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U.S. Foreign Policy And Wars

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Sgt. 1st Class John David Randolph Hilty, 44, from Bowie, Maryland, died March 30, 2020 in Erbil, Iraq, of a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation.

Hilty was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

 

 

Afghan War Casualty Report: April 2020

The following report compiles all significant security incidents confirmed by New York Times reporters throughout Afghanistan from the past seven days. It is necessarily incomplete as many local officials refuse to confirm casualty information. The report includes government claims of insurgent casualty figures, but in most cases these cannot be independently verified by The Times. Similarly, the reports do not include Taliban claims for their attacks on the government unless they can be verified. Both sides routinely inflate casualty totals for their opponents.

At least 75 pro-government forces and 12 civilians were killed in Afghanistan during the past week. The deadliest attack took place in Takhar Province, where a Taliban Red Unit equipped with night-vision goggles and suppressed weapons attacked the center of Khwaja Ghar District from four directions, killing 10 local police and three national police officers. Insurgents captured three of the outposts and destroyed a military vehicle. Earlier in the week, in Badakhshan Province, the Taliban attacked Jurm District, capturing four villages and killing 10 soldiers. Thirty-three soldiers went missing after the attack, but 20 of them returned to the district center later on.

Taliban Attack Afghanistan Amid Growing Coronavirus Threat
 

April 2 Badakhshan Province: two security forces killed

The Taliban attacked a military base in the Dahn-e-Aab Oshtogan area of Yamgan District, where fighting continued for several hours. Security forces evacuated the base and escaped to Keran Minjan District, but were ambushed on the way. Two members of the territorial army were killed and six others went missing.

April 2 Kandahar Province: one police officer killed

A local police commander, Abdul Matin, was killed by the Taliban in Spin Boldak District. The attackers were on a motorcycle and managed to escape from the area.

At least 75 pro-government forces and 12 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan so far this month.

April 2 Badghis Province: six security forces killed

The Taliban attacked security outposts in the village of Kharistan in Moqor District, killing two members of the National Directorate of Security and four pro-government militia members.

April 1 Wardak Province: three soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked a military vehicle in the Haft Asia area of Sayed Abad District, killing three soldiers.

April 1 Badghis Province: two police officers killed

The Taliban ambushed a convoy of Afghan security forces traveling to Moqor District from Qala-e-Naw City, the provincial capital, killing two police officers.

April 1 Helmand Province: eight civilians killed

A minibus hit by a roadside bomb planted by the Taliban in the Yakhchal area of Grishk District, killing eight civilians, including six children, and wounding two others.

March 31 Kunduz Province: one police officer killed

The Taliban attacked the center of Dasht-e-Archi District, killing one police officer and wounding another.

March 30 Jowzjan Province: three security forces killed

The Taliban attacked the center of Qarqin District, killing three pro-government militia members and wounding four others.

March 30 Baghlan Province: four soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost called Charshanba Tapa in Baghlan-e-Markazi District, killing four soldiers and wounding eight others. Local authorities claimed that 19 Taliban fighters were killed in airstrikes carried out by the Afghan air force.

March 30 Balkh Province: one security force killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in the Band-e-Cheep village of Zareh District, killing one pro-government militia member and wounding another.

March 30 Baghlan Province: five police officers killed

The Taliban attacked the Gargarak outpost of the Chashma-E-Shir area on the highway connecting Baghlan to Balkh Province. Five local police officers were killed and five others were wounded. Insurgents had planted bombs on the way to the outpost to thwart reinforcements, but security forces still made it to the area and pushed back the Taliban.

March 30 Badghis Province: one police officer killed

The Taliban attacked police outposts in the village of Snjidak in Moqor District, killing one police officer and wounding three others before fleeing the area when reinforcements arrived.

March 30 Kabul Province: one security force killed

General Sharmila, the head of the Gender Department of the National Directorate of Security, died from wounds she sustained when a bomb attached to her car went off in the Makroyan area of Kabul City, the provincial capital.

March 30 Takhar Province: 13 security forces killed

A Taliban Red Unit equipped with night-vision goggles and silencer weapons attacked the center of Khwaja Ghar District from four directions, capturing three of the outposts and killing 10 local police officers and three national police officers. Five other officers, including the district police chief, were wounded in the attack, and the Taliban destroyed a military vehicle and looted two of the outposts.

March 30 Zabul Province: six soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked Arghandab District, killing six Afghan soldiers before they were pushed back by security forces.

March 29 Kunduz Province: one security force killed

The Taliban attacked a group of security forces in Kunduz City, the provincial capital, killing one member of the National Directorate of Security in the Qalawor Tepa area.

March 29 Daikundi Province: four police officers killed

The Taliban attacked a local police outpost in the Kando area of Kajran District, killing four police officers and wounding seven others and a civilian. The Taliban captured the outpost, seizing all weapons and equipment.

March 29 Sar-i-Pul Province: one soldier killed

The Taliban attacked a military base in Sar-i-Pul City, the provincial capital, killing one soldier and wounding another.

March 28 Badghis Province: three police officers killed

Three police officers were killed and four others were wounded in a clash between the Taliban and Afghan security forces in the village of Band-e-Sharan in Ab-Kamari District.

March 28 Paktia Province: one civilian killed

A group of children detonated a roadside bomb planted by the Taliban while they were playing close to the main road in the Ibrahim Khail area of Gardiz City, the provincial capital. The blast killed a six-year-old child and wounded two others.

March 28 Paktia Province: one civilian killed

The Taliban killed a young man in a cricket ground in the Abdul Rahman Qala area of Ahmedabad District.

March 28 Nangarhar Province: two civilians killed

A bomb attached to the vehicle of a religious scholar exploded in the Sarband area of Lalpoora District, killing the scholar and his young son and wounding two civilians.

March 28 Kunduz Province: one soldier killed

The Taliban ambushed Afghan soldiers in the Kalay Gaw area of the Second Police District of Kunduz City, the provincial capital, killing one soldier and taking another prisoner. Local authorities claimed that two Taliban fighters were killed and four others were wounded in the clash.

March 28 Kunduz Province: two police officers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in the Arbab Ramazani village of Ali Abad District, killing two local police officers and wounding one civilian.

March 28 Badakhshan Province: 10 soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked Jurm District, capturing four villages, killing 10 soldiers and taking three others prisoner.

March 27 Herat Province: one police officer killed

One police officer was killed and another was wounded after the Taliban attacked a security outpost in the village of Maldar in the center of Shindand District. Local authorities claimed that two Taliban fighters were killed and five others were wounded in the ensuing clash with Afghan forces.

March 27 Jowzjan Province: three security forces killed

The Taliban attacked the center of Mordian District, killing three pro-government militia members over five hours of fighting.

[Read the Afghan War Casualty Report from previous weeks.]

The Conversation

America’s newest foreign policy thinktank threatens to radically realign the politics of US national security. At a conference on Capitol Hill in late February, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft showcased what it calls its “transpartisan” left-right alliance of “realists”. Their goal is to drop democracy promotion, humanitarian intervention and stop the US from fighting “endless wars”.

Quincy, which launched in December 2019, has announced its intention to America’s political class that it will challenge the mentalities that have ruled US foreign policy since the 1991 Gulf war. Quincy favours what it calls “strategic restraint”, prioritising diplomacy, the US as a military backstop not as global enforcer of first resort.

In many ways, but with important qualifications, it’s an approach that systematises elements of the gut instinct driving President Donald Trump’s approach to the world.

Revolving doors

Elite thinktanks normally keep a low profile but can radically shift American foreign policy, particularly during periods of crisis. They incubate big ideas and build elite networks that connect knowledge to political power. They also help shape a supportive public climate of opinion.

Such institutions are peculiarly influential because America lacks a significant permanent civil service tradition. Thinktanks train future secretaries of state, assistant and deputy secretaries and the broader national security bureaucracy. They provide a perch for out-of-office appointees, a remarkable revolving door between knowledge and elite power.

The emergence of a new elite thinktank, funded by rival billionaires George Soros and Charles Koch from both sides of America’s ideological political divide, could therefore inaugurate a revolution in American foreign policy. Quincy unites the Koch Foundation’s libertarian opposition to big government and state power with the more chastened liberal internationalism of Soros’s Open Society Foundation, chastened because of the failure of liberal interventions to promote democracy.

That such forces have now combined to found a new thinktank indicates the depth of the crisis of American power. It’s a crisis driven by repeated foreign policy failures, a more challenging global environment of competitors and rivals and the rise of anti-war sentiment in American public opinion.

Read Full Article>>

The deputy commander of the American-led operation in Iraq said the Pentagon was putting service members through medical examinations to see if they had traumatic brain injuries.

 
 

Credit…Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

By Helene Cooper and

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday dismissed concussion symptoms reported by several American troops after Iranian airstrikes on Al Asad Air Base in Iraq as “not very serious,” even as the Pentagon acknowledged that a number of service members were being examined for possible traumatic brain injury caused by the attack.

“I heard they had headaches,” Mr. Trump said at a news conference in Davos, Switzerland. “No, I don’t consider them very serious injuries, relative to other injuries that I’ve seen.”

The comments of the president, who avoided the Vietnam War draft with a medical diagnosis of bone spurs, drew swift criticism from veterans’ groups.

“Don’t just be outraged by #PresidentMayhem’s latest asinine comments,” Paul Rieckhoff, the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, wrote in a Twitter post. “Take action to help vets facing TBIs,” a reference to traumatic brain injury.

The deputy commander of the American-led military operation in Iraq said the Defense Department was putting the service members through medical examinations to see if the headaches and other complaints amounted to traumatic stress injuries. Some of the affected troops were mere feet away from where the Iranian missiles struck, although they were in protective bunkers, Defense Department officials said.

“I haven’t seen the president’s comments, so I won’t comment on them,” Maj. Gen. Alexus G. Grynkewich of the Air Force told reporters during a news conference at the Pentagon. “I probably wouldn’t even if I had.”

He added: “I can just tell you from the perspective of a commander on the ground that we’re going to take symptoms from any kind of injury as seriously as we can.”

At a separate event earlier in the day, General Grynkewich denied that the White House had influenced how and when the military acknowledged that several American troops at the Asad base in Iraq had concussion symptoms as a result of the Iranian missile strikes and were being flown to a United States military hospital in Germany for treatment.

“We were not influenced by anyone,” he said.

The Trump administration had initially said that there were no injuries from the Iranian attack. If there was any delay in reporting the injuries, General Grynkewich said, it was because “it takes a bit of time for information to work its way up the chain of command” and eventually to the Pentagon.

Read Full Article>>

 

At war with the truth

U.S. officials constantly said they were making progress. They were not, and they knew it, an exclusive Post investigation found.

By Craig Whitlock

The U.S. government tried to shield the identities of the vast majority of those interviewed for the project and conceal nearly all of their remarks. The Post won release of the documents under the Freedom of Information Act after a three-year legal battle.

The Afghanistan Papers

Part 1: At war with the truth

Part 1

At war with the truth

U.S. officials constantly said they were making progress. They were not, and they knew it.

Part 2

Stranded without a strategy

Bush and Obama had polar-opposite plans to win the war. Both were destined to fail.

Part 3

Built to fail

Despite vows the U.S. wouldn’t get mired in “nation-building,” it has wasted billions doing just that

Part 4

Consumed by corruption

The U.S. flooded the country with money — then turned a blind eye to the graft it fueled

Part 5

Unguarded nation

Afghan security forces, despite years of training, were dogged by incompetence and corruption

Part 6

Overwhelmed by opium

The U.S. war on drugs in Afghanistan has imploded at nearly every turn

Interviews and memos

Explore the documents

Key insiders speak bluntly about the failures of the longest conflict in U.S. history

Post Reports

‘We didn’t know what the task was’

Hear candid interviews with former ambassador Ryan Crocker and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn

The fight for the documents

About the investigation

It took three years and two federal lawsuits for The Post to pry loose 2,000 pages of interview records

More stories

A visual timeline of the war

Interviewees respond

In the interviews, more than 400 insiders offered unrestrained criticism of what went wrong in Afghanistan and how the United States became mired in nearly two decades of warfare.

With a bluntness rarely expressed in public, the interviews lay bare pent-up complaints, frustrations and confessions, along with second-guessing and backbiting.

Click any underlined text in the story to see the statement in the original document

“We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we were doing,” Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as the White House’s Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations, told government interviewers in 2015. He added: “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”

“If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction .?.?. 2,400 lives lost,” Lute added, blaming the deaths of U.S. military personnel on bureaucratic breakdowns among Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department. “Who will say this was in vain?”

Since 2001, more than 775,000 U.S. troops have deployed to Afghanistan, many repeatedly. Of those, 2,300 died there and 20,589 were wounded in action, according to Defense Department figures.

The interviews, through an extensive array of voices, bring into sharp relief the core failings of the war that persist to this day. They underscore how three presidents — George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump — and their military commanders have been unable to deliver on their promises to prevail in Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan Papers

See the documents More than 2,000 pages of interviews and memos reveal a secret history of the war.

Part 2: Stranded without a strategy Conflicting objectives dogged the war from the start.

Responses to The Post from people named in The Afghanistan Papers

With most speaking on the assumption that their remarks would not become public, U.S. officials acknowledged that their warfighting strategies were fatally flawed and that Washington wasted enormous sums of money trying to remake Afghanistan into a modern nation.

The interviews also highlight the U.S. government’s botched attempts to curtail runaway corruption, build a competent Afghan army and police force, and put a dent in Afghanistan’s thriving opium trade.

The U.S. government has not carried out a comprehensive accounting of how much it has spent on the war in Afghanistan, but the costs are staggering.

Since 2001, the Defense Department, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development have spent or appropriated between $934 billion and $978 billion, according to an inflation-adjusted estimate calculated by Neta Crawford, a political science professor and co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University.

Those figures do not include money spent by other agencies such as the CIA and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is responsible for medical care for wounded veterans.

“What did we get for this $1 trillion effort? Was it worth $1 trillion?” Jeffrey Eggers, a retired Navy SEAL and White House staffer for Bush and Obama, told government interviewers. He added, “After the killing of Osama bin Laden, I said that Osama was probably laughing in his watery grave considering how much we have spent on Afghanistan.”

Read Full Article>>

 

Wounded American Soldier

These are the five lies Bush told that Ralph Nader documented to impeach him.

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction. The weapons have still not been found. Nader emphasized, “Until the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was our government’s anti-communist ally in the Middle East. We also used him to keep Iran at bay. In so doing, in the 1980s under Reagan and the first Bush, corporations were licensed by the Department of Commerce to export the materials for chemical and biological weapons that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney later accused him of having.” Those weapons were destroyed after the Gulf War. George W. Bush’s favorite chief weapons inspector, David Kay, after returning from Iraq and leading a large team of inspectors and spending nearly half a billion dollars told the president We were wrong. See: David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 2004-01-28.Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) ’s Europe division, revealed that in the fall of 2002, George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others were told by CIA Director George Tenet that Iraq’s foreign minister — who agreed to act as a spy for the United States — had reported that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction program.

  • Iraq Ties to Al Qaeda. The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies — one secular, the other fundamentalist.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to the United States. In fact, Saddam was a tottering dictator, with an antiquated, fractured army of low morale and with Kurdish enemies in Northern Iraq and Shiite adversaries in the South of Iraq. He did not even control the air space over most of Iraq.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to his Neighbors. In fact, Iraq was surrounded by countries with far superior military forces. Turkey, Iran and Israel were all capable of obliterating any aggressive move by the Iraqi dictator.

  • The Liberation of the Iraqi People. There are brutal dictators throughout the world, many supported over the years by Washington, whose people need liberation from their leaders. This is not a persuasive argument since for Iraq, it’s about oil. In fact, the occupation of Iraq by the United States is a magnet for increasing violence, anarchy and insurrection

Recent Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two service members who were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. Both service members died March 11, 2020, when their units were engaged by enemy indirect fire at Camp Taji, Iraq. The incident is under investigation.

The deceased are:

— Army Spc.* Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias, 27, of Hanford, California.

— Air Force Staff Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts, 28, of Owasso, Oklahoma.

Mendez Covarrubias was assigned to 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Roberts was assigned to the 219th Engineering Installation Squadron, Oklahoma Air National Guard.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

The following Marines died March 8, 2020 while supporting Iraqi Security Forces in north central Iraq. The incident is under investigation.

Gunnery Sgt. Diego D. Pongo, 34, of Simi Valley, California.

Capt. Moises A. Navas, 34, of Germantown, Maryland.

Both Marines were assigned to 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Afghan War Casualty Report: February 2020

By Fahim Abed and

The following report compiles all significant security incidents confirmed by New York Times reporters throughout Afghanistan for past seven days. It is necessarily incomplete as many local officials refuse to confirm casualty information. The report includes government claims of insurgent casualty figures, but in most cases these cannot be independently verified by The Times. Similarly, the reports do not include Taliban claims for their attacks on the government unless they can be verified. Both sides routinely inflate casualty totals for their opponents.

Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2020

At least 23 pro-government forces and seven civilians were killed in Afghanistan during the past week. The deadliest attack took place in Sar-i-Pul Province, where the Taliban ambushed a pro-government militia in the capital and killed the commander, one of his soldiers and an additional four members of the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency. One day earlier, in Kunduz Province, the Taliban attacked a security outpost in Ali Abad District, killing five police officers and wounding three others before security forces successfully pushed the insurgents back.

 

Feb. 4 Badghis Province: one police officer killed

A police officer was killed in a Taliban sniper attack in the village of Firoozah in Muqur District.

Feb. 4 Faryab Province: one police officer killed

The Taliban attacked the center of Shirin Tagab District, where fighting continued for three hours. One member of a police special forces unit was killed, as were two Taliban fighters, according to local authorities.

Read Full Article>>

[Read the Afghan War Casualty Report from previous weeks.]

War Casualties By Name

 

Complete Military and Civilian Casualty Lists

Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan>>

Care for War on Terror Veterans

Veterans Health Administration>>

Vet Center Program>>

Military Health System>>

 

Save The Children Organization

 

Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children and has been working with families, communities and local authorities in Iraq since 1991, leading NGOs in general relief and development programs.Save the Children is currently responding to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDP) and the Syrian refugees in Iraq, in camps and non-camp settings. Our goal is for children in Iraq to be supported in raising their voices and attaining their rights, especially the right to participate in decisions affecting their lives. They should have access to quality education, health and protection services. We are increasing access to community based services that protect, educate and improve quality of life for children. We are ensuring that there is an increased participation of boys and girls in age appropriate activities and services. We are ensuring that children benefit from government actions that create an environment of awareness and accountability to uphold child rights. We are also developing new resources and innovative practices that support our work for children and youth.In Iraq, Save the Children’s interventions include Child Protection, Education, Food Security and Livelihoods, Shelter and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), reaching vulnerble children and families in northern and central Iraq. Save the Children’s programs are implemented through field offices in Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Kalar, with a country office located in Erbil.

Visit Save The Children Organization>>

Let Us Never Forget

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One Response to “U.S. Foreign Policy And Wars”

  1. 1
    Paul Says:

    THE NEVER ENDING WAR. Which apparently is just fine with most Americans as our nation and the planet hurls itself towards a new Dark Age.

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