In a little-noticed policy shift, the Obama administration renounced “permanent” U.S. bases in Afghanistan, addressing a central demand of the Taliban. Its leaders have signaled that peace talks are possible if the United States agrees to pull out its troops, as Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service.
Like George W. Bush’s Iraq War, the Afghan conflict appears grinding toward an American defeat. However, President Obama doesn’t want the voters to recognize that fact until after Election 2012 – to avoid getting the blame – so he is stretching out the war at the cost of more American lives, writes Independent Institute’s Ivan…
As chief commander in the Afghan War, Gen. David Petraeus has been desperate to show evidence that his latest “surge” succeeded in degrading the Taliban fighting strength. However, recently compiled figures show more attacks by the Taliban and higher U.S. casualties, Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.
Exclusive: The neoconservatives remain powerful in Washington in large part because of their continued influence inside leading opinion-setting journals like the New York Times and the Washington Post, two prestige newspapers that have pressed ahead with the neocon agenda despite serious blows to their credibility in recent years, a dilemma examined by Robert Parry.
American officials are expressing hurt feelings over complaints from Afghan leaders about the deaths of civilians resulting from the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. Some Afghans have gone so far as to accuse NATO of “occupying” their country these past 10 years, an observation that historian William Blum assesses in this guest essay.
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The United States continues toward slow-motion defeats in George W. Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with Barack Obama seeking, in essence, a “decent interval” so the losses aren’t pinned on him and the Democrats. But Lawrence Davidson asks what it will take for Americans to finally begin a full reassessment of failed foreign strategies.
Exclusive: A recurring refrain about the Afghan War is that the United States must stay for the long haul now to avoid repeating the “mistake” made in 1989 when Soviet forces left and Americans supposedly disappeared, too. But this conventional wisdom, spread by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others, is a lie, Robert Parry writes.
Exclusive: Many on the American Left are furious with Barack Obama — and find nothing to praise in his gradual troop drawdown in Afghanistan. But the President’s speech may be seen, in retrospect, as an important turning point in U.S. war policy toward the Muslim world as well as a signal that the Afghan conflict will not follow…
The U.S. government has finally released the full Pentagon Papers describing how the American people were misled into the Vietnam War. The declassification comes four decades after most of the document was leaked by Pentagon insider Daniel Ellsberg, who today says similar deceptions are enabling wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere.