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Morale Drops Among US Soldiers in Afghanistan: Army

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 in Police, Military, & War

Morale drops among U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan: Army

(AFP) – A survey of US soldiers in Afghanistan shows declining morale among army units and that troops facing three or more combat tours have higher rates of mental health and marital problems, the US Army said Friday.

A similar assessment of soldiers in Iraq this year showed a lower number of psychological problems compared to previous years, as violence levels there fall, the army said.

The findings came as President Barack Obama weighs whether to send additional forces to Afghanistan and amid a renewed focus on the mental fitness of troops after a deadly shooting rampage last week by an army psychiatrist at Fort Hood in Texas.

Only 5.7 percent of soldiers surveyed in Afghanistan rated morale for their units as high or very high, compared to 10.2 percent in 2007, according to the assessment.

But soldiers were more positive about their personal morale, with 17.6 percent saying their own morale was high or very high compared to 15.4 percent two years ago.

Soldiers in Afghanistan who had gone through three or more deployments were “significantly more likely to meet the criteria for a psychological problem” than those on their first and second deployment, the report said.

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How the US Funds the Taliban

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 in Police, Military, & War

How the U.S. funds the Taliban
Aram Roston – Nov 11, 09
The Nation
In ‘grotesque carnival,’ contractors pay insurgents to protect supply lines.

Report

On October 29, 2001, while the Taliban’s rule over Afghanistan was under assault, the regime’s ambassador in Islamabad gave a chaotic press conference in front of several dozen reporters sitting on the grass. On the Taliban diplomat’s right sat his interpreter, Ahmad Rateb Popal, a man with an imposing presence. Like the ambassador, Popal wore a black turban, and he had a huge bushy beard. He had a black patch over his right eye socket, a prosthetic left arm and a deformed right hand, the result of injuries from an explosives mishap during an old operation against the Soviets in Kabul.

But Popal was more than just a former mujahedeen. In 1988, a year before the Soviets fled Afghanistan, Popal had been charged in the United States with conspiring to import more than a kilo of heroin. Court records show he was released from prison in 1997.

Flash forward to 2009, and Afghanistan is ruled by Popal’s cousin President Hamid Karzai.

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Blackwater (Xe) Involved in Child Prostitution Ring Thumbnail

Blackwater (Xe) Involved in Child Prostitution Ring

Posted on Nov 11, 2009 in Featured Articles

Source: Salem-News

New disturbing charges have emerged against XE, the infamous private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, whose operations came under spotlight after its 2007 carnage in Baghdad.

article_blackwater_erik_princeAccording to a report by MSNBC and based on alleged sworn declarations by two Blackwater employees in federal court, the firm used child prostitutes at its compound in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone.

The declarations added Iraqi minors got involved in sexual acts with Blackwater members in exchange for one dollar. It is further alleged that Erik Prince, the firm’s owner, “failed to stop the ongoing use of prostitutes, including child prostitutes, by his men.”

Based on other statements, the firm was involved in another sex scandal; “Prince’s North Carolina operations had an ongoing wife-swapping and sex ring, which was participated in by many of Mr. Prince’s top executives.” 

The two employees also alleged that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” The Nation reported.

Prince also allegedly forced health professional to endorse the redeployment of those Blackwater members who had been mental problems, such as excessive drinking and drug abuse....

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Fort Hood Truth … Finally.

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 in Police, Military, & War

Foreign-Policy Blowback at Ft. Hood
by Jacob G. Hornberger, November 10, 2009

Amidst all the debate over whether the Ft. Hood killer is a terrorist, murderer, enemy combatant, traitor, sleeper agent, or insane person, there is one glaring fact staring America in the face: what happened at Ft. Hood is more blowback from U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, specifically the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Even at this early stage of the investigation, the evidence is virtually conclusive that the accused killer, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was motivated to kill U.S. soldiers at Ft. Hood by deep anger and rage arising from the things that the U.S. government has been doing to people in the Middle East for many years.

Oh, I can already hear the interventionists exclaiming, “You’re a justifier! You’re justifying what he did!”

Isn’t that what they said after the 9/11 attacks, when we libertarians pointed out that those attacks were motivated by the deep anger and rage that had boiled over in the Middle East because of what the U.S. government had been doing to people there?...

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US / NATO Forces Involved in Drug Trade, Afghan Minister says. Thumbnail

US / NATO Forces Involved in Drug Trade, Afghan Minister says.

Posted on Nov 01, 2009 in Featured Articles

Source: PressTV via RogueGovernment

Nov 01, 2009

The Afghan minister of counter narcotics says foreign troops are earning money from drug production in Afghanistan.

article_opium_soldierGeneral Khodaidad Khodaidad said the majority of drugs are stockpiled in two provinces controlled by troops from the US, the UK, and Canada, IRNA reported on Saturday.

He went on to say that NATO forces are taxing the production of opium in the regions under their control.

Afghanistan is the world’s biggest supplier of opium.

Drug production in the Central Asian country has increased dramatically since the US-led invasion eight years ago.

A recent report by the United Nations states that Afghan opium is having a devastating impact on the world, killing thousands in consumer countries.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Ahmad Wali Karzai, a brother of the Afghan president, is involved in the opium trade, meets with Taliban leaders, and is also a CIA operative.

The opium trade is the major source of Taliban financing....

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Soviet Soldier Recounts What They Believed About Their Mission

Posted on Oct 30, 2009 in Featured Articles, Police, Military, & War

The universality of war propaganda

A soldier with the Russian army in Afghanistan recounts what they believed about their mission

By Glenn Greenwald

I’m traveling still today, but I wanted to note an amazing Op-Ed that was referenced in a book I’m reading:  the Op-Ed is by Nikolai Lanine, published in The Toronto Globe and Mail in November, 2006.  Lanine was drafted into the Russian Army at the age of 18 and spent several years as part of the Russian occupying force in Afghanistan.  Thereafter, he moved to Canada, and in 2006, his wife’s first cousin, a medic in the Canadian Army, was killed in Afghanistan.  Lanine wrote this column after attending his funeral, and recounted what he and his comrades in the Russian Army believed they were doing in Afghanistan:

I identified with the Canadian soldiers at the funeral mourning the loss of their friend. Like them, I went to Afghanistan believing in “fighting terrorism” and “liberating Afghans.” During my first mission, we were protecting refugees escaping an area that was under attack by the mujahedeen. I was deeply affected by their misery, and by the poverty and suffering of the Afghan people in general....

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Senior Official in Afghanistan Resigns Over US Strategy Thumbnail

Senior Official in Afghanistan Resigns Over US Strategy

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 in Police, Military, & War

Senior Official in Afghanistan Resigns Over U.S. Strategy Former Marine Says It Will Take Decades And Billions of Dollars to Achieve Success in Afghanistan Via: ABC News: A key U.S. official in Afghanistan has resigned in protest over U.S. policy in the war-torn region, as the Obama administration deliberates its future strategy there. Matthew Hoh, 36, a senior foreign service officer, wrote a four-page letter to Ambassador Nancy Powell, director general of the foreign service at the State Department, to express his “doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy,” as first reported by the Washington Post today. “To put simply, I fail to see the value or the worth in the continued U.S. casualties or expenditures of resources in support

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Helo Crash with Soldiers and DEA aboard; 14 dead Thumbnail

Helo Crash with Soldiers and DEA aboard; 14 dead

Posted on Oct 26, 2009 in Police, Military, & War

Hayden's Opinion:  After reading through this article, I can't help but stop and wonder about the 'drug raid' that brought this on.  Presumably, DEA Agents were the 'civilian law enforcement agents' that were killed in this crash, attached to the Embassy located there.  Once again, the 'war on drugs', in the middle of the 'war on terror', has claimed innocent lives over a plant.  A naturally occurring plant.  When you take the black market aspect away from narcotics and give it a free market make-over, the mafias, cartels, street thugs, and narco-traffickers lose all incentives.  They must then engage in a regulated, taxed business.  You don't think that would help?  You say that the narco-dealers would just go undergorund or still operate on the black market?  Well, the consu

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