Saturday, July 5, 2008

NATO's war without end

A fast rewind on setbacks to the US-led war in Afghanistan:

A couple of weeks back, NATO forces returned fire into Pakistan:

NATO base attacked from Pakistan, claims ISAF

KABUL, June 22 (PAN): A NATO base in Afghanistan and a local army compound were attacked from within Pakistan on Saturday, a NATO statement said.

According to the statement by NATOs International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), troops responded with artillery fire after the mortar attacks, but no casualties were reported... (link)
Insurgents blow up tanks:
Militants destroy two NATO tanks in Wardak

WARDAK, June 26 (PAN): Suspected militants destroyed two tanks of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Saidabad district of the central province of Maidan Wardak, eyewitnesses said Thursday...

NATO officials in Bagram admitted attack on their convoy in Maidan Wardak... (link)
Afghanistan gets deadlier:
US, NATO deaths in Afghanistan pass Iraq toll

KABUL, Afghanistan, June 30 (AP) - Militants killed more U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan in June than in Iraq for the second straight month, a grim milestone capping a run of headline-grabbing insurgent attacks that analysts say underscore the Taliban's growing strength...

The AP count found that some 580 people died in insurgent violence in June, including around 440 militants, 34 civilians and 44 Afghan security forces. More than 2,100 people have died in violence this year, according to the AP count, which is based on figures from Afghan, U.S. and NATO officials... (link)
A US aircraft is downed:
U.S. helicopter shot down as Afghan violence rises

KABUL, July 2 (Reuters) - A helicopter belonging to U.S.-led coalition troops was shot down by small-arms fire in Afghanistan on Wednesday and America's top military officer said he was increasingly concerned about the rising violence.

The U.S. military said there were no serious injuries when the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter was brought down south of Afghanistan's capital.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in Washington the Taliban had become more effective.

"I am, and have been for some time now, deeply troubled by the increasing violence there," he said. "The Taliban and their supporters have, without question, grown more effective and more aggressive in recent weeks, and as the casualty figures clearly demonstrate." ...

Pilots landed the stricken Blackhawk helicopter safely and evacuated all personnel before it caught fire in the Kharwar district of Logar province, where Taliban militants are active.

It was the second coalition helicopter to crash in a week. The other incident, in the northeast Kunar province, is under investigation but indications are that the helicopter crashed due to mechanical failure, a U.S. military spokesman said...

The Taliban have brought down a number of aircraft, but so far they are not thought to have obtained surface-to-air missiles that could alter the balance of the war dramatically... (link)
Outgoing president George Bush, a lame duck as they say, reiterates a weak promise to increase troop levels in Afghanistan:
Bush says US to send more troops to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, July 2 (AP) - Grappling with a record death toll in an overshadowed war, President Bush promised Wednesday to send more U.S. troops into Afghanistan by year's end. He conceded that June was a "tough month" in the nearly seven-year-old war...

"One reason why there have been more deaths is because our troops are taking the fight to a tough enemy, an enemy who doesn't like our presence there because they don't like the idea of America denying safe haven (to terrorists)," Bush told reporters. "Of course there's going to be resistance." ...

"We're going to increase troops by 2009," Bush said, without offering details about exactly when or how many.

It amounted to a reiteration of a promised buildup of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by Bush... (link)

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