December 23, 2009

From the Front: 12/23/2009

News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front. (New complete posts come in below)

Dispatches:

The Kitchen Dispatch: Homecoming - The photo you were waiting for. The event that couldn't happen fast enough. Airborne! (MORE)

Lindy Kyzer @ Army Live: A Message to MilBloggers - Hey milbloggers! We hear you…but we’ve been listening all along. If you regularly read military blogs (milblogs) you may have noticed that last Wednesday a number of bloggers went silent. The day of blogging silence was intended by participants to bring awareness of incidents of military bloggers undergoing “censorship,” as well as give a glimpse into what life might be like if some of the milblogs that are known and loved stop publishing. As a huge fan of milblogs – personally and professionally – I do my best to keep up with issues in the milblogosphere. And to be honest, I have to say I wasn’t aware of huge issues among our bloggers. There has been at least one high profile case, but I haven’t been on the grapevine of information about widespread shut downs of military blogs. From my foxhole, I meet new commanders and leaders in our Army every day who openly embrace milblogging in the ranks. (READ MORE)

Helmand Blog - Afghanistan: Glimmers of hope in Helmand - Thomas Harding of the Telegraph spent two weeks with the Coldstream Guards to observe the West's new counter-insurgency strategy - using cash as well as bullets and bombs against the Taliban. As British forces prepare to spend another Christmas in Afghanistan, the public appetite for war is being tested to the limit. Every military coffin driven through Wootton Bassett is a reminder of a young life lost, and there is no prospect of a speedy end to the mission. Lt Gen Sir Nick Parker, the senior British commander in Afghanistan, warned this week that Nato appears to have "lost the initiative". And yet the mood in Helmand is surprisingly positive, particularly when compared to the gloom on the home front. I have spent the past fortnight with the Coldstream Guards in patrol bases near Babaji, site of the summer's bloody Panther's Claw offensive. (READ MORE)

In Iraq Now (at 56): Who Fights This War? Warriors Reunited from 2004 - Making new friends and saying goodbye to comrades in arms is a regular part of Army service, but sometimes chance and circumstances can reunite soldiers in new assignments after years apart. Just such a reunion happened in May when Alpha Company 1-106th, part of Pennsylvania-based Task Force Diablo, was assigned to support the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division commanded by Col. Peter Newell. In 2004 Alpha Company deployed to Joint Base Balad for 15 months as part of an Illinois-based Army National Guard Aviation Battalion. Part of their mission was support of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, commanded Newell, the lead Army unit in the Battle for Fallujah. Because National Guard soldiers can often serve in the same unit for their entire career, sixteen of the 53 soldiers in this Air Assault Company deployed with Alpha in 2004-5. (READ MORE)

In Iraq Now (at 56): Who Fights This War--Col. Newell and The Battle For Fallujah - I wrote the following form published reports about Col. Newell at the Battle for Fallujah. This is a sidebar to yesterday's post. The Battle for Fallujah, November 2004 - The battle for Fallujah in November 2004 was the biggest operation in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad at the beginning of the war, an assault on the city that had turned into Iraq’s nastiest nest of insurgents. Commanding the lead battalion of the Germany-based Task Force 2-2 was then Lt. Col. Peter Newell. He said the battle for Fallujah was, "as pure a fight of good vs. evil as we will probably face in our lifetime." Newell said he never doubted his troops would win the battle “It was [over] before the fight started,” he said. “It was just a matter of how long it was going to take.” (READ MORE)

Sgt Danger: Important Update! - A few days ago I wrote about our "facilities." I described the nauseating condition of these plastic toilet boxes: unclean, vandalized, and cold. As I walked to the showers this morning, what did I see? A team of Ecolog employees deep cleaning the johns! Over the course of the day they finish all of them in our living area. They scrubbed off much of the graffiti, pressure washed the inside and outside, and fully stocked them with paper. The seat was still cold this morning, but otherwise much better. (MORE)

IraqPundit: Zakaria Shifts Position on Iraq - Hey, check out who sneakily wrote a positive piece about Iraq. Guess Fareed Zakaria thinks most of us don't have a memory. In his latest op-ed he makes it sound as though he knew all along that Iraq would be a success story. Of course he did. You know, he makes it sound as though he has known that Iraq would be something Americans could be proud of helping along. The writer says: "Let's review some history. The surge in Iraq was a success in military terms. It defeated a nasty insurgency, reduced violence substantially and stabilized the country." Speaking of reviewing some history. Isn't this the same dude who not too long ago wrote that Iraq should be written off? "It is time to call an end to the tests, the six-month trials, the waiting and watching, and to recognize that the Iraqi government has failed. It is also time to face the terrible reality that America's mission in Iraq has substantially failed." (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Afghan forces capture dangerous Taliban commander in Nimroz - The Afghan military claimed to have captured a dangerous Taliban commander who orders suicide and roadside bomb attacks in the southwestern province of Nimroz. Mullah Sher Malang was captured in a raid in the Khashrod district in Nimroz after a major clash with Taliban forces in the region. The initial clash took place after Taliban forces under the command of Mullah Ewaz ambushed an Afghan and Coalition convoy in the district. Ewaz and an estimated 20 of his fighters were reported killed during the battle, which took place on Dec. 18, Nimroz's governor and police chief told Pajhwok Afghan News. Afghan forces captured Malang during a follow-up raid that resulted in one Taliban fighter killed and five more wounded. (READ MORE)

The Quatto Zone: Smoke 'Em If You've Got 'Em (Bad Guys, That Is) - I put off reading Noah Shachtman 's recent story for Wired, "How the Afghanistan Air War Got Stuck in the Sky" (now rewritten for today's New York Post), because I suspected that as an Airman in Afghanistan it would pull me in contradictory directions. I was right, but if you want insight into how our troops wrestle with the idea of using lethal force you should read the piece. Sean Naylor's recent Army Times article on the trials of a Stryker Brigade in the Arghandab River Valley is another important variation on this theme. Both articles, however, perpetuate a false dichotomy common to the debate over General McChrystal's tactical directive. Commentators tend to contrast what they see as the ISAF Commander's Afghan-hugging, nation-building counterinsurgency agenda with the proud American tradition of being able to create smoking holes in the ground where our enemies once stood. (READ MORE)

Terry Glavn: "Torturegate" Hysteria: More Context - Andrew Coyne: "None of this is evidence of a deliberate policy of transferring prisoners for torture, or even negligent disregard of their probable fate—the stuff of war crimes charges. Neither can we say for a fact that senior officials knew prisoners were being mistreated. The facts, at least so far, remain consistent with a story of officials’ evolving awareness of the seriousness of the problem, and of the inadequacies of their initial responses. It was, after all, at Canada’s insistence that an agreement was first struck with the Afghan government in December 2005, requiring that any prisoners be treated humanely according to the Geneva Conventions, and ensuring access to Red Cross inspectors at any time. As the weakness of that agreement became apparent, a new arrangement was struck in February 2007 providing for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission to make inspections as well. Corrections Canada officers were flown over to make recommendations for improving Afghan prisons." (READ MORE)

USA and USMC Counterinsurgency Center Blog: WINNING THE WAR THROUGH POWER POINT: DILBERT LEADS THE COIN FIGHT? - A few weeks ago, I was sent a power point presentation on the "Dynamic Planning for COIN in Afghanistan". I looked at it briefly, but thought that it was some kind of joke; so, I flushed it immediately. However, I received it from another source. So, it appears the joke is on me. A quick look at this bird’s nest of a concept, would seem to suggest that Dilbert or some escapee from the Project Management Institute has taken over planning for COIN operations in Afghanistan. What I see is yet another attempt to take a complex human activity and turn it into an MBA project management flowchart. I can see the thinking, "Now that we have the power point correct, we are sure to win the war in Afghanistan!" In fact, I’m sure that, if we showed this power point to the insurgents, they would throw in the towel, convinced that our superior power point skills indicate that we cannot be defeated. Really, I don’t know how we fought wars before power point. (READ MORE)

War is Boring: Worrying over Afghanistan’s Pot-head Soldiers - Russia Today emailed me again to request an interview. The subject this time: drug use in the Afghan army. This Guardian video report on U.S. advisers to the Afghan National Army has revived interest in the subject. The video has cropped up on Danger Room and The Huffington Post. I’ll be on RT tomorrow. I’m a little disappointed that so many reporters have latched onto the drug issue, as though that were one of the major impediments to building a U.S.-style Afghan military. All Afghans smoke pot — especially in winter, when roads are snowed in and nobody’s working. In Baraki Barak, marijuana grows ten feet tall in culverts and in the shade of downtown buildings. (Pictured below.) Nobody in Baraki Barak — not the local cops or government or the resident U.S. Army force — seems all that troubled by it. It’s easy to call Afghan soldiers lazy or incompetent, especially when you’re basing your judgment on selective quotations from a pissed-off Marine Corps instructor. (READ MORE)

What? Mermaids?: so so tired - And where are you, and what time is it, and how long until I see you, and how long until you're home? This deployment feels like a heavy weight on my head, sitting on my chest, squishing me and hurting me and lasting a real long time. It squeezes tears from my eyes and makes me cry little sobs that make my nose run and my face turn red and my head hurt. It makes me grateful that I can type without looking at the keys because I can hardly see the screen. I'm sitting in my step-sister's old bedroom, back against the door, in my jeans and socks and a shirt, feeling cold in the basement. It feels like every second pauses a little, dragging itself out, lasting for a small eternity. In my head, I try to plan out my week, but it's too stressful. I don't like Christmas. Lights and greens and reds and people coming home for the holidays, but then some not coming home for the holidays. Being alone for the holidays, but not really alone, just mostly alone. (READ MORE)

War, the military, COIN and stuff: Three American batallions under Canadian command in RC-South - Canadian Brigadier-General Dan Menard, commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan, says that help for his severely overstretched Canadian forces in Kandahar is on the way in the form of three American battalions, two of which have already arrived with one more due in the spring. Menard and his Canadian forces have been standing tall in and around Kandahar City with about 1,200 troops (out of a Canadian force of 2,800), for some time, but with so few troops to cover such a large area, “holding terrain was extremely difficult” he said today on a conference call with reporters. The addition of the three American battalions will give Menard about 5,200 troops to cover a battlespace formerly manned by his 1,200 Canadian grunts. Menard also pointed out that “the Americans have never reinforced a foreign command with three battalions since the Second World War.” (READ MORE)

Some Soldier's Mom: The Bonds That Tie - Throughout the course of our lifetimes, we make and break bonds with people. Some bonds are formed in friendship: schoolmates, neighbors, fellow workers. I have close friends from each of those groups. I maintain, however, that the bonds forged in military service are perhaps the strongest of all bonds. Stronger than steel. Stronger than adversity. Stronger than time. We all know the story of veterans sittin' around and one says, "No kidding! There I was..." followed by a story of improbability or hilarity, typically punctuated with profanity, irreverent phrases and sordid images. It will end with much backslapping and hearty handshakes. The circle might contain members of a single unit or a single war, or it might contain an assortment of veterans from many of this nation's conflicts. But they are bonded and tied to each other by the commonality of their service. Some are bonded by mettle and the blood of battle. (READ MORE)

IraqPundit: NYT Might Finally Get It - In the stop-the-presses category, the NYT has a story about how al-Qaeda in Iraq has shifted gears. It is now aiming not so much at the U.S. military but at the Iraqi government. In other words, al-Qaeda doesn't want to see success in Iraq. The terrorists don't want Iraqis to vote. The terrorists don't want democracy in the Middle East or Arab world. AQI wants chaos. Really? That's news to the NYT? No wonder their circulation is down! Had the paper being paying attention to what's going on in Iraq, it would not have viewed that bit of information as news. Also, it would not have been impressed with this tidbit: "In parallel with the attacks, General Jacoby said that Al Qaeda inMesopotamia was also waging a propaganda campaign centered on thenarrative that the militants were forcing the United States to leave Iraq and to abandon the Iraqi government." You mean it never occured to them that al-Qaeda would view the departure of U.S. troops as a victory to the terrorists? (READ MORE)

Heidi: peace - Where to begin . . . I always wonder what I should write on this day. I just went back and read the post from the previous years and one thing really stood out in my mind. I have changed; I would say mainly for the better . . . I have grown . . . oh how I have grown and changed the last year. I don't know what to say but something has been weighing heavy in my heart the last few months. I always think about the soldiers in Alpha Company around this day. I worry about them and the long term effects Fallujah might have had or are having on their lives. I really hope that they are all able to live as happy a life as they can with NO guilt. I know that is exactly what Sean would want and it is exactly what I want. Colin and I are good . . . we are living life and always thinking about them and remembering those who did not make it home from that mission. (READ MORE)

Manatee's Military Moms: Thankful for the gift of freedom - Bah, humbug. I’m not really feeling un-Christmassy, I’m just feeling a bit guilty for being able to enjoy my warm home, the glow of the tree, the comfort of my soft bed when I know our troops are slogging through rocky valleys, sleeping in holes, and eating MRE’s. Even those who are serving in better circumstances are probably not enjoying the same comforts they would at home. They’re trained well for that; I know, I know. They signed up for that-on purpose, I know. Even so, in many homes throughout the country, there will be loved ones missing from holiday celebrations. Some children may have only one parent watch as they tear through their gifts, their stockings, a holiday meal. Wives and husbands far from their families may spend their holiday alone. We feel their absence and we miss them; but we are thankful for the gift of freedom that their selfless service provides for America and other nations throughout the world. (READ MORE)

Zombie Killer 6: Shout Outs Pt IV - The care packages have continued to roll in and they've made some great stocking-stuffers here. We set up the Christmas trees that were generously donated, and we took some of the loot and put it underneath--particularly those gift-wrapped books sent out by Sarah Yoffah and Dawn Hengl. It actually looks like the holiday spirit has caught on in full force. For the next round of "thank yous," I continue to work my way through a rather large list of people I owe a very large debt of gratitude. Thanks to you all the holidays will have a bit of cheer. It's hard being away from family right now, and these gifts you've bestowed upon us help to ease the separation just a bit. The first "Shout Out" goes to Brett Sprangle and Mary Baker who sent us a nice package of sundry items a while back. They sent us a whole bunch of small soaps, shampoos and other items which work out very well when we hit the road and space is tight. (READ MORE)

Sarah: 30 Minutes - It's amazing how short 30 minutes is. When my husband calls from Afghanistan, I always feel like we've barely scratched the surface of two or three topics before he has to get off the phone. I feel like I've just gotten started and it's time to stop. It makes me wonder how much I run my mouth to him when he's home. If 30 minutes only covers part of two topics, then I reckon I must do an awful lot of talking when he lives here... I can't wait until I get more than 30 minutes with him. (MORE)




News from the Home Front:
Plan to Move Guantánamo Detainees Faces New Delay - Rebuffed this month by skeptical lawmakers when it sought finances to buy a prison in rural Illinois, the Obama administration is struggling to come up with the money to replace the Guantánamo Bay prison. As a result, officials now believe that they are unlikely to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer its population of terrorism suspects until 2011 at the earliest — a far slower timeline for achieving one of President Obama’s signature national security policies than they had previously hinted. (READ MORE)

President Signs 2010 Defense Budget Into Law - Defense officials are hailing passage of the fiscal 2010 budget that funds military programs and wartime operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and provides a military pay raise. President Barack Obama signed the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Act into law Dec. 19 after the Senate approved it during a rare early Saturday session. The Senate passed the measure by an 88-to-10 vote. (READ MORE)

Bin Laden’s Family Found Hiding In Iran - Osama bin Laden’s closest relatives are living in a secret compound in Iran, members of the family said last night. They include a wife and children who disappeared from his Afghan camp at the time of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. There has been uncertainty about the family’s whereabouts for the past eight years, with reports that some of the children had been killed in bombings, while others had joined their father in planning terrorist attacks. (READ MORE)


News from the Front:
Iraq:
Third-generation Paratrooper Deploys - In the dew-laden predawn darkness of June 6, 1944, Everton Bushnell jumped into Sainte-Mere-Eglise, France, with the two-year-old 82nd Airborne Division. Twenty-five years later, his son, Ellsworth Bushnell, fought with the “All Americans” in Vietnam and spent six months as a prisoner of war. And in September of this year, Army Sgt. 1st Class John Bushnell became the third generation of Bushnells to wear the All American patch to a war zone when he deployed to Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade. (READ MORE)

ISWAT operation nets 8 suspected terrorists - Iraqi Special Weapons and Tactics personnel, partnered with U.S. forces, arrested eight suspected terrorists Dec. 2, in northern Iraq. The arrests were conducted under the authority of warrants issued by the Salah ad Din Investigative Court. All eight individuals allegedly work for an al-Qaeda terror cell operating in northern Iraq. They are suspected of violent acts in and around Bayji. (READ MORE)

Stryker troops doing detective work - The man sat crossed-legged on a floor cushion, sipped tea and explained his woes to the soldiers from Fort Lewis. As an Iraqi policeman on the American payroll, he has killed plenty of enemy fighters – and now his enemies are taking revenge. Al-Qaida in Iraq killed his mother, brother and uncle. The man started the habit of checking under his car each morning. One day last month, he discovered a magnetically attached bomb. (READ MORE)

Abbreviating Christmas in Iraq - As a priest led prayers for a few dozen worshipers inside St. Joseph Chaldean Church here on Sunday, Iraqi police officers stood guard outside. They blocked the street to traffic and frisked those who entered for explosive belts. At churches in Baghdad this week, Christians are being asked for identification to determine if they have names that security force members recognize as Christian. (READ MORE)

A Quiet Christmas for Christians in Iraq - Christians in Iraq are preparing for a muted holiday season, with one bishop in the southern city of Basra calling for a ban on public festivities while other congregations across the country have canceled services and cautioned worshipers to keep their celebrations private. (READ MORE)

General Cites Reasons for Pregnancy Provision in Iraq - An Army general in Iraq is going beyond the typical protocol to ensure every able-bodied soldier in his unit stays fit to fight, even if it means punishing troops for engaging in sexual activities while deployed. Through the Multinational Division North command’s General Order No. 1, Maj. Gen. Anthony A. Cucolo III formally prohibits deployed soldiers under his command from becoming pregnant or impregnating a soldier. (READ MORE)

Insurgents rare along divide between Iraq and Syria - Iraq's border with Syria extends for hundreds of miles through barren land patrolled by a relative scattering of security forces. But despite claims that exiled Saddam Hussein loyalists have been sneaking across to disrupt Iraq's upcoming elections, the only evidence around one key outpost is faded slogans of Saddam's banned Ba'ath Party painted on the wall of a decaying grain elevator. Cigarette smugglers? Certainly. Foreign fighters? Sometimes. (READ MORE)

Why I Left Iraq: Scenes From a Year - This time last year, I was sitting in the Baghdad office of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki when a journalist sitting a few feet from me threw his shoes at President George W. Bush. He became the talk of the world. Mr. al-Zaidi got a taste of his own medicine when someone hurled shoes at him during a news conference earlier this month in Paris, where he was being treated as a hero. (READ MORE)


Afghanistan:
Carolers Spread Cheer at Bagram - Army soldiers and civilians serving in Afghanistan spread good cheer this holiday season to U.S., coalition and Afghan audiences, in what they have dubbed “Operation Caroling.” Henry McEnery, an Army civilian employee who hails from New Orleans and bears a striking resemblance to Kris Kringle; Maj. Jeff Boldt from Pittsburgh; Maj. Doug McInvale, from Birmingham, Ala.; and Sgt. Maj. Cecil Edwards, a resident of Yorba Linda, Calif., joined together to sing as a quartet for this spirited mission. (READ MORE)

Mullen Updates, Changes Joint Guidance - The Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy takes primacy in the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s guidance for 2010. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen signed the guidance, which goes to members of the Joint Staff and informs the joint force, on his plane after finishing a trip to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. (READ MORE)

Europe’s Revolving Door in Afghanistan - Europeans are fighting in Afghanistan, but they are less and less sure why. President Obama, by his long process of self-examination on Afghanistan and his decision to ramp up troops in pursuit of an exit, has bought himself 18 months or so, senior European diplomats say. The war is deeply unpopular among the European public, who do not easily accept the notion that their security is on the line in Kandahar or along the Hindu Kush. (READ MORE)

Germany Intensifies Mission in Afghanistan - The German-ordered air strike that led to civilian casualties in Afghanistan in early September was more than an aberration by a Bundeswehr officer. The German government and the military leadership have long supported taking a tougher approach against the Taliban. He said nothing about the crux of the matter. German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was standing in the German parliament, the Bundestag, giving a speech that was filled, as usual, with well-made sentences, and yet it resolved nothing. (READ MORE)

Taliban will be marginalized by 2011: Top Canadian general - Bolstered by thousands of American troops, Canada's top general in Afghanistan is predicting the Taliban will be marginalized from most of Kandahar's population by the time the Canadian military mission ends in 2011. Brig.-Gen. Daniel Menard said that with more than 5,000 Canadian and U.S. soldiers under his command, coalition forces will be able to hold areas in the violent province far more effectively than in recent years. (READ MORE)

NATO: Afghan Mission to Focus on Protecting People, Roads, Development - NATO's top official has finished a two-day visit to Afghanistan, where he pledged that international forces are committed to staying in the country until the Afghan government and military are ready to take over. At a joint news conference in Kabul with President Hamid Karzai, Secretary- General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that in 2010 NATO will "focus much more" on protecting the population, roads and development projects. (READ MORE)

Pentagon Officials Identify Troops for Afghanistan - Defense Department officials today identified 6,000 servicemembers to deploy in 2010 as part of President Barack Obama’s order to increase the U.S. footprint in Afghanistan. About 3,400 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team are headed to Afghanistan in early summer, according to a statement released by the Pentagon. (READ MORE)

Karzai forced to investigate family blood feud after cousin is murdered - When Afghan killers burst into a 12-year-old girl’s bedroom and shot her brother at close range it barely warranted an investigation. Police said that no one reported the crime. Were it not that the pair were President Karzai’s cousins - and that the murder had all the hallmarks of a revenge killing connected to a Karzai dynasty feud... (READ MORE)

Suicide Bomber in Pakistan Kills 3 at Peshawar Press Club - Pakistani officials say a suicide bomber has blown himself up outside a press club in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing three people. Officials say a policeman stopped the bomber at the gate of the press club Tuesday and tried to search him, at which point the bomber detonated his explosives. (READ MORE)

Suicide Attack Kills 3 Outside Pakistani Press Club - Three people were killed Tuesday in a suicide bombing outside a club for Pakistani journalists in this northwestern city, as Islamist militants continued a two-month-old spree of violence that has further destabilized this politically fragile nation. (READ MORE)

Corruption Ignored, Deplored In Afghanistan - When the Obama administration formulated its new strategy for Afghanistan, it included certain demands on the government in Kabul. First and foremost was tackling corruption, a practice that seeps into virtually every aspect of life and leaves many Afghans angry and frustrated. Bribery and extortion — baksheesh and reshwat in the local language — have become routine. (READ MORE)

Member of Afghan parliament killed - A member of the Afghan parliament has been mistakenly killed in a shootout between his bodyguards and police officers. Mohammad Yunos Shirnagha, from northern Baghlan province, was killed as he was returning home at about 2.30am on Wednesday, said provincial police chief General Kabir Andarabi. (READ MORE)

Pakistan Taliban say fighters going to Afghanistan - A top Pakistani Taliban commander says he has sent thousands of fighters to neighboring Afghanistan to rebuff incoming U.S. troops, a claim that comes as a Pakistani army offensive is believed to have pushed many of his men to flee their main redoubt. (READ MORE)

Town unites to remember soldier killed in Afghanistan - A TOWN united in mourning yesterday to pay its respects to a city-based soldier killed in Afghanistan. More than 100 people in Morley, West Yorkshire, braved biting temperatures to attend a remembrance service for Lance Corporal David Kirkness, who was killed on 15 December. (READ MORE)

Members of the European Parliament Highlight Their View About Obama's Increase of Troops in Afghanistan - Members of the European Parliament attentively followed the unfolding of the latest surge strategy for Afghanistan by President Barack Obama and issued a letter stating their apprehension about increasing the number of American Troops and sought additional forces from NATO allies. They question how an operation ending in 2011 can achieve to eradicate Al Qaeda, when the current operation, which has so far lasted over eight years, has till date seized to reach this aim. (READ MORE)

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