Holdovers from the Bush administration helped sell President Barack Obama on a “surge” for Afghanistan, arguing that a counterinsurgency strategy could still work. However, two years later, the Taliban continues high-profile attacks almost anywhere in the country, reports Gareth Porter.
The CIA is now “one hell of a killing machine,” said one CIA insider, as lethal drones hunt down “bad guys” selected for death by a ramped-up force of CIA target analysts. This shift in emphasis has transformed the spy agency that new director, retired Gen. David Petraeus, inherits, writes Gareth Porter.
Exclusive: Iraq continues its drift toward a failed state, amid terror bombings, sectarian violence and a devastated infrastructure. Also, the strategic winner from George W. Bush’s invasion looks to be neighboring Iran. So, asks Robert Parry, why is Official Washington celebrating Gen. David Petraeus for his “successful surge”?
In another example of how Democrats deal timidly with Republican crimes, the Obama administration has closed the book on the vast majority of George W. Bush’s torture scandals, including high-level approval of waterboarding and other forms of physical coercion. Only two homicide investigations will go forward, as Marjorie Cohn notes.
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.
Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan who is seen as a shoo-in to become the next CIA director, appears to have wildly exaggerated the number of Taliban fighters captured last year by padding the totals with Afghans released after being cleared of Taliban ties, reports Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.
Exclusive: The U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have involved myths pleasing to Official Washington — about its own wisdom and the evil of the enemy — but these false narratives have caused President Barack Obama and other U.S. policymakers to base decisions on illusion rather than reality. Robert Parry examines three of these deadly myths.
Holdovers from the Bush administration, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus, boxed President Obama into a counterinsurgency “surge” during the 2009 policy review for Afghanistan. Now, Obama has a chance to go in a different direction, but he may be too intimidated, observes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.