• Saturday, October 25, 2014

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Afghanistan

We 'made wrong calculations'

Military leaders failed to calculate the magnitude of the conflict in Afghanistan, the former head of the British army has told the BBC. Gen Sir Peter Wall said they thought they had a "reasonable force" for their limited objectives, but he now admits they got it wrong. In 2004, the Army was still engaged in the conflict in Iraq and its leaders admit they were aware that they did not have the resources to fight in more than one campaign for...

Pakistani jets hit militant hideouts, killing 21

Pakistani jet fighters struck five militant hideouts in a northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least 21 insurgents, the army said. The "precise" strikes were carried out in the Tirah valley in Khyber tribal region, a military statement said. It provided no further details and only said the strikes "killed 21 terrorists." There was no way to independently confirm the claim. Pakistan's tribal areas are off limits to journalists. Pakistan's air force often targets suspected militants and their hideouts in...

US Marine survives headshot from Taliban (video)

US Marine survives headshot from Taliban (video)

The importance of wearing a helmet when on the field of battle has been perfectly illustrated in a video uploaded to YouTube by a US Marine. In the video above, three Marines are seen to move through a building in search of a source of gunfire. As they near a doorway in single file, a bullet suddenly bounces off the Kevlar helmet of the middle soldier. The three men then quickly retreat to the back of the building to inspect the damage to the soldier's helmet. After ascertaining that the Marine is unharmed, they regroup to consider their options.

5 Afghan men executed for rape

5 Afghan men executed for rape

Five Afghan men have been executed for gang-raping four women, in a case that has sparked national outrage. Officials say the men were executed in Pul-e-Charkhi prison east of Kabul. A sixth man convicted of unrelated crimes was also hanged. Calls for Afghan gang-rape hangings to be stayed http://t.co/eJIQwf6By0 — francis zhang (@francis201155) October 8, 2014 The...

Fight against ISIS is like World Wars

British soldiers in Afghanistan have earned "immortality" but the battle against Islamic extremism will last for a "generation" and be comparable to the two World Wars and fight against communism, British Prime Minister David Cameron has said. In a rousing address to around 250 soldiers during a visit to Afghanistan, Cameron warned that the battle against Islamic extremists will go on around the world in new theatres. The PM said that British troops will face further engagements around the world as...

New Afghan govt signs US troops deal

New Afghan govt signs US troops deal

The new Afghan government has signed a security deal with American officials that will allow US troops to remain in the country beyond this year. The agreement was signed by Afghanistan's newly appointed national security adviser, Hanif Atmar. The previous President, Hamid Karzai, refused to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the US, straining...

Ashraf Ghani sworn in as new Afghan president

Ashraf Ghani sworn in as new Afghan president

Ashraf Ghani has been sworn in as Afghanistan's new president, replacing Hamid Karzai in the country's first democratic transfer of power. The Kabul ceremony followed six months of deadlock amid a bitter dispute over electoral fraud and a recount of votes. Under a US-brokered unity deal  Ghani shares power with runner-up Abdullah Abdullah who becomes...

Afghanistan deal

THE election deal secured in Afghanistan by the international community cannot really be called democratic, but at least it has given the country a chance to establish relative peace and stability. Unhappily, three elections into a new era aspiring towards democracy, the Afghan electoral process remains hostage to back-room deals, powerbrokers and warlords. Without forgetting Pakistan's own struggles with democracy over more than six decades, the most worrying part about the post-2001 Afghan political system is that it does not...

Blair urges ground troops to fight IS

Blair urges ground troops to fight IS

Britain's former prime minister and Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair yesterday said that sending ground troops to fight the Islamic State (IS) group should not be ruled out. Blair, who sent British forces to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he knew "as well as anyone" the difficulties of any such move...

Afghan Unity Deal

Taliban reject new govt as US 'sham'

Afghanistan's Taliban militants yesterday decried a pact by rival election candidates to form a government of national unity as a "sham" orchestrated by the United States and they vowed to press on with their war. Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani was named president-elect on Sunday after he signed a deal to share power with his opponent, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, ending months of turmoil that has destabilised the country as most foreign troops prepare to leave. Ghani's administration must now...

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