Alla inlägg under december 2013

Av loren adams - 31 december 2013 23:32


May the new year
Bring these wishes to all of you
Warmth of love, comfort of home
Joy for your children,
Company and support of family and friends
A caring heart that accepts
treats all human beings equally
Enrichment of knowledge 
Richness of diversity
Courage to seek and speak the truth
Even if it means standing alone
Hopes and dreams of a just world 
The desire to make it happen
A light to guide your path
Helping hands to strengthen unity
Serenity and peace within your mind,
heart and soul
Food for thought and soul
A hand to hold


Av loren adams - 31 december 2013 09:28

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new U.S intelligence estimate predicts that gains the United States and allies have made in the Afghanistan war in the past three years will be significantly rolled back by 2017, even if some U.S troops remain, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing officials familiar with the report.

The National Intelligence Estimate also predicts that Afghanistan will quickly fall into chaos if Washington and Kabul fail to sign a security pact to keep an international military contingent there beyond 2014, the newspaper said. The pact must be signed for the United States and its allies to provide billions more dollars in aid to the impoverished country.

The newspaper cited officials who have read the classified report, which includes input from the 16 U.S intelligence agencies, or were briefed on its conclusions.

"In the absence of a continuing presence and continuing financial support," the intelligence assessment "suggests the situation would deteriorate very rapidly," the newspaper quoted one U.S official familiar with the report as saying.

But the newspaper said some officials felt the report on the potential outcome of the longest war in U.S history was overly pessimistic and did not take into account progress made by Afghanistan's security forces.

"I think what we're going to see is a recalibration of political power, territory and that kind of thing," the paper quoted one official as saying. "It's not going to be an inevitable rise of the Taliban."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has balked at signing the security pact that would permit U.S forces to stay in the country beyond 2014, and U.S officials have said that unless a deal is reached to keep perhaps 8,000 U.S troops, the Taliban insurgents might stage a major comeback and al Qaeda could regain safe havens.

Av loren adams - 23 december 2013 08:46

  Afghan president Hamid Karzai once again reiterated his pre-conditions for the signing of the bilateral security agreement between Kabul and Washington.

While speaking during a gathering with the members of the Afghan media agencies, president Hamid Karzai said that his pre-conditions for the security deal remains unchanged, and insisted that raids on Afghan homes should be immediately stopped, and practical steps should be taken towards Afghan peace process in a bid to start open talks with the militant groups in Afghanistan.

President Karzai also ruled out the possibility of civil war in the country as a result of coalition forces withdrawal, if the security agreement was not signed.

Karzai said foreigners intervention in Afghanistan led to war inside the country during 1990s, and insisted that the people of Afghanistan are united and confederate, and therefore, clashes among various groups and Taliban war should not be attributed to Afghan people.

He emphasized that he was supporting the bilateral security agreement with Washington for the stability and safety of Afghanistan, and to prevent the country from disasters.

Karzai also added that economic motive was not key for the signing of the bilateral security agreement with Washington, but the agreement should ensure safety of the Afghan homes and stability of the country.

Av loren adams - 22 december 2013 20:48

 — President Barack Obama is prepared to extend a Dec. 31 deadline in a concession to Afghan President Hamid Karzai aimed at getting him to approve a security agreement that would permit U.S forces to stay in Afghanistan past 2014, aides say.

The White House has warned for months that all U.S forces will be withdrawn unless a deal is reached, and top advisers to Obama are increasingly comfortable with that prospect. At least two senior officials say the so-called zero option is strategically viable and politically acceptable, although it still isn't the preferred outcome.

Support among Obama's senior staff has grown for a full withdrawal despite objections from U.S commanders in Afghanistan and at the Pentagon, who warn that hard-won gains by U.S forces over the last 12 years could be reversed amid the still-bitter insurgency.

Both sides point to Iraq, which has fallen into sectarian violence since the White House withdrew all U.S forces in 2011 after the government there refused to sign a similar deal. But the bloodletting in Iraq has barely been noticed by an American public relieved to leave the unpopular war behind.

Obama remains committed to the Afghan security agreement and wants the strategic planning to begin now. But several aides said he had agreed in principle to let the Dec. 31 signing deadline slide for several weeks.

Some in Obama's inner circle are so exasperated with Karzai that they are willing to wait until the Afghan presidential election is held April 5, as Karzai has demanded, hoping his successor will then sign the pact. That option remains under consideration, but Obama is unlikely to wait that long.

Av loren adams - 21 december 2013 09:18

"We are pleased that the cooperation with the Armed Forces mean that the first of the interpreters and their families now find themselves in safety and security on Swedish soil," Migration Board (Migrationsverket) head of operations Mikael Ribbenvik said in an official statement. 

Sveriges Radio reported on Friday that neither the Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) nor the Migration Board would go into details about how many of the locally employed staff had been given the right to stay in Sweden for humanitarian reasons. 

The interpreters have several times gone public with their fears that they become the target of reprisals once the Swedish soldiers leave the Central Asian country. Troop pull-outs are scheduled for 2014, although the foreign minister has said he would like to keep some 200 soldiers on the ground. 

Not taking care of the local staff would endanger Sweden's future international missions, the armed forces have warned.

"In an environment like this the interpreter is an absolutely vital part of the operation... If we going to be able to work and recruit in the future, in whichever country, interpreters must feel that we take care of them," Sweden's Supreme Commander Sverker Göransson told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily earlier this year, when the issue of the interpreters' safety arose.

Some 24 Afghan interpreters working with the Nato-led but UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) applied for asylum in Sweden in the summer of 2012 but were told that applications must be made individually and in Sweden.

While authorities remained mum about the number of Afghan staff welcomed in Sweden, Afghan operation commaner Anders Silwer said that Sweden's Armed Forces had looked at the individual cases for asylum. 
"Our judgments are always based on the individual, and (that person's) needs," Silwer said in a statement.  
Swedish forces in Afghanistan
Av loren adams - 19 december 2013 11:56


Our days are certainly varied.. On that day we met with Kunar district ag extension agents, held a meeting with a key provincial veterinarian, and even helped in a patrol around the base. 

Av loren adams - 19 december 2013 08:52

  Violent street protests, walkouts in parliament, and scuffles among politicians -- an effort to introduce new national ID cards is causing an identity crisis in Afghanistan. 
The Afghan government wants to issue biometric cards to citizens in time for the country's presidential election in April to help curtail voter fraud and promote national unity.
But the omission of citizens' ethnicity has instead highlighted Afghanistan's historical ethnic divisions, largely because critics believe putting everyone under the "Afghan" umbrella is politically advantageous to the country's largest ethnic group, the Pashtuns.
The resulting uproar has derailed the government’s plan to distribute the cards.
Ethnic rifts run deep in Afghanistan, and ethnicity is closely tied to citizens' broader sense of political and social identity.
Some argue that, with precise population estimates unavailable because Afghanistan has never conducted a nationwide census, documenting citizens' ethnicity on the national ID card could help the government accurately determine the size of the country's various ethnic groups.
This is an issue because ethnic minorities in Afghanistan argue that population estimates used to determine political representation greatly overstate the percentage of Pashtuns, which results in the group taking a greater share of power than it deserves.

Av loren adams - 19 december 2013 06:42


Shortly before the ADT departed Noor Gul, a group of curious little girls gathered shyly around a member of our security forces team, who himself has an infant daughter. He gave the little girls who came close ink pens, a round of hand shakes, and positive memory of an American Solider they’ll, hopefully, never forget.

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