BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) – The EU must develop the capacity “to shape global affairs” and act as “architect of tomorrow’s world,” declared Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission during his “State of the Union” speech yesterday. The speech is modeled on the famous annual “State of the Union Address” presented by the US President to a joint session of Congress. Juncker particularly wants to accelerate the EU’s militarization and the fortification of its external borders. While the German-dominated Union is striving to become a global power, at all costs, tensions within the EU are growing significantly. The disciplinary action adopted yesterday by the European Parliament against Hungary, which has been undermining democratic rights for years, exacerbates the conflict between the West European centers of power and the EU’s eastern members. The blatant prosperity gap between the EU’s center and the impoverished periphery continues unabated. Serious violations of human rights, particularly against refugees, accompany the internally disunited Union’s striving for a global role.
BERLIN/KABUL (Own report) – Nearly 15 years ago, NATO launched its war on Afghanistan. Under the occupation – with Germany playing a significant role – the economic and social conditions of the country are disastrous and the security situation, desolate. Since 2001, more than 220,000 people have been killed in the war, either as direct victims of combat or indirectly, according to a comprehensive analysis. The security situation in the country has “dramatically deteriorated,” affirms the German Bundestag’s Defense Commissioner. Today, soldiers must be flown by helicopter from one base to another, because use of the roads is too dangerous, even for armored vehicles. According to the United Nations, the number of refugees has reached 1.1 million, tendency rising. Opium cultivation is still Afghanistan’s largest economic sector. By national standards, 39.1 percent of the Afghans are living below the poverty line; 2.7 million are undernourished. The Bundeswehr, however, detects a positive development and recommends “patience and endurance.” (This is part 2 of a german-foreign-policy.com series, reporting on consequences of German military interventions over the past two decades, in light of the German government’s announcement of plans to increase its “global” – including military – interventions.)
Chinese PLA’s chief of staff has officially proposed a Central Asia military alliance that excludes Russia.
The proposal was advanced by Gen. Fang Fenghui last month in Kabul, Afghanistan. President Ashraf Ghani spoke positively about the proposal after Gen. Fang promised $70 million in military aid. Continue reading →
In the end, President Obama was forced to listen to his generals — not his political instincts — on Afghanistan troop levels, and he decided to split the difference.
Mr. Obama is keeping 5,500 troops in Afghanistan beyond his presidency, about half the strength recommended by his top general in-country. It marks the sixth time he has rejected the advice of a ground commander on the force size in the long Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Military experts call that streak unprecedented for a commander in chief. Continue reading →
KABUL — Taliban insurgents fought their way into a major city in northern Afghanistan on Monday, driving back stunned security forces in a multi-pronged attack that also sent Afghan officials and U.N. personnel fleeing for safety.
The fall of Kunduz would be a huge blow to the Western-backed government in Kabul and would give Taliban insurgents a critical base of operations beyond their traditional strongholds in Afghanistan’s south. Afghan government leaders and the U.S.-led coalition here view the battle for Kunduz as a key test of the Afghan security forces in their continuing fight with the Taliban. Continue reading →
Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon from his offices in Kabul, Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner said the Islamic State, which rose to prominence by capturing large swaths of Syria and Iraq, is not yet capable of coordinating military operations in more than one part of Afghanistan at a time.
A man in an Afghan Army uniform opened fire Tuesday at a military base, killing a U.S. general officer and wounding 15 people, among them a German brigadier general and a number of Americans troops
Pentagon spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said that the assailant fired into a group of international soldiers at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University at Camp Qargha, a base west of Kabul, and was subsequently killed. Continue reading →
Beijing is keen to increase its involvement in the country following the planned U.S. withdrawal in 2014. But security problems may interfere.
For a relatively small drilling operation, China National Petroleum Corporation’s (CNPC) project in Afghanistan’s Sar-e-Pul province has a large footprint. Several layers of fences and containers serving as blast walls surround the extraction site, which includes dormitories, an office complex and various security structures. Throughout the day, trucks ferry in equipment and more containers. On the outside, the faces are all Afghan, but CNPC’s logo and bright red Chinese slogans are impossible to miss. Continue reading →
KABUL (AP) – China, long a bystander to the conflict in Afghanistan, is stepping up its involvement as U.S.-led forces prepare to withdraw, attracted by the country’s vast mineral resources but concerned that any post-2014 chaos could embolden Islamist insurgents in its own territory.
Cheered on by the U.S. and other Western governments, which see Asia’s giant as a potentially stabilizing force, China could prove the ultimate winner in Afghanistan – having shed no blood and not much aid. Continue reading →
In total, five US Generals total have now been sacked, on top of the 14 US Navy Commanders who have already been done away with. It’s quite clear that this has nothing to do with the “scandals” that this article uses to whitewash the events. There may have in fact been real scandals invovled, but fact is: If Bill Clinton didn’t get sacked from the White House and other scores of politicans or military personnel have done the same thing and gotten away with it, it tells another story. What’s clear is that this the United States Military being toppled in a coup. Anyone that stands in the way of the current administration is being done away with. The history of the USSR and Germany are repeating itself in the USA with a fifth column, yet most Americans are preoccupied watching Monday Night Football or keeping up with the Kardashians.
Three of the military’s most senior leaders are embroiled in ethics scandals, a black eye for an institution that prides itself on integrity.
The latest, Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, is under investigation for more than 20,000 pages of material including e-mails sent to Jill Kelley, the woman involved in the scandal that forced David Petraeus to resign as CIA director. Allen succeeded Petraeus in Kabul. Continue reading →