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Afghanistan Mission Close To Failing

Afghanistan Mission Close To Failing

Guardian
February 29, 2008

After six years of US-led military support and billions of pounds in aid, security in Afghanistan is “deteriorating” and President Hamid Karzai’s government controls less than a third of the country, America’s top intelligence official has admitted.

Mike McConnell testified in Washington that Karzai controls about 30% of Afghanistan and the Taliban 10%, and the remainder is under tribal control.

The Afghan government angrily denied the US director of national intelligence’s assessment yesterday, insisting it controlled “over 360” of the country’s 365 districts. “This is far from the facts and we completely deny it,” said the defence ministry.

But the gloomy comments echoed even more strongly worded recent reports by thinktanks, including one headed by the former Nato commander General James Jones, which concluded that “urgent changes” were required now to “prevent Afghanistan becoming a failed state”.

Read Full Article Here

 

Judge OKs mandatory anthrax vaccine
Judge Dismisses Challenge to Military’s Mandatory Anthrax Vaccine

Raw Story
February 29, 2008

http://youtube.com/watch?v=2dHeG0aTwVw

The Pentagon can require its troops be vaccinated against anthrax, a federal judge said Friday.

Judge Rosemary M. Collyer said the Food and Drug Administration acted appropriately when it found the vaccine to be safe and approved its use. She dismissed a lawsuit by military officials who argued the drug is unproven and the scientific data unsound.

“The court will not substitute its own judgment when the FDA made no clear error of judgment,” Collyer wrote.

The dispute has languished in the court system for years. A federal judge suspended the vaccination program in 2004 after faulting the FDA’s process for approving the drug. After the FDA redid the process and again found it to be safe, the military announced plans to reinstate mandatory vaccinations.

That prompted this latest lawsuit by eight military members who argued the vaccine should be optional.

“We owe it to our service members to give them every possible protection,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. “Force protection is the number one priority in the Defense Department and the anthrax inoculation program is an important force-protection measure.”

Mark Zaid, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said the FDA relied on outdated studies that didn’t prove the vaccine is safe or effective against inhaled anthrax.

“It would appear the court has condoned an agency’s manipulation of decades-old data to support a present-day policy objective,” Zaid said. “We are absolutely going to appeal.”

Soldier admits having himself shot to avoid Iraq return
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Soldie..g_himself_shot_to_0226.html

More troops for Iraq and Afghanistan, Defense Department says
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0227/p99s04-duts.html

US patrol shoots Iraqi civilian
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7268645.stm

US Air Force censors blogs
http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/..02/28/air-force-censors-blogs

Marines Call New Body Armor Impractical
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,333154,00.html

Iraqi Hospitals Unable To Cope With Bombings
http://wiredispatch.com/news/?id=60570

PHR Files Suit Against Defense Department in FOIA Dispute Over Documents Concerning Mass Grave in Afghanistan
http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/library/news-2008-02-19.html

U.S. Expects 140K Troops In Iraq By July
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N25602446.htm

‘We scrounge for everything’: U.S. soldier in Afghanistan
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/0..login&pagewanted=all

 


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