the bloodiest in a series of incidents that call into question the US-NATO strategy of turning over combat operations to Afghan forces in 2014.

Pentagon issues grim review of Afghanistan war

By Bill Van Auken, 26 November 2010

Violence has reached record levels in Afghanistan, and the resistance to the US-led occupation is more widespread than ever, according to a report issued by the Pentagon.

Karzai calls for reducing US military operations in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 15 November 2010

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai has called for reducing the number of US troops in Afghanistan and halting aggressive operations that are claiming a growing number of civilian lives.

US pushes back Afghanistan timetable as fighting escalates

By Bill Van Auken, 13 November 2010

In the run-up to next week’s NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, there has been a steady drumbeat from Washington to dismiss the July 2011 date set by Obama for beginning US troop withdrawals.

US Army “kill team” hearing continues

By Naomi Spencer, 12 November 2010

Hearings continued Tuesday into charges of murder and other atrocities committed against Afghan civilians by a group of US soldiers stationed in Kandahar.

US soldier refused Afghan deployment over PTSD

By Bill Van Auken, 12 November 2010

As the US marked Veterans Day Thursday, an American soldier who had refused redeployment to Afghanistan over the Army’s failure to treat his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder turned himself in.

Another decade of neo-colonial war in Afghanistan

By Peter Symonds, 21 October 2010

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard made clear in a parliamentary debate this week that Australian troops, and thus American and other foreign forces, would remain in Afghanistan “through this decade at least”.

US backs “peace talks” as violence soars in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 16 October 2010

The US administration and military have confirmed reports that they are assisting the Karzai government to conduct negotiations with the Taliban.

Australian soldiers charged over civilian killings in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 1 October 2010

The incident is typical of numerous operations routinely carried out by the Australian and other allied special forces groups to suppress Afghan resistance to the US-led occupation.

CIA runs private army in Afghanistan and Pakistan

By Tom Peters, 30 September 2010

Obama’s Wars, the new book by journalist Bob Woodward, reveals that the CIA has been running a private army of 3,000 Afghan mercenaries since 2002, operating in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

US escalates killing on both sides of Afghanistan-Pakistan border

By Bill Van Auken, 29 September 2010

Amid signs of increasing desperation in the nine-year US war in Afghanistan, Washington has simultaneously launched a major offensive in Kandahar and escalated its attacks across the border in Pakistan.

New push to send more Australian troops to Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 29 September 2010

A soldier’s exposure of the circumstances of a colleague’s death is being exploited to push for the deployment of more Australian troops to the Afghan war.

US slaughter intensifies in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 27 September 2010

The US military claimed responsibility for killing scores of Afghan insurgents over the weekend as it unleashed its long-awaited offensive in Kandahar.

Debacle in Afghanistan: British troops withdraw from Sangin

By Robert Stevens, 24 September 2010

On September 20, the last 1,000 remaining UK troops withdrew from Sangin, southern Afghanistan. After more than four years, they handed over control of their bases to the United States.

Helicopter crash makes 2010 the deadliest year for Afghanistan occupation troops

By Bill Van Auken, 22 September 2010

The death of nine US soldiers in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan has made 2010 the deadliest year for the US-led occupation forces.

Fraud, violence and mass abstention: Election debacle in Afghanistan

By Patrick Martin, 20 September 2010

Saturday’s parliamentary election in Afghanistan was a predictable debacle, largely boycotted by the Afghan population.

Another rigged election in Afghanistan

By Tom Peters, 18 September 2010

Today’s parliamentary election is yet another repudiation of the claim that the US-led invasion of the country was intended to produce a democratic government.

US soldiers killed Afghan civilians and kept fingers, skull as trophies

By Patrick Martin, 10 September 2010

The case is the worst such atrocity yet revealed in Afghanistan and underscores that the US is engaged in a brutal colonial war directed against the entire population of the country.

General Petraeus calls for 2,000 more troops to Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 8 September 2010

The call for more troops is calculated to increase political pressure on various European governments, and non-NATO US allies such as Australia, to boost their contributions to the occupation of Afghanistan.

2010 already deadliest year for US troops in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 3 September 2010

With another 26 soldiers killed since last Saturday, 2010 has already become the most deadly year for US troops since the US launched the Afghanistan war nearly nine years ago.

Afghanistan: Offensive in Kandahar underway

By Tom Peters, 2 September 2010

Over the past four months, checkpoints have been established at all the main routes into the city, and thousands of tall concrete blast walls have been installed around police stations and government buildings.

Fourteen more US troops killed in Afghanistan: What are they dying for?

By Bill Van Auken, 31 August 2010

With Obama’s Afghanistan surge now up to full strength, casualties among both US troops and Afghan civilians are rising sharply. New revelations of corruption and CIA payoffs raise the inescapable question: What are they dying for?

Evidence that Afghan leaders are on CIA payroll

By James Cogan, 30 August 2010

Leaks over the past week have revealed that members of the Afghan government headed by President Hamid Karzai are paid agents of the CIA.

US Marine general rejects Obama’s Afghanistan deadline

By Bill Van Auken, 27 August 2010

General James Conway, commandant of the US Marine Corps, publicly challenged the July 2011 deadline set by President Obama for beginning the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, saying it gave “sustenance” to the Taliban.

US to spend $1.3 billion on Afghanistan bases

By Bill Van Auken, 24 August 2010

The US Congress is preparing to appropriate $1.3 billion in the fiscal 2011 budget for the building of base facilities for US forces in Afghanistan, some of which will not be completed for years.

UN report reveals sharp spike in Afghan civilian casualties

By Bill Van Auken, 11 August 2010

Afghan civilians suffered a 31 percent increase in casualties during the first half of this year, according to a United Nations report. While the UN blamed anti-occupation forces for the bulk of the casualties, the spike coincides with Obama’s “surge.”

Blood on whose hands in Afghanistan?

By Alex Lantier, 2 August 2010

US government and media accusations that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his sources have “blood on their hands” for revealing information on US military operations and informants in Afghanistan are contemptible slanders.

The Afghanistan documents and the struggle against war

By Bill Van Auken, 29 July 2010

The utter indifference of the US media and the political establishment as a whole to the WikiLeaks documents’ exposure of massive violence against the people of Afghanistan poses the critical need for a new strategy in the struggle against war.