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63 U.S. Soldiers Died in Afghanistan This Month

63 U.S. Soldiers Died in Afghanistan in July

Press TV
July 30, 2010

With 63 US service members killed, July has become the deadliest month for American forces stationed in war-torn Afghanistan.

June’s record of 60 US fatalities was surpassed this month after separate bomb blasts killed at least three US soldiers in southern Afghanistan over the past 24 hours.

The latest deaths brought to 86 the number of fatalities among foreign troopers in war-ravaged Afghanistan this month.

The tally is based on military reports compiled by news agencies and websites tracking coalition casualties in Afghan and Iraq wars.

More than 400 foreign soldiers have been killed in the war-torn country so far this year, with nearly US-led troops 2,000 people killed since the 2001 invasion.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama signed a 37.1-billion-dollar spending package for the unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, while unemployment and domestic problems at home are on the rise.

The increasing number of foreign casualties in Afghanistan has drawn widespread public anger in the US and other NATO member states.

US paying Pakistan to kill American troops?

 



U.S. Casualties in Afghanistan could be 500 a month

US forces in Afghanistan ‘should expect up to 500 casualties a month’

Times Online
January 7, 2010

US forces in Afghanistan should brace themselves for up to 500 casualties a month this year, a senior retired American general has warned.

The forecast comes from General Barry McCaffrey, formerly the most decorated general in the US Army, who has conducted field assessments of the US military performance in Afghanistan at the request of the US military since 2003.

His assessment projects that US forces can expect to lose between 300 and 500 soldiers a month, either killed or wounded, this year, rising to a peak during the summer months. US military casualties during 2009 were 305 killed and 2,102 injured up to December 20. More than half of those injured have not been able to return to service.

Casualties in Afghanistan tend to peak during the summer “fighting season” between June and October and to dip, particularly in mountainous areas, during the winter.

The anticipated increase would produce around 3,000 American casualties this year, and a total for Western forces in Afghanistan of around 5,000 killed and wounded — the equivalent of seven infantry battalions.

British forces suffered 108 deaths last year, and 464 wounded in action.

General McCaffrey is an adjunct professor at the US Military Academy at West Point. While his assessment is not a government document, it was conducted at the request of General David Petraeus, the commander of US Central Command, and General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, and included comprehensive access to senior Western military officials and diplomats, including British officials.

He suggests that the Taleban deserve considerable respect for their tenacity and military capability. “We must guard against arrogance, and US and allied ground combat forces”, he warns, face “very clever fighters” with “ferocious combat capabilities”.

He cites in particular two occasions when small American bases were all but overrun by “battalion-size” Taleban units during 2009: “Only the incredible small unit leadership, fighting skill, and valour of these two small US army units — which suffered very high casualties at [Combat Outpost] Wanat and COP Keating — prevented humiliating defeat.”

Despite the stated desire of the Obama Administration to achieve a discernible improvement in Afghanistan within 18 months, and to begin a military drawdown after that time, General McCaffrey concludes: “We are unlikely to achieve our political and military goals in 18 months. This will inevitably become a three to ten-year strategy to build a viable Afghan state with their own security force that can allow us to withdraw.

“It may well cost us an additional $300 billion, and we are likely to suffer thousands more US casualties.”

A promised “US civilian surge” will not materialise, he believes: “Afghanistan over the next two to three years will be simply too dangerous for most civil agencies.”

He adds that the war can be expected to cost the US Government more than $9 billion (£5.6 billion) a month during the summer of 2010. The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is currently $377 million a day, compared with a constant-dollar equivalent of $622 million a day for the Second World War.

However, his assessment is that the mission’s goals remain possible: “We can achieve our strategic purpose with determined leadership and American treasure and blood.

“We now have the most effective and courageous military forces in our nation’s history committed to this campaign … Our focus must now not be on an exit strategy — but effective execution of the political, economic and military measures required to achieve our purpose.”

Serial Catastrophes in Afghanistan threaten Obama Policy

 



Bomber who killed 7 CIA agents was ‘potential informant’

Bomber who killed 7 CIA agents was ‘potential informant’

BBC News
January 1, 2010

The suicide bomber who killed seven CIA agents in Afghanistan had been courted by the US as a possible informant, US intelligence sources have said.

They said he had not undergone the usual full body search before entering the base in Khost province, and so was able to smuggle in an explosive belt.

The attack was the worst against US intelligence officials since the US embassy in Beirut was bombed in 1983.

US President Barack Obama has praised the work of those killed in a letter.

Paying tribute to the fallen, Mr Obama said those killed were “part of a long line of patriots who have made great sacrifices for their fellow citizens, and for our way of life”.

He told CIA employees in a letter that the victims had “taken great risks to protect our country” and that their sacrifices had “sometimes been unknown to your fellow citizens, your friends, and even your families”.

Claim questioned

From the moment the bomb was detonated inside the base on Wednesday, says the BBC’s Peter Greste in Kabul, questions were raised about how he managed to pass through security.

But now intelligence sources familiar with the investigation have said that CIA agents working from Forward Operating Base Chapman had been attempting to recruit the man as a potential informant.

A US official, and former CIA employee, said such people were often not required to go through full security checks in order to help gain their trust.

“When you’re trying to build a rapport and literally ask them to risk [their lives] for you, you’ve got a lot to do to build their trust,” he told the Associated Press news agency.

The Taliban have said one of their members carried out the attack.

Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the BBC the Khost bomber was wearing an army uniform when he managed to breach security at the base, detonating his explosives belt in the gym.

However, this claim was denied by the Afghan defence ministry.

“This is the Taliban talking and nothing the Taliban says should be believed,” said ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi.

Neither the names of the CIA officials killed nor the details of their work have been released because of the sensitivity of US operations, the agency said.

But the head of the base – who was reported to be a mother of three – was said to be among the dead.

As chief, she would have led intelligence-gathering operations in Khost, a hotbed of Taliban activity due to its proximity to Pakistan’s lawless tribal region.

‘Great sacrifice’

CIA Director Leon Panetta said six other agents had been injured in the attack.

He said the dead and injured had been “far from home and close to the enemy”.

“We owe them our deepest gratitude, and we pledge to them and their families that we will never cease fighting for the cause to which they dedicated their lives – a safer America,” he said.

The flags at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, are being flown at half-mast in honour of the dead.

Forward Operating Base Chapman, a former Soviet military base, is used not only by the CIA but also by provincial reconstruction teams, which include both soldiers and civilians.

The airfield is reportedly used for US drone attacks on suspected militants in neighbouring Pakistan.

A total of 90 CIA employees have been honoured for their deaths in the agency’s service since its inception in 1947, according to the Washington Post newspaper.

 



Media Coverup: Why Illegal Wars Last Forever

Media Coverup: Why Illegal Wars Last Forever

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBWJyqMIAFg

 



US soldier commits suicide in Indiana movie theater

US soldier commits suicide in Indiana movie theater

WSWS
October 20, 2009

A National Guard soldier home on a 15-day leave from the war in Afghanistan committed suicide in a Muncie, Indiana, movie theater October 12. Jacob W. Sexton, a 21-year-old from rural Farmland, Indiana, shot himself in the head, approximately 20 minutes into the violent comedy Zombieland, with friends and siblings sitting around him. The suicide underscores once again the psychological damage done to soldiers charged with carrying out the brutal colonial occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sexton’s death came as a shock to his family and military cohorts, who told the Muncie Star Press they had not seen any symptoms of suicidal behavior or post-traumatic stress disorder. Yet the young man’s behavior before the film showing revealed that the war’s violence was on his mind. When asked by the theater manager for identification proving the group was of age to see the movie, Sexton reportedly snapped at him, “I shot 18 people and you want to see my identification?”

Sexton’s father, Jeffrey Sexton, told the Associated Press, “We just need to watch these boys and the girls coming back home. Something’s just not right. Too much is happening.”

Like many active-duty military members, Sexton had served multiple tours in both Middle East occupations. After serving one tour of duty in Iraq, where he drove Humvees, he volunteered for another tour in Afghanistan. There he was a member of Alpha Company, Second Battalion, in the 151st Infantry Regiment, a unit that responds to attacks on military installations and convoys in the Kabul area.

According to the Star Press, Sexton was in a firefight his first week in Afghanistan and witnessed others during his time there. The area around Kabul is the scene of intense fighting that has resulted in high coalition casualties and untold numbers of deaths and injuries of Afghans. Sexton doubtless experienced the constant threat of violence in Iraq, as well, where Humvee drivers are at constant risk of injury and death from IEDs planted in the road.
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