Thursday, November 25, 2010

Afghanistan, 25th november

Sorry for not being able to update this blog in 10 days now, but i've been really busy.

 Afghanistan War: US Says Violence Reaches All-Time High

Violence in Afghanistan has reached an all-time high, with clashes up fourfold since 2007, the Pentagon has said.

In a twice-annual report to the US Congress, the Pentagon said progress had been "uneven", with only modest gains against the Taliban insurgency.
The Pentagon also reported gains in security, governance, and development in key areas.
But it warned the Taliban was exploiting perceptions Nato countries would soon withdraw combat forces.
'Resilient insurgency' In a report covering the period between 1 April and 30 September, the Pentagon attributed much of the increase in violence to the growth in the coalition force after US President Barack Obama's escalation this year.
"Efforts to reduce insurgent capacity, such as safe havens and logistic support originating in Pakistan and Iran, have not produced measurable results." the report states.
"The insurgency has proven resilient with sustained logistics capacity and command and control."
But it cited evidence Nato counter-insurgency efforts had "localised" effects in areas of Helmand and Kandahar provinces, and said the Nato strategy had yielded "cumulative effects".
"Security is slowly beginning to expand," the report states.
"Indications of local resistance to insurgents continue to emerge alongside positive indications, such as newly opened schools and police stations."
The Pentagon also said Taliban fighters were exploiting moves among Nato countries to withdraw combat forces.
Canada is due to pull its combat forces out in 2011, and President Barack Obama has also said he will begin removing US troops in July 2011, with security duties to be turned over to Afghan police and army units.
"The Taliban's strength lies in the Afghan population's perception that coalition forces will soon leave, giving credence to the belief that a Taliban victory is inevitable," the report says.
"The Taliban is not a popular movement, but it exploits a population frustrated by weak governance."
America would deny it is going to leave, says the BBC's Mark Mardell in Washington, but a handover by collation forces in four years' time is exactly what was agreed at the Nato summit last weekend.
Very indirectly, the US defence department is suggesting the strategy of American, British and other politicians is the cause of the Taliban's success, our correspondent adds.

Approximately 97,000 US troops and 48,800 troops from other countries are in Afghanistan at present.
Since January 2009, when Mr Obama took office, the US has more than tripled the number of civilians in the country, to 1,100, including diplomats, criminal investigators and drug enforcement agents and agricultural experts.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

15th november, Afghanistan

US military base attacked in Afghanistan

A US military base has come under heavy rocket attack in eastern Afghan province of Kunar, blowing up a fuel tank there and destroying six armored vehicles in the base.

“The forward operating base in Kunar province in the district of Asadabad received small arms fire and a round from a rocket-propelled grenade,” an ISAF spokesperson said on Monday.

No injuries or fatalities were reported, the spokesperson added on condition of anonymity.

“The RPG struck a fuel bladder. The fire is under control at this time. The fire did destroy six MRAPs (mine-resistant armored protected vehicles) and an ambulance.”

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the Monday attack, NATO says.

Taliban spokesperson Zabillulah Mujahid said the group was responsible and claimed that a helicopter and an ammunitions dump were also destroyed in the attack.

“Heavy casualties were also inflicted on foreign soldiers in the base,” he added, although the Taliban regularly exaggerates details of its attacks, particularly foreign fatalities.

Taliban militants have stepped up attacks on foreign forces as the US is intensifying operation against the Taliban in the war-torn country.

Eastern Afghanistan is the scene of fierce fighting between Taliban-led militants and forces.

Meanwhile, eleven US-led foreign soldiers lost their lives in Afghanistan over the weekend.

More than 640 foreign troops have been killed in war-torn Afghanistan so far in 2010.

Five NATO troops killed as Afghanistan violence soars

KABUL (Reuters) –
Five troops serving with the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan were killed on Sunday, including three in a clash with Taliban fighters (who are referred to by Reuters as insurgents) in the east, the coalition said, one of the worst daily tolls in a month.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) gave no other details about the clash in the east, including the nationalities of those killed. The majority of troops serving in the volatile east are American.
Earlier on Sunday, ISAF said two of its soldiers had been killed in separate explosions in the south.
The deaths send a sobering message to NATO leaders holding a summit later this week in Lisbon with Afghanistan top of the agenda. Many European NATO leaders are under increasing pressure to justify their continued support for the drawn-out war.
U.S. President Barack Obama is set to review his Afghanistan war strategy in December amid sagging public support, after his Democratic party suffered a mauling in mid-term elections.
Violence across Afghanistan is at its worst since US-backed Afghani forces overthrew the Taliban nine years ago, with civilian and military casualties at record levels despite the presence of about 150,000 foreign troops.
The Washington Post newspaper reported on Sunday that Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants the U.S. military to reduce its visibility and the intensity of its operations in Afghanistan and end the use of night raids.
Such raids incite Afghans to join the insurgency, he said.
"The time has come to reduce military operations," Karzai told the Post in an interview. "The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan ... to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life."
Obama plans to begin withdrawing some U.S. troops from July 2011, and Karzai has set 2014 as the target for Afghanistan to take over complete security responsibility from foreign forces. About 100,000 of the foreign troops in Afghanistan are American.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week that they viewed Karzai's 2014 plan as a realistic goal.
The five casualties on Sunday were the worst suffered by ISAF since October 14, when eight of its troops were killed in five separate incidents.
At least 642 ISAF troops, about 440 of them American, have been killed in Afghanistan in 2010, by far the deadliest year of the war. Three were killed on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the fall of the Taliban in Kabul.
The spike in violence is largely a result of increased NATO operations against the Taliban-led insurgency, and U.S. and NATO commanders have been talking up recent successes.
Acceptance of the need for a negotiated settlement is growing among NATO members, amid tentative steps toward peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban leaders.
However, insurgents have also stepped up attacks against Afghan and foreign targets in recent weeks.
On Saturday, Taliban fighters attacked a NATO base at the main airport in Jalalabad, the latest in a series of incidents across the country over the previous 24 hours.
Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict, and civilian casualties caused by foreign forces hunting militants have long been a major source of tension between Karzai and Washington and led to a falling-out last year.
Also on Sunday, ISAF said one Afghan child had been killed inadvertently and one wounded by artillery fire. The wounded child was taken to an ISAF hospital for treatment.
An ISAF patrol had come under fire in the Zharay district of southern Kandahar province, a Taliban stronghold and returned fire with artillery, the coalition said.
"Our thoughts and concerns are with the families of this terrible accident," U.S. Army Colonel Rafael Torres, an ISAF spokesman, said in a statement.
In a mid-year report, the United Nations said civilian casualties had risen 31 percent in the first six months of 2010 from the same period last year, with more than three quarters of the deaths blamed on insurgents.
In contrast, deaths attributed to "pro-government" forces -- Afghan and foreign troops -- fell sharply, the U.N. report said, largely because commanders had tightened engagement rules, particularly the use of airstrikes and night raids.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

14th November, Afghanistan

JALALABAD – NATO claims a body count of eight insurgents, including two suicide bombers. They were killed in an attack on a ISAF forward operating base. Taliban spokesmen claim 60 or more foreign troops were killed. NATO denies any casualties occurred.
KUNAR – ISAF troops came under attack killing three insurgents and suffering no casualties.
KUNDUZ – A bomb hidden in a motorcycle exploded killed 10 civilians and wounded 18.
S. AFGHANISTAN – Three ISAF soldiers were killed in an insurgent attack according to a NATO statement. The statement did not provide any further details of the attack or the nationality of the service members killed.

US troops killed in Afghanistan and Africa

The Associated Press
Eric Newman was so respected by his commanding officer that the leader greeted the soldier in public with a reference to the TV show "Seinfeld" — "Hello, Newman."
The greeting was frequently uttered by Jerry Seinfeld to his nemesis on the show, Newman. Brig. Gen. Robert Ashley's respect, though, was no joke.
"The highest praise I can give to him is to say, 'I served with him in combat,'" Ashley said at Newman's funeral. Ashley's remarks were reported by The Hattiesburg (Miss.) American newspaper.
Newman, 30, of Waynesboro, Miss., was killed in a bombing Oct. 14 in Akatzai Kalay, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Fort Bragg.
Newman had gotten his start in public service with the Waynesboro police department several years ago.
"He was an outstanding individual," Waynesboro Police Chief James Bunch said. "And it doesn't surprise me at all that he would sacrifice himself for his country."
Newman's sister, Kimberly Del Bosco, said Newman was a "great big brother and always tried to protect me."
"He always tried his best to do everything the best possible way that he could," she said.
Army Sgt. Justin A. Officer
As a youngster, Justin Officer wasn't very fond of school, but he had a natural talent for art and drawing.
His father, Timothy Officer, said the soldier requested art supplies during his deployments, though he wasn't sure if his son got around to finishing any drawings or paintings. It wasn't his only hobby.
Justin Officer "liked typical boy adventures, like camping, fishing and playing video games," his father, who was in the Air Force, told The Wichita Eagle.
The 26-year-old from Wichita, Kan., died Sept. 29 in Kandahar province. He joined the Army in 2004, had served two tours of duty in Iraq and was assigned to Fort Campbell.
His father told the newspaper that Officer planned to leave the Army and pursue school but changed his mind and extended his enlistment long enough to take the deployment.
"I asked him why many times, until he left," his father said. "His only reply was he could help the new kids that were assigned to his unit and might save their lives."
Survivors include his mother, Stacy; brother, Timothy; and sister, Kylea.
Army Spc. Ronnie J. Pallares
Ronnie Pallares liked writing, music and following his favorite teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Lakers.
When he was growing up in Rancho Cucamonga, his family saw him going into journalism or becoming a police officer. They didn't know he had any interest in joining the military, his mother told the Los Angeles Times.
So, it came as a surprise in 2008 when a 17-year-old Pallares asked his mother for permission to enlist in the Army.
"I looked him straight in the eye and asked him, 'You are telling me that you are willing to die for this country?' He stood up and said, 'Yes, Mom. Either you sign this or I will sign up when I am 18.' I decided to support him," Brenda Pallares told the Times.
Ronnie J. Pallares, 19, of Rancho Cucamonga, was killed in an explosion on Oct. 23 in Ghazni, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Fort Bragg.
His mother said he was weeks away from leaving Afghanistan, and they both were eager for his return home.
Pallares had a positive attitude, said his Little League coaches Dawn and Ronald Smith, and on a recent trip home, he had talked about also coaching one day.
"Things could be looking bad, and he would say, 'Let's turn it around!'" Dawn Smith said. "He was always trying to help the other guys on the team."
Army Sgt. Brian J. Pedro
Brian Pedro wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and stepfather. He wanted to make the Army his career, his mother said.
In April, he deployed on his second Afghanistan tour. He was 27 and based out of White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
He died nearly a half a year later in an Oct. 2 attack on his unit in Pol-e-Khumri, and despite his family's grief, Pedro's mother said his grandfather and stepfather are proud he died doing what he wanted to do.
"He was loved by all and will be missed by a whole lot of people," his mother told KGET-TV in Bakersfield, Calif.
Pedro, who lists his hometown as Rosamond, Calif., attended Twentynine Palms High School and graduated from El Camino High School, Oceanside, Calif., in 2002. He enlisted in the Army in 2006.
Pedro had been a utilities equipment repairman in the Army, the military said. He will be posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge.
Pedro's survivors include his wife, Shanna; parents Lululima and David Nelson; and grandmother, Carol Nelson.
Army Spc. Matthew C. Powell
Matthew Powell was a "big teddy bear" who kept working hard until he met with success, friends and family said.
He wasn't the strongest student, and he wasn't a starter on Northshore High School's football team. But he attended every summer workout to sweat with a purpose, and he held his head high when he walked on the field in September with his former coach.
"He seemed to realize that he was doing something good, and that was good to see, that he was proud of what he was doing, that he was proud of his accomplishments," the coach, Mike Bourg, told The Times-Picayune newspaper.
Shelly Jones, who taught Powell in Sunday school, likened him to the teddy bear: "So sweet, so strong, so tall," she said.
Powell, 20, of Slidell, La., died Oct. 12 at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered in a bombing. He was assigned to Fort Campbell.
Jones' 17-year-old daughter, Bethany, recalled Powell as "the sweet big brother figure in my life" whom she could always count on to cheer her up, even if he was serving overseas.
"He was always the funniest one," she said, "the one doing the random dancing in the middle of the party, always being goofy."
Army Spc. Joseph T. Prentler
Joseph "Joey" Prentler was in elementary school when he began telling his family he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up: a soldier, just like his grandfather.
It was a career choice he stuck with through the years, and one that would take him far from his family's farm in Fenwick, Mich. — first to Georgia for basic training and then to Vilseck, Germany, where his squadron was based.
"Going from when you're 8 and making that decision and sticking with it, that's really honorable," Prentler's cousin, Sonya Jakeway, told The Daily News of Greenville.
The 2008 graduate of Carson City-Crystal High School was killed in Mama Kraiz, Afghanistan, on Oct. 4 after being injured by an improvised explosive device.
Teachers said Prentler was often quiet in school, but friends and family said they'll remember the 20-year-old for his goofy and fun-loving attitude — especially when he spent time with his family and his 13-year-old brother, Dakota.
"I want to be like him," Dakota Prentler told WOOD-TV, saying he plans to join the military one day, too.
He's also survived by his parents.
Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph E. Rodewald
Joe Rodewald grew up in a small town not far from the University of Oregon in Eugene.
When he graduated from South Albany High School several years ago, he was such an avid fan of the UO football team that he was voted "Most Devoted Duck Fan" by his senior class.
"He was a very special kid," said Rodewald's high school football coach Andy Lusco.
On Oct. 13, Rodewald, 21, was killed in combat in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Pendleton.
"He grew into being one of the finest young men I ever coached," Lusco said.
KVAL-TV in Eugene reported that hundreds of people attended Rodewald's memorial service at an Albany church last month, including Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Oregon football coach Chip Kelly.
"I recognize there are dignitaries here like the Governor," said Rodewald's father John Rodewald. "And it's hard to say that right up there is Head Coach Chip Kelly."
Rodewald would have been "so excited" to know the Oregon football coach would attend his memorial, his father said.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Charles M. Sadell
Charles Sadell was just out of Missouri's Harrisburg High School in 1995 when he enlisted in the Army. A family friend told station KBIA that Sadell, known as "CJ" to his friends, was searching for direction.
He found it, along with a lengthy and decorated career that took him from his home in Columbia, Mo., to Saudi Arabia, Kosovo, Germany, Iraq and most recently to Afghanistan, where he was deployed this spring.
An avid outdoorsman who loved to spend time hunting, fishing and nailing balls on a golf course, the 34-year-old intelligence analyst married Kristin Dawn McMillan in 1999. The couple have two sons, Cameron and Hunter. They lived in Weston, Mo.
"He was just a very stand-up guy," the friend, Kristen Adams told KBIA Radio. "He was very respectful. He was a great husband, an amazing father; just an all-around great guy. Everyone that met him just fell in love with him because he was just a charmer."
Sadell was hurt Oct. 5 when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in Arif Kala, Afghanistan. He died Oct. 24 at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He was assigned to Fort Drum.
Army Sgt. Mark A. Simpson
Mark Simpson was the youngest in his family but could go toe-to-toe with his four siblings, whether they were exchanging pranks or debating professional football teams and his beloved New England Patriots.
"We would razz each other over who would win, and when the Patriots did win, oh, he'd rub it in really good," his sister Carol Goewey told the Peoria Journal-Star in Illinois.
The 40-year-old Star Trek fan from Peoria, Ill., graduated from Richwoods High School in 1988, and later worked in several states.
Simpson did construction and worked as a bailiff in Colorado and had been in law enforcement in Texas before joining the military in 2004 to support his family and see the world, the newspaper reported.
"He was going to do this until he could retire or they kicked him out," his sister said. "He knew he needed to do this."
Simpson, known by comrades as "Pappy," died in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Sept. 26, a day after his vehicle was hit with an explosive. He was assigned to Fort Hood and had served in Iraq.
He and his wife, Aletha, have three daughters. He's also survived by his parents, George and Carol.
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam O. Smith
Adam Smith was a steady kind of guy, at ease when he was playing sports or just hanging out with family and friends.
"Adam was a courageous warrior with an unflappable attitude who earned the respect and admiration of his teammates and fellow citizens alike, and he took great pride and passion in being a Navy SEAL," said Capt. Tim Szymanski, commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 2, according to a statement.
He enjoyed playing all sorts of sports and hanging out with his family, according to his obituary.
The 26-year-old sailor from Hurland, Mo., was killed Sept. 21 in a helicopter crash during combat operations in Zabul province. He was assigned to an East Coast-based SEAL team.
The 2002 Bevier High School graduate entered the Navy in 2004. He had been stationed at Virginia Beach, Va., and also served in Iraq with his brother Andrew and two of his cousins, his obituary said.
Survivors include his parents and their spouses, as well as his seven sisters and three brothers.
Marine Cpl. Stephen C. Sockalosky
Stephen Sockalosky — who was known by his middle name, Coty — loved the Atlanta Braves. One of his teachers loved the baseball team, too, and Sockalosky used that to his advantage.
The Rev. Roy Gibbs, who taught Sockalosky at Crisp County High School, said his former pupil would start chatting him up about the team before a test. It was his way of trying to put it off, the Cordele Dispatch newspaper reported.
Sockalosky also was in the Junior ROTC program at the high school, the beginning of his career in the armed forces. In a statement read by U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall at Sockalosky's memorial service, Staff Sgt. Royzell Cooper recalled the young man's dedication. Sockalosky received more than 80 awards in the program and made a list of goals.
"They included joining the Marines, getting married and living a happy life," Cooper said. "He also said that he wanted to be better with God."
Sockalosky was a Marine when he died Oct. 6 after he was wounded by a roadside bomb in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune.
He also had a chance to get married. He leaves behind his wife, Brittany.
Marine Lance Cpl. John T. Sparks
John Sparks found his comfort zone operating machine guns, so much that it prompted one comrade to say Sparks "loved" the weapons.
He also loved to drive snazzy cars, watch WWE wrestling and chow down on pizza, tacos or macaroni and cheese, according to his obituary.
"He always carried his weight, and when others couldn't, John would pick up their slack," his roommate, Cpl. Jeffery Holsey, said during a memorial in Afghanistan, according to an account of the event posted online by the 1st Marine Division.
"He was a selfless person," Holsey said. "He always gave everything and never asked for anything in return."
The military said the machine gunner from Chicago was killed Oct. 8 — days after his 23rd birthday — during combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He had enlisted in 2008 and was assigned to Camp Pendleton.
Sparks attended Chicago's Paul Robeson High School, where he played football and ran track, and went on to Westwood College, where he studied criminal justice.
Survivors include his mother, father and brother.
Marine Sgt. Ian M. Tawney
When he was 15, Ian Tawney organized a yearlong trip to Argentina and returned speaking fluent Spanish, his mother said.
He was full of life, added his wife. The Dallas, Ore., native liked hunting, snowboarding and riding motorcycles. "He loved to laugh," his wife, Ashley Tawny, told The Oregonian.
"He just knew what he wanted in his life, and he went for it," his mother, Theda, said. "He was a man of great integrity."
Tawney, 25, was killed in combat on Oct. 16 in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Pendleton.
He is remembered as a devoted husband and friend who loved the outdoors.
In addition to his wife and mother, Tawney is survived by his father, John Tawney; brothers Shayne Chandler and Jacob Tawney; and sisters Stacy Barham, Karin Lamberton and Karla Cowan.
Tawneys wife is expecting the couple's first child, a daughter, in January.
"It's going to be a real blessing to have a part of him through her," Theda Tawney said.
Marine Cpl. Jorge Villareal Jr.
Before he went to war, Jorge "JV" Villarreal Jr. sometimes acted as the peacemaker among a close-knit group of friends in Texas, settling disputes among buddies.
"He was like our brother, actually," friend Eric Gutierrez said, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Villarreal, a 22-year-old vehicle operator from San Antonio, was killed by a roadside bomb on Oct. 17 in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Pendleton.
He had been an honors student at Kennedy High School and was buried not far from there. Friends and fellow classmates said he served as class treasurer, played football in a green and white uniform for the Rockets, and made the halls a friendlier place before graduating in 2006.
He joined the Marines the next year, and the military said he had deployed to the western Pacific before serving in Afghanistan.
"He had that inner strength that people admire and respect," his cousin Jorge Suarez said, according to TV station KSAT. "A strong man that stood up for what's right."
Survivors include his wife, Reyna Rodriguez; a stepdaughter; his parents, Yolanda and Jorge; and a sister, April.
___ Marine Lance Cpl. Phillip D. Vinnedge
Phillip Vinnedge once downloaded a list of "impossible" tasks from the Internet that he set out to prove could be done, such as eating a spoonful of cinnamon, friends said.
"Phil kept checking things off the list," Zach Will, who grew up with Vinnedge, shared in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story. "He achieved everything he went for in life."
Vinnedge, 19, of St. Charles, Mo., tackled everything with a special focus: Boy Scouts, wrestling, skydiving, welding, trap shooting.
He displayed the same drive as a Marine.
Scout leader Mike Long said Vinnedge gave up wrestling his senior year to make sure he started his Marine Corps training injury-free after graduating from Francis Owell High School in 2009.
He loved challenges, according to his obituary. "From simple childhood bets and dares, to personal goals and accomplishments, Phillip never backed down from a challenge," it said.
The Camp Pendleton-based Marine was killed Oct. 13 in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Survivors include his parents, Dave and Julie Vinnedge, and his brothers, Corey and Jason.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Lance H. Vogeler
Even as a young Boy Scout, Lance Vogeler had the makings of a leader, according to his childhood pals.
Ryan Heffner, in an e-mail to the Frederick (Md.) News-Post, recalled a trip to Cunningham Falls when he was 10 or 11 — Vogeler would have been 13 or 14 at the time. Some of the kids decided to climb a waterfall instead of taking the easy way around.
Heffner said he became unsteady on the rocks and feared he might fall, especially because the others had made it up. Vogeler was there to calm him down and pull him up to safer ground.
"He told me no matter what happened, he wouldn't let me fall," Heffner wrote.
Vogeler, 29, of Frederick was killed Oct. 1 in Bastion, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit. He was assigned to Georgia's Hunter Army Airfield. He was a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School.
Vogeler had two children, 11-year-old Madison and 10-year-old Kyle, and he and wife Melissa is expecting a child.
As a high school student, Vogeler was fluent in sign language because his parents are deaf. That meant he had to translate during parent-teacher conferences, his French language teacher, Teresa Wilson, told the newspaper.
"You're telling them exactly what I'm saying, aren't you, Lance?" she would joke.
He would reply: "Oh, oui, madame."
Marine Sgt. Frank R. Zaehringer III
Frank Zaehringer's high school baseball team used to have an honor called the "Hustle Award."
Now, that honor is called the "Frank Zaehringer Award."
"He would always ask the same three questions," Malcolm said. "Number one: How was I? Number two: How was the team going to be? And number three: Are there any players anymore that are as tough as him, hustled like him, and had the long, flowing, white hair like him?" said Ron Malcolm, the baseball coach at Wooster High School in Reno, Nev.
Zaehringer, of Reno, was killed in combat on Oct. 11 in Helmand province. He was 23 years old and assigned to Camp Lejeune.
KTVN in Reno reported that his friends and family remembered him at a memorial service last month as an active young man with a good sense of humor. He also had a strong work ethic, Malcolm said.
"Frank showed himself to be a rare individual, endowed with intelligence, warmth, common sense, and an intense desire to give of himself for others," Malcolm said. "When Frank would come home on his leaves from the military, he would always come by the baseball field to see me. I loved him for that."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

10th november, afghanistan.

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has decided to begin publicly walking away from what it once touted as key deadlines in the war in Afghanistan in an effort to de-emphasize President Barack Obama’s pledge that he’d begin withdrawing U.S. forces in July, administration and military officials have told McClatchy Newspapers.
The new policy will be on display next week during a conference of NATO countries in Lisbon, Portugal, where the administration hopes to introduce a timeline that calls for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan by 2014, the year when Afghan President Hamid Karzai once said Afghan troops could provide their own security, three senior officials told McClatchy, along with others speaking anonymously as a matter of policy.
The Pentagon also has decided not to announce specific dates for handing security responsibility for several Afghan provinces to local officials and instead intends to work out a more vague definition of transition when it meets with its NATO allies.
What a year ago had been touted as an extensive December review of the strategy now also will be less expansive and will offer no major changes in strategy, the officials said. So far, the U.S. Central Command, the military division that oversees Afghanistan operations, hasn’t submitted any kind of withdrawal order for forces for the July deadline, two of those officials said.
The shift already has begun privately and came in part because U.S. officials realized that conditions in Afghanistan were unlikely to allow a speedy withdrawal.
“During our assessments, we looked at if we continue to move forward at this pace, how long before we can fully transition to the Afghans? Of course, we are not going to fully transition to the Afghans by July 2011,” said one senior administration official. “Right now, we think we can start in 2011 and fully transition sometime in 2014.”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 3rd, Afghanistan

President Barack Obama recently announced that he was determined to "finish the job" in Afghanistan, and aides signaled to allies that he would send as many as 25,000 to 30,000 additional American troops there. Obama will formally announce his decision in a national address at 8 p.m. Tuesday from the Military Academy at West Point. As casualties mount on both sides, 2009 is shaping up to be the deadliest year yet for coalition troops - twice as deadly as 2008. American and Afghan officials have been encouraged by the recent rise of independent anti-Taliban militias in Afghanistan, even though their emergence is recent and supporting them raises fears of the consequences of arming and training Islamic militants.

Helmand Province
Afghan and coalition forces targeting the Taliban district leader for Musa Qal’ah, who also acts as an improvised explosive device expert and facilitator, detained two suspected insurgents and killed one during an overnight operation in Helmand province.
The targeted individual leads his own personal network of IED experts, supplying Taliban senior leaders in the area with lethal IED technology and training.
Intelligence tips led the security force to a compound in Kajaki district to search for the district leader. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully, and then the joint security force cleared and secured the area.
After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained two suspected insurgents, one of whom identified himself as an opium farmer.
As the security force was preparing to depart the area, they shot and killed an armed insurgent carrying an AK-47 and grenade, after he threatened the security force.
The security force also discovered and destroyed a pressure-plate IED and multiple grenades at the scene.
The security force protected the women and children for the duration of the search.
Khost Province
In Khost province, a separate joint security force targeting a Haqqani Network facilitator of weapons and IED materials, detained two suspected insurgents during an overnight operation.
Intelligence reports led the security force to a compound in Zambar in Sabari district to search for the facilitator. After an Afghan call-out, the joint security force cleared and secured the area.
After initial questioning of the residents at the scene, the security force detained the suspected insurgents.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

1st November Afghanistan

Special Forces protected, treated, and medevaced two Oruzgan Elders wounded by the Taliban.
The enemy death toll continues to mount in the attack on COP Margah.  At last count it was 38 confirmed and another 40 probables.
While in Kunar, Coalition Forces started a new operation in the Pech River Valley.
ISAF confirmed the death of a Taliban Commander as he was showing off his new anti-aircraft gun.  He was killed by an airstrike in Zabul.

KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security and International Security Assistance Forces began clearing operations in the western portion of the Pech River Valley early Sunday.

The operation involved the insertion of combat forces by helicopter and vehicles in the Darah-ye Pech District and focused on villages west of Nangalam.

Earlier this month, combined forces conducted operations in the Pech Rever Valley resulting in the death and capture of numerous insurgent fighters, their weapons and bomb-making materials.

The insurgent forces still have a choice, and if they fight against Afghan National Security Forces, they will be destroyed,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph Ryan, commander, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment. “The ANSF will pursue the insurgents until they can be assured that the security situation in the Pech Valley improves.”

Operations are ongoing.

KABUL, Afghanistan – The International Security Assistance Force confirmed Mullah Abdullah Kakar, a senior Taliban leader who planned attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and facilitated the movement of foreign fighters, was killed during a precision air strike in Zabul province Thursday.

Mullah Abdullah Kakar was killed as he showed subordinate Taliban leadership his newly acquired anti-aircraft heavy machine gun, which was mounted on the back of his vehicle.

Based on intelligence sources, coalition forces tracked Mullah Abdullah Kakar, who was recently linked to an improvised explosive device attack, with his vehicle in a remote area in Shah Joy district. After verifying insurgent activity and ensuring no civilians were present, coalition forces conducted the precision air strike on the vehicle, destroying it and killing Mullah Abdullah Kakar along with one of his associates.

KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected insurgents during two operations aimed at capturing Taliban leadership in southern and eastern Afghanistan Saturday.

An Afghan and coalition security force targeting the Taliban district leader for Garm Ser, who also acts as an improvised explosive device cell leader, detained several suspected insurgents during an overnight operation in Helmand province. The targeted individual conducts direct fire and IED attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and facilitates IED components, ammunition, weapons and various supplies from Pakistan.

Intelligence tips led the security force to a compound near Sar Banader in Garm Ser District to search for the targeted individual. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully, and then the security force cleared and secured the area. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained the suspected insurgents.

A separate security force targeted a Taliban improvised explosive device facilitator, detaining one suspected insurgent during an overnight operation in Ghazni province.

Intelligence reports led the security force to a compound in Rayat Godalay in Ghazni District. As the security force approached the targeted compound, one male tried to escape the area, but the security force pursued and captured him peacefully. After initial questioning of the individuals at the scene, the security force detained the suspected insurgent.

The assault force did not fire their weapons during any of the operations and they protected the women and children for the duration of the searches.

KABUL, Afghanistan – The International Security Assistance Force confirmed the capture of a Taliban senior leader who planned and coordinated attacks against Afghan and coalition forces, during an overnight operation in Helmand province Friday.

Intelligence tips led the security force to a compound in Nad ‘Ali district to search for the targeted individual. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully, and then the security force cleared and secured the area.