Archive for the ‘Military surge’ Category

clipped from

The Obama administration is forging ahead with its civilian surge in Afghanistan but some experts say thousands more are needed while others fear the security situation is making the push ineffective.

Obama, due to unveil a revamped strategy on Tuesday that is expected to include some 30,000 to 35,000 more troops, stressed again last week the importance of sending civilians to accompany the military push in Afghanistan.

clipped from

Obama and his team discussed how long it would take to implement the options he’s been presented, a senior administration official said, adding that the president believes that the U.S. needs to make clear to the Afghan government that its commitment is not open-ended.

Obama, who has spent more than two months mulling Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s request for more troops, is not expected to announce his decision until after he returns Nov. 20 from a trip to Asia.

But Senate Republicans, who support McChrystal’s request, put added pressure on the president to reach a decision.

“I feel very strongly that we owe it to the men and women in the military and the national security interests of the United States of America to have that decision made and made as soon as possible,” McCain, R-Ariz., said.


clipped from

The first MC-12 Liberty aircraft in-theater lands after its first combat sortie at approximately 6:20 p.m. local time June 10 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The Air Force's newest intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform, the MC-12 is a medium-altitude manned special-mission turbo prop aircraft that supports coalition and joint ground forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tiffany Trojca)

Defense Department officials have taken steps to stem mounting casualties in Afghanistan, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said here today.

October has become the deadliest month for American servicemembers in Afghanistan, with 56 killed, and Morrell said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has no higher mission than ensuring troops have everything they need to protect themselves from improvised explosive devices and other threats.

Some assets already are moving to Afghanistan, he noted, including additional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The theater also is receiving the most advanced drones and new platforms such as the MC-12.

clipped from

Oct. 29: Pakistani soldiers display seized photos, passports, ammunitions and weapons during operations against Taliban militants in South Waziristan. AP

Pakistani soldiers battling their way into a Taliban stronghold along the Afghan border have seized passports that may be linked to 9/11 suspects, as they confront an enemy skilled in operating in a mountainous terrain with endless ways to wage a guerrilla war.

The military on Thursday took foreign and local journalists for a first look inside the largely lawless territory since it launched a ground offensive here in mid-October. The U.S.-backed operation is focused on a section of the tribal region where the Pakistani Taliban are based and are believed to shelter Al Qaeda.

Soldiers displayed passports seized in the operation, among them a German document belonging to a man named Said Bahaji. That matches the name of a man thought to have been a member of the Hamburg cell that conceived the 9/11 attacks. Bahaji is believed to have fled Germany shortly before the attacks in New York and Washington.


clipped from
The army claimed to be advancing on a main Pakistani Taliban stronghold along the Afghan border Sunday, a day after capturing the hometown of the militant group’s chief and sending insurgents there fleeing into the nearby mountains.
The army announced Saturday the capture of Kotkai, the hometown of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud and one of his top deputies, Qari Hussain.
The town lies on the way to the major militant base of Sararogha, and the army statement Sunday said troops had captured two key fronts between Kotkai and the base. The statement said troops secured at least one other important front and fought 16 hours to capture a significant mountaintop.
Terrorists have fled Kotkai and are sporadically attacking troops with rockets from distant heights, the statement said.
clipped from
In a significant shift, the U.S. military is assisting the Pakistani army in its offensive on militants in South Waziristan
by providing valuable surveillance video and intelligence gleaned from CIA-operated unmanned aircraft, according to a report in The Los Angeles Times.
Recent attacks on Pakistan have rattled the government, likely swaying officials to accept American help in striking
the militant stronghold.
clipped from

At least 7 people were killed, 13 injured when a suicide bomber on a bicycle blew himself up Friday, Oct. 23, outside the big Kamra aeronautical complex 60 km west of Islamabad. DEBKAfile’s military sources report this is where Pakistan houses most of its nuclear bombs and air-air and air-ground missiles. In Mohmand, 15 wedding guests were killed when their minibus hit an explosive device and in Peshawar a car bomb injured 15 people at the Sawan hotel.

clipped from
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his top commander in Afghanistan pressed NATO ministers Friday to send more troops and civilian aid to the war, as some allies appeared to be hedging their commitment until the Obama administration determines its strategy.
Gates said Friday he was “heartened” by allies’ commitment to the 8-year-old war, even as the Obama administration
mulls whether to order tens of thousands more U.S. troops to the fight, as recommended by the top U.S. and NATO commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
clipped from
Pakistan  —  Pakistani soldiers attacked militant bases in the main Al Qaeda and Taliban stronghold along the Afghan border Saturday as the nuclear-armed country launched its most critical offensive yet against insurgents threatening its stability.
Five soldiers and 11 militants were killed as the more than 30,000 troops deployed to the region met stiff resistance in parts of South Waziristan, a possible hide-out of Osama bin Laden and a base for jihadists bent on overthrowing the U.S-backed government, attacking the West and scuttling the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan
About 10,000 local militants and about 1,500 foreign fighters, most of them from Central Asia, control roughly 1,275 square miles of territory, or about half of South Waziristan.