New atrocity in Afghanistan
By Patrick Martin, 5 September 2009
An airstrike by a US warplane killed over 100 Afghans early Friday morning, most of them civilians incinerated when two gasoline tankers, hit by bombs, exploded in flames.
By Joe Kishore, 4 September 2009
There are clear signs of growing popular opposition in the US and around the world to the war in Afghanistan, as the Obama administration readies another major increase in the US troop presence.
By Tom Eley, 2 September 2009
A classified report issued by the US commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, sets the stage for a major increase in US troop levels.
By James Cogan, 29 August 2009
The number of US and NATO occupation troops killed in Afghanistan during 2009 reached 301 yesterday—already the highest annual toll of the eight-year war.
By Patrick Martin, 28 August 2009
The Obama administration and the American media, after denouncing the presidential election in Iran as “rigged” and undemocratic (without any evidence), now uphold the legitimacy of the presidential election in Afghanistan, despite growing evidence of vote fraud.
By James Cogan, 27 August 2009
The mounting preparations for a major escalation of the war in Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan are taking place in open defiance of public opinion around the globe.
By Barry Grey, 26 August 2009
A partial vote tally reported Tuesday by Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission was overshadowed by mounting reports of pervasive vote-rigging, ballot-stuffing and intimidation of voters by various candidates and their respective ethnic warlord backers.
By James Cogan, 24 August 2009
In the wake of last Thursday’s election in Afghanistan, the US establishment is proceeding with plans for a further expansion of the war.
By Patrick O’Connor, 21 August 2009
Yesterday’s presidential election in Afghanistan featured massive abstention and blatant ballot rigging, underscoring the corrupt character of the exercise.
By James Cogan, 20 August 2009
The poll takes place under conditions of a continuing foreign military occupation to prop up a puppet government that is notorious for its human rights abuses, corruption and failure to provide for the basic needs of the vast majority of the population.
By Harvey Thompson, 14 August 2009
The head of the British Army, General Sir David Richards, has said Britain could still be in Afghanistan in 40 years time.
By James Cogan, 13 August 2009
The stage has been set for the Obama administration to announce another major escalation of the war in Afghanistan, amid warnings that the Taliban insurgency has to be stemmed over the next 12 to 18 months to avoid the risk of a humiliating US defeat.
By John Braddock, 12 August 2009
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced on Monday that his government was redeploying elite Special Air Service (SAS) troops to the neo-colonial occupation of Afghanistan.
By James Cogan, 10 August 2009
It is widely acknowledged that the August 20 presidential election in Afghanistan will be characterised by vote-rigging and the bribing or intimidation of voters in the areas under US-NATO control.
By James Cogan, 8 August 2009
The American political establishment and the US media, along with Washington’s client government in Islamabad, are reveling in the reports that missiles launched from an unmanned US Predator drone on Wednesday killed Pakistani tribal leader Baitullah Mehsud.
By Stefan Steinberg and Barry Grey, 7 August 2009
In the face of mounting popular opposition to the slaughter in Afghanistan, the US and European governments are stepping up their intervention and making clear that the neo-colonial occupation is open-ended.
By James Cogan, 3 August 2009
A report issued late last month by the Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) sheds light on the rising number of innocent Afghan men, women and children who are being killed in order for the US and its allies to consolidate their neo-colonial occupation of the country.
By Chris Marsden, 30 July 2009
Recent opinion polls have confirmed the deep-seated and growing opposition to the Afghan war amongst the British public. But there is barely any expression of this to be found within official political circles or the media.
By James Cogan, 25 July 2009
“The occupation forces are supporting the enemies of my people and it is better that they leave.”
By James Cogan, 22 July 2009
The number of US/NATO deaths in July has already reached 58—the highest monthly toll since the invasion in October 2001.
By David Walsh, 22 July 2009
Within the wider tragedy of the brutal US occupation of Afghanistan, the fate of Private Bowe Bergdahl has its own tragic dimension.
By Julie Hyland, 20 July 2009
A concerted campaign is underway to manufacture popular support for stepped-up British participation in the US-led surge in Afghanistan.
By Bill Van Auken, 18 July 2009
An attack by US warplanes left Afghan civilians dead and wounded, underscoring the grim human cost of the military escalation ordered by the Obama administration.
By James Cogan, 14 July 2009
Less than six months after Barack Obama ordered 21,000 additional American soldiers to Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, the newly-appointed US commander, has launched a lobbying drive for more troops.
By James Cogan, 10 July 2009
It is remarkable that even as the Obama administration has escalated the war, it has virtually dropped the original pretext that was used to justify it. What ever happened to Osama bin Laden?
9 July 2009
A selection or recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site on Iran, Afghanistan, and the “left.”
By James Cogan, 7 July 2009
The first days of the offensive by US marines into the southern province of Helmand make clear it will result in a massive escalation in violence against the Afghan people.
By Marius Heuser, 6 July 2009
Over a half century after the Second World War, the German government is systematically working to condition the population to the role of the German army as a force for aggression.
By James Cogan, 4 July 2009
The Obama administration has ordered the marines into a brutal and potentially bloody offensive in the southern province of Helmand.
By James Cogan, 2 July 2009
Amid the chorus of denunciations in US and European ruling circles over the alleged theft of the Iranian elections, the Obama administration and its NATO allies are presiding over an election campaign in Afghanistan that is as corrupt as it is illegitimate.
By Bill Van Auken, 12 June 2009
Confirmed Wednesday as Obama’s new commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal has been given extraordinary powers to assemble his own staff and is drawing heavily from a super-secret assassination squad formed under the Bush administration.
By James Cogan, 11 June 2009
The Obama administration’s “surge” in Afghanistan is taking shape, with 10,000 marines completing the commencement of their deployment to the volatile province of Helmand over the next several weeks.
By James Cogan, 5 June 2009
As part of completing the transformation of Afghanistan into a US client-state, Obama is demanding that the Pakistani government suppress the local Islamist movements that lend support to the Afghan resistance over the border.
Democrats back US militarism
By Patrick Martin, 25 May 2009
By a margin of 86-3, the US Senate voted Thursday to approve a $91.3 billion supplemental funding bill to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September 30. The bill brings the total expended on the two wars of aggression to more than $900 billion.
By David Walsh, 21 May 2009
On Wednesday the American military released the findings of its interim investigation into the mass killing of civilians in Afghanistan’s Farah province May 4. It was a whitewash.
By James Cogan, 19 May 2009
Information has surfaced this month that the Australian military has covered up the role of Special Air Service personnel in the killing and wounding of civilians in Afghanistan.
By Bill Van Auken, 8 May 2009
The Pentagon is attempting to cover up its responsibility for the massacre of at least 120 civilians in western Afghanistan—the worst atrocity since the war began—as the Obama administration prepares to escalate the US intervention.
By Peter Symonds, 7 May 2009
The US summit with Afghanistan and Pakistan currently underway in Washington marks the onset of a major escalation of military violence in both countries.
By Bill Van Auken, 6 May 2009
On the eve of a tripartite summit between the US, Afghan and Pakistani presidents in Washington, US air strikes in western Afghanistan killed scores of civilians in one of the worst atrocities in the seven-and-a-half-year-old war.
By James Cogan, 2 May 2009
The Rudd Labor government announced on Wednesday a significant expansion of Australia’s military commitment to the US-led occupation of Afghanistan.
By Bill Van Auken, 15 April 2009
As the top US military commander predicted that the Obama administration’s troop buildup in Afghanistan will lead to a surge in violence, an air strike by US-led occupation forces once again left civilians dead and wounded.
By Bill Van Auken, 4 April 2009
In a rebuke to the Bush and Obama administrations’ bid to hold so-called enemy combatants indefinitely without charges or trials, a federal judge has ruled that three detainees at a US prison in Afghanistan have the right to challenge their detention in court.
By Patrick Martin, 2 April 2009
The top US military commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, has formally requested the deployment of an additional 10,000 US combat troops for the increasingly bloody war in the Central Asian country.
By Patrick Martin, 24 March 2009
The chief official overseeing US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan arrived in Brussels Monday to brief NATO representatives on the Obama administration plans for the region amid press reports that the US intends to push aside Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
By James Cogan, 11 March 2009
The desperation at the heart of the Obama administration’s plans for the escalation of the war in Afghanistan was laid bare in the interview that the president gave to the New York Times last Friday.
By James Cogan, 2 March 2009
In the midst of a deteriorating security situation, Karzai’s decision to call an early election has been met with open opposition from the Obama administration and exposed the rift that exists between the White House and the US client state in Kabul.
By James Cogan, 27 February 2009
While alleged “terrorist suspects” will no longer be detained without trial and abused at Guantánamo, the Obama administration has given the green light for such outrages to continue unchecked at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
By Peter Symonds, 21 February 2009
The top US commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, warned on Wednesday that the troop buildup announced this week was “not a temporary force uplift” but would have to be sustained for years.
By Bill Van Auken, 12 February 2009
Wednesday’s attacks on government ministries in the heart of Kabul underscore the mounting resistance to the occupation of Afghanistan, just as Washington prepares to escalate its intervention in the country and extend it further into Pakistan.
By Barry Grey, 5 February 2009
President Barack Obama is set to formally authorize the dispatch of 10,000 to 12,000 additional US combat troops to Afghanistan, the beginning stage of a military “surge” that will likely add 30,000 more soldiers and Marines over the next 12 to 18 months, doubling the US occupation force to 60,000.
By James Cogan, 29 January 2009
Within days of taking power, the Obama administration has made clear that it will escalate the war to subjugate the Afghan people, intensify US military strikes on targets inside Pakistan and continue the occupation of Iraq indefinitely.
As Vice President Biden warns of an “uptick” in casualties
By Patrick O’Connor, 26 January 2009
A US military raid in the eastern Afghanistan province of Laghman last Friday night resulted in the deaths of at least 16 civilians, including women and children, according to local residents.
By James Cogan, 26 January 2009
The commander of US forces in Central Asia, General David Petraeus, has announced an agreement with the Russian government for the transit of “non-military” supplies through its territory to the US and NATO occupation forces in Afghanistan.
By Harvey Thompson, 21 January 2009
Britain’s defence secretary John Hutton delivered the UK government’s sharpest public criticism of its European NATO allies and called for an increase in troop deployment to the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.
By James Cogan, 20 January 2009
The first week of 2009 saw at least three incidents in which occupation forces stand accused of killing or injuring Afghan civilians during operations against the Taliban-led insurgency.
By James Cogan, 13 January 2009
The death of another soldier has prompted further speculation as to whether the incoming Obama administration will request the Australian government deploy even greater numbers of combat troops to the Afghan war—with the prospect of greater casualties.
By James Cogan, 9 January 2009
The Afghan government’s own Health Ministry is warning of a massive spike in the country’s staggering annual death toll. It has estimated that 1.6 million children under five may die.
By John Mackay, 31 December 2008
The Globe and Mail is mounting a campaign for the country’s political elite to once again defy public sentiment and extend the Canadian Armed Forces’ intervention in Afghanistan beyond the current deadline of December 2011.
By Bill Van Auken, 22 December 2008
US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen announced Saturday that the Pentagon will nearly double the number of US troops in Afghanistan. The announcement is in line with the policy advanced by President-elect Barack Obama to shift American military sources to the “real front” in the “global war on terrorism.”
By James Cogan, 13 December 2008
The US military in Afghanistan is preparing for an influx of tens of thousands more American troops during the first months of the Obama presidency.
10 December 2008
Washington’s targetting of Gul raises an inconvenient fact: that the nexus between the Pakistani military establishment and Islamist militias has its roots in the CIA-backed jihad in the 1980s against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
By James Cogan, 10 December 2008
Australian special forces are being used as little more than death squads in the US-led occupation of Afghanistan.
By Barry Grey, 9 December 2008
A series of attacks on US and NATO military equipment depots in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar have underscored the increasingly dire security situation facing American and allied forces conducting the counterinsurgency war in neighboring Afghanistan.
By Harvey Thompson, 6 December 2008
Conservative estimates put the numbers of Afghans killed in violence related to the occupation in 2008 at around 4,000. Over 1,000 service personnel have now been killed in Afghanistan, the majority being US soldiers.
By James Cogan, 17 November 2008
A Pakistani military offensive against Islamist militants is now being extended into the tribal agency of Mohmand.
By James Cogan, 8 November 2008
An Afghan government investigation into US air strikes carried out on Monday in the province of Kandahar has found that at least 37 civilians taking part in a wedding celebration were massacred. Another 30 people or more—men, women and children—were injured.
By Harvey Thompson, 30 October 2008
Gen. Sir David Richards, recent commander of the NATO’s ISAF in Afghanistan, has been appointed the new head of the British Army.
By James Cogan, 24 October 2008
An increasing number of commentators describe the occupation of Afghanistan as a failure.
By James Cogan, 15 October 2008
Seven years after the invasion of Afghanistan, the discussion in US political and military circles is increasingly focusing on some form of political settlement with insurgent organisations, including leading figures of the former Taliban regime.
By Bill Van Auken, 11 October 2008
Seven years after the Bush administration launched “Operation Enduring Freedom,” US intelligence agencies have concluded that the situation in the devastated country is on “a downward spiral,” according to a classified draft National Intelligence Estimate.
By James Cogan, 9 October 2008
US aircraft are attacking alleged militant targets inside Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (FATA) at a growing rate.
By James Cogan, 6 October 2008
With insurgent activity rising and casualties at an all-time high, the representatives of the US and NATO occupation of Afghanistan are growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospect of establishing a stable client-state. This year has already registered the largest annual number of US and NATO casualties—236 dead and over 1,000 wounded so far—since the invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001.
By Harvey Thompson, 29 September 2008
The United States, NATO, and the Karzai regime in Kabul have announced a joint investigation into the most recent coalition air strike massacre of Afghan civilians.
Support from the LCR
By Francois Dubois and Peter Schwarz, 24 September 2008
On September 20, demonstrations were held in 10 different French cities demanding the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan. Protests against the war in Afghanistan were also held in a number of other European countries, including Britain, Italy and Germany.
By Ludwig Weller, 24 September 2008
The official explanation that the 3,500 German soldiers stationed in Afghanistan are only “construction workers in uniform” is no longer tenable. The events in which they are embroiled are becoming bloodier each day. Increasingly, German soldiers are killing insurgents and civilians, or are themselves being killed.
By James Cogan, 10 September 2008
The wounding on September 2 of nine Australian special forces troops by Afghan insurgents loyal to the former Taliban regime has led to a renewed focus in the political and media establishment on Australia’s involvement in the US-led occupation.
US policy and Al Qaeda terrorism
By James Cogan, 8 September 2008
The propaganda used to justify the US-led occupation in Afghanistan typically leaves out any explanation of the origins of tendencies such as Al Qaeda, the Taliban movement and other Islamist groups resisting American and NATO troops.
By Olivier Laurent, 8 September 2008
Further information has emerged about the August 18 ambush that killed 10 French soldiers in Afghanistan and wounded 23 more in the valley of Uzbeen.
By James Cogan, 2 September 2008
The August death toll of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan reached 45 on Sunday—the equal highest monthly total of the near seven-year war. A Romanian soldier providing protection to a supply convoy was killed when the vehicle he was travelling in drove over a mine that had been planted on the main highway connecting the capital Kabul with the country’s eastern provinces. Three other Romanian soldiers were seriously wounded.
By Tom Eley, 1 September 2008
As anger mounts in Afghanistan over the August 22 US bombing of a village that killed ninety civilians, the great majority women and children, the Pentagon continues to claim a much smaller death toll comprised largely of “Taliban fighters.” Anonymous US officials, who claim to have investigated the attack in Azizabad in Herat province, insist that 25 Taliban were killed, along with five civilians.
By James Cogan, 26 August 2008
In one of the worst atrocities of the US-led occupation of Afghanistan, as many as 90 civilians were massacred by an American air strike last Friday in the western province of Herat. At least 60 of those killed were children under the age of 15, according to Afghan government and military sources.
By Peter Symonds, 21 August 2008
The death of 10 French soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan on Monday has again underscored the resurgence of armed resistance against the US-led occupation and reignited debate in France over its involvement in the war. The incident involved the worst loss of foreign troops in open battle since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and, for the French army, its highest casualties since a Beirut truck bomb killed 58 paratroopers in 1983.
By Harvey Thompson, 6 August 2008
In a statement issued August 1, the Agency Co-ordinating Body for Afghan Relief (Acbar) expressed its “grave concern about the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the serious impact on civilians.”
By James Cogan, 29 July 2008
Since 2001, the Bush administration has used a purported threat of terrorism to justify the predatory invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and the establishment of US control over the resources and territory of both countries. At the same time, the so-called war on terror has served as the pretext for a massive expansion of the US military and the activities of intelligence agencies, as well as major inroads into the democratic rights and civil liberties of the American people.
By Patrick Martin, 24 July 2008
A lengthy front-page article in Wednesday’s New York Times cites US military officials to make the case for wider latitude in conducting bombing raids against targets in Afghanistan. The article by reporter Thom Shanker carries a headline reflecting the complaints of the Pentagon: “Civilian Risks Curbing Strikes in Afghan War.”
By Jerry White, 22 July 2008
US and NATO forces killed at least 13 Afghans over the weekend, adding to the toll of civilian deaths as the military intensifies efforts to crush opposition to the nearly seven-year-old US occupation.
By James Cogan, 21 July 2008
The statements made by Barack Obama during his visit to Afghanistan over the weekend verify that his campaign for president is the mouthpiece for a significant section of the American ruling elite that is insisting on a shift in US policy in the Middle East and Central Asia. Far from proposing any retreat from militarism, Obama is arguing for a faster drawdown of troop numbers in Iraq and a reduction in tensions with Iran, only in order to facilitate a major escalation of US military operations in Afghanistan, potentially extending them into Pakistan.
Bombs wipe out wedding party, 47 dead
By David Walsh, 18 July 2008
American air strikes alone have killed dozens of Afghan civilians, perhaps close to one hundred, in less than two weeks, as the fighting in the country intensifies and the US and its allies step up their efforts to suppress the anti-occupation insurgency.
Ten dead on Sunday
By James Cogan, 15 July 2008
The US/NATO occupation force in Afghanistan on Sunday suffered the largest number of casualties in a 24-hour period in more than three years. Nine American troops lost their lives and as many as 15 were wounded in a day-long battle with insurgents who attacked a US base in the eastern province of Kunar. Another soldier, also believed to be an American, was killed in a roadside bombing in the volatile Sangin district of Helmand province.
By Peter Symonds, 10 July 2008
The bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul on Monday has again highlighted the profoundly destabilising impact of the US invasion of Afghanistan on the broader region. The ongoing war between US-led forces and anti-occupation insurgents is spilling into Pakistan and further fuelling tensions between longstanding regional rivals—India and Pakistan.
By Ludwig Niethammer, 8 July 2008
On July 1 the German army took command of a NATO strike force in the north of Afghanistan, providing a combat force in the region for the first time.
By James Cogan, 7 July 2008
Three Afghan men and 19 women and children were slaughtered on Sunday when US aircraft bombed a wedding party in the remote Deh Bala district of Nangarhar province, in the country’s east close to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The killings were reported by the district governor and confirmed by survivors who were being treated at a hospital in Jalalabad, the provincial capital. Afghan officials have also reported that as many as 12 civilians were killed by air strikes last Friday in the nearby province of Nuristan province.
By James Cogan, 26 June 2008
NATO forces and the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai were compelled to launch a major operation last week to dislodge hundreds of anti-occupation fighters who had seized control of villages in the Arghandab valley, just 16 kilometres to the northwest of Kandahar city. Some of the 1,000-plus prisoners who were freed during the assault on the Sarposa prison in Kandahar on June 13 may have been involved. They reportedly linked up with insurgents who had recently crossed into Afghanistan from safe-havens inside Pakistan.
By K. Ratnayake, 17 June 2008
President Hamid Karzai Sunday threatened to send Afghan troops across the border into Pakistan, claiming that it would be an act of “self defence.” The Western-backed regime in Kabul together with the US-led NATO forces occupying the country have blamed elements of the Taliban acting from safe havens inside Pakistani tribal areas for stepped-up attacks on their forces.
By Bill Van Auken, 16 June 2008
Large numbers of US-led NATO troops together with Afghan puppet forces continued a largely fruitless search over the weekend for more than 1,000 prisoners who escaped from a fortress-like jail in the southern city of Kandahar.
By Harvey Thompson, 14 June 2008
On June 8, the number of UK fatalities in Afghanistan reached a grim milestone with news of the death of three British soldiers in a suicide attack in southern Afghanistan.
By James Cogan, 3 June 2008
A major US offensive targeting alleged Taliban guerillas around the city of Garmser in the southern province of Helmand has displaced over 4,000 families, according to the provincial governor Gulab Mangal. He told UN relief agencies that most are living in squalid conditions on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Lashkargah, and had not received any food or non-food assistance.
By Alex Lantier, 20 May 2008
On May 17 the New York Times reported on plans for a new, US-run prison complex at Bagram air base north of the Afghan capital, Kabul. The prison complex would occupy 40 acres on the base, house up to 1,100 prisoners, and cost more than $60 million to build. The complex will replace an existing prison, the Bagram Theater Internment Facility.
By Joe Kay, 19 May 2008
A United Nations investigator released a preliminary report last week citing widespread civilian deaths in Afghanistan, often at the hands of unaccountable units led by the CIA or other foreign intelligence agencies.
By James Cogan, 7 May 2008
Fighting is escalating in Afghanistan as weather conditions improve for combat operations by both the US-NATO occupation force and the Afghan guerillas fighting to drive them from the country.