The NATO war in Afghanistan

Pentagon begins Bergdahl investigation

By Patrick Martin, 17 June 2014

The Army has appointed a high-ranking officer with combat experience in Afghanistan to lead the probe into the POW’s capture in June 2009.

Instability set to continue after Afghan presidential election

By Mike Head, 16 June 2014

Whichever of the two pro-US candidates is declared the winner, the election is a fraud on many levels.

US air strike kills five special operations troops in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 11 June 2014

The latest mass casualty incident involving US occupation troops is indicative of the kind of fighting that will continue in the wake of Washington’s formal withdrawal.

Announcing Afghan drawdown, Obama pledges military forces for other “priorities around the globe”

By Jerry White, 28 May 2014

Obama’s proposed troop reductions have nothing to do with a diminution of US military violence.

Obama threatens total US withdrawal from Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 27 February 2014

In the face of Karzai’s failure to sign a deal granting blanket immunity to US troops, Obama is threatening to withdraw them all.

Pentagon unveils plan to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 24 January 2014

The US military has proposed 10,000 troops as a minimum force to keep in Afghanistan after the formal withdrawal of American “combat forces” at the end of this year.

US airstrike kills woman, seven children in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 17 January 2014

The latest slaughter of civilians in a US bombardment has deepened tensions between Washington and Kabul over a proposed bilateral security agreement.

US troops kill Afghan four-year-old

By Bill Van Auken, 11 January 2014

Amid rising tensions over a deal to keep US troops in Afghanistan after 2014, Afghan officials reported that American forces shot and killed a four-year-old in Helmand province.

Acute child malnutrition has doubled in Afghanistan since 2012

By Mark Church, 7 January 2014

Thirteen years after the US-led invasion, the Afghan population confronts worsening poverty and social deprivation.

US ultimatum on permanent occupation of Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 27 November 2013

Underlying the public spat between Washington and its puppet Karzai are deep-going tensions over the US bid to establish permanent bases in Afghanistan.

Pact provides for permanent US occupation of Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 22 November 2013

The draft agreement between Washington and its puppet regime in Kabul calls for as many as 15,000 US and NATO troops as well as nine permanent bases.

Australian PM visits Afghanistan to mark troop withdrawal

By James Cogan, 30 October 2013

Australian troops have been part of a military occupation that has sought to subjugate the Afghan people.

Washington seeks Taliban deal as Afghanistan casualties mount

By Bill Van Auken, 20 June 2013

US negotiators are expected to meet with representatives of the Taliban in Qatar, even as fighting continues in Afghanistan, claiming the lives of another four US troops.

US Sgt. Robert Bales pleads guilty in Kandahar massacre

By Richard Vargas, 8 June 2013

Staff Sergeant Robert Bales pled guilty to nearly all charges in the 2011 massacre, which left 16 Afghan civilians dead and six injured.

Britain illegally detained Afghans at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan

By Harvey Thompson, 31 May 2013

The British army has held up to 90 Afghan nationals in a holding facility at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, some for up to 14 months and many without charge.

Taliban mounts “spring offensive” in Afghanistan

By Deepal Jayasekera, 27 May 2013

Islamist insurgent groups have escalated their attacks on occupation troops, international organisations and the Karzai government.

Incoming Pakistani prime minister pledges loyalty to Washington

By Sampath Perera, 16 May 2013

Pakistan’s incoming prime minister has moved quickly to signal his readiness to work with Washington in prosecuting the AfPak War and with the International Monetary Fund in imposing punishing austerity measures.

San Francisco International Film Festival 2013—Part one

The Kill Team: The murderous reality of the US war in Afghanistan

By Joanne Laurier, 16 May 2013

The 56th San Francisco International Film Festival recently concluded. The event this year screened 158 films from 51 countries, including 67 fiction features, 28 documentary features and 63 short films.

New revelations of torture and murder of Afghan civilians by US Special Forces

By Thomas Gaist, 15 May 2013

Further revelations of torture and murder by elite US soldiers in Afghanistan highlight the neo-colonial character of the occupation.

Karzai reveals US plan for permanent Afghanistan bases

By Bill Van Auken, 11 May 2013

The Afghanistan president’s statement underscores the intention of the Obama administration and the Pentagon to maintain a permanent military presence.

Eight US-NATO troops killed in one day

Crisis deepens for US occupation in Afghanistan

By Patrick Martin, 6 May 2013

Both the US-NATO occupation and the stooge regime of President Hamid Karzai are widely hated by the Afghan population.

What the CIA’s cash has bought for Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 1 May 2013

The report that the CIA regularly hands over sacks of cash to Afghanistan’s President Karzai is only the latest episode in Afghanistan’s long and tragic encounter with US imperialism.

UK base carrying out Afghan drone strikes

By Robert Stevens, 30 April 2013

A specially created mission base in Lincolnshire, England is directing drone strikes on Afghanistan.

The brutal face of neocolonialism in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 10 April 2013

The attempt to exploit the death of a young State Department official to cast the Afghanistan war as an exercise in US altruism is belied by the continuing murder and oppression inflicted upon the civilian population.

In Qatar, US-backed Afghan President Karzai makes overtures to Taliban

By Thomas Gaist, 2 April 2013

US-backed Afghan President Hamid Karzai travelled to Doha to make political overtures to the Taliban, as Taliban officials open an office in the Qatari capital.

Kerry’s Middle East tour prepares endless war in Afghanistan, Syria

By Alex Lantier, 27 March 2013

US Secretary of State John Kerry left Kabul for Paris yesterday, after a Middle Eastern tour to Jordan and Afghanistan to plan broader wars across the region.

US defense secretary’s Afghanistan trip a debacle

By Bill Van Auken, 12 March 2013

Obama’s newly confirmed defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, confronted suicide bombings, an “insider” attack and vitriolic criticism from the US-backed puppet, Hamid Karzai.

Afghan regime accuses US forces of torturing, murdering civilians

By Alex Lantier, 25 February 2013

The Afghan government asked US Special Forces to leave Wardak and Logar provinces after reviewing reports that they tortured and murdered Afghan civilians.

US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan unravelling

By Harvey Thompson, 18 February 2013

The US-puppet Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai is facing an increase in attacks by insurgents as the US/NATO occupation continues to unravel.

As Obama touts end of Afghan war, US strike kills 10 civilians

By Bill Van Auken, 14 February 2013

A US airstrike in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday killed 10 civilians, including five children.

“Green-on-blue” attacks continue in Afghanistan

By Harvey Thompson, 22 January 2013

All eight deaths among British soldiers on the current tour have been the result of attacks by uniformed Afghan security forces.

Obama-Karzai talks set stage for post-2014 US troop presence

By Bill Van Auken, 12 January 2013

White House talks between Obama and Karzai were aimed at laying the foundations for a continuing US military presence in Afghanistan after the 2014 withdrawal deadline.

Afghanistan: A model for 21st Century neo-colonialism

By Peter Symonds, 5 January 2013

Claims that the US occupation will end in 2014 are belied by plans for an indefinite American military presence in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: Sharp rise in civilian deaths

By Oliver Campbell, 4 January 2013

Civilian deaths rose by 28 percent in the three months to October 31 compared to the corresponding period in 2011.

Ten girls die in Afghanistan explosion as US pushes for permanent presence

By Bill Van Auken, 18 December 2012

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told a press conference in Kabul last week that “we are not departing Afghanistan.”

Labor steps up Australian commitment to Afghan war

By James Cogan, 2 November 2012

Prime Minister Gillard said additional Australian forces were likely to be deployed over the next year.

Four Afghan children killed in US raid

By Bill Van Auken, 24 October 2012

The killing of Afghan children in a US raid and the disappearance and murder of civilians at the hands of occupation troops have provoked growing anger and protests.

Afghan schools and clinics built by British military to be closed down

By Harvey Thompson, 23 October 2012

A recently leaked report reveals that schools and health clinics built by the British military across Helmand province are to be closed down by 2014.

Obama prepares protracted Afghanistan occupation

By Bill Van Auken, 20 October 2012

With the US presidential election little more than two weeks away, the Obama administration is quietly preparing to keep tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan.

US troop deaths in Afghanistan top 2,000

By Bill Van Auken, 2 October 2012

The 2,000th American soldier died in Afghanistan last weekend as the result of a so-called “insider” attack, underscoring the crisis of the 11-year-old US war.

Anti-US protests spread throughout Muslim world

By Alex Lantier, 18 September 2012

Protests that began one week ago at US embassies in Egypt and Libya against an anti-Islamic YouTube video are rapidly spreading throughout the Muslim world.

The US debacle in Afghanistan

By Patrick Martin, 20 August 2012

The proliferation of attacks on US soldiers by uniformed Afghan soldiers and policemen is an expression of popular hatred for the occupation regime.

US Army suicides nearly double from June to July

By Nick Barrickman, 20 August 2012

Reports received this month show that 26 active-duty members of the US Army died last month due to suicide. Though not all confirmed, the figure would be the highest amount in a single month on record since the military started tracking figures in 2009.

Afghan launches legal challenge over UK role in Washington kill list

By Harvey Thompson, 14 August 2012

An Afghan man has started legal proceedings against the Ministry of Defence and the Serious Organised Crime Agency to reveal whether the UK had a role in supplying information to a US military joint integrated prioritised target list in Afghanistan.

Afghan police chief kills three US special forces troops

By Bill Van Auken, 11 August 2012

The slaying Thursday night of three members of a US Marines special operations unit by a uniformed commander in the US-backed security forces brought to eight the number of Americans killed this week in Afghanistan.

US and Pakistan end standoff over Afghan supply routes

By Peter Symonds, 6 July 2012

The decision to lift the seven-month ban followed a limited apology by the Obama administration over the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in US air strikes last November.

US airstrike kills 18 Afghan civilians

By Bill Van Auken, 7 June 2012

At least 18 Afghan civilians, including seven children, were killed early Wednesday morning after US special operations troops called in an air strike on their homes.

NATO backs US plan on Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 22 May 2012

The NATO summit concluded Monday with a formal ratification of US plans for a phased drawdown of forces from Afghanistan over the next two and a half years, while laying the groundwork for an open-ended military presence in the country.

US bombings kills dozens of Afghan civilians

By Bill Van Auken, 8 May 2012

US bombardments claimed the lives of dozens of Afghan civilians, including women and children, prompting a formal protest from Karzai that such actions would render the recent pact he signed with Obama “meaningless”.

US makes a pact with its Afghan puppet

By Patrick Martin, 24 April 2012

The purpose of the deal is the clear the way for a NATO summit at which the Obama administration will pressure its European allies to cough up more money and manpower for the Afghanistan war.

Photos of US troops defiling corpses expose Afghan war’s savagery

By David Walsh, 19 April 2012

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times published horrific photographs of American troops in Afghanistan posing with dead and dismembered insurgents.

More US troops killed amid talks on permanent bases in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 5 April 2012

At least three US soldiers were killed and several others wounded in a suicide bombing in northern Afghanistan as US and Afghan officials continued talks on a permanent American military presence after 2014.

Afghanistan massacre: The product of a criminal war

By Bill Van Auken, 20 March 2012

Robert Bales, massacre, Afghanistan, PTSD, war, occupation

Questions mount over US account of Afghanistan massacre

By Patrick Martin, 19 March 2012

The official claim of a “rogue” soldier driven over the brink by marital difficulties and stress has been called into question by local villagers, Afghan President Karzai and those acquainted with the alleged attacker.

In wake of Afghan massacre, tensions mount between US and its puppet Karzai

By Bill Van Auken, 17 March 2012

President Karzai denounced the US military in connection with last Sunday’s massacre of 16 civilians, but Washington dismissed his demand that it speed up the transfer of security to Afghan forces.

Afghan troops kill two more US soldiers in Kandahar

By Patrick Martin, 2 March 2012

The incident was the third such killing of American soldiers by their Afghan “partners” in little more than a week.

Afghans besiege US bases in Koran protests

By Bill Van Auken, 24 February 2012

Two American soldiers and at least 15 Afghans have been killed as crowds besieged US and NATO bases for a third day Thursday, in an escalating protest over US troops burning copies of the Koran.

NATO bombing kills eight Afghan children

By Bill Van Auken, 11 February 2012

At least eight Afghan civilians, all children according to some reports, were killed Thursday when a NATO warplane bombed a village in Afghanistan's northeast Kapisa province.

France rules out rapid Afghanistan withdrawal

By Olivier Laurent, 28 January 2012

Sarkozy will keep French troops in Afghanistan despite rising popular opposition to the NATO occupation following the January 20 deaths of four French soldiers.

Pakistani elite preparing to restore full cooperation with US in Afghan War

By Ali Ismail, 27 January 2012

Despite the tough-sounding rhetoric from Islamabad and Rawalpindi over the NATO air strikes that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers, Pakistan’s civilian and military elite is moving to restore full and open cooperation with Washington.

Ten NATO troops killed in Afghanistan

By Alex Lantier, 21 January 2012

At least ten NATO soldiers were killed in Afghanistan when a US helicopter crashed and an Afghan soldier shot four French troops after a training session.

US resumes drone missile attacks in Pakistan

By Keith Jones, 12 January 2012

The US carried out a drone missile strike in Pakistan Tuesday, killing four people. It was the first drone attack since US forces killed 26 Pakistani soldiers in late November.

Afghan government accuses US of torture and false imprisonment

By James Cogan, 10 January 2012

The puppet government of President Hamid Karzai has accused the American military of torture and arbitrary detention at the largest US-run prison in the country.

US backs Taliban office in Qatar in bid for Afghanistan deal

By Bill Van Auken, 4 January 2012

US and Taliban sources have confirmed a deal to set up an office of the Islamist group in Qatar as part of Washington’s attempt to negotiate a settlement of its decade-old war in Afghanistan.

Pakistan continues to halt the supply of US forces occupying Afghanistan

By Sampath Perera, 21 December 2011

Pakistan is continuing to blockade shipments of fuel, food and other supplies to the US-NATO forces occupying Afghanistan in protest of a Nov. 26 US attack that killed more than two dozen Pakistani troops.

US generals balk at Obama’s Afghanistan withdrawal plan

By Bill Van Auken, 8 December 2011

In the latest round of conflict between Obama and his top military commanders, the senior US general in Afghanistan is opposing the administration’s plans for the withdrawal of troops from the US-occupied country.

Bonn conference on Afghanistan dominated by crisis and pessimism

By Bill Van Auken, 6 December 2011

A decade after the first international conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, delegates returned to the former West German capital under conditions of growing regional crisis and increasing pessimism over the 10-year-old war.

Pakistani elite plunged into crisis over reputed secret offer to US

By Ali Ismail, 3 December 2011

Pakistan’s government has been shaken by allegations that its former ambassador to the US composed a memo pledging compliance with Washington’s demands, in return for help preventing a military coup.

Outrage spreads in Pakistan over NATO bombings

By Alex Lantier, 29 November 2011

US and Pakistani officials held intensive talks as outrage grew in the Pakistani population and army over the NATO bombing of two Pakistani border posts on Saturday.

Afghan army trainee kills three Australian soldiers

By Will Morrow, 4 November 2011

Far from “stabilising” Afghanistan, the continued presence of foreign troops is generating deep-seated enmity that will inevitably lead to further attacks.

UN report documents systematic torture of Afghan detainees

By Barry Grey, 12 October 2011

A report released Monday by the United Nations documents what it calls "systematic" torture at Afghan government prisons of suspected insurgents captured by US, NATO and Afghan authorities.

A decade of neo-colonial war in Afghanistan

By Peter Symonds, 8 October 2011

The war has been a disaster for the Afghan people and a tragic waste of the lives of American and allied soldiers. It has profoundly destabilised regional and world politics.

US-Pakistani relations worsen following accusations and threats from Washington

By Ali Ismail, 1 October 2011

The crisis in US-Pakistan relations continues to escalate more than a week after chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency of supporting the Haqqani network.

NATO admits killing BBC journalist in Afghanistan

By Harvey Thompson, 16 September 2011

NATO admitted last week that a US soldier shot dead BBC journalist Ahmed Omaid Khpalwak in Afghanistan in July.

Multiple deaths in attack on British Council compound in Kabul

By Harvey Thompson, 23 August 2011

The compound of the British Council headquarters in the Afghan capital, Kabul, came under a sustained guerrilla attack on Friday, resulting in nine deaths and 22 casualties.

US retaliation in Afghanistan in wake of helicopter downing

By Bill Van Auken, 11 August 2011

The Pentagon claimed Wednesday to have killed the Afghan fighters responsible for last week’s downing of a helicopter that resulted in the worst US losses to date in the decade-old war.

High profile assassinations continue in southern Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 3 August 2011

The Taliban government-in-exile has claimed responsibility for a wave of attacks last month in which assassins were able to circumvent the security surrounding their intended victims.

France announces partial troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

By Anthony Torres, 3 August 2011

During his visit to Kabul, President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the withdrawal of a quarter of the French troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012.

Second Karzai ally assassinated in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 20 July 2011

The deaths of Karzai’s half-brother, and now Jan Mohammad Khan, are significant blows to the US puppet regime in Kabul.

Remote control murder: Afghan drones operated from Nevada and Virginia

By Julie Hyland, 15 July 2011

Last week’s admission that Britain’s Royal Air Force killed four civilians and injured two others in Afghanistan has highlighted the growing resort to remote-controlled “drones” as weapons of choice by the major powers.

US suspends aid to Pakistan

By Vilani Peiris, 15 July 2011

Washington suspended aid to Pakistan, trying to force it to do Washington’s bidding in the US “AfPak” war waged in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Killing of Karzai’s brother deepens US crisis in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 13 July 2011

The killing of Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Afghan president’s half brother, represents a serious blow to US strategy in the key southern province of Kandahar.

Pakistani military launches offensive into Kurram agency

By James Cogan, 9 July 2011

The operation has been ordered to restore relations with the Obama administration following tensions that developed in the wake of the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

Kabul hotel attack shakes US occupation regime in Afghanistan

By Alex Lantier, 1 July 2011

The June 28-29 attack by Afghan insurgents on the luxury Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul has again exposed the political isolation of the US occupation regime in Afghanistan.

Richard Nixon as Obama’s role model

By Bill Van Auken, 29 June 2011

The proposal that the Obama administration model its policy in Afghanistan on Nixon’s strategy in Vietnam is a prescription for unspeakable new war crimes.

The Nation’s Tom Hayden falsifies Obama’s Afghanistan plan

By David Walsh, 27 June 2011

On the Nation web site, Tom Hayden, longtime Democratic Party operative, has posted a dishonest and contemptible article about Barack Obama’s June 22 speech on the war in Afghanistan.

Obama’s Afghanistan speech: An exercise in political duplicity

By Bill Van Auken, 23 June 2011

The American president’s proposal represented a tacit admission of the failure of the US intervention in Afghanistan and of the immense crisis of American capitalism.

Behind Obama’s Afghan withdrawal decision

By Bill Van Auken, 21 June 2011

While the media focuses on Obama’s anticipated announcement of a limited withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the US administration is carrying out behind-the-scenes negotiations for permanent bases in the country.

US and Britain seek accommodation with Taliban

By Harvey Thompson, 8 June 2011

The Guardian has reported that Britain and the US are pressing for the lifting of UN sanctions against 18 former senior Taliban figures.

After latest massacre, NATO to continue attacks on Afghan civilians

By Bill Van Auken, 1 June 2011

The US-led NATO command in Afghanistan brushed aside President Hamid Karzai’s demand for a halt to air strikes and night raids on Afghan homes after an attack that killed 14 civilians.

UK Afghan troop draw-down points to future deployments

By Julie Hyland, 21 May 2011

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that 450 British troops are to be withdrawn from Afghanistan over the next nine months.

Afghans killed in protest over NATO night raids

By Bill Van Auken, 19 May 2011

At least a dozen Afghan civilians were shot to death and another 85 wounded in mass protests over a US-led night raid that killed four members of a family in the country’s northern Takhar province.

Book Review

Guantanamo: My Journey—David Hicks exposes torture and government criminality

By Richard Phillips, 19 May 2011

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks has written a valuable exposure of the barbarities perpetrated against him by the US military and Canberra’s role in his illegal detention.

New Zealand SAS troops implicated in Afghan war crimes

By John Braddock, 16 May 2011

An investigation provided damning evidence that the elite force is complicit in human rights abuses, with successive governments, including Labour, covering them up.

The Kabul airport killings: What are US troops dying for?

By Bill Van Auken, 29 April 2011

The execution-style slaying of eight US troops and a civilian contractor at a supposedly secure military facility at Kabul airport underscores the crisis of the nearly decade-old US war in Afghanistan.

500 Afghan insurgents escape from high-security Kandahar prison

By David Walsh, 27 April 2011

In an audacious operation, some 500 Taliban insurgents, including 100 commanders, escaped to freedom from an Afghan prison early Monday morning.

Pentagon rehabilitates Gen. McChrystal

By Bill Van Auken, 20 April 2011

The Pentagon’s exoneration of McChrystal in connection with remarks attributed to him and his staff in a magazine article points to continuing civililan-military tensions and raises the question of why he was really fired.

US occupation in Afghanistan hit by string of bombings

By Bill Van Auken, 19 April 2011

A series of bombings have signaled the beginning of a spring offensive by the Afghan resistance forces, while inflicting the greatest single-day casualties on US forces in nearly a year.

Mary Tillman condemns Obama’s appointment of McChrystal to head military families commission

By Tom Eley, 15 April 2011

Mary Tillman has condemned Obama’s decision to appoint General Stanley McChrystal, who led the cover-up of the killing of her son Pat Tillman by friendly fire, as head of a military families commission.

US Army clears “kill team” brigade commander of responsibility

By Naomi Spencer, 8 April 2011

An Army investigation into officers in charge of the brigade involved in killing Afghan civilians for sport concluded that its commander had no responsibility for the atrocities.