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Archive for the 'Afghanistan' Category

Summary: It was once President Barack Obama’s “war of necessity.” Now, it’s America’s forgotten war — “Forgetistan.” The Afghan conflict generates barely a whisper on the U.S. presidential campaign trail. It’s not a hot topic at the office water cooler or in the halls of Congress. Although 68,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, the majority of Americans seem to have mentally moved along, to the point where tragic landmarks such as the 2,000th U.S. service member killed in Afghanistan barely raise more than a momentary blip on America’s national consciousness.

Summary: Log of “green-on-blue” insider attacks on U.S. service members in Afghanistan.

Summary: Seven U.S. soldiers were killed when their helicopter crashed in Shah Wali Kot, in southern Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province. Three Afghan soldiers and an Afghan interpreter were also killed, bringing the total number of dead to 11.

Summary: The Los Angeles Times published photos showing U.S. soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division posing with the body parts of dead suicide bombers in Afghanistan. The news comes at a time of growing sensitivity over the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan after a series of damaging and embarrassing incidents involving U.S. troops: In January 2012 video surfaced of U.S. Marines urinating on Afghan corpses; in February 2012, the burning of Qurans in a fire pit at the main American base in Afghanistan sparked violent protests and revenge killings of six Americans; and in March 2012, 17 civilians, mainly women and children, were killed in a nighttime rampage, allegedly by Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.

Summary: Heavy street fighting between militants and security forces in the Afghan capital of Kabul raged for 18 hours in what the Taliban, who claimed responsibility for the attacks, called the start of its Spring Offensive and retaliation for the burning of Qurans at a NATO base in February 2012, the murders of 17 Afghans allegedly by Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales in March 2012, and videos that surfaced in January 2012 apparently showing U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters.

The American soldier accused of massacring 16 civilians, including nine children and three women, in southern Afghanistan was a 38-year-old staff sergeant, married, with two children, who enlisted in the Army soon after the terrorist attacks of September 11 and did three combat tours in Iraq before arriving in Afghanistan in December 2011.

President Barack Obama wrote a letter of apology to Afghan president Hamid Karzai for the burning of copies of the Quran at NATO’s Bagram military base. Two U.S. soldiers were also shot dead at a protest about the desecration of the Muslim holy books.

In the decade-long Afghanistan war, 2011 was the deadliest year on record for Afghan civilians with 3,021 killed — a rise of 8 percent from the year before, as Taliban-affiliated insurgents ratcheted up violence with roadside bombs and suicide attacks, according to a new United Nations report.

Jan 13th, 2012

A video clip posted on the web appears to show U.S. Marines in Afghanistan apparently urinating on the corpses of dead Afghan men. According to a note included with the uploaded video file, the servicemen were members of Marine Scout Sniper Team 4, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.

A suicide bomber struck a crowd of Shiite worshippers packing a Kabul mosque to mark the holy day of Ashoura, killing about 60 and wounding 160, while a second bombing in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif killed four more Shiites and wounded about 20 more. They were the first major sectarian assaults since the fall of the Taliban a decade ago. Afghanistan has a history of tension and violence between majority Sunnis and the Shiite minority, but while such attacks have become commonplace in neighboring Pakistan and parts of the Middle East such as Iraq, they had not previously occurred in Afghanistan.