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06 Dec

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

Damn The War Criminals,

Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld,Wolfowitz, Powell and Blair from England.

.

The war ended for those children, but it has never ended for survivors who carry memories of them. Likewise, the effects of the U.S. bombings continue, immeasurably and indefensibly.

How many Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion 15 years ago? Some credible estimates put the number at more than one million. You can read that sentence again.

The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in our country as a “blunder,” or even a “colossal mistake.” It was a crime.

Those who perpetrated it are still at large. Some of them have even been rehabilitated thanks to the horrors of a mostly amnesiac citizenry.

We condemned children to death, some after many days of writhing in pain on bloodstained mats, without pain relievers. Some died quickly, wasted by missing arms and legs, crushed heads. As the fluids ran out of their bodies, they appeared like withered, spoiled fruits. They could have lived, certainly should have lived – and laughed and danced, and run and played- but instead they were brutally murdered. Yes, murdered!

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The McGlynn

War News

Yemen: Impact of 3 years of war on children

REU: Yemen warring sides agree at start of talks to free thousands of prisoners

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Yemen’s warring sides agreed to free thousands of prisoners on Wednesday, in what a U.N. mediator called a hopeful start to the first peace talks in years to end a war that has pushed millions of people on the verge of starvation.

U.N. mediator Martin Griffiths told a news conference in a renovated castle outside Stockholm that just getting the warring sides to the table was an important milestone.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people and spawned what the United Nations calls the world’s direst humanitarian crisis, since a Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in 2015 to restore a government ousted by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement.

No talks have been held since 2016, and the last attempt in Geneva in September failed when the Houthis did not attend.

Griffiths said the prisoner swap agreed at the start of the talks would reunite thousands of families. The International Committee of the Red Cross said at least 5,000 would be freed.

The war, widely seen across the region as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has been stalemated for years, threatening supply lines to feed nearly 30 million inhabitants.

The Houthis control the capital Sanaa and most populated areas, while the ousted government based in the southern city of Aden has struggled to advance despite the aid of Arab states.

Humanitarian suffering in one of the world’s poorest countries has added to pressure on the parties to end the conflict, with faith in the Saudi-led war effort flagging among Western allies that arm and support the coalition.

Outrage over the Oct. 2 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate has also undermined Western support for Riyadh’s regional activities.

Read full story »

Red Cross says it is ready to play role in Yemeni prisoner swap>>

Swedish urges Yemeni parties to engage in constructive talks>>

Yemeni warring parties agree to prisoner swap: U.N. special envoy>>

REU: Factbox: U.N.-sponsored peace talks for Yemen

(Reuters) – The United Nations is renewing efforts to end the Yemen war under a peace plan that calls for a ceasefire between the Saudi-led coalition and Iranian-aligned Houthi insurgents, and the formation of a transitional governance deal.

The nearly four-year-old conflict pits the Houthis, who seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, against forces backed by a Sunni Muslim coalition trying to restore the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

U.N. special envoy Martin Griffiths, who was named to the post in February, convenes the warring parties in Sweden on Thursday for consultations for the first time since 2016.

The U.N. has sponsored a series of talks aimed at ending the conflict, which has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the impoverished country to the brink of starvation.

Below are U.N.-sponsored talks reported by Reuters:

* Sept 8, 2018, Geneva: Talks are abandoned after three days of waiting for the Houthi delegation, which failed to show up. The group accused the coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, of preventing its delegation from traveling.

– The Houthis wanted to fly on a plane supplied by Oman without coalition inspections, and evacuate some wounded to Muscat for treatment. The Yemeni government says the Houthis are trying to sabotage talks.

– Griffiths discusses confidence-building measures with Hadi’s delegation, including prisoner swaps, increasing humanitarian access and reopening Sanaa airport.

* April 21, 2016, Kuwait: Talks bring together the Houthis and their General People’s Congress allies with Hadi’s government.

Read full story »

AP: Despite Afghan deaths, slow peace efforts, NATO vows to stay

BRUSSELS (AP) — Fifteen years after NATO took the lead on international security efforts in Afghanistan, the military alliance’s foreign ministers on Wednesday reaffirmed their commitment to stay the course despite mounting Afghan casualties and the slow pace of peace efforts.

At talks in Brussels, the ministers underlined their “steadfast commitment to ensuring long-term security and stability,” reaffirming that NATO’s mission in the insurgency-wracked country will last as long as conditions demand it.

NATO took the lead of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2003. It wound down combat operations in 2014 and began training and advising Afghan security forces so they could handle the country’s security needs. The work is carried out in a combat environment and remains dangerous.

U.S. forces, which entered Afghanistan in 2001 to oust the Taliban for harboring al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, now number around 15,000 and provide close support to Afghan forces and carry out counter terrorism operations.

The renewed NATO commitment came in a week when the Marine officer nominated to command U.S. forces in the Middle East warned that the fight there is at a stalemate and the number of Afghan troop deaths in the war is not sustainable. Four U.S. soldiers were also killed by a roadside bomb, the deadliest attack against U.S. forces this year.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the increase in violence could be a sign that things are about to change.

“Sometimes there is an uptick, an increase in violence because different parties try to gain the best possible position at the negotiating table. So it may actually become worse before it becomes better,” he told reporters.

NATO’s top civilian representative in the country, Cornelius Zimmermann, agreed that warlords and factions could be fighting for turf.

Read full story »

NYT: Pakistan’s Army Says It Backs U.S. Peace Talks With Afghan Taliban

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s army on Thursday threw its support behind the latest U.S. efforts for a political settlement with the Afghan Taliban to end a 17-year-old war, urging Washington to leave Kabul as a friend of the region rather than a “failure”.

The comments by Pakistan’s army spokesman, Major-General Asif Ghafoor, came just after the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, concluded a visit to the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

“As much as we can, we will facilitate,” Ghafoor told a news conference in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, replying to a query about what Pakistan could do to help the United States negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban.

“What the U.S. is expecting from us, and the foreign office is cooperating with, is that somehow they could have these negotiations with them (Taliban).”

Ghafoor added, “We wish that (the) U.S. leaves Afghanistan as friend of the region, not as a failure.” He did not elaborate.

Khalilzad, an Afghan-born veteran U.S. diplomat who served as George W. Bush’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations, was named by the Trump administration three months ago as a special envoy to negotiate peace.

His visit to Pakistan followed a request from U.S. President Donald Trump to Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking assistance in moving forward peace talks. The overture to Khan came after an exchange of barbed tweets between the leaders last month.

Washington has long been pushing Islamabad to lean on Taliban leaders, who it says are based in Pakistan, to bring them to the negotiating table.

It often accuses the south Asian nation of covertly sheltering Taliban leaders, an accusation Islamabad vehemently denies.

Read full story »

NYT: Afghan Peace Push Backed by Surge in Air Strikes, Operations

KABUL — The death last week of the Taliban’s senior leader in southern Afghanistan in a U.S. air strike highlights a surge in operations amid pressure to coax the increasingly confident insurgents to accept talks to end the 17-year war.

As U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad makes a fresh round of visits to Afghanistan and neighboring countries this week and resumes meetings with Taliban representatives, military operations have spiked sharply across the country.

The aim, say Afghan and U.S. officials, is to build as strong a position as possible for the hoped-for start of peace talks with the Taliban.

Khalilzad told U.S. broadcaster PBS last week that he was “in a hurry” to secure an agreement with the Taliban, ideally ahead of presidential elections scheduled for April 20.

While U.S. officials have avoided talk of deadlines, the new urgency has raised fears among many in the Afghan government that the United States seeks a quick way out of its longest war.

“The United States basically wants a dignified withdrawal,” said one senior Afghan government official who is in near-daily contact with U.S. diplomats working on the peace process.

“Progress towards peace remains elusive,” the Pentagon Lead Inspector General told Congress in the latest report last month, as civilian and military casualties grow and just 65 percent of the population lives under government control.

Large Taliban forces have this year overrun the western city of Farah and the central city of Ghazni, fuelling perceptions that the insurgents, estimated to number 60,000 fighters, are winning.

Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

Recent Casualties

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary, 24, from Export, Pennsylvania, died Dec. 2, 2018, in Landstuhl, Germany, as a result of injuries sustained from an improvised explosive device on Nov. 27, 2018, in Andar District, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. The incident is under investigation.

McClary was assigned to 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers and one airman who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

The service members died Nov. 27, 2018, from injuries sustained when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Andar, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.

The soldiers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The airman was assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.

The incident is under investigation.

The deceased are:

Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, of Lexington, Virginia.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie, Washington.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, 25, of Hookstown, Pennsylvania.

Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

Care for Veterans:

PTSD: National Center for PTSDPTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and FamiliesSee Help for Veterans with PTSD to learn how to enroll for VA health care and get an assessment.

All VA Medical Centers provide PTSD care, as well as many VA clinics.Some VA’s have programs specializing in PTSD treatment. Use the VA PTSD Program Locator to find a PTSD program.

If you are a war Veteran, find a Vet Center to help with the transition from military to civilian life.

Call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) to talk to another combat Veteran.DoD’s Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) 24/7 Outreach Center for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury provides information and helps locate resources.

Call 1-866-966-1020 or email resources@dcoeoutreach.orgMilitary OneSourceCall 24/7 for counseling and many resources 1-800-342-9647.Need further assistance? Get Help with VA PTSD Care

AP Photo Rahmat Gul

Afghanistan War Child

Please do not forget the children.

The McGlynn

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