- Afghanistan (1) Terry Glavin questions U.S. support of Pakistan in light of claims that it helped some of the nutbars claiming credit for the mosque attacks in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif.
- Afghanistan (2) “The international community’s 2014 exit strategy from Afghanistan rests on two pillars: training an Afghan security force that can stand on its own feet, and fostering regional co-operation on a conflict that defies borders. Forging a political settlement with the Taliban is considered by most to be the indispensable third pillar of this strategy, even if U.S. and NATO officials are reticent to recognize it as such. Unfortunately, an assessment of progress in all three areas gives cause for serious concern ….”
- Dear Prime Minister: Please send in the military to help Attawapiskat First Nation. Signed, Nicole Turmel, Leader, NDP. Letter (PDF) here, NDP news release here, as well as some media coverage here, here and here. According to this CP story, Canada Command says it’s received no request for help yet.
- A bit of history on the last time the CF was called in to help a remote northern Ontario First Nation (usual Wikipedia caveats apply) – archived CF fact sheet on Operation CANOPY here (PDF).
- DefMin’s Chopper Ride Woes (1) Pilot of chopper seems to get Minister off the hook (more here and here) ….
- DefMin’s Chopper Ride Woes (2) …. but the Minister’s not going to be around for a few days….
- DefMin’s Chopper Ride Woes (3) …. and he’s threatening to sue anyone for saying he lied.
- What’s Canada Buying? (1) East coast firm to get some work if their partners get the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) contract. “L-3 Electronic Systems has teamed up with Elbit Systems Land in a bid to bring portions of two large military projects to Nova Scotia. L-3, which has about 170 employees in this province, could add another 30 people to the roster at its Enfield plant if it is successful in its bid to help put together and maintain the army’s new tactical armoured patrol vehicles. “We’re in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the total contract of dual (remote weapons systems),” Gerry Morey, a former air force officer who now works for L-3 in Nova Scotia, said Wednesday. “And then there’s the export options as well that we’re obviously interested in.” L-3, a subsidiary of New York City’s L-3 Communications, and Israel’s Elbit — working together as Canterra Solutions — are hoping to supply weapon systems for Force Protection’s contender in the race to provide the army with about $1 billion worth of new armoured vehicles. “Basically it’s a dual remote weapons system, which means it’s two guns, a 40-millimetre gun and a 12.76-(millimetre) gun with camera systems and laser-warning systems and 40-millimetre smoke grenades on it,” Morey said. “It’s remotely controllable from inside the cabin without any external exposure of personnel.” The work here would largely involve maintaining the weapons and then handing them over to an assembler in New Brunswick, he said. “A lot of the supply chain might be outside the province.” In September, Dieppe’s Malley Industries Inc. announced it could be adding 120 new manufacturing jobs if Ottawa picks Force Protection’s Timberwolf as the army’s new vehicle. Other companies competing to build Canada’s new tactical armoured patrol vehicles include Oshkosh, BAE Systems and Textron Marine & Land Systems ….” More info on the TAPV project here.
- What’s Canada Buying? (1) More boilable pouches for rations.
- F-35 Tug o’ War Mark Collins on “F-35 clearly not ready for prime time”
- Permieter Security Deal (1) How this new deal is going to help Canada, via the Government of Canada Info-Machine (LOADS of backgrounders on various elements of the deal at the link, too): “…. “Billions of dollars worth of goods and hundreds of thousands of people cross our shared border every day,” said Prime Minister Harper. “Moving security to the perimeter of our continent will transform our border and create jobs and growth in Canada by improving the flow of goods and people between our two countries.” ….” More here, here,
- Permieter Security Deal (2) How it’s helping U.S. President Obama: “…. Canada is going to help him achieve his political objectives thanks to the $1 billion border perimeter deal aimed at streamlining trade while protecting the continent from the type of terrorist attacks that still haunt Americans 10 years after Sept. 11, 2001. The deal will not only improve screening procedures for travellers and passengers before they arrive in North America, it will also create domestic jobs, the president said. “Canada is key to achieving my goal of doubling American exports and putting folks back to work,” Obama said. “Put simply, we’re going to make it easier to conduct the trade and travel that creates jobs, and we’re going to make it harder for those who would do us harm and threaten our security.” ….”
- Japan apologizes to Canada’s former prisoners of war – Canada accepts the apology. More here, here and here. Earlier this week, Japan honoured Brian Mulroney for apologizing to and compensating the Japanese interred in World War 2 here in Canada.
- Richard Curnow, R.I.P.: “Authorities have confirmed that a body found Sunday is that of Master Cpl. Richard Curnow, a soldier who went missing on May 5 during a training run. Master Cpl.
The identity was confirmed through dental records, Edmonton police said. “Based on autopsy results and the investigation, the death has been deemed non-criminal, therefore the [Edmonton Police Service] will not be releasing the cause of death,” police said in a statement. Curnow’s body was found in the North Saskatchewn River near Redwater, Alta., about 65 kilometres northeast of Edmonton. Curnow, 25, was last seen starting a 10-kilometre morning run with eight fellow soldiers through Emily Murphy Park in Edmonton’s river valley. He did not show up at the finish area and his vehicle was still in the parking lot ….” More here, here and here.
- Afghanistan (1): More from the CF Info Machine on ISAF Commander General David Petraeus’ visit to Canadians in southern Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan (2): “When Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan entered its final phase, Karen Wilson got on board. The Ontario grandmother doubled her electric bill and burned out a convection oven while producing more than 35,000 cookies as a show of support to the Canadian soldiers who were putting their lives on the line in the war-ravaged country. Labouring in her kitchen in Petrolia, Ont., Wilson churned out shortbread confections by the hundreds, devoting no less than eight hours a week to the task. On weekends, she sold baked goods and homemade “Support the Troops” buttons at community events to finance her project. As Canada prepares to end its combat role in Afghanistan for good, Wilson is looking forward to the first lull in her schedule since 2008 ….”
- Taliban Propaganada Watch: Still with the attacks claimed across Kandahar and Zabul.
- Libya Mission (1): “…. It is entirely proper that the Armed Forces exercise caution in what they reveal. But the need for discretion when publishing potentially compromising information of use to the enemy should not be used as carte blanche to withhold virtually all information …. The Royal Air Force has released dramatic gun-camera footage of British bombs destroying Libyan warships. And yet our military refuses even to disclose how much the operations in Libya are costing the Canadian taxpayer — information of dubious value of the Libyan military, but of potential concern to us. Canadians value their military, and understand that sometimes, force is necessary to safeguard lives. The Forces, and the federal government, have nothing to fear from disclosure.”
- Libya Mission (2): The CF’s Info Machine is cranking out material from the Mediterranean, including features on how flexible the HMCS Charlottetown is, how the Charlottetown helped gun down a boat looking like it was attacking a Libyan port, and the Charlottetown as “babysitter.
- More on the CF in Sierra Leone on OP Sculpture. “While deployed in Sierra Leone, Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Steve Smith and I recently had the rare privilege of accompanying our Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) counterparts on staff visits to two forward operating bases (FOBs) on the country’s wild Atlantic coast, far from our base in the capital, Freetown, Just getting there was half the adventure. We travelled in two Land Rover Defenders on some of the roughest roads either of us had ever seen, through jungles and villages, and crossing waterways by ferry or on old, narrow bridges that held up without benefit of maintenance. The spectacular sunrises and sunsets rivalled Hawaii, and in places the scenery was like something out of The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ….”
- Cuts coming? “Defence Minister Peter MacKay says his department is conducting a “strategic review” of its staff in response to unconfirmed media reports that his department will cut 2,100 of its public service positions over the next three years. MacKay, who was in Halifax to announce the impending arrival of Canada’s first Cyclone maritime helicopter, would not comment on the details of the report in the Ottawa Citizen. He said Canadians are going through a “belt-tightening exercise” across the country and all government departments are expected to do the same. “We’re looking at ways to achieve efficiencies and achieve maximum results from the Department of Defence,” MacKay told reporters on Thursday. “This refers specifically to civilian employees so we’re looking at ways to maximize the efficiency of the department and I think Canadians would respect and expect that.” ….” More on the allegedly coming “efficiencies” here.
- Enjoy some of the latest speculation about the naming of Julian Fantino as Associate Minister of National Defence (and the naming of former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan, Chris Alexander, as Parliamentary Secretary). “The anticipated slash and burn of the public service by the newly-minted Conservative majority government could be starting at the Department of National Defence. Reports Thursday morning say 2,100 jobs will be cut over the next three years. This as Defence Minister Peter MacKay attempts to defend what many see as his diminished role. In the cabinet swearing-in last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Julian Fantino, the former top cop in Ontario, as Mr. MacKay’s Associate Minister in charge of procurement, which comes with a huge budget that is between 14 and 16 per cent of the department’s $22-billion total. And then Wednesday, the Prime Minister named up-and-coming rookie MP Chris Alexander, the former Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan, as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Defence. This one-two combo of Mr. Fantino and Mr. Alexander will give Mr. MacKay fierce competition ….”
- “Canada and the United States will have a plan in place by this summer on how to achieve the long-awaited perimeter security deal, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday. Harper met U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss the plan on the sidelines of broader G8 discussions this week in the seaside resort of Deauville, France. “The president and I are committed to pursuing a perimeter approach to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods and services between our two countries,” Harper said in a statement following the meeting. “We are pleased that discussions are on track, and we expect to have an ambitious joint action plan ready this summer following public consultations.” The plan is expected to lay out priorities for the border deal and what both countries will do together and separately to make it happen ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (x): “A stern warning from a top Pentagon official about the soaring cost of building the F-35 fighter jet has given Canada’s defence minister cause for concern, but Peter MacKay insists his plan to buy 65 aircraft is a sound proposition. MacKay, in Halifax to show off the latest test version of the military’s new Cyclone helicopter, was responding to reports that the Pentagon’s top acquisition official, undersecretary Ashton Carter, had revealed that the per-aircraft cost of the 2,443 jets the U.S. wants has almost doubled in real terms. Pentagon officials say the cost of the project has jumped to $385 billion U.S., about $113 million U.S. per plane in 2011 dollars. The original price was $69 million per airplane. “That’s what it’s going to cost if we keep doing what we’re doing,” Carter said last week. “And that’s unacceptable. It’s unaffordable at that rate.” …. MacKay confirmed he was aware of the U.S. undersecretary’s dim view of the project. “Of course it gives me cause for concern,” he said. “But … there are three configurations for the F-35. We are purchasing the conventional takeoff model. Much of the criticism has been directed at the vertical-takeoff model. … We’re not buying that plane.” ….”
- More on the replacement for Canada’s Sea Kings that’s only here for training and certification purposes. “Canada recently received its first look at the potential future of the country’s maritime helicopter fleet, but Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the “interim” helicopter does not represent the formal delivery of the new fleet, which has been marred by lengthy delays. MacKay announced in Nova Scotia Thursday that a Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone was delivered to Canadian Forces Base Shearwater on May 13. Its primary use at this point is to train Canadian Forces aircrew members for the Maritime Helicopter Project. Later this summer, flight training is expected to take place …. MacKay said “formal delivery” of the helicopter is expected this summer once it gets a Canadian military airworthiness certificate ….” The text of the Minister’s statement is available here, and more on the Minister’s estimates for “formal delivery” here.
- The “glass is half emtpy” version of the CH-148 Cyclone story, from the industry press: “Canada’s top defence official said on 26 May that Sikorsky has delayed formal delivery of the first of six interim CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters to the third quarter. The new timetable marks the latest in a long series of delays since Sikorsky was awarded the contract in 2004 to deliver 28 military derivatives of the S-92 under the maritime helicopter programme (MHP). The original contract called for first delivery in 2009, but Canada last year agreed to accept the first six aircraft with an “interim” capability in November 2010. That schedule was further delayed to the first half of 2011 ….”
- “Revision, leading developer of ballistic protective eyewear for militaries worldwide, has secured a $2.7 million contract with the Canadian DND to supply Air Force members with Ballistic Eyewear (BEW), also known as the Sawfly Spectacle System. The initial contract is to supply 33,000 kits and 40,000 additional lenses in 2011 with a 5 year option period ….”
- No early release for Khadr Boy. “The U.S. military tribunal that oversaw Omar Khadr’s war crimes case has refused the Canadian’s bid for clemency with a statement Thursday that simply confirms the eight-year sentence he received in a plea deal. The Toronto native had, through his military lawyer, sought to have the sentence reduced, arguing in part that the prosecution had been guilty of “misconduct” in its calling of a key prosecution witness. The confirmation of the eight-year sentence — in exchange for which Khadr admitted to five war crimes, including the murder of a U.S. serviceman — was issued by retired Vice-Admiral Bruce MacDonald, who serves as the tribunal “convening authority,” or overseer ….” More on this here.
- How many Afghans did Canada nab in 2009? Here’s the stats and background information from the CF (with a PDF copy here in case that link doesn’t work). Here’s the media coverage, from Postmedia News and the Canadian Press.
- An exercise in the cold to get ready for a bigger exercise in the cold. “A military jet has crashed into a wooded field in Farnham in the Eastern Townships, injuring the pilots and severely wounding a passenger and two farmers on the ground. Screaming residents stumble through thigh-high snow, trying to get to their friends as smoke pours from the fuselage. One man lies face down, blood spattering the snow around his body. Then the army appears. Specifically, soldiers from the 200 members of the 5th Service Battalion of the Canadian Armed Forces who have travelled to the Eastern Townships this week from their base in Valcartier near Quebec City. They’re in the midst of a training operation called Frosty Soldier at the Farnham military base in preparation for one of the largest Arctic military exercises to be held starting this month in James Bay. More than 1,300 soldiers, along with 200 civilians, will be gathering for Exercise Guerrier Nordique (Nordic Warrior), to bolster the military’s northern mandate of search and rescue operations, reconnaissance patrols and “sovereignty patrols,” protecting that part of the Arctic that Canada considers ours ….”
- Canada-U.S. border security: After a meeting in Washington between PM Harper and President Obama yesterday, here’s a joint statement they issued (with more info here). Here’s how the media are covering it so far: “Border talks ‘not about sovereignty:’ Harper” (CBC.ca) “2 nations join forces to meet U.S. – Canadian border challenge” (Detroit Free Press) “U.S.-Canada pact borders on great” (Toronto Sun editorial) “PM’s border scheme mired in past” (Toronto Star column) “US, Canada Announce New Joint Border Effort” (Voice of America) “Canada could be a very different place” (National Post column) My guess: we’re going to hear the CBC.ca version of messaging in the House of Commons this week during Question Period.
- Canada on how quickly Mubarak should get outta Dodge: “The Harper government has endorsed the go-slow transition plan set out by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, signalling that Mideast stability and peace with Israel are its paramount concerns while other Western nations push for faster change. Canada’s warnings that a rushed change in power could lead to instability – Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon insisted that “a vacuum does not mean transition” – came on a day of bloody confrontations in Cairo on Thursday …. In Ottawa, though, Mr. Cannon had emphasized that Canada’s chief concern is for a stable transition, one that protects Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, and indicated support for Mr. Suleiman’s plan for months of step-by-step changes while Mr. Mubarak remains. “I think the question is what’s next. A vacuum does not mean transition. The transition must be orderly, we have said it from the beginning. And these things must be settled by the Egyptians themselves,” Mr. Cannon told reporters outside the Commons. “There were steps, I understand, that were undertaken this morning by the vice-president. I think these steps form part of this orderly transition effort toward reforms, and ultimately an election.” Mr. Cannon did call for a transition to democracy, but did not emphasize speed. When asked whether he wants an “immediate transition,” he replied: “An orderly transition that should bring us to the reforms we’ve talked about.” ….”
- VERY interesting questions from a wounded warrior…. “ …. What happened to the CDS’s promise (made to me in person) that no disabled WIA would be released before they are ready to transition? …. those of us in uniform all know that there are personnel in various support trades who have never deployed because they are too obese to meet the basic fitness standard (Battle Fitness Test). These folks seem to float from one T-Cat to another, with very few (if any) ever being released for failure to pass even the non-deployment basic fitness test (EXPRES test). What is up with that? …. Why does the CF even stock the extreme sizes of combat uniform that are as wide in the arse/gut as they are tall? Grossly obese persons have no place in uniform, projecting a negative public image of the CF. Orange jumpsuits would be more appropriate for the morbidly obese and would serve as an incentive to lose weight. Rigid and timely application of the universality of service requirements and medical release procedures should also be applied to those obese members who cannot attain the deployment fitness standard. At the end of the day, I would like to see disabled combat vets such as myself offered the opportunity to fill domestic support jobs so that those who are fit to fight are freed up for deployment. If nothing else, I want assurance that our disabled WIA are offered the same degree of “rule-bending consideration” that the chain of command and the medical system quite evidently apply to the 1000 or so obese CF members who can’t even pass the basic XPRES test.”
- “Memorial visits to Kandahar by the families of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan will continue, but they’ll be financed by non-public funds, the Defence Department said Wednesday. A department spokesman said the visits, which had been briefly in limbo, won’t be billed to the taxpayer until new spending rules are in place. In the meantime, costs can be covered from the military families fund, which is financed by private donations and various fund-raisers, Andrew McKelvey, a department communications adviser, said in an email. “The military families fund is an agile and responsive fund with a broad mandate to assist families, especially where there is no authorized public program, benefit or service to do this,” he said. “Given the intent to seek public approval for (next-of-kin) travel, it is anticipated that the support required from the military families fund will be short term.” ….”
- Blog Watch: Former OMLT-eer says NYT reporter needs to do more homework covering Afghanistan.
- One set of hearings looking into Canadian treatment of Afghan detainees has wrapped up. “The Military Police Complaints Commission has adjourned to sort through the sometimes explosive testimony of some 35 witnesses, as well as thousands of pages of documents reluctantly turned over by the federal government, after an oftentimes acrimonious hearing into the Afghan detainee scandal drew to a close Wednesday. The year-long hearing concluded with final arguments from civil rights lawyers who said eight military police officers were negligent in their failure to investigate potentially criminal decisions taken by Canadian Forces commanders to transfer detainees to Afghan custody, where they faced torture. Lawyers for Amnesty International Canada and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, which launched the complaint, argued there was an abundance of evidence to suggest Afghan secret police were abusive and, had military police been asking the right questions of task force commanders, they would have known something wasn’t right ….” More here and here.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Attacks alleged in Kandahar, and Taliban showing its green side.
- “Egyptian officials have promised the federal government they will do “everything” they can to help Canadians still stranded in the North African nation, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Wednesday. A plane carrying 29 Canadians and dozens of Australians, Britons and Americans left Alexandria for Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday as violent protests continued in the streets of Egypt’s major cities. A flight leaving Cairo, which is expected to carry about 90 Canadians, was scheduled to land in Paris Wednesday evening. Cannon told reporters that he spoke with Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit Wednesday about the ongoing mass protests aimed at forcing President Hosni Mubarak from office after three decades in power …. “
- Canada’s MPs spent much of last night in the House of Commons in an emergency debate on what’s up in Egypt these days – transcript via Hansard here.
- “Would-be Jihadist suicide bomber or playful loving family man? Those were the two starkly different ways suspected terrorist Sayfilden Tahir Sharif was portrayed Wednesday at his bail hearing in Edmonton. A photograph snapped by Cara Rain, his common-law wife, was entered as an exhibit showing Sharif clowning around with her children in the apartment they shared before his arrest last month by RCMP at the request of the FBI. Wearing a black hijab, Rain told court there is no way the man she loves is guilty of U.S. allegations that he supported a multinational terrorist network that took part in a suicide bombing which killed five American soldiers in Iraq …. Sharif’s lawyer, Bob Aloneissi, is seeking bail conditions akin to house arrest as his client prepares to fight extradition to the U.S. The federal Crown wants him held in custody pending the outcome of a long hearing process that may not begin until later this year. Crown prosecutor Jim Shaw entered a letter from the U.S. Justice Department dated Feb. 1 that warns Sharif poses an extreme danger to the community and a significant flight risk ….”
- Border Worries (1): This from a U.S. government watchdog office – “The challenges of securing the U.S.-Canadian border involve the coordination of multiple partners. The results of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to integrate border security among its components and across federal, state, local, tribal, and Canadian partners are unclear. GAO was asked to address the extent to which DHS has (1) improved coordination with state, local, tribal, and Canadian partners; (2) progressed in addressing past federal coordination challenges; and (3) progressed in securing the northern border and used coordination efforts to address existing vulnerabilities ….”
- Border Worries (2) “Canada and the United States are scrambling to quell fears that Canadians would soon need visas to cross the border, following a hard-hitting report to Congress that questioned security along the 49th parallel. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Wednesday he had been assured by the U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, there is no plan to require visas. “Ambassador Jacobson phoned me up to let me know that that certainly is not the intention of the Obama administration,” Cannon told a news conference. Indeed, Jacobson took to Twitter shortly after the report’s release Tuesday to declare that co-operation between the U.S. and Canada on security and border management had been “exceptional for years.” ….”
- Border Worries (3) “Canada and the United States are poised to take a major step toward common border security controls that could lead to joint government facilities, sophisticated tracking of travellers, better cyber-security protection and improved oversight of overseas cargo shipped to both countries. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama are expected to give the green light Friday to a comprehensive shared review of border security aimed at tightening protection from terrorists and easing the flow of cross-border traffic ….” More on tomorrow’s coming talks here. Let’s hope the issue of where many of those illegal guns that end up being seized here are coming from as well.
- F-35 Tug of War (1) “Firms report big risks to get onboard F-35 program: Firms say major ministerial public relations campaign as much about investor as public confidence.”
- F-35 Tug of War (2) Canada’s defence minister accuses former CF member/Liberal MP Marc Garneau of not supporting the troops on this one. “…. Mr. Speaker, I think the person who is worried is the member opposite because the more he talks against the F-35 the more he shows his true colours. He is against the aerospace industry in his own region. He is working against those men and women he used to serve with ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? More on running CFS Alert infrastructure, and pest control in/around Gagetown
- Three Canadian Navy ships (and an Aurora patrol aircraft) are headed west to help on an exercise near Hawaii.
NOTE: This material is from web pages and forums carrying statements attributed to the Taliban, Taliban spokespersons or supporters of the Taliban, or analysis thereof. Posting of this material neither confirms nor endorses any of its content – it is shared for information only. When material translated into English is not available, Google Translate is used to translate the original – this is only a machine translation, NOT an official one.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:05 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, Dec. 14 – Mujahideen torched a NATO logistical vehicle at 12:00 pm yesterday in an attack on its convoy near Ma’ruf district center but the number of killed and wounded is not known.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:04 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
KANDAHAR, Dec. 14 – A US tank was obliterated by a roadside bomb, killing and wounding all invaders onboard in Dand’s Salwat area at 11:00 am yesterday.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 18:10 Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
ZABUL, Dec. 14 – Mujahideen from Mizani district say that late yesterday afternoon a vehicle of ANA puppets was destroyed by RPG fire in Nawa area and similarly a US invaders tank was destroyed by an IED in the mentioned area. All enemy personnel onboard were killed and wounded.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:31 Qari Yousaf Ahamadi
According to credible news agencies of the world, the American president’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, died in George Washington’s University hospital at the age of 69. He had been suffering from a heart’s disease for the past days.
Appointed on 22nd January 2009, as special envoy for Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Holbrooke was keeping an eye on the Afghan issue. Some times ago, he told reporters that he had been passing through a difficult phase of his life, exerting crippling and sapping pressure on him.
He passed out in his exclusive office for Afghanistan and regional affairs on Friday last, following his above-mentioned reveals and his life of toils and fatigues ended after admission into a hospital where he breathed his last yesterday.
The American rulers have not made any remarks about the cause of his sudden death in view of the sensitivity of the issue but rumors have it that this giant of the American politics and diplomacy became ill with a heart disease when his previous fame and credibility came under question after the unremitting failures of the mission of Afghanistan and his facing the difficult task. The protracted Afghan war and the descending trajectory of the Americans’ handling of the warfare in the country had had a lethal dent on Holbrook’s health as a high-ranking American official. He was grappling with a constant psychological stress.
Emergence of this untoward phenomenon as an off-shoot of the Afghan issue is not now a strange thing. The same was the case with the former Soviet Union as the crisis touched its climax. Former Soviet leaders Brezhnev, Konstantin Cherninkove and Vladimir Andropov had heart attacks in a short time distance before the coming to scene of Michael Gorbachove. They relieved themselves of the hard task of the Afghan mission by retreating into the lap of death .
The recent symptoms are indicating that an outbreak of the same epidemic diseases has started in the political and military echelons of America.
A few months ago, an American four stars general, , general David Peteraeus, fainted during a senate hearing when he faced tough questions as regards the issue of Afghanistan. The end of Holbrooke, the fate of general Mc Crystal and the defense Secretary Robert Gate’s warning to step down show that the war of Afghanistan is heavily weighing down on the psyche of the American military and political high-ups. Some of them lighten their burden by simply going to the other world and others, while being still alive, choose to avoid shouldering the mission.
The sudden death of a high-ranking American diplomat happens in a time that American strategists under the chair of Obama have been reviewing the issue of Afghanistan for the past few days. They will expectedly announce their decision soon.
We believe Holbrooke’s timely death could have a didactic effect on the American strategists, teaching them many things to learn. In view of the American entanglement in the aggravating swamp of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on the American powers-that-be to abandon their dream of military domination and colonial sway in Afghanistan. Their formulation of new military strategies will never change the imminent defeat into a victory in the country. Still if they are bent on continuing with the status quo, they will face many unexpected events and imbroglios. Their political and military circles will have to grapple with constant crisis and untoward situations. Nothing more than that, they will achieve.
Qari Yousaf Ahamadi
Spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Monday, 13 December 2010 06:25 –
American president Obama made a 4-hour long stopover at the Bagram air base during a clandestine trip to Afghanistan and fatuously assured himself that the American forces would make advancement in Afghanistan and turn the tide against the Taliban. He said, the Americans forces would achieve the objectives for which they have come here.
American President Obama is making these assertions in a time that the Pentagon in a recent report to the American Congress has said that their current military operations against Taliban and the goal of bolstering the Kabul regime is falling short of its timeframe. Nor there is any vista of hope in the coming days to turn the table.
A number of experts, viewing he recent brief trip of Obama to Afghanistan, have opined that Obama is facing a poor image dilemma as per the popular surveys conducted among the American public as a result of the war in Afghanistan. So he extended the war by committing a troops surge through sending tens of thousands of new troops. Rationally, he should have put an end to the illegitimate Bushe’s war and ended the legacy of his stubbornness.
The American are witnessing that the war in Afghans is nearing its end with the defeat and historical disgrace of America and that the Taliban are gaining strength with the passage of time, so their resentments against Obama are constantly on the rise.
The people’s disenchantment with Obama came to the open during the recent Americans election which culminated into a smashing defeat to the democrats who belong to Obama’s party.
A French political analyst Bruno Bunfa, in an interview to the media, said that hasty trip of Obama to Afghanistan reflects the jittery of the American president because the war in Afghanistan needs more expenditure while the American people are not ready to carry out the heavy weight of taxes and other financial restraints. He says, the former Soviet Union fought the war in Afghanistan for one decade to achieve their goals but achieved nothing. Obama and the Americans should not continue their policy of repression and coercion and showdown of forces in a country which is known for not have been ever governed through force and oppression.
The Americans and the Kabul regime rulers say that there were technical and security problems that the American president Obama nether held a press conference nor met any official of the Kabul regime, returning home during the stillness of the night. However, analysts believe that Obama had no guts to confront the public of the world and the Afghans and justify the rationale behind the prolongation of the Afghistan war or at least, talk about a credible strategy about continuation of the occupation of Afghanistan. It is because the surge, the bombardment, the detainment of the officials of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the initiation of spurious efforts for peace have all went awry. The conspiracies have failed and the schemes simply boomeranged.
Even though I’m underwhelmed with the Nobel Committee’s latest choice for the Peace Prize, it’s interesting seeing the Taliban’s reaction – this, from Taliban mouthpiece Zabihullah Mujahid, via Agence France-Presse:
“We have seen no change in his strategy for peace. He has done nothing for peace in Afghanistan.”
Thanks, Zabi Muh, but we’ve also seen how much your team’s done for peace in Afghanistan.