July 20, 2010

From the Front: 07/20/2010

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

Dispatches:
Katherine Tiedemann: Daily brief: Karzai calls for 2014 security handover - As expected, at today's international conference in Kabul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai affirmed his commitment to have Afghan security forces take the lead on military operations in Afghanistan by 2014, and asked the international community to channel 50 percent of its funding through the Afghan government within two years -- compared with 20 percent now. The timeline, observes the NYT, is "nonbinding and essentially unenforceable," though it may help bolster domestic political support in countries where the Afghan war is increasingly unpopular. Kabul is on lockdown for the conference, with increased security at additional checkpoints, but several rockets fired at the Kabul airport caused the plane carrying U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt to be diverted to Bagram air base. (READ MORE)

Kate Clark: Meet Afghanistan's new intel boss - The appointment of a new head of Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS, the country's intelligence agency) has come with a lot less fanfare than the departure of the old one, Amrullah Saleh, who resigned after deep disagreements with the president over policy towards the Taliban. The acting director, Engineer Ibrahim Spinzada, has returned to the shadows and his day job as deputy head of the National Security Council (NSC), leaving one of his protégés, Engineer Rahmatullah Nabeel, in charge of Afghanistan's intelligence apparatus. Engineer Nabeel is from Wardak and, according to Pajhwok News Agency, was born in 1968. He went to primary school in Kabul, then, after the Soviet invasion, to secondary school in exile in Peshawar. He also studied for a degree in engineering in Peshawar from a private university and then worked as an engineer with NGOs (reportedly in Peshawar and Jalalabad). (READ MORE)

Battle Rattle: Blog wisecracks gets public affairs contractor ousted from RIMPAC - Earlier this month, military blogger Gina DiNicolo poked fun at the annual Rim of the Pacific exercise, in which thousands of sailors and Marines participate in 38 days of nation building and joint operations off the coast of Hawaii. As Military Times colleague Phil Ewing pointed out on ScoopDeck, it was a “broadside,” one in which she mocked RIMPAC as “SNOOZEPAC” and called the action “anything but exciting.” Her analysis may or may not have merit, but there’s another key detail: DiNicolo, a medically retired Marine captain, was in Hawaii for RIMPAC. Working for the Marine Corps. As a civilian public affairs representative. Exactly. The blog post subsequently got her dumped from her job doing public affairs work for the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, DiNicolo said last week in a phone interview. She returned home to Virginia, and will no longer be at the lab, based at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. (READ MORE)

Battle Rattle: Behind the Cover: Tragedy and heroism in Ganjgal, Afghanistan - It’s every Marine’s worst nightmare. Your buddies are pinned down in a kill zone, taking fire from three sides. No help is on the way, and every time you try to assist them, you get turned back by the massive amount of firepower unleashed by the enemy. Cpl. Dakota Meyer found himself in this very situation Sept. 8, 2009. Caught in a battle in Ganjgal, a remote village in eastern Afghanistan, he took matter into his own hands, braving a hail of enemy fire on foot to reach his buddies. Sadly, they were dead when he found them. The battle, of course, made national news last year because troops on the ground were outraged they didn’t get the air and artillery support they needed despite pleading for it repeatedly. This week’s Marine Corps Times takes it a step farther, focusing on the bravery of Meyer and his fellow Marines, relying on dozens of jarring, first-person accounts provided by troops on the ground to Combined Joint Task Force 82, which investigated the attack after the fact. (READ MORE)

FaST Surgeon (in Afghanistan): Picture Of The Day - 20 JUL 2010 "Master Healer" - Health care is a team sport. Its not always about the surgeon (I am told that the first step is admitting it). There are surgeons, anesthetists, medicine doctors, nurses, medics, technicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, lions AND tigers AND bears - Oh My. We were fortunate at FOB Shank to have LTC H (AKA Podalirius). Over the last 10 years, the military has identified an injury pattern known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Most of us would refer to this as a "concussion". mTBI is an injury caused mainly by explosive force (e.g. from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)). In Iraq, IEDs were consistently mortally devastating to our troops. Recently, our soldiers of Operation Enduring Freedom have benefited by the addition of MRAPs. I believe that there is significantly less trauma (Although there are still many instances of significant trauma and death) inflicted on our soldiers because of the protection offered by these vehicles. (READ MORE)

Family Matters Blog: Military Spouse Shares Deployment Tips - After nearly a decade at war, deployments have become a way of life for America’s military families. Many families have had to adjust and adapt to one, two, and sometimes even more deployments. Army spouse and mother Rebekah Sanderlin has dealt with more than a half-dozen deployments during her husband’s career. She shared her lessons-learned and tips for coping with separations with Lee McMahon, who wrote “Army Spouse Shares Deployment Tips” for the American Forces Press Service. Sanderlin has two main tips: buy plastic sheet protectors for documents and start planning early. “It is absolutely essential that the spouse at home has all the important documents in one, easy-to-find place,” the 28-year-old mother of two advised. Sanderlin said sheet protectors and a three-ring binder are useful for storing birth certificates, Social Security cards, shot records, Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System enrollment forms... (READ MORE)

Fire and Ice: June 7, 2010: Patrol Base Karma, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment - It’s a dry heat. Repeat often. Staff Sergeant Worley, the Patrol Base Karma QRF (quick reaction force) leader, doesn’t want to hear the actual temperature. When Sergeant Morse, one of his team leaders, looks up from his Dick Tracy wrist GPS and announces “116 degrees” he gets back a scowl and a terse reminder to never mention the temperature. Worley, a North Carolinian, likes to pretend the temperature is always 94 degrees. Always. We’ve been sitting out in the unforgiving Afghan sun over six hours. At 0805 the sounds of a hotly contested firefight, small arms fire and grenade blasts, erupted 700 meters off to the west of PB Karma. Worley’s QRF of a dozen Marines and an equal number of Afghan National Army troops was quickly marshaled to provide a blocking force on the eastern flank of a gun battle raging between a platoon from Lima Company and a Taliban cell. (READ MORE)

Free Range International: Arbaki - It looks like the new boss has convinced President Karzai to reverse his position on using tribal militias. The new name for these soon to be created Arbaki is Local Police Forces (LPF.) This is a plan which has been tried before with minimal success. In Kandahar the Local Defense Initiative (LDI) forces (the name for Arbaki from the past program) became active and were quickly targeted and decimated by the Taliban. In Kunduz and Takar they partnered with other armed opposition groups (AOG) to exploit the population and government supplies and in Parwan Province they flat out became the AOG. I’m not sure what is being modified to make this cunning plan more effective than the last time around but I do know this much – the plan is going to fail. Alex Strick van Linschoten has coined the term “hope tactics” to describe the thinking behind arming various local cats and dogs and that sounds like a pretty good description to me. (READ MORE)

The Gun Line Mk III: Stolen Valor Act Ruled Unconstitutional… WTF?!? - While making my usual daily rounds on the internet, I noticed Chuck Z sounding off about the overturning of The Stolen Valor Act, which, in essence, makes it a crime to falsely claim to have won a decoration from the United States Military. Opponents of the Act deem it unconstitutional… Apparently lying is protected under the First Amendment… Now, I’m not always the most truthful fellow in the pool. And anytime any of us old warhorses start off a sea story with “Now this happened to me when I was on liberty in Thailand…” folks should start putting one hand on their wallet, and the other on their family jewels, because there’s a whopper inbound… But these are sea stories, anecdotes, tall tales that carry no claim of truthfulness, legal counsel, or historical accuracy… … But when a fellow lies about having received a decoration, especially a decoration that sways public sentiments to the point where the public is at risk of being made the victim of fraud: (READ MORE)

Maj Sean Brady RM: How to Get the Best from Your Partnered Force - Imagine yourself in the following situation. You have been deployed to fight a counterinsurgency campaign a long way from home in the most dangerous part of your country, you have been there for over three years; you have sustained numerous casualties; you only get leave irregularly and you do not often get the opportunity to phone home; and possibly most frustratingly every six months the force that you are partnered with changes over and you have to start all over again in building up a relationship and understanding with a new set of foreign soldiers. In simple terms, this is the situation the ANA in the SANGIN AO find themselves in. The warriors of the ANA have seen 7 separate battle groups operate in SANGIN and each one will have come in operating at a high tempo determined to deliver success in their 6 month tour. All of this presents problems for the ANA who are in this for the long haul and they struggle to operate at this tempo as they will remain long after the current battle group leaves. (READ MORE)

IraqPundit: Responsible Withdrawal? - The terrorists struck early today killing at least 45 Sahwa or Awakening fighters. At about 7:30 this morning a group of Sahwa men were standing in line waiting for their paychecks in Radhwaniya, near Baghdad, when a man stood among them and blew himself up. Later at about 11 am a man dressed in a police uniform crashed a conference of Sahwa fighters in Qaim, near Syria, and blew himself up kiling several at the meeting. Authorities say the attack had the hallmarks of al-Qaeda, adding that there is a weakness in Iraq's intelligence operations. People here worry that this is what it will be like after the Americans leave. The terrorists are attacking either civilians or those who protect civilians. Recently the targets have been checkpoint guards and others. Today it was the Sahwa guys. Politicians can claim it's an intelligence issue, but people know that's just one piece of the problem. Moktada Al Sadr's condition for supporting Nouri Al Maliki's second term as prime minister was the release of his jailed Jaish al Mahdi fighters. (READ MORE)

JD Johannes: On The Iran, Iraq Border - In the 1980s Iran and Iraq fought to a bloody stalemate on a thin strip of desert over access to a waterway, the Shatt al Arab, that had been in dispute since the days of the Ottoman Empire. The war was a pure fire-power battle resembling the trench warfare of World War I and the set piece charges of the American Civil War. The tension over the Iran/Iraq border still lingers making border security one of the key missions of US Forces in Iraq. I spent a day at the Shalamcha Port of Entry, a bustling entry point for Iranian tourists and transhipment point east of Basrah, Iraq. Every morning hundreds and sometimes thousands of Iranian tourists line up on the Iranian side of the border to enter Iraq. The tourists arrive in busses, unload, cue up, get their passports stamped then load up in busses on the Iraqi side headed for the holy sites in Karbala or Samarra. In the afternoon, busses unload tourists heading back to Iran. Iranian tourists lined up to enter Iraq. (READ MORE)

Kerplunk: Dos and Donts for Bloggers in the Machine - In early 2008, as a young Army lieutenant deployed Iraq, I wrote a blog called Kaboom, an irreverent reference to roadside bombs. I usually ran my postings by my company commander before I posted, and for the most part, the reception I received from my soldiers and superiors was positive. Then, in June 2008, I posted a piece that portrayed my battalion commander in an unflattering light – or, more accurately, I used analogies and a stream-of-consciousness rant to depict him that way – and while soldiers found it hilarious, my superiors, uhh, didn’t. Kaboom the blog quickly went the way of the dodo, though all of this e-drama did eventually lead to Kaboom the book. So, if you’re wondering why I feel qualified to offer up a sort of omniscient Dos/Don’ts list for government and military bloggers, that’s why. I’ve succeeded at it, failed at it, and done whatever it is that falls in between. Now, on to the main event! (READ MORE)

Kit Up!: Evolution Armor’s SF 3-Day Pack - Kit Up! had a lot of help gearing up for our embed back in May, and one of our good friends for many years — and one of the world’s top hard armor innovators — provided us with some of the loadout that helped make our trip safe and mobile. Allan Bain, the president of Evolution Armor Systems, Inc., is known in the industry as the inventor of scaled body armor– what eventually became known as “Dragonskin.” He continues to evolve the design into lighter, more durable armor systems for a variety of applications. But Allan also had an idea for a backpack design that met the needs of troops in places like Afghanistan well before the Army or Marine Corps put their engines in gear to outfit Joes and Grunts with a pack that spanned the capability gap of the MOLLE-Ruck or the ILBE and the assault pack. Allan donated one of his SF 3-Day Field Packsto Kit Up! for our trip to The Stan. (READ MORE)

Knottie's Niche: They’re Here (Updated) - You may read this and think I am insane or that the grief has finally pushed me over the edge but I feel I have to share this story. Last night through the men and families of the Company my son served with and I have adopted as my extended family I found out we had lost two of ours. I will not post the names yet as the Dept. of Defense hasn’t made those names public. I wouldn’t discuss their death except I know the families have been officially notified. To say this news upset me is an understatement. My heart broke at the news, for those two men, for their families, for their brothers in arms and for this nation. Having heard this news through the Army family grapevine I prayed it was a rumor that the news was exaggerated. I held on to hope they were only injured. Well this morning I read that 5 NATO troops had been killed in Afghanistan yesterday, two of them US Army. This news report and word from those in the company in Afghanistan confirmed what I knew. (READ MORE)

Rajiv Srinivasan: Homecoming - The terminal at Bangor, Maine airport changed little in the 360 days between my deployment and homecoming transit stops. We stepped off our charter jet after 16 hours of overseas travel from Kyrgyzstan via Bucharest, finally setting foot on U.S. soil. A line of Vietnam and Cold War era veterans stood waiting for us as we walked through the gate. They greeted us with a warm applause and extended their hands. “Welcome home, Lieutenant,” each said to me with bright, shining, grandfatherly smiles. My eyes were still half asleep from my failed attempt at a transatlantic slumber. I have yet to feel a deep sleep since I deployed, but my nervous system remained heightened, overloaded with the stimuli of a long awaited reunion with America. My forearms tensed at the caress of the frigid and moist air conditioning. The calming hum of a distant vacuum cleaner and the terminal’s background jazz instrumental confused my aggressive sense of hearing. The bright mid-day light overwhelmed my eyes as it pounded from the building’s glass exterior. (READ MORE)

Red Bull Rising: Red Bull Send-off Ceremonies Announced - The soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division (2-34 BCT) have received their mobilization orders, and will be moving out in phases and waves, from July 29 to Aug. 9. The units will first assemble on Camp Shelby, Miss. for "post-mobilization training." This is usually team-based training, or training on skills specific to Afghanistan. After a month or so at Camp Shelby, the units will move to the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., for a large-scale exercise. After that, Uncle Sam's crystal ball gets a little fuzzy on the details. Some units may launch directly to Afghanistan. Others may return to Camp Shelby temporarily before themselves launching to Afghanistan. Iowa communities traditionally send-off their soldiers. Speeches are given, tears are shed, pictures are taken, promises are made. It's similar to the scene depicted in the National Guard heritage print (above), "Goodbye Dear, I'll Be Back in a Year." (READ MORE)

She Who Waits: Is the end worse? - My poor husband has to deal with me over Skype for the next few weeks now that he's at a larger FOB and off the little COP he's been on. I almost feel sorry for him. I've noticed a trend over the last two deployments and it's that the end of the deployment is as emotional or even more so than the beginning for me. We're less than a month away from his homecoming and now it's like the days are both weeks long and only hours long, simultaneously. I have so much to do and yet, still no motivation to do it (His coming home after a year away isn't motivation enough?!). I need to finish decorating the house that still doesn't feel like a home, either detail his Jeep or find someone to take it to a detail place for me since I still am not comfortable driving it (stick shift). I need to have someone fix the drainage problems created in the front yard by trying to fix other drainage problems. (READ MORE)

The Unknown Soldiers: Pressing forward - While painful increases in Afghanistan war casualties have been difficult to bear, reports from the front Monday morning make clear that our military is aggressively pushing ahead in Kandahar. While the American public may not be fully engaged, our men and women in uniform are committed to nothing less than total victory. Freelance journalist Conor Powell, who has embedded several times with U.S. troops, just appeared on Fox News with new video of a dramatic gun battle today in the city's Zhari district. Appearing at about 6 p.m. local time, Powell said the area, where wanted Taliban leader Mullah Omar once lived, is a hotbed for insurgents. To win the war in Afghanistan, terrorist elements in Zhari must be destroyed. While the media's overall coverage of Afghanistan has been lackluster, brave journalists like Powell have my utmost respect for risking their lives to bring the story home. He will be appearing on Fox News throughout the day to discuss his crew's experience in the middle of today's violence. (READ MORE)

CounterInsurgency Center: Two Sides of COIN - I monitor press and editorial traffic on Iraq and Afghanistan. It appears that the word, “counterinsurgency,” has several connotations. One of these considers “counterinsurgency” to be synonymous only with “soft” activities that almost preclude killing the bad guys. That just isn’t true. There is nothing in “population-centric COIN”—the Army’s term for the strategy we are pursuing in Afghanistan—that prevents us from shooting the SOBs whenever we find them in the open. Truly, COIN is a mixture of hard and soft—yin and yang—and like most other things in life requires some balance in its application. “Hard” COIN can describe a brutal method that represses or terrorizes a population. Examples of this include: the Romans’ “exemplary punishments” described by Luttwak; the Germans’ treatment of Yugoslavs during World War II; the French Army’s behavior during the Battle of Algiers; and the Soviets’ treatment of the Hungarians and the Czechs. (READ MORE)

The Captain's Journal: Good Counterinsurgency, Bad Counterinsurgency and Tribes - I linked and commented on Ralph Peters’ commentary Pick Your Tribes in Winning in Afghanistan, and since then so did the Small Wars Journal blog. Indeed, there has been quite a discussion of late on the issue of tribal engagement as a solution to the insurgency in Afghanistan. One commenter asks whether I support Peters’ rejection of the necessity to implement Western style government in Afghanistan. I do not support the necessity of building Western style democracies in Afghanistan or anywhere else, but weighing in as an expert in the human and cultural terrain in Afghanistan would make a liar out of me. The reader should consult the many writings of my friend Joshua Foust (his most recent discussion of the engagement of the tribes can be found here). Christian Bleuer is also a wonderful resource. I think it’s remarkably silly for folks to weigh in on human, cultural and anthropological terrain unless they are studied in that field. (READ MORE)

Kandahar Diary: Highway to Hell - It’s been a busy day on Highway 1. One convoy, en-route to Bastion, was engaged at about 0930hrs with small arms fire from about a section-size group of insurgents using abandoned houses and gardens 300m south of the MSR as cover. Our guards dismounted from their vehicles and returned fire. Fortunately, this time, no injuries or damages were reported and the convoy quickly pushed on. Another of my convoys was not so lucky today. En-route to bastion, the convoy was ambushed at about 1030hrs by probably the same group of insurgents only 3 km west of the previous contact. The bad guys piled in accurate small arms and machine-gun fire from abandoned houses and gardens 300m south of the MSR. Same cover, same range, and same side of the MSR – all they had done was have tea and move a short walk down the road. During the contact a tanker driver was injured and lost control of his tanker causing it to leave the MSR and become bogged in soft ground. (READ MORE)



News from the Home Front:
As a Blunt General Moves Out, Another Moves Up - Poorly chosen words sunk Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as head of the Afghan mission. He was replaced by his more judicious boss, Gen. David H. Petraeus. The man chosen to replace General Petraeus, Marine Gen. James N. Mattis, described as a warrior’s warrior, is also known for his own brand of blunt talk. (READ MORE)


News from the Front:
Iraq:
Iraq’s Conflict, Reflected in a Family Tragedy - When the Americans arrived, Hamid Ahmad, a former air force warrant officer imprisoned under Saddam Hussein, imagined a new life for his family, freed from the burdens of tyranny. In seven hard years, nothing went as planned. (READ MORE)

Iraqi Cleric Meets With PM Candidate in Syria - Anti-American Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took a rare, public step into the political arena Monday, meeting in neighboring Syria with the man directly challenging Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for his office. (READ MORE)

Sadr Calls for New Iraqi Government - Moktada al-Sadr, the anti-American cleric in exile with a sizable bloc of followers in Iraq’s new Parliament, took his first direct public step into the country’s protracted political impasse on Monday, meeting in Syria with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s top rival to lead a new government. (READ MORE)


Afghanistan:
Turkey to rebuild Mevlana's father home in Afghanistan - Turkey will undertake restoration of house of Jalal ad-Din Rumi's father in Balkh city of Afghanistan under its rooted cultural relations with this country. (READ MORE)

Renegade Afghan recruit kills two NATO troops - A renegade Afghan serving with government security forces killed two members of the NATO-led foreign force on Tuesday at a post in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, provincial sources said. (READ MORE)

The Risk of Failure in Afghanistan and Iraq - There is a name that is now being mentioned frequently in the debate over America's wars, a name that does not bode well for US President Barack Obama: Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States. (READ MORE)

Kabul conference backs Karzai's Taliban peace talks - Afghan President Hamid Karzai won backing at an international conference Tuesday for his plan to make peace with the Taliban as he pledged his government could assume security responsibility of the country by 2014. (READ MORE)

British Prime Minister Affirms Commitment To Afghanistan - In an interview with NPR this morning, as diplomats from donor countries gather for a major international conference in Kabul, David Cameron, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, reaffirmed his commitment to the ongoing war in Afghanistan. (READ MORE)

Karzai reaffirms 2014 goal for Afghan-led security - President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday reaffirmed his commitment for Afghan police and soldiers to take charge of security nationwide by 2014 and urged his international backers to distribute more of their development aid through the government. (READ MORE)

Afghan Plan on Transfer of Security Gets Support - The United States and European nations attending an international conference here on Tuesday are expected to endorse President Hamid Karzai’s plan for Afghan forces to take the lead on security throughout the country by 2014, according to Western officials and diplomats. (READ MORE)

Leaders Renew Vows of Support for Afghanistan - The United States, European and other foreign leaders met here Tuesday to pledge anew their support for Afghanistan as they committed to complete transition of security and budgeting responsibility to the Afghan government by 2014. (READ MORE)

After years of rebuilding, most Afghans lack power - The goal is to transform Afghanistan into a modern nation, fueled by a U.S.-led effort pouring $60 billion into bringing electricity, clean water, jobs, roads and education to this crippled country. But the results so far - or lack of them - threaten to do more harm than good. (READ MORE)

Riding with ghosts - We are motoring down a bare-dirt back road in Kandahar Province, a road where NATO patrols never go. This way is better, explains the ghost behind the wheel, because roads without soldiers tend not to explode. (READ MORE)

Death Comes From Far Away In Afghan Valley - Private Brandon King was standing regular guard duty in a watch tower near Charqulba village in southern Afghanistan when he was killed by a single shot that was anything but normal. (READ MORE)

Forces Battle Insurgents; Taliban Chief Orders Civilian Deaths - An Afghan-international security force killed and wounded several insurgents in Nimroz province yesterday during an operation to capture a Taliban subcommander known to arrange safe havens for insurgent leaders, military officials reported. (READ MORE)

Clinton to Afghan Women: You Will Not Be Forgotten - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday assured Afghan women that they will not be forgotten amid fears that peace efforts and a scaled-down foreign troop presence will bring Islamist extremists into the government. (READ MORE)

A showcase of unity amid discord in Afghanistan - A high-profile international conference Tuesday showcasing Western unity and purposefulness in Afghanistan offers a glimpse into rifts within the allied coalition and continuing tensions with the government of President Hamid Karzai. (READ MORE)

Kabul Conference to Highlight Transition to Afghan Leadership - Afghanistan is hosting a major international meeting aimed at showing world leaders it is capable of taking control of its own security and development. (READ MORE)


Pakistan:
Five Militants Killed In Botched Pakistan Attack - Three suicide bombers blew themselves up while two of their comrades were killed during a failed bid to target recruits at a paramilitary training centre in northwest Pakistan Tuesday, security officials said. (READ MORE)

Pakistan Police Say Army Kills 3 Suspected Bombers - Army guards shot and killed three suspected suicide bombers and two other militants as they tried to enter a sprawling military firing range in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, police and the army said. (READ MORE)

Pakistan leaders praise aid promises, but public is wary - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday unveiled development projects for Pakistan ranging from hydroelectric dams to hospital makeovers in hopes of reversing Pakistani perceptions that American officials view the nation through the prism of fighting terrorism while ignoring some of its most serious needs. (READ MORE)

In a Visit to Pakistan, Clinton Encounters a Less Hostile Reception - The last time Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Pakistan, less than a year ago, she was asked when the United States would stop killing innocent civilians in its covert drone attacks. (READ MORE)


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Cross posted at Castle Argghhh!

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